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06 July 2011, 10:49 AM
Here is a compilation from the book Hindu Achievements in Exact Science by Benoy Kumar Sarkar (published in 1918: downloadable in tiff format from Hindu Achievements In Exact Science : Kumar Sarkar.B : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive )
To facilitate easy perusal, I shall post this compilation in four or five instalments.
Two foundations discovered by Hindus: the symbol of numbers (numerals as they are called) and the decimal system of notation.
• Numerals were in use in India since 3rd century BCE. They were employed in the Minor Rock Edicts of Asoka the Great (256 BCE)
• The decimal system was known to AryabhaTTa (476 CE) and Brahmagupta (598-660 CE), and fully described by BhAskarAchArya (1114).
‣ In Subandhu's vAsavadattA, a SaMskRta prose romance (550-606 CE?), the stars are described as zero.
• The decimal system was therefore known to the Hindus long before its appearance in the writings of the Arabs or Grco-Syrians.
• The Saracens learnt from the Hindus both the system of numeration and the method of computation. Alberuni (1033) wrote: "The numeral signs which we use are derived from the finest forms of the Hindu signs."
• It was probably in the 12th century that the Europeans learnt this Hindu science from their Sarącen masters.
• At the commencement of the Christian era, the Chinese "adopted the decimal system of notation introduced by the Buddhists, and changed their ancient custom of writing figures from top to bottom for the Indian custom of from left to right."
• The mathematician who systematized the earlier algebraic knowledge of the Hindus and thus became the founder of a new science is AryabhaTTa.
• The Hindu algebra was the principal feeder of Saracen algebra through Yakub and Musa, and indirectly ifiuenced to a certain extent medieval European mathematics.
• The Hindu discoveries in algebra may be thus summarized from the recent investigatons of Nalin behari Mitra:
1. The idea of an absolutely negative quantity.
2. The first exposition of the complete solution of the quadratic equation: Brahmagupta.
3. Rules for finding permutations and combinatics BhAskara. These were unknown to the Greeks.
4. Indeterminate equations: “The glory of having invented general methods in this most subtle branch of mathematics belongs to the Indians.”
5. Indeterminate equations of the second degree.
• BhAskara invented the art of placing the numerator er the denominator in a fraction. He invented also √ (the racical sign). This was not known in Europe before Chuquet and Rudolf in the sixteenth century.
• The earliest geometry of the Hindus is to be fouid in the shulba-sUtras of BaudhAyana and Apastamba. In these treatises, which form parts of the Vedic literature, we get the application of mathematical knowledge to the exigencies of religious life, sacrifices, rituals, construction of altars, etc.
• At this stage Hindu geometry was quite independent of Greek influence. The following are some of the problems, which were solved by the mathematicians of the Vedic cycle:
1. The so-called Pythagorean theorem: The square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.
2. Construction of squares equal to the sum or difference of two squares;
3. Conversion of oblongs into squares, and vice versa;
4. Drawing of a perpendicular to a given straight line at a given point of it;
5. Construction of lengths equal to quadratic surds: The approximate value of ╥--pi.
6. Circling of squares;
7. Squaring of circles,-—”that rock upon which so many reputations have been destroyed,” both in the East and West. The earliest Hindus got ╥ = 3.0044;
8. Construction of successive larger squares from smaller ones by addition;
g. Determination of the area of a trapezium, of an isosceles trapezium, at any rate, when the lengths of its parallel sides and the distance between them are known.
• We find AryabhaTTa solving the following among other problems:
1. The area of a triangle;
2. The area of a circle;
3. The area of a trapezium;
4. The distance of the point of intersection of the diagonals of a trapezium from either of the parallel sides;
5. The length of the radius of a circle.
AryabhaTTa gave also the accurate value of ╥ (62832/20000) and the area of the circle as ╥r^2. The Saracens learnt this from the Hindus. Probably Yakub (eighth century) was the first to get it when the astronomical tables were imported to Bagdad from India. The correct value of ╥ was not known in Europe before Purhach (1423—61).
• Brahmagupta made other contributions to geometry. BhAskara (1114) summarized and methodized the results of all previous investigators, e.g., Lata, AryabhaTTa, Lalla (499), VarAhamihira (5o5), Brahmagupta, ShrIdhara (853), MahAvIra (8o), AryabhaTTa the Younger (970), and Utpala (970).
• Among BhAskara's original contributions may be mentioned the fact that he gave two proofs of the so-called Pythagorean theorem. One of them was “unknown in Europe till Wallis (1616—1793) rediscovered it.”
• The mathematicians of India devised (1) the table of sines, and (2) the table of versed sines. The term 'sine' is an Arabic corruption from SaMskRta shinjini.
• The Hindu table of sines exhibits them to every twenty-fourth part of the quadrant, the table of versed sines does the same. In each, the sine or versed sine is expressed in minutes of the circumference, neglecting fractions.
• The astronomical tables of the Hindus prove that they were acquainted with th principal theorems of spherical trigonometry.
• VAchaspati (850 CE), commentator of NyAya (logic), anticipated in a rudimentary way the principle of co-ordinate (solid) geometry eight centuries before Descartes (1596—165o).
• VAchaspati’s claims are thus presented by Seal:
‣ To conceive position in space, VAchaspati takes three axes, one proceeding from the point of sunrise in the horizon to that of sunset, on any particular day (roughly speaking, from the east to the west);
‣ a second bisecting this line at right angles on the horizontal plane (roughly speaking, from the north to the south);
‣ and the third proceeding from the point of their section up to the meridian section of tho. sui on that day (roughly speaking, up and down).
‣ The position of any point in space, relatively to anothr point, may now be given by measuring distances, along these three directions, i.e., by arranging in a numerical series the intervening points of contact, the lesser distance being that which comes earlier in this serie, and the greater which comes later.
‣ The position of any single atom in space with reference to another may be inlicated in this way with reference to the three axis.
‣ But this gives only a geometrical analysis of the conception of three-dimensioned space, though it must be admitted in all fairness that by dint of clear thinking it anticipates in a rudimentary manner the foundations of solid (co-ordinate) geometry.
• BhAskarAchArya anticipated Newton (1642—1727) by over five hundred years (i) in the discovery, of the principles of differential calculus and (2) in its application to astronomical problems and computations.
