mail07464 at mail07464 at
Mon Nov 13 07:00:28 UTC 1995

>From Howard J. Resnick <hrid at>:

I am currently researching sloka 11.14.25 of the Bhagavat-purana which
compares the purification of the soul to the process of purifying gold by
fire. The Sanskrit (without sandhi) is:
yathaa agninaa hema malam jahaati
dhmaatam punah svam bhajate ca ruupam
"As gold, when smelted (blown) by fire, gives up impurity and again takes on
its own form"

I urgently need the following information and I will be extremely grateful
for any help:
1. In ancient India, how was "new" gold obtained, i.e. by mining, panning
2. Do we know the general quality of that mined/panned gold? Some newly
obtained gold is relatively a pure metal, other gold has to be purified by
various chemical and heating methods.
3. Do we know (this is especially important for me) to what extent and by
what method manufactured gold products/alloys were "re-refined" to again
extract the gold from a manufactured alloy or mixture?
4. Since the word punah appears in this sloka, the implication is that gold
was restored to its former purity.
   Kindly reply to me at:  <hrid at>
Thank you very much.
Howard J. Resnick
Dept of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
Harvard U.


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