‘Rasa Tarangini’ (Ayurveda Pharmaceutics and Indian Alchemy) written / compiled by Sri Sadananda Sarma, is one among the wonderful referral books in the field of ‘Ayurveda’. It incorporates all the deeper and hidden knowledge of ‘Rasasastra’ (Iatro-chemistry and Ayurveda Pharmaceutics) along with its vividly composed and rendered complex theories.
‘Rasa Tarangini’ has Twenty Four chapter called ‘Tarangas’. First four ‘Tarangas’ deal with basics of ‘Rasasastra’ that include ‘Rasasala’ (The drug manufacturing unit, ‘Rasa-Paribhasa’ (Basic definitions), ‘Yantra’ (Instruments), ‘Puta’ (Ancient Pyrometer) etc, Fifth and Sixth ‘Taranga’ (Mercury), its pharmaceutical procedures and its significant compound formulations. Seventh to Twenty Third ‘Taranga’ deal with ‘Maharasa-Uparasasadharana rasa’ (Significant minerals), ‘Dhatu’ (Calcium compounds) and ‘Raatnoparatna’ (Precious and Semi-precious stones) in a clear and impeccable manner. In the last Twenty Fourth ‘Taranga’, author deals in detail about the ‘Visopavisa Varga Dravya’ (Poisonous herbal drugs).
This book is going to be a useful guide to the ‘Pharmaceutical companies’ That venture into the production of compound formulations using above said metals and minerals. To ‘general practitioners’ who wish to utilize ‘products of metals and minerals’ into their practice for better and quicker therapeutic results, this book offers innumerable number of excellent ready made formulations that are indicated in any disease of their choice. Moreover, this book will also be wonderful referral stuff to everyone in the field, especially to learned teachers, postgraduates, under graduates and the students appearing for PG entrance examinations.
The present edition of ‘Rasa Tarangini’ possesses the most appropriate and the authentic illustration to all its theories under ‘Trans-Cendence’ descriptive commentary, which the first ever English commentary of this book.
Dr. Ravindra Angadi (M.D, PhD) works as Associate Professor and recognized P.G. guide in Post Graduate department of Rasasastra and Bhaisajya Kalpana, at S.D.M. College of Ayurveda, Kuthpady (Udupi, Karnataka) since 2003.
'Rasa Tarangini’ is one among the wonderful referral books in the field of 'Ayurveda'. It is written /compiled by Sri Sadananda Sarma during 19th century.
It incorporates all the deeper and hidden knowledge of 'Rasasastra'. The most significant and complex theories of 'Rasasastra' are very vividly composed and rendered in this book.
'Rasasastra' has its roots in 'Indian alchemy'. Alchemy was a form of Chemistry studied in the medieval period, in which people tried to discover different ways to change ordinary metals into gold. This practice went on for centuries, yielding some of the significant findings in the field of alchemy.
History of 'Indian Alchemy', can be traced to pre-Vedic period. The archaeological excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa in the 'Indus valley' have brought to light that, the people in ancient India were possessing chemic 1 knowledge as early as in the pre-historic period.
Alchemy in India, was started for the preparation of a 'potion' of life for imparting immortality and later for the transmutation process for converting ordinary metals into gold. Indian alchemy derived its essence largely from the Tantric cult.
Then, in later centuries, all the previous accumulated alchemical ideas were put to practical use and a number of preparations of mercury and other metals were evolved as helpful accessories in medicine.
'Rasasastra' or the 'Ayurvedic Alchemy' is an important branch of Ayurvedic pharmacology. This branch deals with the use of metals, minerals, gemstones and their processing.
In ancient Ayurveda, the emphasis has been over the herbs and their therapeutic usages. Later on, the animal products, metals and minerals started to find favor of the Ayurvedic practitioners. The minerals and metals are very effective and potent for immunization, rejuvenation and elimination of diseases.
In 'Alchemy', the primary motto was conversion of ordinary metals into gold, which is a higher and valuable metal. The experts applied the same analogy to the human body and found out that the 'saririka dhatu' can also be enriched in the same way by the use of different metals. This study came to be known as the 'Dehavada'.
The study of Dehavada and the use of metals was successful and it was found that the mercury was very useful and effective when compared to its other mineral and herbal counterparts.
In the earlier days, 'tantrics' made use of the 'rasa cikitasa methods' for achieving immortality and these experiments were later utilized for the Ayurvedic treatments. The modern Indian Ayurveda makes an extensive use of the 'Rasasastra' so much so that it has become the vital or inseparable component of the therapeutic process.
We all know that, 'Rasa-cikitsa-paddhati' is not counted among the eight branches of Ayurveda. This is indicative of the fact that this stream in its initial days was developed as an independent pharmaceutical science.
Eventually, 'Rasa-cikitsa-paddhati' became a significant part of Ayurveda and has played a major role in the development of 'Ayurveda' in later centuries.
'Rasa-cikitsa-paddhati' now is the special branch, which utilizes the mercury, metals, minerals and other inorganic and organic drugs. These drugs are pharmaceutically processed and rendered fit for internal administration.
This book 'Rasa Tarangini' has 24 chapters called 'tarangas'. First four 'tarangas' deal with basics of 'Rasasastra' that include 'rasasala', 'rasa-paribhasa', 'yantra', 'puta' etc. Fifth and 6th 'taranga' exclusively deal with 'parada', its pharmaceutical procedures and its significant compound formulations.
Seventh to 23rd 'taranga' deal with 'maharasa', 'uparasa', 'sadharana rasa', 'dhatu', 'sudha varga dravya' and 'ratnoparatna' in a clear and impeccable manner. In the last 24th 'taranga', author deals in detail about the 'visopavisa varga dravya'.
As referral stuff, this book is going to be useful to everyone in the field, especially to the learned teachers, postgraduates, under graduates and the students appearing for PG entrance examinations.
Submitting myself before the knowledgeable readers through this work, I most dutifully claim that I have put in my best efforts to furnish the most appropriate and authentic illustration to all its theories with my 'Transcendence' descriptive commentary, which is the first ever 'English' commentary for this brilliant book.
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