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Modern Science in our Scriptures

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Dear members,
We all know how ancient our scriptures are,especially the Vedas and I have come across many claims especially in the Internet of how 'advanced and sophisticated our civilization were when the Europeans were running around naked in the forests'. This is an exact quote reproduced from one forum discussing our ancient civilization (Hinduism). I just want opinions of the members in this forum.

1. Is there any trace of concepts like 'quantum science,discussion of atomic structure,String theory or any such relatively modern scientific advancements in our scriptures?
I understand that many people here have not undertaken an extensive study of our Vedas under proper guidance (includes me), but from the little research that I did, the Vedas to me convey a metaphorical thoughts which involves praises on the Vedic Gods,of nature and many other things displaying the wisdom of our ancestors.
But is there anyone who has done an 'objective' study of our Vedas and other scriptures and produced evidence of modern science in the wisdom conveyed by our ancestors?

2. Evolution and the Dasavatharam of Vishnu- I feel for Darwin after coming out with a fabulous concept,only to be dismissed by Hindu Zealots in our country as 'stuffs' already thought of by our ancestors who handed out the Puranas. I feel there is much much more to evolution than just the statement of 'life coming to land from sea' as portrayed by the different avatarams of Vishnu.

Last year when I was performing my Avani Avittam, there was this vathiyar (belonging to Sama Veda,me too) claiming that 'Nano and Bio technology' has been discussed in detailed in Sama Veda. To quote his words- 'Sama Vedathula illathathae illa, adhunaala than Bhagavan Krishnar kooda Mahabharathala nan Sama vedi familyla purakanamnu solraar' .

Note: Please don't take it as a disrespect to sama vedins or to people belonging to other vedas, I'm just asking questions here.

Lastly (this is my favorite), what is with 'Gayatri Mantra' that makes it the most powerful mantra. Sometime i do get irritated with all the 'additional power' attributed to it. My sanskrit teacher used to say,by chanting this Mantra your brain will become sharp and you can feel it in your head. I used to believe it( I was in 8 std BTW). I have also heard of things like 'Gayatri Mantra' is so powerful that if a woman chants it, her uterus would fail. Then I have my aunt ' who always talks of the 'power' of Gayatri Mantra and NBs should't listen to it. When you ask her why, the reply is- It's just powerful. So by all means I would be grateful if some one can point out why 'Gayatri Mantra' is considered powerful.

I hope many members would have across people who claim most 'modern scientific discoveries' as primitive and our 'Puranas' as modern even though its vice versa. How do you shake off this thought process?

Thanks
Anand
 
I hope many members would have across people who claim most 'modern scientific discoveries' as primitive and our 'Puranas' as modern even though its vice versa. How do you shake off this thought process?

Thanks
Anand

Shri Anand,

I will try to give a reply to other points later. But, in regard to the above, I am very clear — we want more people with the type of thinking you have.

Cheers!
 
Hi Anand

You have put across nice points which many of us have .

Regards
Revathi
 
Science & Hindu Scriptures

Incredibly Advanced concepts in 5000 year old Hindu Scriptures

---------- An Article by Nebuchadnezzar
 

Attachments

  • Incredibly Advanced Concepts in hindu scriptures.doc
    190 KB · Views: 206
Hi All,
Thank you for your replies.

Shri ambes,
I read the document that you have attached. Barring a few,i feel some claims are too far fetched.
Please allow me to produce my findings on some of the claims mentioned in the document.

1. Vimana Sastra : Ramayana and Mahabharata speaks of the Vimana,especially the Pushpaka Vimana. But I think it was not taken very seriously until a book called 'Vimana Sastra' was published which gives details on how to construct an air plane allegedly based on the description given in our scriptures which includes the Ithihaasas. What many didn't know is that a research paper was published by the IISC Bangalore which took a critical study of the air plane designs given in the book and found that the design won't work.
Please find the research paper http://cgpl.iisc.ernet.in/site/Portals/0/Publications/ReferedJournal/ACriticalStudyOfTheWorkVaimanikaShastra.pdf

2. There are quotes in the document from the different Vedas which talk of hydrostatics,electricity and even atomic fissioning.
The quote in the document from Yajur Veda 6.21 states

