Intellectual prowess of Ancient India
By Sujay Adukia
India’s glorious past is embedded with a rich Scientific and Technological Heritage from the Vedic age and is an inspiration to create a scientifically advanced and spiritually enlightened human society in which peace, prosperity and happiness together create a heaven on earth. Peace loving people, people with scientific bent of mind having a profound understanding of the purpose and meaning of life, able to decode the secrete of creation and serve the creator through service of man and nature is what, the wonder that was India which glittered like gold and spread its enlightenment all around the world. Below is a glimpse of scientifically advanced India – Spreading a culture of Science and Technology to create a happy and healthy living in harmony with nature.
India’s Ancient Scientists
- Atreya, Agnivesa and Shushruta- Medical Scientists 800 BC.
- Aryabhatta (BC.476-550), Bhaskaracharya, Varahmihir, Bodhayan – Ancient astronomers and mathematicians
- Kanva, Panini, Gargi,
- Yajnavalkya, the author of the altar mathematics of the Shatapatha Brahmana.
- Lagadha – Author of a 1350 BC text on Vedic astronomy
- Baudhayana, 800 BC
- Manava, 750 BC
- Apastamba, 700 BC
- Aksapada Gautama, 550 BC, Logician
- Katyayana, 400 BC
- Panini, 400 BC, Algebraic grammarian
- Pingala, 5th century BC
- Bharata Muni, 4th century BC, combinatorics in music
- Aryabhata – Astronomer who gave accurate calculations for astronomical constants, 476-520
- Bhaskara I, 620
- Brahmagupta – Helped bring the concept of zero into arithmetic
- Matanga Muni – Combinatorics in music
- Virahanka (8th century) – Described the Fibonacci series.
- Shridhara (between 650-850) – Gave a good rule for finding the volume of a sphere.
- Lalla, 720-790
- Govindsvamin (9th century)
- Mahavira (9th century)
- Jayadeva (9th century)
- Prithudaka, 9th century
- Halayudha, 10th century
- Aryabhata II, 920-1000
- Vateshvara (10th century)
- Manjula, 930
- The law of gravitation discovered by Brahmagupta 598 A.D. anticipated after 1400 years by Newton declaring “all things fall to the earth by law of nature; for it is the nature of the earth to attract and keep things.”
- Pingala (3rd C AD), author of Chandasutra explored the relationship between combinatorics and musical theory anticipating Mersenne (1588-1648) author of a classic on musical theory
- The ‘Pythagoras theorem’ which stated in Sulva Sutras by Baudhayana’s (6th century BC): “The diagonal of a rectangle produces both areas, which its length and breadth produce separately.”
- Arya Bhatta discovered the method of finding out the areas of a triangle, a trapezium and a circle. The approximate value of an ‘irrational number’ i.e. 2 (dvikarani) (1.143256) and 3 (1.7320513) can be obtained, Baudhayana and Apastamba.
- In the geometry of the circle, “Arybhatta- I” gave a value for pi (tyajya) which is correct to the four decimal places in a sloka (Sankara Varman’s treatise on astronomy, Sadratnamala) theorems and their deductions:”Lemma of Brahmagupta for integral solution or the indeterminate equation of second degree. John Pell (1611-1685) discovered this in the 17th century. Indians discovered it a 1,000 years earlier
- Zero, the most modest and most valuable of all numerals is one of the subtle gifts of India to mankind. The earliest use of the zero symbol, so far discovered, is in one of the scriptural books dated about 200 B.C. The zero, called shunya or nothing, was originally a dot and later it became a small circle. It was considered as a number like any other. Professor G. B. Halsted, in his book ‘ Mathematics for the Million’ (London 1942) thus emphasizes the vital significance of this invention.