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 1 - Additional process for transformation of base metals into gold and silver

Making of gold.

Lead is to be incinerated with the wood of brahma tree, mixed with kharpara, and powdered together. This powder is then to be rubbed with the milk of banian and made into a crucible, dense and cylindrical. The quantity of the first two, viz, lead and Kharpara, is one pala each. One pala of mercury is to be put into the crucible, kept inside a baluka-yantra. Sulphur, eleven times in weight of mercury, and very finely powdered, is to be swallowed by the mercury, by gradual mixture and rubbing. The crucible is then to be taken out of the yantra and cooled. This will be found very red. This is then to be finely powdered. Seventy two parts of this powder, one part of mercury; and one part each of silver and copper, are to be combined.[1] The combination may result in gold, ten sixteenth parts pure. Substitution of pure silver for copper, may have the effect of producing pure gold.

Making of gold.

Lead is to be rubbed fur six hours with the wood of either of these two, viz, pharabaha and bibhitaki, and with daruharidra. This is then to be rubbed with the juice of kimshuka, and burnt by putapaka. This is next to be rubbed with the juice of kanya and again burnt by putapaka. This is again to be rubbed with a solution of yellow kashisa and again burnt by putapaka. The lead is thus to be subjected to bhabana and putapaka for hundred and eight times each. The lead will thus be reduced to ashes of a very deep red colour. The ashes are to be mixed with thirty times their weight of copper, which will be transformed into silver, containing a little copper. This copper will have to be separated from the silver, which will have to be again mixed with the ashes of lead. This will result in the silver turning into gold twelve carats fine.

Manufacturing of silver.

Four parts of svarji, four parts of jabakshara, four parts of borax, two parts of powdered white mica, and two parts of manas-shila—all of these are to be rubbed together and immersed in the juice of kakamachi. One part of very finely wrought brass leaf is to be heated mildly and immersed in the solution, for twenty one times. The foils will thus grow undoubtedly white like silver. They will have to be mixed with an equal quantity of real silver and eleven times their weight of mild tin. The product will be pure silver.

Manufacturing of gold.

Sulphur, ten tankas (see page 310) in weight, is to be smelted with ghee, and immersed in the juice of kanya for five times, and then dried and mixed with three tankas of navasara. The mixture is then to be subjected to bhavana with five tolas of maricha, rubbed well with water.

The amalgam is then to be dried and made into the form of chanaka. This is then to be gradually put into gold, smelted with an equal quantity of copper in the crucible, the proportion of the sulphur amalgam being one tenth of the total quantity of the two metals in the crucible. The whole thing will turn into beautiful gold, red, and pure. Further addition to this artificial gold, of every dose of the sulphur amalgam by one sixteenth part of the gold, will heighten its colour to the extent of six carats fine.

Making of gold.

The following are to be incinerated separately: mineral tutthaka and rasaka, one sixteenth of a tola each, and manas-sila, one eighth of a tola. All these three things are to be mixed together and combined with one tola of gold of an inferior colour, with the result that the colour of the gold will be improved.

Making of silver.

Twelve parts of powdered steel, and three parts each of powdered banga (tin), powdered sisaka (lead), and powdered haritala—are to be rubbed steadily with the juice of tanduliyaka, and heated in an andha-musha, with tankana applied gradually. On breaking open the crucible, the metal will be found to be excellent. If combined with an equal quantity of silver, it will turn to be the best silver.

Making of Silver.

Mercury, haritala, white mica finely powdered, fresh tankana, shringa poison, incinerated tin—two tankas each, are to be rubbed together for three days, with the milks of arka, and sehundu, and made into pills of the size of a chanaka. Three tankas of mercury, an equal quantity of manas-shila, and two tankas of svarjika, with one of the pills referred to above, are to be rubbed with the juice of dhuthura for three days. Dried copper foils, well purified, and equal in quantity to the amalgam, viz. 10 tankas, are to be put into a blind crucible and smelted with the amalgam, half of its quantity being put at a time. This will turn the copper foils white. This metal will be purer, if smelted again with one fifteenth part of its weight of the pills referred to at the beginning and a little of ghee, curd, milk, sugar, and honey. Eight parts of the metal thus produced and one part of fine silver are to be smelted, as before, in a crucible. Nine parts of this product and one part of pure silver are to be again smelted and turned, all the while the smelting goes on, with a fine rod made of karabira. The product will be pure silver, as bright as stars.