Through astronomy, geography, and geology, go thou to all the different countries of the world under the sun. Mayest thou attain through good preaching to statesmanship and artisanship, through medical science obtain knowledge of all medicinal plants, through hydrostatics learn the different uses of water, through electricity understand the working of ever lustrous lightening. Carry out my instructions willingly

I couldn't make out what 6.21 means,so I'm reproducing a translation of the 'Shukla Yajur Veda' Book VI,verse 21.
Go to the sea. All-hail! Go to the air. All-hail! Go to God
Savitar. All hail!
Go thou to Mitra-Varuna. All-hail! Go thou to Day and
Night. All-hail!
Go to the Metres. till-hail! Go to Heaven and Earth. All-hail!
Go to the sacrifice. All-hail! Go to Soma. All-hail!
Go to the heavenly ether. All-hail! Go to Vaisvânara
Agni. All hail! Bestow upon me mind and heart.
Thy smoke mount to the sky, to heaven thy lustre. Fill
thou the spacious earth full with thine ashes.

If I have given the wrong quote please direct me to the right one.

Similarly for Book X,verse 19 I could find the translation as

Forth from the summit of the bull, the mountain, pouring
spontaneously, the ships keep moving.
They, lifted up, have turned them back and downward, still
flowing onward, after Ahibudhnya.
Thou art the stepping-forth of Vishnu: thou art Vishnu's
outstep; Vishnu's step art thou.

as opposed to the translation given in the document, which says

O royal skilled engineer, construct sea-boats, propelled on water by our experts, and airplanes, moving and flying upward, after the clouds that reside in the mid-region, that fly as the boats move on the sea, that fly high over and below the watery clouds. Be thou, thereby, prosperous in this world created by the Omnipresent God, and flier in both air and lightning

In the athraveda, 20.41.1-3 the translation I found was

With bones of Dadhyach for his arms, Indra, resistless in attack,
Struck nine-and-ninety Vritras dead,
He, searching for the horse's head, removed among the moun-
tains, found
At Saryanāvān what he sought.
Then verily they recognized the essential form of Tvashtar's Bull.
Here in the mansion of the Moon

as opposed to given in the document which says

The atomic energy fissions the ninety-nine elements, covering its path by the bombardments of neutrons without let or hindrance. Desirous of stalking the head, ie. the chief part of the swift power, hiden in the mass of molecular adjustments of the elements, this atomic energy approaches it in the very act of fissioning it by the above-noted bombardment. Herein, verily the scientists know the similar hidden striking force of the rays of the sun working in the orbit of the moon

It is natural for translators and people who produce an abridged version of the scriptures to miss out a few words or even give a wrong meaning but as you can see there is a complete distortion of the Verse. The reason I doubt the translation given in the document,is the word 'neutrons,bombardment,atoms,molecules' etc are relatively new and finding a sanskrit equivalent for these words must be very difficult. I'm really surprised of the Atharva veda verse.

The document also praises Indian astronomers like Brahmagupta.It is a well known fact that Indian astronomers were way ahead of their Greek counterparts but 'astronomy' is more of a science,an individual objective observation as compared with the scriptures which tend to be subjective thoughts. (Thats what I believe).

I could'nt reproduce the translation of the Aitreya Brahmana and the Markandeya Purana. I have only sanskrit Versions of it and given by poor Sanskrit knowledge it would take eons to translate. I will try to find the english translation and post it after a superficial research.

Thanks
Anand
 
Dear members,
We all know how ancient our scriptures are,especially the Vedas and I have come across many claims especially in the Internet of how 'advanced and sophisticated our civilization were when the Europeans were running around naked in the forests'. This is an exact quote reproduced from one forum discussing our ancient civilization (Hinduism). I just want opinions of the members in this forum.

1. Is there any trace of concepts like 'quantum science,discussion of atomic structure,String theory or any such relatively modern scientific advancements in our scriptures?
I understand that many people here have not undertaken an extensive study of our Vedas under proper guidance (includes me), but from the little research that I did, the Vedas to me convey a metaphorical thoughts which involves praises on the Vedic Gods,of nature and many other things displaying the wisdom of our ancestors.
But is there anyone who has done an 'objective' study of our Vedas and other scriptures and produced evidence of modern science in the wisdom conveyed by our ancestors?

