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Splashes– 63/72 – Era of British Rule

During Renaissance several nations from Europe raced to reach India, the name they associated with wealth, wisdom and mysticism. Hindu Kings had made India a Paradise and a destination for knowledge. In contrast, Muslim Rule converted India in to a living hell, drenched in blood, superstitions, and poverty but devoid of knowledge. Therefore after reaching India, the early Europeans must have been saddened as the land was not of their expectations. It was ridden with disease and illiteracy as compared to the awareness Europe had started experiencing.  Thus to some extent, the Europeans rightly called the native as savages, primitive, and snake charmers.

Dragnet of Colonization

Private companies from England, France, Portugal and Dutch had ventured into competition for taking away gains out of India. They came with advanced weaponry, ships, and above all patriotic fervor that Indians had not been left with. Though the colonial contingents were rivals against each other in Europe, they had common thread of Christianity to bind them. They were set to spread Christianity in their respective colonies and strengthened their hold by conversion of population to their faith by cruelty, coercion, deceit, and allurements.

It was easier for European nations to usurp political power by inter playing rivalries between feudal Nawabs and petty rulers. While Mughals were still busy enjoying Mujras and quil-fights, India slipped into another spell of foreign rule. The British out maneuvered the other competitors and established ‘East India Company Bahadur’ as a paramount power over local rulers.

Atrocities by the British

East India Company incorporated in England ruled the country till 1857. Thereafter the governance of India passed on to British Crown. The colonial rulers also followed the cruel and ruthless methods of the Islamic rulers for subduing natives, though they professed to be civilized.

They converted the poor population to Christianity. They could not motivate Brahmins, Khashatriyas and Vaishyas, but misled poor and illiterates by over-playing social and caste disparities.   Muslims were still in power in several regions. It was not easy for the Christians to convert them without inviting retaliation. Hindus being devoid of political power were easy targets for conversion.

Demeaning of religious traditions and atrocities motivated Indian masses to revolt in 1857 against the British with slogans like “Maro Firangi ko.”  Some rulers also joined the violent retaliation, but mainly due to their individual grudges against the British. For want of coordination between revolutionaries, and due to the support received by the British from Indian rulers, the mass revolt got crushed. Thereafter, the governance of India was taken over from East India Company by British Parliament.

Obliteration of Hindu Identity

British considered Hinduism to be a formidable barrier in establishing their hold over India, and therefore concentrated on dismantling the foundations of Hinduism, by projecting that to be faith of superstitions and blind faith. History of ancient India had already been destroyed by Islamic invaders. The India of 18th Century had nothing left about her pre-Muslim past. Indian History was reconstructed and to suit the current British rulers. Fortunately, archeological sites were brought under protection thereafter; otherwise we would not have had any trace left of our past.

Emergence of Anglicized Class

To pacify Indian masses on account of religious atrocities, and to legitimize their colonial rule in India, the British overtly distanced themselves from Christian missionaries, and started calling their government secular. Also they invented a theory of Aryan invasion of India to justify their own hold over India. For strengthening their hold they pacified masses through administrative reforms, to gain acceptability of their imperialist rule. Intellectual vacuum created by Islamic rule provided environment conducive for this purpose.

The British did introduce some reforms as well as modernization, but only to the extent necessary to strengthen their hold over the resources of the country. Laws were codified to replace Shariyat jurisprudence from India. A hierarchy of courts was set up to streamline system of justice that hitherto depended upon the whims of illiterate Qauzis (Islamic Jurists). Certain undesirable social practices were also abolished.

The British appointed Brahmins and Maulvies to act as amicus curie for British judiciary in interpreting Hindu and Muslim customs of inheritance. Till then Brahmins had been devoid of proper means of livelihood under Islamic rule, and had been living under fear and insult. This opportunity was exploited by some of them to stress more upon rituals than the substance in Hinduism.

New Education System

The British introduced an Education system recommended by Lord McCauley after prolonged deliberations held in British Parliament.  The curriculum was designed to project British as the custodians of all wisdom and scientific knowledge and tarnishing Hindu scriptures as mere farce founded on blind faith.  They succeeded in rearing a loyal workforce of anglicized Indians to support their government while they were in power, and even thereafter.

