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07-20-2009, 07:40 AM
Alchemy Immortality & Mysticism

by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait Ph.D

Yoga International Magazine November/December 1995

There is, as Mircea Eliade writes, a universal if unconscious recognition that "gold is immortality (amritam
ayur hiranyam.) Gold is the one perfect, solar metal and hence its symbolism meets the symbolism of spirit, of
spiritual freedom and autonomy."
In turn, the desire for wealth and immortality, material and spiritual, meet and find their expression in alchemy,
the ancient science that promises to fulfill both desires here and now. Alchemists fulfill the first desire by
transforming vulgar metals into gold (much of the age old fascination with alchemy can be traced to unlock this
secret.) They are said to fulfill the second by absorbing gold into their bodies.
A thorough analysis of alchemy, as practiced in different eras and cultures, reveals that alchemists achieve both
of these goals with the help of mercury. According to Indian and Chinese alchemical traditions, in fact, it is
mercury, not gold, that holds the highest position in the evolutionary rank of elements. It is the power and
mystery of mercury that transforms base metals into gold of a quality far superior to that which is found in
nature. When this purified gold is again "fixed" with mercury and absorbed into the body of an adept, it is said
to have the power to prolong life. Thus the majority of the texts on alchemy, especially those concerned with
mystical experiences and enlightenment, consider mercury rather than gold to be the center of this ancient
The Sanskrit word for alchemy is rasayana, literally, "the abode of rasa (essence or sap.)" Rasayana is the
science and practice that deals with the essence of the universe, with the essence of the life force, or the sap
of life. In other words, rasayana deals with the intrinsic vitality of a living being. Its primary concern is to
study the nature of all substances to determine which particular one is the essence of creation.
Alchemy arises from the premise that there is a perfect equation between the human body and the universe - that
which exists in the universe can be found in the human body, and vice versa. By knowing the essence of the
that makes up the body, the essence of the universe is also known. Alchemists believe that this knowledge makes
it possible to preserve and retain the essence of life within our bodies and thus attain youthful immortality.
According to these spiritual scientists, the knowledge of immortality is identical with enlightenment - the cycle
of birth and death involves only those who do not have knowledge of alchemy's immortal truth.
The essence of life in the human body is ojas - the intrinsic brilliance that enables the stream of life to flow
continuously until it unites with cosmic existence, consciousness, and bliss - sat chit ananda. Sexual energy
(virya), which reaches its highest expression in youth, is the gross counterpart of ojas. Both ojas and virya
are rasa, and rasayana, or alchemy,
is the science of knowing the dynamics of ojas and virya. The counterpart of ojas and virya outside the body is
mercury, which is also called "rasa" because mercury is the essence of all substances. Taking mercury into the
body increases rasa; by stabilizing mercury in the body, the practitioner of rasayana prolongs life.
According to the yogis, mercury has another, higher application, one that is revealed by a second term for it -
parada, meaning "that which takes you to the other shore of life; that which grants enlightenment and freedom."
By employing these two terms - rasa and parada - for mercury, yogis suggest that by using mercury it is possible
to overcome all diseases; maintain youth and vitality; prolong life indefinitely; and unveil all mysteries
related to birth, death, the cycle of transmigration, and the relationship between the microcosm and macrocosm.
Ultimately, all that which exists in the universe is unveiled. Let's begin our examination of these claims with a
look at some data on its effect on the body.