Shri Anand,

It is not necessary that we ourselves should study the scriptures, which make up an enormous volume - impossible for one human life span to study, unless that becomes his only occupation or activity; we have several experts' detailed study and, if interested, we may read these books, refer to the original scripture wherever we need to and learn what is contained therein. Since you define modern science as "quantum science,discussion of atomic structure,String theory or any such relatively modern scientific advancements", it becomes easier to answer your question. AFAIK, kaṇāda is the only person who can be said to have come very near to the modern atomic theory of matter. But his vaiśeṣika philosophy got completely eclipsed by the later 'darśanas' especially vedānta; our attitude to rational deduction systems as opposed to flights of fancy, may be discerned from the very fact that that the originator of vaiśeṣika , whoever he was, was given the nickname "kaṇ āda" or atom-eater.

So, you can form your opinion.

2. Evolution and the Dasavatharam of Vishnu- I feel for Darwin after coming out with a fabulous concept,only to be dismissed by Hindu Zealots in our country as 'stuffs' already thought of by our ancestors who handed out the Puranas. I feel there is much much more to evolution than just the statement of 'life coming to land from sea' as portrayed by the different avatarams of Vishnu.
This is one of the oft-quoted claims but it is at best laughable. One witty saying which most Keralites will say for such claims is அது ஞம்மளா (atu ñammaḷā)! This is from the novel "muccīṭṭu kaḷikkāraṉṟe makaḷ" (daughter of a confirmed three-card player). āṉavāri rāmaṉ ṉāyar, one character in that story, claims credit for all pregnancies in the locality. In his own style he says "atu ñammaḷā" when someone else talks about a female elephant of a temple nearby and mentions only its name like Kalyani or something. The hindutva enthusiasts have a similar tendency to claim credit for anything and everything in mdern science as having been "forecast" by our sages of yore ;)

Last year when I was performing my Avani Avittam, there was this vathiyar (belonging to Sama Veda,me too) claiming that 'Nano and Bio technology' has been discussed in detailed in Sama Veda. To quote his words- 'Sama Vedathula illathathae illa, adhunaala than Bhagavan Krishnar kooda Mahabharathala nan Sama vedi familyla purakanamnu solraar' .

Note: Please don't take it as a disrespect to sama vedins or to people belonging to other vedas, I'm just asking questions here.
I envy that vaadhyaar for his self-confidence and vainglory. Ask him if sama veda gives details about open-heart surgery, or recipe for "naarthayelaippodi" for which there is a separate thread in this forum.

Lastly (this is my favorite), what is with 'Gayatri Mantra' that makes it the most powerful mantra. Sometime i do get irritated with all the 'additional power' attributed to it. My sanskrit teacher used to say,by chanting this Mantra your brain will become sharp and you can feel it in your head. I used to believe it( I was in 8 std BTW). I have also heard of things like 'Gayatri Mantra' is so powerful that if a woman chants it, her uterus would fail. Then I have my aunt ' who always talks of the 'power' of Gayatri Mantra and NBs should't listen to it. When you ask her why, the reply is- It's just powerful. So by all means I would be grateful if some one can point out why 'Gayatri Mantra' is considered powerful.
Our gayatree is actually one inch (syllable) short of the gayatree metre; thus it is actually "cut gayatree" (निछॄद् गायत्री). How and when the Brahmans adopted this as their mascot-mantra, is not known. But in its earliest mention in R.V.3-62-10, it is just one mantra to pray to the savtru and possibly chanted while giving oblation into the fire. As to all the greatnesses of this mantra or any other mantra for that matter, it is a matter of "belief" which ultimately is based on a kind of auto-suggestion.

I hope many members would have across people who claim most 'modern scientific discoveries' as primitive and our 'Puranas' as modern even though its vice versa. How do you shake off this thought process?

