Ah… such a sweet yet condescending question.
I’ve been going through a number of books on ancient India these days.
I’ll try my level best to convince your curious soul that these aren’t baseless claims but simple scientific facts. Oh yes, I’ve also tried to provide ‘adequate references’.
I’ve segmented the answer into a number of subtopics written in bold. Under them, you’ll find a weirdly spelled-out sentence, this is the Sanskrit sloka written in English. Under the slokas, you’ll get the source of the same.
Finally you’ll have the meaning of the sloka written in English, of course.
- This is going to be a long post with only 1 picture. I didn’t want to crowd the answer with unnecessary pictures.
- The Sanskrit slokas are just converted into English phonetically correct sentences.
Who goes around whom? Earth vs Sun!
ayam gauh prsnirakramit asadanmataram purah pitaram ca prayantsvah
(Rig veda- 10.189.1)
Moon being the sub-planet of earth, is revolving around its motherly planet earth and earth is revolving around its fatherly planet Sun.
So the sages knew that it’s the earth spinning around the sun and not vice-versa.
Seven colours of Sun light?
sapta tva harito rathe vahanti deva surya soaciksesam vicaksana
(Rig veda 1.50.9)
ava divastarayanti sapta suryasya rasmyah
(Atharva veda 17–10–17–1)
Sun’s seven coloured rays are making a day.
eko-asva vahati sapta namah
(Rig veda 1.164.2)
Sun light is one (white) but called as seven (coloured).
Damn! The sages knew this too!
What’s the speed of light?
taranirvisvadarsato jyotiskrdasi surya visvama bhasi rocanam
(Rig veda 1.50.4)
Sayanacarya’s commentary on the above line during the 14th century AD states that this sloka from Rig veda means…
Sunlight travels 2202 yojanas in half nimisa.
1 yojana = 9.11 miles and 1 full day = 8,10,000 half-nimishas.
So, the speed of light as calculated through this sloka is 1,88,064 miles per second.
Wait, according to latest research the speed comes to be 1,86,300 miles per second.
Therefore, you’ve a minuscule error margin of 0.94%. Smart sages… I'd say.
Many apples had fallen before Newton.
akrsta saktisca mahi taya yat svastham guru svabhimukham svasaktya
akrsyate tatpatativa bhati same samantat kva patatviyam khe
(Siddhanta Shiromani, Bhuvanakosa sloka 6)
Earth has her own attractive power due to which, like a waterfall, every object is attracted to her.
Ah! That’s gravity!
What is the meaning of a ‘healthy’ person?
According to Charaka Samhita:
samadosah samagnisa samadhatu malakriyah
prasannatmendriya manah svastha ityabhidhiyate |
In whom there is a balance of three doshas like vata, pita, kapha; dhathus like lymph, blood,flesh, bone-marrow, semen and body-waste (urine, fasces and sweat) and who has self control of sense organs and mind, such a person has been defined as a healthy person.
According to WHO(World Health Organisation):
Health in its broader sense can be defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
That’s similar to the description in ancient texts. Don’t you think?
The healthy heart
Hriday is the hindi for heart which comes from the sanskrit word Hridayam.
Satapatha Brahmana of Yajur veda, defines Hridayam as:
- “Hru” meaning “harinay” or “that receives”
- “Da” meaning “daanay” or “that gives”
- “Ya” meaning “enngathaw” or “that circulates”
So, that which receives, gives and circulates blood is called Hridayam.
kapha pittavaruddhastu maruto rasa murcitah
hrdisthah kurute sulam uccvasarodhakam param
Heart diseases are caused because of “kapha” and “pita” defects and thus thickening and narrowing of coronary arteries resulting in acute pain in the chest and difficulty in breathing.
Woah! Indians knew that heart receives and circulates blood even before Christ descended!
Pythagoras theorem? Or was it someone else’s ?
dirgha caturasasyaksnya rajjuh parsvamani tiryak mani ca
yatprthagbhu te kurutah tadubhayam karoti
( Baudhyana sulba sutras ch 1–12 sloka)
In a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
Should have been Baudhyana’s theorem. Right?
What defines a ‘machine’?
dandaiscakraisca dantaisca sarani bhramanadibbhih
sakterutpadanam kim va calanam yantramucyate
Yantra or machine containing parts such as danda – lever, chakra – pulley, danta – toothed wheel, sarani – inclined plane and bhramana – screw; is used to produce or divert force.
Maybe, just maybe… there was an IIT in ancient India.
String theory is a modern development. Or is it?
mattah parataram nanyat kincidasti dhanajaya
mayi sarvamidam protam sutre manigana iva
(Bhagvad Gita 7.7)
Krishna says, “Like pearls strung in a string, the whole cosmos is strung in giants strings tethered to me”
And modern physicists say the same too, that string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. It describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other.
Solar and lunar eclipse.
chadayati sasi suryam sasinam mahati ca bhuchaya
(Aryabhattam, Golapada sloka 37)
When moon shadows the Sun, solar eclipse occurs. When earth shadows the moon, lunar eclipse occurs.
Again, ancient Indians! Phew!
Darwin’s theory of evolution. Or was it someone else’s ?
jatyantara parinama prakrtya purat
(Patanjali Yoga sutras 4.2)
Internal nature is the main reason for transformation from one species to another. This change is caused by the inflow of the organism’s behaviours due to the external environment.
Generation of electricity.
samsthapya mrnmayam patram tamrapatram susamskrtam
cadayet sikhigrivena cardrabhih kasthapamsubhih
dastalosto nidhatatvah paradaccaditastatah
utpadayati tanmitram samyogastamradastayoh
(Agastya Samhita – Shilpa sastra sara)
Place a well-cleaned copper plate in an earthenware vessel. Cover it first by copper sulphate and then moist sawdust. After that put a mercury-amalgamated-zinc powder on top of it.
A chain of one hundred jars is said to give a very active and effective electromotive force.
When a cell was prepared according to Agastya Samhita, it was found to produce a potential difference of 1.138V.
Origin of Lenses.
aprapya grahanam kacabhra patala sphatikantarito palabdheh
(Nyaya darshana 3.46)
That which cannot be viewed by the naked eyes, can be viewed with the help of kacha – glass, abrapatala – mica and spatika – crystal.
Spherical Earth. We knew it first.
Bhugolah sarvato vrtah
(Aryabhattiyam, Golapada 6th sloka)
The Earth looks round from all sides.
Madhye samantandasya bhugolo vyomni tisthati
(Surya Siddhanta ch 12 sloka 32)
In the midst of the universe, the spherical earth stands firm in space.
The ancient Indians knew it well before Copernicus.
Check out this comment on the number system by Shubhangi Shree.
I think that would be enough.
So you see, the ancient Indian texts aren’t just poetry meant for entertainment.
They’re poetry meant for enlightenment… of the mind and soul.
EDIT (17 Jan 2017):
Since a number of people are messaging me for the source of these facts, I decided to put up the names of the books which I read to write this answer of mine.
They are as follows: