Moosha (Musha): Crucibles Used in Rasashastra

In many of the procedures in Rasashastra, normally used utensils cannot withstand high temperatures during intense heating. To overcome this challenge, a special type of crucibles of particular shape was designed which could sustain intense heating. Such crucibles are known as Moosha, Musha or Musa.

Definition of Musha

Moosha is a decvice used to eradicate the doshas of a substance , when subjected to heat. It eliminates the impurities of the ubstance heated in it. It can be compared ti modercn crucibles.

Definition

मुष्णाति दोषान्मूषेयान् सा मूषेति निगद्यते । (र.र.स.१०/२)
muṣṇāti doṣānmūṣeyān sā mūṣeti nigadyate | (ra.ra.sa.10/2)

The Yantra which destroys the removable Doshas (impurities) is called as Musha. A Musha can withstand a very high temperature.

Synonyms: Musha, Kraunchika, Kumudi, karahatika, Pachani, Vahnimitra.

Musha is used by goldsmiths to melt gold, silver etc. Similarly, in Rasashastra, it is used in melting the metals. Various types of Musha have been explained based on the substance sed to prepare Musha, shape and use.

Musha is prepared by pounding a mixture of coal, ash of hay, grass pieces, horse dung and mud.

Mud used

Mud used in preparation of Musha:

The mud should be free of sand, yellowish white, blackish red, or white coloured. This type of mud is capable of tolerating high temperature. In the absence of this type of mud, ant-hill mud or pot-maker’s mud is used.

Samanya Musha

या मृत्तिका दग्धतुषैः शणेन शिखित्रकैर्वा हयलद्दिना च ।
लोहेन दण्डेन च कुट्टिता या साधारणा स्याद्खलु मूषिकार्थे ॥
(र.र.स.१०/७)
yā mṛttikā dagdhatuṣaiḥ śaṇena śikhitrakairvā hayaladdinā ca |
lohena daṇḍena ca kuṭṭitā yā sādhāraṇā syādkhalu mūṣikārthe ||
(ra.ra.sa.10/7)

Burnt hey, cut grass pieces, charcoal powder, horse dung, all these are taken in equal quantities  and the mud useful for making Musha is taken equal to the sum of the quantity of above-mentioned iingredients. All the ingredients are mixed by adding water & pounded well to form a soft bolus. The bolus is given the desired shape, dried under son and subjected to fire and thus Samanya Musha is prepared.

In contexts where there is no mentioning of use of particular type of Musha, Samanya Musha is considered for usage.

Vajra Musha

मृदस्त्रिभागाः शणलद्दिभागौ भागश्च निर्दग्धतुषोपलादेः ।
किट्टादर्धभागं परिखण्डय वज्रमूषां विदध्याद् खलु सत्वपाते ॥ (र.र.स.१०/९)
mṛdastribhāgāḥ śaṇaladdibhāgau bhāgaśca nirdagdhatuṣopalādeḥ |
kiṭṭādardhabhāgaṃ parikhaṇḍaya vajramūṣāṃ vidadhyād khalu satvapāte || (ra.ra.sa.10/9)

Mud – 3 parts, grass leaves, – 1 part, horse dung –1 part, mandoora powder – ½ part

all these ingredients are taken together, pouned well, made into a bolus, given proper shape. Such a Musha is called as Vajra Musha. This is so called because it can withstand a very high temperature. The Vajra Musha is especially used in Satwapatana process of hard substances.                 

Pakwa Moosha

कुलालभाण्डरूपा या दृढा च परिपाचिता ।
पक्वमूषेति सा प्रोक्ता पोट्टल्यादिविपाचने ॥ (र.र.स.१०/२७)
kulālabhāṇḍarūpā yā dṛḍhā ca paripācitā |
pakvamūṣeti sā proktā poṭṭalyādivipācane || (ra.ra.sa.10/27)

This Musha is prepared by common mud. The shape resembles the small mud pot. This Musha is prepared by subjected it into high temperature. So the name pakwa Musha. This is used in pachana of Pottali etc.  

Gostani musha

मूषाया गोस्तनाकारा शिखायुक्तपिधानका ।
सत्वानां द्रावणे शुद्धौ मूषा सा गोस्तनी भवेत् ॥ (र.र.स.१०/२५)
mūṣāyā gostanākārā śikhāyuktapidhānakā |
satvānāṃ drāvaṇe śuddhau mūṣā sā gostanī bhavet || (ra.ra.sa.10/25)

The shape of Gostani Musha is similar to that of cow udder (cylindrical).  The covering lid will be having a handle, so that the lid can be openend anytime during a process. Gostani Musha is useful in melting Satwas and in purification. While a substance is being melted, the lid may be opened with the help of the handle to check the melting.

This Musha is prepared by triturating dried earthworms, mud & ash of hey with buffalo milk.

Substance used for sealing:

Mud, Multani Mud, jaggery, lime, cloth smeared with mud, mud near to stove, latex, Mandoora & Buffalo milk are predominantly used as sealing substance. Different substs ances are used in different context like Laksha, Atasi Taila (linseed oil), etc.

Sandhibandhana

Definition: The sealing between Musha and the lid is called as Sandhibandhana.

Synonyms: Bandhana, Andhrana, Randhrana, Samshlishta.

Madana Mudra

औदुम्बराख्य वटदुग्धपलं पलं च लाक्षा पलमृषिपलं त्वथचुम्बकस्य ।
सङ्कुट्यमानमतसीतैलमिश्रं सूतस्य जारणविधौ मदनाख्यमुद्रा ॥ (आनन्दकन्द पृ ६९०)\
audumbarākhya vaṭadugdhapalaṃ palaṃ ca lākṣā palamṛṣipalaṃ tvathacumbakasya |
saṅkuṭyamānamatasītailamiśraṃ sūtasya jāraṇavidhau madanākhyamudrā || (ānandakanda pṛ 690)

Udumbara (Ficus racemosa) Latex – 1 part, Vata (Ficus benghalensis) Latex – 1 part, laksha (Laccifer lacca) – 1 part, magnet powder – 7 parts are taken in a Khalwa Yantra, mixed with linseed oil, and pounded well so that the mixture turns into soft mass.

Use: to seal Kupi and Musha, useful in Parada Jarana and Marana.

Hata Mudra

चुम्बकं लोह चूर्णं च क्रोडरक्तेन संयुतम् ।
तत्र सर्वं प्रतादव्यं घनघातेन ताडयेत् ॥
सन्ध्यारम्भोदयो यावत् सूर्यबिंबं न दृश्यते ।
हठमुद्रेति विख्यातं सर्वसिद्धेर्नमस्कृता ॥ (आनन्दकन्द पृ ६८९)
cumbakaṃ loha cūrṇaṃ ca kroḍaraktena saṃyutam |
tatra sarvaṃ pratādavyaṃ ghanaghātena tāḍayet ||
sandhyārambhodayo yāvat sūryabiṃbaṃ na dṛśyate |
haṭhamudreti vikhyātaṃ sarvasiddhernamaskṛtā || (ānandakanda pṛ 689)

Magnet powder is mixed with equal quantity of pig blood and is punded overnight. The mass gains wax like consistency and it can be used for sealing. This type of sealing is called as hata Mudra. It is useful in sealing paraada inside a Musha and to protect Parada from high temperature (Teevragni).

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