• According to Seal, BhAskara’s claim is indeed far stronger than Archimedes’ to the conception of a rudimentary process of integration.
“BhAskara, in computing the instantaneous motion of a planet compare its successive positions, and regards its motion as constant during the interval (which of course cannot be greater than a truti of time, i.e., 1/3375th part of a second, though it may be infinitely less).”
This process is not only “analogous to, but virtually identical with, that of the differential calculus.” As Spottiswoode remarks, mathematicians in Europe will be surprised to hear of th.existence of such a process in the age of Ehaskara (twelfth century).
06 July 2011, 12:08 PM
Truly fantastic achievements!
06 July 2011, 12:18 PM
This is very interesting, can you give some sources for recommended reading on the subject.
06 July 2011, 12:30 PM
yea..maths was quiet strong of ancient Hindus.
07 July 2011, 07:14 AM
Two related links:
Some incontrovertible evidences of the origin of the concept, use and notation of zero in Hindu texts
Mathematics in Veda
07 July 2011, 07:17 AM
• Gravity: In astronomical works, eg., of AryabhaTTa, Brahmagupta, and BhAskara, the movement of a falling body is known to be caused by gravity. They ascribed gravity to the attraction exercised by the earth on a material body. But Newton’s 'law' of gravitation was not anticipated.
• Acceleration: Motion was conceived as a change of place in a particle and incapable of producing another motion; but "the pressure, impact, or other force which produces the first motion produces through that motion a samskAra or persistent tendency to motion (vega), which is the cause of continued motion in a straight line, i.e., in the direction of the first motion." A series of samskAras each generating the one that succeeded it was also conceived. Acceleration is thus logically implied in the writings of Udyotakara, a commentator of NyAya (logic).
• Law of Motion: The force of samskAra (or persistent tendency to motion, i.e., vega) was known to diminish by doing work against counteracting force; and when the samskAra is in this way entirely destroyed, the moving body was known to come to a rest. Thus "vega corresponds to inertia some respects, and to momentum (impressed motion) in others. This is the nearest approach to Newton’s First Law of Motion," in the writings of Shamkara Mishra, the commentator of VaisheShika (atomistic, Democritean) philosophy.
• Accelerated motion of falling bodies: PrashastapAda (4th century CE), the commentator of VaisheShika philosophy, believed that in the case of a falling body there is the composition of gravity with vega (momentum) acting in the same direction from the second instant onwards. It is as if the two motions coalesced and resulted in one. “Here is a good foundation laid for the explanation of the accelerated motion of falling bodies; but Galileo’s discovery was not anticipated as Galileo’s observations and measurements of motion are wanting.”
• Scientifically considered, Hindu ideas on Statics do not seem to have made much progress. It is interesting to observe that among the Greeks statics was more developed than dynamics. This is the exact opposite of the state of investigation in India, where motion was probably understood better than rest.
01. Lunar zodiac: The earliest astronomy of the. Hindus is believed to have been borrowed from th Babylonians. This consisted in the conception of the lunar zodiac with twenty-seven nakShatras (constellations). But this elementary division.of the sky, suggested by the passage of the moon from any point back to the same point, may have been original to the Hindu priests, as Colebrooke and Max Muller believe.
02. Dodecameries: AryabhaTTa knew of the division of the heavens into twelve equal nortions or 'dodecameries'. This zodiacal division ‘came down from the Babylonians to the Greeks about 700 BCE.(?). But it was only by the first century BCE that the Greeks had twelve separate signs for the twelve divisions. AryabhaTTa named the twelve divisions by words of the same import, and represented them by the figures of the same animals, as the Greeks. The Hindu zodiac, if it is foreign at all, seems thus to have been derived from the Greek, rather than from the Babylonian.
03. Rotation, 04. Eclipses: AryabhaTTa knew the truth that the earth revolves on its axis. The true cause of solar and lunar eclipses also was explained by him.
05 Epicycles: The hypothesis of the epicycles in accounting for the motions of the planets and in calculating their true places was the greatest generalization of Hipparchus. This was discovered by the Flindus also. But according to Burgess, "the difference in the clevelpoment of this theory in the Greek and the Hindu systems of astronomy precludes the idea that one of these peoples derived more than a hint respecting it from the other."
06. Annual precession of the equinoxes, 07. Relative size of the sun and the moon as compared with the earth, 08. The greatest equation of the centre for the sun: With regard to these calculations, the Hindus “are more nearly correct than the Greeks.”
09. Times of the revolutions of the planets: With regrd to these, the Hindus are "very nearly as correct" as the Greeks, "it appearing iom a comparative view of the sidereal revolutions of the planets that the Hindus are most nearly correct in four items, Ptolemy in six."
10. The determination of the lunar constants entering into the calculation of lunar periods ad eclipses reached a remarkable degree of approximation (much above Greco-Arab computations) to the figures in Laplace’s Tablcs.
The Hindus were acquainted with Greek astronomy and its merits. VarAhamihira's candid acknowledgment of the fact that this science is "well established" among the "barbarian" Yavanas (Ionlaus, ie., Greeks) leaves no doubt on the point. The only question is about the amount and period of influence.
• According to Burgess there was "very little astronomical borrowing between the Hindus and the Greeks." It is difficult to see precisely what the Hindus borrowed, "since in no case do the, numerical data and results in the system of the two peoples exactly correspond."
• A certain amount of foreign help may have given an impetus to the science in India. But the loan was thoroughly Hinduized. According to Whitney, the Indians assimilated the Greek astronomy by
(i) The substitution of sines for chords, and
(2) The general substitution of an arithmetical for a geometrical form.
On the strength of subsequent developments, Seal claims that Hindu astronomy was not less advanced than that of Tycho Brahe (1546—1601).
The problems in natural philosophy, which engaged the attention, more or less, of every thinker in India, were of the kind described below:
0i. The theory of atoms and molecular combinations.. It is generally associated with the name of KaNAda, the founder of VaisheShika philosophy. Strictly speaking, there were almost as many atomic theories as the schools of Hindu thought. One or two may be mentioned:
• VaisheShika system:Atoms cannot exist in an uncombined state in creation. "The doctrine of atomism did not take its rise in Greece, but in the East. It is found in the Indian philosophy. KaNAda could not believe matter to be infinitely divisible. (Fleming’s 'Vocabulary of Philosophy'.)
