Hindu Contribution to Mathematics & Science - Archna Sahni


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A set of slides painstakingly created by Archna Sahni on the Hindu contribution to Science and Mathematics..
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Jai Hind, Jai Bharat! - Shantanu

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Hindu Contribution to Mathematics & Science - Archna Sahni

  1. 1. Contribution of Ancient Hindus to Math, Science, and Medicine
  2. 2. • Question: Did “science” as we understand it originate in the West?• Standard answer: Yes. Most school and college textbooks in East and West maintain this ‘Eurocentric’ viewpoint.• What does scholarly evidence have to say about this? That this is untrue. Science did NOT originate in the West. In fact, it came VERY LATE to the West. The following slides clearly show that ancient Indians propounded Heliocentrism (attributed to Copernicus & Galileo) and understood Gravity (attributed to Newton) centuries before Europe, and had reached the peak of mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the twelfth century.
  3. 3. According to Indian historian of science C.K. Raju, the Westernorigin of science was fabricated in three stages:1. During the Crusades a Greek origin of science was fabricated for all worthwhile secular knowledge, which was derived from Arabic books, which in turn were translations gathered from India, Persia and China2. During the Inquisition, non-Western knowledge was again appropriated by Europeans who dared not acknowledge it3. Later-day racist and colonial historians built on this legacy of glorifying themselves and belittling others quoted and adapted from C.K. Raju, Is Science Western in Origin?(2009), p. 53. See:http://ckraju.net/books/Is-Science-Western-in-Origin.html
  4. 4. Why mathematical knowledge could not have come from Greece and Rome“Greek/Roman numerals…are clumsy: the smallnumber 1788 requires 12 symbols, and is written asMDCCLXXXVIII. This system is hopeless for largenumbers, such as 1053, which the Buddha was askedto name (by an opponent, who sought to test hisknowledge)….The unavoidable inference is this: theGreeks and Romans used this primitive system ofnumeration just because they never encounteredlarge numbers, and never did the complexcalculations required for astronomy and science.”(C.K. Raju, Is Science Western in Origin? p. 21)
  5. 5. Scientific Contributions of Hindu Civilization to the World• The Hindu civilization has made scientific contributions to the world that have either been ignored, not acknowledged, or appropriated as being Islamic or Western in origin.• The following slides present some key contributions of ancient and medieval India, which had a major influence on the mathematics, science, and medicine in the Islamic world, which in turn was transmitted to Europe and was instrumental in bringing about the European Renaissance and Scientific Revolution.
  6. 6. Ancient Hindus have made contributions to world civilization in the following fields. The following slides present highlights from some of these areas:• Mathematics• Medicine• Astronomy• Navigation• Botany• Metallurgy• Civil Engineering• Science of Consciousness (Psychology & Philosophy of Yoga)
  7. 7. Invention of Zero• India invented the Zero, without which there would be no binary system, no computers, and counting would be cumbersome.• The earliest recorded date, an inscription of Zero on Sankheda Copper Plate was found in Gujarat, India (585-586 CE).