As a natural consequence, Hindus were more influenced by English culture than the Muslims, in the matter of dress, eating habits, socialization and education system. Gradually Western systems started replacing indigenous Indian systems. Hindus got used to Christian calendar, time schedules, weights and measure, distances, technical terminologies, legal terms and practices, and even recreational activities since our games and sports appeared to us primitive in glitter. European past times came to be regarded as status symbols.

Forum to distract Educated Indians

With far sightedness an Englishman Allan Octavian Hume founded Congress in 1885 as a political forum for neo educated Indians to vent out their political aspirations so that situations like 1857 revolt could be foreseen and avoided. They had nothing to worry about its activities, since that was founded by the British and worked under their supervision. Aristocrat Indians and some erstwhile Opium Business Partners of East India Company era were kept in the fore front to keep budding Indians satisfied by having some minor say in local self governance.

Subsequently when Leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak projected demand for freedom as a birth right the British got alerted. One by one such patriotic leader were jailed, and replaced by humble, soft-spoken, non-violent  leaders who had been trained in England and behaved Europeans in thought and tastes. The British media groomed and established them in Indian masses to emerge as their representatives. Basically illiterate at that time Indians hailed their indigenous English-speaking leaders by their outwardly charms.

Mental Slavery

Over the period British had a considerable strength of Indians to support their ideology. We accepted whatever they preached and acted. We started viewing everything was according to their point of view and willingly discarded whatever was unacceptable to them. Even we could not identify that whatever new knowledge British had brought with them was nothing more than already complied by our ancestors, because the same was presented to us using British technology.

Resurgence of Hindu Nationalism

However, changes in the environment ignited resurgence of Hindu Nationalism. Several movements of social reform such as Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj were started by Hindu intelligentsia. Participation of Indian soldiers as mercenaries of British government provided Indian common folks to get a feel of democratic freedom available to people on other part of the globe. Demand for political freedom grew in India at grass root level. On the whole, after the dark tunnel of Islamic rule, India could see the modern age dawning at the far end of the tunnel, through the reforms brought in by the British.

It was ironical that through British, Indians tasted the fruits, for which trees had been planted by Hindu sages long ago, and that had been devastated by Muslim barbarians. As the end products bore European tag of manufacture, the credit for modern advancement in the field of science and technology was claimed by western nations.  Hindu identity had been obliterated.

Freedom Movement

Gradually the demand for freedom got boost from several quarters. Due to heavy expenditure and loss of manpower in World Wars I and II, it became difficult for the British to continue hold over colonies. They were on look out to retreat safely without much loss to their men and materials. They used few educated Indians to play for time through various gimmicks in the form of Round Table Conferences by playing divide and rule between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and native rulers who had remained mainly supportive to the British. Finally the British diplomacy succeeded and Muhammad Ali Jinnah projected demand for Pakistan as a separate home land for Muslims by addressing a crowd in Lahore in 1940. Jinnah spoke:-

“Muslims were not just a minority, but also a nation, fully entitled to their own state. Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry nor inter-dine together and indeed they belong to two different civilizations… They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is the foe of the other…. During the ages, India has always divided into Hindu India and Muslim India. The present artificial unity of India dates back only to the British conquest… Muslims are nation according to any definition of a nation and they must have their territory and their state.”

Thus, India was partitioned between Muslims and Hindus on the basis of population. It turned easier for British to vacate the region safely and left India crippled.

Partition on Religious Ground

With partition of India between Hindus and Muslims, the transgressors, claimed a large chunk of Hindu land. The country’s borders shrunk over night to exclude Hindus as citizens from that area of newly formed Pakistan. Despite having held the tag of Indian Nationality, Hindus had to leave their ancestral land and homes. Thus Hindus had to surrender their motherland to Muslim invaders under pressure from British usurpers in spite of  verbose denials made by certain Indian leaders like Gandhi and Nehru, who had actually been signatory to the agreement.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 64/72 – India after Partition)

 

 

 

Splashes – 56/72 – Plagiarism of Intellectual Property

Political stability is key factor for development and in its absence, all systems go out-of-order. When political conditions in India became unstable, everything was dislocated and Hinduism lost the patronage of the ruling class. As a consequence social, economic, and religious infrastructures crumbled down.

