LEGEND AND MYTHOLOGY
As per the legend associated with the gems, it is said that the king of the demons Bali came to the Indralok-the Heaven. He wanted to win over the Heaven and all the Gods. In Heaven, he was escorted by Indra himself under the guise of a Brahmin seeking to find an animal for propitiation. Indra pleaded with Bali to become animal for the sacrifice as he was not getting anyone.
It was getting late and his Yagna would be rendered fruitless. Bali accepted it knowing that his body was invincible. This was known to Indra as well and he did not hurt the body of demon king but hit his head with Vajra. The demon king was shattered in to pieces of gems simply because he was a unique creature himself.
Mythology mentions that from the bones of demon king Bali; Diamonds were found, from his teeth the Pearls, from his blood drops Ruby, from the gall bladder Emerald, from his eyes came out Blue Sapphires, from the juice of his heart came Lapis Lazuli, from his bone marrow appeared Karketan, from his nails appeared Cat’s eye, from his body fat came Rock crystal; from flesh came Coral, from skin came out Yellow Sapphire, from his semen appeared gem called Bheesham.
The legend further goes that from these gems, Sun took away Ruby, Moon picked up Pearls, Mars took away Coral, Mercury took Emeralds, Jupiter picked up Yellow Sapphire, Venus took Diamonds, Saturn took Blue Sapphires,Rahu took away Zircon and Ketu lifted Lapis Lazuli. This is the reason why these stones are worn by humans to enhance the strength of these planets.
According to mythology, all these gems had been grown by nature inside the body of demon King Bali as he was a unique creature and when these gems came out of the shattered body, it was symbol of victory of Gods over the demons.
However far-fetched this myth may sound. But one thing is sure that even in ancient times when there was no gemology or research available, people were aware of wearing gems for strengthening various planets and for propitiation purposes. In all probability, these legends started to grow as people felt the beneficial results after wearing them and in present day we hear a full myth around gemstones.
HISTORY AND GEMSTONES
Ancient Roman writer Pliny (62-113 AD) had written that there was a very large market for jewels and precious stones on the Secundra port in Egypt. Merchants ,traders from Rome,Athens and other parts of the world used to come with their merchandise here. Jewels and precious stones with all their powers were mentioned even before these centers came into existence in Holy Bible and even before that in Vishnu Puran.
Who has not read about the great hall in which beautiful empress Cleopatra had received the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, which was decorated with furniture studded with rare gems and Jewels. In recent history, the Peacock throne of the Moghuls was studded with jewels of all kind and had attracted many invaders.
Nadir Shah came and invaded India in 1739 and took away this throne ,Takht-I-tawoos ,with him. The monuments built by Moghuls show the splendour of their times and gems were very integral to it. Taj Mahal is living example of the use of precious stones in buildings. Jade,cornelion and other gems were used by the Moghuls in plenty.
The Greek writer Thiophratus who lived in 287 BC had written a book on Diamonds and gems. After him Pliny (62-113 AD) wrote in his book on Natural History about gems in detail. In 13th century Marcopolo visited India, China, Burma and Ceylon(Sri Lanka) and he wrote about the treasures and jewels in these countries in detail.
BELIEFS AND GEMSTONES
Mythology and legends are not convincing to modern generation but some of the communities and cultures still have their beliefs about the usage and effects of various gemstones. About the Amber ,it is said that the jewels have been made of the teardrops of a Greek God. According to popular belief in the west, the Amber cures one of rheumatism.
The garland of Ambers is hung around the neck of the infant in Germany, so that their teething takes place without trouble. While in Turkey ,people believe that by fixing Amber in the Hubble –bubble, the germs would not spread and will be killed even after many have puffed it.
In Greece, people think if wine is poured into the cups made of Amethyst, one does not get drunk after drinking that wine. In Rome, a talisman having Coral pieces is considered very auspicious to quell the bad effects of evil spirits. And Romans used to hang chains made from Coral to the cradle of infants to ward off evil spirits. In ancient China, rings studded with Conch or Oyster shells were believed to cure all aches and ailments of stomach.
Lockets made of silver and studded with Pearls are hung around the necks of the infants to ward off evils in India. The Greeks still believe, if women wear the Blue Sapphires on person ,no sense of immorality would pollute their mind nor any fear of supernatural will affect them.
There are numerous such beliefs cutting across all cultures and communities, which are associated with the gems. These if written would fill volumes .But a fair idea can be had from the above that the gems had a very special place in human life since ancient times.
SCIENCE BEHIND EFFECTS OF GEMSTONES
That gemstones work for the betterment of one’s life is a known fact. But many people do not believe in their effects. These days people ,especially the younger generation, looks for scientific links between the gems and their effects. All astrological reasoning fails to impress many people to accept the benefits of the gemstones.
There are laws in pure science which have not been proved but are accepted as their effects are observed by us day in and day out and they are called laws conversely also as they have not been proved otherwise. The simplest example being Law of Gravitation. It is a law because it is observed daily by us and also it has not been proved through experiment to be not true.
Similarly the effects of the gemstones are observed by those who use them under proper prescription. Since the effects are very individual in nature, they are not in the scrutiny of public and people do not believe in their beneficial values.
The gemstones have different colours and lustre. Sun being the source of all energy, also affects human beings. If we observe the sunlight through prism in a laboratory, we get seven-colour spectrum. The other invisible two colours are infra red and ultra violet. Thus the spectrum of nine colours is understood to be the cosmic matrix and is very essence of nine planets. The nine planets are associated with these colours and the stones prescribed are also in consonance.
What modern science say.
It is important to note that the wavelength of coloured light emanating from the nine planets is believed to match those radiating from each planet’s corresponding gemstone. Thus prescribing gemstones is not out of synchronous with this energy system.
A particular stone absorbs all kind of solar and cosmic energy and allows a particular type of energy to pass through it and which is then absorbed by the body. If prescribed properly, this actually helps the individual. This restores the balance in him ,and he finds the self-improving.
Moreover, the effects of gemstones have been proved conversely also. If a person is prescribed a wrong gemstone, it has been observed to adversely affect him as long as he wears it and the effect goes away once the stone is removed. Thus the efficacy of gemstones do not require laboratory experiments just the way some of the pure science laws do not require experiment in their support.