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Jewellery (A Scientific Study of Social Traditions)

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Item Code: NAO696
Author: Gulab Kothari
Publisher: Indira Gandhi Natioal Centre for the Arts and Abhinav Publication
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789380935799
Pages: 276 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Weight 1 kg
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description

About the Book

In this Book Dr. Gulab Kothari analyzes everything scientifically and unravels some uncanny facts which can change the direction of our lives. He also describes the importance of acupressure and acupuncture in treating some ailments and related them to the tradition of wearing jeweler. Dr. Rajnikant Shah, Founder of the Museum of Gem and Jewellery Federation, rightly observes, "it takes us into the labyrinth of the glitter of gold, serenity of silver, sparkles of gems and human ingenuity of creativeness. Its unique in that it not only provides deep insights into the ostentatious world of Jewellery but also analyzes each tradition associated with it".

The book makes an absorbing reading and is a must read for those who really want to delve deep into the world of jewellery.

Dr. Gulab Kothari is a celebrated journalist, sensitive writer, poet, thinker, exponent of Ved Vijnana, researcher, peacemaker and above all a spiritually elevated human being. All his writings aim at transforming the individual and society and creating social excellence. His eminently known treaties Manas, which runs in twelve volumes and has been translated into eleven Indian languages as well as into English, Fathoms the infinite depths of human psyche, the pathos of man's isolation and gives us deep insights into human nature, It can be reckoned as a paradigm of formative literature that represents the ideals enshrined in the Vedic philosophy and Indian spiritual heritage. His narrative poems `Aadya','O My Mind' and 'Stepping Stones to Spirituality' that deal with the pursuits and intricacies of human life and offers solutions from a Vedic perspective are a soul-stiffing expression expressions of the wave of his thinking and of the deep relationship between the human mind and Ishvara (supreme spirit). He is the Editor-in-chief of Rajisthan Patrika, a national Hindi Daily, which he has transformed into an instrument for social change, His editorial fearlessly exposed acts of injustice, intimidation, corruption and promote reconciliation and harmony society.

He did his Ph.D. in an area of newspaper management from IOU the Netherlands in 1995. Continuing his quest for knowledge, Dr. Kothari did his D.Litt. from the same university in 2002. Impressed by the quality of research evinced in his Ph.D. thesis (1995), Universidad Central de Nicaragua and Universidad Azteca Mexico also awarded the Ph.D. degree to him in 2012 under IOU's dual degree program.


Nature has designed the shape in of our body hence it works according to the principles of Nature. This is the reason why everything, every living being has an impact on each other. The seven lokas' (layers) of the universe, the seven colors present in the ray of the sun, the seven elements of our body , all influence each other. The harmony between them creates equilibri-um in our life. A man is tempera-mentally a free bird and it's quite natural for him to break rules and regulations occasionally and sometimes this affects his health which requires medical treatment. Indian civilization and culture is highly developed. There are ways to regularly control the imbalances in our food habits and lifestyles. Apart from refined methods like Dayan and Yoga to help live a healthy life there is a long and popular tradition of wearing ornaments among the rural, uneducated and even socially prominent communities. Ornaments were worn and made of metal or other natural sub-stance (stones, wood, coconut, lacquer, shells, etc.) according to the profession or the social status of a person. Though the main purpose of wearing ornaments was maintaining good health but aspects of beauty and prosperity were certainly added to it. Today the purpose of wearing ornaments for good health is replaced by beauty and astrology.

astrologist will say that the Sun is offended. Hence whatever medicinal herbs, gemstones, metals, etc., will be used for treatment will belong to the category whose ruling cosmic body is the Sun. Elements like gold, ruby, etc., may be used for the treatment.

Another important principle which gives scientific authenticity to the tradition of wearing ornaments is the principle of acupressure and acupuncture therapy. According to this, there is an extensive network of meridians and its energy or vital points in the body. When there is a disease in the body then various marmsthal - stimulation points related to that disorder are stimulated to energize them so that the flow of energy can be smoothened to make it free flowing and blockage is removed. A close look at the tradition of wearing ornaments will show that ornaments continuously stimulate these vital points. They certainly increase our immunity. There is a tradition of giving certain ornaments to a new bride on her wedding day but are taken off if she becomes a widow because energy at those points is not needed after the misfortune tikes. What more scientific reason could be there for wearing ornaments!

