sai priya Profile picture
20 Nov, 14 tweets, 5 min read
Found the ancient recipe for pyrotechnics used in warfare/fireworks and some more information/accounts.


the following is from: History of Hindu Chemistry Vol I by Praphulla Chandra Ray
“By varying proportions of the ingredients, viz., charcoal, sulphur, saltpeter, realgar, orpiment, calx of lead, asafoetida, iron powder,camphor, lac, indigo and resin of Shorea robusta, different kinds of fires are devised by the pyrotechnists, giving forth flashes of starlight”
this Recipe for various types/colors of gunpowders by varying the quantities of the constituents is from Śukranīti by Śukrāchārya

Charcoal, sulfur, suvarchi, stones, harital, lead, hingul, iron filings, camphor, jatu, indigo, juice of sarala tree, etc.
..while gunpowder and firearms appear to have been known in India since immemorial times, and though we know that fireworks and firearms are always in use – the Portuguese, the first Europeans who came to this country, were struck at their landing with the display of both –
“Besides the moral rules with the extension of the use of such weapons, another and perhaps even more potent reason can be produced. Firearms were such powerful engines of war that everyone, who possessed them, keep their construction and handling a secret is possible.”
Chinese crackers had a different term in Tamil to distinguish them from Indian crackers
Charcoal obtained from the destructive distillation of arka wood is highly valuable and was used as a component of explosive powder (my dad confirms this, growing up he saw arka (jilledu) coal powder used in flower pots, etc.
“The snuhi plant Those like Arka invest places all over the Indian peninsula. The qualities of this plant for pyrotechnic displays are as well known as those of Calotropis gigantea.”
The following stanza, which is taken from the Rajalakshminarayanashrdaya, a part of the Atharvanashasya, is no doubt a clear proof of the fact that Hindus were familiar with gunpowder at a remote period.
“Explosive powder either used for rejoicings as fireworks or for discharging projectiles was known India from the earliest period and its preparation was never forgotten;”
“India is the land of fireworks; no festival is complete without them and as the materials for their manufacturer all Indigenous end of easy access, there is no difficulty in gratifying such desires.”
from On the weapons, army organisation, and political maxims of the ancient Hindus, with special reference to gunpowder and firearms
by Oppert, Gustav Salomon, 1836-1908…
DISCLAIMER: this is just for our information. none of this matters in the current discussion of whether crackers are an “essential practice” or not. As i’ve said before, Hindus can do as they please. no one should be messing with our traditions even if this material didn’t exist.

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More from @priya_27_

19 Nov
the truth is somewhere in between. there are allusions to ancient fireworks that made light/sound with the help of chemicals. of course they do not resemble modern crackers. that point has been made clear. you’re being dishonest by saying scripture is being misrepresented
by putting together the ideas of exploding chemicals/lights in the sky/and other phenomena that have been described, we can conclude that they are references to what would’ve been the ancient forms of firecrackers. this is based on the fact that gun powder/salt petre/sulphates/
etc. were already described. there was a huge repertoire of knowledge of Rasayanasastra in ancient india. there is evidence that early chinese stuffed gun powder into bamboo and threw them into fire to create explosive noises, and this knowledge was transmitted from india.
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
Exquisitely carved pillars that once formed the Vasantha Mandapa of Sri Madanagopalaswamy Temple, Madurai, now stand at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.
In 1912, when the temple was being renovated by the British, these pillars were sold in an auction by temple authorities to Adeline Gibson, a Philadelphia resident who was on her honeymoon at Madurai. She transported them to the US, and on her death, were donated to PMA in 1919.
According to records, most of the pillars, carved during the 1560s, were once part of a hall dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi in the Koodal Alagar Perumal and Sri Madanagopalaswamy Temples.
Read 8 tweets
16 Nov
she’s really trying to punch above her weight. i don’t recall a single person asking for her opinion.

unless she’s going to magically create an industry that employs the 10lakh that will be affected, she needs to stfu.
regarding whether crackers are integral to diwali or not, it’s none of her business. Hindus have the fundamental right to religious freedom to practice their own religion as they see fit

Hindus couldn’t care less about the opinions and fulminations of people like her.
for a religion that’s so diverse, with so many variations in traditions across regions, sāmpradāyas, and times, why should a simple (and universal) hindu custom like crackers have scriptural basis? is any other religion being asked if their actions have scriptural roots?
Read 4 tweets
14 Nov

We need to find a way to permanently address any and all unwarranted policing or legislation of or relating to Hindu festivals, traditions, practices. Hinduism should be completely off-limits, for both governments and bureaucracy.
You’d think that for a country that claims to be secular, non-interference in religion would be common sense - after all, that’s the definition of secularism. but no. Hinduism is OPEN SEASON. Not only do governments loot, degrade and maniacally control Hindu temples,
they also ban and legislate Hindu traditions and festivals. this is just unbelievable. i am aghast that governments think this is okay. i’m more appalled that even some hindus themselves take vicarious pleasure in the ban of practices they don’t particularly like/participate in.
Read 7 tweets
1 Nov
this is what europe did to women accused of adultery or abortion in the middle ages, and they get outraged about sati. this practice of breast ripping with heated implements to tear it clean off and other gruesome torture devices were in standardised use throughout Europe.
Fifteenth-century Breast Ripper in a torture museum, Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. (wiki)
they were also used by Portuguese missionaries led by Francis Xavier during the Goan inquisition to rip the breasts off of Hindu women who refused to convert to christianity
Read 4 tweets
30 Oct
THREAD: Soma, its significance and possible identity
(put together with the kind help of our guru @TIinExile)

अपाम सोममम्र्ता अभूमागन्म जयोतिरविदाम देवान |
किं नूनमस्मान कर्णवदरातिः किमु धूर्तिरम्र्त मर्त्यस्य ||

Rigveda (8.48.3)

“We have drunk Soma and become immortal”
The importance of Soma is sufficiently shown by the fact that the whole of the ninth Maṇdala of the Rigveda, and six hymns in other Maṇdalas, are devoted to its praise.
At the conclusion of Somayāyas such as the Agnicayana/Athiratra, the Śatarudriya (from the Krishna Yajurveda Samhita (4.5) of Taittiriya Shakha) is chanted, closing with an offering of soma, considered the only prasāda that is eligible to be offered to the Gods, to Rudra.
Read 42 tweets

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