Speed of light in Rigveda

“Nimisharda” is a phrase used in Indian languages of Sanskrit origin while referring to something that happens/moves instantly, similar to the ‘blink of an eye’. Nimisharda means half of a nimesa. (Ardha is half)

In Sanskrit ‘Nimisha’ means ‘blink of an eye’ and Nimisharda implies within the blink of an eye. This phrase is commonly used to refer to instantaneous events.

Below is the mathematical calculations of a research done by S S De and P V Vartak on the speed of light calculated using the Rigvedic hymns and commentaries on them.

The fourth verse of the Rigvedic hymn 1:50 (50th hymn in book 1 of rigveda) is as follows:

तरणिर्विश्वदर्शतो जयोतिष्क्र्दसि सूर्य |
विश्वमा भासिरोचनम |

taraNir vishvadarshato jyotishkrdasi surya |
vishvamaa bhaasirochanam ||

which means

“Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Surya=Sun), maker of the light,
Illuming all the radiant realm.”

Commenting on this verse in his Rigvedic commentary, Sayana who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) says:

tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane
ekena nimishardhena kramaman.

which means “It is remembered here that Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha”

NOTE: Nimisharda= half of a nimisha

In the vedas Yojana is a unit of distance and Nimisha is a unit of time.

Unit of Time: Nimesa

The Moksha dharma parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows:

15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha
30 Kashta = 1 Kala
30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta
30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night)

We know Day-Night is 24 hours

So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha
in other words 409050 nimisha

We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds
So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409050 nimisha

409050 nimesa = 86,400 seconds

1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)

1/2 nimesa = 0.1056 seconds

Unit of Distance: Yojana

Yojana is defined in Chapter 6 of Book 1 of the ancient vedic text “Vishnu Purana” as follows

10 ParamAnus = 1 Parasúkshma
10 Parasúkshmas = 1 Trasarenu
10 Trasarenus = 1 Mahírajas (particle of dust)
10 Mahírajas= 1 Bálágra (hair’s point)
10 Bálágra = 1 Likhsha
10 Likhsha= 1 Yuka
1o Yukas = 1 Yavodara (heart of barley)
10 Yavodaras = 1 Yava (barley grain of middle size)
10 Yava = 1 Angula (1.89 cm or approx 3/4 inch)
6 fingers = 1 Pada (the breadth of it)
2 Padas = 1 Vitasti (span)
2 Vitasti = 1 Hasta (cubit)
4 Hastas = a Dhanu, a Danda, or pauruSa (a man’s height), or 2 Nárikás = 6 feet
2000 Dhanus = 1 Gavyuti (distance to which a cow’s call or lowing can be heard) = 12000 feet
4 Gavyutis = 1 Yojana = 9.09 miles

Calculation:

So now we can calculate what is the value of the speed of light in modern units based on the value given as 2202 yojanas in 1/2 nimesa

= 2202 x 9.09 miles per 0.1056 seconds

= 20016.18 miles per 0.1056 seconds

= 189547 miles per second !!

As per the modern science speed of light is 186000 miles per second !

And so I without the slightest doubt attribute the slight difference between the two values to our error in accurately translating from vedic units to SI/CGS units. Note that we have approximated 1 angula as exactly 3/4 inch. While the approximation is true, the angula is not exactly 3/4 inch.

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  • Sandy

    Excellent article, explains the calculations really well. Just one thing, the title says: “Speed of Light in Rigveda” – however, the text referred to is from 14th century commentary – which I believe cannot be Rigveda as it was written down somewhere between 1000 BC – 1000 AD.
    I do believe, assume and hope that the units explained were taken from Rigveda and not a commentary(a scientific publication) written 2000 years later by prominent scientists from 15th century and later.
    Since the title is a bit misleading, unless you have a reference to lines referring to speed of light in Rigveda, I suggest you to please change this to “14th century derviation of Speed of light based on units from Rigveda”

    • itzguru

      The commentary bases its facts on RIgveda, hence the title. Rigvedic sanskrit lines are very cryptic and hence was the need for those commentaries by various experts.

      The units are standard ancient Indian units mentioned across Puranas and other texts.

  • Chenna

    you have just shown whats there in vedas. We should appreciate the knowledge vedas contain and at the same we should take them as source of knowledge, books written based on knowledge available during those times. Saying the speed of light is this much is not sufficient, you should also explain what made you arrive at that number. I am not discrediting the numbers in vedas, but science does not accept anything without explanation and reasoning. So the most important thing missing is HOW they could calculate it?

    Many people in India assume so blindly that everything is there in vedas. How stupid they would be. Vedas have good knowledge but not everything is there. If everything is there why people are learning western science? Why not explore vedas and make it easy for researchers worldwide and make India the center for modern science? Why is not it happening that way? How many know whats there in vedas? A knowledge which is not available to public is equal to NO knowledge.

