carnelianThe Agni Purāṇa recommends thirty-six gemstones for activation of rājayoga for the kings. I guess ordinary mortals can also make good use of these recommendations. The Sanskrit recommendation and our translation is given below.

वज्रं मरकतं रत्नं पद्मरागं च मोक्तिकम्॥
vajraṁ marakataṁ ratnaṁ padmarāgaṁ ca mouktikam||
(1) Diamond (2) Emerald (3) Ruby (4) Pearl

इन्द्रनीलं महानीलं वैदूर्यं गन्धशस्यकम्।
indranīlaṁ mahānīlaṁ vaidūryaṁ gandhaśasyakam|
(5) Aquamarine (6) Blue Sapphire (7) Vaidūrya [Scapolite?]

चन्द्राकान्तं सूर्यकान्तं स्फटिकं पुलकं तथा॥
candrākāntaṁ sūryakāntaṁ sphaṭikaṁ pulakaṁ tathā||
(8) Moonstone (9) Sunstone (10) Sapphire Crystal (11) Pulaka [green tourmaline]

कर्केतनं पुष्परागं तथा ज्योतिरसं द्विज।
karketanaṁ puṣparāgaṁ tathā jyotirasaṁ dvija|
(12) Quartz (13) Yellow Sapphire (14) star-gems [star-ruby etc.]

स्फटिकं राजपट्टं च तथा राजमयं शुभम्॥
sphaṭikaṁ rājapaṭṭaṁ ca tathā rājamayaṁ śubham||
(15) Sapphire Crystal (16) rājapaṭṭa [natural diamond] (17) rājamaya

सौगन्धिकं तथा गञ्जं सङ्खब्रह्ममयं तथा।
saugandhikaṁ tathā gañjaṁ saṅkhabrahmamayaṁ tathā|
(18) Sulphur [Golden Topaz] (19) gañja (20) Conch-Shell

गोमेदं रुधिराक्षं च तथा भल्लातकं द्विज॥
gomedaṁ rudhirākṣaṁ ca tathā bhallātakaṁ dvija||
(21) Gomeda [Dolomite, Hessonite – 4 sorts , white , pale yellow , red , and dark blue] (22) rudhirākṣa [like rudrākṣa -] (23) Marking-nut [Rhodolite Garnet or similar reddish gemstone]

धूलिं मरकतं चैव तुत्थकं सीसमेव च।
dhūliṁ marakataṁ caiva tutthakaṁ sīsameva ca|
(24) copper nitrate (25) Emerald (26) Blue vitriol (27) lead

पीलुं प्रवालकं चैव गिरिवज्रं द्विजोत्तम॥
pīluṁ pravālakaṁ caiva girivajraṁ dvijottama||
(28) Ivory (29) Coral (30) mountain-diamond ?

भुजङ्गमणिं चैव तथा वज्रमणिं शुभं।
bhujaṅgamaṇiṁ caiva tathā vajramaṇiṁ śubhaṁ|
(31) nāga-maṇi [snake-gem] (32) diamond-like gemstone

टिट्टिभं च तथा पिण्डं ब्रामरं च तथोत्पलम्॥
ṭiṭṭibhaṁ ca tathā piṇḍaṁ brāmaraṁ ca tathotpalam||
(33) Rhodochrosite (34) Pyrite (35) Black onyx [black pearl] (36) Amethyst

Vaidūrya Correction

Normally Used but Wrong gemstone. This is not Vaidurya
Normally Used but Wrong gemstone. This is not Vaidurya

It is very interesting to note that ‘vaidūrya’ which was suspected to be cat’s eye gemstone by astrologers for such a long time seems to be quite different. Vedavyāsa specifically uses the word ‘nīla-rakta’ indicating that it is bluish-red in colour. Cat’s-Eye is a feature that can apply to many gemstones including Cat’s Eye Apatite, Cat’s Eye Aquamarine, Cat’s Eye Diaspore, Cat’s Eye Scapolite, Cat’s Eye Tourmaline. Cat’s-Eye simply means a line of light that tilts with the stone. Don’t get carried away with that. What we are looking for is a gemstone which has the blue and red colours blended together.