Making of Gold.

Iron, very finely powdered, is to be mixed with the juice of kanya, and burnt very carefully for three times, by means of putapaka. The powder will thus turn yellowish red. Again, powdered makshika is to be mixed with rock salt and some sour juice, and subjected to putapaka for three times. These two kinds of powders are to be mixed together in equal quantities. To these will have to be added powders of silver and copper, each equal in quantity to each of the above mentioned powders, so that the amalgam contains an equal quantity of the four ingredients, viz, iron, makshika, silver, and copper. All of these are to be heated together with a little of lead being put into the crucible, every now and then, so long as the heating continues. The heat will have to be applied so long as the silver does not disappear altogether—nay, up to a little while after that. The product is a yellow metal containing gold 6/16th parts fine. Add to this, gold 10/16th parts fine, the product being gold of an excellent quality.

Making of Gold.

Gandhaka, hingula, powdered iron, and manas-shila,—all these are to be rubbed for three days with some sour juice. They are then to be fried in a cauldron, dried, powdered finely, and then put into a glass bottle. This is then to be heated in Baluka-yantra, for nine hours, by a strong fire. A little of silver is then to be put into a crucible and smelted. A little of the compound, prepared in the Baluka-yantra, is then to be put into the smelted silver, with the result that the silver turns into gold parts fine. An equal quantity of pure gold, mixed with this substance, makes the whole thing absolutely pure gold.

Making of silver.

Fine foils of tin are to be incinerated with haritala. The ashes, so produced, are to be used in incinerating pure and finely wrought silver foils the incineration being effected by means of one puta. Take one tanka of the essence of naritala, one tanka of incinerated silver (as referred to above), and two tankas of mercury—all of these are to be rubbed together and formed into a ball, which is to be coated with a paste made of masha gram (a kind of bean), and boiled in atasi (linseed) oil. The ball will thus turn black. Pure and very fine copper foils are then to be coated with saindhava and milk of arka, and kept immersed in the juice of nirgundi, until they turn white. Ten tankas of pure silver and ten tankas of the copper foil are to be smelted together with the black ball referred to above, the product being pure silver.

Making of silver.

Six palas of haritala are to be boiled for three days in a decoction of kulattha; and rubbed very fine in a mortar. Bhallataka fruits and castor seeds, ten tankas in weight each, are also to be finely powdered. These three things, viz. haritala, bhallataka fruits, and asstor seeds, are to be rubbed together, and subjected to bhabana, for three times, with the milks of arka and schundu, respectively. The compound is then to be rubbed with the fat of ram and fish. When dried, the powder will have to be put into a very strong glass bottle, and heated without closing the mouth of the bottle. Smoke is expected to come out of the bottle, after six to nine hours of heating. The mouth of the bottle is then to be closed hermetically, by means of a piece of chalk—the heating is to last continuously for thirty six hours, without any interruption.

At the mouth of the bottle will be found deposited the essence of the substance thus heated, which will have to be taken out very carefully. The remains of the substance are to be heated again in the aforesaid way, which will result in the extraction of some more essence. A part of this essence, with one third its quantity of incinerated mercury, is to be put into another glass bottle, below which is to be put remains of the substance mixed with a little of the essence. Heat is then to be applied again for twenty four hours, after which is to be taken out the essence deposited, neither at the top nor at the bottom, but at the central portion of the bottle. This essence, with an equal quantity of very fine silver foils, is to be heated in a blind crucible, with lairs of white glass put above and below them. When sufficiently heated, the contents of the bottle will smelt into a ball-like substance having the appearance of semen. This will have to be taken out and heated with twelve times its weight of brass, which will turn into pure silver.

