For the purpose of purification and incineration, specific amount of heat is given to metals and minerals. This is quantified as Puta. In Rasashastra, Puta involves specific quantity of fuel in specific area of pit where heating process is carried out.
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Purificatory procedures like shodhana, marana, satvapatana etc. which are useful in making the substances, involve heating or boiling. During heating the temperature should be optimum so that the required final product should be rich in qualities. So, the unit of heat required for the optimization of temperature is necessary.
In Ayurveda, especially in Rasashastra, during any procedure unit of heat required for obtaining the proper final product has been mentioned with proper measurements. They are mentioned in terms of qualitative and quantitative measurements. “Puta” is the word given to express unit of heat in Ayurveda.
Read: Koshti (Furnace or Fireplace) of Rasashastra
Definition of Puta
रसादि द्रव्यपाकानां प्रमाणज्ञापनं पुटम् । (र. र. स. १०/४७)
rasādi dravyapākānāṃ pramāṇajñāpanaṃ puṭam | (ra. ra. sa. 10/47)
The unit for subjecting Parada and other substances to precise quantity of heat is called as Puta.
Subjecting various Rasashastra substances is one of the very essential and basic proesses of Rasashastra. For a Rasashastra medicine to be therapeutically, it should be subjected to precise amount of heat. Neither less nor more. Otherwise, it may result in bringing about adverse effects. Hence, knowledge about Puta is very essential, for successful manufacture of any medicine. Several type of Putas are explained in Rasashastra texts. Out of them, a few have been explained here according to syllabus.
By the effect of heat, The substances gain therapeutic qualities. This is supplemented by the Bhavana and other processes. By the effect of heat, the roughand big sized particles turn into smooth and fine particles.
There is a saying in modern medical system, that smaller the particle size, greater will be the surface area and better the absorption. So, due to heat processing of the Rasashastra drugs, the particle size is reduced to the minutest possible level, by which the surface area of each particle incrases by a large extent and thus better the absorption and thereby the therapeutic effect of the drug.
Table of Puta types
|Name of the Puta||Measurement||Total number of Upalas||Uses|
|Mahaputa||2 hasta (91.44 cm)||1500||Marana of Tamra, Parada, Vajra and to prepare Trivanga Bhasma|
|Gajaputa||1 Rajahasta (55.88 cm)||1000||Marana of Abhraka, Kacchapa Prushta, (tortoise shell), kaparda, Akeeka, Gomeda, Neelama, Loha, Mandoora etc.|
|Varahaputa||1 Aratni (41.91 cm)||100/150||Preparation of Bhasma of Abhraka, Tamra, Rajata, Swarna Makshika, etc.|
|Kukkutaputa||2 Vitasti (45.72 cm)||10||Preparation of Bhasma of Parada, Swarna Makshika and Tarkshya (a Ratna).|
|Kapotaputa||—-||8||Marana of Swarna and Rajata|
|Gomayaputa||8 (2 Manika-64 Tolas)||Marana of Parada|
|Kumbha Puta / Bhanda Puta||—-||—-||Marana process of Harala, Somala etc.|
|Valuka Puta||—-||—-||Marana process of Harala, Somala etc.|
|Bhudhara Puta||2 Angula||Depends upon putandravya||Marana of Parada an Somala|
|Lavaka Puta||1 Vitasti (22.86 cm)||—-||—-|
निम्ने विस्तरतः कुण्डे द्विहस्ते चतुरस्रके ।
वनोत्पल सहस्रेण पूरिते पुटनौषधम् ॥
क्रौञ्च्यां रुद्धं प्रयत्नेन पिष्टिकोपरि निक्षिपेत् ।
वनोत्पल सहस्रार्धं क्रौञ्चिकोपरि विन्यसेत् ॥
वह्निं प्रज्वालयेत्तत्र महापुटमिदं स्मृतम् ॥ (र. र. स. १०/५१-५२)
nimne vistarataḥ kuṇḍe dvihaste caturasrake |
vanotpala sahasreṇa pūrite puṭanauṣadham ||
krauñcyāṃ ruddhaṃ prayatnena piṣṭikopari nikṣipet |
vanotpala sahasrārdhaṃ krauñcikopari vinyaset ||
vahniṃ prajvālayettatra mahāpuṭamidaṃ smṛtam || (ra. ra. sa. 10/51-52)
To prepare Mahaputa, two hasta deep and breadth square pit dug in the ground. It is filled with 1,000 cow dung cakes. Over this, Musha or the Samputa is kept. 500 more Vanopalas are placed ofer the Musha / Saputa and it is put on fire.
