RASA is a word derrived from sanskrit which has several meaning like (1)"Rasyate aaswadyate iti rash" mening taste,(2)"Rasati shariire aasu prsarati it Rash"meaning juice,(3)"Rasati aharahargachhati iti Rash"meaning first meterial formed after digestion or liquids under the transportation system of the body like plasma,chyle,lymph e.t.c.(4)"Rasanaat Sarva dhatuunam Rasityabhdhiiyate"Meterial whichbis capable lick and digest all metals means mercuryRasa Shastra means the “science of mercury” Since mercury was used after its various kinds of proceesings called sanskaras for the purpose of converting lower metals into higher metal in alchemy it is also used for the incineration of metals and minerals for the elemination of their toxic componants and generate therapeutic value in the end product generally known as bhasma usable for the body hence they can be used as medicines.In fact once the metal is converted into the bhasma it should not revert into the metal by any means called Apunarbhava it should be so lite so that it must float on the surface of water after sprinklin called Varitara its particles should be so small which can pierce in between the lines of the palm and becmoe invisible at the surface of the palm called Rekha purnata.Creation of nano particles of metals and minerals through fusion with the help of mercury and various plant meterials and heating process is the basics of Rasa shastra apart from the purification of toxic meterials from plant and animal origin for making their uses for therapeutic values.Ras shastra texts classify the metals,Minerals,diamond,Gemstones and poisons in various category and describes their processings called sanskaras to allegedly generate therapeutic properties and make them less toxic to the body in comparision to its therapeutic efficacy.
Vedas, gold and silver had a ritualistic use. Rasa Shastra is believed to have developed and came into its propper existence with its scientific classification and doccumentaion in around 6th and 7th century. The Buddhist sage, known as Nagarjuna, is considered to be the first to use mercury for its alchemic purposes as he said "siddhe rase karisyaami nirdaridryamyaham jagat" Means I am experimenting with the murcury to eliminate poverty from this world.on the theory of "yatha lohe tatha dehe" it is believed to have done much in the creation of Rasa Shastra.
Ayurvedic medicine, the "science" of working with minerals is named after Rasa (mercury). This is because mercury is mistakenly considered to be a very powerful medicine (when in reality, it is poinsonous to humans in all forms and doses). Traditionally it is believed that when mercury is properly prepared, it balances all three doshas (humours of the body), has a soothing effect on the body, prevents disease and old age. It is claimed to nourish all the vital parts of the body and increases the strength of the eyes. It is a vrisya (aphrodisiac), balya (tonic), snigdha (anointing), rasayana (rejuvenative), vrana sodhana and ropana (wound cleaner and healer), and krimighna (antimicrobial). Some people mistakenly believe that when it is compounded with any herb it heightens the medicinal properties. Mercury is also said to give a firm physique, a stable mind, and to be the best destroyer of disease. Furthermore, It is considered holy because it is the semen of Lord Shiva. However, it should be noted that in fact mercury is an extremely toxic heavy metal. [cite web|title = Wikipedia: Mercury (element)|url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)|accessdate = 2008-09-01]
Categories and Properties of Minerals
There are two main categories of Rasa Shastra, Alchemy and Rasayana. Alchemy involves turning mercury into gold. Rasayana is the rejuvenation of the mind and body. It is said in rasa texts that metallurgy is a science which was taught by god Himself. Furthermore, it is also stated that mercurial operations are successful by the grace of God. Consequently, Rasa Shastra is a very spiritual science with many facets to see and understand.
Just as herbs have their Rasa so do minerals. For example, gold is madhura (sweet) and kasaya (astringent) in rasa, snigdha (oily) and laghu (light) in guna, sita (cold) in virya, and madhura in vipak. It’s actions are visanghna, varnya, rasayana, brimhana, rucikara, dipana, medhya, smriti vardhana, and it is the best aphrodisiac. It checks wasting of the body tissue, improves body complexion, and acts as an antimicrobial, and antipyretic. Silver is kasaya (astringent) and amla (sour). It gives strength to the brain, heart and stomache. It is indicated for bhrama (vertigo) and unmade (insanity), palpitations, pre-ejaculation, and mada (intoxication).
Many minerals have a more magical type of properties.
Charakasays that no poison can be sustained in the body of people who have ingested gold because the presence of gold destroys the effects of all types of poisons especially Garavisa. One of many minerals used is Lapis lazuli, which produces feelings of well being while expelling all doshas (the 3 human humors) from the body.
Proponents of Rasa Shastra believe that mercury goes through purification before they are made into medicine, but mercury is an element; the more pure a sample of mercury is the more toxic it is. Mercury cannot be made non-poisonous. The procedures are called
saṃskāras for purification and assimilation. For mercury, there are 18 samskaras in the extreme method. Shodana purports to remove the harmful substances or impurities present minerals or drugs that would cause toxic effects or diseases in the body. Listed in rasa literature are disorders associated with impurities in each substance. For example, “unpurified and not properly purified incinerated silver if used internally may cause sariratapa (burning sensation in the body), vidbandhata (constipation), sukranasa (loose of semen), balanasa (loss of strength and longevity), destroys sariapusti (growth of body tissues), and produces many diseases. Improperly purified shilajit gives rise to inflammation, hysteric fits, giddiness, loss ofappetite, hemorrhage, and constipation. Modern medicine, by contrast, holds that mercury - in all its forms - can be damaging to health.
Importance of Rasa Shastra in Ayurveda
Modern medicine deals with modern diseases through heavily tested methods supported by sound scientific theory. The responsible use of such medicines cures diseases without inflicting patients with mercury poisoning. Recent studies have shown that herbal preparations alone are not capable to deal with the complicated and chronic nature of diseases. It is for this very reason that Rasa Shastra exists to poison people who use them with mercury, removing people stupid enough to believe in this from the gene pool.
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