By: Mahanidhi Swami

In your Thakuraji puja, are you using a bogus, impure, and therefore offensive, fake “conchshell”?

We are sorry to say that most bhaktas and many temples use and worship conch shells WHICH ARE NOT INDIAN SANKHAS AND DEFINITELY NOT LAKSHMI CONCHES!!!

What are they? These fake conches are the impure, unusable, contaminated bones of a different seashell. Learn the difference below.

Vedas say that the bones and stool of all living entities are impure, contaminated and untouchable. The only exceptions are the stool of Mother cow (gobhar or dung), and the bone of ONE SEASHELL i.e. the Conch Shell (Shankha) technically identified as (Indian Turbinella Pyrum). This Conch Shell, which Lakshmi Devi and Bhagavan Narayana hold in Their divine lotus hands, can be used in the worship of God for puja, yajnas, rituals and other religious functions.

The Indian Shank (Turbinella Pyrum) comes in two types, normal left side opening, and the rare, very costly right side opening “Lakshmi Conch”, (Valampuri Dakshina-varti Turbinella Pyrum).

But everyone should CLEARY UNDERSTAND THAT BOTH the right side opening and common left side opening Indian conchshells are ruled by Lakshmi Devi, and thus auspicious, completely pure and perfect for puja. Conchologists say that only one Lakshmi Shankha is found among 1,000 normal Indian Shanks. And the average size (60-120 gm.) pure Lakshmi Conch sells for about Rs. 2,000 per gram!!!

The fact is that most bhaktas and temples are using an impure, contaminated seashell bones “conchshell” called “Lightning Whelks”, aka (busycon contrarium), which have no internal formation, ridges or lines in the conch cavity. They are sold in abundance in popular puja shops, who claim, “Prabhuji, Hare Krishna! This is a pure Lakshmi Conch.”

Examine your puja conch. The left side opening or the right side opening Vedic Turbinella Pyrum Indian Conch is attractive to the eye, smooth, white in color, contains 3 to 7 ridges in the conch cavity, and has a special internal structure. Lightning Whelks i.e. the imitation, bogus puja bones, do not have these attributes. The normal left-side opening Conch or Shankha is very low priced, perfectly pure and suitable for puja.

For about 60 Rs. you can purchase a pure, real left side opening authentic Indian puja Lakshmi Conch, or spend 1.2 lacs Rs. and get the rare, right side opening, authentic Lakshmi Conch. So my friends, check your conch and do the needful.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Note: there are many species in Conch family, but in India “Shank” always refers to the normal smooth white conch shells. They alone are called “Shankh” — and it is only such a shell, if it opens on the right side, that is a real Lakshmi Shank. No other right-sided shell is ever Lakshmi Shank (sinistral turbinella pyrum).

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