Showing posts with label Dhatuvada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dhatuvada. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Rasayana In Hindu Philosophy?

 

The Rasayana  is a Sanskrit word that means "way of essences."

Alchemical school focusing in the employment of certain chemicals, notably those derived from elemental mercury, to transform the body and make it everlasting.

Some academics have classified rasayana as the Buddhist school of alchemy, whereas dhatuvada is the Hindu school.

The difference is that the latter depended completely on mercurial ingestion, whilst the former simply employed mercurials to prolong life until the body could be transrified by meditation, ritual, and extramaterial methods.

Despite their differing views on how the process should conclude, the two schools agree on a lot of other things.

Both are most likely influenced by the same alchemical heritage.

For further detail, check David Gordon White's 1996 book The Alchemical Body.


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Hinduism - What Is Dhatuvada?


Dhatuvada is a Hindu branch of the Indian alchemy tradition that aims to modify, transmute, and perfect the body via the use of different chemicals, with the ultimate objective of immortalizing the body. 

Both Hindus and Buddhists have alchemical schools, just as both have taken the concept of yoga (act of discipline). 

The Dhatuvada school emphasized obtaining bodily perfection only via the use of medications and potions, especially those containing mercury and cinnabar. 

This differs with the Buddhist Rasayana school, which claims that such material techniques are merely used to extend life until the body may be transmuted via meditative, ceremonial, and yogic practices. 

The understanding of the universe as a succession of bipolar opposites, and the belief that reconciling these opposing forces leads to spiritual advancement and the end of reincarnation, are the intellectual foundations for Hindu alchemy (samsara). 

The merger of the sun and the moon is the ruling metaphor for this juxtaposition of opposites. 

Both the sun and the moon are linked to other opposing concepts via an extensive sequence of connections, in line with this bipolar symbolism. 

The sun is associated with warmth, drying power, fire, the goddess Shakti, and menstrual blood, while the moon is associated with cooling, healing power, water, the deity Shiva, and sperm. 

Mercury and sulfur are the two key chemical elements in alchemical praxis, with the former associated with Shiva's sperm and the latter with Shakti's uterine blood. 

The unclean body is cleansed and polished by appropriately combining and digesting these substances, finally making it eternal. 

Modern explanations of this technique almost all state that it should only be done with the permission of one's guru (spiritual teacher); otherwise, certain combinations may be hazardous. 

Mercury is a toxin in and of itself, thus this warning is not unexpected. 

More material may be found in Shashibhushan B. Dasgupta's Obscure Religious Cults, published in 1962, and David Gordon White's "Alchemy: Indian Alchemy," published in Mircea Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion, published in 1993. 



You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.