    If you believe that everything is there in vedas, can you explain the E=mc^2. Can you explain general relativity, quantum mechanics, nano technology, computers, working models aeroplanes, but not some dummy drawings? Is there any record of virus and bacteria in vedas?

    Science needs reasoning and evidence but not blind following. I dont say vedas are false. I agree that they have great knowledge, but that knowledge has lot of flaws, the main being that they do not talk source of their computations, which is very essential for science, whether ancient or modern. Spread the truth but not lies. Teach vedas, but also teach that they have inherent flaws and limitations.

    The most important thing is ‘EVERYTHING IS NOT THERE IN VEDAS’.

    • Divya Modi

      Dear chenna
      Just because i can see an burning urge in you not to beleive that vedas dont have proofs, let me make an effort to wipe away these misconceptions entertained by you.

      “A knowledge which is not available to public is equal to NO knowledge”
      But who said that this knowledge was not available to public, further famialarising you with our former education system of Gurukul, I dont think you’ll not be able to realise that your problem has started after colonisation, when foriegners imposed western science on us.

      West may know E= Mc^2 , that’s their approach towards energy, but what we knew was how to control that E, how to move at that speed denoted by C.

      As far as your incomplete knowledge about other disciplines of Ancient aeronautics, relativity, nano technology, is concerned I would request you to visit this page
      http://www.facebook.com/A.Science.Called.Hinduism
      and go through all the posts concerning these disciplines and if you feel satisfied do like and share our efforts along with washing yourself away from your misconceptions.

      • Devendra Kumar

        hats off to Ms. Divya Modi and Mr./Ms itz guru

    • itzguru

      What you need to understand is how knowledge is transferred over thousands of years.

      Assume there is a world war 50 years from now, most of humanity destroys itself using nukes, and the rest of the humanity starts from scratch to build the science and technology. 5000 years later, if you happen to discover a book which explains “general theory of relativity” discovered by Einstein in simple English – and assuming humans then will be using some other language – how wise it would be to question that “even though the book contains details about the general theory of relativity, and claims Einstein discovered it, we cannot really say he did it 5000 years back, because the question remains how did he arrive at it, what were the methods, the formulation, etc?”
      Well, then did Einstein one night simply dream about general relativity and formulate it?

      The problem with most “scientific minded people” who refuse ancient technological advancements today is that they assume that growth of knowledge and technology is linear. While the fact is that, both knowledge and technology are tied to civilizations, they rise and fall with their civilizations, else we would not have had to do “research” today to find out how the Egyptians built the Pyramids, about the lost knowledge in the books that were burnt in Nalanda University, about the advanced Atlantis, about Mayan knowledge, about the age of Sphinx etc.

  • Yankees Ph

    Gurudev,
    As a teenager learning the scientific application of everything in highschool, it is more satisfying for me to see it in our vedic texts. Do you think you could send me something where I can learn the vedas in english. Thanks so much, you have no idea on the influence your site has placed on me.
    Phani Paladugu

    • Anonymous

      Good to hear about the positive influence the articles have had on you Yankees. Vedas are very vast and include wide range of subjects discussed from spirituality to sciences to social ilfe etc. Please let me know your topics of interest and I will try to suggest some books/links accordingly.

      • Yankees Ph

        I wish to have the transliteration of the yajur veda in english, because I want to learn the vedas, but I can’t read sanskrit. I want to have a book with transliteration and translation. If I could get that for the Yajur Veda, that would be very helpful. Thank you very much.

        • Anonymous

          Working on a project on something similar. Will publish it soon here.

      • LakshmiPathy

        Gurudev, I am interested in the spirituality part of the vedas, can you please suggest some books/links accordingly?

  • Kiran_thogaru

    Great article sir. Thanks

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      You are welcome Kiran.

  • anand

    namaste
    this is thoroughly a good work and has provided a deep insight in the ancient scriptures, u posses immense knowledge of vedas it surely shows your hardwork towards it. i personally feel that we need to educate common people about the vedas and the vedic knowledge instead of the crap of the westerners, which we have to study at our educational institutes. Not just the blogs but we need to reach common people directly for which we need to come up with some effective plan or method to reach the masses and educate them about our ancient vedic system and impart the vedic knowledge, and it should be before europeans or americans would come to us to present us our own vedas in some new packet and our people will be praising their knowledge of our ancient science. better late than never we cannot expect everyone to be net savvy to come up to this blog we need to take it to every house. My humble request u to please devise some way apart from this blog to reach and revolutionise general public. Thanx.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      What you said is very true Anand, but as of now this blog is the only way where I can put up my thoughts or whatever information I have :)
      Will definitely try in the future to find out more ways to reach out to more people.

