Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Interesting Facts About Ancient Indians

India gave to the world the days of the week and their names. The names prevalent in India like Ravivaar, Somvaar, Mangalvaar, etc. were adopted by the west in the same sequence and were directly translated to other languages like English where you have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.

The United States adopted ancient Indian catamaran-making technology to construct fast ships which were used with dramatic effect in the Iraq war. Among the equipment the Americans used to win the Iraq war were 100-feet catamaran ships to ferry tanks and ammunition from Qatar to Kuwait. The ships, built with technology adapted from ancient Tamil methods to make catamarans, can travel over 2,500 kms in less than 48 hours, twice the speed of the regular cargo ships, and carry enough equipment to support about 5,000 soldiers. Having a shallow draft, the boats can unload in rudimentary ports, allowing troops to land closer to the fight.

Researchers believe Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. In 1985, Rick Briggs, a researcher for NASA, published a paper on the potential uses of Sanskrit as a machine language. Natural languages are basically too imprecise for use as machine languages, thus programmers have been forced to create artificial languages. However, Briggs hailed Sanskrit as an exception. "Among the accomplishments of the [Sanskrit] grammarians can be reckoned a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit in a manner that is identical not only in essence but in form with current work in Artificial Intelligence. A natural language can serve as an artificial language also, and that much work in AI has been reinventing a wheel millennia old."

The concept of Reiki originated in India, but it was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in Japan in the late 19th century. Dr. Usui was a Shingon Buddhist priest and a physician. He read about an ancient healing art in an 1100 year old Buddhist Manuscript and made a brief synthesis of the essence of this seven level Tantric teaching as Reiki.

In 1895, eight years before the Wright brothers flew their first plane, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade and his wife gave a thrilling demonstration flight on the Chowpatty beach in Mumbai. Mr. Talpade, an erudite Sanskrit scholar, constructed his aeroplane named 'Marutsakha' based on the description of Vimanas available in the Vedas.

The theory of the Ion Engine has been credited to Robert Goddard, long recognized as the father of Liquid-fuel Rocketry. It is claimed that in 1906, long before Goddard launched his first modern rocket, his imagination had conceived the idea of an Ion rocket. However, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade used an Ion Engine to take his plane to a height of 1500 ft. in 1895, many years before Goddard.

A glass-like material which cannot be detected by radar has been developed by Prof Dongre, a research scholar of Benaras Hindu University, based on technology found in an ancient Sanskrit text, Vaimanika Shastra. A plane coated with this unique material cannot be detected using radar.

Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some Sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the university said that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! The Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the documents for study in their space program.

When the city of Mohenjodaro was excavated by archaeologists, they found skeletons just lying in the streets, some of them holding hands, as if some great doom had suddenly overtaken them. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on a par with those found at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ancient cities whose brick and stonewalls have literally been vitrified, that is-fused together, can be found in India, Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places. There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast.

Neem, turmeric, jamun and cow's urine, traditionally used for medicinal purposes in India, have been patented in the United States.

The Puranas speak of the creation and destruction of the universe in cycles of 8.64 billion years, that is quite close to currently accepted value regarding the time of the big bang.

Indian astronomer, Brahmagupta, estimated in the 7th century that the circumference of the earth was 5000 yojanas. A yojana is around 7.2 kms. Calculating on this basis we see that the estimate of 36,000 kms as the earth's circumference comes quite close to the actual circumference known today.

Indian astronomer, Aryabhatta was the first to have propounded the theory that the earth was a sphere in the 5th century.

One of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Erwin Schrodinger, was directly inspired by Vedanta in his creation of quantum mechanics, a theory at the basis of all our advances in chemistry, biochemistry, electronics, and computers.

The Purusha Hymn of the Rigveda says that the mind is born of the moon. Recently, by research on volunteers, who stayed in underground caves for months without any watches or other cues about time, it was found that the natural cycle for the mind is 24 hours and 50 minutes. The period of the moon is also 24 hours and 50 minutes.

The Gypsies migrated from India to the west many centuries ago. They speak a language called Romany which has many common words with Indian languages and their religion is a modified form of early Hinduism. They seem to have been the Banjara nomads who are still found in India.

The oral tradition of Vedic chanting has been declared an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. In a meeting of jury members on November 7, 2003, at Paris, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, declared the chanting of Vedas in India an outstanding example of heritage and form of cultural expressions. The proclamation says that in the age of globalization and modernization when cultural diversity is under pressure, the preservation of oral tradition of Vedic chanting, a unique cultural heritage, has great significance.

Swatantryaveer Savarkar was the first Indian political leader to call for Swadeshi, and the first Indian leader who publicly performed a bonfire of foreign clothes (1906). (many years before Gandhiji)

The original name for 'Lahore' is 'Lavapura' and for Kusoor is 'Kushpura'. These cities were originally founded by Lava and Kush, respectively.

Chess originated in India. It was known to Indians as Chaturnaga. It was taken to Persia in the sixth century where it came to be known as Chatrang, which according to the Arabic phonetic system became Shatranj.

The Sanskrit term 'Yogakshema' in the Rigveda meant some kind of insurance, which was practised by the Aryans in India nearly 5000 years ago. Manu, the ancient lawgiver, enjoined that a special charge be made on goods carried from one town to another, to ensure their safe carriage until handed over to the consignee at destination.

The World's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The campus accommodated 10,500 students who came from as far as Babylonia, Greece, Syria, Arabia, and China and offered over sixty different courses in various fields, such as science, mathematics, medicine, politics, warfare, astrology, astronomy, music, religion, and philosophy.

The Grand Anicut, Kallanai, located on Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu, is the oldest dam in the world that is still in use today. This masonry dam was built in the 2nd century by Chola king Karikalan. It was remodeled and fitted with sluice gates in 1899-1902.

Baudhayana gave the 'Pythagoras theorem' centuries before the Greeks in 800 BC.

Pingala (400 BC) invented the binary number system which is the basic of computer operations.

Pakistan proudly mentions the great Sanskrit grammarian Panini, who was born at Shalatula near Attock in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan some time between the 7th and the 4th centuries B.C., as its national hero. Many postal stamps sport Panini's pictures.

The Caspian sea, which in Vedic times was called Kasyapa Mira, has got its name from Rishi Kashyap.

The art of Navigation was born in the river Sindhu 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Navgatih'. The word navy is also derived from Sanskrit 'Nou'.

USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century old suspicion in the world scientific community that the pioneer of wireless communication was Prof. Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.

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