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Speed Of Light in Vedas

Posted by dimodi on January 17, 2013 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (104)

The most well-known source of light is the Sun, or Surya Dev in Hinduism. Suryadev has been worshiped in India since time immemorial following the traditional way of respecting and worshipping important forms of nature. Suryadev is a part of many festivals, including Pongal or Makar Sankranti, Chattha Puja, etc. The Surya Namaskara is a complete exercise procedure that is part of the daily-morning routine of many Indian homes.

 

It is a well-known fact that light travels at a phenomenal speed of 3 x 10^8 metres/sec. This value is etched into the memory of students in their early years in school and this value of the Speed of Light was established by the experiment conducted by Michelson and Morley, celebrated American Physicists in the 19th Century.

 

But did you know that the first yet the most perfect and exact quantitative estimate of the speed of light is seen in Indian vedic scholar Sayana’s commentary on the Rigveda back in the 14th Century AD. It says sun light travels 2202 Yojanas in a half Nimesa.”

 

The below shloka is part of the Rig Veda:

 

which means

 

“Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Surya=Sun), maker of the light, Illuming all the radiant realm.”

 

Saint Sayanacharya who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) after reading the Rig Veda, gave the following comment:

The above translates into:

 

"Also it is to be noted that the Light due to the Sun travels 2202 Yojanas in half a Nimesha"

 

Now for the calculation, Converting the units used in ancient India to those used presently :

 

In the vedas Yojana is a unit of distance and Nimisha is a unit of time.

 

Yojana:-

Yojana is an ancient unit of length. Arthasastra defines it as being equal to 8,000 dhanus, which is equivalent to 9 miles. A nimesa is an ancient unit of time that is equal to 16/75 seconds.

 

Thus 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesa is equal to 185,794 miles per second after conversion. yojana is a yoking or harnessing, that which is yoked or harnessed, a team or vehicle, or a course or path.

 

Yojana is a stage or the distance traversed in one harnessing or without unyoking.1 yojana is said to comprise either 4 or 8 krosha (a cry or shout, or the range of the voice in calling); and 1 krosha (or goruta ~ as far as a cow’s lowing may be heard, or a bull’s roar) may represent either 1000 or 2000 daNDa (a rod or staff).

 

Sound radiates in all directions, so perhaps there is some confusion in regarding a krosha either as the radius of travel in one direction or as the full diameter of travel.

 

Man is the traditional measure of all things, and 1 danda represents 1 pauruSa (a man’s length) which equals 1 dhanvantara (bow-string) or dhanu (bow).1 yojana measures either 4,000 or (more likely) 8,000 dhanus.

 

Assuming that 1 paurusha is 6 ft long, then 1 yojana must represent a distance of about 14.6 km (or about 9 miles, as suggested by Monier-Williams).A full range of self-consistent units was anciently devised from the proportions of man’s own frame, although their exact conversion into modern units is unclear.

 

Nimesha: -

 

Nimesa means shutting the eye or winking, and as a measure of time it is a wink of the eye or a moment.Kautilya’s Arthashastra (c.320 BC) defines 1 nimesha as 1/360,000th of a day and night ~ i.e. 0.24 seconds.

 

2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha.Given that 1 yojana is between 14.6 and 16.4 km, 2,202 yojanas must represent between 32,149 and 36,113 km. Half a nimesha is 0.12 seconds.

 

Sayana thus gives the speed of light as between 267,910 and 300,940 km/sec ~ the currently

accepted value for the speed of light being 299,792 km/sec.

 

Assuming that the true speed of light was actually known to Sayana, who presented 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha, as a verity; and accepting Kautilya’s value for nimesha; then a perfect yojana would be exactly 16,337.4636 m and a perfect paurusha or danda exactly 2.0422 m in length. And (assuming 108 digits per danda) then 1 angula = 1.89 cm, 1 dhanurgraha = 7.56 cm, 1 dhanurmushti = 15.13 cm, 1 vitasti = 22.69 cm, and 1 hasta (cubit) = 51.05 cm.