  • S M Manoj Kumar

    Good work… The values that posted may not be near because of few approximations. But as per paper produced in Indian Journal of history of science, 1998 has very near value. From the paper “According to Sir Monier Williams gives one yojana equal to 4 kotsa= 9 miles” So the result of velocity of light is 186413.22 which very near to the scientific value 186300. Also if you take 1 yojana as 9.0625 then the velocity of light is 187084.1miles/sec.

    Note: Modern science always gets changed as the technology develops. For example Vedic mathematics can provide 28 and 48 decimal places accuracy for 1/29 and 1/49. But the accurate values of 28 decimal places can be given only by modern computers.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Thanks for that information Manoj. Yes, we need to remember that modern science is NOT a COMPLETE science, and is still evolving. So it is definitely possible that what modern science says today to be UNSCIENTIFIC becomes SCIENTIFIC tomorrow and even vice versa :)

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  • Dr Shailesh G

    The land of India originally belonged to that part on earth where from the first Human arose. Incidentally India has been (seat of)one of world’s earliest civilisations. We have material proof of only a few.
    Different civilisations rise and die in due times, thats one archeological fact.
    India has been fortunately seat of world’s till known the most advanced societies inhabited by some of out of the world geniuses!
    But unfortunately today we store some of most backward, imbecile, ignorant and ungrateful offsprings who don’t want to wake up.
    Although all knowledge starts with ignorance, skepticism, querries and discussion but not a hostility that w see today agonisingly towards our own legacy from our own people.
    How we know about our grandfather? if our father told us. If there’s an intermediary breach of familial legacies and information we’d never know about our own grandparents or even our own parents.
    This country has suffered a big blow in the form of invasions on a helpless although advanced society and today we face second insults by our own children desecrating this treasure over a borrowed knowledge!
    But today we have learned awakening to this vast treaure.
    yesterday we only use to worship the books, instead of furthering the knowledge in “Ved” and in the same line of crass, gross ignorance we tortured our own brethren!!!
    Do we understand it now?
    The today’s race is the ‘shudra’ in original sense. And none is brahman.
    But kudos to gurudev for starting such an interesting blog. I’d like to hear more, learn more and work more.
    today we need to learn the wisdom but before that safeguard our precious knowldge by not selling it, and then reserch as well as enrich this already vast treasure.
    Knowledge only is enriched by discussion, but only amongst the wise OR  those who have atleast a minuscule inquisition and RESPECT!
    let’s procure intellectual platforms to discuss but first know about yourself!!
     
    Dr Shailesh G.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Very well said Dr Shailesh. Today our generation seems more inclined to believe blindly that anything west is best and anything local is unscientific, and yet at the same time not even follow best in the west, but only pick up the drawbacks of the west. At the same time we see a lot of people in west turning towards this ancient knowledge of our civilization like Yoga, Ayurveda etc. The ignorance of our generation is mainly due to the Mckaulay system of education which needs to be replaced with the text books containing Indian history, heritage, science and culture and making the children understand in their primary schools about the greatness and richness of our ancient civilization and our cultural scientific inheritance and its importance in modern day lives.

      • Avinash

        Gurudev,
        See what bharat swabhiman Sachiv say about Macaulay Education system on their audio section of http://www.rajivdixit.com

        • sainath

          Thanks a lot Avinash for the Rajiv Dixitji links.
          Lectures from him are simply mind blowing / boggling…
          God knows how he has managed to get all this IMP information… and how our country will survive this in coming….

  • http://thenaughtyguy.blogspot.com Sriram Srinivasan

    i would say great work done!

    on the contrary i am putting myself on the place of a practical man and i have a lot of questions… i guess this is the right place to be asked.

    1.how can i believe that what you say is correct / true?
    if “”the vedas were not documented those days”" is the root answer for this question then there is another qn for everybody..

    1.1 what the hell are we doing instead of documenting the great source of knowledge?
    and why the hell is it still being transmitted verbally?

    2.why does no one(as far as i know) know/still does not know about the truth-that vedas are source of enormous knowledge?

    3.what steps are taken to document? if not what steps are to be taken?

    4.if vedas were the origin of the current science, then we must integrate the latest discoveries/inventions laws/postulates etc and all those stuff into the vedas.if that is not possible then the vedas must be wholly re-written so the common ppl can understand now or in the future.
    is there anything going on like this around? if not why?

    5. to the author: why have you posted your discovery in this blog? why not in newspapers/ magazines? so that a lot of ppl can be enlightened and can also speed up the process.
    if so what are the media that carry material like these?

    6.why is there no truth about the vedas in what children/ppl learn these days?