  8. 8. Indian Numeral System –Basis of Modern Numeral SystemThe present-day decimal numeral system in use all over the world wasdeveloped by Indian mathematicians between the 1st and 5thcenturies (but was in use since 500 BCE).It was adopted by Persian (Al-Khwarizmi’s circa 825 book On theCalculation with Hindu Numerals) and Arab mathematicians(Al-Kindi’scirca 830 volumes On the Use of the Indian Numerals), and wastransmitted by them to Europe in the Middle Ages (11th to 13thcentury). The numeral system came to be called "Arabic" by theEuropeans because at that time they were only aware about thetransmitters, not the originators. See excerpt from BBC’s The Historyof Mathematicshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gulApUKih2w&feature=related
  9. 9. ARYABHATT (476 CE) MASTER ASTRONOMER AND MATHEMATICIAN-Heliocentric theory - Aryabhatt was the first to proclaim that theearth is round, it rotates on its axis, orbits the sun and issuspended in space, 1000 years before Copernicus published hisheliocentric theory.-Influenced Islamic astronomy: Aryabhatasiddhanta circulated mainly inthe northwest of India and, through the Sasanian dynasty (224–651) ofIran, had a profound influence on the development of Islamic astronomy.-Influence on Arabic math: - Calculated value of Pi to four decimalplaces, namely, 3.1416, and the sine table in trigonometry. Centurieslater, in 825 CE, the Arab mathematician, Mohammed Ibna Musa creditedthe value of Pi to the Hindus.See http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/37461/Aryabhata-I
  10. 10. BRAHAMAGUPTA (598 - c. 665 CE)MASTER ASTRONOMER AND MATHEMATICIAN-Gave the first rules for dealing with zero as a number.-His “Brahma-sphuta-siddhanta” (628) ,an astronomical work , was translatedinto Arabic in Baghdad as Sindhind (c. 771) and had a major impact on Islamicmathematics and astronomy. Its 25 chapters contain several unprecedentedmathematical results, and laid the foundations for algorithms and algebra.Discovered Law of Gravity:"Bodies fall towards the earth as it is in the nature of the earth to attractbodies, just as it is in the nature of water to flow."See http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Projects/Pearce/Chapters/Ch8_3.htmlhttp://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/77073/Brahmaguptahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmagupta
  11. 11. BAUDHYANA (850 BCE)INVENTOR OF “PYTHAGORAS THEORUM” It was Baudhāyana who first discovered the “Pythagoras theorem.” This theorem in explained in his book called Baudhāyana Śulbasûtra (800 BCE), one of the oldest books on advanced Mathematics. The actual shloka (verse) in Baudhāyana Śulbasûtra that describes “Pythagoras theorem” is given below - dīrghasyākṣaṇayā rajjuH pārśvamānī, tiryaDaM mānī, cha yatpṛthagbhUte kurutastadubhayāṅ karoti. (The diagonal of a rectangle produces by itself both (the areas) produced separately by its two sides.) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baudhayana
  12. 12. BHASKARACHARYA II (1114-1183 CE)GENIUS IN ALGEBRA AND ASTRONOMY,CONTRIBUTOR TO WORLD MATH“In many ways, Bhaskara represents the peak of mathematical and astronomicalknowledge in the twelfth century. He reached an understanding ofcalculus, astronomy, the number systems, and solving equations, which were not to beachieved anywhere else in the world for several centuries.”He wrote "Bijaganita“, a treatise on algebra, in which he derived a cyclic, Cakravalmethod for solving equations of the form ax2 + bx + c = y, which is usually attributed toWilliam Brouncker (1657).His book “Lilavati” covers many branches ofmathematics, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and mensuration, and histreatise "Siddhant Shiromani" on astronomy contains several results in trigonometry andintegral and differential calculus.See http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Projects/Pearce/Chapters/Ch8_5.htmlhttp://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/64067/Bhaskara-IIhttp://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Bh%C4%81skara_II
  13. 13. BHASKARACHARYA II (1114-1183 CE) – his other contribution• Described Universal Gravitation in his treatise Siddhantha Siromani (1150 CE):• Bhaskaracharya describes that the earth attracts the solid objects in the sky by its own force towards itself. He further discusses the forces between the celestial bodies using a question: Where can the celestial bodies fall since they attract each other?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gravitational_theory
  14. 14. ACHARYA KANAD (600 BCE)FOUNDER OF ATOMIC THEORY-Founder of Atomic Theory: Acharya Kanad as the pioneer expounder ofrealism, law of causation, and the atomic theory. He has classified all theobjects of creation into nine elements, namely:earth, water, light, wind, ether, time, space, mind and soul. He says, "Everyobject of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with eachother to form molecules." His statement ushered in the Atomic Theory forthe first time ever in the world, nearly 2500 years before John Dalton.-Kanad has also described the dimension and motion of atoms and theirchemical reactions with each other.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanada
  15. 15. NAGARJUNA (100 CE)WIZARD OF CHEMICAL SCIENCE-His dedicated research for twelve years produced maiden discoveries and inventions inthe faculties of chemistry and metallurgy.-Textual masterpieces like "Ras Ratnakar," "Rashrudaya" and "Rasendramangal" are hisrenowned contributions to the science of chemistry.-As the author of medical books like "Arogyamanjari" and "Yogasar," he also madesignificant contributions to the field of curative medicine.-Because of his profound scholarliness and versatile knowledge, he was appointed asChancellor of the famous University of Nalanda (5th century CE to 1197 CE ), one of thefirst great universities in recorded history.
