UNIVERSAL BENEFITS OF SCIENCE & HISTORY OF SCIENCE IN INDIAN CONTEXT
“Science knows no country because knowledge belongs to humanity and is the torch which illuminates the world” – Louis Pasteur
Significantly, when science and scientists make inroads into new horizons, it is beneficial for all the humanity as a whole without any discrimination. For example, Louis Pasteur was a prominent French chemist and microbiologist. His stellar contributions to science and medicine are unparalleled in the history of mankind. He pioneered the study of discovered micro-organism cause fermentation and disease, initiated the process of pasteurization along with developing vaccines against anthrax and rabies. All these discoveries helped the humanity in ridding from the diseases.
Besides, the noteworthy contribution of scientists like Marie Curie (worked on radiation), Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin (developed a theory of evolution of man), Galileo Pythagoras (Mathis’ Mystery man), Alva Edition (An inventor: electric power generator, mass communication and sound recording). Benjamin Franklin (Invented Bifocal spectacles, Franklin stove and ignition rod), A Volta (Electric battery), Charles Babbage (Computer) besides the invention of telephone, telegraphy, radio and computer facilitated the unparalleled integration of all these. All these also facilitated in communicating with each other as a medium of dissemination of information and collaboration. Then there are so many inventors and discoverers who changed the very outlook of the humanity and provided avenues for the growth and development of humanity.
Computer scientists Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn are credited with inventing the internet connectivity protocols and this system is termed as internet. Science and technology is making huge leap forward in almost all fields beneficial for humanity. The advent of TV, computer, mobile, internet at the present age, are really a forward movement in evolution of science and technology; facilitating connectivity and communication to any part of the world even with video photo. This has also helped the doctors to seek expert medical assistance with live operation.
Presently, there is information revolution taking place ,around the world due to the advent of computers and mobiles. We can Google for information with a click on the computer or mobile. But this has information revolution too has some drawbacks; the young minds are influenced negatively being lured into viewing pornographic videos thus inculcating nonconstructive influence on them. All this and much more has been attained by the science for making the lives of the people happy and comfortable.
However, woefully there is crying need for caution; in defense arena, especially in nuclear field, it has made the existence of humanity at the mercy of the countries possessing nuclear bombs of huge intensities. These nuclear bombs are with more intensity than those used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Then there is advancements in missile technology which can carry nuclear bombs at far off distances with pin-point accuracy. The use of drones has changed the battle scenarios dramatically. It can carry lethal weapons with pin-point accuracy which has been showcased during 08a.
Then, the humanity around the world is reeling under the spell of Covid-19 pandemic originated from Wuhan, the cause of which would either due to natural reasons or owing to over-ambition of a country, using their scientists to create Covid-19 infection in the Lab and then spreading. The reason could be any, selfish motive or natural one but countries around the world are still suffering. If reason is natural outcome then nobody can say anything but if it is manmade then can Almighty God forgive such intransigent demeanor; a KU-KARMIC DEED (Bad Action) which will prove counter-productive dis proportionally!??
BIG STRIDES OF SCIENCE IN VEDIC PERIODS
In essence, it is right to say that science had made big strides in different fields; it may be in medical, astronomy, meteorology in the ancient period especially so in Vedic Period. We pride hugely the progress made by India especially so in Ancient Indian period.
GIFT OF DIVINE VISION
Then the Gift of Divine Vision is unique in itself. Sage Vyasa gives the divine vision to Sanjaya to apprise Kuru King Dhritarashtra about the battle scene. With this vision, he could see what he wants in person. It is different to seeing subtle sight. Even the sounds are heard with the physical ear and not like current of thought.
BHAGWAD GITA CONTAINS A RESERVOIR OF SCIENTIFIC & OTHER SIGNIFIICANT KNOWLEDGE
Bhagwad Gita oldest scripture which contains sea of knowledge about existence and truth behind it, death and new birth, immortality of our Soul, culture and tradition, need to obliterate the wickedness cleanse the society, compassion and love including scientific know-how. It clearly mentions about the relation between the living and non-living things.
In Verse 4, it has been mentioned that earth, water, air, sky, mind, intellect and ego have material energies. There is a mention of relationship between mass and energy.
In Chapter 11, there I am powerful Time, the source that comes forth to destroy the worlds.
Lord Krishna mentions that without their participation the warriors who were opposing against each other will not be in existence i.e. they will die.
There is also a mention about ‘a thousand suns were to blaze forth together in the sky which tells us about the enormous illumination besides there is mention about eternal Soul many a times in Gita.
In Chapter 2, there has been mention about the fact of removing worn-out clothes and putting on the new ones; the embodied Self leaves the old body and adopts the new one. But the Soul, being immoral, with permanent energy in the universe which neither generates nor destroys anything.
It is worth-mentioning that the iron pillar of Delhi measuring 7.2 metres in height was constructed by Chandragupta II (375-415 CE). This proved that India had made huge progress in metallurgy during the period.
VEDAS AND SCIENCE (c.1500 – c. 500 BCE).
Veda is a treasure trove of scientific knowledge. These scriptures were penned own with astonishingly distinctive scientific information.
