Historians and intellectuals have always been reluctant to acknowledge the profound contributions of the Hindus in the fields of philosophy, alchemy, medicine, mathematics, including astronomy, arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry and geometry. Moreover, there has been a concerted effort to devalue the contributions of Hindus in various fields.
The Rig Veda eulogizes the twin gods of healing Aswins, who fitted an iron limb on Vispala whose leg was cut off in a conflict.
The many gods in the Rig Veda are personifications of elements and natural phenomena. While Tulsi plant having many medicinal values is regarded as mother, herbs endowed with potent and active properties have been given status of gods. The scriptures extol the magic powers of Soma rasa which has “conferred immortality to the gods”.
On one of the walls of the Birla temple in New Delhi is engraved an unusual inscription. Unusual, because it contains an amazing first-person account of an alchemical experiment purportedly conducted in the early 1940s in Delhi, which was witnessed by a few prominent people of that time. It was an experiment in which mercury was successfully transformed into gold.
“On 27 May 1942 AD (Jyaistha Shukla 1 Samvat 1998) in Birla House, New Delhi Shri Pandit Krishnapal Sharma made approximately 1 tola of gold from 1 tola of mercury in front of us.
The mercury was put inside a shell of reetha. In the mercury was mixed about 1 or 11/2 ratti of a white powder of some herb (jari-buti) and another yellow powder. Then the reetha shell was closed by clay and the whole thing put into the hollow of an earthen lamp and put on fire. For about 45 minutes, the fire was stoked by a fan till the coal got burnt completely to ashes. The lamp was then put into water to remove the contents. From the hollow of the earthen lamp a lump of gold was extracted.
On weighing it was found to be one or two ratti less than 1 tola. It was very dry.