Application

These thirty-six gemstones are recommended based on the 36 drekkāṇa. For many thousand years the Indians, Persians and the Egyptians have used the drekkāṇa for timing political events and it is evident that this recommendation could be on these lines.

Happy Makara Saṅkrānti

Makara Saṅkrānti is the new ‘financial’ year when we celebrate the awakening of Jagannāth (Kṛṣṇa). Festivities related to the saṅkrānti would depend on the local traditions and their definition on which day to choose for Saṅkrānti. There are three options:

  1. Vāra: The entire day from sunrise to next sunrise is a jyotiṣa day and if saṅkrānti occurs any time between two sunrise, that day shall be taken as the saṅkrānti date. Saṅkrānti occurred at 6:57’ PM at New Delhi on 14 January, 2015. So yesterday would be considered saṅkrānti by those who follow the ‘vāra’ or day based pañcāṅga.
  2. Horā: This is based on the day-night divide where the day called ‘aho’ is treated differently from the night called ‘rātra’. The word horā comes from the last syllable of ‘ho’ from ‘aho’ and the first syllable ‘rā’ from ‘rātra’. Saṅkrānti occurred at 6:57’ PM at New Delhi on 14 January, 2015 but the sunset occurred at 5:45’ PM. Since saṅkrānti happened after sunset, the next day would be considered as the day for saṅkrānti celebrations which would be 15 January, 2015.
  3. Dvi-Prahara: A prahara is a time period of a quarter of the day which is ruled by the digpāla who control karma while dvi-prahara literally meaning two-prahara is a time of about 6 hours. There are four such periods that are defined by the four gāyatrī at sunrise, mid-day, sunset and mid-night. There periods are guarded by the four lokapāla devatā. Some traditions follow the midnight or turīya gāyatrī as the turning point and only if saṅkrānti occurs after midnight shall it be celebrated on the next day. Saṅkrānti occurred at 6:57’ PM at New Delhi on 14 January, 2015 which was after sunset (5:45’ PM) but much before midnight. Therefore, 14 January 2015 shall be taken as the saṅkrānti date.

Now that we have three systems, we say that they belong to the three vaiṣṇava, śaiva and śākta traditions respectively. Even a simple astrologer can easily understand which one maps to which tradition originally – sunrise would be the vaiṣṇava, sunset the śaiva and midnight would be śākta. You are welcome to follow whichever you like as all roads lead to the final destination – provided we actually stick to the path and keep walking.

Please enjoy this small sharing of a photograph of my Sūrya Yantra. This yantra was as old as me, a gift of my elders.

surya-yantra

Sun | Ruby
ॐ ह्सौः श्रीं आं ग्रहाधिराजाय आदित्याय स्वाहा॥
om hsauḥ śrīṁ āṁ grahādhirājāya ādityāya svāhā ||
Moon | Pearl
ॐ श्रीं क्रीं ह्रां चं चन्द्राय नमः॥
om śrīṁ krīṁ hrāṁ caṁ candrāya namaḥ ||
Mars | Red Coral
ऐं ह्सौः श्रीं द्रां कं ग्रहाधिपतये भौमाय स्वाहा॥
aiṁ hsauḥ śrīṁ drāṁ kaṁ grahādhipataye bhaumāya svāhā ||
Mercury | Emerald
ॐ ह्रां क्रीं टं ग्रहनाथाय बुधाय स्वाहा॥
om hrāṁ krīṁ ṭaṁ grahanāthāya budhāya svāhā ||
Jupiter | Yellow Sapphire or Topaz
ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं ख्रीं ऐं ग्लौं ग्रहाधिपतये बृहस्पतये ब्रीं ठः ऐं ठः श्रीं ठः स्वाहा॥
om hrīṁ śrīṁ khrīṁ aiṁ glauṁ grahādhipataye bṛhaspataye brīṁ ṭhaḥ aiṁ ṭhaḥ śrīṁ ṭhaḥ svāhā ||
Venus | Diamond
ॐ ऐं जं गं ग्रहेश्वराय शुक्राय नमः॥
om aiṁ jaṁ gaṁ graheśvarāya śukrāya namaḥ ||
Saturn | Blue Sapphire
ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं ग्रहचक्रवर्तिने शनैश्चराय क्लीं ऐंसः स्वाहा॥
om hrīṁ śrīṁ grahacakravartine śanaiścarāya klīṁ aiṁsaḥ svāhā ||
Rahu | Hessonite
ॐ क्रीं क्रीं हूं हूं टं टङ्कधारिणे राहवे रं ह्रीं श्रीं भैं स्वाहा॥
om krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ ṭaṁ ṭaṅkadhāriṇe rāhave raṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ bhaiṁ svāhā ||
Ketu | Cats Eye
ॐ ह्रीं क्रूं क्रूररूपिणे केतवे ऐं सौः स्वाहा॥
om hrīṁ krūṁ krūrarūpiṇe ketave aiṁ sauḥ svāhā||

