Kosla Vepa PhD

A synopsis of activities during the last decade A brief Bio of non Profit activities under the Indic Studies Foundation Books Published By, Kosla Vepa Publications of General Interest Events organized and presentations made Synopsis of my latest book Excerpts from the book Preservation of the heritage issues Quotable Quotes Encomiums

 

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Kosla   Vepa   is     a   native   of   Andhra   Pradesh   state   in   India   and   has   had   the   good   fortune   to   have   been   brought   up   and   have   had   his   education   in   various   parts   of   India   including,   Bihar,   Maharashtra,   and   Karnataka.   He   matriculated  from  Andhra  University  in  1955.  Among  the  schools  which  he     has     attended   are   St.   Xaviers   College,   Mumbai,   Karnatak   University   (Hubli   campus),   Indian   Institute   of   Science,   Bangalore,   and   the   University   of   Waterloo,   Ontario,   Canada.   His   highest   degree   is   a   Ph.D   in   the   area   of   Engineering   Mechanics.   His   professional   and   technical   interests   include   successful   research   and   development   engineering   experience   in   the   Information   technology,   aero-­‐engine   and   energy   industries     across   the   globe.   Currently   Dr.   Vepa   has   significant   interests   in   a   wide   variety   of   subjects   including   ontological     principles   in   science   and   philosophy,   Ancient   Indian   history,   Vedas   and   Vedanta,   Mathematical   Sciences   in   India   during   antiquity,  the  growth  and  evolution  of  civilizations  to  name  a  few.  His  major   activity   is   to   further   the   aims   and   objectives   of   the   Indic   Studies   Foundation,  stated  in  the  link  below   When  he  finds  time  he  pursues  his  hobbies  of  photography  and  astronomy,   Dr.  Vepa  resides  in  the  San  Francisco  Bay  Area  
 

 

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  Books  published  by  us  
Series  on  distortions  in  Indian  History  
Volume  I  Astronomical  Dating  of  Events  &  Select  Vignettes  from  Indian  history”  Edited   by  Kosla  Vepa  PhD,  ISBN  978-­‐1-­‐4357-­‐1120-­‐4   Available  from  Amazon  and  Lulu.com     Volume  II    The  Colonial  Paradigm  of  Indian  History,  Available  at  Lulu.com,  papers   presented  at  the  WAVES  Conference  in  Orlando,    Florida     Volume  III    The  Pernicious  Effects  of  the  Misinterpreted  Greek  Synchronism,  Available  at   lulu.com  (monograph).This  is  a  landmark    contribution    which  effectively    demolishes   the  so  called    Greek  synchronism       Volume  IV    The  Reality  of  Knowledge  Transmission,  Available  at  Lulu.com     Volume  V    The  Origins  of  Astronomy,  the  Calendar  and  Time,     ISBN  978-­‐0-­‐557-­‐61097-­‐6,  Available  from  Amazon  and  Lulu.com    
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Volume   VI     The   South   Asia   File,   ISBN   978-­‐0-­‐615-­‐21391-­‐0,   Available   from   Amazon.com   and  Lulu.com     Volume  VII    The  Dhārmik  Traditions     Volume  VIII    Selected  Essays  from  ICIH  2009.     Volume  IX    Souvenir  Volume  of  ICIH  2009  (while  supplies  last)     Volume  X    Philosophy  and  Motivations  for  ICIH  2009     Published  by  Indic  studies  Foundation   948  Happy  Valley  Rd,     Pleasanton,  CA,  94566   Copyright  ©  2010  by  Indic  Studies  Foundation  

 

PUBLICATIONS  AND  ESSAYS  OF  GENERAL  INTEREST      
  Indic  Studies  Foundation   Book    Astronomical  Dating  of  Events  &  Select  Vignettes  from  Indian  history   The  Societal  Stockholm  Syndrome    India  and  the  Great  Game    What’s  in  a  name      Debate  on  the  origin  of  the  Vedics    India  and    US  Missile  defense    Indo-­‐US  relations  (circa  1999)    A  prolegomena  to  A  History  of  the  Indic  Civilization     Vedic  Mathematicians  in  ancient  India  PartI   Vedic  Mathematicians  in  ancient  India  PartII   Vedic  Mathematicians  in  ancient  India  PartIII   The  South  Asia  File  (monograph      be  published)   Book  The  Dhaarmik  Traditions  (monograph  to  be  published)   Book  Indology  and  Indologists  –  a  study  of  people  and  their    motives     Ancient  Indic  contributions  to  the  Exact  Sciences  –  manuscript  in  preparation   PhD  Thesis   The  Indic  Mathematical  tradition,  The  Hindu  Renaissance,  Vol.IV  no.  IV,  pp  19-­‐24   Paper  presented  at  the  HEC  2006  in  Los  Angeles,  Ca  ,  Nov.2006   Source   Book   (Anthology)       of   Mathematics   and   Astronomy   from   Indic   Antiquity   (under   construction)   More  at  websites    www.indicstudies.us  ,  www.vepa.us/dir00  ,  www.kaushal42.blogspot.com  ,   scribd.us/vepa    

 

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          Events   organized     &   presentations   made     by   Kosla   Vepa   and   the   ISF  
  2005a  The  south  Asia  file,  presentation  at  Milpitas,  CA  ,  January  26,  2005   2006a  The  Indic  Mathematical  Tradition,  HEC  ,Los  Angeles.  This  lecture  is  a  highly  popular  one   that    I  gave  at  several  locations  including  The  TANA  Annual  Convention  ,  University    of  Himachal   Pradesh,  Simla,  ISERVE,  Hyderabad,  Sanatana  Dharma  Hindu  Unity  Day,  Dallas2007a  ,   Pleasanton  Public  library.   Astronomical  dating  and  Select  Vignettes  from  Indian  history.  Proceedings  of  the  special  session       on  the  Distortions  in  Indian  History,  Dallas,  Tx.   2008a  Colonial  Paradigm  of  Indian  History  ,  6th  WAVES  conference,  Orlando,  Florida     2009a  ICIH  2009  International  conference  on  Indian  history,  Souvenir  Issue  has  abstracts  of  3  of   the  important  papers   2009b    The  Indic  Intellectual  tradition,  Invited  lecture  at  Himachal  university,  Shimla   2009c  The  Great  power  rivalry  over  India,  Observer  Research  Foundation,  Chennai,  January,   2009       2010a  The  origins  of  astronomy  Eurocentric  description  of  the  development  of  the  sciences,   Hindu  Unity  Day  of  Sanatana  Foundation  .     2010b  Montreal,  CSPHM,  Canadian  Society  of  Philosophy  and  History  of  Mathematics.   2010c  The  Transmission  of  knowledge  in  the  computational  sciences  during    the  ancient  and   medieval  era  ,  WAVES  Conference  ,  Trinidad  and  Tobago   2011a  Preservation  of  Indian  heritage  in  the  sciences  from  antiquity,  Delhi   2011b    Challenges  to  the  study  of  the  sciences  in  India  during  antiquity,  Visakhapatnam,  India.  

 
 

 

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Synopsis  of  my  latest  book       The  Origins  of  Astronomy,  the  Calendar  and  Time    
The   writing   of   this   book   has   been   a   highly   satisfying   experience   for   me.   In   so   doing,   I   have  learnt  a  lot  about  the  Ancient  Indic  and  his  way  of  life.  And  yet  we  are  still  in  the   infancy  of  trying  to  decipher  the  Ancient  Indic  past  and  we  have  much  to  learn.  I  will  first   make  some  remarks  on  why  I  wrote  this  book.  But  before  I  do  so  I  wish  to  share  with  the   reader  how  my  interest  gravitated  to  this  subject.       It  was  during  the  late  60’s  and  early  70  are  that  I  went  back  to  graduate  school  after  a  5   year   stint  in  industry  in  India,  West  Germany  and  Canada.  My  employment  at  the  time  I  went   back   to   School   was   not   in   jeopardy   and   I   had   completed   a   highly   productive   period   where  I  had    developed  the  first  finite  element  computer  code  to  evaluate  the  structural   integrity   of   rotors   used   in   aero   engines.   This   was   in   1967   when   such   codes   were   not   available  commercially  and  in  fact  the  theory  behind  the  method  was  only  imperfectly   understood  by  a  small  group  of  practitioners.  The  subject  fell  under  the  general  rubric  of   Engineering  Mechanics.       The  reason  I  went  back  to  school  was  that  I  felt  I  had  to  augment  my  knowledge  in  the   field  of  mechanics.  During  my  Graduate  Studies  at  Waterloo  in  Canada  I  came  in  contact   with   leading   practitioners   in   the   field   of   Engineering   Mechanics.   I   developed   an   interest   in   the   history   of   mechanics   starting   from   Greece   to   Leonhard   Euler   and   the   development  of  Variational  methods  that  would  utilize  the  Principles  of  Conservation.  In   fact   I   give   a   brief   account   of   the   history   of   mechanics,   especially   the   Global   principles   which  are  used  to  determine  the  equations,  in  my  thesis.  I  read  a  lot  about  the  history  of   mechanics,  and  one  book  that  made  a  deep  impression  on  me  was  “Essays  in  the  History   of  Rational  Mechanics  “by  Clifford  Truesdell.  From  that  point  onwards  I  have  maintained   an   abiding   interest   in   the   history   of   Mechanics   and   Mathematics1,   since   many   of   the   practitioners   in   the   field   of   mechanics   were   also   first   rate   Mathematicians,   a   state   of   affairs  that  lasted  virtually  till  the  time  of  Hénri  Poincaré,  arguably  the  last  of  the  great   mathematical  savants  of  Europe,  who  was  knowledgeable  in  a  broad  range  of  topics  in   the  field  of  Mathematics.    