    7.if the vedas still have some trcace on this holy land then why ppl are trying to destroy it instead?

    these are just a few questions that ran into my mind… common ppl like me are expecting precise answers..most preferably the truth which will always last for ever!

    • srinivas rao

      namaste
      in telugu the above said work is going by shri maha mhopadyaya dr. dasaradhi rangacharyulu. he translated the 4 vedas in telugu and they are very easly understanble and books were published by arsha bharati publishers.
      dhanyavad

      • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

        Thank you very much for that information Srinivas. That was really useful.

    • itzguru

      There are tonnes of books published regarding the translation of vedic knowledge in modern language and in modern terms, there are numerous institutions working on this, but the issue is they do not get any attention in the mainstream media. There are numerous foreigners like David Frawley, Stephen Knapp who have dedicated their lives to spread the ancient knowledge in the modern world. Institutions like Bhandarkar Oriental Institute have dedicated research wings which are working on collaborating, understanding and rewriting this knowledge. And this is just the tip of the iceberg which I mentioned. Read about the huge source of ancient Knowledge which was destroyed in the library of the Nalanda University of India when the muslim invaders burnt the thousands of manuscripts there where the fire was said to be blazing for nearly three months. So its not all that straightforward, there is direct knowledge, lost knowledge, interpretations of the texts, missing connections, understanding required of the contexts and terms between ancient and modern languages, etc so its a quite long ongoing process. Things will come into light as and when they are found and established.

    • itzguru

      By the way this is not my original research, I took the original research by the ones like S S De, Vartak, Subhash Kak etc and tried crunching in the numbers again.

  • what?

    Is there any prediction that people reading and understanding veda had already announced before it was discovered using modern science??

    • I=Indian

      Vedas have always said that the entire universe is filled with vibrations and called these vibrations OM

      Modern physics till yesterday believed that universe is made up of quantum particles and very recently string theory was discovered which now says that the entire universe is filled with vibrations and NOT quantum particles at the minute level. Infact what we see as world in the form of quantum particles are the various manifestations of these vibrations.

      You want a better proof than this?

  • what?

    Why do people try to calculate or interpret things using veda only after they have been discovered?
    Why could not people have announced speed of light(using the shloka) before it was actually measured using series of modern experiments?

    Same for other things. Only after a thing is known using modern physics or mathematics then come the people and say that these were already given in veda or ancient texts. This is really silly !!

    • Toxicboxic

      Do u think or are you sure this for the first time that Speed of Light has been derieved out of Vedas ??
       

    • itzguru

      Vedas always said that the universe is ultimately filled only with vibrations, and called them Om. Vedas have always said that everything is a manifestation of Om which is the root of all existence in this universe. Read about the modern string theory which was recently discovered and what it says.

  • http://quotesland.googlepages.com Chandrasekar

    great work gurudev!.. we indians shud cherish the knowledge in the vedas, not criticize blindly. its pathetic that we question all this so much, but accept blindly the “”scientific”" results given by a small group of scientists somewhere else in the world.. the vedas are perfect knowledge.. its upto us to understand them..

  • Sulakshana

    Hi,
    I am a commer graduate, but some how I ahve interest in the quantum physics and had been reading whatever I got to read about it. Mind, I had maths phobia, but the time, speed of light, the matter & energy & it’s relation to the “”Human living”" has been always mistic. I read alot about astronomy & cosmology. I had been trying to relate all our vedic verses ‘little that I know’ to the real scientic definations. It great to find this site. I hope you people tolarate non sceintific people like me.

  • Padmanabha Rao

    Hi,

    The veda is veda. It provides knowledge to those who seek knowledge. The operative word being seek.

    Each seeks, all the time. Endowed with a capacity to slice time, we might tend to seek across slices of time. But as we know (do we? how?), slicing time gets me nowhere…I am neither here nor there.

    The veda carries a time. To have veda is to be in that time.

    Modern science carries a time. To have science is to be in that time.

    The attraction of veda today seems driven by ennui. Should that be “”to veda”" or “”for veda”", instead? :-) But otherwise, it should amaze even the most lethargic mind to see the Voyager crafts journeying far out or the nuclear technology.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Thanks Vijay for your kind words about the blog!
    Dont worry, none of us came with all knowledge prefed, we learn things slowly over a period of time, so as long as we have that quest to learn, its OK :)
    Yes the entire humanity should be proud of its vedic knowledge and its vedic past

  • Vijay

    Gurudev,
    This is an excellent forum. I am really ashamed of my knowledge on Vedas. I appreciate yor deeper analysis of our vedas and obviously we should be proud of it.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Yes Srirama/Laxmikanth, you are right, it is unfortunate that most of the so called educated masses in this country are only literate, not educated, kind of brainwashed in the name of science :)

    They are not even aware about the kind of toxins they are consuming everyday in the name of food, and still talk about being scientific! What a shame.

