Monday, 29 June 2015

Cursed famous Indian diamonds from the Hindu temples - a recap

Marie Antoinette, execution by guillotine in 1793
 Above image: Marie Antoinette before her public execution by guillotine in 1793. Is it due to the Hope diamond's inevitable 
curse? .......

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

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.

 Above image: Territorial Governor, Indiana.William Henry Harrison literally cheated the native Indians; he never stuck to the Treaty of  Ft.Wayne (Sept.30,1809) as painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1814.

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
Particularly in the matters of religion, be it a Hindu temple, a Mosque and a Church or some other holy place, stealing objects of veneration and reverence is pretty bad and whoever does it or possesses such stolen objects  has to face the consequences.

In India. it has been part of the  Hindu temple tradition and custom to adorn the idols of Gods and Goddesses with valuable gold jewelry 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 
the 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 jeweller  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 over a period of time. 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 jewelry collections in Kremlin, Moscow.
Queen Alexandra, Kohinoor in her coronation crown. 1902.

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 ..........

My Hindi Forum
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