The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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Mercury (rasa), when bound, is said to become khecari, possessed of the power of flight, a power it transmits to the alchemist who holds a capsule of said mercury in his mouth. If, however, it is heated before it has been properly prepared, or too rapidly, it can be lost to evaporation.
Here, it is said that until its wings have been clipped (pakṣa-ccheda) through various stabilizing techniques, unrefined mercury becomes subject to flight, i.e., evaporation (pātana), and may be “gone like a goose” (haṃsaga).
Here, mercury behaves like the haṃsa of the vital breaths: unless these are tethered by yogic discipline, the breath will eventually fly up out of the body to be lost forever, and the person will die.
The eight deities originating from Khecarī are called: