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 13 - Mercurial operations (11): Swooning of mercury (murchhana)

Rubbing and other acts performed with prescribed drugs leading to the transformation of mercury into a cake-like substance is what is called ‘murchhana’, or swooning of mercury. This operation f ees mercury from all sorts of evil properties.

(Another version)

Mercury is in a state of swoon, when it succeeds in curing diseases without producing any after-effect. The processes of causing swoon of mercury, as known to the expert chemists, are many; of all these, heating with six times its weight of sulphur is the best of all.

(Mercury may be brought to a state of swoon, by any of the following and other processes):—

(a) First process.

Mercury, duly, purified by the foregoing processes, is to be rubbed steadily with (an equal quantity of. purified) sulphur; and in course of this rubbing, it gives up its dense subtleness and assumes' a black appearance. (The rubbing is to be made in stone mortar and to be continued till the whole of the mercury is reduced to black dust). It is then said to be in a state of swoon, and is able to cure diseases by being combined with suitable anupana. (accompaniments).

(b) Second process.

Mercury is not able to cure diseases promptly without consuming six times its weight of sulphur. Neither can it be effective in preventing disease and old age, if it is not combined chemically with mica and gold (both reduced to bhasma or ashes).[1]

Mercury (properly purified) is to be rubbed with six times its weight of sulphur (purified), and put into a glass bottle or flask, which is to be placed in a Baluka-yantra, and properly heated. The heating is to be continued till the surplus sulphur is burnt out and the compound assumes the appearance of red vermilion (noticeable from outside the flask).

N. B. The compound, thus prepared, is what is called Rasa-sindura, prepared with six parts of sulphur. This compound can be used in all sorts of diseases with suitable anupana (accompaniment). The compound, thus prepared, is however to be distinguished from mercury exhausted with six times its weight of sulphur.

(c) Third process.

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 lump, which is to be roasted properly,by means of a Baluka Yantra.

(d) Fourth process.

Into a small earthen pot, placed on a Baluka Yantra, put sulphur, equal in quantity to mercury. On the sulphur being reduced to a liquid, put the mercury also into the pot. As soon as the sulphur will be found reduced to half the level of the mercury, put more sulphur into the pot. This is to be done again and again, till the total quantity of sulphur, being six times in weight of the mercury, is consumed. This mercurial compound, which consumes six times its weight of sulphur, becomes very powerful. It is efficacious in all sorts of diseases, and may be used in all sorts of diseases by being mixed with lead, copper etc., (purified and reduced to ashes).

(e) Fifth proms—preparation of a camphor-like compound, which cures all diseases.

The lower half of a strong earthen pot is to be filled with the following:—powdered saindhava, one fourth in quantity of mercury. Upon that, red brick powder, upon that, white saindhava powder, each One fourth in quantity of mercury; and upon that, powdered alum, equal in quantity to each of the above. Upon all of these is to be superposed a paste made of alum, white saindhava, and purified mercury, rubbed with the juice of kanya. The arrangement is to be repeated in filling in the second half of the pot saindhava, red brick powder, white saindhava, alum, and last of all, a paste made of alum, saindhava, and mercury). At the top of all these layers is to be placed broken pieces of earthen pots in order to stop the escape of surplus mercury out of the pot, which is then to be closely covered with a strong earthen basin, the joint being carefully cemented, and the pot being kept on fire for 3 days.

N.B. it is usual with the expert chemists to make use, in this case, of bhallataka, one fourth in quantity of mercury, although it is not mentioned in the original text.

(f) Sixth process (Rasasindura or red compound of mercury).

One part of mercury, three, parts of sulphur, and one eighth part of lead (reduced to ashes)—all of these are to be rubbed steadily in a good mortar, and the black mixture, thus prepared, is to be put inside a glass flask, the mouth of which is to be closed by means of a piece of chalk and lime. The flask is then to be well plastered with rags mixed with mud. It is next to be heated by means of a Baluka Yantra for 3 days by fire gradually increasing. The red compound of mercury thus prepared can be used with suitable anupana (accompaniment) in all sorts of diseases. It prevents premature old age and death. Dose 3 ratis a day.

