Gems – Remedial Measures Galore
There has been in recent times a flood of remedial measures in the form of gems, lockets, bracelets, kavachas, yantras, etc.. costing exhorbitant sums as a cure for all types of problems and sufferings. These are being extensively advertised through television and print media with film and sports celebrities endorsing these items. However, problems shown by Daridra or Arishta Yogas in the horoscope cannot find relief simply by putting on a gem, locket, talisman or bracelet or installing yantras in one’s house, office or shop. Their prohibitive cost can only lighten the buyer’s purse.
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Philosophy Behind Human Birth
The Hindu faith and philosophy recognize as many as 84 lakh yonis (species). among which Manushya yoni (human birth) is regarded as the best. Only human beings are endowed with the faculty of mind, intellect, and reasoning to help them choose righteous conduct in this life and attain Moksha (release from the cycle of births and deaths), which is the goal of human birth. This is explained by Lord Rama in Sri Ramacharitmanas (Uttarkhand 42-4) as follows:
It is by good fortune that one gets human birth, which according to the scriptures, is difficult to attain even by Devatas. It is best suited for spiritual endeavors and is a gateway to Moksha. Even one should make the best use of this birth to improve his parlok (life after death)
Explaining the evolution process and importance of righteous conduct, Lord Krishna tells Nanda Baba in the Srimad Bhagavatam, (X Skanda, Chap.24-13)
Every living being is born according to his past Karma, Different grades of material happiness, comforts, distress and fear in this life are the result of karma in past lives.
People at large, however, remain engrossed in accumulation of wealth, sensual gratification, attaining high status, etc., or in getting rid of difficulties being faced by them. In proportion to their success, they crave for more and get further entangled in the vicious circle of Maya. As pointed out by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, (Chapter VII-3), very few strive for Moksha
…consequently, the souls (jives) continue taking re-birth for reaping the fruits of good and bad karma, and the cycle of birth and
death goes on.
Scope of Astrology
Just as a lamp illumines objects in darkness, astrology reveals to us the result of good and bad Karma from past births to be experienced in this life. The horoscope and formation of benefic and malefic Yogas indicate what and when that person will enjoy or suffer according to his Prarabdha.
According to the Prasna Marga (Chapter 1-15):
Astrology only reveals, but does not claim to interfere with, one’s Prarabdha
(fate) as reiterated in the following Sloka.
Those who know astrology can indicate through the movement of planets what will take place in the future. Who else except the Creator Brahma can say with certainty what will definitely happen?
According to Uttarakalamrita (Chapter VI-2),
One reaps the result of his past Punya and Papa Karma in this birth during this Dasa Bhukti of the planets.
The main features of an individual’s life, namely, longevity, intelligence, profession, wealth and death, are fixed before birth according to one’s Prarabdha and he is born in a family and circumstances which are conducive to the unfoldment of his Prarabdha. This is reiterated by Goswami Tulsidas in the following couplet of Sri Ramacharitmanas:
One gets this body (is born) in accordance with his Prarabdha. Hence, instead of worrying about it one should surrender himself to God and pray.
Role of Remedial Measures
In keeping with the positive nature of the Law of Karma which allows scope for free will and improvement through the performance of Punya Karma (righteous deeds), the Rishis have given the world certain measures to reduce suffering faced by one. These measures have been conceived within the framework of Hindu philosophy and social and religious setting, and are useful in cases where the good results to be enjoyed by one are getting delayed or the problems are unbearable.
According to the fundamental principles of astrology, when the lord of a Bhava or house s placed in a Trika (the 6th, 8th or the 12th) or s debilitated or afflicted by malefics or combust or the lord of a Trika is in any house, then the significations of that house are adversely affected. When the Ascendant and the Moon- sign (Rasi), which is’ as important as the \scendant, are devoid! of strength and under malefic influence, the native suffers from physical and mental ill-health and financial stringency.
According to Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra (Chap. 14-3),
A person will not enjoy good health and comforts if the Ascendant or the Moon is with malefics or aspected by them and does not receive the aspect of a benefic planet.
When any house, its lord and Karaka (i.e., all the three factors) are afflicted remedial measures are either not followed or effective and the individual continues to suffer.
On the other hand, if one or two of the three factors are strong, the problem is proportionately ameliorated through the native s will-power and perseverance. Jupiter’s benefic aspect on the afflicting planet or affected house is an indication that due to Divine Grace the natal deficiency can be ameliorated. When Jupiter is the lord of a Trikona (5th or 9th house), then Divine Grace coupled with Purva Punva (merit from good deeds of previous births) helps in getting wise counsel and by the performance of appropriate remedial measures, one gets relief. However, if Jupiter himself is the lord of the 6th. 8th. or the 12th house or weak or suffers from Kendradhipati Dosha (lord of Kendra). then the native is not properly guided or does not take recourse to the guidance given. As a result, be gets negligible or no relief at all.