 

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As   I   was   researching   the   history   of   mathematics,   it   dawned   on   me   that   a   lot   of   the   numerical   techniques   used   in   Engineering   had   their   antecedents   in   the   work   of   ancient   Indic   mathematicians.   Until   then   I   was   focusing   on   Greek   mathematics.   But   apart   from   the   work  of  pseudo  Euclid  (who  used  little  or  no  Algebra)  and  the  work  on  conic  sections  by   Apollonius,   I   did   not   find   the   Greek   effort   particularly   rich   in   algorithms.   It   took   many   years  for  me  to  realize  that    most  of  the  Algebra,  Analytical  geometry  and  Trigonometry,   we  deal  with  in  High  school  and  even  at  an  undergraduate  level,  did  not  have  its  roots  in   the   Occident.   My   desire   to   learn   more   about   the   Indic   contribution   continued   to   be   hampered   by   lack   of   adequate   texts   on   history   of   ancient   Mathematics   in   the   English   language.   While   the   situation   was   slightly   better   in   French   and   German,   the   trail   was   very  cold  by  the  time  you  went  back  beyond  1400  CE  and  could  not  pick  up  any  of  the   threads   in   the   work   of   the   Greeks.   I   came   to   the   realization   that   there   was   very   little   extant   of   the   Greek   work   in   mathematics   and   this   is   even   more   true   in   the   case   of   Astronomy.  No  European  text  could  explain  in  a  satisfactory  manner  why  there  was  no   progress   in   the   sciences   in   Europe   between   the   beginning   of   the   common   era   and   1400   CE  other  than    saying  that  the  Church  played  a  big  part  in  structuring  the  content  and   extent  of  education.     What  is  particularly  galling  is  that  the  Occidental  admits  that  all  Greek  work  was  lost  to   Europe,   but   he   credits   the   Indic   with   getting   their   hands   on   the   Greek   work,   even   though  these  works  were  presumably  lost  at  a  very  early  time.  It  seems  even  more  likely   that  whatever  Greek  texts  that  existed  at  that  time  became  rapidly  obsolete  and  were   no  longer  reproduced  because  there  was  no  longer  any  need  for  them.     The   stonewalling   of   the   Indic   contribution   has   strong   parallels   in   the   effort   to   emasculate   the   Indic   tradition,   and   it   is   only   after   I   read   extensively   in   the   Indology   literature   ,   did   I   realize   that   the   whole   pattern   of   denigration   of   the   Indic   past   was   a   concerted  effort  to  reduce  the  Indic  civilization  to  an  ‘also  ran’  category.     The  main  reason  for  writing  this  book  is  that  the  real  story  of  the  Indic  contribution  to   Astronomy  has  yet  to  be  told.  Few  books  give  a  coherent  account  of  the  Indic  odyssey  as   it   unfolds   from   the   mists   of   antiquity   to   the   pioneering   work   of   Astrophysicist   Subramanyan   Chandrasekhar   on   the   nature   of   the   universe.   If   they   do   mention   it   at   all,   it   is   merely   to   say   that   they   borrowed   everything   from   Western   historians   of   Mathematics   (e.g.   Toomer,   Van   der   Waerden,   Otto   Neugebauer   or   David   Pingree)   as   their   authoritative   source.   Rarely   will   they   mention   a   Primary   source   in   Sanskrit,   because   they   are   not   familiar  with  the  literature  in  Sanskrit  and  they  do  not  trust  the  Indians  to  tell  the  true   story.  They  prefer  to  get  the  story  from  an  Occidental  who  may  not  have  read  a  single   book  in  its  Sanskrit  original  rather  than  get  it  from  JIndian  sources2   .  The  net  result  is  a   book   filled   with   clichés   where   the   content   is   already   degraded   from   multiple   levels   of   interpretation  and  inadvertent  filtering  of  the  original  source.  
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  Typical   of   recent   books   is   one   by   Glen   Van   Brummelen   on   the   Mathematics   of   the   Heavens   and   the   Earth.   This   book   is   better   than   most   since   it   mentions   India   and   devotes  a  full  chapter  to  India.  But  it  makes  the  obligatory  bow  to  the  notion  that  India   is   a   secondary   source   of   developments   when   he   titles   the   very   first   section   in   this   chapter  “Transmission  from  Babylon  and  Greece”.  There  is  absolutely  no  evidence  given   of   this   vaunted   transmission   and   yet   we   are   asked   to   accept   this   statement   unquestioningly.  He  then  goes  on  to  say  that  much  of  the  origin  is  controversial  and  is   marred  by  national  pride.  This  is  indeed  a  strange  remark  to  make.  It  is  accepted  that   the   English   should   have   pride   in   the   achievements   of   Sir   Isaac   Newton   but   this   would   hardly  be  regarded  as  an  issue  in  evaluating  the  work  of  Newton.  Then  he  goes  on  to  say   that  “There  seems  little  doubt  that  the  spark  for  Trigonometry  came  from  importing  of   some   Pre-­‐Ptolemaic   version   of   Greek   mathematical   astronomy”.   The   casual   manner   with   which   he   makes   this   categorical   assertion,   and   which   denies   the   Indic   civilization   the  originality  of  its  contribution  in  Trigonometry  is  stunning  in  its  certitude  and  hubris.   He  then  goes  on  to  cite  Pingree  as  a  starting  point.  This  remnds  me  of  an  Indian  Proverb   that  translates  “In  the  land  of  the  blind,  the  one  eyed  man  is  King”.  There  is  one  final   point  to  be  made.  Nowhere  does  he  mention  that  there  is  an  equal  likelihood  (and  in  my   opinion   a   far   greater   one   that   it   was   the   Greeks   who   learnt   Mathematics   and   Geometry   from  the  Indics).  I  amplify  on  the  possibilities  of  this  in  the  chapter  on  transmissions.  The   refusal  to  entertain  such  a  possibility  is  a  telling  commentary  on  the  lack  of  objectivity   and  Iwould  go  so  far  as  to  say  that  there  is  not  even  an  attempt  at  such  objectivity.     I  regard  this  book  to  be  primarily  a  pedagogical  text,  despite  the  fact  that  I  have  glossed   over   important   derivations   I   believe   like   the   Bhāşyakāras   of   yore   in   proper   understanding  of  what  we  already  know.  The  choice  of  material  to  include  in  the  book   always  presents  a  dilemma.  The  scope  of  Ancient  Indic  Mathematics  and  Astronomy  is   so   large   that   it   would   need   several   volumes   to   provide   an   exhaustive   encyclopedic   coverage.   The   alarming   increase   in   the   size   of   the   book   forced   me   to   make   difficult   choices.  However,  we  are  planning  a  sequel  to  this  text  which  will  contain  many  of  the   missing   topics   as   well   as   amplify   on   the   main   principles   of   the   astronomy   of   the   solar   system  as  practiced  by  the  ancients.     The  chapter  headings  are  as  follows;     PROLOGUE,  THE  PARABLE  OF  THE  LOST  COIN   CHAPTER  I  THE  CELESTIAL  SPHERE  -­‐  INTRODUCTION  TO  CALENDRICAL  ASTRONOMY   CHAPTER  II  THE  NAKṢATRA  SYSTEM  –THE  VEDIC  LUNAR  MANSIONS  (MANZIL)   CHAPTER  III  A  HISTORICAL  PERSPECTIVE  OF  INDIAN  ASTRONOMY   CHAPTER  IV  JAINA  ASTRONOMY  AND  THE  SIDDHĀNTIC  ERA   CHAPTER  V  THE  KERALA  ASTRONOMERS   CHAPTER  VI  THE  INDIAN  NATIONAL  CALENDAR  (INC)   CHAPTER  VII  ARCHEO-­‐ASTRONOMY  AND  ASTRO-­‐CHRONOLOGY   CHAPTER  VIII  THE  ASTRONOMY  OF  THE  ANCIENTS  
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CHAPTER  IX  THE  REALITY  OF  KNOWLEDGE  TRANSMISSION   CHAPTER  X  A  GLOBAL  PERSPECTIVE  ON  CALENDARS  OF  THE  WORLD   CHAPTER  XI  SELECTED  SAVANTS   CHAPTER  XII  EPILOGUE     The   time   line   for   this   study   is   a   rather   large   one   dating   from   the   compositions   of   the   Veda   (6000   BCE),   through   the   Sūtra   period,   the   Pre-­‐siddhāntic   period,   the   Jaina   contributions   up   to   the   Siddhāntic   era,   and   finally   ending   with   the   Keplerian   Newtonian   formulations  (17th  century  CE).  I  would  like  to  think  that  the  book  would  be  of  interest  to   a   wide   range   of   people.   It   should   be   of   interest   to   the   layman,   as   it   provides   a   lot   of   reference   material   on   History   and   the   Calendar.   It   could   serve   as   a   textbook   in   a   course   on   the   history   of   Astronomy.   It   would   serve   as   an   excellent   introduction   for   amateur   astronomers   and   last   but   not   least   it   could   serve   as   a   reference   for   graduate   level   research.         THE  CHALLENGE  AND  THE  OPPORTUNITY     The  Indic  civilization  is  under  attack  today  both  from  within  and  without.  So  thorough   has  been  the  effort  at  devaluing  this  civilization,  that  large  sections  of  the  Indic  populace   do  not  feel  a  sense  of  ownership  in  the  civilization  and  do  not  identify  their  evolution  as   being  congruent  with  the  continued  viability  of  the  civilization.  The  English  language  has   made   deep   inroads   into   the   subcontinent   and   its   usage   in   India   is   irreversible.   As   envisaged   by   Thomas   Babington   Macaulay,   the   English   educated   Indic   looks   at   Indic   traditions  from  the  viewpoint  of  an  occidental.  As  we  discuss  the  situation  in  Astronomy   and  the  measurement  of  time  in  this  book,    it  is  clear  that  the  reasons  are  manifold,  but   a   growing   ignorance   of   the   Indic   past   is   definitely   high   on   the   short   list   of   the   main   causes.   But   with   every   challenge   there   comes   an   opportunity.   The   pervasiveness   of   English   in   higher   Indian   education   presents   an   opportunity.   The   window   into   the   achievements  of  the  Occident  that  the  English  language  has  given  us,  provides  us  with  a   second   wind,   another   chance   to   do   comparative   studies   of   the   ancient   Indic   episteme   vis   a   vis   that   of   Greece   and   Babylon   and   show   that   the   eternal   verities   and   the   Epistemes  that  the  our  ancestors  have  bequeathed  to  the  modern  Indic,  are  not  just  a   flash  in  the  pan,  but  part  of  an  enduring  tradition.  In  order  to  overcome  this  challenge,   there  are  difficult  tasks  to  perform;     The  first  is  to  realize  that  a  synthesis  of  Epistemes  is  possible,  and  an  ongoing  synthesis   is  indeed  necessary  for  survival.   The   second   is   to   define   and   articulate   the   goals,   objectives   and   form   of   the   synthesis   The  third  is  to  successfully  execute  the  synthesis.     I  propose  that  a  major  part  of  what  I  define  as  the  Synthesis  involves  the  mastery  of  the   various  streams  of  the  Global  episteme.  The  conventional  wisdom  in  the  Occident  is  that  
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the   Greek   Episteme   is   regarded   as   pre-­‐eminent.   The   mastery   of   different   epistemes   is   not   so   easy,   and   would   involve   the   learning   of   multiple   languages   (classical)   such   as   Latin  and  Greek  in  addition  to  Sanskrit.  I  maintain  that  the  Indic  is  in  a  unique  position  to   do  so  ,  because  his  proficiency  in  English,  so  long  as  he  does  not  abandon  their  legacy  in   Saṃskŗta   This  would  allow  Indians  to  make  a  case  that  the  vaunted  prowess  of  the  Ancient  Greek   Epistemes   is   in   fact   a   chimera   and   occurs   centuries   after   their   incidence   in   Indian   manuscripts   and   even   after   the   lapse   of   considerable   time   there   is   lack   of   epistemic   continuity   in   the   West.   As   we   assert   in   the   book,   and   there   are   several   such   cases   described  in  the  work  by  CK  Raju,  such  a  lack  of  epistemic  continuity  heralds  a  period   where  no  further  progress  takes  place,  which  is  exactly  what  happened  in  Europe  after   Ptolemy.   Could   it   be   that   the   reason   why   we   do   not   find   a   plethora   of   Ancient   Greek   texts   in   the   computational   sciences,   prior   to   the   beginning   of   the   common   era,   invoking   Ockham’s   Razor,   is   that   they   were   superseded   by   better   ones   and   fell   into   disuse   because  they  were  outdated  and  inaccurate.     Once  the  linguistic  mastery  is  achieved,  one  can  focus  on  the  synthesis  of  the  2  or  more   approaches.   Such   an   effort   would   facilitate   the   synthesis   of   various   Epistemes   and   Technologies   such   as   Ayurveda   and   the   Biological   sciences.   This   is   a   task   that   courageous   and   inquisitive   Occidentalists   such   as   Jean   Filliozat   had   begun   but   it   is   imperative  that  the  Indic  take  the  lead  in  this,  so  that  he  can  define  the  direction  and   the  metrics  of  such  a  synthesis.     Part   of   the   reason   I   wrote   this   book   is   to   influence   all   my   readers,   regardless   of   their   ethnicity,  ideology,  or  geography  to  adopt  a  more  global  perspective  on  matters  relating   to   History   and   philosophy   of   the   sciences.   Under   such   a   perspective,   few   would   feel   compelled  to  defend  or    attack  a  viewpoint  if  the  extent  of  the  antiquity  was  the  sole   issue  at  stake.  But  the  yearning  for  a  competitive  antiquity  is  not  restricted  to  those  of  a   particular  ethnicity.  It  appears  to  be  a  predominant  factor  when  a  more  aggressive  and   authoritarian  civilization  subjugates  a  people  with  a  more  advanced  episteme.  Time  and   again,  this  pattern  of  behavior  has  been  the  norm,  where  the  aggressor  has  adopted  the   Episteme   of   the   subjugated   people,   after   devoting   a   massive   effort   to   absorb   the   knowledge,   and   once   he   is   fairly   confident   that   he   has   been   successful   in   this   endeavor,   he   will   turn   around   and   assert   precisely   the   opposite,   that   in   fact   it   is   the   subjugated   civilization   that   has   borrowed   the   episteme   and   the   resulting   knowledge.   Antiquity   affects   many   factors   that   have   a   bearing   on   the   sense   of   uniqueness   that   a   people   have   of  their  own  identity  and  a  sense  that  continuity  and  longevity  of  a  civilization  bestows  a   modicum   of   a   sense   of   wellbeing.   A   loss   of   epistemic   continuity   that   is   now   being   experienced  in  the  Indian  subcontinent  has  long  term  consequences  for  the  manner  in   which   the   Indians   will   look   upon   themselves.   Civilization   is   a   fragile   thing,   if   I   may   paraphrase   Will   Durant,   the   great   historian   who   compiled   the   monumental   Story   of   Civilization   over   a   thirty   year   period,   and   it   does   not   take   much   to   obliterate   a   civilization.   All   it   takes   is   an   utterly   ruthless   individual   who   by   the   force   of   his   personality,  ideas  and  incredible  energy,  can  compel  a  sufficiently  large  populace  to  do  
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his  bidding  and  you  may  rest  assured  that  such  an  Individual  will  rise  again.  So  how  will   the  Indics  handle  such  a  situation  in  the  future?  Well  for  one  thing,  defeat  under  such   circumstances  is  not  an  option  and  surely,  the  Indics  will  not  get  a  third  chance,  when   the  patient  was  in  comatose  condition  after  the  last  2  rounds.  A  decay  of  a  civilization   can  also  occur  through  sheer  apathy  and  ignorance,  when  large  sections  of  the  populace   remain  happily  oblivious  of  the  past  in  a  massive  exhibition  of  epistemic  amnesia.  This  is   all   the   more   sad   when   it   occurs   as   a   consequence   of   public   policy   adopted   by   the   democratic  representatives  of  an  elected  government  and  legislature.     This  book  is  not  about  the  glories  of  a  bygone  era,  where  one  bemoans  the  ephemeral   nature  of  an  enlightened  past.  It  is  a  recounting  of  the  irreversible  nature  of  the  changes   that  take  place  when  a  civilization  is  subjugated.  Its  traditions  are  ridiculed.  Its  history  is   rewritten,   its   language   is   driven   into   oblivion   and   any   attempt   to   combat   this   assault   albeit   in   a   non-­‐violent   and   scholarly   manner   marks   the   individual   as   a   fundamentalist.   The  calendar,  astronomy,  and  the  story  of  time  combine  to  make  a  fascinating  chapter   in  the  story  of  the  Homo  Sapiens,  but  it  is  the  larger  Civilizational  canvas  that  I  hope  the   reader  will  focus  on.     What  do  I  take  away  from  the  writing  of  this  book?  My  faith  in  the  universality  of  the   human   spirit.  If  there  is  one  thing  above  all  that  I  treasure  from  this  experience  is  that  the  love   of   science   and   mathematics   does   not   recognize   man   made   geographies,   boundaries,   ethnic  classifications,  language,  social  strata  or  economics.  It  is  for  this  reason  I  find  that   the  current  Eurocentric  emphasis  which  persists  among  authors  even  to  this  day  to  be  a   anathema   and   to   be   of   a   particularly   egregious   nature   with   which   I   have   little   sympathy   and  have  no  tolerance  whatsoever.    

