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Diamonds are Forever ...... But why?

Updated on June 1, 2013
Dazzling diamond
Dazzling diamond

There is something magical about a diamond - whether we own it or not. Its beauty is so simple, yet profound. It is universally adored and vied upon. Just thought of pondering over what makes a diamond, a diamond!

Scientifically speaking, it is nothing but the element Carbon - something that we consider polluting, black and dirty generally. ( as in carbon emissions, greenhouse effect, global warming, coal etc.) And it has a cousin too - graphite - which is used as a conductor of electricity and to make pencil leads. Graphite is also carbon all the way and still nowhere near a diamond.

A diamond is formed about 100-200 kilometres below the surface of the earth over a period of millions of years under tremendous pressure and searing temperatures.

Wait a minute! This is not an article of science alone...

Before the reader concludes that this is only a scientific article, let me change the line of thought to what struck me actually! :)

I have often heard that tough situations make tough people. And the diamond is the oft quoted example for that. “But hang on”, my mind argues, “Graphite too undergoes high temperatures and pressures. It also undergoes chemical processes. So using the diamond as an example is only convenience - something occurring in nature that fits as a glorious example for our purposes!”

And then - an inspired thought! A term that I had learnt in my secondary school flashes in my mind’s eye and then my heart leaps in joy! I have my answer. The diamond is not simply a convenient example - it has a property that makes it worthy of emulation, gives it value and makes it sparkle and shine. Before I dive into that, let me just recap a simply Physics concept.

Whenever light moves from one medium to another ( air to water, glass to air), it bends. This is called refraction. When it moves from a denser medium to a rarer (or less dense) medium, it bends away from the normal or perpendicular. See the light beam in green in the image.

Diagrammatic representation of Refraction
Diagrammatic representation of Refraction

If the light ray comes at a greater angle like the one shown in red, it gets refracted along the plane of the medium. And, like the light ray shown in blue, if it comes in a greater angle, it gets reflected into the same medium! Now imagine a light ray that is always made to strike the change-of-medium interface at an angle that makes it get reflected. That is what happens in a diamond.

The diamond has so many faces (cuts) that a light ray gets reflected and it strikes another face at an angle that makes it get reflected. This goes on. Thus, the more finely the diamond is cut, the greater is its sparkle. Simple right?
Now comes the thrilling part. You know what is this phenomenon of light getting reflected called? It is TOTAL INTERNAL REFLECTION!

The diamond sparkles and gains value because of total internal reflection.

Life presents us with challenges. Tough situations - situations of intense pressure and intense heat - often break us. But if we want to come out of these situations, shining and with added value, we need to cultivate the practise of totally reflecting within! It is only then that we will be able to sparkle brilliantly. It is only then do we hear the voice of our Lord.

Bhagawan Baba says, “It is only in the depths of silence that the voice of God is heard.” And this is not mere physical silence. It is the silencing of the mind. And Swami so simply put it as, “I give you diamond to inspire you to become die-mind!”

Ah! My beautiful Lord! Only you can put it so succinctly yet so profoundly! I have heard of Kimberly diamonds and DeBeers diamonds. I want to be a Sai diamond.

Aim to become HIS diamonds
Aim to become HIS diamonds

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© 2011 Aravind Balasubramanya


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    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 3 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @Au Fait - So many interesting thoughts there... As you rightly pointed out, I used the title as a way to raise interest in the article.... That's about it...

      I am from India where divorce was something totally unknown till the last decade... The 'western' influence as it is called here has now resulted in divorces here too...

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Actually, your title is primarily a sales slogan here in the states. When 2 people are in love they want to believe it will last forever and the diamond has become (many decades ago now) a symbol of that everlasting love here in the states. A man therefore gives one to his bride to be as a symbol of his love and intent to marry, and she accepts it in the same sentiment. Maybe our horrific divorce rate helps that slogan to give engaged couples hope that their marriage will weather the storms.

      Zirconia is less expensive and sparkles more. Zirconia makes beautiful diamonds, even better diamonds than diamonds make! And other gems also.

      As you say, diamonds are nothing more than carbon, and in truth they have no mysterious magical powers. Most of the wives who divorce here received one as a token of their betrothed's love, yet off to the pawn shop it goes when the marriage disintegrates.

      Interesting explanation of the physics involved. Voting this up and interesting/awesome.

    • profile image

      Geetha Srinivasan 5 years ago

      Excellent! I have received a message from Bhagwan Sairam thro you Arvind! Thanx a million!

    • profile image

      Mark Aspa 5 years ago

      a nice lesson here - thanks!

      Total Inner Reflection...everything is Resound Reaction Reflection...all are One be alike to everyone

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Nice blog Mr. Arvind. I like the shinning-within part. Regarding diamonds ... they have too much blood "on their hands". When I read the word DeBeers, my blood started raising instantly.

      I am not fond of shiny material things. I do think we evolved from monkeys for a reason. Yet, we haven't changed much.

      Good blog. Thank you.

    • profile image

      ranjani 6 years ago

      Superb and inspiring thought. sairam arvind. "Total internal reflection"... nice term to contemplate on. culminate this with CIA (constant integrated awareness).. digging and understanding deeper within ourselves... Thus can merge in His effulgence... and So we Sparkle as Sai diamonds.

      It is bliss thinking about it.. :) THanks for this article. Sairam.


    • profile image

      Sai Jahnavi 6 years ago

      Sai Ram Aravind, Thanks for this thought provoking write up. Yes, every word Swami utters can have a world full of depth in it. I hope and pray that we all can become Sai Diamonds.

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @Pri R - Am overwhelmed! What Is TIC by the way?

      @ Anjali Sai - Thank you. It was sheerly HIS inspiration

      @ Aarthi - Absolutely! Cannot agree with you more……….

      @ Fawwad - As I saw the term "Total Internal Reflection" I was so amazed when its significance hit me!

      For those who missed out, maybe you'll enjoy this too

    • profile image

      Aarthi 6 years ago

      Truly inspiring! When the going gets tough, the tough get going!! Let's pray to Swami to give us the inner strength to withstand all the high-pressure situations and come out with flying colors, to make Him proud of us! Let us strive to become His diamonds!

    • profile image

      Anjali Sai 6 years ago

      ?@SAI DIAMOND~~~ thnks for explaing d simple statemnt of SWAMI ----“I give you diamond to inspire you to become die-mind!” such a scientific way.....class of science cum spirituality was interstng....

    • profile image

      Pri R 6 years ago

      OMG! I LOVE this!!!!!!!!! Brilliant!!! Just what I needed ....and that little physics bit made me fee llike I was back in high school too! :) We are all Sai diamonds in the making...all we need to add to the equation is a whole lotta TIC! ?

    • profile image

      Balasubramanya Subbarao 6 years ago

      Surely we will become daimonds

    • profile image

      Hema Balasubramanya  6 years ago

      Whatever we hear in the spiritual field, it comes to our help in troubled times.Swamy's sayings are so profound and though it takes time to register and understand, it comes to our aid at the perfect moment!

    • fawwad hussaini profile image

      fawwad hussaini 6 years ago from pakistan

      i like your part for internal reflection explanation for Diamond shining...