Uparasa, aka: Upa-rasa; 5 Definition(s)


Uparasa 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.

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

1) Mahārasa and Uparasa, (translated as ‘mercuries’) are two groups of alchemical mineral agents, according to the Rasaśāstroddhṛti (Sanskrit alchemical work). These two groups of minerals (or rocks that contain minerals) are involved in ‘purifying’ and ‘killing’ metals, as well as eliminating the poisonous components of mercury. Therefore, they are also called the ‘devourer elements’.

According to the Rasasiddhiśāstra, the seven uparasa are:

  1. kashika (kāśīsa) or ‘iron-sulphate’,
  2. yellow and white orpiment,
  3. realgar,
  4. sulphur,
  5. ‘acid rock’ (skyur po’i rdo),
  6. ‘petals’ (’dab ma),
  7. and ‘hematite’ (sbal rgyab rdo).

2) Uparasa (महारस):—The name of a group of eight minerals, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara: a 13th century Sanskrit book on Indian alchemy, or, Rasaśāstra. They are considered inferior in relation to their superior counterparts of the Mahārasa group, also consisting of eight minerals.

These are the names of the eight minerals (Sanskrit name first, english name in brackets):

  1. Tālaka/Haritāla (‘orpiment’),
  2. Saurāṣṭrī/Tubarī/Sphaṭikā/Kāṅkṣī (‘alum’),
  3. Gandhaka (‘sulphur’),
  4. Kaṅkuṣṭha (‘rhubarb extract’),
  5. Kunaṭi/Manaḥśilā (‘realger’),
  6. Añjana/Sauvīra/Nīlāñjana (‘lead sulphide’),
  7. Gairika (‘hematite’/‘red ochre’)
  8. and Khecara/Kāsīsa (‘green vitriol’/‘ferrous sulphate’).
Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

As per Rasaprakāśa Sudhākara following eight drugs are included in this (uparasa) group, viz-

  1. Tālaka/haritāla (orpiment),
  2. tubari/sphaṭikā (alum),
  3. gandhaka (sulphur),
  4. kaṅkuṣṭha (rhubarb extract),
  5. kunaṭi/manaḥśilā (realger),
  6. sauvīra/nīlȧn‚
  7. jana (lead sulphide),
  8. gairika (hematite-red) ochre
  9. and khecara/kāsīsa (green vitriol/ ferrous sulphate)
Source: Indian Journal of History of Science: Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara, chapter 6
Rasashastra book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of uparasa in the context of Rasashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Uparasa (उपरस).—The first kind of rasābhāsa, occurring when one tastes one kind of mellow and something extra is imposed.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Uparasa (उपरस).—

1) A secondary mineral, (red chalk, bitumen, mākṣika, śilājita &c).

2) A secondary passion or feeling.

3) A subordinate flavour.

Derivable forms: uparasaḥ (उपरसः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Uparasa (उपरस).—m.

(-saḥ) 1. A secondary mineral, as red chalk, bitumen, &c. 2. A secondary passion. 3. A subordinate flavour. E. upa minor, rasa flavour, &c.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

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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