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(C) 1995 by Richard S. Brown
All rights reserved.

Standardize Vedic Gemology

By Richard Shaw Brown

Dandavats. Two day ago I was approached by an Iskcon devotee wanting a flawless ruby for his wife. The ruby was prescribed by a devotee astrologer. We checked her janma-patri and Sun, the lord of ruby, was debilitated or giving "maximum harm;" Sun was the worst planet in his wife's horoscope and yet she was advised to use ruby!? Practically all devotee astrologers advise gems for the devotee's BAD planets, and thus they inflict harm on them. I hope this appeal will save the devotee astrologers from misleading those devotees wanting to benefit by wearing auspicious Vedic gems.

“According to B.V. Raman, India's leading astrologer, "A planet in it's own sign is rendered powerful to do good. A planet in its sign of exaltation is rendered even more powerful to do good than in it's own sign.”

SUBJECT: Standardization of the Vedic Science of Planetary Gemology.

I would first like to address the question of how gems should be chosen and what their effects will be. One group opines that gems should be used to "pacify" harmful planets; another group believes that gems should be used to "strengthen" weak planetary influences; while yet another belief is to "boost" beneficial or auspicious planets.

I GEM COLOR (planetary associations):

According to B.V. Raman, India's leading astrologer, "A planet in it's own sign is rendered powerful to do good. A planet in its sign of exaltation is rendered even more powerful to do good than in it's own sign. A planet in it's sign of mulatrikona is rendered powerful to do good similar to when in exaltation." Planets that are in an enemy sign or which are debilitated usually have a harmful or inauspicious influence. Thus Professor Raman also states that planets which are debilitated give results opposite of when they are in strong sign position - in other words, bad results. (Ref. Astrology for Beginners.

IBH Prakashana, Fifth Main, Gandhinagar, Bangalore 560 009, India. 1983)

When using any planet's gem, the result will depend on the condition of the planet in one's horoscope (as per the above conclusion of Prof.
Raman). Gems DO magnify the energy and influence of a planet, but gems DO NOT change the angle or position of a planet in one's horoscope. The idea that gems will strengthen weak planets (like those in an enemy sign or sign of debilitation) and thereby make them auspicious is, in my opinion, an incorrect understanding.

This conclusion, which I believe to be erroneous, leads to the belief that wearing the gem of a BAD (weak) planet will move the planet into a good position or angle in one's horoscope. This makes no sense. Stronger yes, but in a different angle, condition or position, how is this done?

I believe that a gem WILL increase the influence of it's ruling planet, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, depending on the position or angle that a planet is placed in one's horoscope. To make a BAD planet stronger will only increase its bad influence.

For example, whenever people ask me what [gem] is good for them (according to their janma-patri) I CANNOT point out their debilitated Mars and say that Coral for Mars is good for them. It is common knowledge that having any planet in debilitation is NOT GOOD! Prof.

Raman says that it would be a BAD influence on the person.

No one has ever shown nor even referred me to any Shastric evidence stating that gems should be worn to pacify or strengthen bad or ill placed planets.

In 1982 and again in 1988 I published a book called "Handbook of Planetary Gemology." In this book I also advocated the negative idea that gems should be chosen for bad (weak) planets to strengthen their weakness. In fact, I actually practiced this negative method of gem selection for clients from 1975 to 1990, and now I can understand why my first 15 years were so discouraging. I was not giving people what was GOOD for them; rather I was dispensing the very worst gem they could use.

An illustration of this concept can be taken from one of my own experiences with gem therapy. Saturn in particular is a krura-graha, or cruel planet, and its position in my horoscope is even worse. Still, I was advised by most sidereal astrologers to use a blue sapphire, the gem for Saturn, in order to "pacify" Saturn's harmful influence on me.

After a long search I found a flawless, unburned, top color Burmese blue sapphire weighing just over 7 carats. I bought the gem, had it set into a special gold ring, and on Saturday, two hours and forty minutes before sunset (during the waxing Moon), and I installed the ring after reciting the appropriate mantras to Shanideva.

I began having ill fortune as soon as I started wearing this most auspicious and completely flawless blue sapphire, and the bad influence was totally of a saturnine nature. I started getting frequent headaches and my business started slowing down along with my energy level. Almost everything I did was beset with obstacles and delays.

