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Ancient Indian Science By: Greg Johnson Aaron Torres Brennen Hall Paul Mickelson Allie Lard The Vedic Period Most influential time of Ancient Indian science 1700 to 400 BCE I. The Four Vedas II. Religion III. Mathematics IV. Medicine I. The Four Vedas Ancient Sanskrit literature Original scripture of Hindu teachings Each Veda is organized the same way with four distinct parts: The Samhitas (Hymns) The Brahmanas (Rituals) The Aranyakas (Theologies) The Upanishads (Philosophies) 1. Rig Veda: The book of Mantra Scholars date back to as early as 15,000 - 4000 BCE before the Vedic times through oral tradition Composed around 1500 BCE Oldest book in any Indo-European language and the most important of Hindu literature It’s Samhita is comprised of 1024 hymns Holds accounts of the social, religious, political, and economic background of the Rig Vedic Civilization I. The Four Vedas 2. The Sama Veda: The book of song Liturgical collection of Melodies (Saman) drawn from Rig Veda Reduced version of Rig Veda “if the Rig Veda is the word, Sama Veda is the song or the meaning, if Rig Veda is the knowledge, Sama Veda is its realization, if Rig Veda is the wife, the Sama Veda is her husband” -Vedic scholar, David Frawley 3. The Yajur Veda: The book of ritual Liturgical collection to meet demands of a ceremonial religion Serves as a guide to priests who execute sacrificial acts Combines prose prayers and the sacrificial formulae (Yajus) 4. The Atharva Veda: The book of spell More diverse hymns than Rig Veda and in a simpler language Contains much history and sociology of the time portraying a clearer picture of Vedic Times Consists of spells and charms prevalent at its time II. Religion • Framework for Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism 1. Brahma - Creator God God of the Rig Veda 2. Triad of the Three Great Vedic Gods I. Indra - God of thunder King of Gods II. Agni - God of the sky Guardian of the word and giver of eternal life III. Surya - God of the sun IV. Many other secondary gods and legistlator gods 3. Reincarnation Sent back to Earth until they were worthy to be judged to become eternal 4. Varying creation stories in India led to the veneration of around 3000 different gods Temple of Maduria II. Religion 6. Sage Yajnavalka Assigned gods to eight spheres Reduced number of gods to thirty-three Eight Spheres of Existence Eight Vasus (“that which surrounds”) 1. The earth (prithivi) 2. Fire (Agni) 3. Space (Antariksha) 4. Wind (Vayu) 5. Sky (Dyaus) 6. Sun (Surya) 7. The constellations/stars (Nakshatra) 8. Moon (Soma) 7. The Elements - Born from Aditi (mother god) and Rashyapa (god of vision) Friendship, honor, sharing, destiny, luck, industry, progress, moral, magic, courage, and the knowledge of cosmic law 8. Three parts of the world known to man I. The Earth where men evolve according to the principle of the elements II. Space where minds, that are the regents of life evolve III. The world of the heavens or cosmos where the gods lived III. Mathematics 1. Shulba Sutra ( Codes of the Rope) Book of Geometry Utilized the Pathagorean Triple (A2+B2=C2) circa 540 BCE. It is believed that it could even date back to eighth century BCE (aka before Pythagoras) They used this to construct altars Believed in spirituality and practicality in math much like Pythagoras “The diagonal chord of the rectangle makes both the squares that the horizontal and vertical sides make separately” Shulba Sutra (8th century BCE) Provides value of the square root of 2 which is accurate to 5 decimal Places! The four books of the Shulba Sutra I. Baudhayana II. Manava III. Apastamba IV. Katyayana -The Samrat Yantra at Jaipur III. Mathematics 2. The sixteen math Sutras/Formulae Allows one to be able to solve problems from memory and orally I. By one more than the previous one II. All from 9 and the last from 10 III. Vertically and crosswise IV. Transpose and adjust V. When the sum is the same that sum is zero. VI. If one is in ratio, the other is zero VII. By addition and by subtraction VIII. By the completion or non-completion IX. Differences and Similarities X. Whatever the extent of its deficiency XI. Part and Whole “All from 9 and the last from 10” XII. The remainders by the last digit XIII. The ultimate and twice the penultimate XIV. By one less than the previous one XV. The product of the sum is equal to the sum of the product XVI. The factors of the sum is equal to the sum of the factors Ancient Indian Math Tutorial - Breaks down a couple of the formulae III. Mathematics 3. Astronomy Vedanga Jyotishya (1373 BCE) - Astronomical obvservation and estimation handbook Kept track of astronomical dates by keeping track of solar and lunar movement Eternally cyclic time model called Yuga - 5-year unit or 1830 days Heliocentric universe Earth at center and all other planets orbit Believed nothing in universe was stationary “The Vedic sages certainly were not ignorant of Earth’s motion around the Sun. Vedic astronomy understands quite well that the Sun is the center of the solar system. But the Earth, the other planets, the Sun and even the Galaxy are all in constant relative motion. From which point do we measure all this movement? We live on the Earth and see the universe from this vantage point” (Hughes 2008) IV. Medicine Ayurveda (Ayer-life, Veda- knowledge) – Oldest known medical system in the world, goes back to 6,000 B.C. Ideas about disease and ailments, their symptoms and how to cure them. Emphasis was places on herbs and plants and based on the Vedas. It is likely that the knowledge of the Four Humours is based off of Ayurveda and was picked up by Greek Travelers. 