by Swami Visnu
A vast number of statements and materials presented in the ancient Vedic literatures can be shown to agree with modern scientific findings and they also reveal a highly developed scientific content in these literatures. The great cultural wealth of this knowledge is highly relevant in the modern world.
Techniques used to show this agreement include:
Early indologists wished to control & convert the followers of Vedic Culture, therefore they widely propagated that the Vedas were simply mythology.
Max Muller, perhaps the most well known early sanskritist and indologist, although later in life he glorified the Vedas, initially wrote that the "Vedas were worse than savage" and "India must be conquered again by education... it's religion is doomed"
However, the German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer stated that the Sanskrit understanding of these Indologists was like that of young schoolboys.
Innumerable archaeological findings and their analysis have recently brought the Aryan Invasion Theory into serious question. This theory is still taught as fact in many educational systems despite much contrary evidence.
The Aryan Invasion Theory Defined
The Aryan Invasion Theory raises an interesting dilemna called Frawleys Paradox: On the one hand we have the vast Vedic Literature without any archaeological finds associated with them and on the other hand, we have 2,500 archaeological sites from the Indus-Sarasvata civilization without any literature associated with them.
Facts which cast serious doubt on the Aryan Invasion Theory
The archaeological sites along the dried up Sarasvati River basin are represented by black dots.
It can be scientifically proven that the Vedic Culture is indigenous, through archaeology, the study of cultural continuity, by linguistic analysis, and genetic research.
The Holy Asvatta tree is mentioned in the Aitareya and Satapata Brahmanas as well as the Taittiriya Samhita and Katyayana Smrti.
The pictoral script of these Harappan seals has been deciphered as consistently Vedic and termed "Proto-brahmi," as a pre-sanskrit script.
"Pure in her course from the mountains to the ocean, alone of streams Sarasvati hath listened."
The mighty Sarasvati River and it's civilization are referred to in the Rig Veda more than fifty times, proving that the drying up of the Sarasvati River was subsequent to the origin of the Rig Veda, pushing this date of origin back into antiquity, casting further doubt on the imaginary date for the so-called Aryan Invasion.
The Satellite image (above) clearly shows the Indus-Sarasvata river system extending from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. Here the Indus River is on the left, outlined in blue, while the Sarasvati River basin is outlined in green. The black dots are the many archeological sites or previous settlements along the banks of the now dry Sarasvati River.
The drying up of the Sarasvati River around 1900 B.C.E. is confirmed archaeologically.Following major tectonic movements or plate shifts in the Earth's crust, the primary cause of this drying up was due to the capture of the Sarasvati River's main tributaries, the Sutlej River and the Drishadvati River by other rivers.
Although early studies, based on limited archaeological evidence produced contradictory conclusions, recent independent studies, such as that of archaeologist James Shaffer in 1993, showed no evidence of a foreign invasion in the Indus Sarasvata civilization and that a cultural continuity could be traced back for millennia.
In other words, Archaeology does not support the Aryan Invasion Theory.
This sanskrit verse from the Mausala Parva of the Mahabharata, describes the disappearance of the city of Dvaraka into the sea.
"After all the people had set out, the ocean flooded Dvaraka, which still teemed with wealth of every kind. Whatever portion of land was passed over, the ocean immediately flooded over with its waters."
Amongst the extensive underwater discoveries were the massive Dvaraka city wall, a large door-socket and a bastion from the fort wall.
Similarly, in Kurukshetra, the scene of the great Mahabharata war, Iron arrows and spearheads have been excavated and dated by thermoluminence to 2,800 B.C.E., the approximate date of the war given within the Mahabharata itself.
The Mahabharata also describes three cities given to the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata, after their exile:
Paniprastha, Sonaprastha & Indraprastha, which is Delhi's Puranaqila. These sites have been identified and yielded pottery & antiquities, which show a cultural consistency & dating consistent for the Mahabharata period, again verifying statements recorded in the Vedic literatures.
Although early indologists, in their missionary zeal, widely vilified the Vedas as primitive mythology, many of the worlds greatest thinkers admired the Vedas as great repositories of advanced knowledge and high thinking
Arthur Schopenhauer, the famed German philosopher and writer, wrote that: I "...encounter [in the Vedas] deep, original, lofty thoughts... suffused with a high and holy seriousness."
The well-known early American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, read the Vedas daily. Emerson wrote: "I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavat-Gita"
When Oppenheimer was asked if this is the first nuclear explosion, he significantly replied: "Yes, in modern times," implying that ancient nuclear explosions may have previously occurred.
Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, wrote that: "India was China's teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics... " and so forth.
Francois Voltaire stated: "... everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges."
From these statements we see that many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedas provided the origin of scientific thought.
This pillar stands at mute testimony to the highly advanced scientific knowledge of metallurgy that was known in ancient India. Cast in approximately the 3rd century B.C., the six and a half ton pillar, over two millennia has resisted all rust and even a direct hit by the artillary of the invading army of Nadir Shah during his sacking of Delhi in 1737.
Vedic Cosmology is yet another ancient Vedic science which can be confirmed by modern scientific findings and this is acknowledged by well known scientists and authors, such as Carl Sagan and Count Maurice Maeterlinck, who recognized that the cosmology of the Vedas closely parallels modern scientific findings.
Nobel laureate Count Maurice Maeterlinck wrote of: "a Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed."
The ninety foot tall astronomical instrument known as Samrat Yantra, built by the learned King Suwai Jai Singh of Jaipur, measures time to within two seconds per day.
An example of these exchanges is found in the inscriptions on the Heliodorus Column, erected in 113 B.C.E. by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador to India, and convert to Vaisnavism, as well as the 2nd century B.C.E. Coins of Agathocles, showing images of Krishna and Balaram. These artifacts stand testimony that Sanatan Dharma predates Christianity.
The theorem bearing the name of the Greek mathematician Pythagorus is found in the Shatapatha Brahmana as well as the Sulba Sutra, the Indian mathematical treatise, written centuries before Pythagorus was born.
The Decimal system, based on powers of ten, where the remainder is carried over to the next column, first mentioned in the Taittiriya Samhita of the Black Yajurveda.
The Introduction of zero as both a numerical value and a place marker.
The Concept of infinity.
The Binary number system, essential for computers, was used in Vedic verse meters.
A hashing technique, similar to that used by modern search algorithms, such as Googles, was used in South Indian musicology. From the name of a raga one can determine the notes of the raga from this Kathapayadi system. (See Figure at left.)
For further reading we refer you to this excellent article on Vedic Mathematics.
The Vedas however are not as well known for presenting historical and scientific knowledge as they are for expounding subtle sciences, such as the power of mantras. We all recognize the power of sound itself by it's effects, which can be quite dramatic. Perhaps we all have seen a high-pitched frequency shatter an ordinary drinking glass. Such a demonstration shows that Loud Sounds can produce substantial reactions
A Clinical Test of the Benefits of Mantra Chanting was performed on three groups of sixty-two subjects, males and females of average age 25. They chanted the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra twenty-five minutes each day under strict clinical supervision.
Results showed that regular chanting of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra reduces Stress and depression and helps reduce bad habits & addictions. These results formed a PhD Thesis at Florida State University.
Most of the evidence given in this presentation is for the apara vidya or material knowledge of the Vedic literatures. The Vedas however, are more renowned for their para vidya or spiritual knowledge. And even superior is the realized knowledge of the Vedic rsis or saints — that which is beyond the objective knowledge of modern science — knowledge of the eternal realm of sat, cit ananda, eternality, blissfullness and full knowledge. But that is another presentation.