The Medical Angle

Mercury is a metal, the only one that is liquid at room temperature. This shiny substance, also known as
quicksilver, is toxic and can be deadly if it enters the body. It acts as a cumulative poison - that is, the body
has trouble eliminating it. Mercury evaporates at room temperature and can be inhaled in vapor form. In liquid
form it can be swallowed or absorbed through the skin.
As reported in The Toxicological profile for Mercury, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, inhaling mercury causes nervous system disorders, which intensify and become irreversible with
continued exposure. These include tremors, emotional instability, insomnia, headaches, memory loss, and loss of
the ability to think clearly. Inhaling mercury also damages the respiratory system, inducing coughing, shortness
of breath, and burning pains in the chest. In severe cases the lung tissue swells and fills with fluids. This can
lead to pneumonia, emphysema, and scarring and even collapse of the lung. Kidney damage, renal failure, rashes,
fever, chills, and elevated white blood counts are among the other consequences of inhaling mercury vapor.
Mercury taken orally is lethal at a dose of 10 to 42 milligrams of mercury for a 150 pound adult. Death is caused
by shock, cardiovascular collapse, acute renal failure, and sever gastrointestinal damage. In short, inhaling or
swallowing mercury has a devastating effect on the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, gastrointestinal, muscular,
and cardiovascular systems, and it damages the kidneys, liver, heart, brain, and reproductive organs.
Although these adverse effects are well documented, their exact cause is open to question. Because the electron
structure of mercury is loose, many other metals readily dissolve in it. According to the Chinese and Ayurvedic
systems of medicine, it is these impurities in mercury, such as the presence of zinc, lead, and other minerals,
that make mercury toxic. Mercury is always found as part of a compound in nature - most commonly in combination
with sulfur in the ore cinnabar.
According to Ayurvedic texts, eighteen steps are required to purify mercury. Of these, only the first eight are
recommended for medicinal purposes and commonly practiced by Ayurvedic physicians. The remaining ten steps, which
are obscure and have occult overtones, are used only for purifying mercury in such a way that it can transform
vulgar metals into gold. Even more obscure are the methods for applying purified mercury to the human body in
order to achieve spiritual goals. These are shrouded in mystery and are revealed by the master alchemists only to
select students. Ancient texts such as Rasa Ratna Samuccaya, Rudra Yamala, Goraksha Samhita, and the Hatha Yoga
Pradipika touch on the subject, but only enough to arouse our curiosity.
In every culture where alchemy has flourished, mercury has always been intimately related to an esoteric or
mystical tradition. This can be seen in the Hellenistic, Islamic, and Hermetic traditions, as well as in the
Chinese tradition of Taoism, and the Indian traditions of yoga and tantrism. All emphasize secrecy. For example,
in the esoteric text Rasanava, Shiva tells the Goddess, "The secret (of mercury) is seldom known, even among
the Gods," and in another text, the Chinese mystic Ko Hung states, "Secrecy is thrown over the efficacious
recipes." Similarly, Western post Renaissance alchemical literature is deliberately incomprehensible. In all
cultures, the knowledge of alchemy, especially the direct use of mercury, was imparted only to select initiates
who were aiming at the radical transformation of the human condition. It is these initiates who are said to have
obtained the elixir of immortality and become immortal; they wander on the earth while concealing their condition.
The mystical aspect of alchemy is most pronounced in Indian and Chinese traditions. In both, cinnabar is
considered to be the precursor of the elixir of immortality; the combination of mercury and sulfur in cinnabar
has metaphysical significance. In isolation mercury is a liquid. It is the sulfur in cinnabar that keeps mercury
in place. Thus, the relationship
between mercury and sulfur is like that of Shiva and Shakti, pure consciousness and the force of creativity,
respectively. In tantric literature, mercury is Shiva, symbolized by the linga, and sulfur is Shakti, symbolized
by the yoni. Shiva is able to manifest this universe only when united with Shakti. Similarly, mercury is able to
manifest the elixir of immortality only when embraced by sulfur.
Once it has been abstracted from cinnabar, mercury becomes figuratively lifeless. It is also adulterated by other metals and minerals in this state, and they must be removed before the mercury is brought back to life by
reuniting it with sulfur. This second marriage of mercury and sulfur forms vermilion, or artificial cinnabar.
Mercury is again isolated by heating vermilion to a high temperature, but this time the mercury is awakened.
Yogic and Ayurvedic texts describe how to make mercury sweat (svedana), how to massage it (mardana), how to
make it faint (murchhana), how to lift it (utthapana), how to drop it (patana), how to awaken or educate it
(bodhana), how to control or discipline it (niyamana), and how to energize it (depana.) Although following
these eight steps is a long process, Ayurvedic doctors maintain that only such purified mercury is fit for
medicinal preparations.