 

All discussion of Sayana’s comment has assumed that one yojana is about 14.6 km, and this is based on the western ideal of a 6 ft man. The ancient sacred Egyptian cubit measured 28 angulas or 52.92 cm; and the ancient sacred Babylonian cubit measured 51.03 cm ~ i.e. 27 angulas ~ and this cubit was well known in ancient India. There are 32,000 hasta or cubits in a yojana; and if the Sumerian sacred cubit is assumed, then one yojana is actually 16.33 km.

 

Therefore, 2,202 yojanas measures 35,958 km, and the speed of light is properly calculated to be 299,648 km/sec ~ and western science did not match the precision of Sayana’s estimate until 1907 !

 

It must also be noted that Sayanacharya was only commenting on the Rig Vedic text. It is hence practically inferable that earlier interpretations and findings existed, but might have been lost or could not be passed any further till present time, again pushing the date of discovery of speed of light further backwards on the historical timeline.

 

Thus, our Ancient Vedic Indians had established the Speed of Light much before scientists in other parts of the world ! This again proves the Scientific knowledge of Ancient India. Very Enlightening, isn't it?

Our Glorious Scientists

Posted by dimodi on December 17, 2012 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

In our Endeavour to unleash the science in Hinduism, Now we are going to introduce our own ancestors and their great and rich contribution towards scientific development in India to enable India to reach its Pinnacle….

“The Golden Bird” or “Sone Ki Chidiya”-

Dont Miss this Incredible and most rare Compilation of Facts about these great People.

Do share and Like,Tweet, Google Plus One so that everyone gets to know about these incredible Personalities and their Unparallelable Contribution towards making of World as we see Today.

ARYABHATT (476 CE) MASTER ASTRONOMER AND MATHEMATICIAN

Born in 476 CE in Kusumpur ( Bihar ), Aryabhatt's intellectual brilliance remapped the boundaries of mathematics and astronomy. In 499 CE, at the age of 23, he wrote a text on astronomy and an unparallel treatise on mathematics called 'Aryabhatiyam.' He formulated the process of calculating the motion of planets and the time of eclipses. Aryabhatt was the first to proclaim that the earth is round, it rotates on its axis, orbits the sun and is suspended in space - 1000 years before Copernicus published his heliocentric theory. He is also acknowledged for calculating p (Pi) to four decimal places: 3.1416 and the sine table in trigonometry. Centuries later, in 825 CE, the Arab mathematician, Mohammed Ibna Musa credited the value of Pi to the Indians, 'This value has been given by the Hindus.' And above all, his most spectacular contribution was the concept of zero without which modern computer technology would have been non-existent. Aryabhatt was a colossus in the field of mathematics.

BHASKARACHARYA II (1114-1183 CE) GENIUS IN ALGEBRA

Born in the obscure village of Vijjadit (Jalgaon) in Maharastra, Bhaskaracharya' s work in Algebra, Arithmetic and Geometry catapulted him to fame and immortality. His renowned mathematical works called 'Lilavati' and 'Bijaganita' are considered to be unparalled and a memorial to his profound intelligence. Its translation in several languages of the world bear testimony to its eminence. In his treatise ' Siddhant Shiromani ' he writes on planetary positions, eclipses, cosmography, mathematical techniques and astronomical equipment. In the ' Surya Siddhant ' he makes a note on the force of gravity: 'Objects fall on earth due to a force of attraction by the earth. Therefore, the earth, planets, constellations, moon, and sun are held in orbit due to this attraction.' Bhaskaracharya was the first to discover gravity, 500 years before Sir Isaac Newton . He was the champion among mathematicians of ancient and medieval India . His works fired the imagination of Persian and European scholars, who through research on his works earned fame and popularity.  

ACHARYA KANAD (600 BCE) FOUNDER OF ATOMIC THEORY

As the founder of 'Vaisheshik Darshan'- one of six principal philosophies of India - Acharya Kanad was a genius in philosophy. He is believed to have been born in Prabhas Kshetra near Dwarika in Gujarat . He was the pioneer expounder of realism, law of causation and the atomic theory. He has classified all the objects of creation into nine elements, namely: earth, water, light, wind, ether, time, space, mind and soul. He says, 'Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules.' His statement ushered in the Atomic Theory for the first time ever in the world, nearly 2500 years before John Dalton . Kanad has also described the dimension and motion of atoms and their chemical reactions with each other... The eminent historian, T.N. Colebrook , has said, 'Compared to the scientists of Europe , Kanad and other Indian scientists were the global masters of this field.'

