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Coinage dating from the 8th Century B.C. to the17th Century A.D. Numismatic evidence of the advances made by smelting technology in ancient India.
This image of Natara a the !od of Dance is made of five metals "#ancha$Dhatu%. This technology of mi&ing t'o or more metals and deriving su(erior alloys has been observed and noted by the !ree) *istorian #hilostratus.
+ords from ancient India s(ea) of (roducts li)e ,ugar- Cotton "cloth%- Cam(hor- .ac!lass- Alloys of /etals "e.g. Brass%. These (roducts are not found in mature. They have to be manufactured using machinery "a((aratus% and having a )no'ledge of chemical engineering. Inventions include0 $ the techni1ue of algorithm used in com(uter science today. $ the science of algebra. $ the conce(t of 2ero $ on 'hich ultimately rests the binary code 'hich has given us all soft'are including the +++ through 'hich you are accessing this site3 $ the techni1ue of manufacturing crystal "sugar%cane sugar "the 'ord sugar is derived from the ,ans)rit term Sharkara%.
.(ecifically these advances 'ere in the areas of (lastic surgery.Ahrya "e&traction%. . In ancient India /edical .uturing%.C. The (ractice of surgery has been recorded in India around 877 B.9sraya "evacuation% and . In s(ite of the absence of anesthesia.amahita he has described in detail the study of anatomy 'ith the aid of a dead body.hushruta6s com(endium%. This need not come as a sur(rise because surgery ".cience su((osedly made many advances.ivya ". An artist6s im(ression of an o(eration being (erformed in ancient India.according to the 4&ford dictionary%.amahita ". .hushruta 'as one of the first to study the human anatomy. .husruta 'ho lived in 8asi 'as one of the many Indian medical (ractitioners 'ho included Atraya and Chara)a.hushruta$.ans)rit term Kasthira%.5sya "e&(loration%.$ the ma)ing of cam(hor "this 'ord is derived from the .com(le& o(erations 'ere (erformed. . There is documentary evidence to (rove the e&istence of these (ractices.urgery0 .husruta. 4(hthalmic .hushruta has described surgery under eight heads Chedya "e&cision%. . The oldest treatise dealing 'ith surgery is the . $ the !umba2 that 'e see on mos1ues all over the 'orld originated as the interloc)ing dome in the Stupa of the Buddhist architectural tradition of India. In the .e)hya "scarification%9edhya "(uncturing%.ans)rit root 'ord Karpuram according to the 4&ford Dictionary%.husruta6s forte 'as rhino(lasty "#lastic surgery% and o(hthalmialogy "e ection of cataracts%. $ the ma)ing of tin "the technical 5nglish 'ord for tin is Cassiterite 'hich is said to have been derived from the .hastra)arma% is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda the ancient Indian system of medicine.e&traction of cataracts.and dental surgery.ans)rit term Neelam. $ The ma)ing of dyes li)e Anline and Indigo "the 'ord Indigo comes from the term India and the 'ord Anline is derived from the Arabic term An Nil 'hich is derived from the .
