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 19 - Mercurial operations (17): Dyeing of mercury (ranjana)
(It is not usual to have mercury dyed (ranjana) in operations leading to the transformation of base metals into silver.)
(1) Mercury, which has swallowed three times its weight of pure copper killed with hingula, assumes the complexion of lac. (2) Lead killed with sulphur is again to be exhausted by means of a crucible made of copper. Mercury which is exhausted with three times its weight of this substance becomes as red as lac.
This operation with lead is to be avoided in the preparations of mercury for medicinal purposes.
Or, the substance which is produced by the commingling of one part of the dyeing substance mentioned above and three parts of copper, is competent to dye mercury which is exhausted by an equal quantity of this new dyeing substance.
Gold mixed for three times (1) with lead killed with manas-sila, or (2) with copper killed with svarna-makshika and sulphur, or (3) with manas sila killed with hingula, can dye only copper mixed with sulphur.
Sarana or dyeing by means of oil.
Sarana of mercury is a process by which gold and other things are thrown upon mercury contained in an apparatus full of some prescribed oil. This heightens the alchemical power of mercury.
The dyeing oil.
An oil is to be prepared with manjistha, palasha, khadira, raktachandana, karabira, devadaru, sarala, haridra, daruharidra, and other red flowers, all rubbed with lac juice. The oil, thus prepared, serves to dye mercury. In this case, two parts of the juice of red flowers, two parts of the juice of reddish yellow flowers, four parts of milk, and one part of oil are to be made use of. The oil will also have to be boiled with the juice of each of the following:—jatismati, karanja, katutumbi, patala, kakatundi, maharastri. It will theft have to be mixed with the tallow of each of the following animals, each one-sixteenth in weight of the oil,—frog, hog, ram, snake, fish, tortoise, and leach, all well rubbed. The oil will have then to be again prepared with the following:—soil raised by earth worm, honey, and two parts of ela. The oil, thus prepared, will have to be filtered. It is called Sarana-taila.
An oil is to be prepared with the following ingredients:—ram’s fur, tangana, silajatu, the dirt collected in the eyes and ears of a she-buffalo, indragopa worm, karkataka (crab), two kinds of ela, the juice of as many white flowers as available, the quantity of this juice being four times in weight of the kanguni oil from which the oil is to be prepared.
Silver bija becomes white-coloured, if smelted for twenty one times and immersed in this oil. Mercury, exhausted with this silver bija, assumes the appearance of silver. It is to be borne in mind that the characteristic of kanta iron is strength, that of steel is the aptitude of being coloured, that of lead is smoothness, and that of copper is all these three combined.
The tara-bija or seeds of silver.
(1) Kanta iron, bimala, and steel are to be taken in equal quantities and mixed together by means of being subjected to putapaka for five times. Ten parts of this compound and one part of silver are to be heated together until the whole thing turns into a seed of silver.
(2) Essence of silver and banga (tin) are to be taken in equal quantities, and burnt by putapaka. Sixteen parts of this compound and one part of silver are to be heated together. This compound, by means of being dyed and exhausted with mercury, becomes competent to transform into silver a base metal thousand times in weight of this.
(3) Banga (tin) and abhra (mica) are to be taken in equal quantities and mixed together. Twelve parts of this compound and one part of silver are to be heated together to form into a silver seed. Mercury, exhausted with this substance, is competent to transform into silver hundred times its weight of base metal.
(4) Twelve parts of lead and mica mixed together and one part of gold are to be heated together to be formed into a silver seed.
(5) Copper and lead, both killed with makshika, are to be mixed together. Thirty-two parts of this compound and one part of silver are to be heated together to form themselves into a silver seed. This is a very good silver seed and is called the Naga-bija. It transforms into silver thousands times its weight of base metal.
The process of sarana.
A blind crucible, smooth, deep, resembling the shape of a cow’s teat, and having a hole at the upper part, is to be partly filled with the dyeing oil duly filtered. Into this oil is to be thrown mercury as soon as smelted bija is thrown upon it (i.e. mercury), The crucible is then to be covered well. Mercury duly mixed with the bija (of gold or of silver), and enclosed with a piece of cloth, saturated with the oil, gets dyed.
With double the quantity of the bija the colour of the mercury is spread; and with three times the quantity of the bija the colour of the mercury is deepened. In these three different kinds of dyeing mercury, it is desirable for the purpose of transformation of base metals into gold, to have the tin and lead slightly smelted.
Another process of dyeing mercury
Kankustha, haritala, gandhaka, hingula, manassila, makshika, saindhava, tuttha, nabasara, abhraka, saubiranjana, red ochre-like rajabarta, the three different kinds of poison, (viz, shringi, batsanabha, and kalakuta), pravala (coral), lac, haridra, sindura, rasanjana, samudraphala, karpura, yellow kasisa, betasa, kharpara, kinsuka, kusumbha, new tubari.—all these, and rubbed with mercury, which is to be subjected to bhavana with the menstrural discharge of a woman. The the following:—pomegranate flowers, japa flower, bandhuka flower, hastishundi, changeri, musali, haridra juice for five times, tubari for five times, juice of dhatura flower, shringi poison for five times, dugdhika for five times, kumkuma juice, aragbadha flower, and lemon juice.
