Cobra
Indian Spectacled Cobras
AP Photo

Superstitions kill animals. This the third article enumerating what illegal animal parts are being sold, by so called Hinduism sites, to gullible buyers in search of magic to change their lives for the better. People who have reached such a level of frustration and fear, that they are prepared to spend money to destroy every other species in the hope that this will bring a change in their fortunes. There are more lies about so-called Sacred Objects than any other items in the world – shaligrams (ammonite stones) rudrakshas (seeds of the Elaeocarpus ganitrus tree) for instance, but I am only taking those that involve animal lives.

I have already written about hathjodi, the penis of the monitor lizard and Siyar Singhi, the imaginary horn on the head of a particular jackal (neither the species, nor the bone exists).

The biggest fraud of all is the Nagamani, the magic stone that supposedly comes from the forehead of a cobra. It supposedly can be amber yellow, honey, dark green, light green, red, white or black (depending on the plastic available!).

It purportedly emanates light all the time and can be used at night as an alternative to an electric bulb. It can be seen from miles away like a helmet worn by a miner. (Except on the snake’s forehead where it doesn’t glow at all.) However, according to the sites, who need to have built in alibis when the items they sell for lakhs of rupees don’t work, the “light emission is proportionate to the age of the snake, who should be older than 30 years, and the stone from a younger snake does not possess that much light as that of an old snake gem. So nagamanis which are genuine from snakes but are not old enough or grown enough do not emit enough light.” Some emit a pale green light only at night and only if they have been kept in the sun during the day. Some emit light only when they are kept on tree leaves, others when kept on flowers, some only do it outside the house and others – when no one is looking.  Some light up on amavasya or no moon night. If it doesn’t light up at all, then it is an ‘ichhadhari nagamani’ which is even rarer and costlier in that it will light up at will !!!” Considering that the life of a King Cobra is about 17-20 years in captivity and half of that in the wild and normal cobras are even less, the chances of a finding an electric bulb in its head are non-existent. One site says that an opaque nagamani that doesn’t emit light is also a nagamani except that it is a second level one and its real name is Snakestone.

Some nagamanis are solid like stone. Others are transparent. The sites hasten to add that the nagamani cannot be identified by a gemology laboratory, only by people who are experts in the Vedas (where it is not mentioned at all). There seems to be no settled idea of what a nagamani is – except its price and what it brings to the buyer: protection from snakes, devils and chronic diseases.

Every site accuses the other of selling fakes made of plastic or stone. Some say only the black ones are real and all the other colours are fake. Others say that only the blacks are fake.

Bill ki Jer or Bill ki Naal is the umbilical cord of the cat which is almost impossible to get as the cat eats it immediately on giving birth. The only way it can be gotten is if you tie up a cat while it gives birth, subject it to physical torture and cut the cord yourself. This so called cord – which is probably a human umbilical cord as these are often thrown away in hospitals- is meant for gamblers, stockbrokers, share investors and they must energise it with an expensive puja. It will then give lots of money and many buildings.

Cat

No one knows what the Garudmani or Eagle Pearl is. Even the sites do not explain which part of the eagle ‘s body this amazing stone comes from, but it is probably petrified and baked faeces. Its buyer, according to them, will develop keen eyesight, hunting skills, powers of observation, dominance over others, focus. He will soar like a bird and retrieve territory, becoming hugely popular as he swoops down. He will keep Rahu, Mangal and Shukra under his wings. All this in one piece of faeces evicted by the bird.

The same sites are selling lion teeth which have been “washed, brushed and cleaned properly”. Made into amulets they give strength and power and every judge, ruler and army officer has only risen to the top because he keeps energized teeth in his pants. If I find any buyers, after this site owner gives his list to the police, they will also be head prisoners in jail.

Lion Teeth

The Gajamukta/Hathimani, or Elephant pearl, is touted as found in a very rare species of elephant (there are only two, the African and Asian). They come from “Airavata elephants” (a species only known to Indra the raingod and are a synonym for clouds). The pearl is a dull white piece which is a mixture of ivory, pearl, bone marrow, calcium, Vitamin D and the secretion of the elephant’s brain! And this unlikely mix is supposed to cure cancer, arthritis, impotency, childlessness and make you rich.

How do the sites identify it as authentic? All water touched by it turns to milk. It throbs in your hand. It drinks coconut water. To test it, sit in the Northeast direction with the gajamani in your right hand and close your eyes for 90 minutes. If you are a good person and your chakras are clean then you will feel terrible pain in your heart, spine and head. If you feel nothing, then you should buy it since you need to get your chakras cleaned up!

Owl feet are commonly found in the market and on sites. This extremely useful bird is now very threatened because it is captured and its feet cut and dried and sold as amulets that bring protection against illness and the evil eye.

Eurasian Eagle Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owl. Photo: NA Naseer

 

Imagine a table full of lizard and jackal penises, bird faeces and feet, predator teeth, bits of elephant bone, pebbles and plastic, seeds and stones. Do you think this crackpot collection will give you riches and power or cure your diseases? Do you not sound mad?

Two sadhus met. What are you searching for, asked one. “I am looking for where God is” replied the second, “And you?”. “I am looking for where God isn’t.” said the first. God and success lies within you, not in sticks and stones and the blood, bone and faeces of killed animals.

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org