C for Chintamani
The first time I heard the word Chintamani was when I watched an old Telugu fantasy movie ‘Sahasra Siracheda Apoorva Chinthamani’. The movie is unrelated to the actual Cintamani stone yet that’s my first encounter with the word.
Cintamani also spelled as Chintamani is known to be a wish-fulfilling jewel in Hindu and Buddhist legends. The word Cinta means ‘thought’ and mani means ‘jewel’. According to Buddhist Legend, Cintamani is one of the four relics that came in a chest that fell from the sky and landed in Tibet. Ancient Buddhists revered it as a spiritual jewel. Possession of the stone elevates its holder to a higher state of being, granting knowledge of all time and space and, consequently, the potential for world domination and even immortality. Since it would prove disastrous in wrong hands it was hidden in the mystical hidden city of Shambhala by the then Tibet king. While the actual stone as believed remains hidden till date many fragments of it made it back into the world. Nicholas Roerich, a Russian explorer and Artist, is believed to have possessed a fragment of the stone that had four letters inscribed on it. Roerich translated the letters believed to be in Sanskrit language as below:
Through the Stars I come. I bring the chalice covered with the shield. Within it I bring a treasure, the gift of Orion.
Though a legend, a scientific explanation can be attributed to the stone based on its description. It is believed to be green in colour and trapezohedron in shape. This perfectly fits the description of moldavite, a tektite formed after meteorite impacts. Some theorize that it is a piece of a meteorite which collided with the earth’s surface many million years ago. Thanks to the latest PlayStation games, the stone gained prominence again.
Many believe that Cintamani is similar to Philosopher’s stone while some also theorize that both are the same. Cintamani some also believe is similar to the Nagamani and Syamantakamani mentioned in Hindu mythology and folklore. Islam too venerates a black stone that fell from heaven and calls it Al-Hajarul Aswad. It is also believed that all these stones are one single stone or fragments of the single stone that travelled to various places with various people.
Like in my earlier topics, I fathom how closely related are various eastern and western traditions, legends and cultures reminding us that though parted into different religions and lands we humans are all one and have the same roots.