• Jaina system: The atoms are not only infinitesimal, but also eternal and ultimate. Atomic linking, or the mutual attraction (or repulsion) of atoms the formation of molecules was analyzed by Umasvati (50 CE), with a most remarkable effect. The Jainas hold that the different classes of elementary substances are all evolved from the same primordial atoms. "The intra-atomic forces which lead to the formation of chemical compounds do not therefore differ in kind from those that explain the original linking of atoms to form molecules."
02. General properties of matter: These were analyzed and defined not only by KaNAda and his school, but also by the Jainas, Buddhists, aid other rivals and contemporaries. A few such concepts were elasticity, cohesiveness, impenetrability, viscosity, fluidity, porosity, etc. Capillary motion was illutrated by the ascent of the sap in plants from the root to the stem, and the penetrative diffusion of liquids in porous vessels. Upward conduction of water in pipes was explained by the pressure of air.
03. The doctrine of motion: Motion was conceived in almost every school of thought as underlying the physical phenomena of sound, light, and heat. This motion was known to be not only molar and molecular, but also the subtle motion lodged in the atoms themselves, ie., the very principle of matter-stuff.
04. Time and Space: In order to be precise and definite in their calculations the Hindus coceivel infinitesimally small magnitudes of time and spate. The instruments of measurement were crude. The attempt to distinguish from one another the varying grades of "least perceptible" sound, light, heat, time, etc., has therefore to be taken for what it £s worth.
• An atom (truli) of time was regarded as equal to 1/33750th of a second.
• The thickness of the minimum visible (tRSha reNu), eg., the just perceptible mote in the sunbeam, was known to be 1/349525th of an inch.
• The size of an atom was conceived to be less than ╥.3.5^-1.2^-62 of a cubic inch. "Curiously enough, this &s fairly comparable (in order of magnitude) with the three latest determinations of the size of the hydrogen atom."
• No unit of velocity seems to have been fixed upon. But average velocity was measured in accordance with the formula v=s/t.
• These measurements were not arbitrary poetic guess-works. It is on the basis of these that a remarkably accurate measurement of the relative pitch of musical tones was made, and the instantaneous motion of a planet determined (and thus the 'principle' of the differential calculus discovered).
05. The doctrine of conservation: Both matter and energy were known to be indestructible. But though constant, they were known to be liable to addition and subtraction, growth and decay, ie., to changes in collocation. This transformation was known to be going on constantly.
The foUowing ideas about matter and energy may be gleaned from the writings of the Hindus.
(i) Light and heat were known to KaNAda as different forms of the same substance.
(2) Solar heat was known to UdayaNa as the source of all the stores of heat.
(3) Heat and light rays were believed by VAchaspati to consist of very minute particles
emitted rectilineally by the substances.
(4) Rarefaction in evaporation and the phenomenon of ebullition were correctly explained by Shankara Mishra.
(i) The phenomena of translucency, opacity, shadows, etc., were explained by Udyotakara.
(2) The angle of incidence was known to be equal to the angle of reflection. This was known to the Greeks also.
(3) The phenomenon of refraction was known to Udyotakara.
(4) The chemical effects of light rays were known to Jayanta.
(5) Lens and mirrors of various kinds, spherical and oval, were used for purposes of demonstration. Light rays were focussed through a lens on a combustible like paper or straw. (The making and polishing of glass was a great industry in India. According to Pliny the best glass was that made by the Hindus.)
(1) Physical basis of sound: Two theories were held about the vehicle or medium of propagation. Shabara Swami knew it correctly to be the air. But Udyotakara and others knew it to be ether.
(2) Wave-motion: The sound-waves were understood by both schools. But PrashastapAda knew them to be transverse; and Udyotakara and Shabara Swami understood the transmission of sound to be of the nature of longitudinal waves.
(3) Echoes were analyzed by VijnAna-bhikShu.
(4) Sounds were distinguished according to their tones and over-tones, volume or massiveness, and quality or timbre, by BatsyAyana, Udyotakara, and VAchaspati.
(5) Musical notes and intervals were analysed and mathematically calculated in the treatises on music, eg., Sharamgadeva’s samgIta-ratnAkara ('Ocean of Music') (1210—47), Damodara’s samgIta-darpaNa ('The mirror of music') (1560—1647), etc. The relative pitch of the notes of the diatonic scale was, according to Krishnaji Ballal Deval, accurately determined.
(6) The so-called Pythagorean law of the vibration of stretched strings was known to the Hindus, viz., the number of vibrations (pitch of a note) varies inversely as the length of the string.
(7) The Hindus knew that the octave above a note has twice as many vibrations as the note itself. They had thus arrived at the octave on which modern Eur-American music is based.
(i) Elementary magnetic phenomena could not but be observed. The attraction of grass, straw, etc., by amber, and the movement of the iron needle townrds the magnet, were explained by Shamkara Mishra as due to adRShTa, ie., unknown cause.
(2) Bboja (1030 CE) in his directions for ship-building gave the warning that no iron should be used in holding or joining together ie planks of bottoms intended to be sea-going vessels. The fear was entertained lest the iron should expose the ships to the influence of magnetic rocks in the sea, or bring them within a magnetic field and so lead them to risks.
(3) Mariner’s compass: Mookerji points out a compass on one of the ships in which the Hindus of the early Christian era sailed out to colonize Java and other islands in the Indian Ocean. The Hindu compass was an iron fish (called in SaMskRtam matsya-yantra or fish device). It floated in a vessel of oil and pointed to the north.
(e) Electriity: Most rudimentary electrical phenomena may have been noticed by Umasvati (50 CE). His theory of atomic linking was based on the idea that the two atoms to be combined must have two opposite qualities. He believed that atoms attracted and repelled each other according as they were heterogeneous (i.e., unlike), and homogeneous (i.e., like), respectively.
07 July 2011, 09:42 AM
This is absolutely fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing, saidevo ji! :)
09 July 2011, 10:42 PM
Leaving aside the chemists or druggists in the medical schools of India, two great specialists in chemistry as such were Patanjali (2nd century BCE) and NAgArjuna (early CE).
• Patanjali was also a philologist, his commentary on the famous grammar of PANiNi is well known. His “science of iron” (loha-shAsira) was a pioneer work on metallurgy.
