Parad or pada-rasam is a form of mercury that has been treated so it is a solid at room temperature. This process of amalgamation with sulfur and silver is a closely held secret of the siddhas of Tamil Nadu and as far as we know has not been understood by modern science.
Mercury in India has long been associated with Shiva, and is the archetypal alchemical material, both in Asian and Western alchemical traditions. According to the Siddha Alchemy tradition of South India, mercury represents the male seed or semen, the most potent and concentrated form of male energy. Sulfur has a feminine character, and when these two are brought together in the process of making parad, the final, solid form becomes a type of ‘alchemical marriage’ where the full spectrum of male and female energies is preserved and unified. This combination creates a third type of energetic potency which is not found in either aspect alone.
The association of mercury, especially in its solidified form, with the siddhi (magical power) of flight has a long history in both India and Burma. According to the siddha Nagarjuna, mercury “when bound, affords the power of flight”. The traditional belief that alchemically prepared, solidified mercury affords the owner magical powers is held to this day in Burma, and I, myself, heard it discussed this way while on a recent trip to Burma. These traditions can be found as early as the 10th century in both India and Tibet, where stories of the 84 Mahasiddhas mention the use of mercury as an alchemical agent in both meditative accomplishment and the attainment of siddhi.
One of the traditional siddhas of 10th century India, Gorakh, is described as holding a ball of mercury in his mouth which gave him the power of flying through the air. Similarly, I was personally told by a Burmese alchemist that one could hold one’s datlong (another form of alchemically prepared metal – often solidified mercury) under one’s tongue while meditating. When asked why this was done, the alchemist looked sidelong at me and said “in order to fly, of course”.
In recent times one can still find references to alchemical mercury preparations in texts on yoga and its powers to make the body light and impervious to injury and illness. One of the tests for real parad is its ability to ‘digest’ gold leaf wrapped around it. These beads will pass that test, as was proven recently by one of our happy customers. He wrote us saying “I am loving this mercury bead. Meditating with it on the crown chakra is amazing. It has a very strong effect.” You can see a picture of his bead eating the gold below.
Our parad is prepared in the traditional way, in India, by an Ayurvedic doctor deeply immersed in the tradition of South Indian Siddha medicine. These beads can be worn around the neck or kept on one’s shrine. We DO NOT recommend holding them in the mouth, and have not tested these beads for toxicity. Each bead weighs approximately 1.2 grams, and measures about 6 x 5 mm.