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...
(a) Urdhvapatana or upward sublimation.
Three parts of mercury and one part of copper are to be rubbed with lime juice till the whole thing turns into a lump. This lump is to be kept inside an earthen vessel on which is to be placed another earthen vessel containing water, forming what is called a Vidyadhara Yantra, by means of which the mercury is to be sublimated (patana).
Mercury is to be rubbed with copper, made into a lump, and then subjected to a process of upward sublimation for three times, and to a process of downward sublimation for seven times. Mercury, thus purified, becomes fit for use,
Mercury is to be rubbed with the following, made into a lump, and then subjected to a process of sublimation, both upward and downward:—
Sanidhava and nakuli, etc.
Branaghni and jakshalochana.
Mercury, thus sublimated upward and downward, becomes fit for medicine, when combined with other things.
(b) Downward sublimation.
Mercury is to be rubbed with triphala, sigru, chitraka, saindhava, and rajika, and made into a lump which will have to be attached to the internal surface of the upper vessel of a Bhudhara Yantra, placed upside down upon another vessel containing water, a glowing fire made of dried cow-dung balls being placed upon the external surface of the upper vessel. The downward sublimation of mercury will have to be effected in this way.
Nabanita (sulphur or butter) and mercury are to be taken in equal quantities and rubbed together for one day with lime juice, banari, sigru, chitraka, saindhava, and rajika, and made into a lump, with which is to be painted the inner part of an earthen vessel. This vessel is to be put upside down on another vessel containing water, the joint being tightly closed with mud etc. The apparatus is to be put inside a hole cut in the ground, fire being placed upon the surface of the upper vessel. Mercury falls into the water. This is what is called the Adhahpatana or downward sublimation of mercury.
A reverse process of sublimation.
First, downward sublimation.
Two parts of mercury and one part of powdered copper (purified) are to be rubbed with a sour vegetable juice mixed with powdered bisha (aconite purified), and made into a lump, which is to be washed very carefully. The inner part of a new earthen pan or bowl is to be painted with the mercury. This pan or bowl is to be put upside down upon a vessel containing water, the joint being cemented with mud and rag. A fire made of dried cowdung balls is to be placed upon the pan or bowl. Mercury will fall into the water, leaving copper attached to the pan or bowl.
Then, upward, sublimation.
Now, mercury and copper are to be carefully separated from each other, and again rubbed together, with lime juice and made into a lump which will be subjected to a. process of upward sublimation by means of a Damaru Yantra.
(c) Inclined sublimation.
Mica, purified and finely powdered, is to be rubbed with mercuy and kanji in a motar, and made into a lump which is to be placed in a Tirjak Patana Yantra. Heat is to be increased gradually till the whole of the mercury is sublimated (patana) through the inclined passage.
Footnotes and references:
For details see chapter on apparata.
Vidyadhara Yantra is more convenient.
This concludes ‘Mercurial operations (5): Sublimation of Mercury (patana)’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee 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.