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...
The potency of pure mercury increases hundred times, if it is made to consume an equal quantity of pure sulphur. Mercury can cure all sorts of leprosy, if it is made to consume double its quantity of sulphur; it cures all sorts of inertness, if it is blade to consume three times its weight of sulphur; it cures premature falling of teeth and greyness of hair, if it consumes four times its weight of sulphur; it cures consumption, if it consumes five times its weight of sulphur; and it cures all sorts of diseases, if it is made to consume six times its weight of sulphur.
All this was said by Mahadeva himself to Indra, (the king of Svarga). If sulphur is to be consumed by mercury, it is first of all to be brought in contact with mercury. The potency of mercury increases according to the number and quantity of metals and semi-metals it consumes.
Mercury increases in potency by hundred times, if it consumes an equal quantity of mica (purified and reduced to ashes); it becomes more efficacious if it is made to consume the essences of makshika (pyrites), kharpara, and haritala; it acquires a thousand attributes if it is made to. consume gold, and Siva alone knows the qualities of mercury which has consumed diamond and other similar gems (such as Vaidurya etc.)
(a) The first process of swallowing of metals, etc., by mercury.
A hole, eight angulis in length, is to be cut in the strong and thorny branch of a bajra tree into which will be put mercury, well covered with mud, and heated for three days by means of fire made of dried cowdung. This mercury becomes capable of swallowing sulphur, gold, essence of diamond, etc., in a very short time.
(b) Second process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Three parts of mercury, and one part each of gold, mica, and silver (all of these properly purified and reduced to ashes), with sulphur six times in weight of mercury, are to be rubbed together with the juice of kanya and made into a cake. The mercury which is obtained from the cake, and which has consumed six times its weight of sulphur, becomes capable of swallowing diamond, gold, and other metals.
(c) Third process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury and sulphur are to be subjected to bhavana with kanji which has been for 3 days in a copper pot with tuttha, tangana, and svarji-kshara. Mercury may also be immersed with bida in kanji. Mercury thus qualified, is capable of swallowing diamond, mica, and other metals.
(d) Fourth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
(1) Powdered conch shell, (2) soot, (3) subarchala salt, (4) kantakari, (5) sarji-kshara, (6) tintidi bark, (7) kasisa, (8) silajatu, (9) jayapala seeds (stript of husks), (10) saindhaya salt, (11) tangana, and (12) gunja seeds are to be subjected to bhavana for one day with (1) milk of arka plant, (2) lime juice, (3) goat’s urine, (4) man’s urine, (5) lime juice, (6) ditto, (7) ditto, (8) ditto, (9) juice of mulaka, (10) juice of sigru roots, (11) ditto, and (12) ditto, respectively.
All of them are then to be put together and rubbed for one day with lime juice and made into a lump. Mercury, rubbed with this mixed substance in a hot mortar, swallows a sufficient quantity of gold, mica, and other metals.
Another kind of bida.
Gandhaka (sulphur) is to be saturated for a hundred times with a solution made of mulaka, ardraka, and chitraka—all burnt into ashes, then, dissolved in cow's urine, and dried each time by being exposed to the intense heat of the sun. Mercury, rubbed with this gandhaka, is competent to swallow gold, etc. The gandhaka, thus prepared, is called a bida.
Another kind of bida.
(1) Powdered gunja seeds and saindhava salt, (2) tankana, (3) Chulika salt. (4) gandhaka, (5) svarji, (6) earthworm and (7) the trikatu are to be subjected to bhavana for a hundred times with (1) the juice of deodali leaves, (2) juice of kinsuka leaves, (3) lemon juice, (4) mulaka burnt into ashes and dissolved in cow’s urine, (5) juice of the root of shigru, (6) ditto, and (7) ditto, respectively.
Another kind of bida.
Gandhaka is to be subjected to bhavana in hot sun with cow's urine for seven times; burnt conch shell is similarly to be subjected to bhavana for a hundred times with the juice of shigru roots—it being well-dried every time in hot sun. These two things combined with bisha (aconite) purified, and saindhava, each equal in quantity, form what is called a bida. Mercury, rubbed with these things combined, swallows every metal.
Another kind of bida.
Tankana is to be subjected to bhavana for a hundred times with the juice or decoction of kinsuka and well-dried every time in hot sun. This is what is called “fire-mouthed” bida, and is fit for swallowing every thing.
Another kind of bida.
Bastuka, eranda, kadali, devadali, punarnava, basaka, palasa, nichula (jalabetasa), tila, kanchana, and mokshaka—these are to be cut into pieces and kept upon a stone pot. With these will have to be mixed the burnt tila plant combined with five different factors of a mulaka plant, (vis., its root, stem, flower, seeds, and leaves). All of these drugs will have to be saturated with all the urines (i.e. urines of elephant, camel, ass, horse, and man—all of these male, and those of goat, ram, cow, buffallow—all of these female), and distilled. This distilled water will have to be kept in an iron pot, placed upon an earthen vessel filled with sand, mild fire being applied below the earthen vessel.