Thanks
Anand
I have already replied to this point. Additionally, I would say that we should question such people why they are not living by the "puranic" way and are shamelessly adopting the "primitive" ways of modern science. If their belief is true they are like humans aping the "apes" and jumping from one tree to another.:laugh:
 
Lastly (this is my favorite), what is with 'Gayatri Mantra' that makes it the most powerful mantra. Sometime i do get irritated with all the 'additional power' attributed to it. My sanskrit teacher used to say,by chanting this Mantra your brain will become sharp and you can feel it in your head. I used to believe it( I was in 8 std BTW). I have also heard of things like 'Gayatri Mantra' is so powerful that if a woman chants it, her uterus would fail. Then I have my aunt ' who always talks of the 'power' of Gayatri Mantra and NBs should't listen to it. When you ask her why, the reply is- It's just powerful. So by all means I would be grateful if some one can point out why 'Gayatri Mantra' is considered powerful.
Please let your aunt know that the author of the Gayatri Mantra was a Non-Brahmin, namely, Vishwamitra. It is said that he was a Kshatriya before he became a Brahmin. However, it is quite possible that he might have risen from Svapaka-like warriors (Kushas?).

As per a story of the Aitareya Brahmana, Vishwamitra's sons became Svapakas (dog-meat eaters) as the Savaras (Saora tribe). So the possibility exists that Vishwamitra himself belonged to a proto-savara mundari-tribe which in the vedic times became 'vedicised' or 'hinduized' (that is, became part of the vedic culture). Today we have a plethora of castes claiming to be Vishwamitra Gotra. And the Gayatri Mantra has become so common that sometimes even if one does not want, s/he is forced to tolerate temple loudspeakers blaring at the loudest volume of Anuradha Paudwal singing the Gayatri Mantra.

Regards.
 
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Our gayatree is actually one inch (syllable) short of the gayatree metre; thus it is actually "cut gayatree" (निछॄद् गायत्री). How and when the Brahmans adopted this as their mascot-mantra, is not known. But in its earliest mention in R.V.3-62-10, it is just one mantra to pray to the savtru and possibly chanted while giving oblation into the fire. As to all the greatnesses of this mantra or any other mantra for that matter, it is a matter of "belief" which ultimately is based on a kind of auto-suggestion.
Dear Sir,

I remember reading some notes of Frits Staal which said that some of these mantras might have existed in some other language at some point of time. He was speaking on some meaningless sounds used just to complete the metre-scale. So the probability exists that either
(1) some of meter-scales were utilized for chants in some other language; OR
(2) some mantras were translated into vedic sanskrit and had to add/cut sounds just to make them fit to the scale.

Regards.
 
Dear Sir,

I remember reading some notes of Frits Staal which said that some of these mantras might have existed in some other language at some point of time. He was speaking on some meaningless sounds used just to complete the metre-scale. So the probability exists that either
(1) some of meter-scales were utilized for chants in some other language; OR
(2) some mantras were translated into vedic sanskrit and had to add/cut sounds just to make them fit to the scale.

Regards.

Dear HH,

Some scholar (I don't remember now, who) had suggested, after a lifetime of vedic study, that the correct pronunciation ought to be "tat savitur varENi yam" instead of the accepted 'Tat savitur varENyam". But that scholar was a Jesuit and so there was no one to accept his idea. If this change is made the gaayatree metre with 3 x 8 = 24 aksharas will be satisfied.
 
namaste Anand.

If you are prepared to look beyond the sneers and snides about ancient Hindu Science, as a starter, I would ask you to check a Website such as this one:
Essays

If you find this Website useful, I shall try to give you further links and pointers.
 
All,thank you for your replies.

Shri Sangom,great reply as usual :)

"I would say that we should question such people why they are not living by the "puranic" way and are shamelessly adopting the "primitive" ways of modern science. If their belief is true they are like humans aping the "apes" and jumping from one tree to another"

This reminds me of a dialogue from the documentary 'Religulous' where a catholic pastor was interviewed for his opinions on the midnight mass on December 25 as celebrating the birth of Christ.
When asked
'How do you convince people of the truth?'.
He replied- You can't !. Forget it, you gotta live and die with their stupid ideas.

Believe me,I tried. I'm still trying. These people are of the opinion that anything that is old is true and anything modern should be viewed with skepticism. However its the 'old' ideas that should be viewed skeptically. Oh well, its not gonna happen anyway.

Shri Happy Hindu,
I never knew that, another point to argue with my aunt much to the dismay of my parents. I have already earned the 'AdhingaPrasangi' tag in my family.So why pretend to be 'samathu' now and accept irrational beliefs?