Prior to the rise of Islam Indian ideas and texts had already reached Baghdad. During eighth century the Arabs gained political power and ruled from Indus to Spain. Arabic schools were established all over the Abbasid Empire of Arabs.

Translation Centers

Indian texts that were picked for translation had been taken out of India even before the spread of Islam. Since pre-Islamic intellectuals were not biased against Hindu scriptures, many of the texts were read, understood and translated to Arabic, Persian and other languages as an academic activity. Translation Centers existed at the following places:-

  • Spain – Caliph Abdur-Rahman III (891–961) built a massive new library at Cordoba in Spain and filled it with manuscripts in Sanskrit and other languages brought from Baghdad. The library contained 400,000 volumes.
  • Sicily – Arabs governing Sicily also imported texts from Baghdad and had a rich library there. The translation of Hindu-Arabic literature continued till the end of sixteenth century.
  • Syria – Translation Centers were at work in Syria, Damascus, and Palermo where translations of Aryabhatta also found their way.
  • Europe – In 1120 an Englishman Robert of Chester living in Spain translated Al-Khwarismi’s Algoritmi De Numero Indorum into Latin.This work was in fact based on Aryabhatta. The translation  carried Indian numbers, arithmetic, Algebra and Astronomy to the Latin world along with Aryabhatta’s works in the field of fractions, quadratic equations, sums of power series, concept of version 1- cos, equations of imaginary numbers and square root of One.
  • Palestine Frederick founded the University of Naples in 1224 endowing it with a large collection of Arabic manuscripts. From Spain he brought a translator who created a Latin summary of Aristotle’s biological and zoological works. The library was endowed with a large collection of Arabic manuscripts of ancient Greek and Indian texts; as well as commentaries of the Arab scholars on them. Copies of Latin translation were sent to universities in Paris and Bologna. Frederick also led the Fifth Crusade to Palestine in 1228-1229, and recaptured Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth. These efforts brought back to Europe the works of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It also brought to Europe the works of Indians in the field of Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Philosophy and Music.

Indian identity got camouflaged

Europe was still passing through ‘Dark Age’ and ‘Renaissance’ was far off. Even about more than thousand years after Christ, Europeans were ignorant of India and her progress. Their knowledge extended up to the Arab world due to which they attributed the inflow of knowledge only to Arabs.

  • By 976, Hindu numerals started appearing in plagiarized form as ‘Arabic numerals’, even though the Arabs had been referring the same numerals as  “Hind-se”, implying ‘from India ’.
  • It was only in 1202 that Leonardo Pisano introduced Arabic numerals to Europe and the original Hindu numerals Hind-se were adopted as modern International form of numerals under the brand of Arabic numerals.
  • Many of the Arabic manuscripts had been translated to Latin at the monastery of Santa Maria de Ripon in Spain. However the people of Spain had no inkling that the text material was originated from India.
  • In the tenth century, Gerbert of Aurillac (946–1003), became the Pope. He learnt the Indian counting system from the Moors of Spain, and in 990 he taught the Hindu numerals to his students and monks. He trekked to Northern Spain to carry home Latin translations of Arab treatise on Abacus and Astrolabe. He encouraged adoption of those systems especially by merchants. The new numbers revolutionized accounting and made Europeans a successful mercantile community.

Effect of Sanskrit on English

Relative Pronouns – Sanskrit word Pitra had been transformed into Pidar in Arabic and Persian. It travelled further and got converted to Father in English. Similarly Matra underwent changes in the order of Mather and Mother, Bhratra changed to Biradar and then to Brother. Many Sanskrit words as well as their connotations found their way to Europe. It is obvious that there was outflow from Sanskrit but no words found their way to Sanskrit.

Proper Names – The names of towns and places also have been affected.

