RARE LAKSHMI CONCH SHELL (sinistral turbinella pyrum)
Conch Shells which spiral to the right are very rare and considered
especially sacred, the right spiral mirroring the motion of
the sun, moon, planets and stars across the sky. Also, for Buddhists, the hair
whorls on Buddha's head spiral to the right, as do his fine bodily
hairs, the long white curl between his eyebrows and the conch
like swirl of his navel. The Lakshmi Conch shell is a sacred manifestation
of Supreme Goddess Lakshmi, and is most effectively used to bath
a genuine Gandaki Vajra-kita Shalagram Shila (ammonite from Gandaki
River in Nepal having chakra cut by Vajra-kita worms 140 million
years ago). The TOP picture showing a genuine Lakshmi Conch with
a genuine Shalagram Shila is one of a kind. VERY RARE PHOTO.
Normal Shank (left) and sacred 'Valampuri' Dakshin Conch
Over the last 30 Years we have been looking for the truth about the
fabled Lakshmi Conch Shell (sinistral turbinella pyrum). They
are so rare that only a few temples in India have them. We only
found several, one in Pashupati Nath Temple Museum, and one in
the London Museum of Natural History. In fact they are the same
kind of Shank or Conch shell that we bath the Sri Murti with but
they open on the right side (opposite of normal).
When shell collectors refer to the reversed Shank as left-handed
or "sinistral turbinella pyrum," the Indians call the
valampuri right-handed, because they orient it with
the apical spire downwards and the aperture or siphon (mouth)
uppermost and, consequently, on the right side of the shell.
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
QUESTION: In Kali Age many Hindu temples have Lightning Whelks
on the altar. I have heard from some that this is an accepted
exception but I have very serious doubts. Any information about
other kinds of sea shells besides conch shells. Maybe you could
write a detailed article on the subject and I could circulate
it to Hindu temples who want know the truth.
REPLY: Shastra says bone is impure, BUT, Conch Shell (Indian
Turbinella Pyrum) is super-pure, even to bathe the Deities. Even
Lakshmi Devi and Her Lord Narayana carry one in Their hand. Shastra
doesn't say any shell or every shell is pure, it's only Indian
Shank (Turbinella Pyrum) that is pure. And these come in two types,
normal left side opening AND special right side opening (Valampuri
Dakshin-varti Turbinella Pyrum). Both are ruled by Goddess Lakshmi.
It is not required to have right-side opening. Left side (normal)
opening Shank is perfect for puja. And Lakshmi Shank is even better
than perfect. It is said by Conchologists that only one Lakshmi
Shank is found among 1,000 normal Indian Shanks. And ALL Indian
shanks are pure and auspicious.
BUT common Lightning Whelk (busycon contrarium), with no internal
formation and no ridges in the conch cavity - is a bogus non-pure
shell. And as you mention so many temples use this non-conch shell,
and they're doing puja with an impure non-conch shell simply because
they have been hoodwinked by con men. It is embarrassing that
temples use the wrong shell. And in many temples they openly display
the fact that they have been cheated on a bogus Conch. And worse,
they tell the public that they have a REAL Sri Lakshmi Conch,
even though that is untrue.
Fact: The left side opening OR the right side opening Turbinella
Pyrum Indian Conch - with 3 to 7 ridges in the conch cavity, and
special internal structure is the ONLY Shank that is Vedic. The
normal left-side opening Conch is very low price, even less than
the bogus ones (Lightning Whelk), and only the Indian Shank is
correct for puja.
Genuine Valampuri Lakshmi Shank Turbinella Pyrum Conch shells
sell by the gram. Normal size is about 60-120 grams. Depending
on quality and number of ridges in the conch cavity they sell
for between Rs. 1,000 up to Rs. 3,000 per gram. This means that
a genuine Lakshmi Shank can be had for a few thousand dollars
ONLY. So no one has any excuse to use a non-conch shell. Everyone
can use either a $2 normal Shank OR a $2,000 Lakshmi Shank.