Science & Technology in Sanātana Dharma (Hinduism), Sāstras and other Spiritual Texts - Krishnendu Sinha
While reading educational news and the new education policy, which hopefully is getting implemented from coming academic session. One article, which got stuck in my mind, is that AICTE has announced that Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are not compulsory for engineering entrance, but they will provide the special classes to encourage the student intake. Like others, I was also shocked, then I decided to back them up based on my small research on ancient India, where, we neither had CBSE or ICSE or state board for the exams and neither mathematics or biology is required to be an engineer or doctor.
As the topic suggests Science & Technology in Sanātana Dharma (Hinduism), Sāstras and other Spiritual Texts, there are many discoveries and inventions by Sanātanis who are setting example to the world in modern day sciences.
We are Bharatiya and we are one of the oldest civilizations, ever existed in the map of the World. We have been the flag bearer in the development of socio-economic-scientific societies across the Globe. India and its history are un-parallel in many aspects, while giving meaning to the life. All our inventions, many of which the modern science follow is derived from our religion, which is known and Sanātana and the duty to perform the rituals and follow the stream is called as SANATAN DHARMA.
To start with the definition of Bharata: “Bha” stands for light or Knowledge and “Rata” means to Relish, so the Bharata states as “Land of the people who Relish the Knowledge”.
Following this, we will hereby highlight various subjects/topics that became the source of Information and inspiration for the Modern Science:
Rishi Kanad: A sixth century rishi, whose original name was Akulya, god his name as Kanad, because he was very much interested in “Kana, mean Atom,. According to Kanad, material universe is made up of kanas, (anu/atom) which cannot be seen through any human organ. These cannot be further subdivided. Thus, they are indivisible and indestructible. This was later stated by John Dalton in early 1800s.
Varahamihira: One of the major contributions that Varah Mihira is Astrology, where his calculations were so accurate, that the king Vikramaditya, had rewarded him as one of the 9 gems. He also wrote, Brhat Samhita, which states, earthquake cloud theory where he tried to relate earthquakes to the influence of planets, undersea activities, underground water, unusual cloud formation and abnormal behaviour of animals.
Atom Bomb: the concept of Atom Bomb came into existence during the Second World War by J. Robert Oppenheimer who words from the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita: “Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds” after the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated on July 16, 1945, in the Trinity test in New Mexico, which clearly shows the influence and acceptance of Sanātana dharma in Science and Technology.
Batteries:There is an ancient Indian text written by Sage Agastya, called the Agastya Samhita, composed in Sanskrit language. Sage Agastya was a revered sage of the Vedic times. He is mentioned in texts as ancient as Rig-Veda and Ramayana. Now, Rig-Veda is said to be composed at the least around 1200 BCE. This means, Sage Agastya lived at the least some 3000 years before Volta.
Below is a verse we find in Agastya Samhita.
संस्थाप्य मृण्मये पात्रे ताम्रपत्रं सुसंस्कृतम्।
छादयेच्छिखिग्रीवेन चार्दाभि: काष्ठापांसुभि:॥
दस्तालोष्टो निधात्वय: पारदाच्छादितस्तत:।
संयोगाज्जायते तेजो मित्रावरुणसंज्ञितम्॥
Please refer to the translation below.
Place (संस्थाप्य – sansthaapya) a clean (मृण्मये – susanskritam) copper plate (ताम्रपत्रं – taamrapatram) in an earthen pot (मृण्मये पात्रे – mrinamaye paatre).
Cover (छादये – chhaadye) it with copper sulphate (शिखिग्रीवा – shikigreeva) and then add (चार्दाभि – chaardhaabhih) moist sawdust (काष्ठापांसु – Kaashtapaamsu) on top of it.
Next, deposit (निधात्वय: – nidhaatavya) a mercury-amalgamated (पारदाच्छादितस्तत: – paardaachhaditastatah) zinc (दस्तालोष्टो – dastaaloshto).
This combination will create (संयोगाज्जायते – sanyogajjayte) a glorious energy (तेजो – tejo) called (संज्ञितम् – sangyitam) Mitra-Varuna (मित्रावरुण – mitravaruna).