A different method of preparing Rasasindura.

A Kajvali (black sulphide of mercury) is to be duly prepared by rubbing one pala of mercury with an equal quantity of sulphur. This is to be subjected to a bhabana for three times with the juice of the aerial roots of a banian tree, and put inside a pot closely covered. This pot is then to be placed in a Kabachi Yantra, and subjected to mild hear for twelve hours (by means of a Baluka Yantra.) The product is Rasasindura, resembling the rising sun in colour. It is used in various diseases with suitable anupana (accompaniment).

Another method of preparing Rasasindura.

Mercury, sulphur, narasara, dhumasara (soot), and sphatikari are to be taken in equal quantities, rubbed for three hours with lemon juice, and put into a glass flask, the mouth of which is to be stopped by a piece of stone. The flask is then to be covered for seven times with rags mixed with mud, dried up every time, and put into an earthen vessel having a small hole at the bottom. The vessel is to be filled in with sand up to the neck, and placed over fire to be kept burning for thirty six hours. The flask is to be broken open, when cooled, and Rasasindura deposited at the bottom to be collected, rejecting the pearl white sulphur, accumulated higher up in the flask. The Rasasindura, thus prepared, may be used in all sorts of diseases.

Another processSindura-rasa.

Purified mercury and half the quantity of sulphur are to be rubbed together for one day and made into a black powder, which is to be put into a glass flask, the external surface of which has already been well-plastered with pieces of cloth and mud for 3 times and dried each time. The flask is now to be put into a Baluka Yantra and subjected to continuous heating for four days. The red compound of mercury deposited at the upper part of the flask is to be collected.

(g) Seventh processKarpura-rasa (or Sveta-rasa).

Purified mercury is to be rubbed for twelve hours with an equal quantity of each of the following, finely powdered and sifted through apiece of cloth:—gairika, brick, chalk, sphatikari, saindhava, mud created by white ants, kshari salt, and mud for dyeing earthen pots, The whole thing is then to be put into a pot covered with another of the same magnitude, the joint being dosed seven times with rags mixed with mud. When perfectly dried, the pot will have to be put on fire, which is to be kept ablaze for 96 hours at a stretch. The camphor-white mercurial compound, found deposited at the upper pot, will then have to be procured very carefully. This karpura-

rasa, or white mercury, if taken with cloves, sandal, musk, and saffron, brings about a quick cure of syphilis with complications, increases appetite and semen; and imparts nutrition, strength, etc. One who takes the medicine at regular intervals acquires ability to enjoy a hundred women.

Another processRasakarpura.

Mercury is to be rubbed for one day with an equal quantity of tangana, madhu (honey), laksha (lac), ram’s fur, gunji, and a sufficient quantity of the juice of bhringaraja, and then put into a pot well covered with another, and heated (exactly in the same way as described in the foregoing process). Thus heated, the mercury assumes the appearance of camphor, and is then found efficacious in many diseases, if given with suitable anupana.

Another processSudhanidhi-rasa, sveta-rasa, or rasa karpura (white mercury),

Purified mercury is to be rubbed steadily with pansu salt, saindhava (rock salt), and the juice of bajri, and put into an iron pot the mouth of which is to be closed tightly. The pot is then to be put inside a vessel filled with salt, which is to be placed upon a strong fire. When cooled, the moon-white mercury is to be found deposited upon ashes. If, taken in the morning, with powdered cloves (one fourth of a tola in weight) by two ballas a day, it causes purgation within six hours. Cold water is to be taken after taking the medicine. If taken regularly, it removes many kinds of poison from the system.

(h) Eighth process—Sarbangasundara-rasa or Pita-rasa (yellow mercury).

