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 20 - Mercurial operations (18): Transformation of base metals into gold by mercury (bedhana)

Mercury is to be dyed and exhausted, and again dyed and exhausted. It becomes competent to turn into gold, crore times its weight of base metals, by the performance of the operation of dyeing and exhaustion, for seven times.

Importance of metals in Bedhana or Alchemy.

The essence of mica possesses strength, steel possesses the power of exhaustion and colour. Mercury, therefore, if bound with steel, causes the alchemical transformation (bedhana) of lead and tin. Mercury transforms base metals into gold by the help of steel. It is steel which makes mercury swallow other metals. Steel produces gold. Colour is imparted by steel. But steel, like mica, is to be exhausted and incinerated, by being killed with hingula or with svarna-makshika, combined with copper. All these metals, previously rubbed with makshika, and thrown upon mercury, causes its internal liquefaction. This mercury, if now rubbed with bida, becomes exhausted, and allows itself to be bound (i.e., solidified).

Mercury, exhausted with an equal quantity of the amalgam of the metals referred to above, but without gold or silver, becomes competent to transform an equal quantity of base metals into gold. It can transform one fourth its quantity of base metals, if it is exhausted in the above way with half the quantity of the amalgam. If it is exhausted with one fourth its quantity of the amalgam, (without any bija i.e gold or silver) it can make base metals appear like gold, but cannot transform them into real gold.

Another version.

Essence of mica is ten times as powerful as mica incinerated, whereas liquefied mica is ten times as powerful as its essence. Lead (exhausted in mercury) gives rise to smoothness, mica (similarly exhausted) gives rise to strength, and steel gives rise to colour, but copper alone possesses these three characteristics of strength, colour, and smoothness. Mercury, duly exhausted, gives up its want of colour, if subjected to sankramana with iron. Mercury turns to a seed of gold or silver, if subjected to sankramana with semen. In diamond exists two lacs of units of colour, in manikya ten lacs, in nila twelve lacs, in emerald sixteen lacs, in vaidurya and pusparaga one lac units each. Mercury assumes a divine appearance by the influence of the above.

Leaves of silver, copper etc. are to be purified very well, and rubbed well with a strongly sour vegetable solution. They are then to be coated with mercury, duly exhausted with the bija, and then heated by samputa. The leaves are next to be mixed with half their quantity of absolutely pure gold and heated by putapaka. For the enhancement of the colour, they are then to be subjected to putapaka with the soil raised by earth worms, salt, and red earth.

In accordance with the instructions given by a preceptor, the elephant of mercury can be tied, in pillars made of incinerated diamond and iron, by ropes made of mica, tin, and gold.

Four parts of manas-sila and one part of sulphur, If put in a glass bottle, with its mouth closed tightly with a stopper made of haritala, iron, khatika (chalk), and salt, give rise to a substance which (if properly utilised; can produce gold.

Black mica, mercury, manas-sila, and sulphur are to be taken in equal quantities, and rubbed with the entrails of animals living in holes made into the earth. No wonder, if they turn into gold, if heated for a few days, by means of apparata devised by preceptors.

Iron, sulphur, borax, mica, svarna-makshika and tin are to be mixed together and smelted in a crucible, the compound thus produced being a primary seed of silver.

Sulphur, mica, munda iron, and svarna-makshika, combined, can cut off the wings of cinnabar (which, even if heated, does not sublimate).

Silver, copper, and gold, combined, can cause the external liquefaction of purified mercury. Taking of this mercury increases longevity. Moreover, mercury, exhausted with an equal quantity of the above metals combined, becomes shatabedhi i.e., competent to transform hundred times its weight of base metals. Mercury, exhausted with double its quantity of the above metals, becomes sahasrabedhi i.e, competent to transform thousand times its weight of base metals. Mercury may thus be made to transform millions, and billion times its weight of base metals. Mercury, exhausted with sixty four times its weight of the above-mentioned metals, is competent to transform base metals into gold by its smoke (see definition of dhumabedhi), touch,[1] sight, and sound.

Mercury, exhausted with lead, previously killed with manassila is competent to turn base metals into gold, whereas mercury, exhausted with tin, previously killed with purified haritala, is competent to turn base metals into silver.

