Book Review by Dr. Sudharshan Salwan, PhD
India, the third world country. India, the underdeveloped country. You hear this kind of narrative, so often. The correct narrative should be, India, the most invaded country. India, the most looted country, where looters should be brought to justice and not denigrate the looted. India has been an case study of how to rule a country by decimating its education system.
Suresh Soni’s book on India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition lays it bare. He has comprehensively traced the India’s scientific knowledge starting from thousands years back, from the times of Vedas. He has so very rightly said science is not the gift of west. Indian science had offered, much earlier, solutions to various problems of Science & Technology.
Knowledge is Power – Western Civilization.
Knowledge is Salvation – Indian Civilization.
Intellectual Pursuit – Western Philosophy.
Essence of Life- Indian Philosophy.
The damage to ancient Indian knowledge was particularly instrumented by British. Indian methods of knowledge creation, storage and distribution were made to be looked down upon and consigned to oblivion. The consequences of oblivion were enormous including that India could not pursue the native knowledge and pedagogy for betterment of India.
Suresh Soni describes ancient knowledge in various aspects of Science & Technology including Electrical Science, Mechanics, Mechanical engineering, Elastic Forces, Metallurgy, Aeronautics, Mercury Vapor, Marine science, Garment industry, Mathematics, Relativity Measurement of time, Astronomy, Architecture, Health and Hygiene Vaccination, Cloning, Science of Sound and Voice, Graphemics and Theoretical science.
The author brings out that before Pythagoras, Rishi Bodhayan, hundreds of years before Pythagoras, had elaborated on the theorem and with much clarity. In ancient times in India, Metallurgy was in much advanced stage. Westerners did not even know about atom, when Indians were working on advanced metallurgy and chemistry. The world still wonders Indian Vishnu Stambh (The Iron Pillar) of Delhi which is approximately 1600 years old and has not rusted till date . Even with all the advanced technology currently available, no one could replicate the feat.
Before Stephen Hawking’s history of time, Indian Vedas described measurement of time with detailed examples. Vishwakarma Vastushastra is an excellent example of architecture. The process for the metamorphosis of mercury resulted in use of mercury in Health science.
Way before Sir Isaac Newton explained gravity, ancient Indian scholars had already figured out how it worked. Acharya Aryabhata had stated the details about gravity .
Sayana, a Vedic scholar from the 14th Century had said “With deep respect, I bow to the sun, which travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha” which is equal to 185,794 miles per second. This is close to current calculated speed of light.
Aacharya Bhardwaj (800 BCE), pioneer of Aviation Technology, had authored the “Yantra Sarvasva” a treatise in space science and flying machines.
Sushruta Samhita is the oldest encyclopedia of medicine known to mankind.
The author brings out that Rig Veda, the first book ever had by mankind, had noted that central placement of the Sun and other planets orbit the solar system. Sun moves in its orbit and each celestial objects have their own gravitational force which help them move around, like earth moves around the Sun.
Mahabharata mention the concept of cloning, test tube babies and surrogate methods. Vedas already had a very robust scientific explanation.
Aryabhatta’s deduction of the value of PI is approximately 3.1416. He did this in 499 CE at the age of 23. He also concluded that the circumference of Earth was approximately 39736 Kilometers. The actual circumference of Earth, as deduced by scientists later, is 40,075 Kilometers.
The author further brings out that Varahamihir (499-587 CE) Eminent Astrologer and Astronomer, had discovered the domains of geography, constellation, science, botany and animal science. His book titled, ‘Panch Siddhant’ holds prominent place in the realm of astronomy.
Acharya Patanjali (200 BC) has been the father of Yoga, father of Ayurveda and control of prana (life breath). Now whole world is accepting the benefits of Yoga.
When all the credit of Atomic theory has been taken by Western world, it was Acharya Kanad (600 BC) was the founder of Atomic theory, law of causation and the atomic theory. Acharya Kanad had said, “Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules’
Acharya Nagarjuna (100 CE), authored several medical books such as ‘Arogyamanjari’ and ‘Yogasar’. Acharya Nagarjuna also made significant contribution to the field of curative medicine. Nagarjuna had discovered the alchemy of transmuting base metals. The author also highlights the modem Indian scientists who have done extremely good work in the field of Science & Technology.
Einstein had said that Science could denature platinum, but it is unable to denature evil from human mind. Ancient Indian scientific knowledge can help to denature evil from human mind. That would be the supreme science and technology for the modern world.
The book must be read by all to know the truth and give credit where it belongs. In my opinion, the book presents a hearty challenge to modern scientific community, if they could even count and remember by heart the names of those Indian scientists and their works, that have been discussed in this book. India’s scientific knowledge could not be appreciated, possibly, because of language barriers. Suresh Soni’s book bridges that gap. (Reference: SURESH SONI, INDIA’S GLORIOUS SCIENTIFIC TRADITION, 2018, English, Pages 248, Prabhat Prakashan ISBN : 9788184305388)
Dr Sudharshan Salwan, PhD, is an eminent scientist. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of the Government of India for his invaluable contribution to defense technologies and strategic defense, in 2009.
(Earlier published at www.criticalthinker.guru)
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