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Rasa shastra From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medical lore of Hinduism, rasa

shastra is a process by which various metals and other substances, including mercury, are purified and combined with herbs in an attempt to treat illnesses.[1] Its methods correspond to the alchemy familiar in the Mediterranean and Western European worlds.[2]

[edit]Methods

The methods of rasa shastra are contained in a number of Ayurvedic texts, including the Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita. An important feature is the use of metals, including several that are considered to be toxic in evidence-based medicine. In addition to mercury, gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, lead, zinc and bell metal are used. In addition to these metals, salts and other substances such as coral, seashells, and feathers are also used.[3]

The usual means used to administer these substances is by preparations called bhasma, Sanskrit for "ash". Calcination, which is described in the literature of the art as shodhana, "purification", is the process used to prepare these bhasma for administration. Sublimation and the preparation of a mercury sulfide are also in use in the preparation of its materia medica. A variety of methods are used to achieve this. One involves the heating of thin sheets of metal and then immersing them in oil (taila), extract (takra), cow urine (gomutra) and other substances.[4] Others are calcined in crucibles heated with fires of cow dung (puttam).[5] Ayurvedic practitioners believe that this process of purification removes undesirable qualities and enhances their therapeutic power.[6]

[edit]Toxicity

Modern medicine finds that mercury is inherently toxic, and that its toxicity is not due to the presence of impurities. While mercury does have anti-microbial properties, and formerly was widely used in Western medicine, its toxicity does not warrant the risk of using it as a health product in most circumstances.[7][8] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also reported a number of cases of lead poisoning associated with Ayurvedic medicine.[9] Other incidents of heavy metal poisoning have been attributed to the use of rasa shastra compounds in the United States, and arsenic has also been found in some of the preparations, which have been marketed in the United States under trade names such as "AyurRelief", "GlucoRite", "Acnenil", "Energize", "Cold Aid", and "Lean Plus".[10]

Ayurvedic practitioners claim that these reports of toxicity are due to failure to follow traditional practices in the mass production of these preparations for sale,[11] but modern science finds that not only mercury, but also lead is inherently toxic. The government of India has ordered that Ayurvedic products must specify their metallic content directly on the labels of the product;[12] however, M. S. Valiathan noted that "the absence of post-market surveillance and the paucity of test laboratory facilities [in India] make the quality control of Ayurvedic medicines exceedingly difficult at this time.[12]

Ayurveda > An Introduction to Rasa Shastra


back An Introduction to Rasa Shastra By Dr Partap Chauhan Rasa shastra or the Ayurvedic alchemy is an important branch of Ayurvedic pharmacology. This branch deals with the use of metals, minerals, gemstones and their processing. In the ancient Ayurveda the emphasis has been over the herbs and their therapeutic usages. Later on the animal products, metals and minerals started to find favor of the Ayurvedic practitioners. The minerals and metals are very effective and potent for immunization, rejuvenation and the elimination of diseases. The parad or mercury is the most important ingredient of the rasa shastra. History and Origin of Rasa Shastra The origin of rasa shastra in the Ayurveda has its roots in the alchemy or the science of the metals. Etymologically speaking the rasa shastra is derived from the words rasa (mercury) and shastra (literature). Rasa shastra in ancient times was a process of the extraction of precious metals like gold and silver from mercury. The experts applied the same analogy to the human body and found out that the body dhatus can also be enriched in the same way by the use of different metals. This study came to be known as the dehavad. The study of dehavad and the use of metals were successful and it was found that the mercury was very useful and effective when compared to its herbal counterparts and moreover it can be used in very small quantities. The mythological background of the rasa shastra is that the Lord Shiva imparted the initial knowledge of rasa shastra. In the earlier days, tantriks made use of the rasa chiktasa methods for achieving immortality and these experiments were later utilized for the Ayurvedic treatments. The modern Indian Ayurveda makes an extensive use of the rasa shastra so much so that it has become the vital or inseparable component of the therapeutic process. Advantages of the Rasa Shastra In the modern Ayurvedic practice the rasa shastra has been considered more useful and effective when compared to the herbal preparations. It is said that the rasa shastra has immense therapeutic applications some of which are prevention of ageing and reduction in age-related disorders. Some other features that make rasa shastra or rasa preparations more advantageous than the other preparations are: a.. It works in smaller doses and is faster in action, which makes it a therapy of choice. b.. The assimilation of rasa preparations in the body is much faster because the preparation undergoes different processes called sanskaras. This helps in active and quick assimilation of even the minute doses in the body. c.. Incinerated minerals possess excellent therapeutic values and they have a longer shelf life.