NAGARJUNA (100 CE) WIZARD OF CHEMICAL SCIENCE

He was an extraordinary wizard of science born in the nondescript village of Baluka in Madhya Pradesh . His dedicated research for twelve years produced maiden discoveries and inventions in the faculties of chemistry and metallurgy. Textual masterpieces like ' Ras Ratnakar ,' 'Rashrudaya' and 'Rasendramangal' are his renowned contributions to the science of chemistry. Where the medieval alchemists of England failed, Nagarjuna had discovered the alchemy of transmuting base metals into gold. As the author of medical books like 'Arogyamanjari' and 'Yogasar,' he also made significant contributions to the field of curative medicine. Because of his profound scholarliness and versatile knowledge, he was appointed as Chancellor of the famous University of Nalanda . Nagarjuna's milestone discoveries impress and astonish the scientists of today.

ACHARYA CHARAK (600 BCE) FATHER OF MEDICINE

Acharya Charak has been crowned as the Father of Medicine. His renowned work, the ' Charak Samhita ', is considered as an encyclopedia of Ayurveda. His principles, diagnosis, and cures retain their potency and truth even after a couple of millennia. When the science of anatomy was confused with different theories in Europe, Acharya Charak revealed through his innate genius and enquiries the facts on human anatomy, embryology, pharmacology, blood circulation and diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, heart disease, etc. In the ' Charak Samhita ' he has described the medicinal qualities and functions of 100,000 herbal plants. He has emphasized the influence of diet and activity on mind and body. He has proved the correlation of spirituality and physical health contributed greatly to diagnostic and curative sciences. He has also prescribed and ethical charter for medical practitioners two centuries prior to the Hippocratic oath. Through his genius and intuition, Acharya Charak made landmark contributions to Ayurveda. He forever remains etched in the annals of history as one of the greatest and noblest of rishi-scientists.

ACHARYA SUSHRUT (600 BCE) FATHER OF PLASTIC SURGERY

A genius who has been glowingly recognized in the annals of medical science. Born to sage Vishwamitra, Acharya Sudhrut details the first ever surgery procedures in ' Sushrut Samhita ,' a unique encyclopedia of surgery. He is venerated as the father of plastic surgery and the science of anesthesia. When surgery was in its infancy in Europe , Sushrut was performing Rhinoplasty (restoration of a damaged nose) and other challenging operations. In the ' Sushrut Samhita ,' he prescribes treatment for twelve types of fractures and six types of dislocations. His details on human embryology are simply amazing. Sushrut used 125 types of surgical instruments including scalpels, lancets, needles, Cathers and rectal speculums; mostly designed from the jaws of animals and birds. He has also described a number of stitching methods; the use of horse's hair as thread and fibers of bark. In the ' Sushrut Samhita ,' and fibers of bark. In the ' Sushrut Samhita ,' he details 300 types of operations. The ancient Indians were the pioneers in amputation, caesarian and cranial surgeries. Acharya Sushrut was a giant in the arena of medical science.

VARAHAMIHIR (499-587 CE) EMINENT ASTROLOGER AND ASTRONOMERA

Renowned astrologer and astronomer who was honored with a special decoration and status as one of the nine gems in the court of King Vikramaditya in Avanti ( Ujjain ). Varahamihir' s book 'panchsiddhant' holds a prominent place in the realm of astronomy. He notes that the moon and planets are lustrous not because of their own light but due to sunlight. In the ' Bruhad Samhita ' and ' Bruhad Jatak ,' he has revealed his discoveries in the domains of geography, constellation, science, botany and animal science. In his treatise on botanical science, Varamihir presents cures for various diseases afflicting plants and trees. The rishi-scientist survives through his unique contributions to the science of astrology and astronomy.

ACHARYA PATANJALI (200 BCE) FATHER OF YOGA

The Science of Yoga is one of several unique contributions of India to the world. It seeks to discover and realize the ultimate Reality through yogic practices. Acharya Patanjali , the founder, hailed from the district of Gonda (Ganara) in Uttar Pradesh . He prescribed the control of prana (life breath) as the means to control the body, mind and soul. This subsequently rewards one with good health and inner happiness. Acharya Patanjali 's 84 yogic postures effectively enhance the efficiency of the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive and endocrine systems and many other organs of the body. Yoga has eight limbs where Acharya Patanjali shows the attainment of the ultimate bliss of God in samadhi through the disciplines of: yam, niyam, asan, pranayam, pratyahar, dhyan and dharna. The Science of Yoga has gained popularity because of its scientific approach and benefits. Yoga also holds the honored place as one of six philosophies in the Indian philosophical system. Acharya Patanjali will forever be remembered and revered as a pioneer in the science of self-discipline, happiness and self-realization.

ACHARYA BHARADWAJ (800 BCE) PIONEER OF AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Acharya Bharadwaj had a hermitage in the holy city of Prayag and was an ordent apostle of Ayurveda and mechanical sciences. He authored the ' Yantra Sarvasva ' which includes astonishing and outstanding discoveries in aviation science, space science and flying machines. He has described three categories of flying machines: 1.) One that flies on earth from one place to another. 2.) One that travels from one planet to another. 3.) And One that travels from one universe to another. His designs and descriptions have impressed and amazed aviation engineers of today. His brilliance in aviation technology is further reflected through techniques described by him: 1.) Profound Secret: The technique to make a flying machine invisible through the application of sunlight and wind force. 2.) Living Secret: The technique to make an invisible space machine visible through the application of electrical force. 3.) Secret of Eavesdropping: The technique to listen to a conversation in another plane. 4.) Visual Secrets: The technique to see what's happening inside another plane. Through his innovative and brilliant discoveries, Acharya Bharadwaj has been recognized as the pioneer of aviation technology.

ACHARYA KAPIL (3000 BCE) FATHER OF COSMOLOGY

Celebrated as the founder of Sankhya philosophy, Acharya Kapil is believed to have been born in 3000 BCE to the illustrious sage Kardam and Devhuti. He gifted the world with the Sankhya School of Thought.. His pioneering work threw light on the nature and principles of the ultimate Soul (Purusha), primal matter (Prakruti) and creation. His concept of transformation of energy and profound commentaries on atma, non-atma and the subtle elements of the cosmos places him in an elite class of master achievers - incomparable to the discoveries of other cosmologists. On his assertion that Prakruti, with the inspiration of Purusha, is the mother of cosmic creation and all energies, he contributed a new chapter in the science of cosmology. Because of his extrasensory observations and revelations on the secrets of creation, he is recognized and saluted as the Father of Cosmology. Celebrated as the founder of Sankhya philosophy, Acharya Kapil is believed to have been born in 3000 BCE to the illustrious sage Kardam and Devhuti. He gifted the world with the Sankhya School of Thought.. His pioneering work threw light on the nature and principles of the ultimate Soul (Purusha), primal matter (Prakruti) and creation. His concept of transformation of energy and profound commentaries on atma, non-atma and the subtle elements of the cosmos places him in an elite class of master achievers - incomparable to the discoveries of other cosmologists. On his assertion that Prakruti, with the inspiration of Purusha, is the mother of cosmic creation and all energies, he contributed a new chapter in the science of cosmology. Because of his extrasensory observations and revelations on the secrets of creation, he is recognized and saluted as the Father of Cosmology.

Aryabhatt: Vedic Astronomy

Posted by dimodi on October 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (1)

 

Our curriculum teaches us that theory on planetary motion was propounded by Johannes Kepler, a German Astronomer and Mathematician. This was done as late as the 17th century AD.

 

But as usual, India had an answer to the same question way back in the 5th Century AD. The following Sloka from Aryabhatiyam - Kalakriyapada gives Aryabhatta's version:

 

The meaning of this Sloka is as follows:

 

"The mean planets move on their orbits and the true planets move in eccentric circles. All such planets move with their own motion, anti-clockwise from their apogees and clockwise from their perigees."