  • Tashkent is derived from Takshak Khand. India was called Bharat Khand when King Bharata ruled over it.  The area inhabited by Bundela and Ruhela clans came to be known as Bundel Khand and Ruhail Khand
  • Fortified towns used to be named after their owners by adding a suffix Garh, such as Lakshman Garh, Pithora Garh and so on. The suffix Garh could be spelt in English as Gard also; like Lenin-grad and Stalin-Grad.
  • British often spelt Kanpur as Cownpore and Lukhnow as Lucknow. Likewise they mis-spelt Sinhpur as Singapore, Maley as Malaya, Kamboj as Cambodia, and Astralya as Australia. In India and Gandhara (Afghanistan).
  • Towns with watch towers were suffixed with word Names of cities in Europe have similar suffixes like Pitts burg and so on.
  • Hari-kul Ish (Balrama, the elder Brother of Krishna) got converted to Hercules, and Alkhshendra to Alexander.
  • River Ganga is known as Ganges.

That trend is reversed now. Many Indians shorten their names to mingle with Europeans and Americans. Otherwise if one made a list of proper nouns in English, the list will be a repetition or modification after about hundred original names have been noted.

Customs and Traditions – It has been customary for the new brides to kick a pot filled with rice at the main entrance of her husband’s house to denote that their new abode be blessed with plenty of food and comforts. Since Europeans preferred drinks, the young brides there kick a Champaign bottle on the occasion of her first entrance in husband’s house.

The English word husband too is linked to Hindu marriage rites. The word referred to the person whose hand had been tied to the specific female for the purpose of marriage. The ritual is still performed during Hindu marriages when the groom ties a wrist band to the right hand of the bride.

Calendar – The word Calendar is written and pronounced as Kalander in Portuguese. It is derived from Sanskrit word Kal-antra (Time interval). The English months September, October, November, and December also had their roots in Sanskrit such as Sapta-ambar.  Seventh Ambar meaning 7 th mark in Sky, Ashta- ambar – 8th, Nav – ambar – 9 th and Dasha- ambar 10 th mark in the sky.

The word ‘Ambar‘is a synonym for sky in Sanskrit. The yearly sky-route of Earth’s revolution around the Sun was marked by Zodiac signs. When Sun entered new Zodiac, which signaled the beginning of new month in Hindu calendar. Prior to 1752 March used to be the first month of the year in England also. Accordingly September happened to be the seventh month and so on.

Theological Opposition to Knowledge

It was Galileo in the late sixteenth century who for the first time tried to understand what was contained in the Latin translation of the Sindhind (Siddhanta Shiromani) of Brahmagupta. When he propounded the theory of rotation of earth he had to suffer the persecution of the Church, as it did not match the Gospel. Considered by many to be the founder of modern science, Galileo not only built the first telescope but also discovered the laws of bodies in motion.

But instead of rewarding his discoveries, Galileo was put under house arrest in Sienna. Theological rejection of Truth continued in other fields also in contrast to Hinduism.

Europeans took years in understanding science complied by Hindus and presented to them by the Arabs, because of Church’s domination in everyday life.  The decline of Christian faith coupled with rise of knowledge ushered Europe into all round development and they came in a position to dominate world.

Patenting of Knowledge

The sages and intellectuals in India had been in the pursuit of Knowledge and had devoted themselves for self-actualization.  There were no patent laws to protect intellectual property rights as there are today. The Sages never indulged in commercialization of Knowledge.  It is only in the Western world where they are trying to patent Basmati Rice, Neem tree and Yoga to make business out of knowledge. The plagiarism and conversion of Hindu knowledge continues unabated though India is projected as land of savages and primitives.

The positive View

The positive aspect of export of Hindu knowledge was that their compilations were put to use for inventions, otherwise the knowledge in unused state would have been perished. Unless one made use of knowledge, power, and wealth, he is sure to lose the same. Un-used assets always reach usurpers.