• NAgArjuna's genius also was versatile. He is the patron-saint of alchemists. He is credited with having founded or rather systematized the philosophy of rasa (mercury).
• The Hindu chemical investigators of the 5th and 6th centuries CE (the age of Gupta-VikramAdityan Renaissance) were far in advance of Roger Bacon (13th century).
‣ In fact, they anticipated by one millennium the work of Paracesus (16th century) and Libavius (17th century). "The physico-chemical theories as to combustior heat, chemical affinity were clearer, more rational, and more original than those of Van Helmont or Stahl." (Seal)
i. According to Prafullachandra Ray, the earliest Hindus knew of the distinction between green and blue vitriol.
2. The scientific pharmacy of Sushruta was almost modern. About the preparation of caustic alkali he was careful enough to give the special direction that the strong lye is to be preserved in an iron vessel. It was far superior to the process of a Greek writer of the 11th century who has been eulogized by Berthelot.
3. According to Royle, the process of distillation was discovered by the Hindus.
4. By the 6th century the Hindu chemisis were masters of the chemical processes of calcination, distillation, sublimation, steaming, fixation, etc.
5. These processes were used by researchers of the Patanjali and NAgArjuna cycles in order to bring about chemical composition and decomposition, e.g.,
(a) In the preparation of
(i) Perchioride of mercury;
(2) Suiphide of mercury;
(3) Vermilion from lead, etc.
(b) In the extraction of
(i) Copper from sulphate of copper;
(2) Zinc from calamine;
(3) Copper from pyrites, etc.
6. The importance of the apparatus in chemical research is thus described in rasarnava, a work on chemistry, of the 11th century:
“For killing (oxidizing) and coloring mercury, an apparatus is indeed a power. Without the use of herbs and drugs, mercury can be killed with the aid of an apparatus alone; hence an expert m.ust not disparage the efficacy of the apparatus.”
With this preamble the author introduced his account of the chemical laboratory, instruments, crucibles, etc.
7. In madanapala—nighaNTu, a work on drugs (c.1374), zinc was distinctly mentioned as a separate metal. Paracelsus (1493-1541) as thus anticipated in India by about two hundred years.
8. The philosophy of mercury was a recognized branch of learning during the fourteenth century. It was One of the celebrated sixteen in MadhavachArya’s collection of philosophical systems (1331). He mentioned rasarnava as a standard work on mercury.
9. rasa-ratna-samuchchaya (treatise on mercury and metals) is a comprehensive work of the 14th century. It embodies practically the whole chemical, mineralogical, and metallurgical knowledge of the Hindus developed through the ages. Like the bRhat samhitA (6th century CE), by VarAha-mihira, it is a scientific encyclopedia, It is specially remarkable for its section on the laboratory, directions for experiments, and description of apparatus.
10. The Hindus had no knowledge of mineral acids for a long period. But this defect was made up by their use of vid, which, says Ray, could "kill all metals". This was a mixture containing aqua regia and other mineral acids in polentia. The substance had probably been discovered by Patanja1i. Mineral acids were discovered almost simultaneously both in India and Europe during the 16th century.
• The debt of Europe to Saracen chemistry of alcheniy is generally acknowledged by historians of science. This implies also Europe’s debt to the Hindus; for they had taught these teachers of mediaval Europe.
Metallurgy and Chemical Arts
India was the greatest "industrial power" of antiquity. It was the manufactures of the Hindus, which, backed up by their commercial enterprise, served as standing advertisements of India in Egypt, Babylonia, Judaea, Persia, etc. To the Romans of the Imperial epoch and the Europeans of the Middle Ages, also, the Hindus were noted chiefly as a nation of industrial experts.
• Some of the arts for which the people of India have had traditional fame are those connected with (i) bleaching, (2) dyeing, (3) calico-printing, (4) tanning, (5) soap-making, (6) glass-making, (7) manufacture of steel, (8) gun-powder and firetwork, and (9) preparation of cements. All these imply a knowledge of industrial chemistry.
i. Patanjali, the founder of Hindu metallurgy, (2nd century BCE) gave elaborate directions for many metallurgic and chemical processes, especially the preparation of metallic salts, alloys, amalgams, etc., and the extraction, purification, and assaying of metals.
2. During the 4th century the Hindus could forge a bar of iron, says Fergusson, "larger than any that have seen forged in Europe up to a very late date, and not frequently even now."
3. Gun-powdcr "may have been introduced into China from India" about the 5th or 6th century CE (Journal of the North China Branch of R.A.S., New Series, Vi.82).
4. The secret of manufacturing the so-called Damascus blades was learned by the Saracens from the Persians, who had mastered it from the Hindus. In Persia, the Indian sword was proverbially the best sword, and the phrase jawabee hind ('Indian answer') meant 'a cut with the sword made of Indian steel'.
5. During the sixth century the Hindu chemists could prepare:
(1) Fixed or coagulated mercury;
(2) A chemical powder, the inhalation of which would bring on sleep or stupor;
(3) A chemically prepared stick or wick for producing light without fire;
(4) A powder, which, like anaesthetic drugs or curare, paralyzcs sensory and motor organs.
6. The horticulturists of the same period were familiar pith several mixtures and infusions, probably struck upon empirically, for supplying the requisite nitrogen compounds, phosphates, etc., to plants.
7. The metallurgists of the same period were familiar with the processes of extraction, purification, 'killing' (formation of oxides, chlorides, and oxy-chlorides), calcination, incineration, powdering, solution, distillation, precipitation, rinsing, drying, melting, casting, filing, etc. With the help of apparatus and reagents they subjected each of the known minerals to all these processes. Heat was applied in different measures for different ends.
8. So early as the 6th century the mercurial operations alone were nineteen in number.
• Pliny, the Roman of the 1st century CE, noticed th industrial position of the Hindus as paramount in the world. India maintained the same position even in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the nodern European nations began to come into intimate touch with her. This long-standing industrial hegemony of the Hindus was due to their capacity for harnessing the energies of Nature to to the well-being of man. They made several important discoveries in chemical technology. These may be generalized into three:
(i) The preparation of fast dyes;
(s) The extraction of the principle of indigotin from the indigo by a process, which, though crude, is essentially an anticipation of modern chemical methods;
(3) The tempering of steel.
