“We owe a lot to the ancient Indians, teaching us how to count. Without which most modern scientific discoveries would have been impossible.”
– Albert Einstein
Were they ahead of their time? Yes. Were they better than their contemporary? Yes.
Trigonometry, Geometry, Infinite series, Value of Pi, even calculus (Kerala School, 15th Century CE)… you name it, we got it. Aryabhatta said the sun revolved around the earth and came up with zero; Sushruta was a pioneer of surgical methods etc.
Sure we have been able to find a connection between Eastern Mysticism and Western Science (The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra) and sure, Heisenberg credits Upanishads as an inspiration, but we are much more technologically advanced. We have things like LHC, Smartphones, Rockets and Internet, things no one even 50 years ago could have dreamt of, of course, the base was constructed by our ancestors.
The Fibonacci numbers and their sequence first appear in Indian mathematics as mātrāmeru, mentioned by Pingala in connection with the Sanskrit tradition of prosody. Later on, the methods for the formation of these numbers were given by mathematicians Virahanka, Gopala and Hemacandra, much before the Italian mathematician Fibonacci introduced the fascinating sequence to Western European mathematics.
Sushruta Samhita, The Oldest Medical And Surgical Encyclopedia Known To Mankind
Written during the 6th century BC, the Sushruta Samhita contains 184 chapters with descriptions of 1,120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources. Its author Sushruta is also considered to be the first ever human to perform medical surgeries on humans. The book also has vast details on embryology, human anatomy, along with instructions for venesection, the positioning of the patient for each vein, and the protection of vital structures (marma). The oldest documented evidence (9000 years) for the drilling of human teeth of a living person was found in Mehrgarh along with the evidences of orthopedic surgeries.
The first cataract surgery is said to have been performed by the ancient Indian physician Sushruta, way back in 6th century BCE. To remove the cataract from the eyes, he used a curved needle, Jabamukhi Salaka, to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision. The eye would then be bandaged for a few days till it healed completely. Sushruta’s surgical works were later translated to Arabic language and through the Arabs, his works were introduced to the West.
Excavations at Harappans sites have yielded rulers or linear measures made from ivory and shell. Marked out in minute subdivisions with amazing accuracy, the calibrations correspond closely with the hasta increments of 1 3/8 inches, traditionally used in the ancient architecture of South India. Ancient bricks found at the excavation sites have dimensions that correspond to the units on these rulers.
Mahabharata Mentions The Concept Of Cloning, Test Tube Babies, And Surrogate Mothers
If I would have said something like test tube babies 50 years back people would have termed me a perfect lunatic requiring psychiatric help.
The fact that in the Mahabharata, Gandhari had 100 sons is pretty well known. But what’s unknown is the scientific explanation behind her giving birth to a 100 kids. Each ‘Kaurava’ was created by splitting the single embryo into 100 parts and growing each part in a separate kund (container). This is identical to the cloning process today. The birth of Karan, who was born from the “characteristics adopted from men of her choice” also has striking resemblance to the present-day test tube baby concept.
Aryabhatta’s Deduction Of The Value Of Pi
According to documented history, the irrationality of pi was proved in Europe only in 1761 by Lambert. The great Indian mathematician Aryabhata worked on the approximation of the value of pi, and concluded that is irrational and its value is approximately 3.1416. He did this in 499 Common Era at the age of 23.
The Exact Length Of A Year was measured by our ancestors first
Ancient Indians used 4 ways to measure the length of a year namely ‘Nakshatra’, ‘Savana’, ‘Lunar’ and ‘Saura’. Saura was one method based on the tropical zodiac that defines the seasons: equinoxes, solstices, year-halves, and months in relation to the (six) seasons. As unbelievable as it sounds, Saura estimates the length of a year to be exactly 365 days, 6 hours 12 mins and 30 seconds.
If advancements have already happened on similar lines in the past, it’s unlikely that much evidence (in terms of how we perceive evidence today) or traces would be around for us to find. However, some of the profound insights within some of our ancient scriptures both in terms of science and spirituality seems to indicate that our ancestors were far more advanced than what we’re prepared/capable to credit them with.
Ancient scriptures of almost all cultures across the world describe of an extinction level event of great floods (known as Pralay within Indian scriptures), in the distant past (possibly due to heavy tectonic/volcanic activity followed up with extensive ice-melt across the globe towards the end of last ice-age), with very few survivors.
Maybe this was the same floods that initially inundated mythical cities like Dwaraka, Atlantis etc and later over next few millennia, obliterated all traces of earlier civilisation?
According to Indian scriptures Matsya Purana in Sanskrit and Sangham Literature in Tamil, our ancestors used to live towards far South and escaped from great floods or Pralay in boats/arks, and settled later in the northwest parts…Could it be possible that the survivors of this event migrated to settlements like Indus valley, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Europe, introducing Sanskrit and other languages in the process? The largest migration could’ve been to Indus area, ensuring that Sanskrit and Vedic culture took deeper roots and prospered around Saraswati river.