  • laxmikanth

    if we still continue to neglect our sacred texts then there will be no evidence left about these valuable information for the future genrations.

  • Srirama

    GREAT EXPLANATION. WE INDIANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE TRUE VALUE OF OUR OWN RESOURCES. WE PRAISE IT ONLY AFTER THE WESTERNERS AUTHORIZE IT. LET US OPEN OUR EYES AND PRAISE THE MIGHTY KNOWLEDGE IN VED

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Haha
    Silly? In that case all great physicists like Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Einstein are silly is it? Because all these great modern scientists have been referring to the presence of modern scientific knowledge in the ancient vedic texts.

    “”The juxtaposition of Western civilizations most terrifying scientific achievement with the most dazzling description of the mystical experience is given to us by the Bhagavad Gita, Indias greatest literary monument”" – Robert Oppenheimer, referring to the description of atomic bomb in Bhagavadgita

    You yourself said that sanskrit is a DIFFICULT language, which obviously means you havent read the vedas in its original context. How on earth can you talk about things which you dont even know about?

    Sanskrit is NOT a difficult language if you have the basic scientific instinct to learn things. Its a purely scientific language with such great accuracy in terms of its sentence formations that it has been recognized as the ONLY human spoken language eligible to be a computer programming language. By the way being DIFFICULT doesnt mean WRONG either. It only means we are NOT ABLE to understand it. And scientific approach says, try to understand it, instead of writing it off.

    Do you mean the accuracy of the things like speed of light mentioned is a fluke? Let me reiterate again, the value for the speed of light has been given and the units have been specified, and the calculation has been done using the same units mentioned, by referring to their definition in earlier works. Now can you prove that sayana was NOT refering to the Yojana as defined in Vishnu Purana and other texts?? If not what did he mean when he said 2202 Yojanas in 1/2 nimesha?? Which definition of Yojana and Nimesha was he referring to?

    Now you please dont be silly by saying “”current civilization is very advanced”"

    Living on fossils of dead animals and plants to fuel the automobiles. Is this very advanced? Emitting green house gases left and right, global warming, pesticides/fertilizers removing soil fertility, are these great features of an advanced civilization? We are a Type 0 civilization, which means on galactic scales we are still like nomadic cave dwellers. Let us not fool ourselves by calling us advanced. Digging up earth everywhere to loot its natural resources, polluting air water and soil, making thousands of species go extinct everyday, is NOT advanced. Its primitive in galactic standards.

    You said “”Both of us are using modern tools”",
    Yes, so what? Ignore ancient’s contributions?
    If not for the ancient Indians introducing the place value based mathematical system, forget the computers, not even the basic science would have been there.
    To quote Einstein ‘We should be grateful to Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery would have been possible’

    And where did this teachings about counting come from? From the vedic mathematics.
    And what is it part of? Atharva veda. If vedas do not talk science, then what the hell is vedic mathematics doing there?

    “”language, symbolism and data collection instruments”", all are present in the ancient texts. You just have to open your eyes to see it. Obviously the methodology used by the ancients IS NOT THE SAME as the modern scientists. If the Indians use one method, and the Americans another method to build super computers, does that mean one of the methods is NOT scientific?

    As I said earlier, did anybody ask about the methodology used by Pythagoras to derive the statement of his theorem? Such hypocrisy is all prevalent in this country.

    What do you mean by “”lack of original manuscripts (all knowledge was transmistted verbally)”"?? So what if it is verbal? Isnt it knowledge? If modern way of documenting things is in writing, ancient people were like walking libraries, which in itself proves their greatness.

    Will just give you a simple example of the difference between the so called modern advanced civilization and the ancient vedic civilization
    Today we document history in terms of the gregorian calendar. For instance I wrote this comment on January 2008 says modern scientific methodology of recording history.
    Now say after another 2000 years an asteroid strikes earth, and there is massive destruction all over and civilizations have to start from the scratch again. Over a period of time science again picks up, then there will be a new calendar system and so on. Then somebody comes across this blog article stored in some fossil CD. Now how on earth will they know how long back was 2008?? Their calendar system will be something different. The very date 2008 CE is NOT self contained. It needs information about when did 1 CE start.

    On the other hand, look at the intelligence of the ancient vedic civilization. Every date/event is specified there not by using some predefined calendar system like ours, but by using astronomical positions of heavenly bodies at the date/time when the event occurred. Which is why even today we are able to calculate the accurate dates of ancient events using astronomical dating techniques by using the planetary positions mentioned in those ancient texts.

