Article of the Month - Oct 2021

This article by Manisha Sarade

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Gemstone Healing and the Esteemed Hindu Navratna

Gemstone healing is an important healing tool used in Vedic astrology as gems have the ability to create balance in the body and get it rid of diseases and ailments. Basically, this therapy can be used by an expert to heal the body, mind, and spirit of an individual. Therefore, It is used in relation to the study of planetary influences in his natal chart. In addition to the healing powers of gemstones, ancient Hinduism also has some great legends related to the origin of various gemstones and how they came into being and found use in astrological healing later on. Here are some ways in which gem therapy is used in Hinduism to neutralize the ill effects of planets or enhance their positive effects.

Healing Energy Fields of Gemstone

According to the ancient Jyotish science of Hinduism, each gemstone associated with a planet. Each planet has its own color which corresponds to the color vibration of its stone. The healing gemstone acts as a filter and absorbs. It reflects these color energy fields and balances their effect on the human body. The positive vibrations of the gemstones neutralize the negative ones of the planets and protect the wearer from them. The ancient Vedic text Brihat Samhita throws light on the healing influences of various gemstones. Hindu astrology, even suggests cheaper alternatives for natives. Who do not have the financial resources to invest in the more expensive healing & nbsp;stones.

Healing Power of GEMS

Hindu astrology and Gemstones

    According to Hindu astrology gemstones can wear in the form of rings and pendants. In such a manner that they are in contact with the skin of the wearer so that the cosmic rays may be transmitted in his body. There are different fingers for wearing different gemstone rings. While pendants need to touch the heart or throat chakra of the wearer to be properly effective. Another manner in which healing gemstones have been used in Hinduism is in the form of gem tinctures. Like herb tinctures, gem tinctures prepare by soaking the gemstones in 50-100% alcohol solution for a certain period of time. For instance, the preparation of diamond or sapphire tincture involves soaking the gemstones for a one month period, starting from one full moon to the other. On the other hand, organic stone like corals and pearls soak in weaker solutions for shorter time intervals. Gem ash can prepare by burning them and making them safe for ingestion by  humans.

    Gemstones Properties, Identification and Use

    Traditionally, bhasma or gem ash is popular as a quick healer. Which makes it even more expensive as compared to the gemstone itself. The basis of healing powers and techniques related to astrological gemstones in Hinduism may be different as that used in Western astrology. But the fact remains is that both the systems revere the gemstones for their healing powers. Both rely on the natural color balancing powers of gemstones as the mainstay of the study of their individual healing powers. In Indian Astrology, the horoscope (janma patrika) of the person is derived before advising him any gems or stones. The horoscope establishes the position of various planets and their   influence during various periods in one’s life. Thus, the concept of Indian Gemology is based on planetary influence and is said to provide more fruitful results and changes for better living conditions.

Legitimacy of Indian Gemology

Putting on different gems and stones, as per one’s Zodiacal and Numerological interpretations, is an age old tradition existing all over the world. However, the ritual is much complicated in India in comparison to other countries. Indian astrology has acquired Vedic roots where a number of factors are considered before finally recommending gems and stones to the believers.

The Navaratna

Although the gems found in India are legion, gemologists list 84 stones as a core part of Indian gemology. Subsequently, amongst these, nine stones form the esteemed Navaratna. These are: Ruby, Pearl, Coral, Emerald, Sapphire (yellow or white), Diamond, Blue Sapphire, Gomedha and Cat’s eye.

Again, out of these nine-stones, five are collectively known as Maha-ratnas (most superior gems). These are – Ruby, Pearl, Diamond, Emerald and Blue Sapphire.

Navaratna Ring

It is believed that the purity of the Navaratna (nine gems) is such that they are suitable to almost all persons, irrespective of their horoscope or planetary positions. The nine stones are manifestations of abundant wealth, happiness, fame, longevity, honor and mental peace. Generally, no specific weight is prescribed while wearing the gem, however, its authenticity and flawlessness bear utmost significance.

Determining an auspicious time and day for the wearing is quite important and, if necessary, a havan (ritual fire) or puja is also performed for the same. The gems should be set by a knowledgeable jeweler (in a particular format) either in gold or in silver.

Manik (Ruby)

Of pinkish red color, it generally occurs in crystals of six-sided prisms. There are several attributes which decide the quality of the Ruby. For instance, when immersed in milk, the red rays simply breaks or splits the liquid. Again, when rubbed against the stone, the friction may damage the stone; however, the weight of the Ruby must remain intact.

In another example, when reflected against the mirror in the early morning, if the Ruby throws rays on the lower part of the mirror it is of superior quality. Finally, in case, the stone lacks luster, is brittle, has cracks, spotted oris, it is regarded as flawed.

Faceted Ruby Pendant with Earrings Set

Moti (Pearl)

Pearls come in white, black, yellow, salmon pink, blue, red, green and brown. The ones with a pinkish luster are the most popular and expensive. They come almost exclusively from the Persian Gulf. Although, the Pearl is organic in nature, it is composed of minerals and occurs in the Pearl oyster every year during the two spawning seasons. The luster of the Pearl is dependent on the layers of the ocean beds. There are two major centers for Pearl diving in India. These are located off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. A Pearl with cracks on the skin is considered flawed, a jointed facade, a mole. It is very lusterless and contains mud or other material inside.

Faceted Carnelian Necklace with Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, Iolite and Citrine

Moonga (Coral)

A Coral is generally red or sindoori (vermilion) in color. The use of the coral in jewelry dates back to the Romans who considered it auspicious if worn in amulets. Owing of its auspiciousness, the Coral, though not a precious stone, has been given a coveted place in the Navaratna. A good Coral is opaque red, is perfectly round or oval and regular; is smooth and gives off lovely splendors. A Coral is defective if it is cracked; spotted; has either double or multiple shades; or the surface is in any way depressed or twisted.

