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 LXXII - Tests of Sapphires

Suta said:—The eyes of the lord of the demons (Vala) which resembled the full blown blue lilies in hue and shape, were severed from his dismembered organism and cast into a country, where the beautiful damsels of Sinhala cull the fragrant flowers from the stems of suppliant and inviting creepers, in testimony whereof the expanding foreshores of the ocean that washes the coasts of that favoured isle, edged with a slender border of the Ketaka plants, glow as paved with one continuous bed of sapphire (Indra-Nila). These gems are coloured like the black (dark blue) flowers of the mountain Karnika which grow on those banks and around which swarms of black bees hum day and night, and which flowers are endued with a sour taste through the contact of the throat-serum of the Chakravakas (birds) that greedily suck their luscious sap and flap about their gladsome wings. Several of these gems are coloured like the clear and transparent water of that tranquil sea, others are tinged like the breast-feathers of a peacock, others are possessed of a hue which resembles the colour of the bubles that burst out on the surface of that dark blue sea, while the rest are coloured like the hue that comes upon the breast of a male cuckoo in spring.

An Indra-Nila gem possessed of an uniform shade of colour throughout its body, and clear and effulgent in its lustre, should be deemed as a gem of a very high value. An Indra-Nila possessed of a colour like that of an impregnated rain-cloud or any way scratched or splintered, or found encrusted with bits of stone, earth, or other ores or impurities, or looking sandy in its grain, should be regarded as possessed of dreadful features. Learned men, wise in the wisdom of the Shastras, are loud in the praise of those excellent gems which are largely found in the foreshores of the sea of Sinhala.

Men acquire the same merit in and derive the same benefit from, using an Indra-Nila which they derive from wearing a gem of the Padmaraga species, and in the case of doubt, an Indra-Nila should be subjected to the same tests as are laid down in the case of a Padmaraga. The features which characterise the three alien species of the Padmaraga, apply mutatis mutandis to the case of an Indra-Nila, which should be carefully noticed at the time of purchase—An Indra-Nila would stand a greater amount of heat or fire than a Padmaraga of equal size and weight. But under no circumstance, a gem should be subjected to an ordeal of fire, inasmuch as a gem burnt for the purpose of being purged off of all impurities, or for a greater brilliancy, brings ill luck to the person who burns it, as well as to him on whose behalf such burning is performed.

Glass, marble, Vaiduryaya (lapis-lazuli) and crystals, though made to be possessed of a colour like the Indra-Nila, should be regarded as alien to the latter in species. The weight and hardness of these gems which are found to grow in an increasing ratio from the glass upward, should be always tested. An Indra-Nila which shoots forth dark or faint rays of copper-coloured light from its inside, as Well as the one shining with the blended colours of a Karavira and a blue lotus, should be carefully preserved as a precious treasure. An Indra-Nila which scintillates with the blended colours of a solar spectrum, should be looked upon as a rare find on earth.

An Indra-Nila, immersed in a quantity of milk weighing hundred times its own weight and tinging the latter with its native hue, is called the Maha-Nila. The price of a Masha weight of Padmaraga is same as that of the four Masha weights of Indra-Nila.

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