    Now you tell me, which is a more advanced civilization? The modern civilization which cant even protect its historical date information in case of a civilizational collapse, OR the ancient civilization which can and which has?

    • andy

      A fantastic reply to the so-called “pragmatic” guy who asks for proofs.
      Ancient scientific vedic texts needing interpretation is unfortunate at best because we as Indians don’t know OUR OWN language.
      Shame on us to accept the utterly illogical Maculay education system which was only designed for one purpose: to make Indians forget their culture (which was, is and always will be, the most advanced civilization ever)
      Beautiful article Gurudev.. Ati uttam. :)

  • ashish

    Hey

    don’t be silly. either you do not understand basics of research in modern science, or are just fooling yourself by comparing Sayana and Vishnu Purana together.

    modern science does NOT need any interpretation, but uses simple language to state assumptions, and simple mathematical symbols to show EXACT calculations to be carried out with KNOWN data.

    each step above, assumptions, scientific logic, mathematics and data collection are open for enquiry. and, as stated above, none of that requires any ‘interpretation’.

    unfortunately, none of the ancient ‘shastra’ fits the bill as above. language, symbolism and data collection instruments are unknown. old Sanskrit is an extremely difficult language, coupled with the lack of original manuscripts (all knowledge was transmistted verbally), it is very difficult to compare two works together.

    hence, comparing two works together (like Sayana and Vishnu Purana) is NOT like comparing Maxwell and Feynman. Works by Feynman and Maxwell (for example only) are in language in recent times, and follow the same scientific method (Descartian) to reach their conclusions.

    even though i am proud of my roots, i can not blindly state that everything about the universe was known previously. there were many excellent things known, such as Shushruta or Yoga, of course. Yet, there were mystical elements to many rituals and works. The current civilization is very advanced, and we have to follow our own ways of scientific enquiry using modern ways.

    finally, both of us are using modern tools (comp, internet) to communicate, right? let’s not get carried away by old times, and false pride about our ancestors. if you want to work on ancient science, let that be more thorough scientific enquiry.

    • andy

      Most Indians never question Western science or mathematics. They readily accept everything thrown at them coming from West as all of us are made to think West is best and East is waste.. But if something advanced, something good comes from our own land, they demand proof. How unfortunate.
      The basis of so-called modern String theory has been defined centuries ago in our ancient Indian scriptures that the whole universe is composed of vibrations. That’s why shlokas are said to have tremendous power if recited in the correct way, with the correct humming vibrations.
      Indians always believed prevention is better than cure, and hence the daily routine (pranayam, yog etc.) was designed in such a way that we remained healthy. But when Westerners converted YOG to YOGA, it started finding takers in our country. Pathetic on our part.
      Susrut samhita lays the basic principles of plastic surgery. It mentions various methods including free graft of skin and possibly pedicled graft. Reconstruction of a nose (rhinoplasty) which has been cut-off, using a flap of skin from the cheek has been described. Labioplasty too has received attention in the samahita.
      If you talk about lovemaking, the Kama-sutra is being read, researched in Western countries now, which was WRITTEN by the Indians long ago.
      Talk about management, the Bhagwat Gita and Chanakya Neeti are the subject of research in prestigious Western universities.
      Talk about ANY SUBJECT (not just science or astronomy), and Indians have gone to the lengths, breadths & depths. Everything is already there.. :)
      We were way advanced, centuries ago when Western civilizations were nomadic and cannibals even.
      But the fault lies within our education system and not with such ignorant people. Our illogical and utterly useless Macaulay education system (which was designed to break our cultural backbone so that the British could rule over us) has made a majority of Indian people like that.

  • Manav

    I have seen some stupid people arguing on the internet that Vedas contain no science in them.
    I have only one basic question to ask them.
    Then what the hell is vedic mathematics all about? Do these people think that maths as advanced as vedic maths is NOT science?
    If vedas contain no science then why do so many quantum physicists flock around vedic texts?

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Ashish

    Lets extrapolate the same argument to modern science
    The formula is given by Maxwell.
    The unit of length is defined by some other standard’s organization.
    The unit of time is based on age old division of time.
    The practical measurement of related constants is done by some other group of scientists.
    and so on… So?? :)

    We dont find the definition of the exact length of 1 meter, or what exactly is the duration of 1 second in Maxwell’s paper when he gives the formula to measure the speed of light!!
    We dont find either from where he got the values for permittivity or permeability of free space! All these values were written by DIFFERENT people.
    And using this Maxwell arrives at the value of 2.99 x 10^8 meters per second!!
    Does that mean his paper should be questioned?
    No. Why? Because we know that there are other books/works which tell us how long is a meter, how lengthy is a second, whats the experimentally measured value of permittivity etc.