Thus dyed, mercury becomes perfectly devoid of motion. It then may be used in all sorts of things. It is then capable of standing fire. Mercury is to be dyed in this way. It should not be exhausted without being dyed. Mercury thus dyed, becomes red in colour, and is capable of swallowing metals etc.
Swallowing of metatls etc. by the mercury referred to above.
The mercury, dyed in the foregoing manner, is to be rubbed in an iron mortar with one sixty-fourth its weight of gold (or silver), one-thirtieth its weight of salt, and a sufficient quantity of sour vegetable juice. This causes the internal liquefaction of mercury which swallows the metal. The mercury is then to be washed with warm arahala, and to be confined within a patra-puta with one eighth its quantity of bida. This puta is to be rapped up in a piece of cloth and boiled by means of a Dola-yantra, half of which is to be filled with urine, sour juice, and ashes dissolved in water. After keeping the suspended, as usual, by means of a thread, the mouth of the vessel is to be closed. The morsel is swallowed in three days by the mercury, which is to be washed again with warm aranala. The mercury is to swallow such morsels, again and again, Thus rubbed and boiled, the mercury becomes very clear.
Saranam (or dyeing by means of an oil) of the mercury referred to above.
The mercury, dyed as above, is to be boiled with soot, brick powder, curd, nirgundi, and kanji, and then to be subjected to sublimation. It is then to be made to swallow two morsels (silver or gold), each 1/64th in weight of the mercury. Four more morsels, each one fortieth in weight of the mercury, six more morsels, each one thirtieth in weight; and eight more morsels, one twentieth in weight each, are also to be made to be swallowed, by means of heating in the prescribed manner. If the mercury is then capable of passing through a piece of cloth, four folded, the morsels are to be considered swallowed; otherwise, the mercury is not to be made use of for the purpose in view. If it is then again to be subjected to sublimation, and again made to swallow gold or silver, ten morsels are then to be given by means of a Jala-kachchapa-yantra, each one sixteenth in weight of the mercury, combined with bida, one eighth in weight of the same. Twelve morsels, each one twelfth in weight of the mercury, are then to be made to be swallowed by means of a Sthala-kachchapa-yantra. Fourteen morsels, each one eighth in weight, are next to be given to the mercury by means of being confined within the tuber of a sutable plant (such as shurana, bidari, karkoti etc.), the tuber, which in this case, is to confine within itself the mercury, surrounded on all sides with bida, is to be closed carefully, and coated all over with a plaster made of rag, soaked with mud, and dried. It is then to be, subjected to heat by means of a Bhudhara-yantra, for three days, leading to the exhaustion of the mercury. Sixteen morsels are next to be given, each one fourth in quantity, by means of a bajra-musha (hard crucible), containing bida, and subjected to heat by puta with fire made of cowdung cakes. The mercury is thus to be exhausted with eight times its weight of gold or silver, by means of a Jala-kachchapa-yantra, Sthala-kachchapa-yantra, tuber, and hard crucible for three days each. The mercury thus prepared, is to be solidified with divya (divine) drugs, and becomes the giver of wished for objects.
If exhausted with only an equal quantity of bijam (gold or silver), it becomes shata-bedhi, (i.e. capable of transforming into gold or silver, as the case may be, a hundred times its weight of base metals). If exhausted with double its quantity of bijam, it becomes Sahasrabedhi (capable of transforming into gold a thousand times its weight of base metals). If exhausted with four times its weight of bijam, it becomes Laksha-bedhi (i.e., capable of transforming into gold or silver one hundred thousand times its weight of base metals). If exhausted with eight times its weight of gold or silver, it becomes koti-bedhi (or capable of transforming ten millions its weight of base metals). If exhausted with sixteen or thirty two-times its weight of metals, the mercury becomes Sparsamani (Philosopher’s stone, or something capable of transforming into gold or silver, any metal by mere touch). This process was taught by Shiva himself.
When three times its weight of bijam is swallowed by the mercury, an equal quantity of mica is also to be exhausted. Sulphur is also to be exhausted by a hundred or thousand times in weight of the mercury. All these procedures are to be observed for increasing the power of transformation of base metals by mercury. The mercury is then to be put into a long crucible containing rakta-tailam (i.e. the dyeing oil). The crucible is then to be heated by means of cow-dung cakes, causing the dyeing of the mercury.
The mercury is thus to be dyed (ranjana) twice or thrice by means of the red oil.
Sankramana (or imparting upon the mercury, dyed as above, the power of transformation of base metals into gold).
Wax, honey, tallow, blood, takana, earthworm, incinerated lead, and oil—these are things which impart upon the mercury the power of transformation of base metal into gold, A base metal may be transformed into a fine gold by the mercury described above, if subjected to bhavana with the things noted above.
If it is intended to transform base metals, one crore times in weight of the mercury, to gold, it is necessary to subject the mercury to bhavana with tallow and the biles bag of an animal. In such a case, the adoption of the process of external liquefaction makes the transformation instantaneous.
This concludes ‘Mercurial operations (17): Dyeing of mercury (ranjana)’ 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.