There are 22 jyotiṣa gems whose Sanskrit names are known

  • 12 jyotiṣa gems for the rāśi
  • 9 jyotiṣa gems for the graha
  • 1 jyotiṣa gem for the lagna
Sanskrit Trans English (?) Sanskrit Trans English (?)
1 वज्र vajra Diamond 12 शशिकान्ता śaśikāntā Moon-stone
2 इन्द्रनील indranīla Sky Sapphire 13 सौगन्धिक saugandhika Lotus-Ruby
3 मरकत marakata Emerald 14 गोमेदक gomedaka Hessonite
4 कर्केतर karketara Chrysoberyl 15 शङ्ख śaṅkha Nacre
5 पद्मराग padmarāga Ruby 16 महानील mahānīla Blue Sapphire
6 रुधिर rudhira Carnelian 17 पुष्पराग puṣparāga Yellow ~
7 वैदूर्य vaidūrya Beryl Cats eye? 18 ब्रह्ममणि brahmamaṇi Topaz?
8 पुलक pulaka Garnet 19 ज्योतीरस jyotīrasa Agate
9 विमलक vimalaka Pyrite 20 सस्यक sasyaka Azurite
10 राजमणि rājamaṇi Red Diamond? 21 मुक्ता muktā Pearl
11 स्फटिक sphaṭika Rock Crystal 22 प्रवाल pravāla Red Coral

Pañca ratna

Five principal gemstones for pañca tattva listed in veda
Used when planets are in own sign indicating the tattva and are lighter color

  1. Vajra (Diamond): Jala | Used to free the waters by Indra
  2. Indra-nīla (Sapphire): Vāyu
  3. Marakata (Emerald): Pṛthvi
  4. Padmarāga (Ruby):    Agni
  5. Muktā (Ivory-Pearl): Ākāśa

Navaratna śloka

“Bṛhat Jātaka1”, quoted in the “Maṇi- mālā2” also “Jātaka Pārijāta3”
māṇikyaṁ taraṇeḥ sujātyamamalaṁ muktāphalaṁ śītagoḥ
māheyasya ca vidrumaṁ marakataṁ saumyasya gārutmatama
devejyasya ca puṣparājamasurācāryasya vajraṁ śaneḥ
nīlaṁ nirmalamanyayośca gadite gomedavaidūryake

  • Māṇikya (Ruby for Sun)
  • Muktā (Pearl for Moon)
  • Vidruma (Coral for Mars)
  • Marakata (Emerald for Mercury)
  • Puṣparāga (Yellow Sapphire for Jupiter)
  • Vajra (Diamond for Venus)
  • Nīla (Blue Sapphire for Saturn)
  • Gomeda (Hessonite or Opal for Rāhu)
  • Vaidūrya (Beryl, Cats Eye for Ketu)
  1. Varāhamihira
  2. page 575, verse 79 by S.M. Tagore (1879)
  3. chap. 2, sloka 21 compiled by Śrī Vaidyanātha Dikṣitar
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