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Rasopanishad A Discourse on Indian Alchemy (English Translation and Exposition of Scientific Content)

Vijaya Jayant Deshpande (Author)

This book is an outcome of the work carried out under the Academic Development Programme of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute supported financially by the Infosys foundation. The author who has vast experience in chemistry as well as various facets of the history of science has chosen a medieval Sanskrit text Rasopanisad for this stupendous scholarly endevour. Rasopanisad belongs to the eleventh century CE and is related to alchemy (not modern chemistry).

Modern chemistry, like many other sciences such as biology (folk biology) and medicine (ethnomedicine), has roots in ideas and beliefs prevalent in ancient and medieval societies all over the world. Various streams of thoughts and beliefs about the chemical properties of the materials were together known as alchemy. There were two major drivers in the medieval world that made people go after First was a desire to convert inferior metals such as copper and iron into gold. The second driving force was a longing to become immortal, or at least have long healthy life. The author has aptly introduced the historical background of alchemy, and with a word of wisdom that what has been presented here is only a translation of a medieval text and must be viewed only from historical point of view. It does not claim to be experimentally validated knowledge about chemistry or metallurgy.

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Bibliographic information

Title Rasopanishad A Discourse on Indian Alchemy (English Translation and Exposition of Scientific Content)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 15.12.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789392194030
length xii+368p., Appendices, Index; 24cm.