Kashisa, saurastri, jabakshara, svarji-kshara, tankana, trikatu, white gandhaka, hingula, and six salts,—all of these are to be powdered and mixed with the heated water, at a time when a sufficient quantity of vapour and froths will arise. The mixture is then to be covered well by means of two iron pots, the joint being tightly closed. This is then to be kept for seven days, inside the earth, well covered with mud. The liquid, thus prepared, is an excellent bida. (The quantity of the three ksharas should be equal to the burnt tila plant).
Another kind of bida.
Kasisa, saindhava, makshika, saubira, the trikatu, gandhaka, sauvarchala, sarjika, and juice of malati flowers,—all of these are to be saturated with the juice of the root of sigru and dried, The bida, thus produced, is used in the exhaustion of every metal.
Another kind of bida.
Sulphur, haritala, saindhava, chulika, and tankana are to be boiled with ksharas and urines. The product is called a Jvalamukha (meaning, fire-mouthed) bida.
Equal quantities of makshika, chumbaka, and gandhaka, are to be rubbed together for three hours with earthworm and made into pills, six ratis in weight. These pills, called bidabatis, are used in the exhaustion of all sorts of metals. The quantity of the gold meant to be swallowed by mercury should be equal to the bidabati, which is to be rubbed well with the mercury and the gold.
(e) Fifth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury is to be rubbed, for one day, in a hot mortar, with one sixty-fourth part of its weight of gold leaves besmeared with the bile of peacock, all these substances being immersed in lemon mice. The same procedure is to be repeated, if it is intended that the mercury would be required to swallow another morsel of gold (i.e. gold weighing another one sixty fourth part of the mercury). After the rubbing is over, the mercury is to be covered with bhurja leaves, kept inside a vessel containing kanji, mixed with salt, boiled for three days. It will then be found that mercury has swallowed the gold with which it was rubbed. If the weight of the mercury is greater, than what it was originally, it is again to be boiled until it reverts to its original weight. The quantity of gold to be swallowed by mercury may be increased to one thirty-second part, one sixteenth part, one eighth part, etc. Essences of silver and other metals may also, similarly be swallowed by mercury. Chulika salt and gandhaka are to be used only in the absence of peacock’s bile.
(f) The sixth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury, with one eighth its weight of bida, is to be put into a crucible, strong and well burnt, and is to be closely covered with some metal leaf. The crucible is then to be placed upon a hole at the bottom of an earthen vessel, which contains water, and is to be heated, placed on fire. The mercury, thus heated, is competent to swallow gold.
(g) The seventh process of swallowing metals, etc., by mercury.
Mercury with bida and the metal, etc., meant to be swallowed by the mercury, are to be kept in a metallic bowl containing water. This bowl is to be closely covered with a very broad iron leaf, the joint being carefully plastered and put inside a metallic vessel which is to be heated. Thus heated, the mercury swallows the metal, etc., mixed with it. The apparatus is called a Kachhapa-yantra. (See the chapter on Yantra).
(h) The eighth process of swallowing of metals, etc., by mercury.
A part of the skin of a bijapura fruit is to be removed and a hole made into it. Put mercury with navasara into this hole (which is to be closed with that part of the kernel and of the skin which were removed in making the hole, a piece of cloth being also used to cover the whole fruit, if necessary). The fruit is then to be boiled for three days in all sorts of sour vegetable juice. The mercury is then to be subjected to bhavana for one day each with earth worm, tuvari, lodhra, juice of basaka, lemon juice, menstrual discharge, and semen, respectively. If properly applied, this mercury devours all sorts of metals. Each of the bhavana may be performed for three days, seven days, fourteen days, or twenty one days continuously. The more mercury is subjected to such operations the more does it wax in potency.
(j) The ninth process of the swallowing of metals etc. by mercury.
A small worm, named tilini (Bengali, telenga), navasara, and mercury are to be rubbed very well for eight days, causing hunger in mercury. Thus rubbed, the mercury becomes pure, faultless and giver of all wished for objects. This is then to be used for the purpose of swallowing (grasana) of sulphur etc. This mercury, which is capable of being coloured, is very powerful, and can swallow every thing like a monster.
(k) The tenth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury, rubbed with pure sulphur etc., and then kept in a cavity made in a piece of saindhava, and heated by a very mild heat by means of a Baluka-yantra, is enabled to eat everything fit for being swallowed.
(l) The eleventh process of swallowing of metals etc. by mercury.
There are seven different kinds of semi-poison, viz, arka, sehunda, dhustura, langali, karabira, gunja, and ahiphena.
Mercury rubbed with these poisons and semipoisons, becomes deprived of its wings (i.e. unable to sublimate), and is provided with a mouth. It can their swallow metals.
(m) The twelfth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury is enabled to swallow metals, if rubbed in a hot mortar for seventy two hours, with lime juice, lemon juice, or kanji, and an equal quantity of the following (powdered and combined):—trikatu, two ksharas, rye, five salts, rasona, narasara, and shigru.