d.. The efficacy of the rasa preparations increases with time, which means that the rasa medicines have no expiry date. e.. It alleviates the need for tedious collection of herbs. Moreover, the minerals are perennially available when compared to herbs, which are mostly seasonal in nature. f.. The preservation is easy and less cumbersome. g.. The tastes of rasa medicines are generally neutral and are less cumbersome to administer. Importance of Rasa Shastra in Ayurveda The modern living is prone to certain side effects of the developmental process. The diseases related to pollution, radiation and stress are on the rise. Improper lifestyle and the imbalanced diet along with the consumption of junk and chemically processed food further aggravate the problem. The modern medicine deals with these diseases through the heavy usage of the steroids. The continuous use of steroid and the lifestyle related discrepancies make these diseases chronic in nature and decreases the immunity levels of the patients. It has been found that the herbal preparations alone are not capable to deal with the complicated and chronic nature of diseases. That is why the rasa shastra has been accorded so much importance in the modern Ayurveda. The faster action and the simple processes of rasa shastra are considered more appropriate to deal with the above-mentioned complications and justify the integration of the rasa shastra in the Ayurvedic therapeutics. For more information on Ayurveda and it benefits please contact: Kaviraj Partap S. Chauhan (Cyber Vaidya) Director, Jiva Ayurvedic Research Institute e-mail: info@ayurvedic.org website: www.ayurvedic.org

Nagarjuna's Contribution to Rasashastra Nagarjuna was an Indian philosopher and Saint and the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhism. He was born in Amravati (presently the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh) around 113 AD. Though Nagarjuna also traveled widely, he spent most of his life in a hilly area near Amravati. There he conducted extensive studies on the health applications of Mercury & other heavy metals for a significant part of his life. These studies, brought about, at that time, the visible re-emergence of this branch of Ayurveda, viz. Rasa Shastra, or Alchemy. Ayurveda itself, in later periods, began to incorporate Mercury as well as other "toxic" metals as important components of pharmaceutical formulations.

Essentially Rasashastra deals with the purification, transmutation and potentiation of various metals, gems and herb essences. It is a highly refined, sophisticated and sacred art and extensive training is required to perform it properly.

Rasashastra is derived from the Sanskrit words Rasa (meaning essence, taste or inherent substance or quality) and Shastra (meaning knowledge, science or sacred prescription). Thus

Rasashastra is the sacred science of using the fundamental essences of various substances for healing and spiritual growth.

In Rasashastra all ingredients are first purified and reduced to their absolute essence in a process called Shodhana, where gems or metals are refined, through a process of alternate heating, cooling, oxidizing and crushing, to a fine pure ash. These individual purified ashes are called Bhasmas. Individual Bhasmas are then triturated in a process called Bhavana, and further pulverised and blended using alternate wetting and drying to form a fine homogenous paste.

During both stages, specialized Ayurvedic herbs and herbal extracts and juices are used as catalysts to direct the alchemical transformation of the original ingredients and to potentize the revealed essence. Shastric rules dictate that each of these processes be repeated 100 times for the highest quality preparation, i.e. Shodhana is applied 100 times before the iterations of Bhavana even begin. Each iteration is identical and further potentizes the Bhasmas and the final complexed product. After the process of Bhavana is complete, the resultant dried paste has an unlimited shelf life and retains its potency in perpetuity.

Rasashastric Gold bhasma (purified gold "oxide" ash) is the original version of what today is being referred to as monatomic gold / ormus gold / white powder gold etc. It is made in a sacred process with conscious intent and takes place in multiple cycles of firing, cooling, pulverizing and blending with various energizing herb juices. It requires 100 iterations of this cycle to qualify as an authentic Rasayana. This art is still practiced in India and authentic Gold bhasma is still available today.

Another profound healing panacea in Rasashastra is called Navaratna (Nine Gem). This compound is indirectly related to Vedic Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) and Ayurvedic medical astrology as it engenders benefits to the body internally in a similar way that Joytish gems and metals offer benefits on the surface of the body. The difference is that with Navaratna the gems and metals are triturated with herbs after being specially purified and, as they are orally ingested, they are designed to reach every cell in the body for complete cellular and organ rejuvenation.

