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From Vedic Age to 18th Century: ICHR approves First project to Map the Scientific Achievements of Ancient India

The Indian Council of Historical Research has decided to map the scientific achievements of ancient India

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A document from the ancient Rig Veda. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.
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  • ICHR has decided to map all the scientific achievements of ancient India that took place between the Vedic Age and 18th century
  • Fund is being given to a Professor at Jain University, named R.N. Iyenger, to study Garga-Jyotisha
  • Iyenger has previous experience of working with such delicate subjects and has published 20 papers based on similar subjects

The scientific prowess of ancient India has never been under the spotlight. However, since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India, he has never lost an opportunity to highlight the historical achievements of ancient India. On several occasions, he chose to focus on the references to scientific achievements mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata as well.

R.N. Iyengar. Image Source : aventure.ac.in
R.N. Iyenger. Image Source : aventure.ac.in

The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) has chosen it as its first project. The project is primarily about mapping all the scientific achievements that took place in India from the Vedic Ages to the 18th century. The apex body of funding which is responsible for donating funds for historical research has decided to donate 5 lakh rupees to a Professor of Jain University in Bangalore called R.N. Iyengar to study the Garga-Jyotisha.

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Garga-Jyotisha. Image Source : newsdogshare.com
Garga-Jyotisha. Image Source : newsdogshare.com

the grant has been sanctioned for two years, mentioned the Indian Express report. Garga-Jyotisha is a text which is composed of 8,000 verses and 16,000 lines. Iyengar opines that it has something to do with the mathematical formula propounded by Aryabhatta.

Vriddha-Garga-Samhita is a collection of astronomical information, observational astronomy leading to mathematical calculations and natural sciences. It has observations of planets, periods of eclipses, description of 26 comets which can give us an idea of ancient chronology. It also has a chapter on rainfall measurements. Most probably this tradition originated around 500 BC and could have influenced the mathematical astronomy of Aryabhata and other scholars in ancient India,” he said to the Indian Express.

A statue of Aryabhata. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A statue of Aryabhata. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

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Previously, Iyengar was employed in the civil engineering department of IISC, Bangalore. He had studied about different natural phenomenon there and believed that they can be explained with reference to the ancient scientific achievements made by scholars like Aryabhata. He has 20 other research papers published on similar topics.

– prepared by Atreyee Sengupta, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: Etrui14

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10 Facts about Vedic India map that you probably didn’t know

The Iron Age of India

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Map of Vedic India. Wikimedia commons
Map of Vedic India. Wikimedia commons

Also known as the ‘heroic age’, Vedic Age was the one which laid down the basic foundations of Indian civilization.

A period between 1500 BCE to 500 BCE, this is when early Hinduism emerged and so did the caste system. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the Vedic India map.

1. The kingdoms in the Vedic India map are same as those of the epic Mahabharata.

The Pandavas were from Kuru kingdom, whereas Draupadi was from Panchala. The antagonist of the Epic, Shakuni, was from the kingdom of Gandhar.

2. This was the time when the Vedas were composed.

The Rigveda, Mantra texts, Samhita texts, and important Brahmana literature were composed around this time.

3. A Vedic map is a transformed version of India after the Indus Valley Civilization.

Most of Indus Valley Civilization was situated in present-day Pakistan. However, the next civilization which came i.e. Vedic civilization was situated around the Gangetic plains.

Mahaveer Swami was part of post-vedic movements against orthodoxy. Pexels
Mahaveer Swami was part of post-Vedic movements against orthodoxy. Pexels

4. The Himalayas, then, were known as Himavani.

The Himalayas have played a major role in India since forever, same was with Vedic India. However, they were known as Himavani then.

5. Vedic India wasn’t a country with ‘specific boundaries’.

Not until 1947 did India had it’s clearly defined borders. It all was based on which ruler is in power.

6. The later Vedic period was the ‘Iron Age’ of India.

Under the rule of King Parikshit, the realm turned towards the Iron Age. Parikshit was the grandson of Arjuna, the protagonist of Mahabharata.

7. Caste system was not based on birth, but capability.

Unlike, the medieval caste system, ancient India caste system at the time when it was originated wasn’t based on birth. It was based on the capability of a person.

The Vedas were composed in Vedic period. Wikimedia commons
The Vedas were composed in the Vedic period. Wikimedia Commons

8. The Kingdoms on the western side of the map are Harappan archaeological sites.

Gandhar, Madra, Sindhu etc, in present-day Pakistan, are archaeological sites where Harappan artifacts have been excavated.

9.  The end of the Vedic period saw the rise of the Mahajanapada’s.

Mahajanapada and Shramana were movements which challenged Vedic orthodoxy.

10. Some say Vedic India was the result of migration of Indo-Aryans.

Since Indo-Aryans were the ones who composed the Vedas.