Jyotish is the Vedic astrological system, of which Ayurveda was once a part. This astrological system notes that gems are related to the various planets and produce a balancing effect to counter specific diseases. It is a primary method of a Jyotish astrologer's therapeutic measures to heal physical, mental, and spiritual situations, based on one's astrology chart indicators. It is known that planets produce effects on humans. For example, the full moon not only causes high tides, but also affects the emotions of some people. The gemstones were studied and used to neutralize these effects.
The ancient Ayurvedic researchers studied healing properties of gems, and found that different stones created different effects in the human body. The planets were seen to have corresponding colors. The color or vibration of the gems affects the human body. They absorb and reflect (like a filter) the planetary rays or vibrations. Thus, gems relate to specific energy waves. It was found that the gems associated with each planet have varying wavelengths. [see table]
The planetary vibrations are negative, while the radiation of the stones is positive. When the positive and negative vibrations are combined, they are neutralized. Just as an umbrella or sunscreen protects one from the sun, so gems protect one from the influence of the planets.
In ancient Vedic texts, like the Brihat Samhita, the origin and healing powers of various gems are discussed. Persons may use substitute stones instead of the more expensive gems. Red garnet can replace ruby; moonstone can replace pearl; jade, peridot, or green tourmaline can replace emerald; and yellow topaz or citrine can replace yellow sapphire. [see table]
Jyotish suggests wearing gems, and ingesting them internally (after a long heating process to make them safe), or as gem tinctures. Stones worn as rings and pendants are mounted so as to touch the skin. Pendants should touch the heart or throat chakras, and rings with different gemstones should be worn on various fingers, as the elements dictate.
Gem tinctures are prepared like herb tinctures. Gems are soaked for some time in a 50%-100% alcohol solution. Diamonds or sapphires (hard gems) are soaked from one full moon to the next full moon (one month). Opaque stones - pearls, coral (soft stones) - are soaked for shorter time periods or in weaker solutions.
Special Ayurvedic preparations exist in which gems are burnt into ash. This removes their harmful effects, enabling them to be ingested. Traditionally, gems were crushed and/or burnt in long processes to make ash. Sometimes they are taken alone, sometimes they are mixed with herbs. Gem ash (bhasma) is more costly than herbs, but healing is quicker. Currently, they are not imported into the United States due to the lack of understanding of their safety.
5 Fingers, 5 Elements
Each finger is related to one of the five elements. The pinky is earth, the ring finger is water, the middle finger is air, the index finger is ether, and the thumb is fire. The planets correspond to this system as well: Mercury - earth, the sun or moon - water, Saturn - air, Jupiter - ether. No specific planet rules the fire. Precious gems are worn as rings in 2-carat (minimum) and 5-carat pendants. Substitute stones are worn as rings in 4-carat (minimum) and 7-carat pendants. Determinations of planetary therapies are made differently than in Western Astrology.
Vedic Origin of Gems
The Garuda Purana, an ancient Vedic text, includes a discussion of the science of gemology. This mythologically-based story may have semantic parallels in modern scientific terminology, just as the seven deities of the sun are analogous to the seven colors of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) in Vedic Astrology. Thus, it is hoped that interested readers will seek out the parallels between these Vedic descriptions and modern science, rather than doubt its authenticity merely because of the use of words like "gods" and "demons".
The Legend of Vala
Once, a very powerful demon, Vala, caused trouble for all the gods in the universe. After much hardship the gods developed a plan to capture Vala and kill him. Once dead, Vala was cut into pieces. His limbs were transformed into the seeds of precious gems. All the creatures of the universe rushed to gather the gem seeds. In the clamor some of the gem seeds fell to earth, dropping into rivers, oceans, forests, and mountains. There they developed into mother lodes.
Vala's blood became ruby seeds and fell over India, Burma, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and ancient Siam. His teeth became pearl seeds that spread throughout the oceans of Sri Lanka, Bengal, Persia, Indonesia, and other bodies of water in the southern hemisphere. The skin of Vala became yellow sapphire seeds, plummeting mainly to the Himalayas. Vala's fingernails became hessonite garnet seeds that fell into lotus ponds of Sri Lanka, India, and Burma. His bile became emerald seeds and fell into the mountain ranges of modern day South Africa, South America, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.Vala's bones became diamond seeds. His war cry became the cat's-eye gem seeds. Blue sapphire seeds were transformed from Vala's eyes. Coral seed was transformed from his intestines. Vala's toenails became red garnet seeds. His body fat became jade seeds. Quartz crystal seeds were transformed from his semen. Vala'a complexion was transformed into bloodstone coral seeds.