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Anandakandam Treatise On Mercury In Hindu Religion

In Hindu religion, Anandakandam, or Anandakanda, is a treatise on mercury and other heavy metals. It is ascribed to Mahabhairava, which literally means the ‘root of bliss’, especially deals with their uses in medicine and alchemy (atomic phenomena).

The text is divided into two –

Amrtikarana Visranti or art of defying old age, disease and death by three methods

Kriyakarana Visranti, which deals with chemical processes involving metals, metallic ores, metal alloys and precious stones so as to make them serve as medical agencies for fighting disease, old age and death.

The three methods involved in Amrtikarana Visranti are:

Rasa vedha or tapping atomic energy from mercury. In this process, mercury is subjected to eighteen processes before it is said to attain a stage in which it yields atomic energy. These eighteen processes are said to bring about two main changes in the metal – deha vedha (boring into the cell of the metal) and loha vedha (boring into the atom of the metal)

Use of rasayanas which are sometimes single herbs, single organic substances or combinations of these. Regulated diet and regulated mode of life are prescribed for using these rasayanas.

A simple process of regulated diet and habits. It has valuable hints about diet and modes of life to suit various seasons.

This treatise is in the form of dialogue between Bhairava and Bhairavi. It contains descriptions of special chemical apparatus called yantra for carrying out several processes, methods of preparing oils, decoctions and other ingredients used in several processes.

An extraordinary but highly relevant topic in all these works dealing with rasa-shastra is the disciplined life and propitiation of deities which are prescribed as preliminary to the undertaking of the chemical and atomic processes. The reason can be explained as follows – transmutation of metals is carried out by modern science by using electricity. The ancients, too, needed electricity for the transmutation of mercury which they provided by enhancing the power of electricity that was present in the human body by strictly practicing the discipline prescribed in such treatises. This explains the failure of many alchemists and the fact that those who succeeded were ascetics.