Equal quantities of mercury and sulphur are to be rubbed steadily for seven days with the juice of hastishundi or bhudhatri. Then the compound, put in a crucible, is to be placed in a Baluka-yantra and subjected to a mild heat for 24 hours. Mercury thus turns yellow and is to be taken out, when cooled. Dose—one gunja to be taken with betel leaf. It increases appetite and cures all sorts of diseases. It

prevents the arrival of premature old age and gives rise to riches and happiness. It gives enthusiasms beauty, and children.

(i) Ninth process—Krishna-rasa. (black mercury).

Dhanya-abhra[2] and an equal quantity of mercury are to be rubbed for one day with the juice of maraka drugs (i.e. drugs[3] which help the killing of mercury), A piece of cloth is then to be soaked with the mixture. When dried, the rag is to be steeped again and again in castor oil, and made into a candle, which is to be kept in an earthen vessel soaked with clarified butter, and lighted. The black substance deposited in the vessel will have to be rubbed again with the juice of the maraka drugs referred to above, and subjected for one day to sublimation by means of a Kanduka-yantra. This black mercury can be used in all sorts of diseases with suitable anupana.

Another preparation of black mercury. (Parpati-rasa)

One pala of dried sulphur is to be kept in a pot made of iron or copper, and heated by a mild fire. When the sulphur will melt, three palas of mercury will have to be put into it, and constantly turned, by means of an iron ladle. When both the Substances will be commingled, the mixed substance will have to be poured upon a piece of banana leaf, stretched upon some fresh cowdung, and pressed lightly, by means of a lump of fresh cowdung contained in another piece of a banana leaf. When cooled and solidified, the black mercury may be used in all sorts of diseases (with suitable anupana, of course).

(j) Tenth processRasa-talaka.

Mercury, sulphur, orpiment, and red arsenic are to be taken in equal quantities, rubbed together for some time, and then put into a glass flask and subjected to heat for twelve hours, by means of a Baluka-yantra (in the same manner as in the case of Rasa-sindura etc). The product is of an yellow appearance, and is called Rasa-talaka (i. e. mercury combined with orpiment). It cures fever, increases appetite, and the power of retention of semen, cures eighteen different kinds of leprosy and bataracta. It Serves as a tonic, increases longevity, and retentive faculties, and prevents premature old age and diseases.

(k) Eleventh process—Makaradhvaja.

One pala of gold, purified and reduced to ash, eight palas of mercury, and sixteen palas of sulphur are to be rubbed with the juice of kanya, and made into a black powder and dried. The powder is then to be put into a glass flask, placed in a Baluka-yantra, and heated for three days. The pollen-like red dust is to be procured, when the apparatus gets completely cooled. Dose, one jaba to be given with betel leaf, (in case of fever). If taken regularly, it prevents premature old age and death, and produces many effects, if taken with suitable anupana. In particular, it cures all sorts of fever, loss of appetite, and aversion to food.

(l) Twelfth process.

One pala of mercury, one pala of sulphur, and one eighth of a pala of gold (reduced to ashes), are to he rubbed together, for three hours each, with the juice of the aerial roots of a banyan tree and that of kanya, and then to be put into a glass flask, and subjected to heat by means of a Baluka-yantra. Then the red and beautiful powders, accumulated at the upper portion of the flask, are to be procured carefully and prescribed in all, sorts of diseases, in accordance with the nature and strength of the constitution, power of digestion, and age. This Svarna-sindura prevents premature old age, and is a destroyer of diseases. It is nutritious, and increases strength, retentive faculties, power of digestion, beauty, and sexual power.

(m) Thirteenth process.

Mercury is to be rubbed with the following drugs and subjected to heat by means of a Baluka Yantra;—bisnucranta, karpura, lata-kasturi, kumbhi, kanaka, dhutura, kulika, bisala, nagadanti, shurana, byaghrapadi, dronapushpi, brischikali, hastishundi, saha (mudgaparni), asura, and the urine of a cow which has not yet conceived. After the completion of the heating,* the mercury is again to be rubbed with some incinerated metal and again to be heated (by means of a Baluka Yantra).