(n) The thirteenth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury Is provided with a mouth swallowing all sorts of metals, if rubbed for three days with binduli insect, salt, and sour vegetable juice.
(o) The fourteenth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury rubbed with the juice of a thousand lemon fruits becomes as hungry as fire.
(p) The fifteenth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Since ksharas create hunger and amlas (sour vegetable juices) create consciousness (removal of swoon) in mercury, it is to be rubbed with all the ksharas, if it is intended to create hunger in mercury.
(q) The sixteenth process of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Mercury gets hungry, if it is rubbed for three days, with ksharas, amlas (sour juices), salts, urines, poisons, semi-poisons, and divine herbs (sixty four in number). Each of these things should be one sixteenth in weight of mercury.
Order of swallowing of metals by mercury.
Gandhaka is first of all to be swallowed by mercury by means of the Kachchapa-yantra. Then are to be swallowed mica, gold etc. Last of all lead and other metals, etc. are to be similarly swallowed. The following metals, reduced to ashes and each equal in quantity to mercury, may be swallowed by mercury in the order of their occurrence:—lead, brass, iron, copper, and zinc. This is the order in which metals, etc. are to be swallowed by mercury. Metals are not to be swallowed by mercury, unless, sulphur is first of all made to be swallowed; otherwise, no appetite is roused in mercury. Sulphur is therefore to be swallowed, first of all, for the purpose of increasing the appetite of mercury.
Swallowing of sulphur.
Mercury, with eighteenth part its weight of sulphur, finely powdered and properly purified with ghee (clarified butter), is to be contained in a piece of cloth, securely tied. This bundle is to be placed upon a new earthen basin having a hole at the centre, the latter being placed upon an earthen vessel containing powdered subarchika mixed with kanji. The vessel is to be subjected to a mild heat for three days, after which the sulphur will be found to have been swallowed.
Thus is to be swallowed gradually sulphur to the extent of six times in weight of the mercnry.
First process, Mercury, the king of monsters.
First of all, mercury is to be made to swallow sulpher in the way just described. Then it is to be rubbed steadily with human milk, kanji, and saindhava salt, mixed with lemon juice. Thus rubbed, mercury becomes hungry like the king of monsters.
Two pieces of sea salt are to be hollowed into two pots, each plastered, first of all, with pasted tila (sesamum) and dried, and then with mud on the outside. Purified and powdered sulphur is to be scattered here and there over the inner surface of one of the salt pots, into which is to be kept mercury, the other pot being placed over the first, and the joint closed tightly with cowdung, mud etc. The whole thing is then to be plastered all over with the mixed substance out of which glass is prepared. It is then to be placed in such a mild fire as to let the glass substance turn into glass. Fire is then to be placed all over the spheroid. Thus heated, the mercury is enabled. to swallow the sulphur in a short time. A fresh quantity of sulphur may similarly be swallowed by the very same mercury.
Sulphur and metals are to be caused to be swallowed by mercury by means of the Jarana-yantra or Kachchapa-yantra.
In a vessel containing water an earthen basin is to be placed upon a stand, Mercury is to be kept in this basin, powdered sulphur, equal in quantity to the mercury, being placed upon the mercury. The basin is then to be covered with another earthen basin. The vessel is then to be closed by means of a plaster of ash. It is then to be subjected to puta for four times by means of cowdung cakes found dried in the pasturage. Mercury is thus gradually to swallow sulphur to the extent of six times -its weight.
Swallowing of the essence of mica by mercury.
Those chemists who score partial success in mercurial operations, by making mercury swallow gold and other metals minus mica are as frugal as those divers who, getting at the bottom of the ocean, are satisfied with cowries only. Nothing but the essence of mica can cut the wings of mercury; hence mercury, when once controlled by mica,, can easily be killed. Red and yellow micas are meant for transforming base metals into gold; black mica is meant for the same purpose, as well as for the purpose of medicines; white mica is to he made use of in transforming base metals into silver. This last should be Avoided in the preparation of gold.
Mica is first of all to be swallowed by mercury and then is gold to be similarly swallowed (grasana); and last of all, is to be effected what is called garbhadruti or internal liquefaction of mercury. The chemist who does not know this makes a waste of his money.
Footnotes and references:
For the best process of consuming of sulphur by mercury, see Jarana-yantra under apparata.
Gold leaves are sometimes used in the preparation of Svarnasindura or Makaradhvaja, etc., but the process bow the gold is to be swallowed by the mercury does not appear to be known to tbe modern chemists who are under a wrong impression that gold cannot be chemically combined with mercury. Instead of making, the mercury swallow the gold by one of the processes described here, the modern kavirajas and their followers rub the mercury and the gold leaves with sulphur and the prescribed juices; and thus prepare the compound by means of a Baluka-yantra, failing to have the mercury combined with the gold, which is found separated from the compound. For preparation of Makaradhvaja, etc., see the next mercurial operation.
According to another version, it is to be plastered all over with mud mixed with human hair.
This concludes ‘Mercurial operations (10): Swallowing of metals of Mercury (grasana)’ 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.