Finally, after using the gem for almost a year, I took it off in frustration. And slowly I began to feel relief (Note: Our research has shown that the influence of blue sapphire for Saturn takes about 30 days to wear off). So the blue sapphire didn't 'pacify' my cruel Saturn, it didn't strengthen my so-called weak Saturn; rather it increased Saturn's evil influence on me according to its bad position in my birth chart.

Later I had the opportunity to show my birth chart to Pandit Vidyadhar Shukla, the current Chief Brahmin Priest and leading Vedic astrologer of Thailand, who confirmed that Saturn was indeed a bad influence for me. He further suggested that as the blue sapphire had made matters worse, this was a good case against the theory that gems "pacify" harmful planets.

In my chart Sun is exalted in Aries in the 9th house as lord of my lagna, Leo. Pandit Vidyadhar suggested that I should wear a ruby to "strengthen" the Sun in order to counteract or overpower Saturn's harmful influence. Panditji also told me to "donate" a blue sapphire in order to mitigate Saturn's harmful influence. Since following this advice I have experienced much better effects on my health, business and attitude.

II GEM DONATIONS (using gems to pacify harmful planets)

Gems CAN be used to 'pacify' bad or ill-placed planets, but the method is to sacrifice or DONATE the gem(s) for one's bad planet(s), not to wear the gem oneself. For example: To propitiate an evil (ill-placed) Rahu in one's horoscope, it is recommended that one should DONATE a fine hessonite (gomeda) gem to a leper on Saturday evening during the waxing Moon. This is the recommendation for using gems to PACIFY bad or ill-placed planet(s) in one's horoscope.

III GEM CLARITY (Is a gem dead or alive?)

According to Shastra only EYE-CLEAN gems (free of visible flaws) are auspicious and flawed gems "should not be used at all!" Ref. Chapter 246 of the Sanskrit classic "Agni-Puranam"...

"A gem which is cracked, fissured, devoid of luster, or appearing rough or sandy, should not be used at all."

Or consider this bit of gemological advice spoken by Paramahansa Sripad Suta Goswami in Chapter 69 of "Sri Garuda Purana"...

"A ruby, although genuine, should not be worn if it has strong color banding, excessive inclusions within like numerous internal cracks, a sandy appearance, a rough surface, or is dull and lusterless.
Anyone using such a flawed ruby, even out of ignorance, will suffer from disease, or loss of fortune."

Over and over the Shastras repeatedly order, "No flawed gems!" For instance, here is another quote from Sri Garuda Purana about the use of ordinary colorless quartz (Bishma-ratna),

"These [before mentioned auspicious] attributes pertain to pure flawless quartz, and knowledgeable gemologists advise that flawed varieties that are included, fractured, or discolored should be completely avoided!"

The required quality standard for Vedic Planetary Gemology is quoted in Sanskrit as "sujyam-amalam" or top color (sujati=high born) and flawless (amala). This is the only good standard and all else would be, by definition, sub-standard or even worthless; I ask who wants to wear a 'flawed' gem if it is deemed harmful?

IV CONCLUSION (Harness the pure power of your lucky stars)
My conclusions are based on Vedic scripture, common sense, and a 25 year study of over 5,000 persons using gems for their strong or good planets, as well as others using gems for their bad or weak planets.

Gems related to good planets produced good results, while gems for bad planets produced BAD results.

I think that some of today's Kali-yuga astrologers are doing a great disservice to the public by prescribing gems for BAD planets, and also telling people that it is OK to use FLAWED gems, in complete contradiction of the Shastras. Some are even so foolish as to advise that synthetic (lab-created) gems are "real," i.e., that they have the same real power of a natural gemstone.

And I have observed that whenever I tell most Indian people what I do, viz., Planetary Gemology, their immediate thought is of a beggar sitting in the gutter and selling people their CHART, their GEM PRESCRIPTION A-N-D their GEMSTONE, for Rs.100 (around $ 3.00). I think this is a disgrace and it is proof that the evil Kali Yuga is gaining momentum. It is really unfortunate when an ancient and exalted Vedic science like Planetary Gemology becomes so degraded as at the present time.

