Chemistry or Rasayanhas been one of the advanced and practiced sciences of India.
Chemists in Europe from ancient to medieval times were thought of as black alchemist. During the same period in India it was not looked at as sorcery, but was considered a refined and respected science.
We have had practical chemists in India down the ages, who practiced with ingredients and methodologies prevalent in their times. They are our potter, metal smith, brewer, pharmacist, pigment, paint maker, alchemist etc.
The traditional Indian indigo production was unique because the method involved a subtle chemical process. The control and utilization of this chemical process determined the quality of the indigo dye. The Indian brewers of indigo had understood and mastered this.
All these people have used indigenous technology with locally available material to make outstanding products, some of which are:
- Indigo extraction
Indigo extraction is a chemical process of dying, which has been practiced in India right from the days of Harappa civilization to the 1900s. An unbroken and unique production process practiced for over 4900 years. This came to a halt with the industrial production of chemical dyes in Germany from the year 1900.
Pigments and paintings
Paintings in caves, textiles and on other material have been practiced in India from ancient times with vegetable dyes, some of which are fluorescent and bright even today. The cave paintings of Ajantha, Sitthanavasal are standing proof.
Perfumery has been used in India both for religious purposes and for shringara. The mother of Nur Jahan first distilled Attar in India, which was later taken to Arabia where it became famous.
Mercury has been given many names in Rasayan, which goes to show its wide use and popularity. It was used in medicine, in alchemy and as a catalyst in other chemical processes. Many methods of mercury extraction were practiced.
P.C.Roy, father of modern chemistry in India.
Prafulla Chandra Ray, 1861-1944
His contribution in assimilating this vast traditional knowledge is to be appreciated. He also brought out as to how it can be put to use for the benefit of the people of India for the present and the future.
- Kechari Vidya- Chemistry of teleporting
This could well be the future of chemistry. The science of Kechari Vidyaor teleporting has been discussed in some detail in the various Indian texts. India could probably contribute in a big way to modern day chemistry and application of this technology.