Hindu Chemistry



The Indian manuscript, Vedas (about 1000 B.C.), actually did not mention chemistry at all. But in this manuscript mention many kinds of metals, such as gold, silver, copper, bronze, lead and iron.
Nagarjunacharya was a Buddhist monk who wrote Rasaratanakaram, which is a famous example of early Indian medicine. In traditional Indian medicinal terminology "rasa" translates as "mercury" and Nagarjunacharya was said to have developed a method to convert the mercury into gold. Much of his original writings are lost to us, but his teachings still have strong influence on traditional Indian medicine (Ayureveda) to this day.
Another manuscript, Arthasastra (about 400 B.C.), described some metallic compounds. It has details of mining, metallurgy, medicine, pyrotechnics, poisons, fermented liquors and sugar. A historian, Albiruni (973 – 1048), found that Indians did not pay much attention to alchemy and could obtain very little information about it.


Writer : Erfan Priyambodo, M. Si. (Lecturer of Yogyakarta State University) 

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