In the Vedic scriptures all creation is said to begin from divine light emanating from the Supreme Being. In the “Kurma Purana”, chapter 3, verses 1 & 2 are describing Bhuvanakosha or the matrix of this universe,
Evamesha Mahadevo Devadevah Pitamahah
Karoti Niyatam Kalam Kalatma Hyaisvari Tanuh
Tasya Ye Rasmayo Viprah Sarvaloka pradipakah
Tesam Sresthah Punah Saptarasmayo Graha yonayah
“In this way the Great Lord, the Lord of the Lords, the universal Grandfather, always creates time, He being the Essence of time, with a body endowed with all conceivable powers”.
“The rays that compose His body are omnipresent and illume the limitless worlds in the universe. Among them seven are the best and the highest as they form the matrices of the seven planets.”
This reference to the seven colors of the rainbow, or the components of visible light, herein state that the substratum of the universe consists of these seven principal rays and are said to be chief amongst the rays forming the body of the universe and the Supreme Godhead. In stating that these rays are identical with the universe and also with the powers of God, or the qualities of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, it also infers that they are responsible for creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe, according to the Supreme will and the effect of time.
The connection between the five Mahabhutas and the planets is shown in Vedic astrological works, notably “Brihat Jataka” by Varaha Mihira (considered one of the great authorities on this subject) around 400 A.D. It speaks of the Sun as the condensed form of the red ray, Moon of orange, Mars of yellow, Mercury of green, Jupiter of blue, Venus of indigo and Saturn violet.
It is in the Ayurvedic texts that the process of color rays within creation is taken a step further with the mention of the “Pancha Mahabhutas”, or five great elements in the form of earth, water, fire, air and ether. It is concluded that earth is the condensed green color, water of orange and indigo, fire of red and yellow, air of violet and ether blue.
The “Pancha Tanmatras”, or five subtle substances considered in the Samkhya philosophical system, also have their origin in these seven cosmic colors. The red cosmic color is responsible for sight, green for smell, violet for touch, blue for sound, and orange for taste respectively. The yellow ray, which is warming and the indigo ray, which is cooling, regulate the body’s temperature.
Examination of the sense organs through a prism will actually show these colors to the eye if examined carefully. There will be a green glow around the tip of the nose and red will be visible in the eyes. The skin will give off an aura of violet and the tongue orange. Within the cavities of the head, the mouth and ears, blue will be detected.
The five primeval “vayus”, so important to our vital well-being make up the pranic sheath. These are known as prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana, which also have their origin in the seven colors of the rainbow. Prana vayu has a close association with the earth element and therefore the green ray. Apana vayu is connected with the water principle and therefore the cosmic colors of orange and indigo. Samana vayu is of fire and therefore composed of red and yellow. Udana vayu is of air, thus the violet color, while vyana vayu and ether find their origin in the cosmic blue ray.
Accordingly, it is a forgone conclusion that the combination of the elements or “tridosha” of ayurveda also have their origin in these seven cosmic rays of light. Vayu, air, combines air and ether, thus originating from blue and violet. Pitta, fire, is from fire and thus the colors red and yellow are its composition. Kapha dosha is a combination of earth and water, thus coming from orange, indigo and green.
Such observations obviously lend credence to these Vedic conclusions that it is due to the presence of these cosmic colors that the subtle and gross material creations can become animated and function on a physical, emotional, mental and conscious level. Our cellular structure is composed of the seven cosmic rays. To remain in a healthy condition the rays within the cells should be in state of equilibrium.
The great seers and healers of ancient Bharata-varsha made the observation that specific precious gems held within them the strongest concentration of the light rays found on the planet. There are many references in Vedic scriptures regarding the innate potency of gems when worn on the body. The texts of Garuda Purana, the Narada Purana and Agni Purana all give references to the use of gems. Although they do not give much information as to the methods of prescribing them for health or astrological reasons, they do give parameters for necessary quality of gem crystals, as well as benefits for human beings. Gemology was also an important Vedic science in ancient times given that in Vaishnava texts it is described that Krishna and Balarama also studied it in the gurukula of Sandipani Muni.