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Mira Ray - Minerals And Gems In Indian Alchemy (712.0 Kb)

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The Indian alchemical literature in Sanskrit and Tamil refers to themulti-dimensionaluse of a wide variety of minerals. The most important are: (A) mica,calamine, copper-pyrite, tourmaline, iron-pyrite, copper-sulphate, bitumen and lapislazuli, called superior minerals and orpiment, alum. sulphur, realgar, tinstone orcassiterite, red-ochre. antimony and iron-sulphate. caIled subsidiary minerals. Aninteresting aspect relates to the purifications of these minerals with a view to importingto them the necessary qualities for alc... More >>>
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Category 1:  Alchemical Works
Category 2:  Oriental Religions and Magic
Category 3: 
Author:      Mira Ray
Format:      eBook
The Indian alchemical literature in Sanskrit and Tamil refers to the
multi-dimensionaluse of a wide variety of minerals. The most important are: (A) mica,
calamine, copper-pyrite, tourmaline, iron-pyrite, copper-sulphate, bitumen and lapis
lazuli, called superior minerals and orpiment, alum. sulphur, realgar, tinstone or
cassiterite, red-ochre. antimony and iron-sulphate. caIled subsidiary minerals. An
interesting aspect relates to the purifications of these minerals with a view to importing
to them the necessary qualities for alchemical operations leading to the preparation of
"elixir"and such other medicinal compositions.
Yet another aspect is concerned with the extraction of what is in alchemical
literature as their "essence". the chemical details of which are not exactly clear.
The other types of minerals are classed under the headinggems.They are: ruby,
pearl. coral. emerald. topaz. diamond. sapphire. zircon and eat's eye. nine in number.
Even these gems are subjected to various processes in order to obtain theiressences.
Several apparatuses and contrivances were being designed and used for conducting
necessary operations.
Refreshingly. some of the alchemical text also mention the distribution and
characteristics of various minerals including gems. thus revealing the technical
knowledge of those involving the preparation of several mineral-based medicinal
compositions.
The paper attempts to discuss these and aIliedaspects pertaining inthe minerals and
gems as embodied in the various texts in Sanskrit. called the"Rasasastra".