Sai Devo ji,
There are a lots of essays in that website. So please give me more time to go thro it. I will post my comments on it later. Wonderful to have you here.

Thanks
Anand
 
This reminds me of a dialogue from the documentary 'Religulous' where a catholic pastor was interviewed for his opinions on the midnight mass on December 25 as celebrating the birth of Christ.
When asked
'How do you convince people of the truth?'.
He replied- You can't !. Forget it, you gotta live and die with their stupid ideas.

Believe me,I tried. I'm still trying. These people are of the opinion that anything that is old is true and anything modern should be viewed with skepticism. However its the 'old' ideas that should be viewed skeptically. Oh well, its not gonna happen anyway.

Thanks
Anand

Dear Shri Anand,

Religion thrives because human beings do not know what is this "LIFE" nor is there any scientific evidence to know what it is, how it functions, how it ebbs away, etc. It is this area of ignorance which is the fertile field for religion to thrive; and ignorance is a very necessary precondition for religion to take roots and grow. The moment people start questioning much of practised religions and a good many philosophies based on religious basis, will crumble.

Suppose we human beings start saying that we do not know what life is, how it comes, functions and vanishes, etc., and resolve to make our lives here as cooperative and enjoyable as we can, without bothering about these, this world will become a much better place IMO. The priest/s as intermediators between god/s (representing LIFE in one way or another — parabrahmam, creator, supreme godhead, whatever) do more harm than religion per se.
 
Sri Anand -

Nice write up indeed. When I was growing up there used to be claims by people older that everything that needs to be discovered are already in our scriptures. This kind of blind statements do great harm to both teaching of Vedas and to real accomplishments of scientists of India over the last several thousand years, IMO.

While it is true that current view of science is not found in our scriptures, the concepts of science do not contradict any of the teachings of Upanishads which address a completely different subject matter. This in my view is significant since theologies of major religions of today (e.g., biblical religions) are in opposition to the knowledge gained in the physical world in many areas. For example, there are creationists who do not believe in evolution for example.

Regards
 
Sir,

I have gone thru' the posts in this thread. Quite interesting, but not many have
come forward. I am sure only very few have studied the Vedas in depth, and perhaps these pundits are not scientists and hence are unable to corelate between the two.

I am sure many would have read Sayana's bashya on Rig veda and in his
commentary he has shown the computation of the speed of the light which is
almost the same as found in physics. There is a mention of gravitation also in
the Rig veda. More later !
 
....I am sure many would have read Sayana's bashya on Rig veda and in his
commentary he has shown the computation of the speed of the light which is almost the same as found in physics. There is a mention of gravitation also in the Rig veda. More later !
Greetings!

The faithful of all religions can't seem to resist claiming their religion is scientific, their religious doctrine is logical, etc. The Muslims claim every last scientific discovery has already been mentioned in the Quran. Christians claim Bible is scientifically accurate. Followers of Brahminism claim science is only now slowly discovering what Vedas have already declared.

The reality is, Vedas in the most part is filled with inane stuff. There are some interesting speculations in the Upanishadic texts, but even here, most Upanishads are quite banal. The stuff that is interesting is mere speculations, there is no need to make them into inerrant scientific truth. Building worldviews to live by upon these facile musings is irrational.

Cheers!
 
namaste shrI Ranganathan and others.

SayaNAchAya did not use the following 'empirical' methods of science:

• Like Galileo in the 17th century. SayaNa did not stand on a hilltop, asking his assistant to stand on the opposite hilltop, both with a lantern in their hand, Galileo opening the shutter of his lantern first, and the assistant opening his shutter forthwith he saw the light from his master's lamp, and the master then measuring the time and calculating the distance.

Had SayaNa done it, our peer friends here would have granted him at least some pioneer status. There were hilltops and lanterns all along. It's silly of him that SayaNa did not think about this simple idea!

• SayaNa is not known to be an astronomer, unlike Ole Roemer, to observe the eclipses of the moons of Jupiter during the 1670's and arrive at the speed of light as 186,000 mps or 300,000 kmps. How can a minister in the Vijayanagara empire have such intelligence or diligence of a Western astronomer?

• Neither SayaNa was a physicist like Heinrich Hertz, who in 1888 discovered that light was constituted by electromagnetic waves, and measuring their speed, discovered the speed of light as the same as arrived at by Roemer.

