The Cintamani Stone – A Truly Powerful Gem or a Humble Philosophy?

The Cintamani Stone – A Truly Powerful Gem or a Humble Philosophy?

The Cintamani Stone, or Chintamani, long sought by treasure hunters, has captured the imagination of man through the ages as tales of this wish-fulfilling jewel have spread around the world. The legends possibly originated in Hindu and  Buddhist traditions , although it is thought to be the equivalent of the philosopher’s stone in Western alchemy. Others claimed it is the original holy grail or one of several Mani Jewels.

As the story goes, as an instrument of the divine the stone has driven human progress and intended to guide humanity in the right direction.

The Powerful Mani Jewels

The Mani Jewels refer to various gems mentioned in Buddhist literature as either actual mythical relics, or as metaphors for Buddhist philosophy.

The jewel first appeared as one of the seven treasures owned by a king who was benevolent, just, and the ideal ruler. It also appears in stories as a water-purifying crystal which could be placed in murky water by traveling monks . This metaphor encouraged faith when overcome by doubts. A third depiction of the jewel is in the tale of Indra’s net. It describes a net of immeasurable size with infinite knots. Each knot contains a Mani Jewel with an endless number of facets. Each jewel reflects every other jewel in the same way that individual beings are interconnected and indistinguishable from the whole.

Later texts describe the Mani Jewels differently and the Cintamani emerged as the wish-fulfilling jewel, said to be one of four relics that fell from the sky when King Lha Thothori Nyantsen ruled Tibet.

In Mahayana Buddhism lore, the Cintamani is held by those who are on the path towards Buddhahood and Buddhist monks. In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Cintamani is sometimes depicted as a luminous pearl in the possession of the Buddha. These jewels have the ability to eliminate poverty and suffering.

Numerous depictions of deities from various religions show them holding the Cintamani, indicating their ability to fulfill the wishes of sentient beings. In Vedic legends , the original owner of the jewel was the god Indra. It fell to the earth during a mighty battle, allowing whoever possessed it to have their wishes granted.

In Hindu tradition it is connected with the gods Vishnu and Ganesha or portrayed as a beautiful jewel in the possession of the Nāga king.  The Cintamani in these legends are again wish-fulfilling gems that represents the enlightened mind in which all dreams are accomplished.

Statue of the Naga King, Buddhist temple, Thailand (MrPreecha / Adobe Stock)

Statue of the Naga King, Buddhist temple, Thailand ( MrPreecha / Adobe Stock)

Although there is no solid proof of its existence, the Cintamani is thought to consist of moldavite, a glass created when a large meteor crashed in the Czech Republic, 15 million years ago. Moldavite is considered by some to enhance psychic and healing energies. The Emerald Tablet which contained the alchemical instructions for transmutation, associated with the creation of Philosopher’s Stone, is thought to be made of moldavite.

Buddhists believe that the stone came into the custody of the enlightened and was taken to Shambhala, a legendary kingdom said to lie in Asia, north of the Himalayas. They believe a king will emerge from this place to bring forth the Golden Age. Nicholas Roerich claimed Shambhala was real and set out to find it.

The Well-Funded and Supported Quest Nicholas Roerich

Nicholas Roerich was a Russian artist, philosopher, and an occultist. He was at one point considered the guru of Henry Wallace, vice president during the Roosevelt administration.

Roerich and his wife, Helena, were followers of Theosophy, a spiritual belief that a group of masters would unite all mankind. Apparently in possession of a piece of the Cintamani Stone, Roerich was said to have embarked on a quest to return it to Shambhala in the 1920s.

 

Song of Shambala by Nicholas Roerich, 1931 (Public Domain)

Song of Shambala by Nicholas Roerich, 1931 ( Public Domain )

Some say he received it from the League of Nations after it failed to establish a peaceful, new world order. Why it was given to him has also been questioned, although there is no denying that he had powerful political allies.