As regards the suffering caused by diseases, Prasna Marga (Chap. XIII-29) points out:
Diseases are the result of bad deeds (Papa) done in past births. The remedial measures are medicine, charity. Japa, Homa, and Divine worship.
Parasara tells Maitreya in Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra (Chap. 66-26):
At the time when any planet is turning inauspicious for the native, the said planet be propitiated with proper worship and oblations because Lord Brahma has given a boon to the planets that whoever would worship them, they (the planets) should do good to him.
In subsequent chapters, Parasara gives details of Puja, Mantra Japa. Havana and Dana to reduce the evil effect of births on Krishna Chaturdasi, Surya Sankranti. Grahan (eclipse), Gandanta, Tritara and under other inauspicious factors.
Efficacy of Remedies
The ancient Rishis of India, with their divine wisdom, had suggested the worship of a specific deity and Mantra Japa of the afflicting planet, follow ed b> Homa. Dana (charity) and feeding of Brahmins, in addition to taking medicines of the particular disease afflicting one. Later on, was added the use of gems as an astrological remedy.
Gems as Remedial Measures
The a-astrological classics like Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, Brihat Jataka, Uttarakalamrita, Phaladeepika, Mansagari, and Jatakabharanam among others describe various items governed by the planets, including their gems The Sun governs ruby, the Moon-pearl, Mars-coral. Mercury-emerald, Jupiter – yellow sapphire, Rahu – gomed and Ketu – vaiduryam. These classics, however, do not say anything about putting them on for relief. All of these texts suggest propitiating the trouble-giving plane during its Dasa or adverse transit and giving items of that planet, including its gem, in charity to a deserving pious soul.
It is somewhat inconceivable that the ancient Rishis and Acharyas who were so meticulous in instructing about the remedial measures to be performed, the specific deity to be worshipped, the number of Mantra Japa to be done, Homa and items to be given in charity, would have remained silent about putting on gems as a remedial measure. Earlier only kings and the wealthy used to use gems in necklaces and rings to display their authority, wealth and high status in society.
The Ayurvedic treatise Ayurvedic Prakasha mentions that man was first impressed by the beauty of gems and then after their use became enamoured of their qualities. It describes in detail the effect of Bhasma (ashes) and Pishthi of gems and metals on the human body and their use in the treatment of various diseases.
In their book Introduction to Precious Stones Sri Harishchandra Vidyalankar and Jagannath Bhasin, highly respected astrologers, while recommending putting on of gems as remedial measure had admitted that they have not found in astrological classics the details of weight, day, time, etc. when the gems are to be worn as a remedial measure, and that such use is a later addition. Their main argument in support of putting on gems as a remedial measure is based on the radiation theory. But then coral, the moonstone and pearl are not permeable to the Sun rays being opaque and this appears to have been overlooked.
There is also ambiguity about the prescription of gems. Some prescribe the gem of the afflicted planet in the horoscope; others prescribe the gem of the enemy of the afflicting planet; yet others prescribe putting on a gem for strengthening the Ascendant lord, while others do so on the basis of the 9th or the 5th lord. Further, there is no unanimity about the weight of the gem to be put on. Some suggest a gem of more than 4 rattis, others according to the numerical number of the planet, some others or the basis of 1/10th of the person’s weight (for example, 7 rattis for a person weighing 70 kgs), and yet some others recommend it according to the age of the individual; up to 25 years- 5 rattis, up to 35 years-6 rattis, up to 50 years – 7 rattis and above that 8 rattis and more. Some prescribe a Navaratna ring made of small gems of all the planets. Some insist on Prana Pratishtha (energizing) and Abahimantran (sanctification) in the name of the wearer to make it effective. If after spending a huge amount on purchasing a gem and setting it in a ring it has to be sanctified through that planet’s Mantra and recharged every two years, is it not better to do Japa of a Mala or two of the Mantra every day and get relief. Further, some suggest putting on the ring after washing it in raw milk, then Gangajal and finally daubing it with dhup smoke before one’s Ishta Devta within 2 hours of the weekday of that planet in Sukla Paksha (bright fortnight of the lunar month). According to some, the gem put on should touch the skin, while others are of the view this is not mandatory.