(n) Fourteenth procsss.

Mercury is to be rubbed very steadily for some time with meghanada, bacha, hingu, and shurana, and made into a ball, the surface of which will have to be coated with hingu. The substance is then to be put upon a very strong fire, and heated by means of a Labana-yantra for one day. The mercury thus deposited, at the upper part of the bottle, is to be procured and enclosed tightly with a piece of cloth. This is then to be heated with sulphur put at the top and the bottom. When this sulphur will be burnt up, a fresh quantity of sulphur will have to be put in, and so on. The total quantity of sulphur, thus made use of, will be six times in weight of the mercury.

The compound thus prepared, may be used in all sorts of diseases.

(o) Fifteenth process.

Equal quantities of sulphur, wax, and mercury are to be rubbed for three hours in a hot mortar, and then to be put inside a bottle, and heated by means of a Baluka-yantra for thirty six hours. When cooled of itself, the bottle is to be broken open, the mercury deposited at the bottom being taken, to the rejection of the sulphur deposited at the upper part. This mercury is applicable in all sorts of diseases.

(p) Sixteenth process.

One part of saindhava, two parts of pure mercury, and four parts of sulphur are to be rubbed together for three days with the juice of white jayanti, and made into a lump, which is to be dried and put inside a crucible. This crucible is to be closed tightly, duly heated, and to be thrown into water, while it is still somewhat hot. Mercury is then to be procured from his, subjected to bhabana with the juice of the Trikanta, and heated either in an ordinary way, or by means of a Bhudhara-yantra. This can be used in all sorts of diseases.

(q) Seventeenth process.

Mercury, with half its quantity of sulphur, is to be rubbed with clarified butter, and made into a ball, which is to be wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and heated by means of a Dolayantra for three hours

with cow’s urine, and for 3 days continuously with man’s urine. This is then to be dried and again wrapped up in a piece of cloth very tightly, and put inside a crucible which is to be heated by means of a fire made of husk of paddy. The heating is to continue for 3 days, both the extremities of the crucible being put on fire by turns. The compound, thus produced, has the effect of curing all diseases, if applied with suitable anupana. It also serves to heighten the effect of a medicine with which it is mixed.

(r) Eighteenth process.

The stool of a newly born baby, seeds of palasa, juice of a chandali plant, and mercury, each equal in quantity, and tangana, one fourth in weight of mercury—all of these are to be rubbed for one day with the juice of jayanti and made, into a ball. A part of this ball is to be rubbed with sahadevi, with which is to be painted the whole surface of a copper samputa[4] inside which is to be put the ball. The samputa is then to be heated for six hours by means of a Baluka-yantra placed upon mild fire. The external surface of the samputa is then to be painted with a paste made of chitraka, sahadevi, and gandhaka, and wrapped up in a piece of cloth, which is to be covered with mud and dried. This is then to be put inside a blind crucible, which is to be subjected to heat. The samputa is then to be taken out and reduced to fine powder, which cures all sorts of diseases, and serves to increase the potency of the medicine with which it is mixed. Here the samputa has the same property as the mercury contained in it.

(s) Nineteenth process.

Mercury with an equal quantity of sulphur is to be rubbed for one day with the juice of Dhutura, put into a blind crucible, and heated by means of a Bhudhara-yantra. This is how it can be brought to a state of swoon.

(t) Twentieth process.

The inner surface of a strong crucible, made of mud and well burnt, is to be painted with a paste made of raddish and leaves of red sobhanjana. Mercury is to be put inside this crucible, the remaining part of which is to be filled with the juice of the vegetables referred to above. The crucible is to be tightly closed and heated by means of a Labana-yantra by a strong fire. The mercury, taken out after a week, cures fevers, if given in dozes of one jaba a day.

