Alloying the five metals

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Alloying the five metals

Postby pemachophel » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:59 pm

In Tibetan Buddhism (as in Hinduism), the five metals (pancholoha) are corrolated with the five elements. Alloys of the five metals are used to cast statues, make bells and bowls, and other ritual items.

A. Does anyone know for sure what the Tibetan five metals are (as opposed to various Hindu lists)?
B. Does anyone know anything about the process of alloying them?

The issue is that iron (a ferrous metal), does not easily alloy with non-ferrous metals, such as copper, silver, and gold. If anyone knows how this is/can be done, I'd much appreciate hearing about it.

(P.S. For 5-6 years I was a craft jeweler and for another 3-4 years I did a lot of welding and fabrication with iron/steel. So I'm reasonably adept at working with metals, both in terms of fabrication and casting. IOW, don't hesitate to get technical.)

Thanks :anjali:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
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Re: Alloying the five metals

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:57 am

I read parts of this before, try pp. 41-.. & 71-.. From the online archives of Heidelberg University translated from German original:
http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/savi ... /Chakzampa
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Alloying the five metals

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:14 am

''The five were copper, tin, zinc, iron and a fifth metal that was left up to the bowlmaker's discretion. These could include gold, silver, nickel or metal from meteorites. ''

Read more: What Are Buddhist Singing Bowls Made Of? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5067669_buddh ... z23mDFtsFX

The author mentions research but doesn't link to it, sadly. Perhaps she may be able to point you to an authoritative source:
http://www.demandstudios.com/profile-32 ... -Sherwood/

Creating the sheet metal may not be a matter of making much attempt at an alloy, or if there is then may be the case that minute quantities of some metals may be used.

I have some old thogchags and some have rust spots in them, so it may that including the iron was a pretty crude affair. Some modern fakes also seem to include bits of iron and claim it to be from meteorites. Chinese sellers also have miraculous meteorites which contain 'sky iron' which is already in the form of bronze. LOL :)

I think you should ask for a research grant and go there to find out for sure! ;)
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Re: Alloying the five metals

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:02 pm

I noticed the Dzogchen Community 'Shang Shung Institute' shop sells melongs made in this way, with their symbol, so they must commission them and can probably put you in touch with the maker:

http://www.ssi-austria.at/shop/shope20.php
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Re: Alloying the five metals

Postby pemachophel » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:50 pm

Blue Garuda,

Thanks for the suggestion about the Shang Shung Institute. That's a good lead. I've exhausted pretty much everything I could find on the Internet.

:anjali:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
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