Vedic Physical Sciences and Scientific Temper
Contributor- Prem Sablok Ji
The following observations of eminent/great scientists would appear as if Vedas are being retold.
1. J.C. Bose found with the help of gross instruments in the laboratory some kind of “fatigue” in metal just like human beings. Gross atoms even in an inanimate thing are born, develop and lose vitality and die. They have mind of their own.
2.Einstein confirmed in the laboratory the Flux observed earlier by Vedic rsi of yore Kanad and later by Buddha. According to Einstein most of the particles in the sub atomic world live for short period of a small fraction of a nano of a second and change to other particles, while some of those behaving like waves and wavicles. This Flux in atoms is a continuous process. Einstein also made certain metaphysical observations like God does not play dice and in all probabilities God has kept some “hidden variable” responsible for this activity.
3. Isaac Newton in spite of his so many discoveries relating to light, gravitation, laws of motion, certain mathematical laws etc, was still having a feeling that some thing was missing in his discoveries. He wrote in the Optick ” … does it not appear that there is a supreme Being, incorporeal, living, intelligent, omnipresent who in infinite space sees the things themselves intimately and thoroughly, perceives them and comprehends them wholly by their immediate presence to Himself.”
Even now many scientists have a feeling that there is some thing beyond sub-atomic particles in the atoms that make these tiny invisible balls to move at a great speed but refusing to link with metaphysics. According to them matter has very little material atoms but contains largely atoms of Dark matter and has Dark energy. This term Dark relates to what the scientists have not been able to find so far in their laboratory, which Vedic Rsis/Munnies could find by communicating with their souls (atma).
The Vedas combine science with metaphysics and clearly mention that it is God who is the giver of knowledge of all sciences as “Sahstra sam ” (R.V. 1-10-11). The scientists are advised to study cause and effect of all material elements and also how the objects are produced and there after utilize these properly (R.V. 5-47-3). By following these guidelines they can alleviate much suffering of the people (R.V. 5-77-4). Without the knowledge and practical application of physical sciences, it is not possible to eradicate poverty and attain prosperity (R.V. 1-34-1 to 5).
In the Rig-Veda the focal point is the human being and the knowledge about physical sciences contained there in is for the welfare of the entire mankind. This knowledge also helps the human beings to develop Scientific Outlook.
To get a feel of Vedic physical sciences, reference to a few hymns are given in the very beginning. The Sun never sets or rises and it is the earth, which rotates (Sama Veda121). The gravitational effect of solar system makes the earth stable (R.V.1-103-2, 1-115-4 and 5-81-2). The subtle axle of the earth does not get rusted and the earth continues to revolve on its axle (R.V. 1-164-29). The science of Time and its subtle nature is described in (R.V.1-92-12 and 1-95-8). The need to study the properties of water, air and fire for discovering and manufacturing aircrafts, ships and other vehicles capable of moving in the firmament, land and water are mentioned in Rig Veda 1-3-1,2, 1-34-1, 1-140-1 and many other hymns.
Physical sciences relating to agriculture, medicine, astronomy mathematics particularly algebra, toxicology etc. are described in R.V.1-71-9, 4-57-5, Sama Veda 121 and many other hymns/riks.
For a better appreciation of Vedic science, a few terms used in the original Vedic bhasha (language) as contained in the mantras/riks are mentioned. Viman diye neshu for vehicles like aircrafts (RV 1-34-1, 9 and 1-85-7). Vaj gatau- very high-speed vehicles in the air (R.V 6-60-12). Rekha di ganit vidys vigyaya- the science of Algebra (R.V 1-19-1). Surya Vidyau tau- knowledge of the Sun and electricity. Indr-agani- power, energy and electricity (R.V 6-60-12, 13), krishna garbha- knower of Algebra (R.V 6-75-2). Vidyamadi bha vidyut vidyante yashate- in which electric telegraph wires have been arranged (R.V 1-88-1).
Many other terms and words relating to physical sciences can be found in these hymns like kanu, anu, bhutas, maha bhutas, tatva, maha tatva etc., The other terms have been used like Ratha for vehicles moving in the firmament and middle region, on the surface of the earth and over the water, ashvinau for scientists, anu and kanu for gross and subtle atoms, tan matras for sub atomic particles sponda for sound etc. Few other words are amritasya nidhi – ambrosia (R.V. 1-186-3), Brahamand pinda i.e macrocosm and microcosm. In Yajur Veda 18-24 and 25 many terms relating to addition, subtraction, division, square, cube, square root, and cube root have been used. Yajur Veda 18-22 and R.V. 6-22-2 also refer to certain other terms of the physical sciences.
In the Vedas scientists (ashvinaus) are described as men and women of absolute self-control, truthful with scientific outlook and destroyers of miseries (R.V., 1-3-4). With the help of these scientists one could travel far on the earth and also in the sky through conveyances, which run and touch the middle region (R.V., 1-3-1, 6-22-2 and 1-22-2).
Such scientists from both the sexes go across to distance places quickly like the mind and electricity (R.V., 1-71-9). In this hymn aircrafts and even space ships are hinted. These ashvinaus should be well versed in Physics, agricultural sciences (R.V. 4-57-5), medical sciences (R.V. 5-74-3), astronomy (S.V. 121) and other sciences.
There is a mention of infrared rays, study of Algebra (Rekha di ganit vidya), sound as a medium of knowledge for various sciences, diseases like bile, cough, jaundice and others and their treatment etc. The relevant hymns in this regard are in Rig-Veda 1-185-2, 1-12-1, 2, 1-22-1 to 4, 1-2-3, 1-95-1, 1-101-1 and many other.