Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Mon Nov 13 14:54:33 UTC 1995

It is a common practice in India to take old ornaments to a gold-smith to 
get new ones made out of the same mettle.  On such occasions, the 
goldsmiths go through this process of "purification" of the gold to 
remove impurities.  Secondly, the word "dhmaatam" is important.  One 
needs to go to an Indian goldsmith and see how they blow a flame on to 
the gold they are working with in order to shape and join little pieces.  
However, this is different from the process of purification where they 
place the gold in a container and heat it.  Of course these are modern 
practices I have seen in Pune.
	Madhav Deshpande

On Mon, 13 Nov 1995, B. Reusch wrote:

> >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
> etc?
> 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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