The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Formulas of the Divine Elixir of the Nine Cauldrons

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Some unknown author wrote the 20-volumed Yellow Emperor's Book of Formulas of the Divine Elixir of the Nine Cauldrons ( 《黃帝九鼎神丹經訣》 Huangdi Jiuding Shendan Jingjue ), or simply the Book of Formulas of the Divine Elixir of the Nine Cauldrons. The hook holds that, one can achieve longevity by nothing except divine elixir and gold liquid. Art of breath, gymnastics, and grass medicine can help in prolonging lifespan but not in achieving immortality. Consumption of golden elixir can save man and help to transcend mortality. The book lists many alchemical ways, such as blackish yellow way ( 玄黃法 Xuanhuang Fa ), way of elixir sublimation ( 丹華法 Danhua Fa ), Way of divine talisman ( 神符法 Shenfu Fa ), way of elixir reversion ( 還丹法 Huandan Fa ), way of elixir dietetics ( 餌丹法 Er’dan Fa ), Way of elixir refining ( 煉丹法 Liandan Fa ), way of elixir softening ( 柔丹法 Roudan Fa ), way of elixir subsiding ( 伏丹法 Fudan Fa ), and way of elixir cooling ( 寒丹法 Handan Fa ). The book proposes that it is necessary for one to learn formulae from true teacher to refine elixir, and proves this with recitations form Hu Gangzi. The contents about "preserving spirit and protecting body from evil souls" in Vol. 4 and "the necessity of favorable conditions and financial support for the success of elixir refining" in Vol. 5 are very similar to those about taboos and protections for entering mountains in Entering Mountains, Baopuzi. The book tells much about concrete processing of many kinds of medicine, such as mercury, cinnabar and realgar. Collected in Skills Class, Pervasive Divinity Section, Daoist Canon of Zhengtong Era, the book is valuable for the study of Daoist outer alchemy and ancient Chinese technology.