Excerpts    from  the  epilog  
 

Ancient  Indic  Mathematical  Astronomy  had  a  unique  character.   The  use  of  epicycles  as  well  as  eccentric  circles  were  known  to  the  Indics  before  the  Greeks  and   are  mentioned  in  the  Sūrya  Siddhānta,  a  text  that  is  considered  by  informed  Indic  historians  to   be  a  literary  document  contemporaneous  with  the  era  prior  to  the  common  era.  

 
We  have  given  reasons  why  we  believe  that  David  Pingree  (as  well  as  his  Guru  Otto  Neugebauer)   was  grossly  in  error  when  he  made  the  oft-­‐repeated  assertion  that  India  borrowed  much  from   Greece.  Obviously  one  must  exercise  due  diligence  and  study  the  vast  Indic  literature  before   making  such  a  priori  judgments,  judgments  that  David  Pingree  has  been  making  since  his   introduction  to  the  subject  during  the  period  when  he  wrote  his  PhD  thesis  on  Greek   transmission  of  Astronomy  to  India.  

 
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We  feel  he  is  wrong  both  from  a  chronological  standpoint  as  well  as  from  epistemological   standpoint.  There  is  epistemological  continuity  in  the  approaches  that  the  Indics  used  going   back  several  millennia  till  the  advent  of  the  Colonial  era.  It  is  only  after  the  mandatory   imposition  of  English  that  such  an  epistemological  continuity  was  broken.  Currently  the  Indic  is   in  the  process  of  synthesizing  the  ancient  episteme  with  the  Occidental  systems  of  knowledge   that  he  has  imbibed  along  with  the  English  language  and  once  he  reaches  equilibrium  in  this   transition  there  is  no  reason  why  he  may  not  continue  to  advance  the  state  of  the  art  as  he  once   did.  

 
While  we  have  compared  the  Indic  achievements  to  those  in  Greece,  this  was  not  to  suggest   that  the  Greeks  contribution  was  insignificant,  especially  in  the  axiomatic  approach  to   mathematics.  The  fact  remains  that  the  only  extant  documentation  on  Greek  astronomy  dates   to  a  time  that  is  significantly  later  than  the  Golden  age  of  Greece.  We  take  issue  mainly  with  the   current  day  Historians  of  Mathematics  in  the  Occident  whose  main  interest  appears  to  be  in   claiming  priority  of  invention  in  a  retrospective  manner  in  every  field  of  human  endeavor,  and   their  unwillingness  to  concede  priority  to  the  ancient  Indic  even  in  those  cases  where  there  is  no   documentary  evidence  of  the  Greek  effort.  Trigonometry  is  a  case  in  point.  Their  views  are  so   full  of  clichés,  that  the  final  result  is  almost  fatally  flawed  and  banal  to  the  point  where  it   competes  strenuously  with  the  superficial  views  of  India  which  I  lump  under  the  lumpen   category  of  the  ‘Cows,  Caste  and  Curry’  caricaturization  of  India,  that  is  peddled  as  being   representative  of  India.    Unfortunately  such  superficial  assessments  abound  among  even  the  top   rungs  of  journalists  and  public  leaders  in  the  occident.  When  such  assumptions  color  their   judgment,  it  is  impossible  to  take  the  rest  of  the  work  seriously.  

 
We  have  devoted  an  entire  chapter  to  Astronomical  dating,  since  we  feel  that  the  precession  of   the  equinoxes  provides  a  very  reliable  clock  with  a  period  of  approximately  25,800  years.  Such  a   large  period  is  particularly  fortuitous  since  this  is  in  the  same  order  of  magnitude  as  the  entire   length  of  recorded  history  that  spans  about  10  millennia.  We  have  run  planetarium  software  for   the  entire  matrix  of  27*4  =  108  equinoctial/solstitial  events  for  one  complete  precessional  cycle   that  can  be  used  as  a  reference,  when  the  reader  comes  across  such  an  event  or  observation  to   determine  the  date  of  the  event.  These  calculations  simulate  the  effects  of  the  drift  of  the   aphelion  that  takes  about  120,000  years  to  complete  one  cycle.  It  is  a  simple  matter  to   interpolate  the  dates  of  other  events  such  as  the  equidistant  locations  on  the  sidereal  zodiac   (13.33,  26.67,  40  …etc.).  

 
While  transmission  of  ideas  and  knowledge  is  a  continuous  process,  we  believe  that  there  have   been  4  periods  in  recorded  history  that  can  be  characterized  as  periods  of  more  than  average   transmission  activity.  

 

 

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1.      The  first  wave  of  transmission  during  which  there  appears  to  have  been  a  period  where   migration  took  place  after  the  Dasarajna  War  (mentioned  in  the  Ŗg  Veda)  where  there  was   migration  of  Druhyus  and  other  clans.  The  Kassites  appear  mysteriously  in  Babylon  worshipping   Hindu  deities.  The  Ionians  could  very  well  be  the  culmination  of  the  resulting  Yavana  migration.  