  16. 16. CHARAK (600 BCE)FATHER OF MEDICINE-Acharya Charak has been crowned as the Father of Medicine. His renowned work, the"Charak Samhita", is considered as an encyclopedia of Ayurveda.-Charak revealed the basic facts on human anatomy, embryology, pharmacology, bloodcirculation and diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, heart disease, etc. He knew thefunadamentals of genetics.-In the "Charak Samhita" he has described the medicinal qualities and functions of100,000 herbal plants. He has emphasized the influence of diet and activity on mind andbody. His ideas on the correlation of spirituality and physical health contributed greatlyto diagnostic and curative sciences. His principles, diagnosis, and cures retain theirpotency and truth even after a couple of millennia.-Ethical Charter - He prescribed an ethical charter for medical practitioners twocenturies prior to the Hippocratic oath (see next slide).
  17. 17. Excerpts from the Ethical Charter (Oath taken by the physician) inCharak Samhita:During the period of study I shall live a life of self control, piety and discipline.Submitting myself to my Guru (teachers) with complete dedicated feeling, I shallact like a son/daughter for his/her welfare and happiness. My action shall beguarded, service oriented and free from indiscipline and envy...I shall always usemy knowledge for the welfare of living mankind.I shall always be ready to help patients, even when I am extremely busy andtired. I shall not harm any patient for the sake of money or selfish gain nor shall Ientertain a desire for other women/men or wealth. Immorality should not figureeven in my thoughts….I shall constantly endeavour to accomplish the newest development ofknowledge….When examining a patient, my discretion, attention and senses should beconcentrated on the cure of the disease…http://www.vssmedical.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=9
  18. 18. SUSHRUT (600 BCE)FATHER OF PLASTIC SURGERY-Acharya Sudhrut detailed the first ever surgery procedures in "Sushrut Samhita," a uniqueencyclopedia of surgery.-He is venerated as the father of plastic surgery and the science of anesthesia. Whensurgery was in its infancy in Europe, Sushrut was performing Rhinoplasty (restoration of adamaged nose) and other challenging operations. In the "Sushrut Samhita," he prescribestreatment for 12 types of fractures and 6 types of dislocations, details 300 types ofoperations. The ancient Indians were the pioneers in amputation, caesarian and cranialsurgeries.-Sushrut used 125 types of surgical instruments includingscalpels, lancets, needles, Cathers and rectal speculums, which are the basis ofmodern surgical instruments used today.
  19. 19. Transmission of Indian medical science to Islamic World and Europe• The medical works of physicians Sushruta and Charaka were translated into Arabic language during the Abbasid Caliphate (750 AD), and made their way into Europe via intermediaries.• British physicians travelled to India to see rhinoplasty [plastic surgery] being performed by native methods. Joseph Constantine Carpue spent 20 years in India studying local plastic surgery methods, and was able to perform the first major rhinoplasty in the western world by 1815.• Instruments described in the Sushruta Samhita were further modified in the Western World. Even today the paramedian forehead flap is referred to as the Indian flap.• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushruta
  20. 20. VARAHAMIHIRA (499-587 CE)EMINENT ASTRONOMER-Varahamihir s book “Panchsiddhant" holds a prominent place in the realm of astronomy.-He notes that the moon and planets are lustrous not because of their own light but due tosunlight. In the "Bruhad Samhita" and "Bruhad Jatak," he has revealed his discoveries inthe domains of geography, constellation, science, botany and animal science. In histreatise on botanical science, Varahamihir presents cures for various diseases afflictingplants and trees. The rishi-scientist (sage-scientist) survives through his uniquecontributions to the science of astronomy.