Ornaments do have a scientific basis. Ornaments have the extensive and intensive depth of the nature to protect us. They keep us mentally and physically healthy. If we look at our tradition of wearing ornaments then we find that they are associated with humans not only in modern era but were equally associated with our gods and goddesses. We cannot imagine a picture of our gods without any ornament. In pictures and sculptures gods are seen adorned with ornaments from head to toe. Whether it is the idol of the most revered Lord Krishna in Govind Dev ji Temple of Jaipur or Shrinath ji of Nathdwara, every time one visits the temple all the decorations and ornaments of the idol are different. The serpent around Lord Shiva's neck and the crescent on his head are his ornaments. Anything which decorates and adds to the beauty is an ornament. The flowers in a braid or bun are ornaments. The braid, itself is an ornament of hair-styling which enhances the beau-tee of a woman. Maybe because of this we can see various different styles of braiding becoming popular among women to make it look more artistic. Decorating animals also come in the category of ornamentation. Coloring the horns of the oxen and making different designs on their body, artistically cutting or braiding camel hair to beautify them is also part of the tradition of ornaments. Ergo we can say that the definition of the ornaments is very extensive. The tradition of wearing ornaments was very rich during the aristocratic era. But today due to the rising cost of jeweler and the fear of robbers we don't see many women possessing lot of ornaments. Rich people safe deposit their treasure in bank lockers. Also with time, the popularity of ornaments has diminished among ° the common man. Ornaments don't attract the youth either. At least, not as much as it attracted the earlier generations.

Ornaments don't just add to our beauty but they also enhance our health. Ornaments are not just mere aid to the beauty but they give good health. In spite of numerous disorders the Vedas mention these diseases -

Hariman- kikidivivartdhra-jitividdhhriyadrogaah, Yakshmaabhivaarksharchaa p nihaakaa rapohansi kshipra.

Aamay jatay eta bhavanti tasam manishch mantrashch, Suryashchaapashchosh dhamopadhhyoagnishch nishkritayah.

All diseases are divided in 13 segments in the manner above.

Their Vedic treatment is divided as seven types.

1. Electrotherapy through Mantras.

. Neurotherapy through the sounds of conch and gem-stones.

3. Immuno therapy through gold - copper firing metals.

4. Chronic, therapy with the help of sunrays helps in treating heart ailments.

5. Water therapy is also used as a cure.

6_ Medicines are prepared through the extracts and juices of trees like goolar (Indian fig tree) and Vibhitaka (Beleric tree)

7. Peepli helps in curing kshipt and atividhha disorders,

The ornaments are also useful in overcoming financial difficulties. Nature has not bestowed everyone with fine physical beauty but this can be compensated by ornaments. As one enters the youthful years the importance of ornaments increases in the life of a person. The statues of gods too shall look very plain and simple if we remove ornaments from them. The appeal of ornaments can be understood from the fact that instead of the physical appearance of a person, ornaments catch our eyes immediately. The social status and personality of a person is adjudged by the ornaments worn.

Ornaments worn, by the tribal people are not very expensive. They are made from natural things like colorful stones, wood, feathers, dried leaves and flowers. But the desire for beauty is just as much as a rich man's expensive ornaments. Ornaments should blend well with the environment one lives in. It will look very jarring to the eyes if a tribal woman is seen wearing gold ornaments in her rustic surrounding and a rich woman wears dried flowers and leaf ornaments in an elegant gathering. Neither of them will feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Though the tribal woman may wear ornaments made from wood and leaves but its medicinal properties are well known to everyone.

There is extensive information on ornaments in Indian liter-nature. There is a description of metals, gemstones in the Vedas and Upanishads. Whether it is `Shringar shatak' of Bhartrihari or Abhigyan Shakuntalam' of Kalidas they have given a lot of importance to ornaments in their writings. The beautiful and minute detailing of the ornaments worn by the leading lady in these books cannot be seen in any other literature. Description of the ornament clad beauty tells about the importance and value of the ornaments in ancient times. Literature of yester years is replete with the descriptions of the leading ladies. The close relation between ornaments and the beauty of women is well described. In the modern day lit-erasure too, a woman's attraction for jeweler has not diminished in any way.

We have also made a survey to collect information about different designs and styles of ornaments. Many interesting facts regarding these are also included in this book. I pray to the Almighty that the information provided in this book is beneficial in increasing your knowledge and happiness. It will also guide you, to a healthy lifestyle.

The information provided in various sections on ornament therapy and treatments have been compiled from various sources and books on ayurveda, astrology, science of gems and metals, acupressure and acupuncture. The reader must not think of this book as the ultimate guide and must consult an experienced therapist and expert of the relevant field before applying it.


Ornaments occupy pride of place among man's treasured possessions. Though basically they are supposed to enhance the wearer's beauty they also possess innate attributes of solving our problems and healing ailments.

Recently I was involved in making a Museum of Gem and Jewellery at Jaipur, one of a specific kind and the first one in India. For this we were collecting books and journals published from Jaipur when I stumbled across a book in Hindi entitled 'Gahane Kyon Pahane' by Dr. Gulab Kothari. I was looking for its English version and by the grace of God Vrinda Ji, one of our board members, made it available to me with the title 'Jewellery - A Scientific Study of Social Traditions'. I read it from cover to cover and was quite impressed by its rich content. It takes us into the labyrinth of the glitter of gold, serenity of silver, sparkles of gems and human ingenuity of creativeness. It's unique in that it not only provides deep insights into the ostentatious world of jewellery but also analyzes each tradition associated with it.

