Rasashastra

Dagmar Wujastyk
Condensation device - patanayantra

The fourth procedure: Bringing mercury to a rise (utthāpana)

 

The mercury, still thickened from the preceding procedure, will now be brought back to its more familiar shine and mobility with the fourth procedure, 'utthāpana' - 'bringing to a rise', i.e., letting mercury evaporate and then condense in its cleansed form.

 

Dagmar Wujastyk
Anonymous
Map of Rasaratnakara mss in India created by Keith Cantú for AyurYog

Mapping alchemical manuscripts

Guest blog by Keith Cantú

 

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

Untangling Traditions

Yoga, ayurveda and alchemy have historically been considered different disciplinary fields. However, evidence also demonstrates complex interactions and areas of significant overlap. The AyurYog project’s goal has been to reveal the historical entanglements of these fields of knowledge and practice, and to trace the trajectories of their evolution as components of today's global healthcare and personal development industries.

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
part of image from https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/rasashala-ancient-indian-alchemical-lab/KwJCaP1RF0y-KQ

Yogis, adepts, experts: Who were the alchemists?

 

Patricia Sauthoff

On the fifth floor Science and Technology Heritage gallery of the National Science Center, Delhi, a small diorama shows some of the instruments used by South Asian alchemists. This diorama shows a cluttered space, full of yantras (apparatuses) and ovens.

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