Mercury and Mysticism

The mystical tradition, which prescribes the application of mercury along with the practice of asana, pranayama,
bandhas, murdras, and mantra japa, does not specify whether "purified" or regular metallic mercury is required.
(editor note: unpurified mercury is poisonous.) The scriptures state simply that mercury is taken into the body
as part of specific practices such as vajra siddhi (making the body as strong and durable as a thunder bolt),
khechara siddhi (traveling through space), and tirodhana or antardhan siddhi (becoming invisible.) According
to some scriptures, mercury is also used in the practice of mritasanjivani vidya (the science of restoring the
dead to life.) But not a single scripture describes the prerequisites and procedures for any of these practices.
Most mercury-related practices are mentioned in the context of mantra sadhana, implying in some places that
mantra siddhi is attained with the help of mercury, and in others that one attains mercury siddhi by applying
mantra siddhi. But nowhere do the texts specify whether the mercury is swallowed, inhaled, or rubbed into the
skin - they simply praise the
practice and warn the practices related to mercury are highly secret and cannot be explained. The secret of
rasayana vidya is safeguarded by the oral tradition - it is transmitted only to those who are qualified to
receive it.
Only in regard to two practices - meditation on parada linga and vajroli kriya - do the scriptures give us any
idea of how to use mercury to attain mystical or scriptural experiences, but even here no prerequisites are given.
The first practice, meditation on parada linga, requires a shiva linga made of solidified mercury. Specific
practices related to mantra, yantra, and tantra are done in its presence.
Because mercury is Shiva, a shiva linga made of solidified mercury is considered to be superior to all others,
and for millennia alchemist mystics have known the secret of solidifying mercury at room temperature. Hinduism
Today magazine recently carried an article about a sadhu from Rishikesh who is known for making parada lingams.
Of course, neither this sadhu nor the scriptures share the knowledge of how this is done.
The practice of vajroli kriya is mentioned in the texts of hatha yoga and tantra. For example, it is listed among
the cleansing techniques in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. This kriya involves taking mercury into the body by sucking
it up through the generative organ. Because this organ is designed for the outflow of fluids, not for intake, and
because mercury is quite dense, this practice requires thorough, systematic preparation. The texts specify that
those who wish to practice vajroli kriya must first master the techniques of aswini mudra, mula bhanda, agni sara,
and uddiyana, bandha in order to gain mastery over the pelvic and abdominal regions. This enables the yogi to
create a vacuum in the pelvic and abdominal regions, which the mercury flows in to fill. As preparation, the
practitioner first develops the ability to suck air into the bladder, then switches to fluids - first to
distilled water, then to a mixture of milk and water, then to milk, then to sesame oil, and finally to mercury.
At least this is what the texts say, although in my own search I have yet to meet a yogi who can demonstrate the
ability to take mercury into the body in this manner.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika does not describe this techniques in sufficient detail to make practicing it possible
because, as commentators warn, it can be safely learned only under the guidance of a qualified master. However,
this text does specify the fruit of the practice - the attainment of deha siddhi (perfection of the body.)
Success in this practice will lead to freedom from sickness, to extraordinary strength, and possibly even to physical immortality. According to the tantric texts, a number of other yogic accomplishments are associated with
taking mercury into the body, including the mastery over sexual energy, dematerializing and rematerializing
oneself at will, defeating death, knowledge of the past and future, visions of devas and celestial realms,
attainment of samadhi, and enjoyment of everlasting bliss.
The yogis belonging to the natha tradition believe that one of the most startling siddhis, asmita siddhi,
mentioned in the fourth chapter of the Yoga Sutra, is based solely on alchemical applications of mercury.
According to them, aushadhi, one of the five means for attaining perfection in asmita siddhi, is synonymous with "
medicine." Through asmita siddhi, a yogi attains a perfect realization of "I - am - ness." In other words, self
awareness is perfected and the practitioner becomes a totally independent field of consciousness. From this
asmita (totally independent field of consciousness), the yogi has the power to create his or her personal mind
(chitta) at will. This particular type of mind, directly emerging from the asmita of an accomplished yogi
alchemist, is called nirmana chitta ( the self created mind.) Unlike the minds of ordinary individuals, nirmana
chitta is not part of nature, and therefore it is not bound by karmas and samskaras. Yogis of this caliber may
also create a body, known as nirmana kaya, at will, and yogis like Buddha, Gorakha Natha, Matsyendra Natha,
Chaurangi Natha, and Swatmarama - the author of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika - are said to walk in the flesh whenever
they choose through their nirmana kaya.