husruta.ivya ". The (atient sat o((osite on the ground so that the doctor 'as at a comfortable height for doing the o(eration on the (atient6s eye.. of his mouth.hushruta for removing cataracts is desired belo'.Ahrya "e&traction%.hushruta s(eciali2ed in o(hthalmic surgery "e&traction of Cataracts%.9sraya "evacuation% and . *e rubbed the closed eye of the (atient 'ith his thumb and then as)ed the (atient to loo) at his )nees. .amahita. :The doctor s(o)e a fe' 'ords to comfort the (atient and moistened the eye 'ith mil).C.. :The doctor 'armed the (atient6s eye 'ith the breath .hushruta6s com(endium%. . . It 'as a matter of oy for the (atient that the could see ob ects through his o(erated eye and the doctor dre' the lancet out slo'ly.: The (ractice of surgery has been recorded in India around 877 B. by .: Does this not sound li)e the detailed (rocedure and ste(s of a cataract o(eration by an o(hthalmic surgeon< But this o(eration 'as (erformed around the 8th Century B.husruta.uturing%. Anatomy .5sya "e&(loration%. The (atient6s head 'as held firmly. .'ithout hurting. . The oldest treatise dealing 'ith surgery is the .amahita ". The (atient got rid of the 6slime6 by dra'ing it into his nose.and then drove the 6slime6 to'ards the nose.amahita he has described in detail the study of anatomy 'ith the aid of a dead body.he described in detail the study of anatomy 'ith the use of a dead body.hushruta has described surgery under eight heads Chedya "e&cision%. After having ta)en bath and food.half a finger6s breadth from the blac) of the eye and a 1uarter of a finger6s breadth from the outer corner of the eye. In his .hushruta 'as not only one of the earliest (ioneers in surgery in the 'orld but also one of the earliest ones to study the human anatomy. A ty(ically o(eration (er formed by .C.hushruta 'as one of the first to study the human anatomy.hastra)arma% is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda the ancient Indian system of medicine. The doctor held the lancet bet'een his fore$fingermiddle$finger and thumb and introduced it into the (atient6s eye to'ards the (u(il. This need not come as a sur(rise because surgery ". It 'as the (atient6s left eye and the doctor used his right hand for the o(eration.that (atient had been tied so that he could not move during the o(eration.e)hya "scarification%9edhya "(uncturing%.husruta6s forte 'as rhino(lasty "#lastic surgery% and o(hthalmialogy "e ection of cataracts%. *e moved the lancet gracefully bac) and forth and u('ard. :It 'as a bright morning.husruta 'ho lived in 8asi 'as one of the many Indian medical (ractitioners 'ho included Atraya and Chara)a. In the . The surgeon sat on a bench 'hich 'as as high as his )nees.hushruta$. There 'as a small sound and a dro( of 'ater came out. *e then laid cotton soa)ed in fat on the 'ound and the (atient lay still 'ith the o(erated eye bandaged. *e scratched the (u(il 'ith the ti( or the lancet.
cience of . It should be the body of a (erson 'ho is not very old and did not die of (oison or severe disease. #lastic surgery dentistry o(eration of cataracts.hushruta 'as the o(eration of rhino(lasty "restoration of a mutilated nose by (lastic surgery%.urgery #erha(s the greatest contribution of .hushruta .hushruta .amahita is dated around the 8th century B.hushruta .did the o(eration of rhino(lasty 'ith remar)able s)ill.and the body of )no'ledge that comes under the heading Ayurveda constitutes ideas about diseases. Ayurveda $ The .are ama2ingly similar to the ste(s that are follo'ed even to$day in such advanced (lastic surgery.ongevity This is the indigenous system of medicine in India.the body must be 'ra((ed in bast "the inner bar) of trees%.'ho 'ere (ractitioners of medicine 'ere given a divine status-.a (erfectly (reserved body must be used. .hushruta moved by his intense humane a((roach to life and e1ui((ed 'ith su(erb surgical s)ills.beginning 'ith the s)in as each (art is laid bare by the brushing.'ere (ioneering advances. :After seven days the body is to be removed from the 'ater and 'ith a brush of grassroots.amahita.as recorded in the . +e also have a !od of /edicine called Dhanvantari.grace and success. The details of the ste(s of this o(eration.amahita is ama2ingly meticulous and com(rehensive. But 'hat ma)es Ayurveda.'hich attracted (eo(le from all over the country and (erha(s even from outside.in the field of medicine.:=or these (ur(oses.the .*e has described the follo'ing in his . Indian medical tradition also goes bac) to 9edic times 'hen the Ash'ini)umars. The origins of this system of medicine are lost in the hoary (ast. This it shares in common 'ith the ideas on this area in tribal societies.C.a scientific art of healing is its disassociation from the magical as(ect 'hich tribal forms of . There is evidence to sho' that his success in this )ind of surgery 'as very high. The feature that distinguishes this system of medicines from other systems li)e Allo(athy and *omeo(athy is that it is solely based on herbs and herbal com(ounds.diagnosis and cure.grass or hem( and (laced in cage "for (rotection against animals%.. After the intestine have been cleaned. In historic times the earliest recorded treatise on medicine in India vi2.amahita.: #lastic . The detailed descri(tion of the rhino(lasty o(eration in the . Ayu means life and 9eda means )no'ledge.and the body left to soften.hair and bamboo it should be brushed off a layer at a time 'hen this is done the eye can observe every large or small outer or inner (art of the body. Ayurveda literally means 6the science of living6 "longevity%. Cutting off of the nose and ears 'as one of the common modes of (unishment in the early Indian )ingdoms. The cage should be (laced in a carefully concealed s(ot in a river 'ith fairly gentle current.'hich have been accumulated over the ages (ast.
