A History of Hindu Chemistry By Praphulla Ray

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The higher gods of the Rigveda are almost entirely personifications of the elements and the other natural phenomena, such as the fire and the wind, the sun and the dawn.

But we often find also herbs and plants endowed with potent and active properties, raised to the dignities of the gods and addressed as such.

The Soma plant is an object of particular adoration and the Vedic worshippers are in ecstasy over the exhilarating effects of the fermented juice expressed from it.

” The Soma rasa (juice) began even to be regarded as the amrita; this immortal draught, allied to the Greek ambrosia, is “

The stimulant which conferred immortality upon the gods it is medicine for a sick man and the god Soma heals whatever is sick.”

It will be seen later on that in the Soma rasa and its attributes we have the dawn of Hindu Alchemy.

Other plants were likewise invoked as divinities. Thus one entire hymn is [devoted to the praise of plants (shade) alone, mainly with regard to their healing powers.

Again, in another hymn, we read: “0 King Varuna! a hundred and a thousand medicinal drugs are thine.”

It is in the “Atharva-Veda” however, that plants and vegetable products, in general, are fully recognized as helpful agents in the treatment of diseases.

Though their use is invariably associated with the employment of charms, spells, and incantations.

Thus the plant apámárga which still occupies a prominent place in the Hindu system of medicine as a diuretic and laxative etc.

“The strength of this amrita (ambrosia) do we give this man to drink. Moreover, I prepare a remedy, that he may live a hundred years!”

AuthorPraphulla Chandra Ray
PDF Size19.2 MB


A History of Hindu Chemistry Book PDF Free Download

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