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Jyotish gemstones have been used from time immemorial by Indian  kings and nobility to under advisement from their astrologers to enhance all spheres of life and also for adornment. The origin of gemstones is as old as creation itself.  In ancient scriptures we find references to Kaustav Mani which adorns the chest of Lord Vishnu. This also indicates that ratnas or gem stones were not only available on earth but also on other realms.

 Varahamihira the great Indian astrologer and astronomer around 6th century CE mentions in his magnum opus The Bright Samhita that gemstones can be classified into three categories viz. Ratnas of Swarga  Lok(heaven), ratnas of Martya Lok (Earth) and Ratnas of Patal lok (Nether world) .

Apart from Brihat Samhita there are several other sacred texts which mentions the use of gemstones such as Agni Purana, Vishnu Purana Agastya Samhita, Minimal and Garuda Purana to name a few. Garuda Purana , Chapter 68, Verse No. 17 clearly defines the association with the 9 planets and 9 planetary gemstones. The Garuda Purana further goes into detailed description of 14 types of gemstones including navaratas . Garuda Purana defines the astrological aspects of the gemstones, how to distinguish a Jyotish gemstone from an artificial one and various other characteristics.

As per ancient scriptures there are 84 types of different gemstones inclusive of 9 Navaratnas. As per Vishnu Purana and other scriptures all gemstones originated from the body of Bali Maharaj the famed king of the Asuras. Once Maharaj Bali who was also the grandson of Prahlad Maharaj arranged for 100 Ashwamedha Yagnas to become the King of heaven. A highly insecure Indra, the king of the Demi gods rushed to Lord Vishnu to seek his help to stop the Ashwamedha Yagnas.Maharaj Bali was also well  known for his charitable disposition. Disguised as a dwarf ( Vamana Avatar), Lord Vishnu approached Maharaj Bali and requested him to donate land what he could cover in three steps and Maharaj Bali agreed for the same. Lord Vishnu in his Vamana Avatar covered Swarglok and Martyalok in the first two steps. Since there were to place left to place Vamana Avatar’s third step, Maharaj Bali offered his head to place His third step. Lord Vishnu gave Maharaj Bali his benediction and anointed Maharaj Bali as the King of Patal Lok and directed him to go there. Maharaj Bali’s mortal remains was converted into gem stones with the touch of Lord Vishnu’s foot. Hence it is said that all ratnas or gemstones originated from Maharaj Bali’s body. Different gemstones are said to originate from different parts of Maharaj Bali’s remains e.g. the Ruby is said to originate from Maharaj Bali’s heart , Pearl is said to originate from the mind of Maharaj Bali, Emerald is said to originate from the nervous system of Bali Maharaj, Diamond is said to originate from the brain of Maharaj Bali, Red Coral originates from the blood of Bali Maharaj, Yellow Sapphire from the flesh of Bali Maharaj, Blue Sapphire from the eyes of Bali Maharaj, Hessonite (Gomedh) from the fat of Bali Maharaj and Cat’s eye from the sacred thread of Bali Maharaj. Apart from these Navaratnas various others gemstones totalling 84 numbers originated from the remains of Bali Maharaj i.e 9 + 75 = 84 .

Ancient Indian sages were fully aware of the fact that natural and pure gemstones counteracts negative cosmic influences.Gemstones act as cosmic filters transmitting benefit planetary rays into the human body and filtering out the malefic ones. The key words here are “natural” and pure”  i.e as per ancient scriptures gemstones used for astrological purposes should be “sujatyam amalam”  which means high quality and pure. Also note that all natural gemstones are not Jyotish gemstones. To quality as a Jyotish quality gemstone , the gem as to fulfill certain criteria to be named as such. At Vedic Oracle our team of Astro Gemologists specializing in sourcing and selecting of pure Vedic gemstones for best results.

 The author is an astrologer and an astro gemologist

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