 

So it took around 1200 years for the Western "Civilization" to re-discover something that Aryabhatta had stated in the 5th Century! Truly Amazing.

A Day and Night of Brahma: The Evidence from Fossil Records

Posted by dimodi on September 15, 2012 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (1)

The Vedic concept of time, like that of the ancient Egyptians and the Mayans, was cyclical. As per their cosmovision, in addition to the cycles of day and night, and the cycles of the seasons, there exists another cycle of time known as the Yuga Cycle or the Cycle Of Ages.

 

The 'Laws of Manu' inform us that that the Yuga Cycle is of 12,000 years duration, and is comprised of four Yugas or World Ages -- Krita or Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. As humanity moves from the Krita Yuga to the Kali Yuga, the level of virtue and human capabilities, both physical and mental, gradually decrease, and reaches its nadir in the Kali Yuga, the age of darkness, in which we currently find ourselves.

 

However, sometime during the dark ages, the Yuga Cycle duration was artificially inflated to an abnormally high value of 4,320,000 years by introducing a multiplication factor of '360', which was represented as the number of 'human years' which constitutes a 'divine year'. The fallacy of this approach was rectified by the renowned Vedic seer, Swami Yukteswar.

 

In the book (1894), Yukteswar clarified that a Yuga Cycle takes 24,000 years, and is comprised of an ascending Yuga Cycle of 12,000 years when virtue gradually increases (Kali, Dwapara, Treta, Krita) and a descending Yuga Cycle (Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali) of another 12,000 years, in which virtue gradually decreases.

 

The interpretation of Swami Yukteswar can be intuitively understood, since everything in nature moves in ascending and descending cycles. We know that the Babylonians, Egyptians, Mayans and the Incans all used a daily time system that comprised of 12 ascending time periods (our AM) and 12 descending time periods (our PM) for a 24 hour day. In the cycle of the seasons too, we can see that the intensity of sunlight gradually increases from winter to summer for a period of roughly 12 lunar hemicycles (i.e. the time taken from New Moon to Full Moon and vice versa), and then decreases from summer to winter for another period of 12 lunar hemicycles.

 

The belief in the Yuga Cycle was widely prevalent in the ancient world. Giorgio de Santillana mentions approximately that believed in the concept of a series of ages, with alternating Dark and Golden Ages, as documented in the book Hamlet’s Mill (1969).

 

The Greeks, Romans, Celts, Hopi Indians -- all have detailed accounts of the World Ages which are surprisingly alike in their descriptions. Interestingly, the complete Yuga Cycle of 24,000 years closely matches the of 25,765 years, which is the time taken by the sun to 'precess' i.e. move backwards, through the 12 zodiac constellations. In recent years, it has been observed that the rate of precession is 'increasing' which means that the duration of the Precessional Year is 'decreasing'. It is possible, therefore, that the current precessional value of 25,765 years is simply a temporary deviation from its 'average' value of 24,000 years, as documented in the ancient Vedic texts.

 

In addition to the Yuga Cycle, the Vedic texts also tell us of another large cycle of time known as a 'Day of Brahma', also referred to as a 'Kalpa' which is equal to a 1000 Mahayugas or Yuga Cycles. The tells us that at the end of a 'Day of Brahma' the physical universe is destroyed and is dissolved into the waters of the Primordial Ocean. This is followed by a 'Night of Brahma' which is of equal duration as the 'Day of Brahma' when no life forms exist. At the end of the 'Night of Brahma', the universe is once again created by Vishnu from unmanifested matter. This phenomenon of cyclic creation and destruction events is also explained by Krishna in the: -

Those who understand the cosmic laws know that the Day of Brahma ends after a thousand yugas and the Night of Brahma ends after a thousand yugas. When the day of Brahma dawns, forms are brought forth from the Unmanifest; when the night of Brahma comes, these forms merge in the Formless again. This multitude of beings is created and destroyed again and again in the succeeding days and nights of Brahma."

