Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In praise of Hindu thought and astronomy

Jean-Sylvain Baily (1736–93): 18th century French astronomer and politician. His works on astronomy and on the history of science (notably the Essai sur la théorie des satellites de Jupiter) were distinguished both for scientific interest and literary elegance and earned him membership in the French Academy, the Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Inscriptions.
Bailly said: "The movement of stars which was calculated by Hindus 4,500 years ago, does not differ even by a minute from the tables which we are using today." And he concludes: "The Hindu systems of astronomy are much more ancient than those of the Egyptians - even the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge.

Marquis Pierre Simon de Laplace ( 1749-1827): French mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer, a contemporary of Napoleon. Laplace is best known for his nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system.
Laplace wrote:"Nevertheless the ancient reputation of the Indians does not permit us to doubt that they have always cultivated astronomy, and the remarkable exactness of the mean motions which they assign to the Sun and the Moon necessarily required very ancient observation.

Carl Sagan, in his book, Cosmos asserts that the Dance of Nataraja (Tandava) signifies the cycle of evolution and destruction of the cosmic universe (Big Bang Theory): "It is the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of." Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but also the very essence of inorganic matter.
For modern physicists, then, Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter. Hundreds of years ago, Indian artist created visual images of dancing Shiva's in a beautiful series of bronzes. Today, physicist have used the most advanced technology to portray the pattern of the cosmic dance. Thus, the metaphor of the cosmic dance unifies, ancient religious art and modern physics. The Hindus, according to Monier-Williams, were Spinozists more than 2,000 years before the advent of Spinoza, and Darwinians many centuries before Darwin and Evolutionists many centuries before the doctrine of Evolution was accepted by scientists of the present age.
"The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still."

Ref.: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vedic_science

No comments:

Post a Comment