Use: For the Marana of Tamra, Parada, Vajra and to prepare Trivanga Bhasma.
राजहस्त प्रमाणेन चतुरस्रञ्च निम्नकम् ।
पूर्णञ्चोपलशाठीभिः कण्ठावध्यथ विन्यसेत् ॥
विन्यसेत् कुमुदीं तत्र पुटन द्रव्य पूरिताम् ।
पूर्णच्छगणतोऽर्धानि गिरिण्डानि विनिक्षिपेत् ॥
एतद् गजपुटं प्रोक्तं महागुणविधायकम् ॥ (र. र. स १०/५३-५४)
rājahasta pramāṇena caturasrañca nimnakam |
pūrṇañcopalaśāṭhībhiḥ kaṇṭhāvadhyatha vinyaset ||
vinyaset kumudīṃ tatra puṭana dravya pūritām |
pūrṇacchagaṇato’rdhāni giriṇḍāni vinikṣipet ||
etad gajapuṭaṃ proktaṃ mahāguṇavidhāyakam || (ra. ra. sa 10/53-54)
To make a Gaja Puta, one raja hasta depth and width pit is dug. 750 Upalas are placed beneath the Musha / Samputa and 250 Upalas are placed above. And Upalas are subjected to fire.
Use: Used in Marana of Abhraka, Kacchapa Prushta, (tortoise shell), kaparda, Akeeka, Gomeda, Neelama, Loha, Mandoora etc.
Varaha / Kroda Puta
इत्थं चारत्निके कुण्डे पुटं वाराहमुच्यये । (र. र. स. १०/५५)
itthaṃ cāratnike kuṇḍe puṭaṃ vārāhamucyaye |(ra. ra. sa. 10/55)
In a pit of one Aratni depth & width (measurement from elbow to little finger, 11 Angulas), half part is filled with Upalas and then the Musha is placed over it and the remaining empty space in the pit is filled up with Uapala andsubjected to fire.
Use: In preparation of Bhasma of Abhraka, Tamra, Rajata, Swarna Makshika, etc.
पुटं भूमितले तत्तद्वितस्तिद्वितयोच्छ्रयम् ।
तावच्चतलविस्तीर्णं तस्यात्कुक्कुटकं पुटम् ॥ (र. र. स. १०/५६)
puṭaṃ bhūmitale tattadvitastidvitayocchrayam |
tāvaccatalavistīrṇaṃ tasyātkukkuṭakaṃ puṭam || (ra. ra. sa. 10/56)
Regarding the number of Upalas & the measurement of pit, there is difference of opinion.
1. Pit size is 2 vitasti (24 Angula) depth and width.
2. Pit size is 1 Hasta and number of Upalas is 10.
3. Pit size is 16 Angula.
4. Pit size is 6 Angula.
Use: To prepare Bhasma of Parada, Swarna Makshika Bhasma and Tarkshya (a Ratna).
यत्पुटं दीयते भूमावष्टसंख्यैर्वनोपलेः
बद्ध्वा सूतार्कभस्मार्थ कपोतपुटमुच्यते । (र.र.स.१०/५७)
yatpuṭaṃ dīyate bhūmāvaṣṭasaṃkhyairvanopaleḥ
baddhvā sūtārkabhasmārtha kapotapuṭamucyate | (ra.ra.sa.10/57)
A small pit is dug in the ground and 8 Upalas are placed inside it. Or the 8 Upalas are placed on the ground. And subjected to fire. Such a Puta is called as Kapota Puta.
Gomaya Puta / Gobar Puta
गोर्वरे वा तूषेर्वापि खलु कुक्षेऽथवा क्षितौ ।
पुटं यद्दीयते विज्ञैस्तद् गोरवरपुटं स्मृतम् ॥ (र.त.३/४४)
gorvare vā tūṣervāpi khalu kukṣe’thavā kṣitau |
puṭaṃ yaddīyate vijñaistad goravarapuṭaṃ smṛtam || (ra.ta.3/44)
In Gomaya Puta, the dried cow dung is used as fuel. Often, dried grass is also used. This Puta is given on the surface of ground. (No need to dig a pit). Some scholars have mentioned the use of a vessel. Dr Kulkarni has opined that quantity of dried co dung should be equivalent to 8 Upalas. Rasa Prakash sudhakar has mentioned the quantity of Upala as 2 Manika (64 Tolas).
