Indian Contribution

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glory of Bharath, its ingenuity


<p>INDIAN CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD OF SCIENCE</p> <p>Vedic Science Research CentrePlot No:32, C.V.Kovil Street, R.K.Nagar, Alwarthirunagar, Chennai-87, Phone:+ 91-44-24862832</p> <p>Mathematics </p> <p>Mathematics has its roots in Vedic literature which is nearly 4000 years old. Between 1000 B.C. and 1000 A.D. various treatises on mathematics were authored by Indian mathematicians in which were set forth for the first time, the concept of zero, the techniques of algebra, square root and cube root. Geometry is called Rekha-Ganita Even the technique of calculation, called algorithm, which is today widely used in designing soft ware programs (instructions) for computers was also derived from Indian mathematics.</p> <p>This method of graduated calculation was documented in the Pancha-Siddhantika (Five Principles) in the 5th Century But the technique is said to be dating from Vedic times circa 2000 B.C.</p> <p>ALGEBRA In</p> <p>ancient India conventional mathematics termed Ganitam was known before the development of algebra. This is borne out by the name - Bijaganitam, which was given to the algebraic form of computation. Bijaganitam means 'the other mathematics' (Bija means 'another' or 'second' and Ganitam means mathematics).</p> <p>GEOMETRY</p> <p>In the area of Geometry, Indian mathematicians had their contribution. There was an area of mathematical applications called Rekha Ganita (Line Computation). The Sulva Sutras, which literally mean 'Rule of the Chord' give geometrical methods of constructing altars and temples. The temples layouts were called Mandalas. Some of important works in this field are by Apastamba, Baudhayana, Hiranyakesin, Manava, Varaha and Vadhula.</p> <p>Many motifs in Hindu temples and Palaces display a mix of floral and Geometric patterns.</p> <p>The Buddhist Pagodas borrowed their plan of construction from the geometric grid of the Mandala used for constructing temples in India (A majestic Pagoda at Bangkok)</p> <p>Zero</p> <p>In ancient India the terms used to describe zero included Pujyam, Shunyam, Bindu the concept of a void or blank was termed as Shukla and Shubra. The Arabs refer to the zero as Siphra or Sifr from which we have the English terms Cipher or Cypher. In English the term Cipher connotes zero or any Arabic numeral. Thus it is evident that the term Cipher is derived from the Arabic Sifr which in turn is quite close to the Sanskrit term Shubra.</p> <p>(Ornate Entrance of a Buddhist temple in Laos) The concept of Shunyata, influenced South-east asian culture through the Buddhist concept of Nirvana 'attaining salvation by merging into the void of eternity'</p> <p> The</p> <p>Vedas contain 16 sutras (formulae) and 13 sub sutras (corollaries) Solving equations, Factorization, Highest common factor, quadratic equations, bi quadratic equations, multiple simultaneous equations, partial fractions, calculus, Apollonius theorem, Analytical conics etc are some of the striking examples of our mathematical wisdom.</p> <p>The Hindus Several Centuries before pythogorous knew the theorem, which postulates that the sum of the square of two sides of a right angled triangle will be equal to the square of the hypotenuse of the rightangled triangle. Aryabhatta related the diameter of a circle to the circumference and the area by a constant value 3.142857143 r sin is known as ajya during those times. A sin table for various angles is available and they're used for calculations in Astronomy. This shows the Hindu knowledge on trigonometry.</p> <p>Astronomy</p> <p>In India the first references to astronomy are to be found in the Rig Veda In Indian languages, the science of Astronomy is today called Khagolashastra. Khagola perhaps is derived from the famous astronomical observatory at the University of Nalanda which was called Khagola. It was at Khagola that the famous 5th century Indian Astronomer Aryabhatta studied and extended the subject.</p> <p>The Nalanda University once housed 9 million books. It was the center of education for scholars from all over Asia. Many Greek, Persian and Chinese students studied here. The university was burnt down by pillaging invaders who overran India in the 11th century</p> <p>The Calculation of Eclipses And The Earth's Circumference</p> <p>Indian astronomers also propounded the theory that the earth was a sphere. Aryabhatta was the first one to have propounded this theory in the 5th century. Another Indian astronomer, Brahmagupta estimated in the 7th century that the circumference of the earth was 5000 yojanas. A yojana is around 7.2 kms. Calculating on this basis we see that the estimate of 36,000 kms as the earth's circumference comes quite close to the actual circumference known today</p> <p>This facsimile is from the Pancha-siddhantika (Five Principles)dated around the 5th century. This text graphically shows how eclipses are to be calculated. Thus this text foreshadows what Western Astronomers propounded nearly one thousand years later</p> <p>THE HELIOCENTERIC THEORY OF GRAVITATION</p> <p>The Sanskrit