Mercury

Dagmar Wujastyk

We have arrived at the eighth, and for us, final procedure! This step is called the stimulating or kindling (dīpana) of mercury. And here is what the text (Rasahṛdayatantra, chapter 2, verse 11) tells us about this step:
 

Dagmar Wujastyk
Dagmar Wujastyk
Image by Andrew Mason (neterapublishing)

The terms used for the alchemical procedures sometimes evoke the language of ayurvedic therapy. Svedana, the "steaming" of the first alchemical procedure, has a correlate in ayurvedic treatment. There, svedana is the application of heat to the patient's body, which results in the patient sweating (the translation for svedana here).

Dagmar Wujastyk

Perhaps you noticed at the end of the first AyurYog film on reconstructing alchemical procedures that the filmmaker thanks Dr Jinal Thakkar and Dr Parth Kale. These are the rasashastra experts with formal university training in India that Andrew Mason has consulted with.

Dagmar Wujastyk

The Rasahṛdayatantra, the earliest of the Sanskrit alchemical works transmitted to us, is characterised by its concise style. With few flourishes, it succintly describes alchemical operations in a structured way, providing a quick overview of procedures. However, the brevity of its descriptions also means that it can be difficult to fully understand the described procedures. 

Dagmar Wujastyk
An equestrienne lures mercury out of its well © Trustees of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Jaipur

We are very pleased to announce the newly published special volume of Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques: "Histories of Mercury in Medicine Across Asia and Beyond", edited by Dagmar Wujastyk.

© Ayuryog 2015 - University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.1 & Hof 2.7 (Campus), 1090 Wien