Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 1: Initiation, Mercury and Laboratory

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 67,774 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This first volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi includes preliminary information on Alchemy including initiation of a discpiple, laboratory setup, mercurial operations and commonly used technical terms. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical medicine) is a compendium of Sanskrit verses dealing with ancient Indian alchemy and chem...

Part 1 - Synonyms and Characteristics of Parada (mercury)

The following are the synonyms of Parada (mercury): Rasaraja, Rasendra, Maharasa, Jiba, Sivabirja, Rasa, Suta, and all the names applicable to Siva (God) himself.

Parada has six different kinds of taste, (vis., sweet, sour, saline, pungent, bitter and astringent). It has a soothing effect upon the human system, and is the destroyer of the three different kinds of doshas (faults).[1] It is efficacious in preventing disease and arrival of premature old age, and serves to heighten the medicinal properties of anything with which it is compounded. It nourishes all the vital parts of the body and always increases the strength of the eyes. It cures all sorts of diseases and especially leprosy[2].

Parada when itself killed (i.e., reduced to bhasma or ash), becomes a killer of diseases and death; it kills diseases, when itself in a state of swoon (i.e., transformed by combination with purified sulphur etc.) It gives a human being the power of flying in the space (like a bird,) if itself tied down (i.e., solidified by conjunction with some special substances). Who else is so kind as mercury? Is there any one who does not serve that mecury which, when entangled or solidified, causes wonder in others; which resuscitates the dead, when dead itself, and which causes the dawn of consciousness in others, when itself in a state of swoon or unconsciousness? By the worship of mercury are to be obtained longevity, riches, health, power of digestion, power of retention, great strength, beauty, youth, and graceful appearance. Mercury is to be killed (reduced to ash), after being exhausted, to be brought to a state of unconsciousness by being mixed with sulphur, and is to be tied down or solidified by being heated and combined with the essences of particular metals—these are the three different courses of mercury.

Mercury is compared to Brahma, when it is in a state of purification; to Visnu, when it is in a state of swoon; to Rudra, when it is dead; and to Mahesvara, when it is in a state of solidification[3] Mercury gives vast wealth, firm physique pleasing to one’s own people, and stable mind—things which are generally given in this world by one’s mother. No one else is a better destroyer of diseases which affect our bodies. It is therefore necessary, first of all, to strengthen our bodies in right earnest with mercury every day.

Eating, touching, giving, meditating upon, and adoring of mercury are the five different ways of worshipping it—all of which tend to destroy great vices. The man who succeeds in subsuming in mercury even the minutest particle of mica, acquires the merits arising from performing one hundred sacrifices. This is what Siva himself said. The man who vilifies mercury, which is the strength of Siva himself, and is the greatest of all great things, rests in hell eternally. The man who gives to patients mercury, duly purified and duly prepared over the fire, attains for ever the merits derived from the performance of Tuladana (a ceremony in which the performer gives away to the poor his own weight in gold) and Asvamedha (a ceremony in which a horse is worshipped and sacrificed). The man who dies with mercury still in his stomach is freed from great sins, and attains emancipation.

There is nothing greater in this world than -emancipation of the soul, which is obtainable by means of wisdom. The great Siva said that there are two ways of attaining wisdom, viz., stopping of respiration (as practised by the Yogis), and extinction of the passions. Neither of these can be attained without a strong and healthy physique. Now, mercury and air are the two things which can sustain the body. Mercury, in a state of swoon removes diseases, and, when dead, sustains the body in a healthy condition. Both air and. mercury, if bound and rendered incapable of movement, render the body light enough to move in the atmosphere[4]. It cannot be otherwise. Enjoyment in this world of wealth and physical comforts is to be considered transient; emancipation of soul is therefore always to be aimed at. But emancipation depends upon knowledge which is the result of concentration of mind, this last depending upon a firm physique. Firmness of the body cannot be properly attained by any elixir made of vegetables and metals (except mercury). Being itself of an unstable nature, combustible, and liable to decomposition and shrinkage, a vegetable drug is subsumed in lead; Lead is similarly subsumed in tin, and so also tin in copper copper in silver, silver in gold, and gold in mercury. As the souls of, Yogis are translated into the being of Siva and thereby attain immortality, so are the metals subsumed in the mercury which has already swallowed some mica. As the extinction of every being always takes place in the universal Soul, so the extinction of every material substance takes place in mercury. Mercury alone is therefore competent to free the body from infirmity and disease.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Diseases are due to an abnormal excess of one or more of the three doshas, viz., vāyuḥ, (vayu or air), pittam (pittam, i.e., the internal heat of the body), and kaphaḥ (kapha or phlegm.)

[2]:

All these refer to the properties of mercury, as purified according to the processes given here-in-after.

[3]:

Mahesvara (or Shiva) the universal Being, manifests Himself in three different aspects personified, viz., Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Rudra (the destroyer of the universe).

[4]:

The ability of expert Yogis to walk upon the surface of water and to ascend the atmosphere is traditional in this country. Such miracles are reported to have been worked even in our own time.

Conclusion:

Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Synonyms and Characteristics of Parada (mercury)’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 1: Initiation, Mercury and Laboratory. The text includes treatments, recipes and remedies and is categorised as Rasa Shastra: an important branch of Ayurveda that specialises in medicinal/ herbal chemistry, alchemy and mineralogy, for the purpose of prolonging and preserving life.

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