You will be surprised to know that a lot of scientific knowledge was evolved in ancient India, so many years ago. During this period Science and Mathematics were highly developed and Ancient Indians had contributed immensely. Medical Science was also highly developed at that time. Ayurveda the science of good health and longevity of life is the indigenous system of medicine that was developed in Ancient Period. Even the science of Yoga was also developed as an allied science of Ayurveda for healing without medicine at the physical and mental level. So, in this article we will see the contributions of some scientists of ancient India.
- He was a fifth century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and physicist.
- At the age of 23, he wrote Aryabhattiya which is a summary of mathematics of his time.
- First time he had calculated the value of pi at 3.1416.
- He showed that zero was not a numeral only but also a symbol and a concept. Infact the discovery of zero enabled Aryabhatta to find out the exact distance between the earth and the moon. And zero discoveries opened a new dimension of negative numerals.
- Also, Aryabhatta contributed greatly to the field of science particularly Astronomy and so known as Father of Astronomy. As we all know that in ancient India, the science of astronomy was well advanced. It was called khagolshastra. Khagol was the famous astronomical observatory at Nalanda, where Aryabhatta studied.
- He also disregarded the popular view that our planet earth is ‘Achala’ i.e. immovable; Aryabhatta stated its theory that ‘earth is round and rotates on its axis’.
- He also explained that the appearance of the sun moving from east to west is false by giving examples. Like when a person travels in a boat, the trees on the shore appear to move in the opposite direction.
- Scientific explanation of solar and lunar eclipse was also explained by him.
So, now we come to know that why the first satellite that was sent into the orbit by India has been named after Aryabhatta.
- Isn’t it amazing that there is an elaborate description of mathematics in Jain literature (500 B.C – 100 B.C).
- Jain gurus knew how to solve quadratic equations. In a very interesting manner they have also described fractions, algebraic equations, series, set theory, logarithms and exponents.
- Mahaviracharya was 8th century Indian mathematician (Jain) from Gulbarga who asserted that the square root of a negative number did not exist.
- In 850 A.D, Jain Guru Mahaviracharya wrote Ganit Sara Sangraha which is the first textbook on arithmetic in present day form. It was translated into Telugu by Pavaluri Sanganna as Saara Sangraha Ganitam.
- He had also described the method of solving Least Common Multiple (LCM) of given numbers.
John Napier introduced the method of solving LCM to the world but Indians already knows about it.
- He also gave a sum of series whose terms are squares of an arithmetic progression and empirical rules for area and perimeter of an ellipse and was patronised by the great king Amoghavarsha Nrupatunga of Rashtrakuta dynasty.
- Amazing is he had that time only established some terms for concepts like equilateral, isosceles triangle, rhombus, circles and semicircle.
- He had also established equations for the sides and diagonals of cyclic quadrilaterals. It is: let a, b, c and d are the sides and x, y are the diagonals of cyclic quadrilateral then equation will be as follows;
- He had made great contributions in the fields of hydrology, geology, maths and ecology.
- First scientist to claim that termites and plants could be the indicators of the presence of underground water. Infact he had given important information about termites (insects that destroy woods or dimak) is that they go very deep to the surface of water level to bring water to keep their houses wet.
- In his Brhat Samhita he had given earthquake cloud theory which has attracted the world of science.
- Astrology or Jyotish a science of light was presented scientifically in a systematic form by Aryabhatta and Varahmihira.
- Vrahamihira was one of the nine gems, who were scholars in the court of Vikramaditya.
- Even the predictions of Varahamihira’s were so accurate that king Vikramaditya gave him the title ‘Varaha’.
- In the history of science he was the first to claim that some “force” might be keeping bodies stuck to the round earth. And now it is known as gravity.
- He also proposed that the Moon and planets are lustrous not because of their own light but due to sunlight.
- His mathematical work included the discovery of trigonometric formulas. Moreover, he was the first mathematician to discover a version of what is now known as the Pascal’s triangle. He used it to calculate binomial coefficients.
Do you know that he had predicted the discovery of water in Mars around 1500 years ago?
- He is known as Father of ancient Indian Science of Medicine. In the court of Kanishka he was the Raj Vaidya (royal doctor).
- His remarkable book on medicine is Charak Samhita in which he had given variousdescription of diseases and gives methods of identifying their causes as well as method of their treatment.
- He was the first person who talked about the digestion, metabolism and immunity.
- He also knew the fundamentals of genetics.
Don’t you find it fascinating that thousands of years back, medical science was at such an advanced stage in India?
- He is known as Father of Yoga who had compiled 195 Yoga Sutras.
- He was the first who had systematically present Yoga the great science.
- In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Aum is spoken as a symbol of God. He refers to Aum as a cosmic sound.
- He also wrote a work on medicine and worked on Panini’s grammar known as Mahabhasaya.
Do you know that Patanjali is an avatar of Adi Shesha- the Infinite Cosmic Serpent upon whom Lord Vishnu rests?
- It is believed that he is an essayist who had written upon the ancient Indian medicine system i.e. Ayurveda.
- Even the classical dancers in India summons him and pays him their regards.
- It is believed that the Jeeva Samadhi of Patanjali is situated at Tirupattur Brahmapureswara Temple.
The term Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yoktra. It is an allied science of Ayurveda which was developed in Ancient India for healing without medicine the physical and mental level. It has also its roots in the Vedas like other sciences. It also defines Chitta i.e. dissolving thoughts, emotions and desires of a person’s consciousness and achieving a state of equilibrium. Yoga is physical as well as mental. Physical yoga is known as Hathyoga and mental yoga is known as Rajayoga.