Purifying Methods of RASA

  1. Svedana: Steaming mercury with a number of plant substances, some minerals, alkalis and salts;
  2. Mardana: Rubbing steamed mercury in a mortar along with some plant and acidic materials;
  3. Murchana: Triturating mercury in a mortar with some more plant extracts till it loses its own character and form;
  4. Uthapana: Steaming mercury again along with alkalis, salts, the three myrobalans, alum etc., and rubbing mercury again in sunlight so that the characteristics of mercury, freed from impurities, are brought into play again;
  5. Patana: Three types, viz. urdhva (upwards); adhah (downwards); and tiryak (sideways); grinding mercury with alkalis, salts and others, and subjecting the product to distillation;
  6. Rodhana: Mixing the distilled mercury with saline water in a closed pot to restore the ‘vigour or potency’ of mercury;
  7. Niyamana: Continuation of the process by steaming mercury for three days with a number of plant products, alum, borax, iron sulphate, etc., to restrain the motility of mercury;
  8. Sandipana: Steaming this product with alum, black pepper, sour gruel, alkali and some vegetables substances to ‘kindle’ the desire of mercury to attain the power of assimilation;
  9. Grasa or Gaganagrass: Fixation and assimilation of the ‘essence’ of mica (gagana) to the desired extent;
  10. Carana: Boiling this product with sour gruel, leaves of certain plants, alum and others for a week so that mica is fully assimilated;
  11. Garbhadruti: Heating and treating mercury with the desired metallic substances so that the ‘essence’ of the latter becomes ‘liquified’ and the resultant, after cooling, passes through a piece of cloth;
  12. Bahyadruti: Obtaining ‘essence’ of minerals or metallic substances also externally;
  13. Jarana: Heating the mercurial product with the desired minerals or metals, alkalis and salts so that they are fully digested or assimilated;
  14. Ranjana: A complex process involving the treatment of mercury with sulphur, gold, silver and copper as well as salts in such a way that mercury attains colour;
  15. Sarana: Digesting mercury with gold or silver in an oil-base to increase its ability towards transformation;
  16. Kramana: Smearing mercury with several plant extracts, minerals, milk, etc., and then heating it carefully with a view to enabling it to possess transmuting powers;
  17. Vedhana: Rubbing the resultant mercury with a few select substances including oil so that it acquires the transmuting power;
  18. Bhaksana: Consuming the prescribed quality of the mercurial product which has undergone the foregoing 17 processes, for the rejuvenation and longevity.

(This sequence was rigorously followed by Indian alchemists; but there were variations in the choice of plants and their extracts, salts, alkaline and acidic substances, minerals and other ingredients).

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