The four Vedas – Yajur Veda, Rig Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda - are each consisting of four portions viz., Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad. This aggregate is the Shruti and constitutes the body of the Veda. But, as a body without limbs has no meaning, the Vedas have six limbs (Anga) called Sad-Vedangas or six limbs of Vedas. These six appendices are: Siksa, Chanda, Nirukta, Vyakarana, Kalpana and Jyothisa. These are guidance like manuals for the use of the Vedas as preliminary knowledge for performing any Vedic sacrifices.
Jyothisa is the science of Astronomy and Astrology. The Yajur Veda and Rig Vedas have specific sections in dealing with Astronomy. Similarly, Atharva Veda has a section dealing with Astrology. It is now clear that Astrology form part of Vedas which are ancient.
In Astrology, in order to counteract any adverse planetary afflictions or to mitigate their sufferings, people seek to wear different variety of Gemstones. There are references to Gemstones and their power in early works of classical Astrology right from the time of Varaha Mihira or even earlier.
In Vishnu Purana there are elaborate observations found on the origin and power of Gemstones as well as the rare priceless Gem called Kaustubha Mani which was found, among other treasures, while churning the ocean of milk by Gods and Demons.
The very first sloka in Rig Veda talks about Gemstones as follows:
Agnimeele Purohitaṃ Yajnasya Devaṃ Rtveejam Hotaaraṃ Ratna Dhaatamam
I glorify Agni, the high priest of the sacrifice, the divine, the ministrant, who presents the oblation, and is the possessor of great wealth.
Brihat Samhita, Bhava Prakash, Ayurveda Prakasha, Rasa Ratna Samuchchaya also discuss extensively on the value and benefits derived by the use of Gemstones.
Though not all the Gemstones are called NavRatnas, still they are being related to the Planets and command considerable remedial value.
According to Hindu Mythology there are three kinds of Gemstones – (1) Gemstones of Swarga Loka, (2) Gemstones of Patala Loka, and (3) Gemstones of Mrityu Loka.
GEMSTONES OF SWARGA LOKA
These are called Manis meaning beads. They are of four kinds viz,
- Chinta Mani: This is white in colour. This is worn by Brahma. It is supposed to bring success to all ventures undertaken by Brahma.
- Kaustubha Mani: It has the colour of the Lotus flower. It has the brilliance of hundreds of thousands of Suns. This is worn by Lord Vishnu.
- Rudra Mani: This is of Gold colour with several stripes on it. This is worn by Lord Shiva.
- Shyamantaka Mani: It is a brilliant blue Gem worn by King of Gods Indra.
GEMSTONES OF PATALA LOKA
It is described that nine kinds of serpents inhabit the Patala Loka or the nether land. Besides Black and White, the colours are Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Dusty, Rose and Milky. They are said to hold lustrous Manis of their own colour. The whole of Patala Loka is said be illuminated by the light of these Gemstones.
GEMSTONES OF MRITYU LOKA OR EARTH
All the precious and semi-precious stones known to us are those of Mrityu Loka.
LIGHTS ON GEMSTONES BY SAGE AGASTYA
It is said that Sage Agastya, in one of his books namely Agastya Vatagam, mentions the characteristics of Nine Gemstones as follows.
Ruby: It is second to diamond. If pierced by a sharp needle, pure Ruby would not break.
Pearl: It would float if dropped in froth less Milk.
Pushyarag: If placed on the sandal grinding stone it would emit the smell of Lotus.
Gomed: If dropped in Cow’s Ghee, would emit smell of saffron.
Emerald: Horse would sneeze when the Emerald is taken near it.
Diamond: If pierced by a sharp needle, pure Diamond would not break.
Cat’s Eye: If dropped in green juice, it would become white.
Blue Sapphire: If dropped in green juice; it would create a small sound.
Coral: Pure Coral can be pierced by a sharp needle in the centre.
Anyone cannot wear any Gemstone according to likes and dislikes. Before suggesting a Gemstone, an expert would consider several factors according to individual’s position of constellations in the birth chart. The Wisdom of the expert in selecting the best Gemstone would decide the success of the native. Rest could be troublesome to the native.
Actually in the present days there are innumerable colour stones used in Indian Gemology market. However, Indian gemological experts have identified 84 Gemstones. Amongst them nine – Ruby, Pearl, Yellow or White Sapphire (Pukhraj), Gomed, Emerald, Diamond, Cat’s Eye, Blue Sapphire and Coral take the zenith in position as NavRatnas. The ancient book Jataka Parijata of Vaidyanatha Dikshita, which is ranked equal to Bṛhat Paraasara Horasastra, Bṛihat Jaataka of VarahaMihira and Phaladeepika of Mantreshvara, also talks of the above Gemstones ascribing them to each of the nine planets.
Among these, five Gemstones viz. Ruby, Pearl, Diamond, Emerald and Blue Sapphire have attained the status Maharathnas or superior Gemstones. These are also called precious stones and the rest are classed as semi-precious stones.
But in reality, there are several semi-precious stones with brilliance and luster which is in no way less inferior to the NavRatnas or Nine Gemstones.
The entire list of eighty four varieties of Gemstones of Indian Gemology is not discussed in this site as many do not add any value as Life Solutions.