Rasashastra, Rasa-shastra, Rasaśāstra: 10 definitions


Rasashastra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Rasaśāstra can be transliterated into English as Rasasastra or Rasashastra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

[«previous next»] — Rasashastra in Rasashastra glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र):—Sanskrit technical term corresponding to “applied alchemy”. Used in Āyurveda and such works.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Critical Review of Rasaratna Samuccaya

Rasaśāstra consists of the study of Mercury along with number of metals, minerals, gems and many plants and animals products. Primarily, dehavāda (living long and healthy life through use of formulations prepared from mercury and other metals and minerals) is the foremost aim behind evolution of Rasaśāstra. During the later period this science was also utilized for lohavāda (conversion of lower metals into precious metals like gold and silver). From the history, it is clear that Rasaśāstra was at its greatest glory during 8th Century C.E. because of the contribution of Nagārjuna.

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Rasashastra in Shaivism glossary
Source: academia.edu: Chapter Nineteen of the Kakṣapuṭatantra

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र).—The Kakṣapuṭatantra has an affinity with rasaśāstras. Among the works cited by the Kakṣapuṭatantra, we find the Rasārṇava, one of the principal rasaśāstras. The Kakṣapuṭatantra, in turn, is broadly cited in Nityanāthaʼs Rasaratnākara. The rasa and rasāyana, which the rasaśāstra topicalizes, have developed by making use of medical and chemical knowledge. Siddhas developed these arts based on the objective principles similar to that of modern medicine and chemistry because these arts must guarantee effectiveness.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Rasashastra in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Ancient Science of Life: Yogaśataka of Pandita Vararuci

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र) refers to “organo-metallic preparations” and is dealt with in the 10th century Yogaśataka written by Pandita Vararuci.—There is almost nil use of Rasaśāstra yogas i.e., organo-metallic preparations seen in this book. Only Śilājatu, Manaḥśilā (Arsenic sulphide) and Iron has been recommended internally. Śilājatu is prescribed for Aśmari, Manaḥśilā in vomiting and Iron in Pāṇḍu. Rasasindhūra (Mercury Sulphide) is recommended only as external application.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Rasashastra in Hinduism glossary
Source: Indian National Science Academy: Hinduism

The term ‘Rasaśāstra’ is composed of two words i.e. Rasa and Śāstra. In general the word ‘Rasa’ represents for may things, however in this context it might have been used for two meanings i.e. according to first meaning ‘Rasa’ is an absorable form of drugs’ and as per the second meaning ‘Rasa’ means ‘Mercury’ which is also in liquid form at room temperature and which possessesthe capacity to make other metals to be soluble or dessolvable in it and to make these similar to it (mercury) i.e. in liquid (rasa) form. The second word ‘Śāstra’ means the Science or the Knowledge thus thetechnical term ‘Rasaśāstra’ means the science or the knowledge which teaches us to convert the drugs, irrespective of their nature (i.e. Herbal, Mineral or Animal) into Rasa like form means in an absorbable form and according to thismeaning ‘Rasaśāstra’ is a Pharmaceutical science or it is an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics

Further as per the second meaning the term ‘Rasaśāstra’ is to denote ascience or the knowledge related to mercurial processings, operations or the preparations and their therapeutic uses.

Rasaśāstra is not merely meant for Dhātuvāda (Alchemy or Gold/Silver making purposes) with a view to remove poverty from the world but it is essentially meant for Dehavedha or Rasāyanavāda purposes by making the body very strong, free from diseases and stable for longer duration with the use of mercury and sulphur compounds. It proves highly helpful to achieve ‘Mukti’ (emancipation or final liberation) from the worldly affairs through continuous Sādhanā.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Rasashastra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र).—the science of alchemy.

Derivable forms: rasaśāstram (रसशास्त्रम्).

Rasaśāstra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms rasa and śāstra (शास्त्र).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र):—[=rasa-śāstra] [from rasa > ras] n. ‘science of Rasas’, alchemy, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]

[Sanskrit to German]

Rasashastra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Rasashastra in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Rasaśāstra (ರಸಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ):—

1) [noun] = ರಸವಾದ [rasavada].

2) [noun] the science that deals with the composition and properties of substances and various elementary forms of matter; chemistry.

3) [noun] that part of the study of rhetorics which deals with the aesthetic beauty, appropriateness of sentiments, etc.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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