The Sciences

Most of the information on the different sciences in ancient India comes from the Vedas, the ancient Hindu books, and also books on specific sciences written during the pre-Vedic and the post-Vedic periods. In the Vedas there are exhaustive references to these sciences and thus we can date them to that period or even earlier.

It is difficult to assign any age to the antiquity of the Vedas. Prof. S Jacobi has found in one of the Rig-Vedic hymns (X. 85. 13) a clear reference to the position of the soistitial colure in ‘Uttara Phalguni’ (b. Leonis) and Uttara Bhadraad (a. Andromedae), the year beginning with the summer solstice in the rainy season (Rig-Veda, VII. 103. 9) and thereby determined the age of the Rig-Veda somewhere between 4500 and 2500 B. C.

In this section only some of the sciences are covered and that too very briefly as the aim is to give a very brief idea of the ancient Hindu sciences and the scientists. To do any justice to the work of the ancient scientists would require voluminous tomes.

Apart from the sciences described here, considerable advances were also made in veterinary science which was known as ‘shalihotra’. Many monographs were written on the diseases of horses, elephants and some other animals of common usage at that time. The ancient sastras (books) also contained a detailed sanitary code.

No comments: