Rasendramangalam of Nagarjuna
author: Kaviraja H. S. Sharma
edition: 2008, Chaukhambha Orientalia
Summary: This is the English translation of the Rasendramangalam (Rasendra-mangala), ascribed to Nagarjuna, and contains the first four chapters of the work. The Rasendramangalam is considered as one of the earliest surviving Sanskrit works on medicinal alchemy (Rasashastra) and could be as early as the 7th century.
The authors of this work are listed as Kaviraja H. S. Sharma (Kavirāja H. Ś. Śarmā) and Acarya P. V. Sharma (Ācārya P. V. Sharman).
Alternative titles: Nāgārjuna Rasendramaṅgala (नागार्जुन रसेन्द्रमङ्गल).
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Introduction:Rasa-sastra is a new development in Ayurveda as it is not mention in traditional eight specialties. Primarily its objective was to make the fragile human body stable so as to enable one to strive for worldly enjoyment and salvation. This was known as Deha-Vedha later extended to treatment of various disorders. The ancient texts of Rasasastra such as Rasarnava and Rasa Hrdaya-Tantra contain materials of Deha Vedha only and no treatments of diseases as found in Rasa Ratna Sammuchaya.
Rasendra-Mangal, apart from describing the Samkaras of parada describes certain formulations applicable in diseases like Gulma, Kamala etc. Moreover, in the beginning it has been said that one who follows this text would not fail in treatment of diseases as Nagarjuna himself declared. It indicates two things. First, the text is of later origin and secondly that the author is different from Nagarjunas mentions here and there and it is also difficult to say definitely which Nagarjuna was the author of this text. The editor of the present text has already enumerated several Nagarjunas.
The text was published in 1924; it is not clear what manuscript it was based on. This published text contains 1-4 chapters. The present edition is based on two other manuscripts one from Jamnagar and other from Bikaner. But still the text remains incomplete because the entire text contains eight chapters. It is learnt that chapters 5-8 are available in manuscript with the Welcome Institute of History of Medicine, London. In this way, the present edition may be called as the first part while the remaining four chapters would make the second part, then only the text can be taken as complete. It is expected from the editor that he would not take rest until the remaining second part is duly edited and published.
Kaviraja Hari Shankar Sharma is a well known name in the field of Rasa-sastra. He has profound scholarship and long experience in the subject and has ably edited this present text. I congratulate him for this important contribution to Ayrvedic literature with a request to complete the second part as early as possible.
Contents of this online book (index):
The full text of the Rasendramangalam of Nagarjuna in English can be quickly summarized in the following table of contents. Becaue these pages are not available to read online, I would recommend you buy the book.
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