Preparation of Mercury – The Eight Samskaras of Parada (Mercury)
Tiryak Patana Samskara (Transverse Distillation)
The distillation process of mercury with the transverse direction is called triyak patana samskara.
Ingredients of Tiryak Patana Samskara
|Sr. No.||Ingredients||Quantity (g)|
|1||Adhahpatita Parada||1161 g|
|2||Fine powder of mica (dhanyabhraka)||72.5 g|
|3||Total amount of Kanji required for mardana||1 l|
Pre operation Processes Tiryak Patana Samskara
1. The purified mercury (adhah patita Parada) of the second sublimation process (adhah patana) was mixed and triturated with (an amount of a 1/16th part of mercury) fine powder of mica (dhanyabhraka) in the iron mortar (khalva yantra).
2. As much Kanji (sour gruel) was added as required, so that the paste with the above mentioned ingredients was kept in a soft semi-liquid form during the trituration process. During the whole process, the mortar remained on a hot plate (tapta khalva) at a temperature of 50°C to 55°C.
3. After 27 hours of grinding, the mercury had lost its form and was integrated in the shape of small globules (nashta pishti) in the paste.
4. The iron bottle, into which the paste with the mercury was to be filled for distillation, was wrapped up with cotton cloths saturated in clay. Five layers of cotton cloths were required onto which clay was spread once more. These layers of clay were dried. They served as a protection against the intensive heat.
5. The paste with the integrated mercury was carefully filled into the iron bottle. All materials like mortar, pestle, spoons etc. were carefully cleaned with a little Kanji so that the complete paste could be filled into the bottle and no mercury was lost. This cleaning and filling process took approximately 1 ½ hours.
6. The iron bottle was thoroughly screw-fastened with the distillation pipe and the connection piece was wrapped with a cotton cloth saturated in clay in order to prevent mercury from leaking out.
7. The bottle was carefully placed inside the vertical electric muffle furnace and covered with a plate so that the heat in the furnace remained. The plate was issued with a small opening through which the connection pipe – connecting the bottle with the distillation device – was led. At the lower end of the distillation pipe a water hose was installed, which provided water for cooling during the distillation process. At the upper end of the pipe a discharge hose was attached through which the water could run off. The distilled and purified mercury was captured in a glass filled with water at the end of the distillation device. All apparatus were attached and prepared so that the main process of the distillation (tiryak patana) could commence.
The pre-process of tiryak patana samskara was carried out from 12th July to the morning of the 16th July, 2012. Trituration was done for 27 hours and the washing process for 1 ½ hours.
- The colour of the paste with the above-mentioned ingredients turned into dark-brown after half an hour of grinding.
- After 11 hours of trituration the mercury in the paste became a little heavier and more compact.
- After 25 hours of grinding the mercury had transformed into an inert, compact mass and started to separate flakes. After a further 20 minutes, the mercury completely lost its form and was only visible in small globular form (nashta pishta).
- It was observed that for trituration a certain consistency of the paste was required, which may neither be too dry nor too liquid so that the mercury is able to free itself from its form and can blend with the paste.
- The trituration process has to be carried out till the mercury is properly amalgamated with mica powder (pishti nirmana).
- The iron bottle has to be thoroughly screw-fastening with the distillation pipe and the connection piece has to be wrapped in addition with a cotton cloth saturated in clay in order to prevent mercury from leaking out.
Postulates of Pishti Nirmana
|Sr. No.||Postulates of Pishti Nirmana||Observations|
|3||Weight of Pishti||1292 g|
|1||Average liquid media (Kanji) required for preparation of Pishti.|
(Parada and Dhanyabhraka)
|2||Average time required for preparation of|
Day 1 - 3 hrs
Day 2 - 13 hrs
Day 3 - 10 hrs
Day 4 - 1 hour
Main-Process of Tiryak Patana Samskara
- The vertical electric muffle furnace was switched on and the temperature set to 600°C.
- After 5 ½ hours, the distillation process (tiryak patana) was finished and mercury was collected in the water-glass. The furnace was switched off, and it was left to cool down until the next morning.
- The next morning the iron bottle was taken from the furnace and screwed off from the distillation pipe.
- The left over mercury inside the distillation pipe was removed by tapping on the pipe.
- From the bottom of the iron bottle the greyish-black ash (the residue of dhanyabhraka), still also containing smaller amounts of mercury, was removed.
- The entire material was cleaned and the remaining mercury was carefully collected from ash and material.
The main-process of tiryak patana samskara was carried out from 16th to 17th July, 2012. The distillation process was completed in 5 ½ hours.
- After 1 hour, a temperature of 300°C was reached. The layer of clay around the vessel started to burn and for about 15 minutes smoke and a strong, burnt smell rose from the furnace.
- After 75 minutes 350°C was reached and the first drops of mercury emerged from the distillation pipe.
- After 2 hours the temperature increased to 600°C. Larger amounts of mercury flew out.
- After 4 ½ hours only small amounts and the smallest drops of mercury flowed out.
The temperature has to be regularly checked and the whole processed has to be carefully observed.
Result of Tiryak Patana:
Weight of Adhah Patita Parada: 1161 g
Weight of Tiryak Patita Parada obtained: 1111 g
Loss of weight of Parada: 50 g
Percent loss of Parada: 4,3 %
Sample kept for analysis: 10 g
Parada left after sample for analysis: 1101 g
Residue collected at the bottom of Tiryak Patana Yantra : 101 g
Observation after all three Patana Samskaras
- After these three processes, the mercury appears a shining silvery-white.
- A special observation was the fact that the mercury had lost its agility and was less active now. If small drops of mercury were collected with a spoon, it could be observed that the metal had become inert and moved slower than before.
To be continued…
© Images: Sabine Anliker