In Regards to ‘Modern Science and the Vedas’ (10/21/09)
“Were ancient seers the original theoretical physicists?”
I read the comments thus far with interest and my overall impression is that the commentators here have missed the main point of my article (‘Modern Science and the Vedas’). My point was quite simple — that thinkers in the ancient world were highly advanced and thought about things within material nature that did not become prominent in western minds until thousands of years later — indeed, India is the originator of scientific thought.
I think also that the comments so far are a bit stuck on the relative appearance of śāstra in the illusory time/space reality rather than being focused on the eternal nature/existence of śāstra wherein we find many more contributions to science than where mentioned in my short essay.
From reading the various comments here it appears that some commentators have read some of the vast Vedic knowledge, but that none are very deeply read or qualified in science or its history. If so I would have assumed that you would be aware of such statements made by scientists and intellectual men such as Einstein, Oppenheimer, Schopenhauer and others of their status confirming the greatness of Vedic thought and scientific knowledge in ancient times. Their appreciation for the Indian thinker in antiquity even seems more earnest and to the point than that of some contemporary Vaiṣṇavas on this forum. Simply put, some great western thinkers – who as it happened had no direct connection to Kṛṣṇa – seem to be bolder in
their statements to declare the greatness of India’s thinkers in antiquity than some parampara advocates in our present day are prepared to do.
You may be in the 10% or the 90% but the fact remains the same — modern science to date has missed the most fundamental aspect of knowledge, namely the ability to distinguish between matter and
consciousness. Unfortunately, even the greatest western thinkers to date have died in ignorance and most have probably been degraded to some lower life form in their next birth due to their lack of fundamental morality and even humanism [despite their so-called deep analysis of matter]. I say this assuming that you do “believe” in reincarnation.
Here are some quotes by the great minds of western civilisation that support my view — that the basis of modern scientific thought actually originated in India in horary antiquity:
Albert Einstein: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.“
“When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.”
Julius Robert Oppenheimer [the principle developer of the atomic bomb]: “The Vedas are the greatest privilege of this century.”
Arthur Schopenhauer: “I… encounter [in the Vedas] deep, original, lofty thoughts… suffused with a high and holy seriousness.”
Carl Sagan: “Vedic Cosmology is the only one in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.”
Alfred North Whitehead (British mathematician, logician and philosopher): “Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived.”
Count Maurice Maeterlinck [Nobel laureate]: “[in the Vedas]… A Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed.”
Jean-Claude Bailly [French astronomer who corroborated the antiquity and accuracy of the Vedic astronomical measurements as]: “More ancient than those of the Greeks or Egyptians.” And that, “The movements of the stars calculated 4,500 years ago, does not differ by a minute from the tables of today.”
Francois Voltaire: “Pythagoras went to the Ganges to learn geometry. Everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”
Henry David Thoreau: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita… in comparison with which… our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”
Lin Yutang [Chinese scholar and author]: “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics… ”
A.L. Basham [Indologist]: “The debt of the Western world to India in this respect [the field of mathematics] cannot be overestimated.”