[Advaita-l] Ref request for somnath

Dr. Yadu Moharir ymoharir at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 24 13:53:34 CDT 2009

Namaste Sunil-Ji:
I absolutely agree with your statement that we need to salute pour ancestors for their knowledge of toxicity.  This can be witnessed in the use of "pa~nachloaha" for idols.  Initially it use to contain lead but then it was substituted with zinc.  This also suggests the evolving concept of "nityanutana - as sanaatana".  What appears to be missing is that we has lost the significance of many rituals and it is our duty to try and understand the pertinance.
The Vermilion (kum-kum) use was indeed herbal based.  That is prepared from turmeric and calcium oxide and chemically it is Calcium salt of complex curcumenoids.  The beauty of calcium salt is that it can attach to the cell walls of Yeast & Mold. Once this binding occurs it seems to interfere with their replication cycle.  That is why and how turmeric is can prevent mold growth.
The red color used for "Ganesha and Hanuman" is not vermilion but "shenduura" which is lead oxide.  It is with oil and then applied to the statue.
Dr. Yadu

--- On Mon, 8/24/09, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Ref request for somnath
To: "Dr. Yadu Moharir" <ymoharir at yahoo.com>
Date: Monday, August 24, 2009, 6:04 AM

Vermillion used in the ancient days was of herbal type.  
I think in one herbal formula the red fruit of a type of fig plant was used. The mercury -based vermillion is also a twentieth century problem. Then there are toxic chemicals used as coloured powder and this is also a modern problem. 
As I look back I have to salute the ancient scholars with respect for their awareness of toxicity.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya


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