term for gravity is Gurutvakarshan which is an amalgam of Guru-tva-akarshan. Akarshan means to be attracted. Thus the fact that the character of this force was of attraction was also recognised. This apart, it seems that the function of attracting heavenly bodies was attributed to the sun. Many ancient Indian astronomers have also referred to the concept of heliocentrism. Aryabhata has suggested it in his treatise Aryabhattiya. Bhaskaracharya has also made references to it in his Magnum Opus Siddhanta-Shiromani</p> <p>The</p> <p>Sun is referred to as the 'centre of spheres' alongwith the term Guru-tva-akarshan which seemingly refers to the sun. The Vedas are dated around 6500 B.C. Thus the heliocentric idea could have existed in a rudimentary form in the days of the Rig Veda and was refined further by astronomers of a later age.Brahmagupta,</p> <p>in the 7th century had said about gravity that "Bodies fall towards the earth as it is in the nature of the earth to attract bodies, just as it is in the nature of water to flow".</p> <p>"Sarva Dishanaam, Suryaha, Suryaha, Suryaha."</p> <p>This couplet means that there are suns in all directions. This couplet which describes the night sky as full of suns, indicates that in ancient times Indian astronomers had arrived at the important discovery that the stars visible at night are similar to the Sun visible during day time.</p> <p>This temple was dedicated to Surya - the sun god Surya was referred to, in Vedic literature as the creator who himself revolves causing existence.</p> <p>MEDICAL SCIENCE</p> <p>Medical Science was one area were surprising advances had been made in ancient times in India. Specifically these advances were in the areas of plastic surgery, extraction of cataracts, dental surgery, etc., These are not just tall claims. There is documentary evidence to prove the existence of these practices.</p> <p>An artist's impression of an operation being performed in ancient India. In spite of the absence of anesthesia, complex operations were performed</p> <p>SHASTRAKARMA-THE ART OF SURGERY The</p> <p>practice of surgery has been recorded in India around 800 B.C. This need not come as a surprise because surgery (Shastrakarma) is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda the ancient Indian system of medicine. The oldest treatise dealing with surgery is the Shushruta-Samahita (Shushruta's compendium). Shusruta who lived in Kasi was one of the many Indian medical practitioners who included Atraya and Charaka.</p> <p>Shushruta was one of the first to study the human anatomy. In the ShusrutaSamahita he has described in detail the study of anatomy with the aid of a dead body. Shusruta's forte was rhinoplasty (Plastic surgery) and ophthalmialogy (ejection of cataracts). Shushruta has described surgery under eight heads Chedya (excision), Lekhya (scarification), Vedhya (puncturing), Esya (exploration), Ahrya (extraction), Vsraya (evacuation) and Sivya (Suturing).</p> <p>Shushruta -8th Century B.C.</p> <p>Surgical tools used in ancient India</p> <p>AYURVEDA-THE SCIENCE OF LONGEVITY This</p> <p>is the indigenous system of medicine in India. Ayurveda literally means 'the science of living' (longevity). Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge. The medical system of Ayurveda draws heavily from the doctrines developed in the CharakaSamahita. The main quality which Ayurveda has borrowed from Charaka is its aim of removing the cause for illness and not just curing the disease itself</p> <p>PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY</p> <p>It would be surprising for many Indians today to know that the concepts of atom (Anu, Parmanu) and relativity (Sapekshavada) were explicitly stated by an Indian philosopher nearly 600 years before the birth of Christ. The first Indian philosopher who formulated ideas about the atom in a systematic manner was Kanada who lived in the 6th century B.C. Another Indian philosopher, Pakudha Katyayana who also lived in the 6th century B.C. and was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha, had also propounded ideas about the atomic constitution of the material world.</p> <p>CHEMISTRYIndian ideas about chemistry grew by experimentation. The areas of application of the principle of chemistry were the smelting of metals, the distillation of perfumes and fragrant ointments, the making of dyes and pigments, the extraction of sugar, etc. In ancient India, chemistry was caled Rasayan Shastra, Rasa-Vidya, Rasatantra and Rasakriya all of which roughly mean 'Science of liquids'. There also existed chemical laboratories and chemicals works, which were called Rasakriya-nagaram and Rasakriyashala which literally mean 'School where liquids are activated'.