Need for Political Patronage

Lack of political patronage has resulted in massive loot and destruction of our intellectual wealth. We have not even estimated and identified the losses. Since our government is “secular” – there is none to stake claim. Unless Indian youths are acquainted with their past heritage and are motivated, these treasures left by our ancestors will fade into history.

There is need for Indian scholars to undertake research to trace out and reclaim our intellectual heritage. Many of our artifacts and ancient manuscripts are still lying un-ciphered in museums of the world. Only patriotic Indian scholars with deep knowledge of Sanskrit can undertake this work with financial backing from government or some patriotic foundations. For this mammoth task we have to pick leads from Sanskrit language.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 57/72 – Sun set in East – Sun rise from West)

Splashes – 55/72 –Indian Illumination in Renaissance

European countries were already in contact with West Asia through Turkey. In the first instance they were influenced by Latin and Greek classics since many of the Greek fugitives intellectuals had taken shelter in Turkey and other nearby countries. That event is referred as the ‘first awakening in Europe’. They translated Arabic and Persian literature to English, which had already been influenced by Ancient Sanskrit texts.

The efforts of Europeans were initially limited to carrying out translations only. Subsequently, the Europeans discovered that most of the Arabic and Persian texts had their source from Sanskrit. It was only thereafter that Europeans turned to the original source in Sanskrit literature. That was the beginning of ‘Renaissance’ in Europe.

Spread of Indian Knowledge

Arithmetic – In 1100 AD, Robert of Chester, an Englishman, visited Spain and translated al-Khwarizmi’s little book into Latin. Thereafter other translations of al-Khwarizmi inspired Latin texts. Book on the ‘new arithmetic’ included description of the decimal system and positional notation system. Initially the Europeans were slow to absorb new type of numbers. Thus most of the work was limited to copying the manuscripts and translating them. They were not able to use decimals until a Dutch mathematician Simon Steven (1548-1620) explained the system in his book La Thiende (The Tenth). After him, Marini and Christopher Claudius used decimals in their works. In 1621, Bache published the Latin version of Arithmetica from Arabic.

Algebra – Al-Mammon had summoned Abu Jafar Mohammed Musa al-Khwarizmi, (780-850) to Baghdad during 820 AD. He led two scientific missions to India to meet Indian scholars and had collected manuscripts. Based on them he wrote ‘Kitab Al-Jabr Wa al-Muqabalah’ meaning calculation by addition and subtraction. Algebra is a short Latinate form of the word. Later its Latin translation became a standard text-book of Mathematics in European universities.

Logarithms and Positional Notation System – In 825, al-Khwarizmi wrote on the concept of logarithm zero and positional notation system again based on texts of Brahmagupta.  The Latin translation of the book was titled ‘algorithmic de numero Indorum’. This book in its Arabic form, reached Spain, that was then under Arab control.

Indian Astronomy – During 850-929 AD Al-Battani had studied Indian astronomy and carried out critical analysis of Hindu Mathematics and Siddhantas, as well as philosophy, religion, Patanjali’s Yogasutra, Bhagavad Gita and Sankhyakarika. He discussed in detail the Hindu cycle of evolution, dissolution, and re-evolution of the Universe. He expounded trigonometric methods and endorsed Indian finding that the distance from the earth to the sun varied during the year. However being afraid of fanatics, he qualified his comments by saying that to be the belief of Hindus. For instance, he wrote that ‘Indians believe that the earth is five billion years old, which is wrong, since Islam said it was created only four thousand and five years ago’. He also described the Hindu concept of Geography and observed that Hindus believed the existence of an island located diametrically opposite to the city of Rome on the globe. Those ideas were later translated into Latin and people like Columbus were inspired to reach India by going westward. The error thus led to the discovery of Americas. Al-Battani is known in Europe as Albategnius.

Astrolabe – Aryabhatta lived during 475 AD – 550 AD and he had already discovered that planets and moon reflected the light of the sun. Rotation of Earth caused day and night. The orbiting of Earth around the Sun caused year. He had also brought out causes of eclipse and that the orbits of planets were elliptical and not circular. His calculation of Earth’s diameter at 8316 miles was very accurate and inspired the astronomers of the West.