Making of gold.

Purified sulphur is to be subjected to bhavana with lime juice for twenty one times, and with hen’s egg for four times. Very fine and strong copper foils are then to be coated all over with that sulphur. These are next to be burnt by putapaka and immersed in water. They are again to be coated with the sulphur, burnt and immersed in the same way, for seventy times altogether. Three parts of pure silver and one part of this copper are to be burnt together by putapaka, which is to be carried on till the copper disappears altogether. The product is gold 7/16th parts fine. With this is to be mixed pure gold 12/16th parts fine. The compound will turn to be pure gold.

Augmenting the colour of gold.

Essence of mica and an equal quantity of copper are to be smelted together and compounded. An essence is to be extracted in the usual way out of this compound. This essence is wonderfully yellow. Twenty five parts of gold, ten sixteenth parts fine, and one part of this essence are to be smelted together, with the result that the whole compound will turn to be gold parts fine. Further addition of every one part of the aforesaid essence will result in the enhancement of the colour of the gold by 1/16th part.

Making of gold.

Manas-shila, makshika, sisaka (lead), karpura-mani (camphor gem), rajabarta, rust of iron of a very long standing, cinnabar, kharpara, tuttha, and yellow kasisa—all of these are to be rubbed together and heated steadily in a crucible, with sulphur being put into it, six times in weight of each of the other ingredients. The crucible is to be put inside another crucible, and the superfluous sulphur burnt gradually. One rati of the compound, thus prepared, is to be smelted with one tola of copper, the result being gold 4/16th parts fine.[2]

Making of silver.

Purified mandura and kharpara, ten tolas each, are to be subjected to bhavana, for twenty one times, with strong urine, Manas-shila and navasara, one tola each, are to be mixed together, and subjected to bhavana with buffalo’s milk. Three tolas of mercury, previously subjected to bhavana with the milk of sehundu, and three tolas of manas-shila are to be rubbed together. All the things, noted above, are to be rubbed together, and made into a dense and black powder. These are to be put into a vessel covered with a copper plate, and heated by fire, made below and around the vessel, for six hours. The compound, thus prepared, is to be rubbed with eight tolas of essence of haritala, mixed with lemon juice. The amalgam, thus prepared, is to be rubbed for seven days with the juice of small nagarjuni leaves, equal in weight to the lump. It is again to be rubbed with some more leaves, and to be heated for 24 hours by means of a Baluka-yantra, at the bottom of which will be found deposited the essence (one sixteenth in weight) of the whole thing. Copper mixed with this essence becomes as white as silver.

Eight tolas of white kharpara (essence of kharpara, i.e. zinc), seven tolas of haritala, one tola each of silver, and abhra (white mica) are to be mixed together and put into a blind crucible, with one tola of the newly prepared white substance at the top and one tola of the same at the bottom. The crucible is to be heated until all the things smelt together and turn into a compound. The result is only two tolas of a very beautiful silver.

Making of silver.

Six palas of powdered iron are to be rubbed Steadily with the juice of changeri for seven days, by means of the two hands. This powder is to be confined with seven tankas of essence of haritala in a strong earthen crucible, which is to be covered, at the top as well as at the bottom, with white glass, and then closed as usual with mud, etc. The crucible is then to be burnt by means of a fire made of charcoal, for three times. The contents of the crucible are then to be powdered, and again subjected to puta with seven tankas of purified and powdered tin, in such a way that the tin mixes itself with the powder. Seven tankas of this compound, powdered well, are to be smelted with an equal quantity of iron and haritala, and fine silver. The compound is then to be powdered and mixed with an equal quantity of oxidised iron, and mercury. A little silver, purified with svarji, is then to be placed upon a heated brass plate. Six tankas in weight of this brass foil is to be then mixed with one tanka of the powder referred to above, and heated in a blind crucible, This results in the production of silver, which, when smelted with an equal quantity of pure silver, turns into an excellent silver.

