|Marie Antoinette, execution by guillotine in 1793. en.wikipedia.org|
Above image: Marie Antoinette before her public execution by guillotine in 1793. Is it due to the Hope diamond's inevitable
A curse (also called a jinx, hex or execration) is often referred to some form of adversity or misfortune that will befall or attach to some other entity—one or more persons, a place, or an object. A curse may be inflicted by any supernatural powers, such as a spell, a prayer, an execration, magic, witchcraft, God, a natural force, or a spirit. In the Hindu culture, many sages or Rishis were believed to have the power to bless as well as curse the people. Such saints in ancient India, it is believed, got special supernatural power through decades of meditation upon God. Even today witchcraft is being practised by some people called Manthrikas or Tantriks and the state of Kerala in S.India is known for sorcery.
Above image: Indian Tantrik invoking paranormal force to put a spell on somebody or inducing the spirit to do evil things in enemy's family. Some people are doubtful about witchcraft and sorcery, but many people believe in them....
Witchcraft is real and has to be taken seriously. Learned Hindu Pandits read only three Vedas - Rig, yajoor and Sama Vadas and skip Atharvana Veda. Atharvana Veda deals with complicated rituals and methods to practice witchcraft. Details on putting a spell on people,mesmerism, propitiating certain bad jennies or angels to do certain dirty, scary jobs, to scare enemies, exorcising, etc., are discussed. Hence Pundits or Hindus don't read this Veda, nor do they seek the service of people who practise Atharvana Veda. There are Matrikas or Tantriks in Kerala who have specialized in witchcraft and there are certain specified temples where such practises exist. As a last resort, affected people approach the Tantriks here to address their pain and sufferings caused by other people, in particular, their own relatives!!
There are curses in many cultures such as curses being associated with the violation of the tombs of mummified corpses, or of the mummies themselves, the "Curse of the Pharaohs" that haunted the archaeologists who excavated the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled ca. 1332–1323 BC). Tecumseh's curse was reputed to have caused the deaths in office of Presidents of the United States elected in years divisible by 20, beginning in 1840, etc.
|Tenskwatawa, Native Indian Prophet. painting by Charles Bird King.en.wikipedia.org|
Above image: Native American Indian Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet, put the curse on US Presidency. painting by Charles Bird King...........
As the Territorial Governor of the Indiana Territory, William Harrison used unjust and unethical tactics in the negotiation of the Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809) with Native Americans. Having lost a vast track of lands, angered native Indians attacked Harrison's army in the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811). After the battle, Indian tribe's leader Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet, supposedly cast a curse against Harrison and the future White House occupants who became president during years with the same end number as Harrison. This is the basis of the curse legend.
|Gov. of Indiana.W. Harrison. painting by Rembrandt Peale.1814. en.wikipedia.org|
When it comes to wearing diamonds, the story is different. There are some lucky but bold people who risk their lives and defy the bad effects of curses on the precious stones and diamonds.
As for curses related to famous diamonds such as the Hope and the Orlov, for centuries the people have been fascinated but intrigued by them and the tragic events that had followed in the wake of the possession of these diamonds. With respect to these cases, our rational thinking and approach took the back seat, overshadowed by superstitions and often the owners had to live in fear and anxiety. To them, the joy and excitement of owning the most valued gemstone which other people could not afford was lost forever because of 'fear psychosis.' But, invariably most of the owners of famous diamonds, driven by greed and ambition, keep them as a symbol of their money power, affluence, pride, and prestige.
