Legend says English mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton, discovered gravity when he saw a falling apple while thinking about the forces of nature. But long before newton it was an Indian who knew about gravity.

Former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair advocated the theory that some Shlokas in the Vedas mentioned about presence of water on the moon and astronomy experts like Aryabhatta knew about Gravitaional force much before Isaac Newton. The Padma Vibhushan awardee also stated that Indian vedas & ancient scriptures had information on metallurgy, algebra, astronomy, architecture, astrology & mathematics and were way ahead of the western civilisations.

The information can be accessed by people who are fluent in Sanskrit. The former ISRO chief however said that the information was in a “condensed format” and modern science would find it difficult to accept & understand. “Some Shlokas in the Vedas say that there is presence of water on the moon, but no one believed it. Through our Chandrayan mission we could establish that and we were the first ones to find out,” Nair said.

Speaking about 5th century astronomer-mathematician Aryabhatta, Nair said, “We are really proud that Aryabhatta & Bhaskara have done extensive work on planetary work and exploration of outer planets. It was one of the challenging fields. Even for Chandrayaan, the equation of Aryabhatta was used. Newton found it some 1500 years later.”

Nair, who was the ISRO chief from 2003-09 also claimed that geometry was used to make calculations for building cities during the Harappa Civilisation. Even the Pythagoras theorem existed during the Vedic period. The comments were made after BJP leaders spoke about ancient Indian scriptures having scientific information on aero-dynamics & plastic surgery.

In ISRO Nair made significant contributions to the development of multi-stage satellite launch vehicles. While addressing people at the International Conference on Vedas Nair had spoken about Aryabhatta in 2015. “As a scientist I would say that the computations evolved those days were really fantastic,” he signed off.

Alok Shetty