• Modern science has now come up with the distance measurements of light seconds through light years. How can the ancient Hindu system of distance and time measurements stand up against those of science?

• Modern science credits discoveries in the laboratory of mind to only modern scientists like Einstein. How could such mental laboratories have existed in days when people travelled on bullock carts and the kings on horses, with recurrent invasions and battles everywhere?

So, it comes easy to our peer friends here to dismiss any discussion of Hindu science as 'inane stuff' and 'quite banal'. They do it purportedly to 'educate' the 16,000 plus members here and the Internet reading public outside. And that is rationality for them.

For those who are still interested in SayaNa's research, some links:
How did Indians know about the speed of light even before it was discovered in 1675? - Yahoo! Answers India
http://www.ece.lsu.edu/kak/sayana.pdf

A brief on western research:
Measuring the Speed of Light

If anyone still insists on discussing Hindu science and persists with it, let him/her beware of the probability of getting countered with caste issues, history of migration into India or plain obscenity/vulgarity in Hindu texts!
 
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....If anyone still insists on discussing Hindu science and persists with it, let him/her beware of the probability of getting countered with caste issues, history of migration into India or plain obscenity/vulgarity in Hindu texts!
Dear Saidevo, the scientific discoveries made by our forefathers from ancient India are just scientific discoveries, nothing more, nothing less -- science is science, there is nothing called Hindu Science, or Christian Science, or Western Science or Eastern Science. If something is scientific, then it is scientific -- full stop (period in the U.S. of A).

The accomplishments of ancient Indians are indeed amazing. So are the accomplishments of ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Chinese, Africans, Mayans, Incas, etc. These are testaments to human ingenuity, not to some handed down divine wisdom.

Your warning about the discussion turning to obscenity/vulgarity in Hindu texts seems more based on your frustrations than reality. Yes, there were discussions on such texts, but they did not occur as a result of somebody persisting on talking about "Hindu Science" as far as I am able to recall. Please correct me if I am wrong by citing the thread and post.

dear saidevo, we differ in almost everything, yet I think of you as my friend, I think you reciprocate the sentiment. I am thankful for that :).

Cheers!
 
Sir:

I am quite aware of the indifferent attitude of our people when we talk about what
we find in our vedas. It contains both para vidya and apara vidya. It does not
teach us anything that are not useful in our ordinary day-to-day life. For those
who are in search of the ultimate Truth, it shows the path of paramarthika.

I will give you one or two instances of medicinal properties of some herbs which are not known to the scientists. Once I cut my finger with a knife and a village man standing nearby fetched a small creeper , washed it and squeezed the decoction over the wound and tied the creeper as a bandage. There was no sign of the wound at all the next morning. I have successfully treated some kids with this creeper.

Cardiac patients, post infarction, are advised to take metoprolal tartrate or succinate to reduce the heart rate. The decoction of chembaruthi flower acts similarly.

Many thinks are said about nithyakalyani flower and its curative effect on cancer
patients. I am not very sure about this.

Arka leaves have lot of medicinal properties ,mentioned in Krishna Yajur veda.
As per kanda purana, eating warm curd rice placed over them cures leprosy. I have no occasion to verify this , but this is what is mentioned in the purana.

I think we should have an open mind about everything. Otherwise we will be
shutting the door to knowledge.
 
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....I think we should have an open mind about everything. Otherwise we will be shutting the door to knowledge.
Yes sir, we need to keep an open mind, but also be skeptical, otherwise all kinds of garbage will also enter the mind and there would be no way of sorting it out.

The medicinal properties of plants and flowers are well known around the world, in all sorts of cultures and societies. This not a proof of the validity of everything in the Vedas.

Also, your statement, "It does not teach us anything that are not useful in our ordinary day-to-day life." is readily provable to be false.

Cheers!
 
namaste Nara.