10 July 2011, 01:46 AM
मेरा भारत महान
Mera Bharat mahan
MY INDIA IS GREAT
greetings to Sri. Sai
12 July 2011, 11:19 PM
From the standpoint of comparative chronology, Hindu medicine has been ahead of the European and has been of service in its growth and development.
• Two great names in Hindu medicine are Charaka (c 6th to 4th century BCE?), the physician, and Sushruta (early CE), the surgeon.
‣ They were not the founders of their respective sciences, but the premier organizers of the cumulative experience of previous centuries. In observation lay their great strength, the "natural history of disease" was their special study. Both these schools were in existence about 500 BCE. according to Hoernle.
‣ By the 1st and 2nd centuries CE surgery was a well developed art. Many instruments, were devised, of which 127 are mentioned. The materia medica grew from age to age with the introduction of new drugs (vegetable, animal and mineral), of which the therapeutic effects were tested by the 'experiments' of researchers.
(1) The Hindus have had hospitals and dispensaries since at least the 3rd century BCE.
(2) The smoking of datura leaves in asthma, treatment of paralysis and dyspepsia by nux vomica, use of croton tigliurn, etc., are modern in Europe, but have come down in India since very old times.
(3) The Hindus were the first in the world to advocate the 'internal' use of mercury. Pliny knew only of its external use (1st century CE). By the 6th century it was well established among Hindu practioners as an aphrodisiac and tonic. It is mentioned by VarAha-mihira along with iron
(4) The Greeks and Romans used metallic substances for external application. The Saracens are usually credited with their internal administration for the first time in the history of medicine.
But in this as in other matters the Hindus anticipated the Saracens, and, in fact, taught them. As Roy]e observes, the earliest of the Saracens had access to the writings of Charaka and Sushruta, who had given directions for the internal use of numerous metallic substances.
(5) In the prescriptions of Dr.VAgbhaTa mineral and natural salts had a conspicuous place. His book was translated into Arabic in the 8th century.
(6) From the 6th century on, every Hindu treatise on materia medica has more or less recommended metallic preparations for internal use. It was only after Paracelsus at the end of the 16th century that thee had a recognized place in European science.
• Hindu medicine has influenced the medical systems of other peoples of the world. The work of Indian physicians and pharmacologists was known in ancient Greece and Rome. The materia medica of the Hindus has influenced medkeval European practice also through the Saracens.
Tun ancient Hindu surgeons gave expression to the most modern views about the importance of their science. They declared:
• "Surgery is the first and best of the medical sciences, less liable than any other to the fallacies of conjectural and inferential practices, pure in itself, perpetual in its applicability, the worthy produce of Heavens, and certain source of Fame."
• Another very remarkably modern idea of these surgeons was that "the first, best, and most important of all implements is the hand."
• Surgery is one of the oldest branches of medical sciene in India. The Hindu term for it is shalya or the "art of removing foreign substances from thee
body; especially the arrow". It seems to have had its origin in warfare and in the accidents of outdoor work, eg., hunting and agriculture.
• The Hindu surgeons performed lithotomy, could extract the dead foetus, and could remove external matter accidentally introduced into the body, eg., iron, stones, hair, bones, wood, ete.
‣ They were used to paracentesis, thoracis, and abdominis, and treated different kinds of inflammation, abesses, and other surgical diseases.
‣ Hazardous operations and the art of cutting, healing ulcers, setting bones, and the use of esckarotics, were the forte of a section of India's medical men.
• Dissection of the human body and venesection were normal facts in medical India. The doctors of the Sushruta school declared that dissection was necessaiy for a correct knowledge of the internal structure of the body.
‣ Dissection gave them an intimate knowledge of the diseases to which the body is liable.
‣ It also helped them in their surgical operations to avoid the vital parts. It
gave them, besides, an accurate knowledge of the human anatomy.
• The Hindu surgical laboratory consisted of at least 127 instruments. The operators were used to the manipulation of saws, lancets, needles, knives, scissors, hooks, pincers, probes, nippers, forceps, tongs, catheters, syringes, loadstones, rods, etc.
• For laboratory practice students operated on wax, gourds, cucumbers, and other fruits.
‣ Tapping and puncturing were demonstrated on a leather bag of water or soft mud.
‣ Fresh hides of animals, or dead bodies, were used in the demonstration of scarification and bleeding.
‣ The use of the probe was practised on hollow bamboos.
‣ Flexible models of the human body were in use for practice in bandaging.
‣ Caustics and cauteries were used on animals.
Anatomy and Physiology
Hippocrates, the founder of Greek medicine, was unacquainted with anatomy and, physiology. His ignorance was due to the superstitious respect which the Greeks paid to their dead. But the fathers of Hindu medicine were remarkably accurate in some of their observations and descriptions.
• The Hindus have described 500 muscles-—400 in the extremities, 66 in the trunk, and 34 in the region above the clavicle.
‣ They knew of the ligaments, sutures, lymphatics, nerve plexuses, fascia, adipose tissue, vascular tissue, mucous membrane of the digestive canal, synovial membranes, etc.
The anatomical system of the Hindus was almost modern. As Hoernie remarks: "Its extent and accuracy are surprising, when we allow for their, early age-—probably the 6th century BCE-—and their peculiar method of definition.”
• There are about 200 bones in the human body according to modern osteology. Charaka counted and Suhruta 300. The former counted the 32 sockets of teeth and the 20 nails as separate bones. These were not admitted by Sushruta.
• The additional 100 in Sushruta's count, however, has to be explained. This large excess is principally due to the fact that, like Charaka, he regarded the cartilages and the prominent parts of bones (the modern 'processes' and 'protuberances') as if they were separate bones. In Europe the first correct description of the osseous system was given by Vesalius in 1543.
(b) The Doctrine of Humors
The physiology of humors, whatever its worth, is older in India than in Greece. At any rate, the Hindu and the Greek humoral pathologies are independent systems. Hippocrates counted four humors, viz. blood, bile, water, and phlegm; but Charaka propounded three, viz. air, bile, and phlegm.
The Hindu physicians knew the digestive system well and described it satisfactorily.
1. The function of different digestive fluids was understood. They were familiar with the acid gastric juice in the stomach. They knew also that in the small intestines there is a digestive substance in the bile.
