by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 63,627 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828
This fifth volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi deals with the symptoms, treatment and dietary prescriptions of various afflictions. For example, ratapitta (haemoptysis), cough, asthma, tumours and obesity are dealth with and various Iatro-chemical recipes are provided for these diseases. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical me...
Thus, we see that almost all we know of Hindu Chemistry is to be found in works compiled even before the advent of the Mahomedans in India. A lot of treatises on metallic chemistry was, of course, compiled during the Mahomedan period of the Indian history, but these treatises do not contain anything original. Even if we find something new and original in the books compiled during the Mahomedan period, it cannot be said that these things were learnt from Mahomedans and are of external origine. On the other hand, these things had been transmitted verbally, from time out of memory, through generations of chemists, and compiled by the authors who thought it desirable to put them in writing.
Let me illustrate more clearly what I mean by my own case. My publication, entitled “Rasa-jala-nidhi”, which is by far the most systematic and comprehensive of all the treatises on the metallic chemistry of the Hindus, contains much which will appear to every one, excepting myself and my preceptor, to be absolutely new and original. As a matter of fact, there is nothing in my compilation which I can conscientiously claim to be my own invention, except of course the language in which the new things have been expressed. The materials, which will appear to be original in my book, have been learnt orally from my preceptor, who learnt it similarly from his own preceptor, and so on. These things have been transmitted verbally to us by our forefathers, through generations of chemists teaching the science to their disciples. It will not be right for a critic to say after a few centuries that much of what is to be found in my compilation must have been learnt from the Europeans and are of external origin, in as much as they are not to be found in the previous compilations. Any one acquainted with the conservative mentality of typical Hindus will have no difficulty in realising that the spirit of a true Hindu will revolt at the idea of incorporating something of foreign origin into a treatise on a branch of human culture believed to be bequeathed to them by their ancestors. Whenever they have borrowed anything from foreigners they have acknowledged the debt as such.
This concludes ‘Hindu Chemistry before the advent of the Mahomedans’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Treatment of various afflictions. 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.