(u) Twenty-first process,

(Not more, not less than) one hundred niskas each of kasisa, saindhava, suta (mercury), and fulla eurika, are to be put gradually into a mortar, and rubbed for nine hours. The substance is then to be put inside a metal samputa, and heated for one day by a very strong fire. Then the mercury found deposited in a state of swoon at the upper part of the samputa will have to be collected.

(v) Twenty second process.

Mercury is to be immersed in the juice of kuruntaka and to be rubbed for one day in the sun by means of the leaves of latakaranja or by the thumb. This is thus brought to a state of swoon, and as such, may be used in all sorts of diseases.

(w) Twenty-third process.

Mercury, with an equal quantity of ghrita and double its quantity of sulphur, is to be rubbed for one day with the milk of arka, and then put into a samputa tightly closed, and heated by means of a Bhudhara Yantra, This mercury will be able to retain, even in a state of swoon (murchhana), the gold, if any, with which it might have been mixed up.

Solidification of mercury.

A hole is to be made in the green tuber of a katutumbi, bandhya, or bidari creeper wherein to be deposited ten niskas of purified mercury and one niska of purified sulphur, the whole thing being pressed gradually upon stone and made into a ball. This ball is to be put inside the tuber of a raktakanda (or sarkarakanda) with half a niska of baikranta ash, put at the top and at the bottom, the opening being closed by the rejected portion of the tuber. The tuber is then to be coated all over with mud one anguli thick, and dried well. This is next to be heated by means of a Bhudhara-yantra for more than once—each of the extremities of the ball being heated in turn and the upper part being gradually moved. The fire to be made outside is that of cowdung balls, found dried in pasture grounds. The mercury, which is now solidified and assumes the appearance of a pomegranate, is called “baikranta baddha.” It is very efficacious in all sorts of diseases.

Another process.

Mercury with an equal quantity of sulphur is to be bound up in a piece of cloth, soaked with a solution of sulphur, and dried. This bundle is to be put inside a strong metal samputa, tightly closed, and heated by means of a Bhudhara-yantra, until the sulphur is consumed. This is to be repeated until sulphur, six times in weight of the mercury, is consumed. Mercury, thus entangled with sulphur, becomes the destroyer of all the diseases.

Anather process.

A strong and unburnt crucible, sixteen angulis in length, and having a breadth equal to the diameter of an ordinary lime fruit, is to be kept inside a Baluka Yantra. Three parts of this crucible is to be kept under sand, the rest, viz. one fourth, being kept above that. One pala of powdered and purified sulphur is to be poured into the crucible; and an equal quantity of pure mercury is next to be poured into the same. This is to be followed by the pouring again into the crucible of one pala of sulphur, as before. The crucible is then to be closed very carefully, and the Baluka-yantra put upon a mild fire and heated, until smoke ceases to come out. The crucible is then to be filled with the juice of kakamachi, and heated by means of a mild heat. The evaporation of the juice is to be followed by the pouring in of the juice of pan leaves. When that, too, will be evaporated, juice of dhutura is to be poured in the same manner and heated. These juices are to be poured into the crucible in their turns, until the mercury is completely consumed. The mercury is then to be procured by breaking the crucible open. This mercury is what is called entangled with sulphur. This serves to heighten the property of a drug with which it is mixed, and is the carer of diseases and decay due to the premature arrival of old age.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The general rule is not to use any metal for medicinal purposes without purifying and reducing it to ashes, Mercury, may, however, be made use of, after it passes through all the stages up to “swoon”. Sulphur may be used after purification.

[2]:

Finely powdered mica. For preparation, see Vol. II. under mica.

[3]:

These will be named later.

[4]:

Samputa means a basin placed upon another, the joint being tightly dosed with rags mixed with mud. This is used for the purpose of killing metals and semimetals which are placed inside the two basins. See the Chapter on puta.

Conclusion:

Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Swooning of mercury (murchhana)’ 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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