Dr Satya Dev Gupta
There is only one living civilization in world history, you may call it Indian, Sanatan, Hindu Aryan culture. For thousands of years, this great civilization had to bear the brutal, ferocious, bloodthirsty Invasion on one hand, strategically calm, compassionate and tactically civilized assault on the other hand by the foreigners of the middle east, central Asia, and European powers. Invaders from Asia physically plundered the monumental structures, doctrines and symbols of knowledge. Nalanda, Ujjain, Taxila, Somnath, Kashi, Mathura, Ayodhya etc. and the colonists from the western world aimed at the real roots of native’s traditions, culture, teachings, institutions (Gurukuls), methods of learning, history etc. by mental invasion. The sophisticated and polished destructive ways of European intruders hurt more than the conventional barbaric methods of Asian aliens. Some enthusiastic and intelligent, but notorious persons who were spearheading the mental invasion over India were Macaulay and John Williams.
Thomas Babington Macaulay was a British historian and considered primarily responsible for introducing the Western education system in India. Here is Lord Macaulay address to the British Parliament on 2nd February 1835. in his own words. ” I have travelled across length and breadth of India I have not seen one person who is thief and beggar, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think that we would ever conqueror this country, unless we break the very bone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I proposed that we replace her old and Ancient System of Education, her culture for if the Indian think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.
Carl Edward Sagan (1934-1996) a renowned American astronomer, astrophysicist and astrophysicist while doing research related to cosmology, appreciated the knowledge of Hindus about the astral bodies in the universe, which later has become the basis of modern cosmology. Carl quoted the sacred text of Rigveda and conceded in his own words that “The most sophisticated cosmological ideas came from Asia and particularly from India. Here, there is a tradition of skeptical questioning and unselfconscious humility before the great cosmic mysteries.” Carl Edward Sagan, the American seeker explains the significance cosmic dance of Lord Shiva (Natraj Tandav) as he visited the Chola temple in Dharasuram and attributed it to creation and destruction. He narrated that “Most cultures imagine the world to be a few hundred human generations old. Hardly anyone guessed that the cosmos might be far older, but the ancient Hindus did”, He then talked about the harvest festival of Pongal which is celebrated in South India and especially in Tamil Nadu. Carl emphasized that the Hindu festival had ties with an ‘elegant and much deeper cosmological tradition’ and that it rejoiced the cycles in nature.
Sir Williams Johns (1746-1794) another British Noble, a philologist a judge, a scholar of ancient Indian history who proposed the relationship between Sanskrit Indo- Aryan to European languages and coined a term naming Indo-European language. He attributed this relationship in establishing “Aryan Invasion theory”, although no historical, scientific or logical base, which later lead to the concept of racial division in India i.e., Aryan v/s Dravidians, North/South India. This worked as sore and ulcer which is still oozing with pus mixed sanguis fluid, tearing apart the unity of India. Making this hypothesis as a formulation a new idiom had generated “Aryan are invaders Arab Turks are outsider, Europeans are newcomers, and so no one is a true native of this land. So, India is an inn or pub where anyone can come and go without owning it as a motherland. But the new genomic, carbon dating and other logical studies have dug out the facts relating to Indus-Saraswati Civilization and pointing towards the reality that Aryan and Dravidians were the same
Scientific and cultural achievements in Ancient India
It is a well-known saying in the Mahabharata time (Tretam Yug) that when the wounded veteran warrior Bhishma was lying on arrows he wished to depart his body or perish on the day of “Makkar Sankranti”. This day is considered as harvest beginning as sun enters Capricorn Zodiac (Rashi) and moves northwards corresponding to13th-14th day of January as per the Gregorian calendar. So-called inventors of modern science remained far behind in estimations of the age or time, in the attempt of rectification Roman Calendar, Julian and ultimately 1582 Gregorian calendar came as approved and final version.
India classified the time on natural events (from the fraction of a second to trillions of years) like the flickering of eyelids, moon cycle, the position of astral bodies. Nimish, Kasta, Kala, Mahurta,Pakhya, Mas,Ayan, Varsh,Nadika, Deva, Pitra, Yuga, Manvantra, Kalpa. The Paksha and Pitra Paksha represents the lunar cycle (The cycle of the moon). As per their calendar, the current Kali Yuga consist of 432000 human years. And as of now, i.e. (2020), only 5121 years have passed, started after the end of the Mahabharata war. (3102 BC).