If it is true that bad planetary gems can harm a person and flawed gems are actually inauspicious, then those who recommend such inferior quality of stones are guilty of inflicting harm on fellow human beings.

V PRICE (Are flawless gems only for the rich?)

The question may be raised, "If only flawless gems are good luck, does that mean that good luck is only for the rich people who can afford the price of a flawless gem?" The question can be expanded: "Flawed, common gems are available to every one, rich and poor alike, but flawless, CLEAN gems are very expensive. Only the wealthy people can afford flawless, top quality gems, and that leaves nothing for the masses. If only CLEAN gems are auspicious, where does that leave the middle and poor classes? Are flawless gems only for the rich?"

---Suppose a person is advised to use a Sun jewel because of the Sun's being posited in an auspicious sign in their horoscope. If their budget (the amount a person can spend) is only $100 then they are poor (for totally poverty-stricken persons there is no question of gemstones); if the amount is $1,000 then they are middle class; if the budget is $10,000 or more then they are rich. But in every case they can have a flawless, natural Sun gem, because Nature has provided a number of natural alternative gems. So, in this case, everyone, the poor, the rich, and the middle class could all be happy by purchasing either a...

1) Flawless red garnet for $100. (Poor) 2) Flawless red spinel for $1,000. (Middle), or 3) Flawless red ruby for $10,000. (Rich)

Along with the Navaratna (viz., Ruby, pearl, yellow sapphire, hessonite, emerald, diamond, cat's eye, blue sapphire, and red coral.) or nine primary gems, there are many other natural gemstone choices based on color. These "upa-ratnas" are less expensive than their precious counterparts and yet they conduct the same astral energy of their associated planet. They are also easier to find without flaws or treatment.

Here is a list of the foremost upa-ratna (semi-precious gems) known to man, along with their ruling planets:

-(RUBY) Red spinel, red garnet and red tourmaline (rubellite) are ruled by the Sun;

-(NATURAL PEARL) Moonstone & (natural-death) Ivory and white coral are ruled by the Moon;

-(YELLOW SAPPHIRE) Yellow topaz, yellow beryl (heliodor) and citrine are ruled by Jupiter;

-(HESSONITE) Spessartite, orange zircon and other orange garnets are ruled by Rahu (North Node of the Moon);

-(EMERALD) Tsavorite, green tourmaline, diopside, peridot and jade are ruled by Mercury;

-(DIAMOND) White (colorless) sapphire, topaz, zircon, beryl and quartz are ruled by Venus;

-(CAT'S EYE CHRYSOBERYL) Beryl, apatite, fibrolite and tourmaline cat's eyes are ruled by Ketu (South Node of the Moon);

-(BLUE SAPPHIRE) Tanzanite (blue zoisite), blue spinel, iolite and amethyst are ruled by Saturn;

-(RED CORAL) Carnelian and bloodstone are ruled by Mars.

If one cannot afford the price of a flawless ruby or diamond, they may opt instead for a flawless but far less expensive red garnet or colorless quartz crystal. All of the Sidereal astrological planets have several varieties of gems that transmit they're cosmic energies, beginning with the primary, most precious gems and followed by secondary, less expensive gems. It's better, for example, to wear a flawless red garnet than a flawed ruby. People interested in enhancing their lives through the auspicious cosmic energies transmitted by planetary gemstones should select only flawless specimens. It is in fact better to wear no gems at all than to wear flawed stones. But since every planet offers a variety of gems from "first class" to "economy class," one may easily pick a flawless gem that suits one's individual budget as well as one's horoscope.


In conclusion I would like to suggest that the editors of the highly regarded authority, the Astrological Magazine, recruit the world's leading astrologers to standardize the system of Vedic Planetary Gemology. This standardization will help to eliminate some of the current fraudulent practices of crooks and deluded astrologers so that this ancient science can benefit the population at large.

Thank you for reading this message and considering our opinion. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Please contact me by or write care of PGA, 99/22 Lang Suan Soi 7, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330, Kingdom of Thailand.


Richard S. Brown, GIA, PG Ref.
Acting Secretary: PGA - -