No authentic data has been compiled about e relief experienced by the wearer of gems. Though high-quality pure gems of sufficient eight may provide some relief as claimed, the 2nd and 3rd quality semi-precious gems being advertised are hardly of any use. Further, high-quality gems cost thousands of rupees and are beyond the common man’s reach.
Tantra, Yantras, and Kavachas
The less said the better about the claims of ~antrik remedies such as Yantras and Kavachas
which has not succeeded in eradicating the poverty and misery of those who go in for them.
Shanti Puja and Mantra Japa
The propitiation of the planets is, in fact, the worship of Paramatma (God) who, according to Parasara manifests himself in the form of planets to dispense the result of the individual’s Karma from a previous life (Prarabdha) according to Brihat Parasara Hora (Chap.II-3):
The Shanti Puja and Mantra Japa prescribed by Rishis have a spiritual basis and are oriented condition the mind and strengthen the five’s will-power. There has to be personal involvement of the individual in the performance of Shanti Puja. By getting Puja performed by Pandits is like getting any tedious job got done on payment, which one does not want to do, or cannot do, by oneself. The rituals when observed with sincerity and faith by the individual uplift his mind from the mundane level. The planetary afflictions in the horoscope give a clue to the inherent tendencies that need to be re-oriented. Hence, different types of Puja have been prescribed by the Rishis depending on the type of planetary affliction.
Power of Japa
Mantras derived from the Yedas are compositions for propitiating a specific deity. When a Mantra is rhythmically recited for some time it becomes Japa. When Japa is carried on for a long time it becomes Tapa and confers spiritual powers on the individual. The Puranas are full of instances where devotees have got their desires fulfilled through Mantra Japa of their Ishta Devata. The emphasis here is on strengthening one’s will power through faith, devotion, and concentration. For example, repetitive chanting of the Gayatri Mantra selected Mantras from the Durga Saptshati and Hanuman Chalisa Path daily at fixed hours are highly efficacious in increasing one’s will-power, initiative and drive and enable one to overcome obstacles before one. The Japa of Mahamrityunjaya Mantra acts as a shield against diseases and accidents and untimely death. Its presiding deity is Lord Shiva under whose domain also comes to Saturn and Rahu. All the problems that can be attributed to adverse Dasa-Bhukti and transit of malefic planets can be appreciably ameliorated b> Mantra Japa. Highlighting the power of Mantra Japa Goswami Tulsidas points out in his Sri Ramcharitmanas
Mantras are a powerful cure of the poison of serpents of sensuous enjoyments and erase the deep marks of misfortune written on one’s forehead.
Dana (charity) is an auxiliary remedy prescribed by the Rishis and invariably follows Puja. The kind of articles to be given away in Dana, its quantity, timing and the recipient have been prescribed taking into account the kind of planetary affliction. The underlying idea is that parting with one’s hard-earned money entails considerable mental effort and inculcates humility.
Pre-requisite of Effort
Thus the essential pre-requisite in all the Sastric remedial measures is that they call for the personal effort by the affected person and his total involvement in expiation (Prayachitta). It is mandatory in the performance of these remedial measures, his mind should be properly attuned. The meaning of the Mantra and the nature of rituals should be clearly understood so that these are performed with full faith and a sense of repentance. Sincere regret (Paschatapa) implied in these measures is the form of expiation which not only helps the native but also makes him a useful member of society.
When an individual performs Puja, Japa, and Dana suggested by the Rishis one feels mentally at ease which increases one’s faith. Most times thereafter one adopts worship as part of one’s daily routine, which constitutes a positive step towards achieving the real goal of human life. In this way, the remedial measures suggested have a deep purport. They .not only help in relieving strain and smoothen the present life (Iha Loka) but also assist in improving future life (Para Loka).
To conclude, the underlying philosophy behind the use of Sastric remedies is not tho, manipulation of Prarabdha and the working of Karmic forces, but to condition, the mind, improve will power, remove the fear of anticipated evil and prepare one to face his future with composure. The astrological remedies do not in any way interfere with the working of Karmic influences which are exhausted by living them out. The solution of problems flows through the Divine Grace when one surrenders oneself to God with absolute faith. Sincere prayers never go unanswered as evident from the assurance from Lord Krishna in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita: (Chap.XII-7):
O Arjuna, I certainly, before long, become the savior out of the ocean of Samsara to those whose mind is set on me.
Undoubtedly, prayer to God is the best remedial measure. The specific Mantras or the number of Japa and items of Dana for each planet are available in all standard Panchangas. One has to remember that the evil effect of a planet can be reduced to make it bearable, but it cannot be eliminated altogether.
Courtesy: Modern Astrology (Sita Ram Singh)
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