    We need to understand and realize the fact that even in ancient works ppl DID NOT state things that were OBVIOUS TO THEM in that context. If today somebody writes a research paper on the half life of some hypothetical radioactive element, saying it emits alpha particles and has a half life of 100 micro seconds, can we expect his work to also contain full biography of alpha particles, and complete description of a micro second? No.
    Similarly when ppl spoke about Yojana in those days, it was as obvious to them as we speaking about kilometers today! As simple as that.

    Greek mathematician Pythagoras DIDNT provide ANY proof for the theorem named after him. Still nobody QUESTIONS his credibility!!!! Nobody asks, from where did he get it?
    But when somebody discovers that Pythagoras had come to India, and that centuries before Pythagoras, Baudhayana in India had stated the same theorem WITH PROOF, the theorem still continues to be called Pythagoras theorem!

    To summarize
    One ancient text tells about the speed of light calculated in terms of an ancient unit of length (called Yojana) and an ancient unit of time (called Nimisha)
    Another ancient text gives us the actual measure of Yojana which can be used to express it in modern unit of length i.e miles.
    A third ancient text gives us the actual measure of Nimisha which can be used to express it in modern unit of time i.e seconds.
    THERE ARE NO OTHER ancient texts which give SOME OTHER contradicting definition or values to these ancient units.
    Given these inputs, if we calculate and find that the value obtained using the ancient units is the same as the value proposed by modern science, how can we call it a fluke?

    As for the source, there is NOT A SINGLE WORK in modern science which has all its values from one single source. Research papers are not encyclopedia of their contents.

    • andy

      A fantastic reply to the so-called “pragmatic” guy who asks for proofs. It is due to ignorant people like these that Vedic texts are not taught in India & the average Indian thinks Sanskrit is a “difficult” language.
      Ancient scientific vedic texts needing interpretation is unfortunate at best because we as Indians don’t know OUR OWN language.
      Shame on us to accept the utterly illogical Maculay education system which was only designed for one purpose: to make Indians forget their culture (which was, is and always will be, the most advanced civilization ever)

  • ashish

    Hi,

    all i can say is, good try. but not satisfactory at all.

    you get the formula from Rg Veda. then use calculations by Sayana. then receive one value from Mahabharata. finally, the last value comes from Vishnu Purana.

    Given that all were written by different people, and their interpretations differed from each other, such a calculation can not be taken too seriously.

    You will have to either obtain all the values from one single source (which explains why the formula is the way it is), or show that all the above sources have interpretations consistent with each other (and explain the formula from one of the sources).

    • andy

      Some people never question Western science or mathematics. They readily accept everything thrown at them coming from West as all of us are made to think West is best and East is waste.. But if something advanced, something good comes from our own land, they demand proof. How unfortunate.
      The basis of so-called modern String theory has been defined centuries ago in our ancient Indian scriptures that the whole universe is composed of vibrations. That’s why shlokas are said to have tremendous power if recited in the correct way, with the correct humming vibrations.
      Susrut samhita lays the basic principles of plastic surgery. It mentions various methods including free graft of skin and possibly pedicled graft. Reconstruction of a nose (rhinoplasty) which has been cut-off, using a flap of skin from the cheek has been described. Labioplasty too has received attention in the samahita.
      If you talk about lovemaking, the Kama-sutra is being read, researched in Western countries now, which was WRITTEN by the Indians long ago.
      Talk about management, the Bhagwat Gita and Chanakya Neeti are the subject of research in prestigious Western universities.
      Talk about ANY SUBJECT (not just science or astronomy), and Indians have gone to the lengths, breadths & depths. Everything is already there.. :)
      We were way advanced, centuries ago when Western civilizations were nomadic and cannibals even.

      But the fault lies within our education system and not with such ignorant people. Our illogical and utterly useless Macaulay education system (which was designed to break our cultural backbone so that the British could rule over us) has made a majority of Indian people like that.

    • Sumit

      Lets extrapolate the same argument to modern science
      The formula is given by Maxwell.
      The unit of length is defined by some other standard’s organization.
      The unit of time is based on age old division of time.
      The practical measurement of related constants is done by some other group of scientists.
      and so on… So?? :)

      from gurudev..

      • Raji

        The difference is, today we have universally approved standard measurements, which is the same in all scientists’ calculation irrespective of from where it is taken….. 5000 years ago people made their own standards locally, which differs slightly from one place to another in 1000s of years. You have to just think the extraordinary intelligence they had…Can anybody now calculate any astronomical distance without any standard measurements, formulas or modern instruments? If any body can do this, think how brilliant he/she should be..!!!!

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Hey VC
    That was really exciting info!!! Thanks for that. This simply again proves that vedic texts have to be taken very very seriously about every single letter they speak about!