2. They were familiar with, and eplained, the conversion of the semi-digested food (chyme) into chyle, and of that again into blood.
3. They explained the chemical changes by the action of metabolic heat.
(d) Circulation of Blood
In Europe, previous to Harvey's epoch-making discovery (i628), "the movement of the blood was believed to be confined to the veins, and was thought to be a to-and-from movement." (Halliburton).
• The Hindus knew that the heart (i) receives the chyle-"essence", i.e., venous blood, (2) sends it down to the liver, where it is transformed into red blood,
and (3) gets it back as red blood from the liver.
‣ There was thus the idea of a chakra or wheel, ie., self-returning circle of “circulation".
• But the Hindus did not understand the process clearly.
(1) They did not know that the pathway of the blood round and round the body is a "double circle", ie., "systemic" circulation and "pulmonary" circulation.
(2) Neither Charaka nor Sushruta, therefore, understood the function of the lungs in the oxygenation of blood. This was not known to the ancients in Europe also, eg., to Galen
The Harveyan Circulation was thus not anticipated by the Hindus. The Hindu conception of the vascular system is given below:
(i) There are two classes of blood-conductors (i) shira--vein, and dhamanI--artery;
(2) The.heart is connected with the liver by both;
(3) The shiras bring the impure blood (venous) from the heart into the liver, and the dhamanIs conduct the pure (arterial) blood from the livir into the heart.
(e) Nervous System
Neither in India nor in Europe did the ancients understand the nervous system. Aristotle’s error was committed by Charaka and Sushruta also. They all regarded the heart to be the central organ and seat of consciousness. The nerves (sensory and motor) were believed to ascend to and descend from the heart.
Later investigators, however, corrected this mistake both in the East and the West. Like Galen, the Greek (2nd century CE), the Tantrists and Yogaists of India came to know the truth that the brain (and the spinal cord) is the real organ of "mind".
Accordiig to Bamandas Basu the nervous system is more accurately described in the mystical 'Tantras' than in purely medical treatises. We get the fllowing from Shiva samhitA:
1. Familiarity with the brain and spinal cord;
2. The idea that the central nervous system is composed of gray and white matters;
3. Familiarity with the lateral ventricles of the brain (through the fourth and third ventricles);
4. Familiarity with the ganglia and plexuses of the cerebrospinal system;
5. The idea that the brain is composed of chandra-kalA or convolutions resembling half-moons;
6. The idea that the six chakras are the vital and important sympathetic plexuses, presiding over all the functions of organic life. Yoga or contemplation means control over tle functions of these plexuses.
According to Seal, also, the enumeration, by Yogaists, of the spinal nerves with the connected sympathetic chain and ganglia, is a distinct improvement oxi the anatomical knowledge of Charaka and Sushruta. Thus, according to the Yoga physiologists,
(i) The suShumna is the central cord in the vertebral column. The two chains of sympathetic ganglia on the left and the right are named iDa and pingala respectively. The sympathetic nerves have their main connection with suShumna at the solar plexus. There are 700 nerve-cords in the sympathefic-spinal system.
(2) The soul has its special seat within the brahmarandhra above the forainen of Monro and he middle commissure, but traverses the whole cerebro-spinal axis, up and down, along the suShumna.
In the history of science Hindu embryologists deserve recognition
(i) as having made precise observations, some of which are great approximations to the latest demonstrated truths, and
(2) as having guessed at theories, some of which are eminently suggestive. As for pseudo-biological hypotheses, India has not been more prolific than Europe from Hippocrates to Buffon.
Some of the facts observed and explained by Charaka and Sushruta are:
(i) All the members of the human organism are formed at the same time, but are ectreme1y small, as the first sprig of the bamboo contains the leaves, etc., of the future plant.
• This idea of the development of the fertilized ovum by 'palingenesis' survived in India after a long struggle with rival theories. It is an established truth today that though we find cells of one type in glands, of another type in the brain, of another type in the blood, and so forth, nevertheless all of them sprang from one original single cell.
(2) "The hard substances of the foetus, as hairs, bones, nails, teeth, vessels, ligaments, etc., are produced from the semen, and resemble the same part as in the father;
• and the soft parts as flesh, blood, fat, marrow, heart, navel, liver, spleen, intestines, etc., are formed principally from the blood of the mother, and resemble her.”
(3) Weisman’s theory of "germinal cotinuity" is the greatest discovery of modern embryology. It is now held that 'somatic' cells contribute absolutely nothing to the original germ-plasm, that no parent ever produces a germ cell, that the individual inherits nothing from his parents, but both he and they obtain their characteristics from a common source, and that the line of descent or inheritance is from germ-cell to germ-cell, not from parents.
This recent idea about the physical basis of inheritance brings out the distinction between germ-cells and body-cells (somatic). It was guessed to a certain extent by the Hindu biologists also in their controversy regarding the transmission of congenital deformities and constitutional diseases of parents to offspring.
• Atreya held that "the parental seed (germ-plasm) contains the whole parental organism in miniature (or in-potentia), but it is independent of the parents’ developed organs, and is not necessarily affected by their idosyncrasies or deformities”.
‣ The germ-plasm was described as an organic whole independent of the developed parental body and its organs. The physiological characters and predispositions of the offspring were explained as being determined by the constituent elements of this parental seed. The continued identity of the germ-plasm from generation to generation may be taken as a corollary to this, though nowhere expressly stated.
(4) Elementary facts about impregnation, the cycle of sex, menopause, etc., could not but be obrrved:
(i) The menses continue for seventeen days during which the woman may be impregnated, and not at any other season. This Hindu idea of absolute sterility after a certain number of days is still held by some modern physiologists, though not a demonstrated truth.
(ii) The menses remain till the fiftieth year, when the woman is of a weak constitution; but it continues longer when the individual is strong.
(5) Modern physiology would not reject the little kernel of truth that there is in the following statement:
"The menses, after conception, goes in part to form the placenta, and as the blood flows every month, it coagulates to form the embryo; an upper layer being added every month to the embryo; and another portion to the breasts, of the mother, by which the mammae increased in size."
(6) The stages of foetal development described on the basis of post-mortem operations and major operations in obstetric surgery had also much of the truth that has been established in recent years.
