1. Sushruta Samhita, The Oldest Medical And Surgical Encyclopedia Known To Mankind
The credit for almost all the amazing inventions and discoveries so far has always been given to the Western part of the planet. We have learned about them in schoolbooks, heard about them on television or in movies and talked about it all the time. Unfortunately, it’s the knowledge and teaching of our ancient science that has taken a beating. Just because their achievements were well-documented, it doesn’t mean that they were the first ones to do that. Here are 10 facts, as found in our written and oral literature, about the highly advanced ancient Indian science that you were never taught in school. Written during the 6th century BC, the Sushruta Samhita includes 184 chapters with descriptions of 1,120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources. Its author Sushruta is also known to be the first ever human to do medical surgeries on people. The book also has broad details on embryology, human anatomy, as well as instructions for venesection, the positioning of the patient for each vein, and the protection of vital structures (marma). The oldest documented evidence (9000 years) for the drilling of human teeth of a living person was found in Mehrgarh along with the evidences of orthopedic surgeries.
2. The First Ones To Acknowledge The Existence Of The Solar System
While history credits Copernicus for proposing the heliocentric model of our solar system, it was the Rig Veda that first spotted the central positioning of the sun and other planets orbiting it in the solar system.
Sun moves in its orbit which itself is moving. Earth and other bodies move around sun due to force of attraction, because sun is heavier than them.
Rig Veda 1.164.13
The sun moves in its own orbit but holding earth and other heavenly bodies in a manner that they do not collide with each other through force of attraction.
Rig Veda 1.35.9
3. Mahabharata Mentions The Concept Of Cloning, Test Tube Babies, And Surrogate Mothers
The fact that in the Mahabharata, Gandhari had 100 sons is quite well known. But what’s unknown is the scientific explanation behind her giving birth to a 100 kids. Each ‘Kaurava’ was made by splitting the single embryo into 100 parts and raising each part in a separate kund (container). This is just like the cloning process nowadays. The birth of Karan, who was ‘born from the “characteristics adopted from men of her choice” also has striking resemblance to the present-day test tube baby concept.
4. ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ Precisely Calculates The Distance Between Earth And Sun
“Yug sahasra yojana par bhanu, leelyo taahi madhura phal jaanu”
The above sentence is from the Hanuman Chalisa and translates to: ‘[When] Hanuman travelled thousands of kilometers to swallow it thinking of it as a fruit’. The word-to-word translation of the same excerpt reveals the distance that Hanuman travelled. 1 Yuga = 12000 years. 1 Sahsra Yuga = 12000000 years. Also, 1 Yojan = 8 miles. Hence, “Yug Sahsra Yojana”, the first 3 words mean 12000*12000000*8 = 96000000 miles or 153,600,000 kilometers. Surprisingly, the actual distance from earth to sun is 152,000,000 kms. Shockingly, there’s error of just around 1%.
5. The Vedas Figured Out Gravity Before The West Did
Yet again, way before Isaac Newton talked about gravity, ancient Indian scholars had already understood how it functioned.
This earth is devoid of hands and legs, yet it moves ahead. All the objects over the earth also move with it. It moves around the sun.
Rig Veda 10.22.14
6. The Speed Of Light
Sayana, a vedic scholar from the 14th century once said, "With deep respect, I bow to the sun, who travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha." A yojana is 9 miles; a nimesha is 16/75 of a second. So, 2,202 yojanas x 9 miles x 75/8 nimeshas = 185,794 miles per second or 2,99,000 kilometers per second. That’s amazingly close to the real ‘scientifically-proven’ 3,00,000 kilometers per second figure. It’s often thought that his source was none other than the Vedas.
7. Vedas Explained The Science Behind The Rather ‘Feared’ Eclipses
While the world was scared of the eclipses and connected all kinds of paranormal occurrences to the phenomenon, Vedas already had a very correct and scientific understanding. The below sentence is also proof that they knew that the moon wasn’t self illuminated.
O Sun! When you are blocked by the one whom you gifted your own light (moon), then earth gets scared by sudden darkness.
Rig Veda 5.40.5
8. The Exact Length Of A Year
Ancient Indians used 4 ways to assess the length of a year namely ‘Nakshatra’, ‘Savana’, ‘Lunar’ and ‘Saura’. Saura was one technique based on the tropical zodiac that defines the seasons: equinoxes, solstices, year-halves, and months in relation to the (six) seasons. As amazing as it sounds, Saura assessed the length of a year to be exactly 365 days, 6 hours 12 mins and 30 seconds.
9. Aryabhatta’s Deduction Of The Value Of π
According to documented history, the irrationality of π (pi) was proved in Europe only in 1761 by Lambert. The famous Indian mathematician Aryabhata worked on the approximation of the value of π (pi), and said that is irrational and its value is approximately 3.1416. He did this in 499 Common Era at the age of 23.
10. First Ones To Measure The Circumference Of Earth
Sadly, the Greeks enjoy the credit for this discovery while it was actually Aryabhata, who deduced a formulation proving that the Earth is rotating on an axis. Then, by estimating the value of pi to be 3.1416, he concluded that the circumference of Earth was approximately 39736 kilometers. The actual circumference of Earth, as deduced by scientists today, is 40,075 kilometers.