Author : Rtn. Gangaram Shamdas Purswani(P.H.F)
In India, gold is religion. India’s love affairs with gold are timeless, spanning centuries and millennia. In India, it always was and still is, much more than just a precious metal. It is part of the fabric of our culture and an inseparatable part of our belief system. It is the essence from which the universe was created. In a dark and lifeless universe, the Creator deposited in the waters, a seed, which he had made from his own body. The seed became a Golden Egg, bright and radiant as the sun. The incarnation of the Creator Brahma Himself was born from this cosmic Egg of Gold. From the root the seed word Hri meaning imperishable, comes Hiranya, the ancient name for Gold. Brahma is referred to as Hiranyagarbha – the one born out of gold. The mythological tales tell us how our Gods and Goddesses rode on Golden Chariots. Some of our goddesses are described as Golden-Hued, the ultimate in beauty. Gold, as the basis of so much purity and beauty, is referred to as the seed of Agni, the God of Fire. Therefore, Gold has always been considered a sacred item in Hindu way of life and is a must in every religious function, the explanation being that gold is pure having passed through the fire in its process of evolution.
Ornaments are made practically for every part of the body, called “Solah Shringar” nose rings, bangles, necklaces and special jewelry for head, ankles, waistbands, mangalsutra and so on. However, all over India, the toe rings adorning the feet are made only in silver and never in gold. Gold is Goddess Laxmi incarnate (goddess of wealth) and She cannot be soiled by touching a human’s feet. Gold to us Indian is that ultimate love object …. Not only does it adorn our bodies, it also acts as a good investment. Gold is ancestral. From mother to daughter to granddaughter and from father to son to grandson, gold has a tendency of getting passed from generation to generation. Over thousands of years, different dynasties have ruled different parts of India with different monetary systems. Gold acted as a common medium of exchange or store of value across the monetary systems of different kingdoms in India. Hence, wealth in form of gold could still be preserved in spite of wars, political turbulences, natural calamities and disasters and for centuries was the only means of saving in India. Indian Kings & English Kings of the past have issued Gold Coins and these are hoarded for their investment value. Gold is acquired continuously over the years, as money is saved and available.
Confidence has been the anchor of the gold jewelry trade in India. A jeweler or gold-smith of reasonable standing in a local area has a fixed and loyal clientele. He is the family jeweler (like family doctor) and his services are requisitioned whenever any jewelry is to be purchased or fabricated. Khudabadi Sonara community had established a reputation for skill and trust worthiness and the Muslim rulers even permitted them to enter the women’s quarters to measure the veiled women for jewelry fittings. The Muslim rulers honoured many Khudabadi Sonara Community Members with awards from time to time for their Skill, Honesty and Trust Worthiness.