Diamonds stolen from the Hindu temples, purposely plucked from the Hindu Gods or Goddesses, it is strongly believed, carried the curses of the deities and the priests who had done the ritualistic prayer almost daily at the temple for centuries. It is, surely, a blasphemous act that ought to be condemned. Malediction from the people associated with holy places will have some bad repercussions. There is a wise saying in Tamil, a native language spoken in Tamil Nadu :
"Anything earned or gained dishonestly and unscrupulously will not last long and will get lost as easily as it was possessed."
|The Hope Diamond with case lights turned on.en.wikipedia.org|
In India it has been part of the Hindu temple tradition and custom to adorn the idols of Gods and Goddesses with valuable gold jewellery with high-quality precious stones. Most of the old jewels were donated by the rulers of kingdoms - kings in the olden days. The mighty kings always ruled their lands and governed the people in the name of God. The tradition was such that in some kingdoms, before the coronation of the new ruler, the Crown and Sceptre were to be kept reverentially amidst chanting of mantras at the feet of the presiding deity in the sanctum of the royal family's temple for a day or two. In modern times too, affluent people donate gold, silver, precious stones, etc to the Hindu temples - both old and new ones, as part of their prayer and the precious gold and diamond studded jewels adorn the Hindu deities on auspicious days in the temple, of course with high security. In some temples in those days, the eyes of presiding deities were adorned with precious gem stones.
The Hope diamond a 112 3/16 carat blue diamond, removed from the forehead of an Idol - Lord Shiva, was bought by a man named Jean Baptiste Tavernier, a French jeweler in the mid-1600s on his trip to India. The third eye in the forehead of the God - Shiva, is referred to as "Gnanakkann" in local language meaning eye (Kann) of knowledge (Gnanam) and foresight. The famous French man, a diamond expert died in Russia after a severe attack by a pack of wild dog. There is some controversy around his death. The diamond was subsequently possessed by some French rulers - King Louis, XIV, Louis XIV's great-grandson Louis XV and Louis XVI. Legend has it that Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were beheaded during the bloody French Revolution - (political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, and was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire) which saw many French nobles' heads strewn around the killing machine Gullet-in. Because of the arrival of the cursed blue diamond, it is suggested, this worst tragedy in France took place. That the other French rulers were unaffected by the same blue diamond is a puzzle that remains unanswered. In 1839, the Hope Diamond appeared in a published catalogue of the gem collection of Henry Philip Hope, hence the gem came to be known as the "Hope Diamond."
The famous Orlov diamond, once the adorned the eyes of the deity in the famous Hindu temple at Srirangam,Tamil Nadu, India was stolen in 1747 by a French army deserter from the Carnatic wars. Grief stricken over the stolen diamond, the temple priests cursed.... "Who ever owns and wears this diamond will experience untold misery and pain till the world lasts." The diamond changed several hands through several decades. The famous stone named after the last owner Count Orloff, an ex-lover of Empress Catherine the Great who presented it to her. However, he could not win her heart and died in 1783 with a broken heart. During the invasion of Russia by Napoleon, a French soldier got his hand on it accidentally, but unable to hang on to the diamond, This half egg shaped diamond became part of Russian jewellery collections in Kremlin, Moscow.
|Queen Alexandra with the Kohinoor in her coronation crown. 1902. .wikipedia.org|
Above image: Queen Alexandra wearing the Kohinoor in her coronation crown. 9 August 1902. Book by Sir Charles Lawson, photo by W. and D. Downey - Memories of Madras by Sir Charles Lawson. Photo by W. and D. Downeyen ..........
As for Kohinoor diamond, almost all past owners either had a tragic end or lost all the wealth and power. In the case of the Royal British family, they got the diamond from the Maharajah of Patiala under force in the late 1840s. The British government said recently that it was a gift from the ruler of Punjab. That who is the actual owner of the famous diamond has become a contentious issue among Pakistan, India and the UK. When the British annexed the Punjab in 1849, they took possession of the Timur ruby and the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Ranjit Singh and after India's independence in August, 1947, they lost their control over many colonies. The British empire rattled and by 1960, it was all over. The curse of Kohinoor and other Indian diamonds stolen from the Hindu temples at last saw the British Empire in shambles.
"Those, who are acquainted with nothing but fraud, will perish in the very act of transgression." ........."Thirukkural" translation by Rev.W.H.Drew Rev. John Lazaru
The Kohinoor diamond and the curse of Hindu God - Fall of British Empire? Sunday, 24 May 2015