Dominik Wujastyk. AMBlX, Vo!. July I There arc at least seventy or eighty primary Sanskrit works on alchemy.

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Dominik Wujastyk. AMBlX, Vo!. July I There arc at least seventy or eighty primary Sanskrit works on alchemy. Approximately one fifth of these have been printed, few critically edited and none completely translated.

Ray, a pupil of P. Some unpublished dissertations are more original. Ray charted the subject for us, remarkably fully, and for this we must be grateful.

In a pioneering work of this kind some shortcomings are to be expected. It is unfortunate, however, that one of these concerns the text which Ray emphatically places at the very beginning of the Indian alchemical tradition, namely the Rasaratnakara of Nagarjuna. Ray begins his History by arguing that an Indian alchemy involving a fairly elaborate use of mineral products, and not merely "herbs and simples and a few readily available products of the mineral kingdom,"5 began only after ca.

After a long discourse on the rise of Ma hay ana Buddhism, its Tantric phase and the tales concerning Nagarjuna,6 Ray describes with scarcely suppressed t;xcitement how, In the course of our search for MSS.

The MS. From this point of view Rasaratnakara, for such is the name of our MS. I I But Nagarjuna did not write a work called the Rasaratnakara. It is important to stress at the outset that Ray was indeed quoting an alchemical text ascribed to Nagarjuna which does exist.

Now that this text has been correctly identified the way is clear for its proper study. An analysis of these works, carried out almost entirely on the basis of the manuscripts of the first two works held in the valuable Sanskrit collection of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, will show how the confusion arose.

Moreover, in verse 25 of the opening section the author declares himself unambiguously: "Whatever can be found elsewhere is here; what is here cannot be found elsewhere. This is an Ocean of Mercury, composed by Nityanatha.

It gives fame to doctors, it is beneficial to the sick. It is of great interest to theoreticians, and it perfects the bodies of the old. I t makes the spells of magicians successful, causing many wonders.

Mercurial success rasasiddhi is generated for doctors in the Rasa section, for the sick in the Rasendra section, for theoreticians in the Vada section, for the old in the Rasilyana section, and for magicians in the Mantra section. The first two sections,Rasa and Rasendra, are often found together in one codex.

The next two sections, Vilda and Rasilyana, are usually transmitted in separate codices and are rarer. The last section, on Mantra, is more common, and is also normally found separately; it is normally entitled the Siddha section in the manuscript colophons. The contents of these sections are as follows: 17 A. The Rasa "Mercury" section has the following ten chapters upadefas : I. Rasamurcclzanildhikorah "On the swooning of mercury" 5.

Tamrafodhanasamudtiyamaranam "Purifying copper and killing the aggregate [of other metals? TaiLapatanadivisafodhanam "Purifying poison and the extracting of oil etc. The Rasendra "King of mercury" section has the following twenty chapters: I. Afmarimutrakrcchranidtinanivtiranam "Averting the symptoms of bladder-stone and strangury" 1 o. The Vtida "Theory" section has the following twenty chapters: I.

Vargastidhantidirasafodhantinlah "From preparing the categories [of substance] to the purifying of mercury" 3. Vajrafodhanfldidhtilumtiranam "From purifying diamond to killing metals" 4. Vajrafodhantidiltiraranjanam "From purifying diamond to dyeing silver" 5. Gandlzakliblzralzemarajalajliranam" Exhausting sulphur, mica, gold and silver" Ablzraklidisalvapiilanddyablzisekdnlam "From extracting the essence of mica etc. Dlzanavardlzanam "Increasing wealth" No title On fixing mercury etc.

The Rasdyana "elixir" section has the following eight chapters: I. Divyarasair delzasadlzanam "Perfecting the body with divine rasas" 3. Niindrasliyanam" Assorted elixirs" 5. Viryavardlzanam "Augmenting potency" 7. Viryastamblzanalingavardlzanam "Reinforcing potency and enlarging the penis" 8. Sriparvataslidlzanam "Rites practiced on the Sri mountain" E.

The iddha ection has the following seven chapters with subdivisions which are given for reasons which will become clear below: I. Sarvavafyam "Subjugating all creatures" I. Rdjavafyam "Subjugating the King" I. Strivafyam "Subjugating women" I. Lingalepanam "Anointing the penis" I. Akarsanam "Attraction" 2. Stamblzanam "Immobilization" 2. Vyrldhikaranam "Causing illness" 3. Unmattakaranam "Causing derangement" 3.

Bhagabandhanam "Sealing the vagina" 3. Grhaklefanivaranam "Averting evils from the house" 4. Kautuhalani "Conjuring tricks" 5. Aiijanrldipadukasadhanam "From [magic] ointments to acquiring [magic] shoes" 6. Aiijanam "Ointment" 6. Adrryam "Invisibility" 6. Prldukasadhanam "Acquiring [magic] shoes" 7. Mr:tasamjivallam "Raising the dead" 7. Niraharam "Fasting" 7. Sangopangaprakarena kak!

Part B is purely medical and may well, on closer study, turn out to be a series of extracts from the basic Ayurvedic works such as the Carakasa1!

A close link such as this between alchemy proper and medicine is characteristic of the Indian alchemical literature. It is centrally concerned with the so-called Six Acts! These are normally pacification fanii , subjugation vaHkara7Ja , immobilization slambhana , extirpation ucca!

It is referred to by this name in the Vada section,22 and in the introduction, as mentioned above. This name may be no more than a general term, meaning just "the section which deals with spells", rather than an alternative title.

The section is also occasionally said to be an extract uddhara giving the essentials about spells manlrasara. It is taken from the Kak! For the Kaksapu! The Kak! Manlrasiidhanam "The use of spells" 2. Rizjavafyarn "Subjugating the King" 4. Akarsanarn "Attraction" 7.

GatyiidislaT lbhanam" Immobilising movements etc. SenizslaT lbhanarn" Immobilizing armies" g. Miiranarn "Killing" I I. Indrajiilavidlzanam "How to do magic tricks" Sarviiiijanasiidlzanam "Preparing all ointments" Nidlzigrahanam "Finding treasure" Adrfyakaranarn "Becoming invisible" Piidukiisiidhanam "Acquiring [magic] shoes" Ig.

M:lasaT ljivani "Raising the dead" In fact, the likeness goes further than this. A reading of the texts reveals that the compiler of the Siddha section has simply gone through the Kak! All the chapter colophons of the Kak! If one believed this work to be the fifth part of the Rasaralniikara, the outcome would be a non-existent Rasaralniikara by Jagarjuna. The matter does not, however, cnd here. Ray, being a scrupulous scholar, was not content just to name the work which he considered of such importance.

He gave us fifteen pages of extracts in Sanskrit, with translation27 The passages he exhibits, which do not appear in either of the two works we have examined above, present some difficulties. First, they are not continuous: there are lacunae, marked by asterisks. It is no. There is a colophon claiming to be the end of chapter 2 of the Rasaratnakara of Nagarjuna.


Rasaratnakara Rasayanakhanda 1913

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Rasaratnakara Rasayanakhanda 1939


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