  2. The   second   transmission   took   place   indirectly   via   Iran   from   Jundishapur,   where   Indic   astronomy  was  well  known  when  Alexander  looted  ancient  Persia  and  had  the  loot  of   books  shipped  to  Alexandria.       3. The  third  period  of  intense  transmission  occurred  when  an  individual  named  Ganaka  or   Kanaka,   presented   himself   to   the   Khalif   al   Mansur   in   Baghdad   as   an   expert   in   computational  astronomy.  I  include  Al-­‐Khwarismi’s  work  in  this  category.     4. The   transmission   that   took   place   from   1500   onwards   is   the   one   that   is   most   hidden   from  scrutiny,  despite  the  fact  that  it  is  the  most  recent  one,  but  we  have  cited  at  least   4  instances  in  the  book  of  such  a  transmission  and  there  are  undoubtedly  many  more.    
We  have  catalogued  several  instances  where  the  Occidental  has  either  ignored  the  Indic   contribution  or  consciously  belittled  it.  We  have  given  the  example  of  George  Thibaut  and   George  Kantor  ignoring  the  prior  antiquity  of  the  Sulva  Sutra  despite  the  fact  that  they  were   aware  of  the  Sulva  Sutras  and  had  in  fact  created  an  English  version    of  the  same.  We  have  used   the  word  Occidental  on  several  occasions  in  this  book.  We  feel  that  such  a  gross  generalization   of  people  living  in  such  a  vast  area  is  nevertheless  very  appropriate,  since  it  is  by  choice  that  the   Western  savant  has  chosen  to  be  largely  monolithic  in  his  views  on  India,  especially  when  it   comes  to  topics  that  indicate  a  high  degree  of  antiquity.    

 
In  those  instances  where  the  evidence  was  overwhelming  that  the  Indics  were  responsible  for  a   paradigm  shift,  leading  to  a  greater  capability  such  as  for  instance  the  impact  of  the  decimal   place  value  system  on  mathematical  astronomy,  he  has  for  the  most  part,  refused  to   acknowledge  that  the  Indics  had  an  advantage.  He  refuses  to  acknowledge  that  Europe  was   lagging  behind  in  several  fields  including  Mathematics  and  that  it  is  only  during  the  start  of  the   colonial  era  that  Europe  decisively  shot  ahead.  

  The  epistemic  continuity  of    a  civilization    
The  epistemic  heritage  of  a  civilization  plays  a  key  role  in  the  history  of  the  people.  There  are   many  questions  to  answer.  What  role  does  knowledge  (Gyāna)  play  in  the  ethos  of  the   civilization?  Does  the  civilization  value  knowledge  for  its  own  sake  or  does  the  knowledge  need   to  have  a  utility  in  order  for  us  to  be  motivated  to  pursue  it?    We  have  tried  to  belabor  the  point     13  

that  the  ancient  Indic  has  been  responsible  for  bequeathing  to  India  a  unique  epistemic   heritage,  the  core  values  of  which  were  universally  appreciated.  We  have  also  made  the  point   that  the  current  perception  of  mediocrity  of  this      civilization  is  only  of  recent  vintage.  There  can   be  little  doubt  that  the  body  politic  of  India  is  undergoing  a  massive  epistemic  rupture  as  we   speak,  a  rupture  that  began  when  the  colonial  Overlord  decided  consciously  to  devalue  the   heritage  of  the  Indian  people.  Before  the  Indian  decides  that  there  is  very  little  to  preserve  from   the  past,  he  or  she  should  inform  himself  of  the  true  facts  regarding  the  past.  He  should   internalize  the  value  of  epistemic  continuity  in  a  civilization  by  studying  the  correlation  between   successful  civilizations  and  the  epistemic  continuity  in  their  history.  Only  then  can  he  make    an   informed  choice.       ‘India  does  not  have  a  history’  is  the  popular  refrain  amongst  Indologists  west  of  the  Bosphorus.   In  reality  Indian  calendars  were  far  more  accurate  for  most  of  recorded  history  and  Indian   records  were  superior  compared  to  anything  that  Greece  had  in  2000  BCE  or  even  as  late  as  the   Roman  era.  For  example  the  Greeks  did  not  have  an  Ahargaṇa  system  and  had  to  do   considerable  guessing  when  there  were  gaps  in  the  record.  They  reckoned  their  calendars  in   terms  of  the  regnal  period  of  the  Archon  of  Athens.  In  fact  it  was  only  after  the  Julian  day  count   was  instituted  by  Justus  Scaliger  in  1582,  was  it  possible  to  get  an  accurate  day  count  from  a  day   in  the  distant  past.  This  explains  why  it  is  almost  impossible  to  quote  an  accurate  date  of  birth  in   the  Occident,  till  a  couple  of  centuries  ago,  unless  you  belonged  to  the  Nobility  or  the  Royalty.   We  trust  that  future  generations  of  Indologists  will  not  make  such  an  asinine  claim  anymore.     We  have  established  beyond  a  shadow  of  a  doubt  that  the  occidental  claim  to  priority  of  Greek   Science  and  Astronomy  has  absolutely  no  basis  in  fact  and  is  accompanied  by  statements  such   as  those  of  Pingree,  that  we  quoted  earlier  “History  shows  that  essentially  all  of  the  methods   and  many  of  the  parameters  of  Indian  astronomy,  prior  and  subsequent  to  the  fifth  century  CE,   were  derived  from  Mesopotamia  and  Greece;  it  also  is  apparent  that  the  planetary  models  of  the   Brahmagupta,  ĀryaPakṣa,  and  Ardharātrika    Pakṣa  are  of  Greek  origin.  So  categorical  is  the   assertion  that  most  Indics  faced  with  such  certitude  would  tend  not  to  question  such   emphaticity.  This  would  be  a  major  tactical  error.  If  I  may  be  permitted  to  paraphrase  Bertrand   Russell’s1  admonition;  the  method  of  simply  assuming  results,  once  one  is  persuaded  that  they   are  true,  rather  than  trying  to  prove  them,  (as  in  the  case  of  Greek  priority  over  the  Indics),  has   all  the  (accoutrements  and  )advantages  of  thievery  over  honest  toil.    

The  legacy  of  the  Ancient  HINDU  
 

 

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We  are  in  agreement  that  the  ‘Copernican  revolution’  (  a  misnomer  in  more  ways  than  one)  was   a   major   event   in   the   history   of   the   human   species   and   caused   a   veritable   explosion   in   the   sciences,  not  because  It  was  a  major  departure  from  the  prevailing  orthodoxy  of  looking  at  the   problem   in   a     purely   geometric   manner,   but   because   it   paved   the   way   for   a   completely   new   paradigm   the   idea   of     conservative   force   field   under   which   all   celestial   bodies   would   be   constrained  to  move.  Again,  Copernicus,  who  was  understandably  circumspect  about  his  work,   need  not  have  been  unduly  concerned    for  the  simple  reason  that  he  did  not  stray  too  far  from   his   predecessors   and   the   Ptolemaic   tradition,   since     he   retained   the   2   assumptions   that   had   been  the  greatest  obstacle  to  further  progress  in  the  Occident  .   They  were  


 

The   retention   of   circular   orbits   as   a   fundament     of   their   whole   approach,   even   faced   with   data   that   clearly   indicated   otherwise.   This   is   the   Aristotelian   Principle   that     no   western   astronomer   could   shake   himself   loose   from     because   the   Church  was  adamant  that  this  principle  was    divinely  ordained.  Notice  that  the   Indics   remained   characteristically   nonchalant     about   circular   orbits   and   nowhere   do   they   make   the   assumption   that   circularity   of     the   orbit   is   a   necessary   condition  .     In   fact   it   is   the   judicious   non   recognition   of   the     circularity   hypothesis   by   the   Indics  (in  fact  I  would  go  so  far  as  to  call  it  a  circularity  dogma  (in  as  much  as  such     a   principle   formed   the   core   of   the     teachings   of   Aristotle)   that   had   invited   the   scorn   of   successive   historians(starting   from     Neugebauer     and   David   Pingree   in   the  occident)  as  being  too  crude.   The  second  great  mistake  that  he  retained  from      Ptolemaic  astronomy    was  the   retention  of  uniform  angular  velocity  postulate.    

First   let   me   make   the   disclaimer   that     the   inherent   assumption   in   treating   these   as   independent   assumptions,     is   one   if   it   was   made   by   a   current   day   PHD   candidate,   would   be     considered   to   be   a  howler  of  such  immense  proportions  that  he      would  not  be  allowed  to  proceed  on  to  his  PhD  .     The   reason   why   Copernicus   failed   in   his   approach,   as   did   all   the   Occidental     astronomers   till   Kepler  ,  was  this  inability  to  see  that  once  you  made  the  assumption    of  circular  orbits,  you  were   doomed   to   remain   in   the   gulag   of   uniform   angular   velocity.   So   that   for   religious   reasons   ,   Ptolemy   was   constrained   to   define   an   Equant   which   plays   no     useful   role   in   his   theory,   other   than  as  a  fig  leaf  that  he  was  worshipping  at  the  altar        of  uniform  angular    velocity.     We   have       ample   evidence   that   the   Indics   realized   that   uniform   angular   velocity   is   an   intrinsic   property  of  circular  orbits  and  that  one  cannot  specify  that  property    independently  and  expect   it     to   remain   a   constant     ,   once   one   has   decided   to   abandon   the   circular   orbit   .   In   fact   they   allowed   the   radius   of   the   deferent   to   vary   in   order   to   fine   tune   their   models.   My   suspicion   is   that   the   Greeks,   who   were   not   sophisticated   in   Algebra,   were   incapable   of   including   this  

 

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refinement   into   their   model,   which   is   why   we   never   see   this   in   the   prescriptive   geometrically   constructed  Greek  model.     After  I  wrote  the  Origins,  I  was  more  than  ever  convinced  that    the  revolution  that  ensued  owed   more   than   ever   to   the   many   astronomers   that     graced   the   Indian   subcontinent,   and   should   properly   be   termed   the     Aryabhata   Nilakanta   evolution   ,   in   honor   of   all   of   all   the   Indian   astronomers  who  painstakingly  ferreted  out  the  secrets  of  the  solar  system.    