Astronomical measurement (Sun-Earth Distance): Where Tulsidas ji (1543 to 1623) had quoted जुग सहस्र जोजन पर भानू in Hanuman Chalisa, in 16th Century, which says the distance of Sun from the Earth which was significant, in the 17th century; scientists Giovanni Kasani and Jean Reicher calculated the distance between the sun and the earth. According to their estimates, this distance is around 149.6 million kilometers i.e. 14, 96, 00,000 kilometers.
According to Hindu Vedic literature, if it is tested, 1 Jug (Yuga) means 12 thousand, Sahastra means 1000 and one Yojana can be considered 8 miles. Now if it is converted to kilometers
12000 x 1000 x 8 = 96,000,000 miles
1 mile = 1.6 km
96,000,000 x 1.6 = 15,36,00,000 km
Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent from 1200 BC until the end of the 18th century. In the classical period of Indian mathematics (400 AD to 1200 AD), important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara II, and Varāhamihira. The decimal number system in use today was first recorded in Indian mathematics. Indian mathematicians made early contributions to the study of the concept of zero as a number, negative numbers, arithmetic, and algebra.
Samhitas and Brahmanas: The time of the Yajurvedasaṃhitā (1200–900 BCE), numbers as high as 1012 were being included in the texts and though each power of ten was represented with a name rather than a set of symbols. This representation using powers of ten played a crucial role in the development of the decimal-place value system in India.
Pingala (300 BCE – 200 BCE): Pingala was among the scholars during post-Vedic period whose contribution to mathematics can never be ignored, the most notable is (piṅgalá), a music theorist. Pingala stumbled upon both Pascal’s triangle and binomial coefficients.
Kātyāyana: Kātyāyana (c. 3rd century BCE) is notable for being the last of the Vedic mathematicians. He wrote the Katyayana Sulba Sutra, which presented much geometry, including the general Pythagorean Theorem and a computation of the square root of 2 correct to five decimal places.
The Concept Of Zero:Zero itself has a much longer history. The recently dated first recorded zeros, in what is known as the Bakhshali manuscript, were simple placeholders – a tool to distinguish 100 from 10. Similar marks had already been seen in the Babylonian and Mayan cultures in the early centuries AD and arguably in Sumerian mathematics as early as 3000-2000 BC. Although Aryabhata did not use a symbol for zero, the French mathematician Georges Ifrah argues that knowledge of zero was implicit in Aryabhata’s place-value system as a place holder for the powers of ten with null coefficients which Aryabhata
Approximation of π: Aryabhata worked on the approximation for pi (π), and may have come to the conclusion that π is irrational. In the second part of the Aryabhatiyam (gaṇitapāda 10), he writes:
caturadhikaṃ śatamaṣṭaguṇaṃ dvāṣaṣṭistathā sahasrāṇām
“Add four to 100, multiply by eight, and then add 62,000. By this rule the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 20,000 can be approached.
This implies that for a circle whose diameter is 20000, the circumference will be 62832
π = 62832/20000 =3.1416, which is accurate to three decimal places.
Algebra: Indian mathematician Bhāskara had already discovered many of the modern day mathematics ideas over 500 years earlier. Bhaskara II in his book, Bijaganita (which contains Twelve Chapters) mentioned that a positive number has two square roots (a positive and negative square root).
Bhaskara derived a cyclic, chakravala method for solving indeterminate quadratic equations of the form
ax2 + bx + c = y.
Bhāskara method for finding the solutions of the problem Nx2 + 1 = y2 (the so-called “Pell’s equation”) is of considerable importance.
Apart from this Bhaskara have also proved his theorems in:
- Arithmetic (Lilavati)
- Calculus (Siddhanta Shiromani)
- Trigonometry (Siddhanta Shiromani)
- Intermediate Equations (Kuttaka Algorithm)
TREATMENT IN ANCIENT INDIA
Test Tube Baby & Stem Cell: Dr. B.G. Matapurkar a surgeon with the Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi told a conference on stem cell research that the Kauravas “were products of technology that modern science has not even developed yet”. He continued, “they not only knew about test-tube babies and embryo splitting but also had the technology to grow human fetuses outside the body of woman, something that is not known to modern science”. The incident was applied by Gandhari, when she wished for sons. The Rishi Krupacharya had given her 100 pots which were earthen and after a certain period those were taken out in the form of babies.