their effect is registered gradually and hence there are minimum side$effects.li)e lameness or blindness.C. The constituents of Ayurvedic medicines are largely based on organic matter. metabolism and immunity. .illness is caused 'hen the balance among the three dosha in a human body is disturbed. The medical system of Ayurveda dra's heavily from the doctrines develo(ed in the Chara)a$. *e should first study all the factors.act u(on the food eaten.but in the ovum or s(erm of the (arents 'hich is today an acce(ted fact.it is more 'eighty. *o'ever. . =or instance. The treatise contains many more such remar)s 'hich are held in reverence even today. Chara)a 'as the first (hysician to (resent the conce(t of digestion. The herbs used in Ayurvedic remedies do not o(erate against the body6s metabolism.amahita. According to him a body functions because it contains three dosha or humours.it 'as only 'hen Chara)a revised this treatise that it gained (o(ularity and came to be )no'n as Chara)a$samahita. That is 'hy one body is different from another.namely blood. =or t'o millenniums it remained a standard 'or) on the sub ect and 'as translated into many foreign languages.and then (rescribe treatment. To restore the balance Chara)a (rescribed medicinal drugs.he said.stronger.another (hysician named Agnivesa had 'ritten an encyclo(edic treatise in the eighth$ century B.more energetic=urther.a noted (ractitioner of Ayurveda in ancient India0 :A (hysician 'ho fails to enter the body of a (atient 'ith the lam( of )no'ledge and understanding can never treat diseases. *ence the (ractitioner of Ayurveda could never degenerate to the level of a shaman or 'itch$doctor. These remar)s may a((ear rudimentary today. Chara)a also )ne' the fundamentals of genetics.atin.including Arabic and . According to Chara)a. These dosha are (roduced 'hen dhatus. =or the same 1uantity of food eaten.(roduces dosha in an amount different from another body.including environment'hich influence a (atient6s disease. *ocus (ocus and voodoo 'hich are still 'idely (revalent in rural India could not become a (art of Ayurveda as it al'ays retained a (hysical lin) bet'een the disease and its cure.contributes to the absence of side$ effects from Ayurvedic medicines.flesh and marro'.'as not due to any defect in the mother or the father.but they 'ere made by Chara)a.one bodyho'ever. =or instance.(ain )illers or antibiotics.(hlegm and 'ind.amahita.ome of them are in the fields of (hysiology.some >7 centuries ago in his famous Ayurvedic treatise Chara)a . The absence of fast registering inorganic com(ounds 'hich are at times corrosive.etiology and embryology.he )ne' the factors determining the se& of a child. ?nder the guidance of the ancient (hysician Atreya. In Ayurveda there are no such things as instant relievers.healing normally have. A genetic defect in a child. The main 1uality 'hich Ayurveda has borro'ed from Chara)a is its aim of removing the cause for illness and not ust curing the disease itself.namelybile. It is more im(ortant to (revent the occurrence of disease than to see) a cure:.