Hingula, svarna-makshika, gandhaka, prabala, manas-sila, tutthaka, kankustha—all powdered and taken in equal quantities, are to be rubbed together and subjected to bhabana with the yellow and the red bargas (see chapter on commentary), and with kanguni oil for five times. Mercury, combined with gold and other metals, and duly exhausted[2] is to be mixed with the powder referred to above and confined within the samputa of two basins, tightly closed with mud etc. and dried. The samputa is then to be heated for three consecutive days by means of a Baluka-yantra, fresh powders being put inside the samputa, from time to time. Mercury, thus prepared, becomes tinged, and serves to transform into gold hundred times its weight of base metals.

Iron, sulphur, and borax, heated together; powdered copper, mica, lead, and tin, equal in quantity to the three things mentioned above; mercury and sulphur, equal in quantity to all the materials mentioned above—all of these are to be put into a glass bottle and heated mildly for some time. Do not let your mind lose itself in wonder at the sight of the product (i.e, gold).

Silver, mixed with three times its weight of copper, killed by being subjected to puta with an equal quantity of the following, combined in the proportion of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 gives rise to what is called hemakristi (transformer into gold):—rasa (mercury), varna-makshika, gandhaka, and manas-sila.

Ninety eight parts of silver, one part of gold, and a sufficient quantity of mercury give rise to a compound which serves to transform hundred times its weight of base metal into silver. Forty nine parts of silver, an equal quantity of pure copper, one part of lead, and one part of mercury produce a substance which can transform hundred times its weight of lead into copper. The potency of the above-mentioned metals can be increased ten times or more, according to the quantity of the mica, gold etc. with which the mercury used in the compound may be exhausted.

The four kinds of substances meant to be thrown upon base metals may be rubbed with lac, previously subjected to bhabana with the bile of fish, and with silver, copper, silver solution or Kristi[3] (as the case may be). The amalgam is then to be covered with the coarse remains of the ingredients mixed together and smelted. This compound causes the transformation of base metals into gold, silver, or copper (as the case may be), by mere contact. The transformed metal is to be anointed with the dyeing oil referred to above, then covered with ashes, got down from the oven, and cooled by the radiation of the heat.

Silver leaf, painted with mercury which has consumed an equal quantity of sulphur, and heated, assumes a yellow appearance immediately.

Leaf, made of essence of mica, and killed with makshika, is to be caused to be swallowed by mercury which becomes thus solidified. Similary, lead, gold, and iron, each equal in quantity to the mercury and incinerated very fine, are to be duly made to be swallowed by the mercury. Paint a silver leaf with this mercury, which is to transform the leaf into gold,

Base metals transformed into gold by mercury should be kept buried in the earth for a fortnight, before they are taken out for sale in the market.

Transformation of metals are of various kinds, viz, (1) lepa, (2) kshepa, (3) kunta, (4) dhuma, (5) shabda, and (6) sparsha. All of these put an end to human miseries.

1) Lepa-bedha—is an act of bedhana or transformation of a base metal into gold or silver by subjecting the base metal to puta of an ordinary nature, after painting the surfaces of the metal with mercury, especially prepared.

2) Kshepa-bedha—is an act of transformation of a base metal into gold or silver by the throwing in of mercury, especially prepared, when the metal is in a state of liquefaction.

3) Kunta-bedha—is an act of transformation of a base metal into gold or silver, an act in which a bit of mercury, especially prepared, is held within the grip of a forcep and put upon the base metal when smelted.

4) Dhuma-bedha—is an act of bedhana in which mercury, especially prepared, if thrown upon a base metal, put upon fire, emits a smoke and causes the instantaneous transformation of the base metal into gold or silver.

5) Shabda-bedha—is an act of bedhana in which the transformation takes place by means of heating a small piece of base metal by breath, accompanied with a hissing sound, emitted through mouth containing mercury, especially prepared.

6) Sparsha-bedha— is an act of transformation of base metals into gold by the mere touch of a mercury, already exhausted with at least sixteen times its weight of bija (metals, gems, etc.), and brought to a state of consolidation. This mercury is popularly known to be the Sparsha-mani (Philosopher's stone).

Footnotes and references:


This refers to what was popularly called the Sparshamani or Philosopher’s stone.


Mercury exhausted with what is called bidabati should be used in this case.


See Chapter on Definitions.


Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Mercurial operations (18): Transformation of base metals into gold by mercury (bedhana)’ 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.

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