Ayurveda: Vedic period laid the foundation for a more rational and methodical system of Indian medicine known as Ayurveda (the Science of Life) beginning from 600 BCE. The golden age of Indian medicine, from 800 BCE until about 1000 CE, was marked especially by the production of the medical treatises known as the Charaka-samhita and Sushruta-samhita, attributed respectively to Charaka, a physician, and Sushruta, a surgeon. Both Charaka and Sushruta state the existence of a large number of diseases (Sushruta says 1,120).
स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्य रक्षणं, आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं। (चरक संहित सूत्र ३०।२६)
svāsthya svāsthya rakṣaṇaṃ, āturasya vikāra praśamanaṃ। (Caraka Saṃhita Sūtra 30।26)
Ayurveda Shāstra aims at keeping a healthy person healthy and managing or curing diseases (mind, body or both) that manifest in a person.
Plastic Surgery: Skin grafts entail transplanting pieces of skin from one part of the body to another. Sushruta’s notable work provides the first written record of a forehead flap rhinoplasty; a technique still used today, which a full-thickness piece of skin from the forehead is used to reconstruct a nose. This entire miracle happened in 600BCE and we give credit to West Countries for the plastic surgeries.
The Arthaśāstra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy. Kautilya, also identified as Vishnugupta and Chanakya, is traditionally credited as the author of the text. Kautilya wrote about the way the state’s economy is organized, how ministers should be chosen, how war should be conducted, and how taxation should be arranged and distributed.
तस्मात् स्वधर्म भूतानां राजा न व्यभिचारयेत्।
स्वधर्म सन्दधानो हि, प्रेत्य चेह न नन्दति।।
It means- Do not let the king leave your religion. The king should conduct his religion. The king who conducts his religion in this proper way remains happy in this world along with the people.
Dharmaśāstra (Sanskrit: धर्मशास्त्र) is a genre of Sanskrit theological texts, and refers to the treatises (śāstras) of Hinduism on dharma. There are many Dharmashastras, variously estimated to be 18 to about 100, with different and conflicting points of view. Dharmaśāstras played an influential role in modern era colonial India history, when they were used as the basis for the law of the land for all non-Muslims (Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs).
The shastras, including the Dharmashastra, are classified as smriti, a word indicating “what is remembered,” as distinct from the Vedas and the Upanishads [q.v.], which are shruti, “what is heard.”
The Gautama Dharmasutra, the oldest of the texts of the Dharmashastra, probably composed sometime between 600 and 400 B.C., concerns the sources of dharma, standards for both students and the uninitiated, the four stages of life, dietary rules, penance, rules concerning impurity, and many other regulations and rituals for Hindu life.
We have been delivering in all the aspects of life when it comes to survival and language is just a mediator to deliver. Many notable physicists & Scientists either from west or from our own country gave the example of our ancient texts in their research.
I would like here to conclude by saying, what world does tomorrow, we did centuries ago. There are lots and lots of inventions Sanātana Dharma have done since the beginning of life on earth. It gave me huge satisfaction to understand that the New Education Policy 2020 have mentioned certain names who have left imprints in all the sectors. As it is rightly mentioned in the NEP that our “Indian culture and philosophy have had a strong influence on the world. These rich legacies to world heritage must not only be nurtured and preserved for posterity but also researched, enhanced, and put to new uses through our education system.”
Experienced & seasoned professional with more than 12 years of experience in Client Acquisition, Training, Recruitment & Admin in Industries such as Skill Development, Education, Healthcare, Real Estate etc. With experience in education sector, it motivates him to learn new every day and understand the link between the modern science and our ancient glorious past. There are lots of things in the past which we have ignored and today while writing the article, he
had understood one thing “In Search of Gold, We have Lost the Diamond”.
With the modern education policy, we have lost the essence of ancient Gurukuls.