Formula for Navaratna (present day composition):

120mg micro-tablet (produced on a single-tablet hand press rather than hand rolled as in the old days)

Active Formulation consisting of bhasmas of: Ruby Blue Sapphire Emerald Yellow Topaz Chrysoberyl Red-Brown Garnet Cultured White Fresh-Water Pearl Lapis Lazuli Himalayan White Coral

In a potentizing carrier base of: Organic Red Rose Petal 24 Karat Gold .999 Silver

Navaratna Usage:

1-2 tablets per week. Take on an empty stomach, and chew or dissolve on the tongue before swallowing.

Quality Standards:

All gems are natural earth -mined and not synthetically produced. Metals are 100% pure and not alloys.

Pearls are cultured under controlled pollution-free conditions. Coral was formed millions of years ago in unpolluted pre-Himalayan oceans. Rose petals and all Ayurvedic herbs used as catalysts during the processes of Shodhana (purification) and Bhavana (trituration) are completely organic. The Navaratna tablets are produced at a leading Ayurvedic laboratory in India by highly trained Rasashastric alchemists exactly according to traditional Shastric rules. Alchemical transformation of the ingredients is repeated a total of 200 times (100 times each for Shodhana and Bhavana).

Navaratna and the Sacred Science of Rasashastra:

Rasashastra is a branch of Ayurvedic medicine that deals primarily with the alchemical transformation of metals, gems and minerals, using specialized herbs and techniques, for the purification, healing and rejuvenation of the physical and subtle bodies. Navaratna is one of the most esoteric products in the Rasashastric Codex and works deeply in the various sheaths of the body-mind.

When making Navaratna, the nine gem-Bhasmas are dissolved and blended into a base of purified and oxidized gold, silver and rose petals which further potentizes the gem essences and functions as a vehicle to transport them into the body as nutrients.

Once absorbed, Navaratna works to release karmas and sanskaras that are held physiologically and psychically in the body-mind as knots or toxic pockets in the tissues and nervous system. This is similar to the use of gems on the surface of the body in Vedic Jyotish and Ayurvedic Medical Astrology, but because Navaratna is ingested and delivered to every cell in the body it is a more powerful approach. Rasashastra preparations also purify and rejuvenate on the cellular level, and may target certain organs or tissue systems (dhatus) to complete their work.

According to documented history, the science of Rasashastra made its first visible appearance in India during the time the Buddha (Gautama Shakyamuni) lived and was re-enlivened by Nagarjuna, although according to practicing alchemists in the Rasashastra tradition, its roots are actually far older. Rasashastra practiced today is the same authentic Vedic Alchemy that has been practiced and handed down through generations for thousands of years, and Navaratna is one of the pinnacle elixirs within that tradition.

Because of the profundity of these times and the urgent necessity of our evolution as a human culture, we are honored to make available the following authentic Rasashastric Alchemical products

Although mention of Rasa compounds (Copper, Gold and Bitumen) are mentioned in the Caraka Samhita (ancient treaties on Ayurveda) there is not much text available on this subject that has been translated into English. There are many introductory books about this science available but most are authored by modern Ayurveda physicians that regurgitate their contemporaries. Two of the most useful works available in English at this time are: Rasamritam by Dr. Damodar Joshi & Rasa - Jala-Nidhi (Ocean of Indian Chemistry, Medicine & Alchemy).

What is rasa shastra in Ayurveda? Rasa is Mercury (Quicksilver), this compound being the master ingredient in the most powerful of remedies. Classically, there are over sixty compounds listed as being beneficial in the treatment of serious diseases, these include: Gold, Emerald, Mica, Asbestos, Magnetic Iron Ore and Sulphur.

Each substance has a specific treatment of purification assigned to it, rendering it safe for human consumption. These processes are quite often complicated, requiring reduction of the material to a fine substance and exposure to high temperature. After final processing these now reduced materials are combined with either herbal decoctions / extractions or other Rasa substances. These combinations of various ingredients become the Final Rasa medicines.

For those that want to get a better understanding of these compounds and like to intake information visually, there is a great free PDF download at: www.neterapublishing.com website. This website also offers a detailed DVD presentation on how to process various Rasa compounds.