  21. 21. PATANJALI (200 BCE)FATHER OF YOGA-The Science of Yoga is one of several unique contributions of India to the world. Itseeks to discover and realize the ultimate Reality through yogic practices. AcharyaPatanjali prescribed the control of prana (life breath) as the means to control thebody, mind and soul.-Acharya Patanjalis 84 yogic postures effectively enhance the efficiency of therespiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive and endocrine systems and many otherorgans of the body. Yoga has eight limbs where Acharya Patanjali shows the attainmentof ultimate bliss or self-realization through the disciplines of:yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana and dharna (see next slide formeaning of these terms).-The Science of Yoga has gained popularity because of its scientific approach andbenefits, and for its deep understand of human psychology.
  22. 22. The “Eight Limbs” of Yoga Philosophy From Yoga Sutras by Patanjali (c. 200 B.C.)
  23. 23. Summary of Key Contributions of Hindu Civilization:• Indian Numeral system, decimal system, zero• “Pythagoras theorum” – mentioned by Baudhayana 200 years before Pythagoras• Originators of Algebra, Trignometry & Calculus - Aryabhata (476 CE), Brahmagupta (598 CE - 665) & Bhaskaracharya (1114-1183 CE)• Plastic surgery - Sushruta (600 BCE)• Heliocentric theory, relativity of motion - Aryabhata (5 CE)• Universal Gravitation- Brahmagupta (598 - c. 665 CE), Bhaskara II (1114-1183 CE)• Atomic Theory- Kanad (600 BCE)
  24. 24. Nalanda University (5 CE to 1197 CE) -Has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history". -Attracted scholars and students from as far away as China, Korea, Greece, and Persia.-Accommodated over 10,000 students, 2,000 teachers, and taught every branch oflearning: from science, astronomy, medicine, and logic to metaphysics, philosophy(native and foreign), Samkhya, Yoga-shastra, the Veda, and the scriptures ofBuddhism.-Nalanda was ransacked and destroyed by Turkic Muslim invaders under BakhtiyarKhilji in 1193. The Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, in his chronicle the Tabaquat-I-Nasiri, reported that thousands of monks were burned alive and thousandsbeheaded; the burning of the library continued for several months and "smoke fromthe burning manuscripts hung for days like a dark pall over the low hills.“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda
  25. 25. “Why, one might ask, did Europes take over thousand years to attain the level ofabstract mathematics achieved by Indians such as Aaryabhata? The answerappears to be that Europeans were trapped in the relatively simplistic andconcrete geometrical mathematics developed by the Greeks. It was not until theyhad, via the Arabs, received, assimilated and accepted the place-value system ofenumeration developed in India that they were able to free their minds from theconcrete and develop more abstract systems of thought. This development thustriggered the scientific and information technology revolutions which sweptEurope and, later, the world. The role played by India in the development is nomere footnote, easily and inconsequentially swept under the rug of Eurocentricbias. To do so is to distort history, and to deny India one of its greatestcontributions to world civilization.”-Dr. David Gray, “Indic Mathematics: India and the Scientific Revolution”http://www.infinityfoundation.com/ECITmathframeset.html
  26. 26. Useful YouTube Links• The Story of Numbers• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gulApUKih 2w&feature=relate• Science of Mathematics in Ancient [actually, Medieval] India• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiKoB8nli d0&feature=related
  27. 27. Further Reading: Influence of Indian Math on Islamic and European Math• David Gray, “Indic Mathematics: India and the Scientific Revolution” http://www.infinityfoundation.com/ECITmathframeset.html• Alok Kumar, “What Eleventh Century Spain Knew About Indian Science and Math,” http://www.infinityfoundation.com/ECITkumarframeset.htm• C.K. Raju, “The Indian Origins of the Calculus and its Transmission to Europe Prior to Newton and Leibniz.”• http://ckraju.net/papers/calculus_abstract_2.pdf• See website of C.K. Raju, Indian historian of science:• http://ckraju.net/index.html
  28. 28. History of Sciences in India• Subhash Kak, “History of Indian Science, an Essay in Grolier Encyclopaedia, 2000”• http://www.infinityfoundation.com/ECIThistoryindia nscienceframeset.htm• History of Physical Sciences in India• http://india_resource.tripod.com/physics.htm• Vinod Kumar, “Alberuni on Pre-Islamic Indias Science, Math, and Architecture”• http://www.infinityfoundation.com/ECITalberunifra meset.htm