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Mercury In Hindu Religion – Medicine – Importance

Parada, mercury, in Hindu religion is regarded as the seminal essence of Shiva, the male principle in Hinduism. Symbolically, by attaching mercury to Shiva, it means that Parada enables one to cross the ocean of life. Below is a look at importance of mercury in medicine and its uses in Hindu religion.

As per Hinduism teachings, mercury to be efficacious, it has to undergo eighteen samskaras, treatments, which have significance in terms of the removal of its deleterious principles, imparting transmuting power and making it fit for internal consumption.

The eighteen processes in Hinduism to make mercury to be fit for medicinal purpose is given below. The English equivalent of each term is only to give an idea as many Sanskrit terms do not have the comprehensive and exact English term.
  1. Svedanam – steaming
  2. Mardanam – grinding
  3. Murcchanam – swooning or making mercury lose its form.
  4. Utthapanam – revival of its form
  5. Patanam – sublimation or distillation
  6. Bodhanam – imparting potentiality
  7. Niyamanam – restraining
  8. Sandipanam – kindling or stimulation
  9. Gagana bhakshanam – consumption of mica essence
  10. Charanam – amalgamation
  11. Garbhadrti – liquefaction internal
  12. Bahyadrti – liquefaction external
  13. Jaranam – digestion or assimilation
  14. Ranjanam – coloration
  15. Saranam – blending for transformation
  16. Samkramanam – acquiring transmutation power
  17. Vedhavidhi – actual transmutation
  18. Sharira Yoga – consumption for becoming immortal

Mercury obtained by distilling cinnabar (mercuric sulfide) is regarded as being pure, and the first eight samskaras are not considered necessary for it.

These treatments include rubbing with various plant juices and extracts, incorporation of sulfur, mica, certain alkaline substances, sulfur-containing minerals, cow’s urine, sour gruel, and other materials.

Although the chemical nature of the end product is difficult to understand precisely, it is based on a belief in the divine potentiality of mercury and its union with sulfur (the female principle) for transmuting base metals into gold as well as transforming the human body into an everlasting state.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VII page 145 - 46 - IHRF