nov 30th, 2011 CE
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A brief introduction to technological brilliance of Ancient India
The Indian vision on health, Aswini Devatha concept – Food & Exercise, need of exercise, yoga Asanas, soorya namaskaram, effect of medicines, identification of drugs, pathyas and fasting, selected food, rest and upasana, ethics for doctors cause of illness, pathogenic organisms, precautions to be taken for good health, solar therapy, water therapy, yoga therapy, music therapy, Reiki, energy healing, the knowledge on surgery and surgical equipments, practicing surgery and explanations given by Maharishi Susrutha. Acharas – customs and rituals influencing health.
Mental Health Psychology:
Description of mind given in Upanishads, mental influence on health, influence of puranic and related stories in mind, mental development, and yoga. Influence of yama and niyama as mentioned by Patanjali, controlling the mind, dhyaana, food and mind, saatwic food, dreams, effect of manthras on mind, customs influencing the mental health and family relations.
Variety of Indian foods, balanced nutritious foods, natural traditional baby foods, the medicinal components usually added in foods – like asafetida, turmeric, spices etc. – advised food during illness, specialized cooking, roasting, fermenting, processing, preserving, etc done for variety of foods ands their science. Generation of specific flavors in foods by suitable modifying spices. The science of altering the foods during fasting on specific days. Opting for integrated balance foods through fasting and vrathaas, science of selecting variety foods based on seasons, importance of selecting cooking vessels – for getting micronutrients like iron, zinc, copper, silica, magnesium, sodium, potassium etc. - variety of vegetable and their significance in balanced healthy foods. Many more significant scientific observations can be made in a student carefully examine the Indian foods, Naturopathy, Vegetarian food.
The ancient Indian knowledge on chemicals and the subject of Chemistry given in Rasaratna Samucchayam, Rasarnavam, Rasendra Choodamani, Rasa Ratnakaram etc and many similar books. These books are available in Sanskrit with English and Hindi translations. Sanskrit names of chemicals, details of setting up a laboratory, scientific temper, qualification of chemists, laboratory assistant, research scholars, properties of inorganic chemicals, and their used described by Nagarjuna centuries ago. Chemicals used for a various purposes as described in Bharadhvaja in Yantra Sarvaswa, Varahamihira in Bruhath Samhita and also by others in the above chemistry books.
Variety of plant products, neem, tulasi, clove, pepper, turmeric, tobacco, oils like sesame oil, cotton seed oil, castor oil etc are used as bio-pesticides and some as preservatives. Traditional methods of pest control are also available from old farmers.
Plant Drugs Pharmacology:
Active plant bio-chemicals, processing medicinal plants, etc. Understand as many plants as possible which are good sources of the bio-active principles. Variety of plants used for curing diseases like herbs, shrubs, creepers, grass, trees etc. The plant leaves, buds, flowers, stems, roots, latex etc. used for treating specific diseases. Single drug treatment.
Medicines and Medicinal Preparations - Plant Biochemistry:
The descriptions of inorganic chemicals used as medicines in ancient Indian Rasa Chikitsa books, their preparations, processing, and prevention. The plant products used as drugs, the raw drugs, their harvesting, drying, storage, mixing, drug formulation, decoction preparation etc. Variety of Ayurvedic drug formulation obtained by mixing many raw drugs. Knowledge on the preparation while drying, storing, heating roasting, boiling with water, concentration etc in all Ayurvedic preparations. Here we have to focus only on the knowledge existed and their scientific merits in the area of plant drugs.
Basic Plant Sciences Botany:
Detailed description given in Vrukshayurveda by Saarngadhra, Katyayana, Varahamihira, Parasara, and others. Plant growth, grafting, irrigation, use of manure, seeds preservation, phototropism, agricultural practices both basic and applied. Varity of the traditional knowledge still practiced in villages in production of agriculture commodities.
Fermentation of milk to curd and yoghurt, fruit juice, medicinal preparations of arishtas etc. Fermentation procedures followed in four major types liquors mentioned in Chanakya’s Artha Saastra, the source of microorganisms, cultures, fermentation products mentioned in the Ayurvedic and Vrukshayurvedic books. Fermented rice based common solid foods like pancake, fermentation of traditional liquors from coconut and palm products.
Ancient Indian Mines:
Knowledge on the ancient Indian mines which were active during last three or more millennia, mines of the ores and minerals of copper, gold, zinc, lead and silver which were distributed throughout Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. The technology adopted for digging, mining, transportation, processing on the spot, provisions given for aeration, and lighting in mines etc. The present day scenes of ancient metallurgical sites.
Ancient Indian Knowledge in Metallurgy:
The production and purification of metals, use of flux and slag, temperature attained, technology for production and purification of metals like tin, copper, iron, silver, zinc, lead. An understanding of the chemical reactions accomplished like oxidation, reduction, slag formation, distillation of low boiling metals etc.