@oga @oga is a system of e&ercises for (hysical and mental nourishment. But it remains sur(rising ho' this vocation did not obtain the status of a se(arate caste.adhu% meditating in a @ogic (ose.adhu% meditating in a @ogic (ose. There are innumerable asanas "(oses% in @oga. Those 'ho (racticed solely this art 'ere called 9aidyas and they generally belonged to the Brahmin caste. Although very fe' ancient te&ts are available today. +e normally see an ascetic ". @oga is a system of e&ercises for (hysical and mental nourishment.along 'ith the absence of a system for regular education and training for (ractitioners of the art has resulted in its gradual though (artial 'ithering over a (eriod of time. The term Yoga is itself derived from the . The thera(eutic 1ualities of yoga had s(ecial relevance for hermits 'ho roamed from (lace to (lace. The fact that the term 9eda 'as attached to this body of thought testifies to this. The tradition of @oga is a hoary one and has been )e(t alive by ascetics and hermits. A(art from being a system of e&ercise. The above t'o lacunae also resulted in the emergence of 1uac)ery and made it difficult to distinguish bonafide (ractitioners from 1uac)s in absence of (rofessional standards. Indian classical dance styles also dis(lay many @ogic (ostures. It 'as elevated to a divine status and Dhanvantari the (ractitioner of this art 'as deified as the !od of /edicine.celibacy "Bramhacharya%. They have e&actly the same meaning. A(art from being a system of e&ercise. 8no'ledge of this art 'as (assed from generation to generation.meditating./ayurasana .hermits and medicos 'ho roamed from (lace to (lace.'herein this body of ideas could get crystalli2ed and changeless 'hich incidentally could ensure their (reservation.havasana%.ans)rit 'ord yoktra meaning a yo)e.meditating.this method of healing 'as systemati2ed in early times. The tradition of @oga is a hoary one and has been )e(t alive by ascetics and hermits.an im(ortant as(ect of @oga is that of self$disci(line. 5ven ordinary (ractitioners of this art $ the Ash'ini)umars $ 'ere given a s(ecial status in mythology and fol)lore. +e normally see an ascetic ". 8no'ledge of this art 'as s(read among sages.This art of healing had been held in high esteem in ancient India.there is a /atsyasana "fish (ose%. The thera(eutic 1ualities of yoga had s(ecial relevance for hermits 'ho roamed from (lace to (lace.ans)rit and 5nglish 'ords is stri)ing.organi2ed efforts have been launched to revive and nourish this flagging disci(line. The self$disci(line as(ect of @oga is evident in the 1ualities of holding the breath "in #ranayama%. These lacunae have been identified in modern times and recently. /ost of them derive their names from the semblance of the body in those (oses to different animals and ob ects. The absence of a caste. Indian classical dance styles also dis(lay many @ogic (ostures.an im(ortant as(ect of @oga is that of self$disci(line. The etymological closeness of the .absolute stillness "in . =or instance.
#ranayama "breath$ control%.e.they can also ad ust their metabolism if they have to remain 'ithout food for long (eriods.the (ractice of @oga in its lesser strict versions has been (o(ular among the common (eo(le all through the ages. Traditionally. Tests conducted on @ogis sho' that they do ac1uire e&traordinary (hysical (o'ers. The release of 8undalini enables the body to ac1uire many (o'ers 'hich are normally beyond its ca(ability."(eacoc) (ose%. =or instance.@ama "universal moral commandments%Niyama "self$(urification through disci(line%. In ancient times the teaching of @oga 'as also an integral (art of the traditional manner of education as im(arted in Ashramas and !uru)ulas 'hich 'ere (resided over by hermits.amadhi "state of su(er$consciousness% .etc.!yanyoga or Dnyanyoga "e&ercise for the mind and intellect%. #atan ali gives eight stages of @oga vi2.imhasana "lion (ose%. +e have *athayoga "bodily e&ercise%.Asana "(osture%. But though the @ogasutras 'ere formulated t'o thousand years ago.the tradition of @oga is )e(t alive today by !ymnasiums. In the (resent age though not much is being done officially to (romote the (ractice of @oga in India and abroad. @oga A(horisms. It has no' been established through e&(eriments that by (racticing @oga. Although the Ashramas are vanishing. i..