2. First to have hospitals, and first to perform surgery. 3. Main medical practitioners - Atraya, Charaka and Shusruta 4. Sushruta – First surgeon. Wrote “The Sushruta Samhita” • Performed various surgeries such as cosmetic surgery (rhinoplasty), dental surgery and removing cataracts (ophthalmology). Anesthetics were not yet developed. • Procedures that were performed during these times are amazingly similar to what we perform today. • Describes the seven branches of surgery: Chedya (excision), Lekhya (scarification),Vedhya (puncturing), Esya (exploration), Ahrya (extraction), Vsraya (evacuation) and Sivya (Suturing) • Also focuses on human anatomy. IV. Medicine Eight branches of Ayur Veda based on The Atharva Veda. 1. Kayachikitsa - Internal medicine. 2. Shalya Tantra - Surgery. 3. Shalakya Tantra - Ears,eyes,nose,throat. 4. Kaumarabhritya Tantra - pediatrics. 5. Agaada Tantra - Toxicology. 6. Vajikarana Tantra - Purification of genetic organs. 7. Rasaayana Tantra - Health & longetivity. 8. Bhoota Vidya - Spiritual healing/psychiatry. Charaka - Ayurveda practitioner. “That physician who fails to enter the body of a patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding can never treat diseases.” Physiology, etiology and embryology were also noted. Charaka wrote on digestion, metabolism and the immune system. The Three Dosha – Bile, Phlegm, and wind. A person becomes sick when there is an imbalance of the Three Dosha’s. Also wrote about genetics and considered what causes the gender of a child. IV. Medicine Yoga – System of exercise for physical and mental nourishment Patanjali – Treatise/book that collects all the elements of yoga together around 200 B.C. Through the practice of yoga, it was thought “the energy latent within the human body may be made live and released, which has a salubrious affect on the body and the mind.” 40 Types of Yoga in Modern Day Abhava-Yoga: The unitive discipline of nonbeing, meaning the higher yogic practice of immersion into the self without objective support such as mantras; a concept found in the puranas of Bhava-Yoga. Adhyatma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of inner self; sometimes said to be the Yoga characteristic of the Upanishad. Agni-Yoga: The unitive discipline of fire, causing the awakening of the serpent power (Kundalini-Shakti) through the joint action of mind (manas) and life force (prana). Works Cited (2006). Ancient India Medicine. Retrieved March 11, 2009, from This is My India Web site: http://www.thisismyindia.com/ancient_india/ancient-india-medicine.html Balakrishna, S (2008). Vedic Astronomy. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from Vedic Astronomy Web site: http://www.vedicastronomy.net/ Brinette, J (1998). India and the Vedic Period. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from Historel Web site: http://members.tripod.com/historel/orient/10inde.htm Crystal, E (2009). Science, Medicine, Technology in Ancient India. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from Crystalinks Web site: http://www.crystalinks.com/indiascience.html Das, S (2001, March). The Magic of Vedic Maths. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from The Magic of Vedic Maths Web site: http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/aa062901a.htm History of Indian Science and Technology. (2009). In Wikipedia [Web]. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_science Hughes, D (2008). Vedic Astronomy. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from The Esoteric Teaching Web site: http://joomla.esotericteaching.org/joomla/jyotish/vedic-astronomy Sadisavin, M (2008). About the Vedas: A Brief Introduction to the Vedas. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from About Web site: http://hinduism.about.com/cs/vedasvedanta/a/aa120103a.htm Sushruta Samhita. (2009). In Global Oneness [Web]. Stockholm: Global Oneness Foundation. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from http://www.experiencefestival.com/sushruta_samhita Thiruchendhilji, M (2008). Type of Yoga. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from Yogapoornavidna Web site: http://www.yogapoornavidya.com/typeof_yoga.htm Vedic Period. (2008). In Nation Master [Web]. Rapid Intelligence. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Vedic-period Visnu, B (2006). Mathematics and the Spiritual Dimension. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from Mathematics and the Spiritual Dimension Web site: http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/math/math_1.html Williams, K (2005, April). Vedic Mathematics. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from Vedic Mathematics Academy Web site: http://www.vedicmaths.org/Home%20Page.asp
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