The Scientific Heritage of India

Whenever we hear the word “scientist”, just the names of Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and few others come to our mind. Not a single Indian scientist would we remember! We’d failed to realise that some of the greatest scientists of all times lived in India.

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Aryabhata’s Contribution In Mathematics

Being Indians, we’d not at all be familiar with the discoveries of Aryabhata. Well, Aryabhata is known for his masterpiece, “Aryabhateeyam” which he finished writing at 12.00 pm, Sunday on 21st of March, AD 499.

Aaryabhata was the first person who said that the earth is spherical in shape :

“ मृत् जल शिखि वायुमयो भूगोल सर्वतो वृत्त l ”

The exact translation would be :

“ Made of soil, water, fire and air, the spherical earth looks circular from every side.”

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My dear friends may kindly notice that this fact was not discovered by Galileo in 1564 AD, to whom the credit is given. Aryabhata ( 1000 years before Galileo ) also gave a vivid idea on the rotation and revolution of earth by stating :

“ प्राणेन इति कलां भू: भ्रमयति l ”

It means, the earth rotates 1 angular minute in 4 seconds, which is same as the modern value. The diameter of earth that he gave is just 3 km less than the modern value! He also wrote about the apogee and perigee of earth’s orbit. We’ve to keep in our mind that he did not have a Hubble Telescope in space to send him data. It’s just by intuition and mathematical calculations that he put forward such ideas at an early age.

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Coming down to the microscopic level, Indians were the first ones to find that matter is made of atoms! The following line in Sanskrit says that the tiniest indivisible particle of matter is called atom (paramaanu).

“ अपकर्षपर्यन्तं द्रव्यं परमाणु एवं l ”

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Patanjali Yoga Sutra

One of the most complicated theories is Heisenberg’s uncertainity principle. If you take the 6th chapter of Yogashastram by Patanjali Maharshi, you’d be stunned to see :

“ एकसमये च उभयान् अनवधारणं l ”

The English translation is : It is impossible to perceive two complimentary quantities at a time. This is exactly a more geeralised version of Heisenberg’s uncertainity principle. NO! Heisenberg’s uncertainity principle is a special case of Patanjali Maharshi’s principle!!! It’s also surprising to learn that Heisenberg was well versed with the Upanishads and Srimad Bhagavad Geetha.

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Indian inventions and discoveries are too many. A very brief tabulation of few of them is given below.

Ancient Indian discoveries attributed to foreign scientists

DISCOVERY/ INVENTIONCREDIT HOLDERSACTUAL DESERVERS
Velocity of lightNewton ( 1642 AD )Saayana ( 1400 AD )
Wave nature of SondHyghen ( 1700 AD )Gauthama ( 300 BC )
Pythagorus theoremPythagorus ( 500 BC)Boudhayana ( 700 BC )
Proof of Pythagorus theoremEuclid ( BC 300 )Boudhayana
Differential CalculusNewton ( 1642 AD )Bhaskara II ( 1114 AD )
Rolle’s TheoremRolle ( 1646 AD )Bhaskara II ( 1114 AD )
Tyco-Brahe ReductionTyco Brahe ( 1546 AD )Achyutha Pisharoti ( 1530 AD )
Lebnitz SeriesLebnitz ( 1642 AD )Madhava ( 1350 AD)
Valu of piLindemann ( 1882 AD )Aryabhatta I ( 476 AD )
Evolution TheoryCharles Darwin ( 1800 AD )Gauthama ( 300 BC )
Micro-organismLewis Pasture ( 1822 AD )Charaka ( 300 BC )
Nose SurgeryGasparo Tag Cozzi ( 1600 AD )  Susrutha ( 700 BC )
Plastic SurgeryJoseph Constantine ( 1814 AD)Susrutha ( 700 BC )
Indian scientific inventions and discoveries attributed to foreign scientists

It’s high time that we realise that significant scientific contribution by ancient Indian scientists. We should claim the credit that we actually deserve. At least we should stop humiliating our motherland for other reasons and be really proud to be an Indian.

Published by The Cowherd

Your spiritual and wellness guide

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