The Navaratna or the necklace of nine
games is an exquisite piece of jewellery. A combination of nine
auspicious stones strung together ensures the well being of the
wearer. Let us take a took at the significance of these gems.
necklace of Navaratna which is an extremely popular ornament in
India, is made up of nine gems. Precious stones have always been held
in great esteem by all races and in India, special significance has
been attached to each stone, for success and good health. Pearls and
gold are still utilized in medicine, as are crystal and amethyst.
Each stone has a history of its own which is a fascinating study.
consists of the vajra or diamond, manika or ruby,
marakata or emerald, vidruma or coral, mukta
or pearl, Nila or sapphire, gomedaka or
garent, pusyaraga or topaz and vaidurya
or cats eye. This combination of gems is considered highly
auspicious for the wearer and also acts as protection against danger
astrology, the planets watch over each gem to give it their potency.
Saturn is the planet for the Sapphire, Raghu for garnet, Ketu for
cats eye, Sukra, for the diamond, the Sun for the ruby, the
Moon for the pearl, Guru for the topaz, Budha for the emerald and
angaraha for the coral.
It is extremely
fascinating that only nine jewels are selected for the ornament. Nine
has always been a magical number. In classical dance, worship in the
nine directions is called Navasandhi. There are nine rasas
and nine tandavas (dances) of Parveti and Shiva. The
basic movement, the karanas are a hundred and eight
which added together make nine and one of the finest varnams
in Bharatanatyam is composed in nine ragas.
texts, the Bhagvad Gita has eighteen chapters, againa of total nine,
as in the rudraksha mala which has a hundred and eight
beads. Satyabhama, the beloved of Krishna as related in the
Bhagavatam, decorated her bed with nine gems-Navaratna Vinmrittam.
The Goddness is adored for nine nights during the Navaratri festival.
Even in the
English language, an incident that creates excitement is a nine days
wonder! A formally attired person is dressed up to the
nines and there are probably many more meanings to the number
nine in other cultures.
Each gem in the
mala was given ce5rtain attributes of healing properties, according
to ancient lore, and the practice is still in vogue today.
The ruby protects
against poisonous substances and banishes any evil spirits that hover
around. It also gives energy to the wearer and changes colour if the
wearer is in bad health.
The emerald is an
antidote for all stomach complaints, heals, stings and bites, it
soothing to the eyes when mixed with saffron, and a protection
against poisonous insects or reptiles. It was used in ancient times
by mariners to prevent storms. Emeralds are said to pale if the
wearer is faced with deception. As it is the stone of the Goddess of
Love, it helps lovers in their problems.
The coral is
extremely popular as it is a stone that is said to cure diseases,
help the memory and act as a powerful protection against the evil
eye. That is perhaps why it is often used in rosaries and made into
chains for little children.
strength to the heart and are often used in Ayurvedia medicine. In
India, pearls have always been a favourite ornament in royal courts,
usualy with an attached pendant of gold and precious stones.
perhaps, because of its deep blue colour, was the stone of the god
Indra. Blue has always been the colour of enlightenment and in
Buddhism the wearing of it was said to increase devotion. In the
West, bishops and cardinals also wore sapphires in ancient times. In
spite of being held in sacred esteem, sapphires can also bring bad
luck if worn by a person who does not have it as a birthstone.
The garnet is
found in many colours though the best known is a deep red, almost
resembling a ruby. Garnents are often used to imitate precious
stones, but have not been recorded as having any special properties
On the other
hand, the topaz is used for occult practices. It is used in the
Middle East, for averting the evil eye, and is said to bring wealth
and long life to the wearer. The topaz can be golden yellow in
colour and sometimes colourless.
eye is usually a brownish yellow. There is often a light line which
shines through, giving the idea of an eye from which is derives is
Many of these
jewels are worn set in rings, mounted so that they tough the skin.
The stone and its weight are decided according to the individuals
The nine jewels
of the necklace are a combination of the different gems and perhaps
were originally threaded together to ensure general wellbeing. There
is no doubt that the variety of colours looks beautiful and it would
be interesting if more research were done in the meaningfulness of
the Navaratna, the nine jewels.