Shilajatu, aka: Śilājatu, Shila-jatu; 4 Definition(s)
Shilajatu 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 Śilājatu can be transliterated into English as Silajatu or Shilajatu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)
Śilājatu (Mineral pitch/asphalt/bituman):—According to other texts the Śilājatu is mainly of two types such as:—
- and Karpūra-gandhi.
The first variety is again subdivided in two varieties such as Sasatva and Satvahīna; of the two the first one is better in properties and is capable of destroying all the doṣas.
Origin: In summer season due to intense heat a few rocks of Himalaya mountain containing either gold, silver or copper may start oozing an exudates from some rocks. That is known as Śilājatu and claimed to contain respective metals in it. (It has the following sub-varieties:)
- Hema-garbha-śilājatu:—The Śilājatu produced from the gold containing rocks is similar to bandhūkapuṣpa in colour i.e. (yellowish). It is heavy, oily or greesy and very cool in nature, acts as best Rasāyana, contains tikta and madhura-rasas, may pacifyall the doṣas.
- Raupya-garbha-śilājatu:—The Śilājatu produced from the silver containing rocks in pāṇḍura (whitish) in colour, madhura in rasa and cool in properties, may pacify pittaja-pāṇḍu and destroys kṣaya-rogas.
- Śulva-garbha-śilājatu:—The Śilājatu produced from the copper containing rocks is black in colour, almost solid and heavy in form and weight. It may pacify kapha and vāta-doṣas and can conquer all diseases.
- Loha-garbha-śilājatu:—(no separate description in this text).
If it is put on fire, it takes the shape of liṅga (penis); It burns without producing smoke; It should dissolve in water. Only such Śilājatu is considered as real or pure Śilājatu.
The man who always uses purified Śilājatu lives for hundred years ingood health and never suffers with any disease and these persons are never get affected with mūtrakṛccha and aśmarī etc. urinary disorders. Whatever properties have been found by the wise persons in Mahārasas, Uparasas, Dhātus, Ratnas and in Pārada or its compounds all those propertiesare claimed to be present in Śilājatu (Śilādhatu) also.Source: Indian Journal of History of Science: Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara, chapter 4-5
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.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Śilājatu is a thick, sticky tar like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown (later is more common). Śilājatu is blackish-brown exudation of variable consistency, obtained from steep rocks of different formations found in the Himalayas. The word ‘Śilājatu’ comprises of two terms, one ‘śilā’ and other ‘jatu’. The word Śilā denotes rock, which is considered as one of the most important source. Term Jatu denotes a blackish brown substance, which is similar to ‘lākṣā’. Thus ‘Śilājatu’ is the exudates of rocks having blackish brown colour and oozes out from steep rocks of mountain during summers because of intense sun heat.
On the basis of colour and smell Śilājatu is of two types:
Gomūtra Gandhi- it is blackish brown and the odour similar to cow’s urine. This variety is again divided in to two types:
- Sasatva- that contains metal (better varieties).
- Niḥsatva- that does not contain metal. On the basis of metallic contents Caraka and Suśruta have different views.
- Karpūra Gandhi- it is white and possess odour similar to camphor.
Caraka-saṃhitā describes four types viz. 1) Hema (gold), 2) Rajata (silver), 3) Tāmra (copper), 4) Kriṣnāyasa (iron).
Suśruta-saṃhitā along with Vāgbhaṭa, describes six types of Śilājatu viz. 1) Suvarna, 2) Rajata, 3) Tāmra, 4) Lauha, 5) Trapu/Vanga (Tin) and 6) Sīsaka/Nāga (Lead).
These varieties may be due to the presence of different metals in particular mountain from where Śilājatu is obtained. Of all the Śilājatu, one having the smell of cow’s urine is considered best for the therapeutic purposes. Lauha Śilājatu is considered best for Rasāyana therapy.
Origin: Mythologically, according to Cakradutta, Bṛhat-rasarājsundara and Rasendra-purāṇa, Śilājatu is supposed to have originated from the Mandrācala Parvata as Sveda while churning of the ocean. Further it is said that Śilājatu is distributed in the hilly areas and comes out of rocks on being exposed by intense sun heat. According to Caraka-saṃhitā, Suśruta-saṃhitā, Rasa-ratna-samuccaya and other important texts, during summer due to intense heat, Śilājatu exudates from the lower part of the Himalayan mountains.Source: WJPPS: Śilājatu (asphaltum): Traditional medicine
Languages of India and abroad
1) bitumen; निदाघे धर्मसंतप्ता धातुसारंधरा धराः । निर्यासवत् प्रमुञ्चन्ति तच्छिलाजतु कीर्तितम् (nidāghe dharmasaṃtaptā dhātusāraṃdharā dharāḥ | niryāsavat pramuñcanti tacchilājatu kīrtitam) || Bhāva P.
2) red chalk.
Śilājatu is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms śilā and jatu (जतु).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
(-tuḥ) 1. Bitumen. 2. Red chalk. E. śilā a stone, and jatu lac; it is supposed to ooze from the stones of mountains in the hot weather.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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Search found 9 books and stories containing Shilajatu, Śilājatu or Shila-jatu. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 2: Minerals (uparasa) (by Bhudeb Mookerjee)
Part 1 - Characteristics of Shilajatu or Shilajit (bitumen) < [Chapter IV - Uparasa (4): Shilajatu or Shilajit (bitumen)]
Part 2 - Purification of shilajatu < [Chapter IV - Uparasa (4): Shilajatu or Shilajit (bitumen)]
Part 3 - Incineration of shilajatu < [Chapter IV - Uparasa (4): Shilajatu or Shilajit (bitumen)]
Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 3: Metals, Gems and other substances (by Bhudeb Mookerjee)
Part 4 - Vanga-kalpa < [Chapter VI - Metals (6): Vanga (tin)]
Part 13 - Anupanas (accompaniments of iron) < [Chapter IV - Metals (4): Lauha (iron)]
Part 2 - Alkaline substance (2): Usara or Sora (salt-petre) < [Chapter XXVIII - Kshara (akalis)]
Sushruta Samhita, Volume 6: Uttara-tantra (by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna)
Chapter XLVI - Symptoms and Treatment of Fainting fits (Murccha) < [Canto III - Kaya-chikitsa-tantra (internal medicine)]
Chapter XII - Treatment of Raktaja Ophthalmia < [Canto I - Shalakya-tantra (ears, eyes, nose, mouth and throat)]
Chapter XLI - Symptoms and Treatment of Phthisis (Shosha) < [Canto III - Kaya-chikitsa-tantra (internal medicine)]
Sushruta Samhita, volume 4: Cikitsasthana (by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna)
Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Treatment of various afflictions (by Bhudeb Mookerjee)
Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 4: Iatrochemistry (by Bhudeb Mookerjee)
Part 20 - Treatment for enlargement of spleen and liver (19): Jakrit-plihari Lauha < [Chapter VII - Enlargement of spleen (plihodara) and liver (yakridudara)]
Part 27 - Treatment for enlargement of spleen and liver (26): Bari-shosana rasa < [Chapter VII - Enlargement of spleen (plihodara) and liver (yakridudara)]