You said in post #17:
the scientific discoveries made by our forefathers from ancient India are just scientific discoveries, nothing more, nothing less -- science is science, there is nothing called Hindu Science, or Christian Science, or Western Science or Eastern Science. If something is scientific, then it is scientific -- full stop

I agree with this, but then this is so only in modern times. Since science per se was not a separate branch of study in any ancient civilization, the studies relating to the physical world and physical man in those days formed part of their religious scriptures and philosophical works. We still refer to a modern scientist using his nationality, so the term 'Hindu science' is intended to be the science discovered by Hindus, rather than a branch of science.

the scientific discoveries made by our forefathers from ancient India are just scientific discoveries, nothing more, nothing less -- science is science,...

The accomplishments of ancient Indians are indeed amazing. So are the accomplishments of ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Chinese, Africans, Mayans, Incas, etc. These are testaments to human ingenuity, not to some handed down divine wisdom.


This observation of yours is in marked contrast to your earlier observation in post #15:

The reality is, Vedas in the most part is filled with inane stuff. There are some interesting speculations in the Upanishadic texts, but even here, most Upanishads are quite banal. The stuff that is interesting is mere speculations, there is no need to make them into inerrant scientific truth. Building worldviews to live by upon these facile musings is irrational.

Do I detect a change of heart, or just a change of tone? But then I don't understand your obsession with the Vedas. While it is true that most of Hindu texts are derived from the Vedas, SAyaNa did not say when he interpreted the Rg Veda statement and arrived at the speed of light, that his interpretation should not be questioned because it is "handed down divine wisdom" from the Vedas!

About the possibility of unwanted digressions in this thread that I warned in my post #16, I spoke about a strong probability, which might happen, right here in this thread when we this thread gets thicker, let us wait and see.

we differ in almost everything, yet I think of you as my friend, I think you reciprocate the sentiment. I am thankful for that.

Why should you doubt it Nara? I hope I have learnt to be more objective in expressing my opinions about skeptical/sneering statements, and you have come to respect the sentimental side of discussions, so I think there should be no scope for problems with the clash of our views.
 
.... We still refer to a modern scientist using his nationality, so the term 'Hindu science'
is intended to be the science discovered by Hindus, rather than a branch of science.
Dear Saidevo, pardon me, but this is a stretch. "Hindu" is not a nationality, it is not even ethnicity. The phrase "Hindu science" can only be understood as science found in Hindu religion, even if you did not intend it that way. In other words, if you did not intend it that way, you need to use more precise language, like science of ancient India, or, if you don't like to say India, ancient Bharath.

The accomplishments of ancient Indians are indeed amazing. So are the accomplishments of ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Chinese, Africans, Mayans, Incas, etc. These are testaments to human ingenuity, not to some handed down divine wisdom.

This observation of yours is in marked contrast to your earlier observation in post #15:

The reality is, Vedas in the most part is filled with inane stuff. There are some interesting speculations in the Upanishadic texts, but even here, most Upanishads are quite banal. The stuff that is interesting is mere speculations, there is no need to make them into inerrant scientific truth. Building worldviews to live by upon these facile musings is irrational.

Do I detect a change of heart, or just a change of tone?
Neither, I think -- I am not sure what you mean. The scientific discoveries of the ancients, whether Indians or from elsewhere, were due to human ingenuity, not any handed down divine wisdom. The handed down "wisdom", like the Vedas are, in the most part, filled with inane stuff and banal and facile musings. I don't see any change of heart or any toning down of language. I can show these to be true and you know that too, I think.


But then I don't understand your obsession with the Vedas.
This is an untenable characterization. Please go back and review the posts. I was not obsessing about the Vedas. A tall claim about Rg Veda was made and I only responded to it. If such unsubstantiated claims are not made, you will not see me bringing up Vedas on my own. The obsession, I am afraid, is on the side of the faithful, an obsession to show all science is contained in the Vedas.

.....SAyaNa did not say when he interpreted the Rg Veda statement and arrived at the speed of light,
Did he do that, or is it one those "typically mythical way" that can be molded to fit any claim?

With all this science buried in the Vedas waiting to be extracted by ingenious interpretation, it is strange India became such a scientifically backward country. To my knowledge none of the commentators talked about speed of light or any other scientific concept.

This is not because they knew about the scientific nuggets buried in typically mythical ways but chose to expound only on the so called spirituality. It is because those nuggets were just not there. The stretched connections people make between science and Vedic text are trying to retrofit, like the faithful of other religions make with their own religious texts. For example see this 15 part series on Quran and modern science.

