The Garuda Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736

The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...

Chapter LXXI - Tests of Emerald

Suta said:—Vasuki, the lord of the serpents, carried away the bile of that chief of the demons (Vala) and rent in twain the vast expanse of heaven with the sweep of his mighty tail. The body of that primordial Hydra, illumined with the effulgence of gems glowing on his thousand hoods, lay like a bridge of shining silver across the infinite deep of dark blue ether; whereupon behold, the mighty Gurada, whirling round with the strokes of his mighty pinions, darted down upon that lord of the nether worlds and obstructed his way. Vasuki in his turn, terrified at that dreadful presence, dropped that bile, in dismay, down in that vale of the mount of Manikya, shaded with the luscious boughs of resinous Turaksha trees, and perfumed with the scents of the forests of Nalika.

Simultaneously with the fall described above, a portion of the bile dropped down in the country, situated beyond the Himalayas (Varalaya) and graced with the presence of the goddess of fortune; and the coast of the land-locked sea of that country) was transformed into one bed of Emerald The mighty Garuda, the lord of the celestial birds, picked up a few of the emeralds with his beaks, even from the coast of that inland sea, but he soon dropped down in a fit of fainting and all the emeralds were cast forth through the apertures of his nostrils.

An emerald, possessed of a colour resembling the tint of the neck of a parrot, or that of a Shirisha flower, or tinged like the blade of a green grass, or a new grown moss, or glowing with a hue that marks the feathers of a peacock or the back of a fire-fly, should be deemed as possessed of the virtue of bringing goo,d luck to its possessor. The country in which the bile of the lord of the demons dropped down from the beaks of that dreadful destroyer of the serpents (Garuda), thus originating the veins of emerald therein, is very difficult to get at, though Nature has bestowed her bounties upon it with the most lavish hand.

An Emerald found in that emerald bed, is endued with the virtue of neutralising the effects of poisons. Poison, secreted from the fangs of a Maha-Sarpa (lit: the great serpent, black cobra) or incidental to the bite by such a snake, which baffles the virtues of all medicinal herbs and incantations, is neutralised by its simple touch. An emerald, not found in the abovesaid bed, but mined from any other place in the same country, is the holiest of the holies.

The gem experts accord the highest praise to an emerald, which is possessed of a dark green colour, and sheds a soft glow, and looks as if stuffed with powders of gold in the inside, in company with the one which is coloured with an uniform shade of green all through its body, is heavy in weight, is devoid of the condemnable traits and shoots forth rays of effulgence with the reflection of the sunlight. An emerald whose inside changes its natural green hue and shines with a dazzling light like that of a flash of lightning modified with a greenish shade, as well as the one which pleases the mind of the onlooker at the first sight, should be deemed as possessed of the most excellent qualities. An emerald, possessed of a transparent hue at the centre, though coloured like the tender blade of a kusha grass in its body, ranks very high as regards value and quality. An emerald, simply glowing with its native dark green hue, should be deemed inferior to one of the preceding type.

An emerald, blackish (dark blue), lustreless, looking sand-grained, dry and hard, and encrusted with Shilajatu (bitumen) should be deemed as of a very inferior sort. A person seeking his own good and prosperity, shall never wear, nor purchase a gem which has been made to look like an emerald by means of dying or any other chemical process. Similarly, the use of an emerald, possessed of a double shade of colour, is prohibited by the injunctions of the Shastras. An emerald coloured like a Putrika or a Bhallataka, should be deemed as not belonging to the genuine type (vijati). The colour or the glow of a Putrika-coloured emerald, is perceptibly affected by rubbing it with a piece of linen, which is often suspected to be a bit of glass for its lightness of weight. The colour of an emerald possessed of a variety of shades and attributes, is affected by the contact of a wind, saturated with the essence of the Bhallataka.

Diamonds, pearls, or any other gems belonging to the alien species, fail to shoot up rays in the upward direction when not set in an ornament. In certain cases the upward rays are perceptible, if the gems are cut straightwise or held longitudinally, which disappear as soon as they are held in a slanting position.

The wise and the intelligent, should wear an emerald set in gold, at the time of religious ablution, or of rinsing the mouth with water on the occasion of a religious sacrifice, or during the performance of protective incantions, or at the time of making gifts of cows and gold, or during the performance of obsequious rites done unto the gods and one’s departed manes, or for the cure of diseases, brought about by the deranged condition of the vital winds, or incidental to the effects of poison. Similarly an emerald devoid of all blemishes and set in gold, is possessed of the mystic virtue of bringing victory to its wearer, if engaged in a battle with his adversary.

A pure emerald fetches a higher price than a ruby (Padmaraga) of equal weight, while a defective one should be valued at a lower price than a similarly defective Padmaraga of the same weight.

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