Again   as   in   the   case   of   Analysis   and   the   Calculus,   we   agree   with   Richard   Courant   that   it   make   little  sense  to  say  that  one  individual  was  responsible  for  the  evolution  to    a  model  where  the   physics   was   the   key,     but   we   can   say   that   certain   individuals   like   Sir   Isaac     Newton,   the   Great   Swiss   family   of   Bernoulli’s,   Leonhard   Euler                   ,   who   regarded   himself   as   belonging   to     the   Bernoulli   parampara     and   the   wonderful   work   done   by   the   bevy   of   French   mathematical   astronomers   (   Joseph   Louis   Lagrange,                                                                           Jean   le   Rond   D’Alambert,   Pierre   Simon   de     Laplace,   Augustine   Cauchy   ,   Simeon   Dennis     Poisson)   made  major  contributions  to  the  new  science  of  Mechanics.  And  so  our  story    of  the    origins  of   Astronomy  ends  here  at  the  point  where  Mechanics  matures  into  a  subject  of  study  in  its  own   right.  This  is  where  I  had  began  my  quest  into  the  understanding  of  our  universe  four  decades   ago.       Much   water   has   flown   through   the   Ganges,   the   Seine,   the   Elbe,   the   St.   Lawrence       and   the   Mississippi  ,during  those  decades  but  my  love  of  Mechanics  and  Mathematics  has  never  waned   and   my   desire   to   see   that   proper   recognition   be   given   to   those   practitioners   in   the   past   who   were  brushed  aside  has  kept  me  focused  on  telling  this  story,  especially  when  nobody  else  came   forward  to  do  so.     In  the  end  ,  the  Indics  lost  the  battle  for  supremacy    in  the  Sciences  to  the  Europeans.  It  is  our   contention  that  he  lost  it  in  the    Seventeenth  century    of  the  common  era    unlike  the  Occidental   who  argues  vehemently  that  he  never  had  such  a  supremacy.  There  is  no  shame  in  losing,  if  you   have  put  up  a  good  fight.  It  is  not  as  if  the  products  that  he  developed  are  forgotten.  It  would  be   hard  to  belittle  the  Indic  contribution  provided  one  is  aware  of  the  huge  cornucopia  of  treasures   and  a  legacy  of  thinking    rationally  about  problems  and  habits  of  thought  that  will  endure  long   after  the  Pyramids  decay  into  dust.  He  has  taught  us  how  to  count,  how  to  convert  an  angular   measure  into  a  linear  one,  he  was  the  preeminent  master  of  the  infinite  series  and  on  how  to   use   analysis   in   the   service   of   mankind,   how   to   systematically   solve   a   problem   so   that     each   step   could   be   executed   precisely   as   he   would   have   wanted   it   implemented   even     after   the   lapse   of   a  

 

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thousand  years.  Most  importantly  he  cautioned  us  not  to  get  too  cocky  with  our  mathematical   models  and  assume  they  were  divinely  inspired  ,  and  by  implication  that  we  should  be  ready  to   discard  our  models  once  their  usefulness  had  worn  of  .         It  is  a  matter  of  great  pride  for  the  Indians,  the  governing  authority  in  India  never  resorted  to     the  underhanded    approach  of  the  west  whether  it  was  in  dealing  with  matters  of  real  estate,   war   or   the   purloining   of   intellectual   property,   nor   did   they   indulge   in   the   savagery   and   butchery   of  the  West  which  was  replete  with  egregious  acts  such  as  the  Inquisition  ,  the  genocide  of  the   natives   of   Meso   America   ,   the   pogroms   of     eastern   Europe,     and   the   massive     pogroms     instituted  by  the  colonial  authority  in  Gangetic  Valley  after  the  1857  Anglo  Indian  war  and  finally   the   wars   initiated   by   the   European     and   mostly     fought   between   themselves   were   the   most   bloody  wars  in  human  history.  If  the  Occidental  had  applied  the  same  criteria  in  1857  as  in  the   Nuremburg  trails  after  World  War  II  ,  the  conduct  of  the  British  officers  in  1857  would  have  been   found  to  be  beyond  the  pale  of  civilized  conduct  and  these  sorry  specimens  of  humanity  ,  such   as   the   infamous   Colonel   Neill,   who   was   subsequently   promoted   for   this   very   same   conduct   to   Brigadier  Neill,  would  have  been  summarily  found  guilty  and  hanged  from  the  nearest  tree,    a   practice  used  ubiquitously  by  Judge  Jeffries  during  the  Cromwellian  era.    Such  was  the  nature  of   of   the   bestiality   he   meted   out     indiscriminately   to   countless   Indian   civilians   whose   only   crime   was  that  they  had  a  dark  skin  and  were  not  of  British  Nationality.   Lastly,  it  is  a  legacy  of  the  eclectic  character  of  ancient  Hindu  thought  that  valued  all  life  forms   and  that  no  Indian  was  beheaded  or  even  threatened  to  be  beheaded  on  the  pretext  that  his     scientific  findings  violated  prevailing  traditions  and  beliefs.    

We  are  confident  that  the  reader  who  approaches  this  book  with  an  open  mind  will  be   convinced   that   the   book   provides   a   fresh   but   what   we   believe   to   be   an   accurate   perspective   on   the   History   of   the   computational   sciences   in   Ancient   India   and   its   pioneering  spirit  in  the  ancient  
           

 

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Quotable  quotes  from  the  book  The  OrigIns  of  Astronomy,  the   calendar  and  time,    
A  CRITIQUE  OF  THE  CONVENTIONAL  WESTERN  NARRATIVE  

nr.          page     1       15.    

quote   Preface   As  I  was  researching  the  history  of  mathematics,  it  dawned  on  me  that  a  lot  of  the   numerical   techniques   used   in   Engineering   had   their   antecedents   in   the   work   of   ancient   Indic   mathematicians.   Until   then   I   was   focusing   on   Greek   mathematics.   But   apart  from  the  work  of  pseudo  Euclid  (who  used  little  or  no  Algebra)  and  the  work   on   conic   sections   by   Apollonius,   I   did   not   find   the   Greek   effort   particularly   rich   in   algorithms.   No  European  text  could  explain  in  a  satisfactory  manner  why  there  was  no  progress   in  the  sciences  in  Europe  between  the  beginning  of  the  Common  Era  and  1400  CE   other  than  saying  that  the  Church  played  a  big  part  in  structuring  the  content  and   extent  of  education.  What  is  particularly  galling  is  that  the  Occidental  admits  that   all  Greek  work  was  lost  to  Europe,  but  he  credits  the  Indic  with  getting  their  hands   on  the  Greek  work,  even  though  these  works  were  presumably  lost  at  a  very  early   time.   It   seems   to   us   an   even   more   likely   scenario   was   that   whatever   Greek   texts   existed   at   that   time   became   rapidly   obsolete   and   were   no   longer   reproduced   because  there  was  no  longer  any  need  for  them.   The   main   reason   for   writing   this   book   is   that   the   real   story   of   the   Indic   contribution   to   Astronomy   has   yet   to   be   told.   Few   books   give   a   coherent   account   of   the   Indic   odyssey   as   it   unfolds   from   the   mists   of   antiquity   to   the   pioneering   work   of   Astrophysicist   Subramanyan   Chandrasekhar   on   the   nature   of   the   universe.   If   they   do  mention  it  at  all,  it  is  merely  to  say  that  they  borrowed  everything  from  Western   historians   of   Mathematics   (e.g.   Toomer,   Van   der   Waerden,   Otto   Neugebauer,   or   David   Pingree)   as   their   authoritative   source.   Rarely   will   they   mention   a   Primary   source  in  Sanskrit,  because  they  are  not  familiar  with  the  literature  in  Sanskrit  and   they  do  not  trust  the  Indians  to  tell  the  true  story.  They  prefer  to  get  the  story  from   an   Occidental   who   may   not   have   read   a   single   book   in   its   Sanskrit   original   rather   than  get  it  from  Indian  sources2.  The  net  result  is  a  book  filled  with  clichés  where   the   content   is   already   degraded   from   multiple   levels   of   interpretation   and   inadvertent  filtering  of  the  original  source.    

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    4   Notes,   I  am  reminded  of  the  Parable  of  the  Lost  Coin.  This  is  the  story  of  the  man  looking  for  a  lost   coin   in   a   well   lighted   area,   when   he   knows   he   has   lost   it   in   a   darker   area   of   the   garden.   609  

When   asked   why   he   was   looking   for   it   where   he   certainly   couldn’t   find   it,   the   man   replied   “But  it  is  better  lighted  here  and  I  can  see  what  i  am  looking  for”.  Clearly  the  Parable  of  the   lost  coin    is  entirely  apropos  here  

  5   18   This   book   is   not   about   the   glories   of   a   bygone   era,   where   one   bemoans   the   ephemeral   nature   of   an   enlightened   past.   It   is   a   recounting   of   the   irreversible   nature  of  the  changes  that  take  place  when  a  civilization  is  subjugated,  its  traditions   are   ridiculed,   its   history   is   rewritten,   its   language   is   driven   into   oblivion,   and   any   attempt  to  combat  this  assault  albeit  in  a  non-­‐violent  and  scholarly  manner  marks   the   individual   as   a   fundamentalist.   I   am   particularly     amused     that   otherwise   intelligent   people   have   begun   to   use   the   epithet   of   choice,   the   veritable   nom   de   plume   of   being   a   Hindutvawadi.   The   calendar,   astronomy,   and   the   story   of   time   combine  to  make  a  fascinating  chapter  in  the  story  of  the  Homo  Sapiens,  and  it  is   the  larger  Civilizational  canvas  that  I  hope  the  reader  will  focus  on.    
 

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What  do  I  take  away  from  the  writing  of  this  book?  It  is  my  faith  in  the  universality   of   the   human   spirit.   If   there   is   one   thing   above   all   that   I   treasure   from   this   experience   is   that   the   love   of   science   and   mathematics   does   not   recognize   man   made   geographies,   boundaries,   ethnic   classifications,   language,   social   strata,   or   economics.    It  is  for  this  reason  I  find  that  the  current  Eurocentric  emphasis  which   persists  among  authors  even  to  this  day  and  which  resulted  from  the  theft  of  vast   portions  of  our  intellectual  heritage,  to  be  an  anathema  and  to  be  of  a  particularly   egregious   nature   with   which   I   have   little   sympathy   and   have   no   tolerance   whatsoever.    

 

 

Prologue  -­‐  the  Parable  of  the  Lost  Coin  

 

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But  in  1280  Europe  was  largely  an  intellectual  backwater.  It  would  be  well  over  300   years  before  Cambridge  could  boast  a  world-­‐renowned  scientist  on  its  roster.    The   writings  of  the  ancient  Greeks  were  largely  lost,  and  it  was  only  after  Toledo  and  its   world   famous   library   was   conquered   from   the   Moorish   rulers   of   Andalusia   and   Southern   Spain   in   1085   CE   that   Europe   was   able   to   make   strides   in   the   various   branches   of   knowledge   thanks   to   the   large   number   of   Arab   documents   that   now   fell   into   the   hands   of   the   Spaniards   at   one   of   the   greatest   libraries   of   the   middle   ages.   For   example,   Ptolemy’s   Syntaxis,   which   survives   today   as   the   Almagest     (from   3 the   Arabic   Al   Majisti )   was   translated   into   Latin   from   the   Arabic   reputedly   by   a   Gerard   of   Cremona   in   1175   CE.   This   was   the   sole   text   known   as   the   Arabo   Latin   text,   in   Astronomy   for   the   majority   of   the   people   in   Europe   during   the   ensuing   centuries,  until  the  17th  century  

