Whenever there is a new invention, Indians claim that it was already mentioned in the Vedas or existed in ancient India. If this is true, why can’t we invent/ discover something with the help of Vedas and is useful in modern times, that has not been invented yet?
This was the question posted on Quora which we answered there as well. But here we’ll be discussing it in much more detail.
We will split it into two parts viz Vedas and ancient India.
Does Vedas contain inventions?
There is no doubt that there are all kinds of upstarts who without much knowledge about Vedas claim all sorts of things in them. But also there is NO dearth of people who likes to put everything down that has any relation with Hinduism or Vedic literature.
Let’s first differentiate between Science and Technology
It is the study of nature of materials around us and study of its behavior. How does it behave under some specific conditions. It deals more with the laws of nature. for example Gravity, Viscosity, Electromagnetic rays, etc.
On the other hand, technology is the particular way or technique of using the knowledge acquired through science to do a specific thing. It can be for any purpose whether good or bad. For example Wireless communication, Cell phone, aeroplane, etc.
Now that is out of the way. We will make a claim and then prove that Vedas have the “seed” of most of sciences in it. I want you to pay attention to the SEED word.
Now Vedas DO NOT talk about any technology ever and anyone who is making claim about a technology in Vedas can be dismissed without much consideration. But, Vedas talk about Sciences, Concepts not just related to physical science but psychology, spirituality, etc as well.
Did Ancient India had science & technology?
Now let’s look at some of the indicators that can suggest we had science and technology that was vastly superior to anything on planet Earth at that time.
Method 1: Economical well-being
Ancient India right up to 15th century was the world’s wealthiest place and it was among the top 2 till the 1800s. Source of much wealth in the ancient world as in the modern world, was mainly though production of primary goods and trading.
We are focusing on Sea-trading because it requires a lot of technology like knowledge of seasons, calendar, navigational technology, some knowledge of metallurgy, knowledge of latitude and longitudes etc. You can find records of more than 100+ Indian ships going to and from Roman empire. Mind you, most of these ships if not all were Indian ships.
Method 2: Tradition of knowledge
We Indians had the best knowledge system in the world, there is no question about it. We don’t even have to share any source but if you still want to read. Read our post on “Indian Gurukul Education System” and “Ancient Indian universities”.
There was a huge network of prestigious universities and Gurukuls all over the country where Indians as well as people from the far off places came to study.
Places like Ujjaini, Takshashila, etc produced great scholars like Vrah Mihira, Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya. Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta written by Brahmagupta taught Europe and Arbians how to count. Only after the translation of his book by Al-Khwarizmi who’s book in turn was translated by Leonardo Pisano a.k.a. Fibonacci, Europe could start to learn mathematics and start on the path of science.
But Europe wasn’t ready for the Science & mathematics of India because of its dark ages enforced on it by the church. The real study of science and mathematics only took off in 17th century Europe after its exchanges increased with India. A branch of mathematics known as Calculus was suddenly discovered in Europe by Newton and Leibnitz. A lot of research has already been done in this respect by people’s like C.K. Raju
We are definitely not saying that western world has copied everything from India. But we are surely saying please take a deeper look before dismissing everything that has the potential to make Indians proud. Please look into its authenticity and do some research.
The above mentioned knowledge system that produced such great scientific advancements, spin off technologies and created unimaginable wealth has been disrupted for quite some time now. It is high time that we start working on it and give it some time to produce results.
Let’s also start commending our ancestors for the great works they have done. Let’s come out of our White savior syndrome which western world has enforced upon us.