Cheers!
 
Grumpy people with grumpy old ideas

namaste shrI Ranganathan and others.

SayaNAchAya did not use the following 'empirical' methods of science:

• Like Galileo in the 17th century. SayaNa did not stand on a hilltop, asking his assistant to stand on the opposite hilltop, both with a lantern in their hand, Galileo opening the shutter of his lantern first, and the assistant opening his shutter forthwith he saw the light from his master's lamp, and the master then measuring the time and calculating the distance.

Had SayaNa done it, our peer friends here would have granted him at least some pioneer status. There were hilltops and lanterns all along. It's silly of him that SayaNa did not think about this simple idea!

• SayaNa is not known to be an astronomer, unlike Ole Roemer, to observe the eclipses of the moons of Jupiter during the 1670's and arrive at the speed of light as 186,000 mps or 300,000 kmps. How can a minister in the Vijayanagara empire have such intelligence or diligence of a Western astronomer?

• Neither SayaNa was a physicist like Heinrich Hertz, who in 1888 discovered that light was constituted by electromagnetic waves, and measuring their speed, discovered the speed of light as the same as arrived at by Roemer.

• Modern science has now come up with the distance measurements of light seconds through light years. How can the ancient Hindu system of distance and time measurements stand up against those of science?

• Modern science credits discoveries in the laboratory of mind to only modern scientists like Einstein. How could such mental laboratories have existed in days when people travelled on bullock carts and the kings on horses, with recurrent invasions and battles everywhere?

So, it comes easy to our peer friends here to dismiss any discussion of Hindu science as 'inane stuff' and 'quite banal'. They do it purportedly to 'educate' the 16,000 plus members here and the Internet reading public outside. And that is rationality for them.

For those who are still interested in SayaNa's research, some links:
How did Indians know about the speed of light even before it was discovered in 1675? - Yahoo! Answers India
http://www.ece.lsu.edu/kak/sayana.pdf

A brief on western research:
Measuring the Speed of Light

If anyone still insists on discussing Hindu science and persists with it, let him/her beware of the probability of getting countered with caste issues, history of migration into India or plain obscenity/vulgarity in Hindu texts!

Sri Saidevo -

While Veda addresses subject matter not found elsewhere there are references to what we call as science. In many instances, nature of time, space, and certain quantities seem to be aligned in a directional sense with what is known today from my minimal study. The explanations of how certain things were arrived at are seemingly lost over the ages.

Some people have made tall claims about the extent of scientific knowledge found in Vedas which tend to unfortunately make the whole topic less believable.

However there are also many who seem to have a sense of inferiority complex about anything that is attached to Vedic heritage and can only glorify what the west has taught the world. I am not sure if the origin of this complex in Hindus is rooted in how long India was subordinated by the English and other invaders.

I find that this TB forum has more than its share of people who are negatively obsessed with highlighting the blemishes in Hindu traditions, look for ways to denigrate Vedic heritage and always reduce every discussion into Brahmin bashing.

The best approach is to sidestep such critiques and engage with people who are serious in objective studies, in my view

Regards
 
Grumpy people with grumpy old ideas

[....]

I find that this TB forum has more than its share of people who are negatively obsessed with highlighting the blemishes in Hindu traditions, look for ways to denigrate Vedic heritage and always reduce every discussion into Brahmin bashing.

The best approach is to sidestep such critiques and engage with people who are serious in objective studies, in my view
tks, sometime back you asked what was meant by "high priest", here it is, an example!

You have repeatedly shown a proclivity to never engage in discussions/arguments, but simply present your views as though they are so self evidently true, like the high-priest has spoken, there can be no argument, not accepting what you say marks one as unserious, negatively obsessed, laughable, etc., etc.

Yes, I do offer strong criticisms against Brahminism, claims of Vedic science, blind-faith, etc. If you wish to criticize my views with cogent arguments, please do so, I would welcome it. I am willing to back up every word I say here, or, and if I am wrong, I will readily admit my fault and offer unconditional apology.

If you don't want to waste your time arguing with me about things that you know to be true, then, that is fine too, please go your way. But, refrain from making snide comments like these, it only shows you want to act as a Hota. Such behavior promotes unnecessary ill will.

Cheers!
 
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