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In  1068  CE  Ṣāid  al-­‐Andalusī  ,  as  far  as  we  are  aware,  the  first  historian  of  Science   and  as  his  name  indicates  from  Moorish  Spain,  wrote  Kitāb  Tabaqāt  al-­‐Umam   in   Arabic   (Book   of   Categories   of   Nations,   Livres   des   Categories’   des   Nations).     The  book  was  translated  into  French  in  1835  by  Regis  Blachère4  and  into  English   by  Alok  Kumar5  in  1992.  The  text  was  produced  in  Spain  in  the  11th  century  in   which  Ṣāid  was  reported  to  have  made  the  observation  that  only  eight  nations   were   interested   in   and   comprehended   Science6.   These   eight   people   were   the   Hindus,   the   Persians,   the   Chaldeans,   the   Jews,   the   Greeks,   the   Romans,   the   Egyptians,  and  the  Arabs.   In  this  List,     he  placed  the  Hindus  at  the  Head  of    the   list   because   ‘Les   Indous,   entre   tout   les   nations,   a   traverse   le   siècle   et   depuis   l’antiquité,   furent   la   source   de   la   sagesse,   de   la   justice   et   de   la   modération.   Ils   furent   un   peuple,   donne   de   vertus   pondératrices,   créature   de   pensées   sublimes,   d’apologues   universel   d’inventions   rares   et   de   traits   d’esprit   remarquables’    
This  much  is  largely  uncontested  and  it  is  abundantly  clear  that  the  high  opinion   that  SAA  had  of  Indic  advances  in  the  sciences  was  not  an  isolated  instance.    We   mention  Severus  Sebokht,  a  Syrian  Bishop,  who  studied  astronomy,  philosophy,   and  mathematics  in  the  monastery  of  Keneshre  (in  present  day  Syria)  on  the  banks   of  the  Euphrates  in  662  CE:  (the  following  statement  must  be  understood  in  the   context  of  the  alleged  Greek  claim  that  all  mathematical  knowledge  emanated  from   them).  Severus  Sebokht  was  familiar  with  the  work  of  Babylonian,  Indian,  and   Greek  science  and  was  apparently  irritated  by  the  superciliousness  of  those  who   propagated  the  myth  of  the  superiority  of  Greek  learning.7     "I  shall  not  speak  here  of  the  science  of  the  Hindus,  who  are  not  even  Syrians,  and   not  of  their  subtle  discoveries  in  astronomy  that  are  more  inventive  than  those  of  

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the  Greeks  and  of  the  Babylonians;  not  of  their  eloquent  ways  of  counting  nor  of   their  art  of  calculation,  which  cannot  be  described  in  words  -­‐  I  only  want  to   mention  those  calculations  that  are  done  with  nine  numerals.  If  those  who   believe,  because  they  speak  Greek,  that  they  have  arrived  at  the  limits  of  science,   would  read  the  Indian  texts,  they  would  be  convinced,  even  if  a  little  late  in  the   day,  that  there  are  others  who  know  something  of  value"8.  But  all  of  those  high   opinions  of  Indic  science  were  anathema  to  the  Colonial  power  that  went  to   Herculean  lengths  to  undermine  the  high  reputation  of  the  Indics  and  continues  to   do  so  even  today.      

 

 

 

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Colonialism  is  only  a  recent  manifestation  of  Eurocentrism.  It  is  not  merely  the   conquest  of  dominion  of  vast  lands  and  exerting  one’s  will  on  millions  of  people.   It  is  more  than  the  act  of  unleashing  unprovoked  violence  on  a  distant  people,  a   violence  not  restricted  to  the  physical  realm.  It  subjects  the  colonized  to  an   epistemic  rupture  of  vast  proportions.  This  is  the  narrative  of  one  example  of   such  an  epistemic  rupture.  We  will  tell  the  story  (and  the  history)  of  such  a   rupture  in  the  case  of  Astronomy  and  Mathematics.  We  will  amplify  on  what  we   mean  by  an  epistemic  rupture9  in  the  following  pages  and  recapitulate  the  status  of   the  Indian  in  the  modern  era.    

 

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But   there   should   be   little   doubt   in   anybody’s   mind   that   the   subjects   of   linguistics   and   philology   were   a   byproduct   of   the   discovery   of   Sanskrit.   The   discovery   of   Sanskrit  is  often  touted  as  a  great  achievement  of  the  Europeans.  It  is  obvious  that   it  played  a  significant  role  in  the  manner  in  which  the  Occidental  defined  his  own   identity,   and   had   a   definite   but   significant   impact   in   the   manner   in   which   they   viewed   the   Indians.   This   contrived   but   highly   negative   image   of   the   Indians   was   a   major  factor  in  the  subsequent  story  that  we  have  to  tell.      

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There  is  also  the  Frawley  Paradox10.  There  is  the  vast  Vedic  literature  (see  appendix   D),   but   according   to   the   current   narrative   of   Ancient   Indian   History   it   has   no   location   much   less   an   archaeology   associated   with   it.   And   the   Sarasvati   Sindhu   civilization   which   has   an   immense   amount   of   archaeology   spread   over   1.5   million   square   miles   covering   2/3rd   of   the   western   half   of   the   Indian   subcontinent   but   according  to  the  conventional  wisdom  has  hardly  any  literature.  The  juxtaposition   of   these   2   artifacts   occurring   for   part   of   their   respective   histories   congruently   in   time   and   space   should   have   suggested   that   Ockham’s   razor   is   again   a   logical   alternative  and  that  the  Harappan  civilization  is  a  late  stage  of  the  Vedic  civilization,   perhaps  the  mature  stage  of  the  Sulva  Sūtra  era.      

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There  is  a  fundamental  difference  in  the  Weltanschauung  of  the  Occidental  versus   the   Vedantic   concept   of   the   heritage   of   humankind.   The   Vedantin   regards   the   Universe   as   his   playground   and   he   rejoices   in   the   triumphs   of   the   human   spirit   unfettered   by   limitations   of   geography   and   race   and   identity   politics.   The   primary   consideration  of  the  Occidental  appears  to  be  to  ensure  his  primacy  and  the  priority   of  his  civilization.  This  is  not  to  say  that  every  Indic  subscribes  to  the  Vedantic  ideal,   but   such   ontology   is   rarely   subscribed   to   in   the   west   and   perhaps   is   the   likely   explanation  for  the  obsession  that  the  Occidental  has  exhibited  to  claim  priority  in   every   field   of   endeavor   and   manufacture   a   competitive   antiquity   however   incredible  the  resulting  conclusions  may  be.     The  Occidental  has  tried  his  best  to  prevent  us  from  seeing  the  Indic  civilization  in   its   totality,   by   denying   us   the   autochthonous   origin   of   various   disciplines.   He   was   extraordinarily   vehement   in   defining   the   new   chronology   and   was   careful   that   no  

 

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discovery  should  be  attributed  to  India  prior  to  the  Golden  age  of  Greece.  And  soon   it   became   an   axiom   of   Indic   thought   that   we   had   borrowed   everything   from   the   Greeks  and  Indians  today  are  caught  in  the  web  of  a  circular  argument,  where  we   assume   the   answer   to   the   question   'when   did   the   Indics   discover   this.   Typical   of   such   Indian   writers   (and   almost   no   Indian   writer   has   challenged   the   basic   steel   frame  of  the  Indian  chronology  of  Vincent  Smith)  was  Gaurang  Nath  Banerjee  who   wrote   about   Hellenism   in   Ancient   India,   which   was   obviously   written   to   placate   occidental  sensibilities  in  1920.    

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There   hardly   exists   a   history   book   in   Astronomy   that   does   justice   to   the   fact   that   the   ancient   Indians   left   behind   a   staggering   amount   of   literature11   for   us   to   decipher.  In  fact  the  perception  is  just  the  opposite;  that  Information  about  Indian   mathematics  is  hard  to  get.  This  is  in  large  part  a  problem  that  western  historians   have  created  by  imposing  unreasonable  standards  of  reliability.  In  many  cases  the   standards   were   impossible   to   meet,   especially   as   researchers   were   hampered   in   their   due   diligence   work   because   of   inadequate   knowledge   of   Sanskrit.   On   the   other   hand,   these   standards   were   never   demanded   of   similar   sources   from   Ancient   Greece.   As   a   result   the   bias   against   Indic   contributions   in   antiquity   has   been   institutionalized  to  a  large  degree.      

 

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Thus,   the   study   of   the   Indic   contribution   to   the   Computational   Sciences   has   languished  under  a  diminished  set  of  extreme  alternative  hypothesis,  one  of  which   asserts   that   everything   that   the   Indic   developed   in   the   exact   sciences,   was   borrowed   from   Greece   (or   Babylon).   Such   an   oversimplification   is   a   familiar   tactic   used  in  denigrating  one’s  adversary,  and  is  known  as  Reductionism.  The  underlying   assumption   is   that   India   has   been   for   the   most   part   a   cultural   cul-­‐de-­‐sac,   where   nothing  new  originated.  This  is  what  we  term  the  Hegelian  Hypothesisxii  and  it  has   been   the   fundamental   assumption   that   most   historians   from   the   Occident   have   adopted   largely   ignoring   the   vast   amount   of   Indic   literature,   where   it   was   not   consistent  with  their  hypothesis.  

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The  other  fundamental  problem  is  the  faulty  chronology  that  he  has  bestowed   upon  India.  It  does  not  matter  whether  this  was  deliberate  or  inadvertent.  The   myopic  Eurocentric  view  that  has  become  the  “accepted”  doctrine  has  had  serious   repercussions  for  the  historian  of  science  studying  other  cultures.    By  postulating   the  impossibly  late  migration  of  a  mythic  race  of  people  the  present  narrative  has   completely  garbled  the  entire  history  of  India.  It  is  easy  to  understand  the  British   rationale  behind  such  a  narrative  when  several  historians  were  paid  to  write  such  a   history  in  the  nineteenth  century.    The  idea  was  to  project  that  the  English  were   simply  the  latest  in  a  string  of  invaders  to  have  invaded  the  subcontinent  and  have   therefore  as  much  right  to  rule  over  you  as  the  intellectual  leadership  of  the   country  who  have  been  the  real  exploiters  of  the  common  folk.  Never  mind  that   the  Colonial  power  ruled  over  India  with  an  Iron  fist  (e.g.  No  Indian  could  own   firearms)  and  the  only  person  who  could  exploit  the  Indians  was  the  colonial   overlord.  It  made  a  good  story  and  provided  the  Indians  with  a  punching  bag  that   was  within  their  ambit.  By  inventing  and  making  the  late  arrival  of  the  mythic   Āryans  a  fait  accompli,  the  narrative  killed  several  birds  with  one  stone.  Indian   chronology  became  a  hostage  to  the  “late  arrival”  of  the  Indo  Āryans  that  leads  to   the  coup  de  grace.  Because  of  this  late  arrival  he  the  Indo  Aryan  could  not  have   developed  anything  worthwhile  before  the  Greeks  and  the  Babylonians.  We  are   aware  that  victors  write  the  history  of  a  vanquished  nation.  But  naïve  as  the  Indics   were,  they  did  not  dream  that  the  resulting  story  would  be  so  diabolically  different   from  reality.  Implicit  in  all  this  is  the  racist  notion  that  only  the  Indo  Āryans  (a   euphemism  for  Europeans)  were  capable  of  undertaking  the  truly  hard  tasks  –  the   development  of  Sanskrit,  the  development  of  astronomy  etc.xiii,  and  27      