"In the first month the mixture of the semen and menses forms a small mass like a pea; seven days after conception, it has the form of a bubble or inflated bag. On the tenth it is red, and on the fifteenth it resembles a small round piece of flesh. At one month it has small fibres proceeding from it and is animated with life."
One need not try to compare with this accaunt the advanced and definite ideas of modern embryology about the development of the successive generations of cells, from the original fertilized ovum, eg., 'morula', 'blastocyst', 'yolk sac', 'entoderm', 'ectoderm', 'mesoderm', etc. But the following may be accepted for 'popular' purposes:
In the third month five eminences appear, which when developed become the, hands, feet. and head. In the sixth month all the members of the body are formed, etc.
(7) The following observation about the development of the rudimentary organs of reproduction contains a suggestive hint:
The foetus for a time remains indeterminate, and then takes on a definite male or female character. In the second month the sexual character is indicated by the shape of the foetus, the shape of a round joint (?) indicating the male sex, and the elongated shape, as of a muscle (?), the female sex.
(8) What determines sex? Can sex be produced at will? These questions have engaged the attention of scientists as well as quacks all through the ages both in the East and the West. The following Hindu ideas have had their European duplicates:
(i) When conception occurs on the unequal days of menses, a female child will be born.
(ii) Should the germ have more of the qualities of the semen, a male child will be formed, and of the menses, a female child.
(iii) Before the foetus takes on a definite male or female character, the development of the sex may be modified to some extent by food and drugs.
Modern scientists have advanced several theories about sex-deterniinants. The truth remains yet to be discovered.
13 July 2011, 09:44 AM
Consider that some of the greatest thinkers, scientists and writers of the west have recognized the contributions and discoveries of Indians over the milennia. That speaks volumes.
Niels Bohr (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Niels_Bohr), (1885-1962) Danish nuclear physicist who developed the Bohr model of the atom. His received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922, for his theory of atomic structure
I go into the Upanishads (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upanishads) to ask questions.
Werner Heisenberg (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Werner_Heisenberg), (1901 - 1976) physicist
After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.
Dr. Carl Sagan (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Carl_Sagan), (1934-1996) famous astrophysicist.[citation needed (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Wikiquote:Citing_sources)]
The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still.
The most elegant and sublime of these is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle, a motif known as the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. The god, called in this manifestation Nataraja, the Dance King. In the upper right hand is a drum whose sound is the sound of creation. In the upper left hand is a tongue of flame, a reminder that the universe, now newly created, with billions of years from now will be utterly destroyed.
A millennium before Europeans were willing to divest themselves of the Biblical idea that the world was a few thousand years old, the Mayans were thinking of millions and the Hindus billions.
Count Hermann Keyserling (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/w/index.php?title=Count_Hermann_Keyserling&action=edit&redlink=1) (1880-1946) philosopher, author, public speaker. He is the first Western thinker to conceive and promote a planetary culture, beyond nationalism and cultural ethnocentrism, based on recognition of the equal value and validity of non-western cultures and philosophies.[citation needed (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Wikiquote:Citing_sources)]
Hinduism at its best has spoken the only relevant truth about the way to self-realization in the full sense of the word.
Hinduism has produced the profoundest metaphysics that we know of.
The absolute superiority of India over the West in philosophy; poetry from the Mahabharata, containing the Bhagavad-Gita, “perhaps the most beautiful work of the literature of the world".
Benares is holy. Europe, grown superficial, hardly understands such truths anymore.....I feel nearer here than I have ever done to the heart of the world; here I feel everyday as if soon, perhaps even today, I would receive the grace of supreme revelation...The atmosphere of devotion which hangs above the river is improbable in strength; stronger than in any church that I have ever visited. Every would be Christian priest would do well to sacrifice a year of his theological studies in order to spend his time on the Ganges; here he would discover what piety means.
Mark Twain (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Mark_Twain) (1835-1910) also known as Samuel Clemens, one of the most widely loved and celebrated American writers since his first books were released in the late 1860s.[citation needed (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/wiki/Wikiquote:Citing_sources)]
Land of religions, cradle of human race, birthplace of human speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition. The land that all men desire to see and having seen once even by a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the globe combined.
It is a good and gentle religion, but inconvenient. [edit:not sure what he meant by that, maybe the rituals?]
India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soul.
Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India.
"Land of religions, cradle of human race, birthplace of human speach, grandmother of leagacy, great grandmother of tradition. The land that all men desire to see and having seen once even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the globe combined."
Professor Arthur Holmes (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/w/index.php?title=Arthur_Holmes&action=edit&redlink=1) (1895-1965) geologist, professor at the University of Durham. He writes regarding the age of the earth in his great book, The Age of Earth (1913)
Long before it became a scientific aspiration to estimate the age of the earth, many elaborate systems of the world chronology had been devised by the sages of antiquity. The most remarkable of these occult time-scales is that of the ancient Hindus, whose astonishing concept of the Earth's duration has been traced back to Manusmriti, a sacred book.
When the Hindu calculation of the present age of the earth and the expanding universe could make Professor Holmes so astonished, the precision with which the Hindu calculation regarding the age of the entire Universe was made would make any man spellbound.
14 July 2011, 04:46 AM
Thanks for the great info. I had that book by sarkar a while ago.
I think modern hindus need to do research in these aspects. Western
historians I found to be biased a lot. They give too much importance to greece.
14 July 2011, 07:59 AM
concluding part of the book
Minerals, plants, and animals were objects of study among the ancients and mediaevals in India as in Europe. But nothing approaching the 'sciences' of mineralogy, botany, and zoology was achieved anywhere.
The principal metals and gems were discovered, described, an utilized by the Hindus independently of any foreign help. In fact, in this braich of knowledge as in many others the people of India were the pioneers.
Mining has been in operation in India since the earliest times. The use of gems and precious stones as well as their identification also, have a long history among the Hindus.
1. The Hindus were the first to discover gold (Roscoc and Schorlemner).
2. The Hindus taught the world the art of extracting iron from the ores (Roscoe and Schorlemner)
3. Even in the Mosaic period (I491—5o BCE) precious stones and gems were in use in India. (Ball).
4. Homer mentions tin probably by its Sanskrit name kastIra. (Birdwood)
5. The Hindus supplied gold to the Persian Empire in the 5th century BCE; and the story of Indian "gold-digging ants" (miners) is famous in Greek literature tbrough Herodotus and others.
