Nagarjuna (metallurgist)

Nāgārjuna (नागार्जुन) was an Indian metallurgist and alchemist. Legends recorded by Al-Biruni in the eleventh century say that he was born in the village of Daihak near in Gujarat “one hundred years ago,” i.e., at the start of the tenth century. Chinese and Tibetan literature says he born in Vaideha desh (Vidarbha) and then migrated to nearby Satavahana dynasty. There much confusion in history between Mahayana sect founder Nagarjuna and alchemist Nagarjuna. There are evidences found of his experimental laboratory in village Nagalwadi in Maharashtra state. According to some evidences he was working on immortality and knew the extraction of iron and mercury. There is much confusion about this author in the secondary literature. A 1984 study of manuscripts and printed editions connected with the alchemist Nāgārjuna found that his name is associated with a work titled Rasendramaṅgala but that the manuscripts of the Rasaratnākara are uniformly ascribed to a different author, Nityanātha Siddha.Works ascribed in manuscripts to an author called Nāgārjuna include Jīvasūtra, Rasavaiśeṣikasūtra, Yogaśataka, Kakṣapuṭa, Yogaratnamālā and several other works (Meulenbeld lists over fifty). It is certain that several different authors used the name Nāgārjuna to write works on medicine and alchemy, and that these authors are to be distinguished from the second-century Buddhist philosopher of the same name.
The most recent comprehensive discussion of the complicated text-historical issues connected with the name Nāgārjuna is given in the History of Indian Medical Literature.

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