 

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Otto   Neugebauer   (ON)   in   the   introduction   of   his   classic   on   ‘The   exact   sciences   of   Antiquity’xiv.   ‘THE   INVESTIGATION   OF   THE   TRANSMISSION   OF   MATHEMATICS   AND   ASTRONOMY   IS  
ONE   OF   THE   MOST   POWERFUL   TOOLS   FOR   THE   ESTABLISHMENT   OF   RELATIONS   BETWEEN   DIFFERENT   CIVILIZATIONS.   STYLISTIC   MOTIVES,   RELIGIOUS   OR   PHILOSOPHICAL   DOCTRINES   MAY   BE   DEVELOPED   INDEPENDENTLY   OR   CAN   TRAVEL   GREAT   DISTANCES   THROUGH   A   SLOW   AND   VERY   INDIRECT   PROCESS   OF   DIFFUSION.   COMPLICATED   ASTRONOMICAL   METHODS,   HOWEVER,   INVOLVING   THE   USE   OF   ACCURATE  NUMERICAL  CONSTANTS,  REQUIRES  FOR  THEIR  TRANSMISSION  THE  DIRECT   USE   OF   SCIENTIFIC   TREATISES   AND   WILL   OFTEN   GIVE   US   VERY   ACCURATE   INFORMATION   ABOUT   THE   TIME   AND   CIRCUMSTANCES   OF   CONTACT.   IT   WILL   ALSO   GIVE   US   THE   POSSIBILITY   OF   EXACTLY   EVALUATING   THE   CONTRIBUTIONS   OR   MODIFICATIONS,   WHICH   MUST   BE   CREDITED   TO   THE   NEW   USER   OF   A   FOREIGN   METHOD.  IN  SHORT  THE  INHERENT  ACCURACY  OF  THE  MATHEMATICAL  SCIENCES  WILL   PENETRATE   TO   SOME   EXTENT   INTO   PURELY   HISTORICAL   PROBLEMS.   BUT   ABOVE   AND   BEYOND  THE  USEFULNESS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  EXACT  SCIENCES  FOR  THE  HISTORY   OF   CIVILIZATION   IN   GENERAL,   IT   IS   THE   INTEREST   IN   THE   ROLE   OF   ACCURATE   KNOWLEDGE  IN  H UMAN  T HOUGHT  T HAT  M OTIVATES  T HE  F OLLOWING  S TUDIES.’  

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Preservation  of    heritage  issues    
Why  is  it    a  necessity  to  discuss  preservation  of  heritage  and  why  now  ?    
The  original   idea    for   a   seminar   ,was   that   of   Prof   Shivaji   in   response   to   my   query,   which   was   essentially   a   'now   what'   question.   And   then   somebody   remarked   that   we   would   probably   get   across   our   message   more   readily   if   we   were   perceived   to   be   m0re   constructive   and   concentrated   on   what   should   be   done   given   that   the   current   history   is   not   only   false   but   ridiculously   so   ,   rather   than   harping   on   what   was   false   (almost   everything   BCE)   So   the   obvious  answer  is  that  we  should  preserve  what  is  left.  As  a  historian  of  science,    first  step  in   this  process  is  my  responsibility  to  right  the  record  of  this  process,  so  people  do  not  make   false  conclusions  .  Take  the  example  of  Sanskrit.       The   popular   refrain   amongst   westerns   scholars       is   that   they   study   Sanskrit   for   linguistic   reasons.  But  do  you  really  believe  that  the  East  India  company,  which  is  a  company  known   for   being   extremely   mercenary   paid    Max   Mueller   4   shillings   a   page   to   study   the   arcane   connexions  between  Sanskrit  and  German.  Clearly  the  probability  of  the  answer  being  yes  to   such  a  question  is  extremely  low.  Clearly  what  they  wanted  to  know  was  whether  the  books   contained   knowledge   they   could   use.   It   seems   incredible   to   our   post   independence   generation  who  are  bred  on  constant  propaganda  that  India  could  do  nothing  right  and  they   would   be   astounded   that   a   company   which   made   money   by   buccaneering   (trade   was   a   euphemism   for   raiding   merchant   ships   in   the   high   seas)      would   have   such   a   high   opinion   of   India's  knowledge.      

Why  Is  preservation  so  important  and  what  would  be  the  consequence  of  not   preserving  our  heritage  
  But   now   we   know   that   the   reason   why   they   had   such   a   high   opinion   of  India's  technological   prowess  was  throughout  history  India  had  a  high  reputation  for  technological  prowess  and   they  hoped  to  make  a  quick  buck  out  of  any  easy  answers  they  may  find  in  the  Veda  and  the   associate  books.     It    is   Bernard   Cohn   at   the   university    of   Chicago   that   first   bought   the   attention   of   the   western   world   to   the   role   played   by   knowledge   in   Colonialism   in   his   landmark   publication   Colonialism  and  its  forms    of  knowledge  While  we    in  Asia  are  pretty  blasé  about  this  sort    of   thing    (one  Indian  Muslim  listener  was  totally  unimpressed  by  my  recounting  of  the  Colonial   effort   at   rewriting   our   history   ;   his   response   was   'What   do   you   expect   '   when   you   are   conquered'  in  contrast  to    the  average  westerner  who  is  convinced  of  the  moral  superiority   of  the  west  and  tends  to  be  shocked  when  told  that  theft  was  the  Occupation  of  the  East   India  Company  .    So  getting  the  record  straight  is  the  first  part  of  the  effort  and  my  book  is  a   recounting  of  the  theft  and  the  vast  epistemic  rupture  that  accompanied  the  theft  ,  that  in   turn  was  the    result  of  denuding  India  of  its  Sanskritic.  Heritage.      Having   established   that   intellectual   theft   occurred   on   a   fairly   significant   scale,   it   becomes   easier   for   me   to   establish   that   the   effort   to   remake   the   Indian   in   the   image   of   the   Conqueror,   was   not   an   altruistic   one,   where   he   wa   concerned   about   the   future  

 

competitiveness  of  his  Indian  subjects    as  Macaulay  would  have  you  believe  in  his  minute  on   education  but  one  designed  to  defang  the  intellectual  in  Indian  society  by  making  him  start   all   over   and   turn   him   into   a   Baboo   (   Bernard   Cohn   refers   to   this   transformation   in   Indian   Society  although  not  in  such  Graphic  terms).I  am  not  saying  that  Indians  were  fooled  by  his   minute   on   education,   because   the   vast   majority   of   the   Indics   were   skeptical   of   his   approach    and  intentions.  But  the  critique  was  directed  more  at  his  assumptions  rather  than   on  his  intentions  .The  assumption  being  that  the  Indian  system  of  knowledge  was  inferior  in   every  way  to  the  Occidental  system.  But  i  am  deeply  skeptical  that  a  man  of  such  superlative   attainments  as  Macaulay  would  have  been  so  obtuse  that  he  would  have  failed  to  see  much   that   could   be   emulated      in   the   Indian   system.   Now   we   know   that   the   best   kept   secret   during   the   colonial   regime   was   the   extraordinary   number   of   intelligent   individuals   that   studied   the   Indian   system   so   thoroughly.   So   my   contention   is   that   he   was   far   more   prescient.  He  realized  that  left  to  their  own  devices,  there  would  be  a  steady  stream  of  Indic   scholars   that   would   challenge   the   British   contention   that   India   was   just   a   jaded   left   over   from  the  impregnations  of  a  superior  intellect  which  later  came  to  mean  the  Aryans.       Now   we   know   that   the   best   kept   secret   during   the   colonial   regime   was   the   extraordinary   number   of   highly   talented   Occidentals   who   studied   India   for   nearly   all   of   their   adult   Professional  life  so  thoroughly  that  they  spent  a  lifetime  studying,  and  that  is  how  Indology   became  a  separate  field  of  study..  So  my  contention  is  that  he  was  far  more  prescient.  He   realized   that   left   to   their   own   devices,   there   would   be   a   steady   dissemination   of   Indic   scholars   that   would   challenge   the   British   contention   that   India   was   just   a   jaded   left   over   from   the   impregnations   of   a   superior   intellect   which   later   came   to   mean   he   Aryans.   See   the   quote  I  have  of  Rouse    Ball  where  he  expresses  such  a  racist  sentiment.     So  you  say,  I  have  heard  all  of  this  before,  that  a  large  number  Europeans  studied  India  for   their   entire   life.   “I   knew   that.   So   what   else   is   new1     It   would   be   refreshing   to   admit   that   there   is   a   large   universe   of   thngs   that   one   knows   nothing   about.   But   the   real   value   of   a   factoid  is  the  inferences  he  can  make  of  it.    So,    here  is  the  punch  line  of  this  story  .     But   first   we   have   to   place   one   more   factoid   on   the   table,   namely   that   it   was    Macaulay   who   hired  Friedrich  Maximilian  Mueller  to  translate  the  sacred  books  of  the  east  ,  But  herein  lies   the   conundrum.   If   as   he   himself   vociferously   proclaims   that   the   general   knowledge   of   the   Indics   would   draw   the   ridicule   of   school   girls   (the   exact   quotes   can   be   found   in   My   South   Asia   File   appendix   where   I   have   reproduced   also   his   minute   on   education   but   noteworthy   here   is   the   subtle   gender   put   own.)   and   he   feels   that   Sanskrit   is   not   a   language   worth   learning,  so  much  so  that  he  forced  the  entire  population  to  learn  English,  what  is  he  doing   paying   a   Mediocre   student   of   Sanskrit   ,   the   princely   sum   of   4000   shillings   a   year   or   200   Pounds  in  the  year  1860.  At  one  time  in  my  career  i  was  offered  400  pounds  (circa  1964)  a   year,  so  2oo  pounds  in  1860  was  a  very  comfortable  wage  and  needless  to  say  Ma  Mueller   retired  a  very  rich  and  wealthy  man.     But   I   hope   by   this   time   the   light   bulb   has   exploded   and   that   the   real   reason   why   he   wanted   the   intellectual   leadership   to   switch   to   English   was   not   out   of   concern   for   their   well   being    an   to   integrate   them   in   the   English   speaking   world,   but   to   prevent   them   from  
                                                                                                                       