The fine technology used for the large scale production of bronze, brass, panchaloha, bell metal, coin making metals and many alloys mentioned in chemistry books and also in the books like Channakya’s Arthasaastra. Impressive metallic alloy preparation techniques mentioned in the Rasa books, Rasopanishad and Bharadvaajaa’s writings. The mental ingots, sheets, plates etc of Indian origin excavated from other countries like Athens, Babylonia, Rome, and Egypt.
Iron making Technology:
Production of pig iron, cast iron, and wrought iron in ancient India. Delhi and Dhar iron pillar, forge welding, lamination, paint coating for preventing rusting. Making of swords, the Banaras and Kodumanal swords, carburization in iron instruments used in agriculture and surgery. Rust free preservation techniques adopted for iron, woortz steel. Large scale production of iron alloys, export of iron to European and Middle East countries etc.
Ceramics Science and Technology:
The top quality ceramic vessels, tiles, glazed vessels, beads, bricks etc produced in Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Lothal, Varanasi, Thakshasila, Kalibhangan, Hastinapura and many other north and south Indian archeological sites. Variety of coloring materials used for the ceramic vessels and decoration ceramic articles.
Industrial and Instrumental Glass Technology existed in India. Variety of multi colored glasses with different size, shape, appearance, and capacity produced in India. The glass beads, ornaments, plates, vessels made using variety of inorganic coloring materials like the oxides, carbonates, sulfates, phosphates etc of chromium, lead, copper, iron, nickel, calcium, and sodium. The non metallic compounds used as coloring materials. Technology introducing the golden and silver leaf plates in glass.
General Instruments used in Ancient India:
Descriptions of a variety of instruments are given in Bharadvaja’s Yanthra Sarvaswa – only a part of this book is available now. The Vaimanika Saastra, Dvaantha Pramapaka Yanthra etc. the numbering systems with serial numbers of the components of instruments, alloy preparations, quality of lenses, prisms, glass plates, variety of Kithara Aloha – artificial metallic alloys having non metallic compounds also- dies used for molding the instrument parts and components, in required size and shape. The instruments used in astro0nomical calculations know under the title of Jyothir Yanthra.
Variety of string instruments for music and dance performances, the metallic alloys used for the preparation of strings, wind instruments, the knowledge of sound waves, the membrane instruments, preparation and processing of the membranes for these musical instruments.
The basic knowledge of sound in music. The granite music pillars known as Sangeetha Mandapa seen in ancient south Indian temples. Traditional Indian musical instruments like flute, idakka, mrudanga, chenda, thaala, naadaswara, veena, violin, harmonium and so on. The basic principles adopted in their making and use.
The surgical instruments known as Sastras and Yanthras numbering more than a hundred as mentioned in Susrutha Samhitha. The metals used for making these
instruments, their size, shape, and comparison with the modern instruments used for the purpose. Description of plastic surgery techniques. The instruments for kidney stone removal, stitching, cutting open etc.
More than 35 types of ceramics and metallic equipments mentioned in Rasaratna Samuchaya for the use in chemical laboratories for the processes like distillation, sublimation, extraction, drying, heating, roasting, mixing, decanting etc. Generally known under the name of Yanthras made using specific quality clays.
Kilns, Furnaces, Mushas & Putas:
Variety of furnaces, Kilns, and crucibles used for the production of various metals and alloys. The temperature attained for oxidation, reduction, slag preparation, and distillation of variety of metals and correspondingly suitable selection of putas or furnaces. Heating materials and their proportions, heating time, flux used for removing the impurities in the metal processing, description of maha gajaputa, gajaputa, kukkuta puta, kapotha puta etc, and their preparations.
Painting Technology & Colorants:
The chemistry of paints used in Ajantha, Ellora and other cave temple paintings, mural paintings, the inorganic colors and paint products used for paintings, their preparation, mixing, applying on the preprocessed surfaces. Selecting and processing plant products used as paints. The preparation of inks for variety of applications mural paintings, oil paintings, preparation of painting beds, walls, canvass etc. as done in cave temples and walls.
Ancient Indian textile industry as mentioned in Chanakya’s Artha Saastra, textiles produced using cotton, silk, wool, jute, and also incorporation of gold, silver, and lead metallic threads as boarders for the textiles. The famous Kancheepuram,textile dyes, leather colors, variety of coloring materials produced in different parts of India and method of application of the dyes.
Architecture & Civil Engineering:
The civil engineering skill demonstrated in the famous south Indian temples constructed by the kings of the Chola, Chera, Pandya, Hoysaalsa, Kakateeya, and Vijaya Nagara periods. The huge and tall entrances or gopurams of these temples. The mortars, cements used for the construction of these temples. The instruments used for measuring, maintaining the geometry of these structures. The granite, marble, latté rite stone cutting and polishing equipments and devises existed during that time. The transportation techniques adopted for the huge granite pieces. Construction of marble temples, palaces, and lake palaces of Rajasthan.