Turquoise and Coral Cuff Bracelet

Panna (Emerald)

An Emerald is basically velvety green in color; most Emeralds are blemished by inclusions and cracks which greatly diminish their value. A flawless Emerald, like a flawless Ruby, is extremely rare and valuable. The usage of stone is as old as 1st century AD as the famous Roman author, Pliny (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), was writes about Emerald, “Neither dimness nor shade, nor yet the light of a candle causes them to lose their luster.” The Udaipur Emerald has a dark green color but is brittle. The Ajmer Emerald, on the other hand, is of a paler shade. The most coveted Emerald is that which is smooth, radiant and without cracks or dots.

Faceted Emerald Pendant with Earrings and Ring Set

Pukhraj (Sapphire)

A Sapphire is either yellow or white in color and is also famous called Pushparaj. The purest form of Sapphire generally possesses eight main qualities: it feels quite heavy when kept on the palm; appears clean, pure and completely spotless; weighs solid without any layer; has a yellow hue; feels smooth to touch, and its radiance perks up when fretted on a testing stone. A Pukhraj or Pushparaj with blemishes like asymmetry, a blackish tinge, blots or a whitish-yellow coloring is considered inauspicious and is not used in jewelry.

Faceted Sapphire Hoops Bracelet with Diamonds

Heera (Diamonds)

This is no modern-day feat; diamonds have always held great value to the Indians. Texts as ancient as Kautilya's Arthashastra speak of diamond trade in India. Treasures discovered in the vaults of Indian temples comprise not just gold coins but several precious diamonds. In other words, diamonds have always held pride of place in the Hindu culture. The Sanskrit word for diamond is Vajra and Vajrayudham is the name given to the thunderbolt weapon used by the deity Indra. Ever since Hindu artisans began sculpting the statues of deities, diamonds have received pride of place as the eyes of these statues. According to Hindu scriptures, diamonds are of eight different types that differ in their color and hue. These include a conch-colored diamond called Hanspati, a grassy green-colored variety called Vanaspati, a bluish-white type called Vajraneel, a lotus pink-colored diamond called Kamlapati, the grey colored Shyamvajra, a yellowish-green Sanloyi, a dark colored Telia variety and Vasanthi.

Faceted Ruby Bracelet with Diamonds

There is a belief that Diamonds are of three kinds: male, female and eunuch, of which the male is considered the best. Another opinion is that Diamonds are ranked according to their radiance and structural splendor. It should be graded on the basis of four varnas; Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. A typical male Diamond is the one which light and round, reflecting all the seven rainbow colors. It also vivdly exhibits all eight facets without showing any lines or dots as such. A defective or blemished Diamond is said to cause great harm.

Neelam (Blue Sapphire)

The best Blue Sapphires are originally found in Kashmir. They are called ‘mayur neelam’ meaning peacock blue. Its most significant quality is that it doesn’t change color but instead throws off a navy blue shade when exposed to electric light. An auspicious Sapphire should be radiant, brilliant, crystal clear, and soft to touch. It gives off rays from within its body. The Blue Sapphire, however, is not supposed to suit all kinds of temperaments. Despite its purity and preciousness, it may not be universally auspicious.

Faceted Blue Sapphire Chandeliers

Gomedha (Hessonite or gomed)

Gomedha has the color of red smoke or honey. Also called zircon, chemically it is a silicate of zirconium and crystals and occurs either as a four-sided prism or as water pebbles. To be considered lucky, the stone should illumine a pure color, be homogenous and smooth to touch. If it displays a black radiance, is quite rough to touch, and looks resembles a yellow glass piece, the Gomedha is unlucky. Gomedhas from Sri Lanka are world famous and are of the best quality. Good quality Gomedhas are also found in Bihar, Kulu, Shimla, Kashmir and Coimbatore, in India.

Hessonite Israel Cut Beaded Bunch Necklace

Lahasunia (Cat’s eye)

A Cat’s eye is also called Sutramani. It is either blackish or yellowish in color with a lustrous band inside. The band is the most interesting part of the stone, and it moves when the stone is turned. Good quality gems are mostly found in Tiruvananthapuram (Kerala), India. The brilliance and straightness indicate the superiority of the stone. The ones that have depression, spots, web or dullness are considered flawed and inauspicious.

Faceted Cat's Eye Shape

Gems as described in Hindu Mythology

According to Hindu mythology there are three kinds of gems – those which belong to Swarga-loka (heaven), to Patala loka (hell) and to Mrityu-loka (valley of the dead). Under Swarga-loka, there are four gems. These are –

Chintamani – A white gem worn by Brahma and all his successes are attributed to the gem.

Kaustubhamani – A gem with the colors of a lotus flower and the brilliance of Sun’s rays; it adorns Vishnu.

Rudramani – A golden colored stone worn by Mahadeva.

Syamantakamani – A brilliant, blue colored, gem worn by Indra.The serpents that inhabit Patala-loka have their own precious gems in black, blue, yellow, green, white, red, pink and milky colors. All precious and semi-precious stones known on earth are those of Mrityu-loka.

Birth Stones

Gems can be embedded in different ornaments including finger-rings, amulets and armlets. They are generally prescribed in accordance with the Date-of-Birth and Sun-Sign of the person. However, opinions on this vary greatly and individuals are advised against investing in a precious or semi-precious stone unless they firmly believe in their efficacy.

Emerald City - The Birth and Evolution of an Indian Gemstone Industry

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