Alchemy

Dagmar Wujastyk

The Rasahṛdayatantra, the earliest of the Sanskrit alchemical works transmitted to us, is characterised by its concise style. With few flourishes, it succintly describes alchemical operations in a structured way, providing a quick overview of procedures. However, the brevity of its descriptions also means that it can be difficult to fully understand the described procedures. 

Dagmar Wujastyk
part of image from https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/rasashala-ancient-indian-alchemical-lab/KwJCaP1RF0y-KQ

Yogis, adepts, experts: Who were the alchemists?

 

Patricia Sauthoff

On the fifth floor Science and Technology Heritage gallery of the National Science Center, Delhi, a small diorama shows some of the instruments used by South Asian alchemists. This diorama shows a cluttered space, full of yantras (apparatuses) and ovens.

Dagmar Wujastyk

For many, Ayurveda is associated with natural remedies based on herbs, massages and cleansing treatments, and above all, with a healthy lifestyle of balanced nutrition and self-care. Ayurveda is indeed all that, but also much more. One of Ayurveda’s less well-known aspects is its historical connection with Indian alchemy, or Rasashastra (= rasaśāstra).

Dagmar Wujastyk
Śrītattvanidhi (Detail from plate 15: Āsana no. 86, Viratāsana) Published by Sjoman, Norman (1996). Yoga Traditions of the Mysore Palace, plate 15 (detail).

This blogpost was co-written by Dagmar Wujastyk, Jason Birch, and Jacqueline Hargreaves. A parallel version can be found at The Luminescent. A pdf version can be found here.

Christèle Barois
Dr Louis Komjathy presents on Daoist alchemy

An entire week of public events at the Centre of Yoga Studies at SOAS (25-29 March 2019) was organised around a two-day workshop held by Suzanne Newcombe (Ayuryog/Inform/Open University) and Karen O'Brien-Kop (SOAS) aptly titled “Disciplines and Dialogue: The Future of Yoga an

Dagmar Wujastyk
Iron processing, Image by Andrew Mason of neterapublishing.com

We are currently seeking a post-doctoral researcher to join the AyurYog project (www.ayuryog.org) at the department for History and Classics at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dagmar Wujastyk
Image of mercury and tournmaline, courtesy of Andrew Mason, neterapublishing.com

We are delighted to announce the publication of a special issue of History of Science in South Asia, edited by Dagmar Wujastyk, Suzanne Newcombe and Christèle Barois: Transmutations: Rejuvenation, Longevity, and Immortality Practices in South and Inner Asia.

Christèle Barois
Photograph of alchemical workshop October 2015 by Christèle Barois/AyurYog 2015

The year 2015 saw the beginning of two major European projects, one at the University of Vienna, Austria, the other based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, both projects focused on the study of texts that describe practices belonging to the Sanskrit tradition.

 

Dagmar Wujastyk

In new research projects, one sets out to cover new ground, explore the unknown, make exciting discoveries, and set the record straight on some previous assumptions. With this focus on discovering the new, it is easy to forget just how much of research depends on work already done by others.

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