The temples of Kancheepuram, Rameswaram, Chidambaram, Kumbhakonam, Thiruvannamali, Sucheendram, Trivandrum, Konarak, and Khajuraho. The music pillars and music mandapas, the knowledge on the sound waves produced by these granite pillars and granite stone carvings – thick, thin, pointed and so on. The carvings undertaken with top precision in all the above structures. The construction of cave temples of Ajantha, Ellora, Elephanta, and the knowledge on geological aspects of rocks in which the Chaityaas and Viharas were carved out. Huge palaces constructed particularly like Jaisalamar palace, palaces in the pink city of Rajasthan, Gwalior, Mysore, Hyderabad etc.
The air conditioning or temperature maintaining mechanisms adopted glazed and non glazed tiles and glasses used for flooring and windows. The ponds and water reservoirs made thousands of years ago. Try to learn as many structures constructed as possible and their technologies. The civil engineering sciences and technologies of forts and walls, channels, rivers etc. the archeologically important sites of Mohenjo-Daro, Lothal, Harappa, Dwaraka, the lost city of Cambay etc.
Physics in Ancient India:
The velocity of light, wave nature of sound, seven colors of light, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principles, definition and explanation of atoms, gravitational forces, different types of rays like UV, IR, Heat rays, visible rays – as explained by Bharadvaja. Lenses, prisms, magnetic materials like iron and variety of magnets, time, weights, and measures, linear parameters. List the Ancient observations which are equivalent to modern scientific principles.
Mathematics & Astronomy:
Detailed knowledge in mathematics is given in the books written by Aryabhatta I, Aryabhatta III, Bhaskara I, Bhaskara II, Vateswara, Manjula, Lalla, Varahamihira, Parameswara, Sankaranarayana, and many other mathematicians.
The four number systems – Sanskrit number, Aryabhatta number, Bhootha Sankya and Katapayaadi number. Progressions, various geometrical parameters connected with area, perimeter, volume of squares, triangles, circles, trapeziums, spheres, cones, cyclic quadrilaterals, polygonals, detailed algebra, quadratic equations, monomial, and binomial theorems etc. hundreds of theorems developed by Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Sankaranarayana, Sangamagrama Madhavacharya, Puthumana Somayaji, Vateswara, Aryabhatta II, Sankara Varman, Paramewaracharya.
The application of ka ta pa yaasi number and Bhootha Sankhya systems made by the above mathematicians. Sine, Cosine, and Tangent, Rsine values and their tables, method of determining these values, angles in degrees and radians, calculations and theorems connected with these values. Relation among radius-arc-chord- circumference-sine-cosine-tangent-angles etc.
Various astronomical parameters mentioned in ancient Indian books. The spherical shape, size, diameter, circumference, gravity, declination, rotation speed, revolution, latitude, longitude, parallax in latitude and longitude, earthsine etc. of earth. many mote astronomical parameters described with definition by Vateswaracharya, like co-latitude, prime meridian and its relation with time, sunrise and sunset, eight type of revolutions of planets, visibility of planets, declination, precision equinox, alpha Aeries point, apogee, perigee, solar and lunar eclipse, calculation of eclipse diameter of shadow and movement of shadow, instruments used for time calculation and also for the calculation of various astronomical parameters know as Yanthras.
Indian Management Science:
Management principles explained by Chanakya in Chanakya Neetisara, Bharthru Hari in Upadesa Sathaka, Vidura in Vidura Neetisara, Bhishma in Bhishmopadesa and other books like Yoga Vaasishta, Bhagavath Geetha, Sukra Neetisara, Subhashitams mentioned in Panchathantra, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Thirukkural etc.
Economics in Ancient India:
The book of Artha Saastra written by Chanakya, also known as Koutileeyam, which is the book of ancient Indian Economics. There are many books mentioned in Artha Saastra like books of Saastras and Smruthies dealing with subjects like money, budget, banking, interest, loans, compound interest, penal interest, surety, witness, documents for loans, pledging of materials, leasing etc.
The detailed method of implementing sales tax, agricultural tax, property tax, gift tax, land tax, house tax, customs duty, and penal taxes etc as described in Dharma Saastra.
The philosophical compilations known as Darsanas by Vyaasa, Jaiminee, Pathanjali, Gouthama, Kapila, and Kanaada – poorva & uttara Meemamsa, Yoga, Nyaaya,
Vaiseshikaa are the most important books known as Shad Darsanas. Many fundamental principals of physics, chemistry, biology etc are mentioned in the above Darsanas. Adi Sankara’s Adwaitha and Madhava’s Dwaitha. The book of Charvaka known as Charvaka Samhitha of atheism. Other than the specific philosophical compilations, the philosophy described in Upanishad, Bhaghavat Geetha, Yogavasishta etc.
Dharmic way of Life Style:
The unique Indian life style. The self imposed duties and responsibilities including privileges coming under Dharma Saastra. The Dharmas or duties of each family member know as Prithu-father, Mathru-mother, Putra-son, Putri-daughter, Pathnee-wife, Bhartru-husband Dharmas. Similarly Dharma of a teacher, village head, king, queen, four Purushaarthaas – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha, four Aasramas – Brahmacharya, Gruhasta, Sanyaasa and Vaanaprastha, selection of jobs or professions and specialization based on Varnas.