1

 one  rarely  admits  to  hearing  a  fact  for  the  first  time  

 

retaining  their  lead  in  Sanskrit  an  set  them  back  by  several  generations,  so  that  they  would   no   longer   be   competitive   and   would   undoubtedly   be   able   to   shape   their   heads   so   that   their   ideas  would  be  consonant  with  helping  the  British  run  their  empire.   I  have  often  said  that  while  the  British  did  many  things  in  India  about  which  they  should  be   ashamed   they   were   not   a   particularly   diabolical   people.   While    this   may   be   true   of   the   population   in   general,   the   same   cannot   be   said   of   the   ruling   classes   We   only   saw   the   arrogant  side  of  them  but  their  diabolical  nature  was  evident  was  evident  on  more  than  a   few  occasions.  The  three  that  come  to  mind,  are     The   widespread   pogroms   they   unleashed   on   civilians   in   the   aftermath   of   the   unsuccessful   1857  Anglo  Indian  War,  the  utter  callousness  with      which  they  handled  the  famines  in  India,   and  the  truly  diabolical  plan  to  reduce  an  intellectually  vibrant  society    to    an  illiterate  and   penurious  one.     The   next   step   is   in   the   preservation   of   this   knowledge.   While   engaged   lifespan   in   this   endeavor   i   make   no   pretense   that   everything   in   ancient   India   is   of   equal   relevance   to   us.   Ours  is  too  short  and  if  we  are  not  discriminating,  we  may  end  up  making  very  little  or  no   progress.   While   we   can   offer   criteria   for   this   endeavor,   my   preference   is   to   let   the   free   market  decide  what  it  wants  to  keep  and  study  further.  But  now  he  has  more    data  and  is   better  armed  to  make  an  informed  choice.          
                                                                                                                       
1

 Russell  Bertrand,  Introduction  to    Mathematical  Philosophy,    New  York  and  London,  1919,   p.71    
3

  Claudius   Ptolemy     called   his   work   the   Η   Μεγαλη   Συνταχιξ   τηξ   Αστρονομιαξ,   Megaly   Syntaxis,  Great  System  of  Astronomy.  It  was  translated  by  Al  Thābit  ibn  Qurra  circa  CE  880   after  the  Khilafat  of  the  7th  Abbasid  Khalīf  Al  Ma’amun  and  the  name  of  the  translation  was   Al   Kitāb   al   Majisti,   the   Greatest   Book.   In   the   early   years   after   the   translation   into   Latin   from   the  Arabic    in  the  late  11th  century  or  early  12th  century,  even  as  late    as  CE  1515  it  was   known  as    the  Arabo  Latin  translation.  The  direct  translation  from  the  Greek  was  available   only   in   the   16th   century,   from   a   Vatican   manuscript.   One   wonders   why   the   Vatican   took   16   centuries  to  find  this  manuscript.  The  premise  here  is  that  only  the  Vatican  had  the  means,   motive,  and  opportunity  to  control  the  dissemination  of  such  a  well  known  document.  It  is   also   a   legitimate   question   to   ask   why   the   Almagest   is   always   referred   to   as   Ptolemy’s   Almagest,  when  in  fact  he  never  wrote  a  book  with  such  a  title.    
4

 Régis  Blachère  Le  Livre  de  la  catégorie  des  Nations  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
5

  Şaid   Al-­‐Andalusi   Science   in   the   Medieval   World:   "Book   of   the   Categories   of   Nations"   (History  of  Science  Series)  (Hardcover)  translated  by  ,  Semaan  I.  Salem  (Author),  Alok  Kumar   (Editor)  
6

  Richter-­‐Bernburg,   Lutz   (1987).   Şāid,   the   Toledan   Tables,   and   Andalusī   Science.   In   From   Deferent   to   Equant:   A   Volume   of   Studies   in   the   History   of   Science   in   the   Ancient   and   Medieval  Near  East  in  Honor  of  E.  S.  Kennedy,  edited  by  David  A.  King  and  George  Saliba,  pp.   373–401.  Annals  of  the  New  York  Academy  of  Sciences,  Volume  500.  
7 8

 Nau,  François,  Journal  Asiatique  3  (13)  (1899):  56-­‐101,  238-­‐303.    

 Nau,  François.  (1910)  Notes  d'astronomie  indienne.  Journal  Asiatique  10  Ser.  16,  209  -­‐  228.   Needham,  J.  (1959)  Science  and  civilization  in  China  vol.  ..   www.es.flinders.edu.au/~mattom/science+society/lecture6.html.   François   Nau  (May   13,   1864  at  Thiel  –  September  2,  1931  at  Paris)  was  a  French  Catholic  priest,  Mathematician  and   specialist   in  Syriac  studies   and   other   oriental   languages.   He   published   a   great   number   of   eastern  Christian  texts  and  translations  for  the  first  and  often  only  time.    
9

 Episteme,  a  system  of  understanding  or  a  body  of  ideas  which  give  shape  to  the  knowledge   of   that   time.     We   use   the   Term   Vedic   Episteme   in   the   sense   of   the   Pramāṇa,   means   of   obtaining   knowledge   and   Pramā;   the   correct   knowledge   obtained   through   rigorous   reasoning   and   includes   such   methods   as   Pratyaksha,   Upamāna,   Anumāna,   Anupalabdhi,   Arthāpatti,  and  Upapatti.  
10

  Named   after   David   Frawley   see   for   instance   ‘In   search   of   the   Cradle   of   Civilization’,   Wheaton,  Illinois,  Quest  Books,  1995  
11

  David   Pingree,   Census   of   the   Exact   Sciences   in   Sanskrit   (CESS)   five   volumes,   American   Philosophical  Society,  Philadelphia,1970.  
xii

  Georg   Wilhelm   Friedrich   Hegel   (August   27,   1770   –   November   14,   1831)   was   a   German   philosopher   born   in   Stuttgart,   Württemberg,   in   present-­‐day   southwest   Germany.   His   influence   has   been   widespread   on   writers   of   widely   varying   positions,   including   both   his   admirers   (F.   H.   Bradley,   Sartre,   Hans   Küng,   Bruno   Bauer,   Max   Stirner,   Karl   Marx),   and   his   detractors   (Kierkegaard,   Schopenhauer,   Nietzsche,   Heidegger,   Schelling).   He   introduced,   arguably   for   the   first   time   in   philosophy,   the   idea   that   History   and   the   concrete   are   important  in  getting  out  of  the  circle  of  Philosophia  Perennis,  i.e.,  the  perennial  problems  of   philosophy.   He   also   stressed   the   importance   of   the   other   in   the   coming   to   be   of   self-­‐ awareness  (see  master-­‐slave  dialectic).   We   are   primarily   concerned   here   with   his   ideas   on   Indic   studies.   The   invasion   theory   of   Indian   History   was   first   postulated   by   Hegel   in   his   Philosophy   of   History   that   India   lacked  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

historical   agency   and   that   India   was   a   cultural   cul   de   sac   from   which   nothing   worthwhile   ever  emanated.     ‘It   strikes   every   one,   in   beginning   to   form   an   acquaintance   with   the   treasures   of   Indian   literature,   that   a   land   so   rich   in   intellectual   products,   and   those   of   the   profoundest   order   of   thought,  has  no  History.  ‘Hegel,  G.  W.  F.  (1956).  The  Philosophy  of  History,  translated  by  J.   Sibree,  New  York,  Dover  Publications,  Inc.  
xiii

 Kosla  Vepa  “The  South  Asia  File”    

27   Kosla   Vepa   “The   Pernicious   Effects   of   a   Misinterpreted   Greek   Synchronism”   Paper   presented  at  the  ICIH2009    
xiv

  Otto   Neugebauer   “The   Exact   Sciences   in   Antiquity”   first   published   in   1957   by   Brown   university  press,  republished  by  Dover  publications,  New  York,  NY,  in  1967       Encomiums     “Kaushal   has   inspired   me   to   read   history   passionately.   he   has   contributed   immensely   to   enhancing  the  world  view  of  Indians  inside  India  and  abroad.”  January  2,  2008   1 st  Dinesh  Neelavar,  Bus  Dev,  Telecom     worked  directly  with  Kosla  at  Non  Profit  Foundation   “Kaushal   (Kosla)   is   a   deep   thinker   and   researcher.   In   his   work   at   the   Indic   Studies   Foundation   he   demonstrated   how   one   can   apply   the   "scientific   method"   while   studying   historical  issues.  He  rarely  forms  an  opinion  until  he  studies  all  sides  of  a  controversial  issue.   As   the   bulk   of   Indian   history   was   written   from   a   colonial   perspective,   it   is   important   to   revisit   those   issues   from   an   unbiased,   scientific   viewpoint   and   validate   earlier   theories   in   light  of  modern  evidence.  This,  I  believe,  is  the  strength  of  Dr.  Kaushal  Vepa  and  the  Indic   Studies  Foundation.”  December  13,  2007   1 st  Rao  Vemuri,  Owner,  Eco  Foundation     was  with  another  company  when  working  with  Kosla  at  Non  Profit  Foundation  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

“I  have  known  Dr  Kaushal  Vepa  for  more  than  8  years.  He  is  a  learned  and  very  well  read   person  with  expertise  in  many  domains.  His  prodigious  memory  and  sharp  analytical  abilities   bring   light   to   many   aspects   that   are   otherwise   missed   by   traditional   experts.   He   has   excellent   communication   skills,   always   concise,   to   the   point   and   fully   leverages   his   excellent   command   on   English   and   many   other   languages.  preservation     Dr   Kaushal   is   one   of   the   best   experts   in   the   world   on   Indian   history,   culture,   politics   and   science,   as   well   as   world   geo-­‐politics,   history   &   culture.   His   scientific   and   engineering   background  gives  him  an  insight  that  most  Indologists  miss.     I   am   thankful   to   Dr   Kaushal   for   his   leadership,   guidance   and   support   to   India   Research   Foundation,  as  well  as  other  India  centric  organizations.  He  is  one  of  the  greatest  person  I   have   met,   and   it   my   privilege   to   be   associated   with   Dr   Kaushal   Vepa   and   to   learn   from   him.”  December  10,  2007   1 st  Arun  Sharma,  Co-­‐founder,  India  Research  Foundation     worked  directly  with  Kosla  at  Non  Profit  Foundation   “Kaushal   was   very   helpful   in   articulating   our   objectives   of   our   project   and   was   the   most   significant  contributor  on  how  we  run  our  project  at  india-­‐forum  .  His  articles  on  history  and   Hinduism  are  very  popular  and  very  intuitive  which  brings  in  a  fresh  insights.”  December  10,   2007   1 st  Muthukumar  Prakasham,  Owner,  Rhytha  Web  Solutions     worked  directly  with  Kosla  at  Non  Profit  Foundation                    I   had   occasion   to   first   meet   with   Shri   Kosla   Vepa   last   year   when   I   presented   a   paper   at   the   conference   on   Indian   History   organized   by   him   and   his   Foundation.   I   am   much   impressed   by   the   yeomen   service   he   is   doing   in   the   cause   of   the   Indic   learning,   cultural   and   historical   research,   and   especially   applaud   his   commendable   contribution   of   facilitating   active  participation  in  these  subjects  by  the  non-­‐professional,  part-­‐time,  aspiring  or  amateur   researchers.   I   also   recommend   his   very   insightful   and   thought   provoking   book   The   South   Asia  File.”  January  31,  2010   1 st  Sarvesh  Tiwari,  Senior  Principal  Consultant,  Genpact  LLC  (Formerly  GE  Process  Solutions)   was  with  another  company  when  working  with  Kosla  at  Indic  Studies  Foundation   Additional  Information  Websites:    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

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