Thereafter further progress continued as under: –

  • In 1050 AD astrolabe were introduced into Europe from Asia. The tables were used to measures longitude, latitude, and the time of the day at sea.
  • Abelard of Bath (1075–1160) journeyed by ship along the new eastern trade routes to the crusader held coast of Syria, where he translated Euclid into Latin using Arabic translation of the original.
  • In 1175 Italian Gerard of Cremona translated Ptolemy’s astronomical text ‘The Almagest’ into Latin, disseminating the erroneous information. He was fluent in Greek and Arabic.  He translated into Latin the Arabic texts of Galen, Aristotle, Euclid, al-Khwarizmi and Ptolemy.
  • Inspired by Aristotle, In 1190 Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides wrote his text, ‘The guide for the perplexed.’

Planetary Charts and Astronomical Tables

The oldest astronomical tables based on Indian charts were brought to Baghdad by Kanaka. Those later traveled to the rest of Europe through Spain where a Latin translation was made in 1126. It came to be regarded as one of the most influential works on astronomy in medieval Europe. Due to that:

  • In 1272 Alphonse tables (Planetary charts) were completed in Toledo, Spain. The work tabulated the position and movement of planets.
  • It took another 200 years when the tables were printed in 1483, and the information more widely disseminated. The work was compiled by the finest astronomers gathered by Alfonso X of Castile.

Motion of Earth – Many reconciled to Aryabhatta’s revelations that Earth rotated on its axis and its diameter was 8316 miles. During 1224 AD Abdullah-Ur-Rumi prepared ‘Mujam-ul- Buldan’ a geographical encyclopedia, in Arabic. In 1440 Cusanus theorized that the Earth is in constant motion and the space as infinite. Edwin Hubble reinforced his ideas in the early 1900 when Hubble observed the planets rushing away from Earth, thereby expanding the universe.

Fore-runners of Newton – Movement had already been analyzed in Visheshika Darshan Shstra. During sixth century Prasthapada carried out a review on the basis of planetary movement, polarization and gravitational force, and further added that the speed and elasticity also affected movement from the opposite. That theory was a fore-runner to Newton’s law of Motion.

Medical Science – Since the days of Sushruta and Charka, great advances had been made by India in the field of Medicine and Surgery. As far back as the sixth century BC, Indian physicians had described ligaments, sutures, lymphatic, nerve plexus, fascia, adipose, vascular tissues, mucous, and many more muscles than any cadaver are able to show. They understood remarkably well the process of digestion, different functions of gastric juices, and conversion of food in to blood. The European discoveries were yet to surface. They found their way much later as below:-

  • Medicine – During 1200-1300, Pietro D’ Abano, an Italian physician, wrote ‘Conciliator Differentia rum’, which integrated Greek and Arabic medical thought. He noted brain as the source of nerves, and the heart as the source of blood vessels. He was suspected of being a magician and died under trial by the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Human Anatomy – In 1543 Andreas Visalia published a treatise on Human Anatomy -‘On the Structure of Human Body’. His research was conducted through dissection of human bodies, a practice that was strictly forbidden. The work corrected many prevalent historic misconceptions about the subject in Europe.
  • Circulation of Blood – In 1628, William Harvey described the circulation of blood in the body, paving the way for modern physiology. Before Harvey, the circulatory system was misunderstood. For example, Aristotle believed that blood originated in the liver. Others thought blood moved in spurts. Harvey accurately described the function of the heart. He also theorized that mammals are produced from eggs. It took about 150 years to prove him right.

Performing Arts – Frederick II encouraged translation of Indo-Arabic texts. Frederick was elected the Holy Roman Emperor in 1220. He surrounded himself from philosophers and sages from Baghdad and Syria, dancing-girls from India and Iran.

His pursuits introduced many Indian elements into the classical dance of the West. Opera had already originated in India.

It will be relevant to compare the above fact on a time line in history. When our sages had already risen to the crest of scientific knowledge in the first millennium, it was in 19 th century that Abraham Lincoln (later American President) used an old bear skin to cover himself at night. His relatives were using deer skins as their daily wear. The Europeans were busy in establishing their colonies and exploitation of locals. That was the time when India was under the rule of East India Company as a spent force.

 Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes– 56/72 – Plagiarism of Intellectual Property)

Splashes – 51/72 – Revealing Mohenjo-Daro Excavations

The Indian History Books prescribed during British period start with Mauryan Dynasty as the first historical fact. History prior to that is un-authenticated for want of historical evidence. Unless we were told by Sir John Marshall, even our own McCauley brand Indian intellectuals would not have accepted that Indus Valley Civilization dated to five centuries BC.

According to Western Historians

Writing found at Mohenjo-Daro is still un-deciphered. When archaeologists excavated Mohenjo-Daro during last century, they found skeletons just lying in the streets, some of them were holding hands, as if some great doom had suddenly overtaken them. Those skeletons were among the most radioactive ever found, at par with those found at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is no logical explanation with them for the nitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast.

Originally Mohenjo-Daro is more than 5000 years old. The hamlet lay on two islands in the Indus. Within a radius of 1.5 km three different degrees of devastation had been noticed, which appeared to have spread from the center outwards. Thousands of lumps, called ‘black stones’ by archaeologists, turned out to be fragments of clay vessels which had melted into each other in the extreme heat.

The possibility of a volcanic eruption is excluded, because there is no hardened lava or volcanic ash in or near Mohenjo-Daro. It is assumed that the brief intensive heat reached 2000 degree C and made the ceramic vessels melt.

References in Epic Histories

Ancient names of the present continents have been described in Hindu texts as Atal, Vitul, Talatala, Rsatal, Sutal, Mahatal, and Pataal. Since Atal continent had submerged into sea, the water body came to be known as Atal – Antak (destroyer of Atal continent). This legend corroborates the incident of Noah’s Arc and first two Avtars of Indian mythology also. References like this one are not isolated. Battles, using a fantastic array of weapons and aerial vehicles were common in the entire epic in India:-

  • An interesting example of a vimana is the flying machine which King Salva, had acquired from Maya Danav, an inhabitant of Talatala.
  • There is another description of an atomic like war in Mahabharata. One even described a Vimana-Vailix battle on the surface of Moon. The above section very accurately described what an atomic explosion could look like and the effects of the radioactivity on the population. Jumping into water was the only respite.
  • Also through Mahabharata, we learn that an individual named Asura Maya had a Viman measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels. The poem is a veritable gold mine of information relating to conflicts between gods who settled their differences apparently using weapons as lethal as the ones we are capable of deploying today.
  • Apart from blazing missiles, the poem records the use of other deadly weapons, such as Indra’s Dart – Vajra – operated via a circular reflector. When switched on, it produced a ‘shaft of light’ which, when focused on any target, immediately ‘consumed it with its power’.
  • In one particular exchange, the hero, Krishna, is pursuing his enemy, Salva, in the sky, when Salva’s Viman, the Saubha is made invisible in some way. Undeterred, Krishna immediately fired a special weapon: ‘quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound’.

UFO Enigma

Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact. It is assumed that most flying saucers are either alien, or part of some clandestine Military operation. Another possible origin of UFOs could be ancient India and Atlantis. What we know about ancient Indian flying vehicles comes from ancient Indian sources; written texts that have come down to us through the centuries.

Facts wrapped in Fiction

Certainly the epic writers of Ramayana and Mahabharata were two different persons and were not professional soldiers of modern armies. The similarity of their description is a pointer to differentiate fact from fiction. There is no doubt that most of these texts are authentic; many are the well-known ancient Indian epics themselves.

The ancient Indians themselves wrote entire flight manuals on the care and control of various types of vimans. Would these texts exist (and they do) without there be something to actually write about? Surely this kind of literature is not out of the imagination of one ancient fiction writer.