-- Chapter 8: Imperishable and Eternal Brahma

 

In order to derive the value of a 'Kalpa' i.e. a 'Day of Brahma' we need to remember that as per the Vedic and Puranic texts, the Yuga Cycle (also known as a Mahayuga), consisting of the four yugas, is considered to be of 12,000 years duration, which is half the duration of the Precessional Year. Therefore, a 'Day of Brahma' lasts for 12,000 X 1000 i.e. 12 million years, which is followed by a 'Night of Brahma' of equal duration.

 

The implications are fascinating: all life forms on the planet earth are extinguished after 12 million years! These life forms then remain in a dormant, unmanifested form for a further 12 million years. And then, at the end of the 'Night of Brahma', new life forms are brought forth by the creative process from manifested matter.

 

Thus, we have a cyclical, 24 million year period of cosmic creation and dissolution, much like the 24,000 year precessional year, and the 24 hours of day and night. The essential similarity between the macrocosm and the microcosm couldn't be any clearer. It is easy to see that the time period between two successive 'cosmic dissolution' events is 24 million years.

 

It occurred to me that if this information is correct, then this cycle of creation and destruction should also be reflected in the fossil records of the planet earth. And amazingly enough, this is exactly what has been revealed by recent paleontological evidence: every 26 million years there is a mass extinction of species on the earth!

 

Consider this: 66 million years ago the dinosaurs were thriving on the earth. However, today we can only find their bones and fossils in natural history museums. What happened to them? Scientists believe that 65 million years ago the earth went through a period a rapid death, called a Mass Extinction. But this episode is not the only mass extinction recorded in the fossil record. There are many more. And in recent years paleontologists have suggested that these mass extinctions occur in a regular cycle.

 

In 1984, paleontologists David Raup and Jack Sepkoski published a paper in the Journal of Geological Society of London (vol 146, pp 7-19), claiming that they had identified a statistical periodicity in extinction rates over the last 250 million years. In his research, Sepkoski prepared a listing of about a quarter of a million species of sea-dwelling creatures, both extinct and current, noting the point in time where they appeared and became extinct.

 

Sepkoski confined the study to marine organisms because the chances of finding fossils are much higher under the sea-bed. To further study extinction periods, Sepkoski decided to concentrate on the last 250 million years of geologic time and to throw out animals whose point of appearance and disappearance were debated. He was left with about 500 of his original 3,500 marine families (250,000 species). Sepkoski put the data through computer analysis and was surprised to find that life forms on earth seemed to disappear drastically exactly every 26.2 million years.

 

 

Fig 1 [ ]: The original extinction data of Raup and Sepkoski. This plot represents the extinction rate (vertical axis) vs. time (horizontal axis). The extinction rate peaks every 26 million years, which are marked by the arrows.

 

While the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago, nearly coincides with the date arrived at from the Puranic calculations, there is a slight deviation in the other cases. We should remember that the dates calculated by Sepkoski are approximate, and depend on the sample characteristics and various assumptions inherent in the model. Besides, we know the duration of the 24,000 year Precessional Year is not constant, but appears to fluctuate between 26,000 and 22,000 years. Therefore, it is quite likely that the duration of a cosmic cycle of creation and dissolution also fluctuates between 22 million years and 26 million years, with 'mean' value of 24 million years.

 

The periodicity of these fluctuations need to be understood and considered in order to correctly calculate the previous dates of cosmic destruction. Also, the statement that we are currently in the 'middle' of the current 'Day of Brahma' cannot be taken literally to mean that it has been 6 million years since the previous creation event. It could be slightly more or less than 6 million years.

 

Certain variations of the 26 million year cycle have also been identified by other researchers. In 2005, two scientists of UC Berkeley, Muller and Rohde, reviewed the data investigated by Raup and Sepkoski, and identified a 62 million year cycle of mass extinction, which appears to be a 'multiple' of the 26 million year cycle identified by Sepkoski.

 

However, the 26 million year cycle has been corroborated by a number of detailed analyses carried out by Sepkoski, Rampino, Caldeira and other scientists, which establishes the periodicity of the mass extinction events and also confirms that there must be a single, cyclical underlying cause for these events.

 

It would be fair to conclude, on the basis of the above analysis, that the 24 million year cycle of creation and destruction, comprising of a 'Day of Brahma' and a 'Night of Brahma', is embedded in the fossil records of the planet earth.