As the practice of Buddhism became more widespread in Asia, a new understanding of human health arose. A Buddhist monk and practicing alchemist called Nagarjuna began to refine and formulate the practice of making remedies with precious metals, gemstones and other minerals.
Surgical intervention in the Buddhist tradition was considered to be too invasive for the human body. The practice of surgery slowly began its decline in favor of new herbal formulas being developed for the application of internal medicines.
Herbal compounds were effective, but in cases of great chronicity, healers of the day sought a medical system which emulated the immediate effects of surgery but dispensed with its invasive and dangerous procedures.
The solution to this problem was Rasa Shastra, an alchemical fusion between mineral and organic compounds including such diverse materials as mercury, sulphur, copper and diamond.
These new, highly potent formulas delivered into the hands of physicians a medicine which could be administered in very small quantities, was fast acting, tasteless, odorless and truly miraculous in its efficiency and potency.
Rasa Shastra (Indian Alchemy) is divided into nine different categories. The first and most important of these is Parada (mercury) as this liquid metal is considered to be the master metal; it rises above all other Rasa materials. Any Rasa medicine containing mercury has its strength increased tenfold. Mercury is bound and stabilised when combined with the element sulphur. Mercury is always attracted to sulphur and this strong union between the two is likened to the energy of Lord Shiva (represented by mercury) and his consort Parvati (represented by sulphur).
The subsequent eight categories of Rasa Shastra are as follows: Maha Rasa
(or Great Rasa) contains eight materials including mica and iron pyrite. Uparasa
(Secondary Rasa) contains eight elements including orpiment and realgar. Sadharana Rasa
(Middle Rasa) contains eight elements including lead oxide and arsenic. Dhatu
(Metals) contains nine elements including copper and iron. Ratna
(precious gems) contains nine gemstones including red coral and diamonds. Uparatna
(semi-precious gemstones) contains eight gemstones including tourmaline, sunstone, moonstone and amber. The eighth category of Rasa Shastra is called Visha
(meaning poison) and contains snake venom (usually cobra) and aconite root. The ninth and final category is called Upavisha
(secondary plant poisons) and contains materials such as datura and nux vomica.
Indian Alchemy has a deep affiliation with its sister science Ayurveda, separately they are great in their own right, but combined these two systems become empowered to produce miraculous results in the healing of the body. The combination of Rasa Shastra formula allied with the diagnostic practice of Ayurvedic constitutional typing (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) is frequently used to select the appropriate dosage and subsequent timing to administer medicines.
This skilful balancing of body type and individual treatment protocol allows each body type to heal in a way that’s best suited to their physical condition, lifestyle and life Karma (an astrological analysis will often locate latent conditions or weakness in the body).
Rasa Shastra The Art of Vedic Alchemy Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4
details a seven year study by Andrew Mason (Dip. Ayu HIr.) in the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and India into the purification, production and application of Rasa Shastra medicine. These ancient techniques have remained unchanged since the time of Nagarjuna and are still widely used in the medicine systems of Asia today.
With highly informative texts and full colour photographs these four CD ROMs take the inquirer on a journey through the processing methods of over sixty different types of Rasa materials. The foreword on three volumes is by notable Ayurvedic physician and lecturer Dr. Partap Chauhan
from the Jiva Institute in Faridabad, Delhi (India). The foreword on volume 4 is by Dr. Claudia Welsh
, well known author and doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine in the USA. For more information about Dr. Claudia 'click here
' to visit her website.