Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 2: Minerals (uparasa)

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 28,803 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This second volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi deals with the purification, incineration and medicinal uses of various minerals (uparasa), as well as preventing faults due to misuse. It is continued in the third volume which deals with the various metals. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical medicine) is a compendium of Sansk...

Part 1 - Characteristics of Shilajatu or Shilajit (bitumen)

Shilajatu is the exudation caused by the intense heat of the sun, from rocks in the womb of which lie deposited gold and other metals. It is soft as mud and resembles shellac in appearance.

Shila-jatu is of two kinds, viz. (1) Gomutra-shila-jatu, i.e., the variety which possesses the odour of cow’s urine; and (2) Karpura-shila-jatu, i.e., the variety which has the odour of camphor. The first of these two, viz, Go-mutra shilajatu, is again subdivided into two classes, viz. the variety which has got some essence or substance and that which has got no essence or substance. Of these two, that which has got essence or substance is better than the other variety.

Shilajatu exudes from heated rocks containing gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead, that exuding from iron ores being the best in quality. Shilajatus coming out of gold, silver, copper, and iron are especially suitable for the pacification of an abnormal excess in the system of vayu (air) combined with pitta (animal heat), kapha (phlegm) combined with pitta (animal heat), kapha (phlegm) only, and the three doshas (vayu, pitta, and kapha) combined, respectively. For the purpose of preventing and curing senility, the shilajatu which comes out of iron is the best.

Special properties of different kinds of shila-jatu.

(1) Gold shilajatu.

The shila-jatu which exudes from ores containing gold is sweet, slightly bitter, red like java flower, soothing, dense, and having a tinge of red ochre. It produces a cooling effect on the system, turns pungent and bitter, when digested in the stomach (see notes on the five tastes), and pacifies an abnormal excess of vayu and pitta.

(2) Silver shilajatu.

The shilajatu which exudes from silver ores is as white as moon or conchshell. It has the taste of kshara mixed with pungence, sourness, and sweetness. It is not easily digested. It gives rise to belching and inflammation of the heart. It is dense. It cures all diseases due to pitta, and especially, anemia and jaundice. It also cures spermatorrhoea, mucus, chronic fever, anemia, consumption, enlargement of the spleen, and diseases due to an excess of vayu.

(3) Copper sila-jatu.

Copper shilajatu has the same colour as that of the neck of a peacock and of the feathers of a papiya bird. It is bitter, pungent, and stimulant. It is a good remover of obesity.

(4) Iron shilajatu.

It resembles guggulu in appearance; is bitter and saltish; and turns pungent and cool, when digested in the stomach. It is a preventer and curer of senal decay, and has the power of pacifying the three doshas, viz., vayu, pitta, and kapha. It is the best of all shila-jatus.

(5) Tin shila-jatu.

It is somewhat bitter, pungent, dense, mud-like, and has the odour and colour of tin. It destroys, in a short time, dropsy, gonorrhaea, fever, consumption, and erysipelas.

(6) Lead skila-jatu.

It is soft, stimulating, and bitter in taste, but turns pungent when digested in the stomach. It has the colour of a flower. It imparts complexion, vitality, and vigour to the person who uses it regularly.

Test of genuine shila-jatu.

Genuine shila-jatu will burn without emitting any smoke, and when burnt, will assume the appearance of oxidised iron. If thrown into water, by means of grass points, it will sink in the shape of threads.

Properties of shilajatus in general,

Shilajatu is neither sour nor astringent. It turns pungent after it is digested in the stomach, It has the merit of increasing the properties of the substance with which it is mixed and taken internally. It prevents and cures senal decay. It produces neither a heating nor a cooling effect on the system,

It has the property of removing mucus and other dirts from the system. It can also cure an excess of phlegm, shaking of the limbs, stone disease, sugar in urine, stricture and gleet, consumption, asthma, piles due to an excess of vayu, hysteria, insanity, nausea, leprosy, worms, fever, jaundice, dropsy, spermatorrhoea, loss of appetite, obesity, pthisis, colic, gulma, enlargement of the spleen, udara-roga, pain in the heart, dysentery, and all sorts of skin diseases. It is very useful as a medicine as well as in alchemy.

Conclusion:

Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Characteristics of Shilajatu or Shilajit (bitumen)’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 2: Minerals (uparasa). 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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