</p> <p>A</p> <p>chemist was referred to as a Rasadnya and Rasa-tantra-vid which mean 'Person having knowledge about liquids. Apart from the term Rasa which means liquid, another word, Dravya which means slurry, was also used to refer to chemicals. Thus, in ancient India, chemistry was evidently developed to a significant level.Nagarjuna</p> <p>was one such practitioner of the technique of combining various metals in order to invent a superior metal</p> <p>This exquisite mirror work is inlaid on a base of gold and brass. This dates back to the 12th century. The Makara (Spire) over Hindu temples were always adorned with brass or gold toppings (Kamandals). This image of Nataraja the God of Dance is made of five metals (Pancha-Dhatu) This technology of mixing two or more metals is to derive superior alloys</p> <p>The Iron Pillar at Delhi</p> <p>The Iron Pillar at Delhi is one such instance. This Pillar, located near the Kutab Minar, is estimated to have been cast in the Gupta period i.e. about 1500 years ago. The Pillar is 7.32 meters in length, tapering from a diameter of 40 cms at the base to 30 cms, at the top and it weights about 6 tonnes. It has been standing in open for more than a millennium in the heat, dust and rain, but except for the natural erosion it has not caught rust. This kind of a rustproof iron had not been smelted anywhere else in the world, till we invented the stainless steel a few decades ago.</p> <p>ARCHITECTURE AND CIVIL ENGINEERING The</p> <p>Science of Architecture and Civil Construction was known in Ancient India as Sthapatya-Shastra. The word Sthapatya is derived from the root word Sthapana i.e. 'to establish'. The technique of architecture was both a science and an art, hence it is also known as Sthapatya-kala, the word Kala means an art.</p> <p>Panel at Khajuraho created in the 10th century in Madhya Pradesh in Central India</p> <p>The Mandala was a blueprint for any Vastu (edifice) Vastu-Shastra was an amalgam of architecture and theology</p> <p>Boddhisattvas (huge Buddha Statues) at Bamiyan in Afghanistan These statues were carved out of this hillside in the 1st Century under the patronage of the Kushana emperor Kanishka (These are the statues which the Taliban has blown up)</p> <p>Another panel from Khajuraho Note the intricate and fine outline of the figurines carved.The temples were completed over a period of 200 years</p> <p>A finely sculpted panel from Rajasthan ( Indian Pierced Marble work)</p> <p>This pagoda complex at Phnom Phnem in Cambodia displays Indian influences in its central spires.</p> <p>This magnificent Pagoda at Bongkok has its own unique style which is an amalgam of Indian and Chinese styles</p> <p>The majesty of this grand temple complex at Khajuraho has to be seen to be believed Panel at Borobudur in Indonesia Note that the carving looks exactly Indian.</p> <p>The inter-locking dome of the Stupa was to be the prototype for the domes (over Mosques and churches) that were built later by Romans and Arabs</p> <p>Borobudur in Indonesia is a temple complex devoted to Buddha This complex was built in the the 7th CenturyBorobud means "Big Buddha"</p> <p>SHIPBUILDING AND NAVIGATION</p> <p>Sanskrit and Pali literature has innumerable references to the maritime activity of Indians in ancient times. There is also one treatise in Sanskrit, named Yukti Kalpa Taru The Yukti Kalpa Taru gives sufficient information and date to prove that in ancient times, Indian The depiction of a ship in the Ajanta shipbuilders had a good knowledge murals Sea-faring was respected of the materials which were used in building ships. Apart from describing occupation in ancient times in India the qualities of the different types of wood and their suitability in A panel found shipbuilding, the Yukti Kalpa Taru at Mohenjodaro, also gives an elaborate classification depicting a of ships based on their sizesailing craft.</p> <p>MACCHA-YANTRA - THE ANCIENT INDIAN MARINER'S COMPASS</p> <p>The early Hindu astrologers are said to have used the magnet, in fixing the North and East, in laying foundations, and other religious ceremonies. The Hindu compass was an iron fish that floated in a vessel of oil and pointed to the North. The fact of this older Hindu compass seems placed beyond doubt by the Sanskrit word Maccha Yantra, or fish machine, which Molesworth gives as a name for the mariner's compass".</p> <p>A model of how a ship constructed in ancient times could have looked. Some of the coins in the background depict sea-faring vessels</p> <p>Space Science The</p> <p>samara sutradhara is a scientific treatise dealing with every possible angle of air travel in a vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with the construction, take-off, cruising for thousands of miles, normal and forced landings and even possible collusion with birds. In 1875 the vimanika sastra, a fourth century B.C. text written by Bharathvaja the wise, using even older texts as his source, was rediscovered in a temple in India.</p> <p>It dealt with the operation of vimanas and included information on the steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the air ships from storm and lightning and how to switch the drive to solar energy from a free energy source which sounds like anti gravity. The vimanika sastra has eight chapters with diagrams, describing three types of aircrafts, including apparatuses that could neither catch on fire nor break. It also mentions 31 essential parts of these vehicles and 16 materials from which they are constructed, which absorb...</p>


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