Ancient Vedic Gem Lore
THE LEGEND OF VALA
Sri Suta Goswami said: I shall now expound the science of gemology. Long ago, in ancient times, there lived a great demon name Vala. Overpowering the King of Heaven, Indra, Vala became the tyrannical ruler of the entire universe. By deceit, however, the oppressed demigods tricked Vala into acting as the sacrificial animal in a ritual performance. But once Vala was tied to the sacrificial stake, the demigods suddenly abandoned their mock sacrifice, and immediately killed the powerful demon. In fact, for the benefit of the demigods and the universe, Vala had allowed himself to be slain.
The demigods then severed his various limbs which transformed into the creative seeds of precious gems. As the potent body of Vala was dismembered, a tumultuous roar sounded through the celestial regions, and all the deities, demons, mystics, and serpent-gods anxiously rushed to gather up the gem seeds. The demigods clamored to secure the gem seeds, but the shock waves generated by their celestial chariots pushed some of the mystical essences down into the earthly sphere.
Some of these seeds fell into rivers, some into the oceans, and some into the forests and mountains. There they germinated as mother lodes of the various gems, each one imbued with its own intrinsic potency.
All these gems posses talismanic powers. The fine, auspicious stones can counteract poison, snake venom, diseases, and other dangers. Poor quality, inauspicious gems act in the opposite manner.
Ruby, emerald, blue sapphire, cat’s eye, yellow sapphire, diamond, pearl, hessonite, coral, bloodstone, quartz, jade, and red garnet are the foremost species of gems, and they should be selected only under the expert guidance of a learned gemologist.
The value of a gemstone is established by reference to the authoritative gemological texts. Quality is analyzed according to weight, cut, color, and clarity. — Sri Garuda Puranam: 68 a