In 1929, after his first trip to Asia, Roerich and several associates formally drafted a treaty that they hoped would gain worldwide acceptance. It became known as the Roerich Pact. They also adopted the “Banner of Peace”. Delegates from more than twenty countries attended conferences to discuss the pact in Belgium, in 1931 and 1932.

Roerich and his wife had known Roosevelt and Wallace for some time and maintained communication with them as they travelled Asia for four years at the expense of Horch, a wealthy New York broker.

The US government funded a second journey in 1934 when Wallace was Secretary of Agriculture. The Roerichs, who were not scientists, were tasked with collecting drought resistant plant specimens.

The true nature of the Roerich’s trips certainly met with mixed political reactions from various nations, but Nicholas Roerich’s relationship with Henry Wallace, who became Vice President of the U.S. in the early 1930s, raised questions. In one letter written by Wallace to Roerich he references the Cintamani Stone and may hint at its assumed power in establishing a new world order:

“…and I have thought of the admonition ‘Await the Stone’. We await the Stone and we welcome you again to this glorious land of destiny.”

Banner of Peace, symbol of the Roerich Pact (Yosef/ Adobe Stock)

Banner of Peace, symbol of the Roerich Pact ( Yosef/ Adobe Stock)

As the Roerichs continued through Asia, they caused great political discomfort to the U.S. government. Some critics believed the real mission was to search for the holy city or believed Roerich had concocted a fully paid and funded cover to further his personal ambitions under his Banner of Peace. The Tibetan symbol for the Cintamani is the pyramid of triple circles – the same imagery was used on Roerich’s banner. Others thought Roerich had a far more nefarious plan.

While Roerich did not reach Shambhala, he claimed to have arrived in a Tibetan location which is intimately connected to it. Wallace finally terminated all contact with Roerich, calling him a “megalomaniac”. When Wallace ran for president after Roosevelt’s final term, “the guru letters” written between the two men were made public and caused Wallace embarrassment. He admitted to being led astray. Roerich had by then moved to India, evading back taxes in the U.S.

Is it possible Roerich really was in possession of the stone? As mentioned, Roerich had some powerful political friends. In 1929 Roerich was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the University of Paris. He received two more Nobel Peace Prize nominations in 1932 and 1935.

Those Who May Have Possessed the Rare Stone

While sceptics doubt the very existence of the Cintamani, we cannot dispute the fact that references can be found in ancient literature. We also have to wonder why there are myths and legends emanating from so many other nations and tribes about this highly prized gem.

A common suggestion is that Cintamani was a gift from the Sirius star system millions of years ago. The theory goes that it happened during a Galactic super wave when a planet orbiting Sirius A exploded. Some of these fragments reached Earth after traveling through space. Because these stones are so rare, it’s said that only a few people have possessed it, namely King Solomon, Alexander the Great, and Akbar, but could the Cintamani found in Eastern lore be a part of the philosophers’ stone?

Alchemy still life (Alexey Kuznetsov/Adobe Stock)

Alchemy still life ( Alexey Kuznetsov /Adobe Stock)

The Elusive Philosopher’s Stone and Other Incredible Gems

The philosopher’s stone is a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning metals such as mercury into gold or silver. It is also called the elixir of life, able to rejuvenate and grant immortality. The philosopher’s stone was the central symbol of alchemy, symbolizing perfection, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss.

The earliest known written mention of the philosopher’s stone is dated to around 300 AD, although alchemists believe it is far older. Elias Ashmole, a well-connected 17 th century antiquary, government official, freemason, and alchemist claimed that goes back to Adam, who acquired the knowledge of the stone from God.

According to legend, the 13th-century scientist and philosopher  Albertus Magnus , also a German Catholic Dominican bishop, is said to have discovered the philosopher’s stone. Magnus does not confirm the discovery in his writings, but he did record that he witnessed the creation of gold by transmutation.

The Japanese goddess Kisshōten holding the wish-fulfilling gem (Public Domain )

The Japanese goddess Kisshōten holding the wish-fulfilling gem ( Public Domain )

The Hindu Vishnu Purana speaks of the Syamanta mani. This jewel originally belonged to the Sun god, who wore it around his neck and gave it to one of his devoted followers. Whichever land possessed this jewel would never encounter droughts, floods, earthquakes or famines, and would always experience prosperity.