Jewellery is not just meant to beautify a person but it has in it many other uses which have been explained so lucidly by the writer. His definition of ornaments encompasses many new dimensions and gives a deeper understanding of the subtle aspects involved. The author believes that the mother earth herself appears cheerful when she is embellished with flowers, water-falls, plants, trees and so on which, in reality constitutes its jewelley. Even gods, goddesses and deities are adorned everyday with jewellery as a part of worship. This practice has been in vogue since ancient times as evident in pre-historic archeological artifacts. Though jewellery is a human creation its use is not restricted to humans alone. Even animals like horses, elephants, camels etc. are decked with them on specific occasions.

The author has done ample jus-tice to the subject by covering almost all aspects related to this area. As a matter of fact the book is the result of the profound research in various aspects of jewellery carried out by Rajasthan Patrika under Dr. Kothari's academic leadership. He traces their origin in prehistoric times chronicling their journey systematically through the Vedic era, middle ages and the modern age. In ancient times people used feathers, beads, stones and many natural items to decorate. Use of metals like bronze, silver, and gold, copper has been discussed. He has even covered the latest trends touching the twenty first century.

Jewellery has been discussed in detail covering head to toe. The sketch of a lady with the names of 32 pieces of jewellery speaks volumes of the hard work involved in collecting the requisite information. There is a special chapter on hair ornaments. These have been elucidated very well with the help of various diagrams. Different Era designs with Buns & Braids etc with evidence from archeological images are well elaborated. Rural and modern Era designs have been included. Dr. Kothari discusses special hair ornaments from a scientific per-spective. He also deals with many related topics like gemstones, their colors, their astrological values. Various metals used to make jeweler have been covered in detail. The importance of vari-ous colors - 'A Rainbow in Daily Life' - is explained with a chart.

There is a special chapter on the use of ornaments in therapy. Special ornaments are used to have infant and children protected from evil. Astrologically useful Nav Graha rings, pendants, etc., are very popular. Even there is a chapter on acupuncture with use of gems & metals. The author takes you to the Chinese five elements and their positive and negative energy elements in hand. The details of the same have been very well described with the help of a picture.

The author then moves from the individual to social values. He has considered the age of the person, race, location and finally social status. Even jewellery for girls, children, gents, widower, etc., has been covered. Even while describing the individual jeweler the author relates it to the attires of queens and kings. Similarly, women wear simpler form of jewellery according to their social status. Gents use watches, glasses and the other forms of jewellery. Lately the uses of men's jewellery are gradually declining. Even the younger generation in the modern age is using the simpler form of jewellery.

The younger generation is bringing in new designs and styles. The easy availability of different gem-stones has helped in the development of new designs. Modern generation wants simpler design in jewellery. Various charts, diagrams and pictures have also been illustrated very well. This makes it easy to appreciate vari-ous subjects.

Finally, a survey was conducted by the author. Its conclusion is that ornaments are used either for decoration or for security or for social status, peace and happiness. I recommend the book to all those who are fond of jewellery or are interested in knowing their astrological significance.


1 Gulab Kothari 9
2 Foreword 14
3 Concept 16
4 The Meaning of Ornament 21
5 Tradition and Social Values 34
6 Why Ornaments 44
7 Journey of Ornament Through Different Eras 49
8 Vedic Era Ornaments 57
9 Thirty-Two Ornaments of Women 64
10 Ancient Indian Ornaments 66
11 Characteristics of Gemstones 71
12 Gems and Semiprecious Gems 81
13 Metals 85
14 Metals and Traditions Knowledge 94
15 Nature and Colours 101
16 The Rainbow Coloured World of Gems and Signs 107
17 Clothing and Attire 113
18 Ornaments and Hairstyles 123
19 Tattoo and Henna 129
20 Gem Therapy 145
21 Metal Therapy 151
22 Ornament and Health 156
23 Acpressure and Meridian 163
24 The Chinese Principle of Five Elements 173
25 Hair Style : The Scientific Viewpoint 179
26 Plants, Beauty and Health 185
27 Planets and the Ailments they Influence 194
28 9 Planets (Navagrahs) and 84 Gem Stones 203
29 Characteristics of the Planets 210
30 New Trends in Ornaments 215
31 Cutting and Polishing of Coloured Gemstones in Jaipur 225
32 Ornaments: A survey by Rajasthan Patrika 257
33 Head Ornaments 261
34 Neck Ornaments 262
35 Ear Ornaments 264
36 Nose Ornaments 265
37 Arm Ornaments 266
38 Finger Ornaments 267
39 Ankle Ornaments 268
40 Toe Ornaments 268
41 Religious Ornaments 269
42 Ornaments from the Parents and the In-laws 270
43 Essential Ornaments 271
44 Certain Ornaments are Prohibited During Some Occasions 272
45 Ritual of Ear and Nose Piercing 272
46 Ornaments for the Daughters and Daughter-in-law 273
47 Ornaments of the Grandmother 275
48 Choise and Benefits of Wearing Ornaments 275
49 Reasons for Wearing Ornaments 275
50 Therapy with Specific Metals 276

Sample Pages

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