The Vedic Period
This period started from 1500 to 500 BCE. This period had seen Bronze Age after the collapse of Harappan Civilization and subsequently start of Iron Age. Iron was considered to be a useful metal representing purity besides iron could be used in various ways.
It is worthwhile to mention that Harappan Civilization had been one of the advanced urbanization period. But in the Vedic period people lived in smaller villages and were at the mercies of nature.
From 700 – 600 BCE, ceramic style of new culture and tradition came into being. This brought in its wake major changes in the ways of living in the sub-continent.
MEDICAL & SURGICAL PROGRESS IN VEDIC PERIOD
Mention has been made in Rigveda period (about 50000 years ago) about the transplant of head of elephant on Ganesha whose head was cut by Lord Shiva.
The ancient surgical science is known as Shalya Tantra the mention of which is found in Vedic scriptures. Sushruta Samhita (the oldest medical and surgical index) known to the mankind came into being. It contains 184 chapters with descriptions of 1120 illnesses, 700 medical plants, 57 preparations based on animal sources. Its author Sushruta is also considered to be the first one to perform medical surgeries. It also contains description on human anatomy, with instructions for positioning of body. The oldest documented evidence (9000 years) for the drilling of human teeth of a living person is also found. In Rigveda, Ashwini Kumaras (also known as Dev Vaidya) was the chief surgeon of Vedic period.
Others with surgical skills are Chavana, Dhanvantri Atereya Agnivesh and Shushruta. Even brain surgery and teeth plantations were done during this period. This laid the basis for principles of Ayurveda. Then we have compendiums of medical science of India by Charak in Charak Samhita, Acharya Atreya and Agnivesh of 800 BC. It is significant to mention that Charak Samhita and Ashtanga Samhita mainly deal with medicine knowledge. Sushruta Samhita deals with surgical knowledge such as plastic surgery, urinary stones, cesarean, cataract, artificial limb, fractures including post operative treatment.
COPPER, BRONZE & IRON AGE (2700 BC – 1900 BC)
History of metallurgy in the Indian sub-continent is slated to have begun prior to third millennium BCE. The mention about metals is there in Rig Vedic. The commercial dealings with the Near East and the Greece-Roman world enabled an exchange of metallurgic sciences.
The inception of Mughal Empire (21.04.1526 till 21.09.1657) further improved the use of metallurgy along with its application too.
INDIA was the first one to recognize the existence of the solar system. It was in Rig Veda that first noted the central placement of the sun and other planets orbiting in the solar system. The sun moved in its own orbit but holding Earth and other heavenly bodies with its force of attraction.
DEFINITION OF GRAVITY, ECLIPSES and LENGTH OF AN YEAR
Ancient Indian sages had already figured out how gravity works. In Rig Veda, it is mentioned that all the objects over the earth also move with it. It moves around the sun. In Rig Veda the reason for eclipses has been mentioned. Saura estimates the length of year to be 365 days, 12 minutes and 30 seconds too is mentioned in Rig Veda,
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT PROGRESS OF HISTORY OF SCIENCE IN INDIA
Aryabhatta was the greatest astronomers and mathematician of repute of classical age. He was born in 476 AD in Ashmaka and lived in Patilputra (Patna – Bihar). He gave us the digit “0” (zero) for which he became immortal. This facilitated all the calculations hugely.
In addition it is to his credit that he gave the value of Pi (Irrationality of Pi with value of approx 3,1415 when he was only 23 years of age! Also, it goes to his credit for estimating the circumference of earth to be approx 39736 goes to him.
JANTAR MANTAR IN JAIPUR & DELHI
It is the collection of 19 Architectural astronomical instruments built by the Rajput King Swai Jai Singh II. It features the world’s largest stone Sun Dial and is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. This instrument makes it possible to observe the astronomical position of the solar system with naked eyes.
MODERN INDIAN SCIENTISTS
C. V. Raman, An Indian scientist and black hole physicist, specializing in Einstein’s General Relativity, He worked extensively on the theory of black holes and made major contribution in this field. Raman scattering or the Raman Effect is the inelastic scattering of photons by matter, meaning there is an exchange of energy and a change in the light’s direction.
Satyendra Nath Bose was an Indian mathematician and physicist specializing in Theoretical Physics. He worked on Quantum Mechanics in teamwork with Albert Einstein for developing foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate.
Conclusively, it is right to say that science and technology has changed the very outlook of life globally. But over-reliance on science and caring little for environmental related issues has put the lives of humanity in jeopardy. Progress and evolution should take place with self-imposed restrictions so that health of general masses is ensured. We see more violent storms and more forest fires increasing the environmental temperature and polluting the environs.
In Indian context, the glimpses of reality from Vedas is a revelation in itself, it is also relevant to mention that Indian science had progressed in so many fields during ancient period. We too are proud of our present day scientists in various fields such as Scientists in HAL, ISRO, Nuclear Scientists, medicine, computers hardware and software etc. However, we cannot ignore the contribution of former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam Azad in Missile technology in India and also presently the pool of our scientists in different fields who are enriching the lives of our countrymen.