In Japan, the goddess Kisshōten is commonly depicted holding the Nyoihōju gem which is said to grant any wish.

The Cintamani in Art and the Power of Three

Hans Memling, a German painter in the 15th century, painted Christ with a Cintamani amulet around his neck. But the Cintamani was also used in art in other civilizations in the world.

Christ Surrounded by Musician Angels by Hans Memling, 1480s (Public Domain)

Christ Surrounded by Musician Angels by Hans Memling, 1480s ( Public Domain )

From the 14th to 16th centuries, white Selendi carpets were produced in Turkey. One particular design is called the Cintamani carpet. The pattern of three circles grouped in a triangle floating on two wavy lines is repeated throughout the whole carpet.

Turkish Cintamani seamless pattern (EnginKorkmaz/ Adobe Stock)

Turkish Cintamani seamless pattern ( EnginKorkmaz/ Adobe Stock)

So popular was this design that it was used in the garments of the elite and the Royal courts of the Ottoman Empire, and many Cintamani carpets were commissioned by the Sultans.

We also find legends of three sacred treasures in many civilizations, believed to be given by the gods. For example, the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consist of the sword for valor, the mirror for wisdom, and the jewel for benevolence. It is believed that the Emperor was chosen by god and given these three treasures to ensure his success as ruler. The Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for the star, Sirius, closely resembles these three objects, being an obelisk (sword), a half circle (mirror) and a star (jewel). The reappearance of Sirius signified the annual flooding of the Nile and was represented by Sopdet, the goddess of fertility and abundance.

The symbolism of three is common and found in the holy trinity; the three physical stages of life (represented by the Celtic spiral of life that looks similar to the Cintamani); electron, neutron and proton trinity; the body, mind and soul concept; mother, father and child… The list goes on.

Celtic Spiral of Life symbol (markus dehlzeit/ Adobe Stock)

Celtic Spiral of Life symbol ( markus dehlzeit / Adobe Stock)

Whether the Cintamani is an ancient religious symbol or linked to visitors of Sirius, it has captured the imagination of many, including the freemasons, through the ages.

The Freemasons and the Dogon Tribe

Robert Temple, author of The Sirius Mystery, recorded the history of the Dogon people and their encounters with the Sirians. When his book was published, he was invited to become an initiate of the freemasons. Although Temple could not find proof that Freemasons had been in direct contact with Sirian missionaries in the past, he did find intriguing clues connecting them to the star Sirius, including the eye within the triangle symbol resting on the pyramid on the US seal.

The Dogons claimed to have had visitations from Sirian missionaries. To prove their claims, they revealed some of the obscure information they had been given, which included a knowledge of the Sirian grouping of three stars, as well as knowledge of the moons surrounding certain distant planets. Such information could only be acquired through observation with high-powered telescopes, a luxury these tribes did not possess.

Satibe mask and the Dogon dance, Mali (michelealfieri / Adobe Stock)

Satibe mask and the Dogon dance, Mali ( michelealfieri / Adobe Stock)

Believers maintain that the Cintamani Stone was brought to Earth by Sirian missionaries in order to bring about a one-world civilization based upon mutual support and equality.

It was Wallace, originally a supporter of Roerich and a freemason, who proposed to Roosevelt, another high-ranking mason, that the all-seeing eye above a pyramid be printed on currency. The all-seeing eye, or Eye of Providence , had already been a symbol the founding fathers incorporated into the great seal of the United States. The Dogon tribe refer to it as the “eye of the universe”.

With so many facets to this incredible stone, perhaps the King of the World and his Cintamani Stone will make their presence known universally to all.

Top image: Moldavite, green vitreous silica rock found in South Bohemia             Source: KPixMining/ Adobe Stock

By Michelle Freson

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
The Buddhist News

FREE
VIEW