  • VC

    “”1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)”" Interestingly, this website confirms that the eyelids blink at a rate of 5 times/ second (0.2 seconds /blink)

    http://www.didyouknow.cd/fastfacts/body.htm

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Just to add on 1 angula is defined as the distance between the joints of two adjacent fingers (finger width) or the length of 34 sesame seeds laid next to each other!

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Yes you are right..

    But the 1 dhanu = 6 feet can also be derived from the approximation of 1 angula (wrongly mentioned in the brackets as 1 inch, actually it is approx 3/4 inch, based on the value mentioned in Kautilya’s Arthashastra definition – a Republication by Penguin).

    Thanks for observing that :)

  • Kartik

    i think you have assumed 1 dhanu = 6 feet and not
    1 angula = 1 inch to arrive at the answer as it would lead to a diif. answer. 1 dhanu=6 feet assumption gives exact ans which you got.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev
  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Gururaj
    It was Sayana’s interpretation of the Vedas. Please note that these were commentaries on vedas. There are a lot of hidden riddles in these texts and over a period of time scholars have been trying to crack them and solve them.
    Please see http://hitxp.wordpress.com/2007/09/19/a-vedic-qmech-riddle/

  • Gururaj

    Hi GD,

    One thing that is not clear where in veda does it say “”Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha?

    What we see is Sayana saying it in 14th century.

    Is there any reference in the vedic text about “”2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha”"?

  • Pankaj Chandorkar

    Can you tell me the value of pi (22/7) using vedic mathematics? I mean does pi has any significance in vedic mathematics?

    • andy

      chaturadhikaM shatamaShTaguNaM dvAShaShTistathA sahasrANAm AyutadvayaviShkambhasyAsanno vr^ttapariNahaH.
      [gaNita pAda, 10] Aryabhatiyam (499 CE)
      “Add 4 to 100, multiply by 8 and add to 62,000. This is approximately the circumference of a circle whose diameter is 20,000.”
      i.e. 62832 / 20000 = 3.1416 (Approx)
      correct to four places.
      Aryabhatta called it an approximate (asanna) value to mean that not only is this an approximation but that the value is incommensurable (or irrational).

      Alternative text:
      gopiibhaagya madhuvraataH shruMgashodadhi saMdhigaH .
      khalajiivitakhaataava galahaalaa rasaMdharaH
      This shloka, a hymn to Lord Krishna or Shiva, gives the value of pi upto 31 decimal places.
      Pi using Katapayadi EncryptionKatapayadi system is used to encode numbers in many shlokas

      ga – 3 pii – 1 bhaa – 4 gya – 1 ma – 5 dhu – 9 ra – 2 ta -6 shru – 5 ga – 3 sho – 5 da – 8 dhi – 9 sa – 7 dha – 9 ga – 3 kha – 2 la – 3 jii – 8 vi – 4 ta – 6 kha – 2 ta – 6 va – 4 ga – 3 la – 3 ra – 2 sa – 7 dha – 9 ra – 2
      pi = 3.1415926535897932384626433832792
      So we needed pi upto 31 decimal places! What is more amazing is that we knew encryption!

      Science and spirituality both were important and both moved together in this great country.

  • Pankaj Chandorkar

    Hats Off!!

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Rohitash
    The speed of light calculated based on the approx vedic metrics is 189547
    The modern approximation assumed in my article is 186000
    The actual value (as you correctly mentioned) is 186282.39

    So the vedic value is more closer to the actual value than to the modern approximation I have used :)

    Please note that I have approximated 1 angula to be exactly 1 inch, which is a very small unit and hence even a very small mistake in this assumption adds on as a large error in the final calculation. We have no idea what is the EXACT value of vedic angula in terms of SI units.

    Given the fact that even in the above calculation the error difference between modern exact value and vedic value is only 1.75%, and given the scope of a small error in unit conversions (due to angula value), I think we should be appreciating the ancient knowledge, which dates thousands of years back, and do more research on these things, rather than to expect it to be absolutely perfect in an era where measurements using atomic clocks were unknown!!

  • Rohitash

    I’m awfully sorry for busting in, but the speed of light calculated above as 189547 miles/sec is exactly translated to
    305046327.1680000424 meters/sec,
    whereas the measured value for c is EXACTLY
    299792458 meters/sec = 186282.3970512208576 miles/sec.

    The value of 186000 miles/sec is used for common conversations which do not require exactness.
    Therefore, the error in the above calculation derived from the Rig Veda is, as it seems, awfully large.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Thanks sanket for your appreciation, the original research in this direction was done by S.S. De and P.V. Vartak .

  • http://www.sanketuv.blogspot.com sanket

    really done a nice work …i appreciate …your hard work

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