Indian meteorological concepts date back to the age of the Rig Veda. A discussion regarding the existence of and the use of flying vehicles in ancient India naturally waits for an advanced state of knowledge in cosmogony. A close and careful study of the Vedic literature shows that it was not just a collection of primeval poetry but a varied literature of a powerful and dynamic society where the people had the knowledge of cloud and vapor, of the season and of the monsoon, of the different types of wind, of the expanse of the sky, of the strength of the wind blowing at high-speed and so on.

Conceptual Contribution of Rishies

Concept always precedes inventions. Concept is transformed into reality through technology. However technologies get outdated faster than concepts. At least we can conclusively say that ancient Hindu Rishies had conceptualized long ago that has been realized by the Western scientists in twentieth century. The ancient Indians, who manufactured these ships themselves, wrote entire flight manuals on the control of the various types of Vimans, many of which are still in existence, and some have even been translated in to English. If there were no airplanes why would they write such comprehensive manuals?

The manuscripts mention a planned trip to the Moon also. The Ramayana has a detailed account of a trip to the moon in a Viman. There is also an account of a battle on the moon with and Ashvin’ airship to suggest evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology thought of by Indians, when elsewhere the awakening was yet to dawn.

Till a year ago science made us believe that there was no water on Moon till India’s Chandrayaan belied that myth. There are more than billion galaxies discovered by NASA scientists. If ancient Indian sages had said through their scriptures that there were Koti Koti Brhamandas; then what is the difference between scriptures and modern Science? Truth is like Horizon, the closer we reach the farther it recedes. Today’s known truths could be replaced by new truths. This fundamental reality of Science was propounded long ago through Indian thought that except the Creator nothing is true in this universe. This is the strength of Hinduism.

With the passage of time the machines went out of use so that the secrets of its make-up and flying were equally lost. Methods for the large-scale production of metals like gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead and mercury and of alloys like brass, bronze, and those of gold and silver with baser materials were known to ancient Indians. Kautilya has described in detail the properties of mineral ores, gems, and precious stones.

With a highly developed state of civilization flourishing in art, culture, literature, history, medicine, alchemy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology, geology, trade, commerce, shipbuilding, and agriculture it is natural to think that some sort of flying vehicles as attested by literary references were in all probability known.

Destruction of Unguarded Treasures

From the time of Panini up to the time of King Bhoja we come across references to the great universities of Takshshila, Valabhi, Dhar, Ujjain and Vishala. The annals of history inform us that the depredations of the foreign tribes began as early as the 2nd century AD. From two centuries later came succeeding waves of attacks of other foreign hordes like the Arabs, Turks and Afghans. All the well-known universities and other centers of learning like the temples, the Viharas and the libraries containing books and other priceless treasures of the Indian heritage had to stand the fire and fury of the marauders.

It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse jet engines for their V-8 rocket buzz bombs. Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30’s, in order to gather esoteric evidence that they did so, and perhaps it was from those people who the Nazis gained some of their scientific information.

Wright brothers had jumped atop a building with the help of artificial wings attached to their body to experiment flying and were hurt badly in the process. No such experiment took place in India. In contrast to those crude attempts, our scriptures have described infrastructures relevant to scientific knowledge.

Not Mere fantasies

Unlike Arabian Nights and Fairy Tales, these accounts are by no way fantasies narrating someone crossing the ocean while sitting on Alladin’s magic carpet or Sindbad being carried across the mountains by an eagle. But all accounts in ancient Indian literature are backed by scientific possibilities that exist today. Many casual foreign tourists, who are accustomed to click their cameras on half-naked vagabonds displaying physical pranks at tourist sites to project India as a land of snake charmers, may not reconcile to the enigmatic military science possessed by Ancient Indians; but it cannot be denied that there has been continuous trivialization of Indian concepts and practices for centuries.

Recently newspapers carried the headline ‘Obama flies to India’, but after thousand years if that headline is interpreted that Obama flew to India like a bird, the technology cannot be doubted. Thus Indian intellectuals need to muster courage to assert themselves through investigative trials. It is now for the Hindus to take stock of their neglected treasures and retrieve whatever can be. If they also reject their treasures without glancing at them, they are similar to those half-naked being photographed by the tourists to degrade India.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 52/72 – Indian Achievements Under-rated)

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