Making of silver.

Mercury manas-shila, dhanyabhra, (mica, finely powdered in the manner to be explained in vol. II), incinerated banga, rala, svarji, and tankana—each six tankas in weight, haritala, 24 tankas, rubbed and purified seeds of ranjaka, 24 tankas in weight,—all of these are to be rubbed in a mortar, with the milk of bajri for two days, with cow’s milk for one day, and then heated for eight days. The compound is then to be mixed with aconite and put into a glass bottle and heated. It is then to be smelted with sixty four times its weight of white and purified copper, which will turn into silver.

Making of silver.

Haritala is to be boiled for three days with water mixed with abhra. This is then to be rubbed with an equal quantity of sulphur and twenty one hen’s eggs, until they mix together and become a lump. Twelve tankas each of svarji and tankan (tankana?) are then to be mixed with the lump, of which an essence is to be extracted in the usual way. Then, twelve tankas of this essence and five tankas of powdered steel are to be rubbed with water mixed with abhra, until they mix together and turn into a lump. Then, eight tankas of pure steel, three tankas of mercury, and three tankas of silver are to be rubbed together, and mixed with the lump by being heated in a crucible. The product is then to be rubbed for a long time with mica, mixed with water, and dried. This process is to be performed during day time for twenty one days. All these twenty one days, the product is to be subjected to puta at night, Next seven days, the product is to be rubbed with mica water and dried every night, and then subjected to puta at the very same night. The substance will thus grow white, and essence taken out of it will be as pure as any thing. One part of this essence and sixty four parts of tin or copper will turn into a pure silver.

Making of gold.

Copper, killed with cinnabar for three times, and revived each time, becomes pure, heavy, and yellowish red. Then a crucible is to be made with kharpara, subjected to bhabana with triphala water and rubbed with the milk of sehunda. The copper referred to above, is to be put into this crucible, and heated strongly, This will turn the copper into gold.

Making of silver.

Six palas of haritala, powdered and purified, two palas of the essence of earth-worms, and one pala of tankana are to be rubbed with the juice of banana plant and with the juice of shurana for three days. The amalgam is then to be confined within a glass bottle for three days, before essence is taken out of it in the usual way. This essence is competent to transform sixteen times its weight of good copper into silver. In case the silver, thus produced, happens to be coarse, it is to be smelted with some pure silver.

Making of silver.

Twenty tankas of haritala and six tankas of mercury are to be rubbed together steadily with castor oil for three days, and then kept confined for three days in a glass bottle, before essence of the substance is extracted in the usual way. The essence is to be separated from the other substances and mixed with 20 tankas of haritala and six tankas of mercury and rubbed together, as before. Eesence of this new substance is to be taken out exactly in the same manner as described above. The essence, thus extracted, is to be subjected to heat for 24 hours. It is then to be mixed with 20 tankas of haritala and six tankas of mercury, and rubbed, as before, with a view to essence being taken out for the third time. A little over one tanka of this essence with one tola of silver, finely powdered, are to be mixed and rubbed together with castor oil. When sufficiently rubbed, the compound is to be again heated with the result that a white substance will be found deposited at the bottom of the pot. One part of this white substance and sixty four parts of copper, if properly smelted, will produce fine silver.

Bleaching of copper.

A fine copper leaf is to be coated all over with a solution of apamarga burnt into ashes, and then heated. The process is to be performed for seven times with the result that the copper leaf will turn very soft, pure white, and spotless. Such copper is to be used for the purpose of transformation into gold or silver.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

According to another version, seventy two parts of the powder, one part of mercury, two parts of a compound made of sixteen parts of silver and twelve parts of copper.

[2]:

Preparation of gold is ordinarily prohibited. It is only for the bare subsistence of life that one may have recourse to it.

Conclusion:

Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Additional process for transformation of base metals into gold and silver’ 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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