Kumbha Puta / Bhanda Puta
स्थूलभाण्डे तूषापूर्णे मध्ये मूषासमन्विते ।
वह्निना विहिते पाके तद्भाण्डपुटमुच्यते ॥ (र.र.स.१०/६०)
sthūlabhāṇḍe tūṣāpūrṇe madhye mūṣāsamanvite |
vahninā vihite pāke tadbhāṇḍapuṭamucyate || (ra.ra.sa.10/60)
A big sized pot is filled with dried husk or hey till half of the pot. Samputa or the Musha is placed over it. The rest of the space in the pot is filled with dry husk. The husk is put on fire. This type of Puta is called as Bhanda Puta.
Use – In Marana process of harala, Somala etc.
प्रतप्त वालुकागर्भे न्यस्य मूषादिकं दृढम् ।
यद्दीयते पुटं तत्तु वालुकापुटमुच्यते ॥ (र.त.३/४६)
pratapta vālukāgarbhe nyasya mūṣādikaṃ dṛḍham |
yaddīyate puṭaṃ tattu vālukāpuṭamucyate || (ra.ta.3/46)
Valuka Puta is used by placing Samputa inside the heap of sand. For this Puta, a pot is taken, filled with hot sand upto half. Then the Samputa is placed and the rest of the space inside the potis filled with hot sand. And this set up is subjected to fire for a fixed time period. In some contexts, Kshara or Bhasmas (wooden ash) is used inplace of hot sand.
भूमिगर्भे कुमुदिकां विन्यस्य द्वयंगुलोपरि ।
यद्दीयते पुटं तत्तु पुटं भूधर सँज्ञकम् ॥ (र.त.३/४७)
bhūmigarbhe kumudikāṃ vinyasya dvayaṃgulopari |
yaddīyate puṭaṃ tattu puṭaṃ bhūdhara saँjñakam || (ra.ta.3/47)
A pit is dug on ground and Musha is placed in it. Over it, a compound of two Anugla height is constructed and Upalas are placed in it, and subjected to fire. This set up is called as Bhudhara Puta. Some scholars have mentioned to fill the pit with Sand and the Musha. There is no mentioning about the umber of Upalas tobe used. It depends upon the quality of the drug.
Use: Bhudhara Putais used in Paka of Parada and Somala.
ऊर्ध्वं षोडशिकामात्रैस्तुषैर्वा गोर्वरैः पुटम् ।
यत्र तल्लावकाख्यं स्यात् सुमृदुद्रव्यसाधने ॥ (र.र.स.१०/६३)
गोर्वरैर्वा तुषैर्वापि वितस्त्यूर्ध्वं पुटन्तु यत् ।
मृदुद्रव्य प्रसिद्ध्यर्थं तल्लावकपुटं मतम् ॥ (र.त.३/४९)
ūrdhvaṃ ṣoḍaśikāmātraistuṣairvā gorvaraiḥ puṭam |
yatra tallāvakākhyaṃ syāt sumṛdudravyasādhane || (ra.ra.sa.10/63)
gorvarairvā tuṣairvāpi vitastyūrdhvaṃ puṭantu yat |
mṛdudravya prasiddhyarthaṃ tallāvakapuṭaṃ matam || (ra.ta.3/49)
One Vitasti height (12 Angula) of heap of dried cow dung or dry husk is placed on the ground. Samputa is placed inside it and Subjected to fire. Such a Puta is called as Lavaka Puta.
Quantity of fuel, where it is not mentioned
अनुक्तपुट माने तु साध्यद्रव्य बलाबलात् ।
पुटं विज्ञाय दातव्यमूहापोह विचक्षणैः ॥ (र.र.स.१०/६४)
anuktapuṭa māne tu sādhyadravya balābalāt |
puṭaṃ vijñāya dātavyamūhāpoha vicakṣaṇaiḥ || (ra.ra.sa.10/64)
In the context where the quantity of fuel is not mentioned, there, the quantity is adjudged considering The hardness, softness,structure texture of the material.
For a very hard substance Mahaputa is used.
For substances with medium hardness, Gajaputa is used
For Substances with with lesser hardness, Kukkuta Puta is used
For soft substances, kapota Puta is used For softer substances, Valuka, Bhudhara or lavaka Puta is used.