6. At first the Hindus knew six metals; gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead. They discovered zinc, the seventh metal, sometime during the fourteenth century. (It is mentioned by name as a separate metal in madanapala—nighaNTu (1374). In Europe it Was discovered by Paracelsus in 1540.
7. The Hindu 'doctrine of seven metals' was not, like, the Greek and Saracen, influenced by the doctrine of the mystic influence of the seven planets.
8. Examination of the genuineness of gems was an art even in the first century BCE (cf. mRchChakaTikam--the little clay cart, a drama by king ShUdraka).
9. There have been different methods of enumeration and classification of the precious gems in different periods. The last important phase is embodied in the 'doctrine of nine gems.' These are ruby, pearl, coral, emerald, topaz, diamond, sapphire, gomeda (agate or zircon), and vaidUrya (chrysoberyl, or lapis lazuli). This doctrine was enunciated proably in the tenth century by the astronomer ShrIpati.
10. The nine gems are believed to have a mystic connection with nine planets. ShrIpati was the first to add RAhu (personification of the ascending node of the moon) and Ketu (moon’s descending node) to the list of the generally recognized seven planets’°
The following ideas of rudimentary plant-physiology have been credited to the experience of the 'rhizotomi', pharmocologists, plant-physicians (vRkShA-yurvedists) and horticulturists of ancient and mediteval India by Bhimchandra Chatterj:
i. Sexuality: Flowers are the organs of plants.
2. Phosphorescence, and exudation of water.
3. Photo-synthesis: The sun is the source of energy in the fuel; (i) plants assimilate potential energy from the sun, (ii) the less refractive rays (red, yellow, of the setting sun are specially adapted to by plants.
4. Plants are living organisms: They have the following phenomena of life: (a) sap (b) power of movement, heliotropic, nyct other movements, sensitiveness to touchness etc., (c) growth and reproduction.
• Characteristics of plant life were mentioned the followers of the NyAya school: Udayana, and GuNaratna.
Animals have had an important place in the medicine, dietetics, economic life, fine art and religion of the Hindus. The people have thus had experience of the life-habits, habitats, external characteristics, etc., of animals, both domestic and wild. This accounts for their intimate familiariIy with the topics generally treated of in descriptive zoology.
i. Like the science of the diseases of plants,.veterinary science also is very old in India. The Hindus had hospitals for animals in the 3rd century BCE.
2. The Hindus could set fractures and dislocations in animals. They were perfectly acquainted with the anatomy of the goat, sheep, horse, and other animals in sacrifices.
3. They were specialists in the science of horses and elephants, the two animals important in warfare. Shalihotra is the founder of the science of horses, and Palakapya of the science of elephants. There is a vast literature on the subject.
4. Equine dentistry: The changes in the development and color of the six incisors of the lower jaw constituted, in Hindu practice, the guide to the age of the horse. This is modern European practice also.
5. Snake-poison has been used as an article in Occidental thateria medica during the last two or three decades. But it has been a reconized drug in India since early times.
6. The toxicologists of the Sushruta school of medicine devoted special attention to the study of snakes. That study was followed up in some of the 'Purana' schools..
7. Various systems of classification were built up: (1) according to the nature of generation, eg., from placentalia, or egg, etc. (in the writings of the schools of medicine); (2) according to the habitat and mode of life, and usefulness to man; (3) according to the number of senses possessed by animals. (This was the system of Umasvati.
8. The Sushruta-school names (1) six varieties of ants, (2) six varieties of flies (3) five varieties of mosquitoes (including one marine and one mountain kind), (4) eight varieties of centipedes, (5) thirty varieties of scorpions, (6) sixteen varieties of spiders.
9. Leeches have been used by Hindu surgeons since very early times. Sushruta gives a detailed account of their varieties, habits, mode of application, etc. There are twelve varieties of leeches, six of which are venomous and six useful. The venomous are found near putrid fish or animals in foul water. The good are found in clear deep pools which contain water-lilies.
10. Ladyayana is quoted by Dalvana, the commentator to Sushruta, as a great authority on insects and reptiles. According to this ancient specialist, the various forms of insects are to be distinguished from one another by the following marks: (i) Dottings, (2) wings, (3) pedal appendages, (4) mouth, with antenna or flippers, (5) claws, (6) sharp, pointed hairs or filaments, (7) stings in the tail, (8) hymenopteroils character, (9) humming or other noise, (10) size, (11) structure of the body, (12) sexual organs (13) poison and its action on bodies.
ii. Dalvana’s descriptions of deer and birds are precise and complete.
• There thus grew up in India a vast amount of specialized scientific literature, each branch with its own technical terminology. The positive sciences of the Hindus were not mere auxiliaries or hand to the 'architectonic' science of neeti or artha (politics, economics, and sociology.) The shAstras on plant and animal life, veterinary, metals and gems, chemistry, surgery, embry anatomy, symptomology of diseases, arithmetic, algebra, astronomy, architecture, music (acoustics) etc., had indepndent status. Besides, like 'Natural History', there have been scientific cyclopaedias in Sanskrit, eg., the bRhat samhitA (6th century CE).
• Scientific investigation was not confined to a particular province of India or to any race of the Hindu population. It was a cooperative taking, a process of cumulative effort in intelligent advance. Thus, among the heroes of Hindu medicine, Charaka (600 BCE) belongs to the Indus in the N.W., Sushruta (100 CE) is claimed for Punjab as well as Benares in the Middle VAgbhaTa (700 CE) belongs to Sindh (Western) Vrinda to the Deccan (Middle South), C pani (900) to Bengal (Eastern India), ShrIdhara (1350) to Rajputana (Further West), Deva (1350) to Vijayanagara (Extreme South), Narahari (17th century) is claimed for Kashmir (Extreme North) but belongs most probabably to Maharashtra (Western Coasts).
• No one hypothesis or theory dominated thought in any age, or monopolized the. research or investigations in successive epochs. The intellectual universe of the Hindus was 'pluralistic'. There were different schools criticising, correcting, and modifying one another's inquiries.
The story of scientific investigation among the Hindus is thus, like that among other nations, the story of a growth and development in critical inquiry, sceptical attitude, and rationalism. Historically and statistically speaking, superstition has not had a deeper and more extensive hold on the Oriental intellect than on the Occidental.
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