@oga in the strict sense has been (racticed by .it is only in the last fe' years that scientists have begun to recogni2e the (o'ers of yoga.meditating and s(reading the gos(el of truth as they (erceived it.#ratyahara "'ithdra'al of mind from e&ternal ob ects%.'ithin the human body there are channels called Nadi and centres called Cha)ra. Though education in these Ashramas 'as o(en only to a fe'.they can live 'ithout o&ygen for a long time.@oga has been (racticed for countless generations. But @oga is a multifarious system. But the field 'here the a((lication of @oga is being increasingly recogni2ed is (hysiothera(y..there are various forms of disci(line touching different as(ects of human life.Dharana "concentration%Dhyana "meditation% and .the s(iritual movements originating in India 'hich find many adherents in the +est are a medium for the s(read of @oga. The =ive Basic #hysical 5lements .'hich are brought under the heading @oga. .The energy hidden in the body can be released.tudents of Indian classical dances have to undergo some of @ogic training. If these are ta((ed.anyasis "sages and hermits% 'ho had renounced material (leasures and roamed the country. It 'as as early as the >nd century B.8armayoga "disci(line in our actions in daily life%. >177 years ago that the fundamentals of @oga 'ere systematically (resented. The (erson 'ho is credited 'ith having done this is #atan ali and his treatise is )no'n as @ogasutra i.*alasana "(lough (ose%. This energy is called 8undalini.several ailments can be cured. According to #atan ali.adhus and .C.e.
meaning beyond.C.'ater 'ith taste and ether 'ith sound. The 9aisheshi)a school of (hiloso(hers believed that an atom 'as a mere (oint in s(ace.air 'ith feelingfire 'ith vision.C.as 'e )no' today.C. This Indian conce(t of the atom 'as develo(ed inde(endently and (rior to the develo(ment of the idea in the !reco$Doman 'orld. 5arth "#rithvi%.but in the 'ords of A. Atomic #hysics .ince ancient times Indian (hiloso(hers believed that e&ce(t A)ash "ether%. These (hiloso(hers considered the Atom to be indestructible and hence eternal. According to some scholars these five elements or #ancha /ahabhootas 'ere identified 'ith the various human senses of (erce(tionB earth 'ith smell.agreed 'ith the discoveries of modern (hysics.fire "Agni%.is the source of atomic energy.#a)udha 8atyayana 'ho also lived in the Eth century B. The 'ord #armanu is a combination of #aram.air "/aya% and 'ater "A(a%.around A777 B..Indians "Indo$Aryans% had classified the material 'orld into four elements vi2. The first Indian (hiloso(her 'ho formulated ideas about the atom in a systematic manner 'as 8anada 'ho lived in the Eth century B. Thus the term #armanu is suggestive of the (ossibility that.at least at an abstract level Indian (hiloso(hers in ancient times had conceived the (ossibility of s(litting an atom 'hich. To these four elements 'as added a fifth one vi2.. +hatever the validity behind this inter(retation. Indian theories about the atom are greatly abstract and enmeshed in (hiloso(hy as they 'ere based on logic and not on (ersonal e&(erience or e&(erimentation. to 1777 B. The Buddhists believed atoms to be minute ob ects invisible to the na)ed eye and 'hich come into being and vanish in an instant.oy and sorro'.all other elements 'ere (hysically (al(able and hence com(rised miniscule (articles of matter. ether or A)asha. The Buddhist (hiloso(hers 'ho came laterre ected ether as an element and re(laced it 'ith life. and 'as a contem(orary of !autama Buddha. Thus the Indian theories lac)ed an em(irical base. Another Indian (hiloso(her.the veteran Australian Indologist :they 'ere brilliant imaginative e&(lanations of the (hysical structure of the 'orld.it is true that since very ancient times Indians had (erceived the material 'orld as com(rising these C elements.C.. Basham.had also (ro(ounded ideas about the atomic constitution of the material 'orld.and any meaning atom. The last miniscule (article of matter 'hich could not be subdivided further 'as termed #armanu.: .and in a large measure.=rom the 9edic times.