In ancient India Sundial, shows the time in accordance with the changing positions of the sun in the day and around the year. Sundial was later used by Egyptians and Chinese. Indian astronomers divided the cosmos into 360 degrees, with 12 Zodiac 27 constellations (Nakshatra) to study the cosmic events with time, even today the traditional astronomers may tell-all about the lunar or solar eclipse correctly without any instrumental help. Rigveda shows that India divided the year into 12 months (360 days). One month had 30 days depending upon the sun moon positions. Every three to five years they rectify to bring the period in an accurate sequence. Astronomy in India was heavily tied to the religious and spiritual outlook of the world, but it contained many accurate observations of phenomena. This acted as a catalyst for the growth of mathematics in the subcontinent, one of the greatest legacies passed on by India to the western world.
India has made remarkable progress in the field of mathematics much before 1200 BCE till the recent past. In ancient India, important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskarall, Varamihira. The use of the number Zero, decimal system was invented by Indians. Negative numbers in arithmetic, trigonometry, sine, cosine, and tangent by mathematicians of the Kerala school in 15th century CE. All the ancient and medieval mathematical works were composed in Sanskrit and set in Sutras, documented on Birch bark, Algebra, Calculus, were developed here and spread to the middle east, China and Europe.
India’s contribution to world
* Takashashila University 700 BC.with 300 halls, 200 professors and 10000 students. Nalanda, Ujjain, Vikramshila and many others.
* Numeral Zero as a number. Although Babylonians used it as a symbol of absence.
* The game of chess, 280-500 CE, Gupta period, naming it as Chaturanga.
* Buttons, carved in geometric shapes and holes, were used in India in Indus Valley Civilization by 2000 BCE.
* Shampoo, derived from Hindi word “Champo” head massage with natural oils having fragrances in Eastern India, dates 1762.
* Treatment of Leprosy as described by Kearns & Nash (2008) enshrined in Atharva-Veda 1500-2000 BCE, also mentioned by Sushruta Samhita (6th century BCA).
* Indoor games of “Snakes and Ladders” inspired from an Indian game called Mokshapat, based on morality, adopted by British and later in the USA in 1943.
* Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine still practiced as a form of alternative medicine.
* Bhaskar Acharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit around the sun.
* Jainism and Buddhism originated from India and spread the message of peace and Indian ideas of Vasudev Katumkum to the world.
* Indians were the first to describe the Fibonacci pattern of numbers. First described by Virahanka (700 AD). Gop?la (1135) and later Hemachandra, Acharya Pingala used it as Sanskrit
* Cataract Surgery was first performed with a curved needle in India. With the curved needle, the opaque lens was displaced from the vision field followed by an appropriate dressing. This technique spread around the world. Sushruta has also used and commented on it for betterment.
* In the early 20th century Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose invented CRESCOGRAPH, a device to measure growth in plants.
* Cashmere (Kashmir wool)
Kashmir ruler in 15th century Zayn-ul-Abidin founded Cashmere wool industry. The mention of woollen shawls made in Kashmir is found in several books between the 3rd century BCE and the 11th century CE.
* USB (Universal Serials Bus) was developed and defined by Ajay V. Bhatt, an Indian-American. He has worked in the up-gradation of AGP(Accelerated Graphics Port), PCI ( Peripheral Component Interconnect) and various chipset improvements.
* Kridapatram, meaning “painted rags for playing”, is an early suits game, made of painted rags, invented in India.
* Jute cultivation.
* Trigonometry. Varamihira discovered along other equations a formula, sin^2(x) + cos^2(x) = 1.
* The Pentium Chip. Vinod Dham also known as the Father of Pentium chip, for his contribution to the development of highly successful Pentium processors.
* Candied Sugar, Crystallization of sugarcane juice to form crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas. The process was soon transmitted to China with travelling Buddhist monks. Chinese documents confirm two missions to India, for obtaining technology for sugar-refining.
* Lots of work had been done in Metallurgy. Smelting of Zinc, wootz steel, a pattern of bands (Ukku, Hindwani and Seric iron) produced by Tamil in Chera Dynasty.
(The author is Chairman – Trikuta Samvad Kendra)
Dr Satya Dev Gupta