Looking for Answers

Are these alchemical and mystical experiences induced by mercury purely mythical? In our highly evolved
scientific era, all the elements, including mercury, are known to us to down to the sub atomic level. Medical
data clearly show that mercury poses a health hazard. Are we missing something? Chinese and Ayurvedic physicians
use mercury in its "purified" form. Does this purification alter it? If so, how? After all, it is still mercury.
Even if, for reasons yet unknown to modern science, the sulfur, herbs, and other minerals used in the process of
purifying mercury change its subtle properties, common sense does not permit us to ignore the mass of scientific
data on the havoc mercury wreaks in the body.
What happens when mercury is drawn through the generative organ and stored in the bladder? Mercury vaporizes at
body temperature, albeit slowly. Yogis raise the temperature of their navel center and abdominal region at least
ten degrees higher than normal while using mercury. As the mercury vaporizes, some it will be absorbed by the
walls of the bladder and the rest will move through the ureter into the kidneys, from where it enters the
bloodstream. When mercury vapor enters our bloodstream through this route, do the effects differ from those that
result when it enters through the lungs?
Ayurveda regards mercury as the master medicine for all diseases, and Ayurvedic preparations containing mercury
are used to cure illnesses accompanied by the symptoms of dizziness, loss of memory, low energy, degeneration of
bodily tissues, and damage to heart, kidney, liver, lungs, and brain. These are identical to the symptoms caused
by mercury poisoning. This is in line with the homeopathic principle that similar cures similar, so it makes
sense that mercury is the medicine for such problems, whether or not mercury poisoning is the case.
But the yogic claim that an earthly substance is so divine that it can take us to the other shore of life seems
impossibly far-fetched - at least at first glance. It implies that it is possible to use mercury to induce
mystical experiences; rejuvenate the body and lengthen life; bring about the knowledge of past, present, and
future; and create the ground for a
spiritual condition in which the individual consciousness unites with universal consciousness. But if we turn
again to the basic principle of homeopathy, we remember that mercury poisoning creates mental dullness, depletes
energy, shortens life, causes confusion about the past, present, and future, and also creates a sense of
separation in the realm of consciousness by causing the mind to become slow and spacey. In this context, it does
not seem so far-fetched to accept the possibility that mercury, when properly applied, can remove these problems
and return us to a state of balance - which the yogis would call awareness of our divine nature. At least it
makes an interesting area of inquiry, for science is not able to support this hypothesis at present.
I have made my own search into the yogic application of mercury. The yogis I met in the process fall into three categories. The first are eager to speak of their prowess with mercury, boasting that they have learned to take
it in through the generative organ and move it directly to the crown of the head, where it showers them with
yogic powers. Unfortunately, these yogis display none of the signs and symptoms of spiritual attainment. On the
contrary, I found them to be ignorant and full of greed and anxiety. As the scriptures warn, "Do not trust one
who begs, yet claims to be an alchemist."
In the second category, I have met a few yogis who exhibit some extraordinary yogic abilities and who are calm,
fearless, and full of joy. They have unfolded the virtue of compassion and are able to cure others in many
instances. These yogis readily admit to experimenting with mercury and suffering as a consequence. Swami
Aghorananda of Gujrat is an example. Rather than attaining perfection in mercury-related practices, he damaged
his body because he was not able to find a qualified teacher to guide him. In regard to the yogis in this
category, I have never been able to determine to my satisfaction whether the remarkable curative powers they
display are the result of mercury-related practices, or predate them.
Finally, there are a few rare yogis in the Himalayas in whom the higher spiritual virtues blossom. Whatever they
say comes true; they can heal others simply by giving an ordinary substance - a sip of water, a few blades of
grass, - as medicine. These yogis are gentle, tranquil, and free of fear and confusion, and they display an
unbelievable depth of knowledge in all subjects. When I asked about vajroli kriya, they made fun of it, saying
that when your mind, prana, and ojas have come to one point (bindu), then mercury does what you tell it to do.
One such yogi demonstrated the ability to
absorb mercury through his palms. According to him, mercury is Shiva and you worship or propitiate Shiva only
after you have become Shiva (Shivo bhuto, shivam yajete.) Therefore, the direct experience of Shiva
consciousness is the prerequisite for absorbing and retaining mercury. One of these rare yogis asked me, "If you
have already attained, then why do you need mercury?" and then answered his own question with a gentle smile, "
That is the mystery within the mystery."
When mercury is taken into your body it is absorbed in your bloodstream, and mercury is an elixir only if you
have trained your blood vessels and other organs to recognize mercury as Shiva. The yogi who has attained such a
high degree of mastery is called Shiva, the divine being who drinks poison for the purpose of transmuting it and
distributing nectar to others. Only such yogis are fit for the practice of rasayana vidya. It is good to aspire
to such a state, which can be attained by the help of a competent teacher, sincerity, patience, perseverance, and
God's grace. But, as the scriptures warn repeatedly, never practice unless you know what you are getting yourself

Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph. D. is the author of numerous books on the philosophy and practice of Yoga. He is the
director of the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale Pennsylvania USA.

07-20-2009, 06:34 PM
If you even have a mercury-silver dental filling in your mouth then run to the dentist and have it replaced with the newer, non-metal, materials.


The article (originating post) appears to present a balanced view of mercury but the article is hmmmmmm..... INSANE.

Mercury (the metal) is toxic and has no medicinal value what-so-ever.

Anyone even considering ingesting or handling mercury (bare skin) or breathing mercury vapors is daffy and fulfilling a subconscious 'death wish'.


07-20-2009, 07:35 PM
I also have heard of the supposed 180 mercury does when "purified" alchemically.

In both Bartlett's book "Real Alchemy" and Dennis W. Hauk's "Sorcerer's Stone" they speak of an Oil of mercury.
(Page 131 of "Real Alchemy", and page 156 of "Sorcerer's Stone".)

In Dennis's, he relates an indian alchemy oil that is an oil of mercury: "Makaradhwaja", whis is supposed to be an amalgam of alchemically purified mercury metal, gold, silver and copper and is used as a rejuvenative tonic for nervous system, lung, liver, lymph system, and the brain. Its also used to treat paralysis, hemiplegia, nervous disorders, tuberculosis, cancer and immune deficiency.

It has a whole page of stuff to go with that, but as with most alchemy, id say nature removes the toxins if given proper reason to. (whether by alchemist's intent, or by processes themselves) ;)
All is possible, just not always as probable. :)

07-21-2009, 10:08 AM

07-23-2009, 09:25 PM
:rolleyes: Can one still buy these pink pills

07-24-2009, 01:23 PM
:rolleyes: Can one still buy these pink pills

Yes! But, according to the ad, if you take them they may make you 'able to go to school'.
So, it seems like a trade-off. http://forum.alchemyforums.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

07-24-2009, 04:21 PM
If you even have a mercury-silver dental filling in your mouth then run to the dentist and have it replaced with the newer, non-metal, materials.

I'm keeping my 4, Hg-Ag amalgams as a concession to the idea of having traces of Hg in my system. Unlike the felt hat industry of the 19th century which used mercury in the treatment of fabrics, thereby exposing the craftsman, I have not become 'mad as a hatter' - yet. :)

On the other hand, I do have a pound of Mercury in the heavy glass bottle it came in, sitting on my alchemy book shelf. Now I'm reminded about how bad that would be if it fell to the floor! It was given to me by a house painter who saw my home lab when I was in 6th grade. He was going to 'silver' a necklace for his wife til he discovered that would be a very bad idea, and he gave it to me. Now, it is just a symbol on display (perhaps I should remove it and secure it :( ).