Preparation of Mercury – The Eight Samskaras of Parada (Mercury)
5.2.7 Samskara – Niyamana (Hot liquid bath)
a) Name of the Process: Niyamana Samskara of Parada (Mercury)
b) Reference: (R.H.T.,Rasa Hridaya Tantra, 2005) 1
After the revitalisation due to the sixth process of rodhana, the mercury regained its mobility. To regulate this activity and fickleness (chapalatva dosha), the mercury (Parada) is subjected to svedana (hot liquid bath). This process is called niyamana samskara of Parada. (R.R.S., 1998) 2
Aim and Objectives
To reduce the unsteadiness and activity (chapalatva dosha) from mercury.
To make mercury clear (nirmala), bright (tejovan) and thermostable (agnisaha). (Parada Vigyaniyam, 1997) 3
Ingrediens of Niyamana Samskara
(purified mercury of rodhana samskara)
|2||Kanji (sour gruel)||64 l|
|3||Kalka Dravyas (each 1/16 part of mercury)|
|3.1||Phani - Tambula Patra (Piper betel Linn.)||68.2 g|
|3.2||Nayana - Lasuna (Allium sativum Linn.)||68.2 g|
|3.3||Markava - Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba Hassk.)||68.2 g|
|3.4||Cinca (Tamarindus indica Linn.)||68.2 g|
(Cucumber, Momordica dioica Roxb.)
|3.6||Saindhava Lavana (rock salt)||68.2 g|
Apparatus and Materials
- Mortar and pestle (khalva yantra)
- Weighting balance
- Steel tray
- Steel vessels
- Banana leaves
- Cotton cloths
- Cotton cord
- Gas stove
- Dola yantra (swinging apparatus)
- Measuring jar
- The ingredients (Tab.25, kalka dravyas Nr. 3.1 to 3.6) were mixed in the iron mortar and a very small amount of Kanji (sour gruel) was added into it. Continuous trituration was performed until a soft and compact dough formed.
- A cup was formed from the dough (kalka). The dough (kalka) was carefully placed into a small and firm bowl of steel to give the shape more stability and support. All untight points were well pasted over.
- Mercury was carefully poured into the paste.
- Initially, the dough (kalka) was carefully wrapped up with the banana leaves and then with the two-layer cotton cloth and was wrapped around and kept together with cotton thread so that no mercury was able to run out.
- Then, the dough (kalka) was once more wrapped up with the outside cloth and tied up at the top. The remaining 20 cm were used for tying the dough bag (pottali) to an iron rod and for hanging this up in the dola yantra (swinging apparatus).
- The dough bag (pottali) was hanging approximately 7 cm above the bottom of the vessel. After that, Kanji (sour gruel) was filled into the vessel. The bag (pottali) was dipped into Kanji (sour gruel).
- The vessel was placed on the fire and left to simmer at 80° to 85°C for 72 hours.
- The bag (pottali) was regularly checked and prevented from touching the bottom of the dola yantra (swinging apparatus) so that it would not be burned by the heat.
- After 72 hours (3 days) the bag (pottali) was taken out of the dola yantra (swinging apparatus) and was carefully opened and washed with water.
- The mercury on the banana leaves was collected. After that, the banana leaves were thoroughly washed and freed from the rest of the small mercury globules.
- The mercury, which was left over in the paste was collected.
- The paste was placed into hot water and was thoroughly washed so that the remaining mercury came free from the paste and could be collected.
The niyamana samskara (hot liquid bath) was carried out from 20th to 24th July, 2012, for 72 hours.
- While the Kanji (sour gruel) was slightly simmering, the temperature was approximately 80 to 92°C.
- During the simmering process, the amount of Kanji (sour gruel) slightly decreased, and on its surface a thin, dirty silvery foam formed.
- After six hours the bag had to be hung up slightly higher as it became heavier due to the Kanji (sour gruel) and touched the bottom of the pot.
- The colour of the Kanji (sour gruel) was light and beige/greyish on the first day and changed daily into a dark brown. The pale greyish foam, which had formed on the surface of the Kanji (sour gruel) in the beginning, became dark brown and flaky. The sourish smell of Kanji (sour gruel) was permanently noticeable.
- During the next three days (72 hours), day and night, every three to four hours 1 to 3 litres of Kanji (sour gruel) had to be refilled, depending on requirements.
- Approximately 20 l more Kanji (sour gruel) was used in this process than during the svedana samskara (1st process), due to the temperature being approximately 25°C higher (85°C–92°C).
- When the dough bag (pottali) was opened again, it could be observed that the majority of the mercury remained inside the hole in the paste, and a small part had mixed with the dough.
- After this process (niyamana samskara) mercury became full of lustre, was less fickle and more stable.
- The bag (pottali) around the dough has to be well closed so that the mercury cannot run out of the dough.
- During the 72 hours of the svedana process, Kanji (sour gruel) had to be regularly refilled day and night (approximately every 3 to 4 hours). The bag must always be well covered with Kanji (sour gruel) and must not touch the bottom of the pot as otherwise there was a danger of burning the cotton material and the mercury could leak.
- The washing process of mercury (Parada) was carried out carefully. All banana leaves were thoroughly washed with cold water and the dough was washed with hot water in order to gain back as much mercury as possible.
Results of Niyamana Samskara
|1||Total time taken for Niyamana Samskara of Parada||72 hrs|
|2||Weight of Rodhita Parada||1091 g|
|3||Weight of Niyamita Parada obtained||1090 g|
|4||Loss of weight of Parada||1 g|
|5||Percent of loss of Parada||0.092 %|
|6||Sample kept for analysis||10 g|
|7||Parada left after sample for analysis||1080 g|
1 Rasa Hridaya Tantra, Avabodha 2/10
2 Rasa Ratna Samuchchaya, 11/46
3 Parada Vigyaniyam, p. 112-114
To be continued…
© Images: Sabine Anliker