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Re: [ontolog-forum] example of Science and Indian Scripture blog..

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: paoladimaio10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Pavithra <pavithra_kenjige@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2009 17:51:22 -0700 (PDT)
Message-id: <92878.9009.qm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dr. Sowa 
Here is an example of reserach on Ancient Hindu Scriptures and Science... I got this from a Ravimpillai's blog ...   
Ancient Indian text gives directions on how to make a battery
The Agastya Samhita, an ancient Indian text, gives directions on how
to make a battery: "Place a well-cleaned copper plate in an
earthenware vessel. Cover it first by copper sulfate and then moist
sawdust. After that put a mercury-amalgamated-zinc sheet on top of an
energy known by the twin name of Mitra-Varuna. Water will be split by
this current into Pranavayu and Udanavayu. A chain of one hundred jars
is said to give a very active and effective force." By the way, Mitra-
Varuna is now called cathode-anode, and Pranavayu and Udanavayu are to
us oxygen and hydrogen, respectively.
Electrical Science
Rao Saheb Krishnaji Vajhe had passed the engineering exam in 1891 from
Pune. While looking for scriptures related to science, he found a few
pages of the Agastya Samhita with Damodar Tryambak Joshi of Ujjain.
These belonged to around Shaka Samvat 1550. Later on, after reading
the said description in the pages of the Samhita, Dr.
M.C.Sahastrabuddhe, the Head of the Sanskrit Department in Nagpur felt
that the description was very similar to that of Daniel Cell. So he
gave it to P.P. Hole, the Professor of Engineering at Nagpur, with a
request to investigate. Agastya's sources were as follows:
Sansthapya Mrinmaya Patre
Tamrapatram Susanskritam
Chhadyechhikhigriven Chardrarbhih
Dastaloshto Nidhatavyah
Sanyogajjayte Tejo
—(Agastya Samhita)
"Take an earthen pot, place a copper sheet, and put the shikhigreeva
in it. Then, smear it with wet sawdust, mercury and zinc. Then, if you
join the wires, it will give rise to Mitravarunashakti."
When Mr. Hole an his friend started preparing the apparatus on the
basis of the above description, they could understand all the things
except shikhigreeva. On checking the Sanskrit dictionary, they
understood that it meant the neck of a peacock. So, he and his friend
went to Maharaj Bagh and asked the chief when a peacock would die in
his zoo. This angered the gentleman. Then they told him that they
needed its neck for an experiment. The gentleman asked them to give in
an application. Later, when during a conversation, they narrated this
to an Ayurveda expert, he burst out laughing and said that here it did
not mean the neck of a peacock, but a substance of that colour, that
is copper sulphate. This solved the problem. Thus, a cell was formed
and measured with a digital multimeter. It had an open circuit voltage
of 1.38 volts and short circuit current of 23 milli amperes.
The information that the experiment was successful was conveyed to Dr.
M.C. Sahastryabuddhe. This cell was exhibited on August 7, 1990 before
the scholars of the fourth general meeting at the Swadeshi Vigyan
Sanshodhan Sanstha, Nagpur. It was then realised that the description
was of the electric cell. They investigated as to what the context was
and it was realised that Sage Agastya had said many things before
Anen Jalbhangosti Prano Daneshu
Evam Shatanam
—(Agastya Samhita)
He says that if we use the power of 100 earthen pots on water, then
water will change its form into life-giving oxygen and floating
Vayubandhakvastren Nibaddho
Udanah Swalaghutve
—(Agastya Samhita-Shilp Shastra)
If hydrogen is contained in an air tight cloth, it can be used in
aerodynamics, i.e. it will fly in air.
—(Shukra Niti)
A layer of polish of artificial gold or silver is called satkriti
(good deed.)
Aachhadyati Tattamram Swarnen
Rajten Va
Suvarnliptam Tattamram
Shatkumbhmiti Smritam.
—(Agastya Samhita)
In an iron vessel and in a strong acidic medium, gold or silver
nitrate covers copper with a layer of gold or silver. The copper that
is covered by gold is called shatakumbha or artificial gold.
Rao Saheb Vajhe, who spent his life in rummaging the Indian scientific
scriptures, and discovering various experiments, gave different names
to electricity on the basis of the Agastya Samhita and other
scriptures and that electricity is created in different ways.
1. Lightning—created by friction of silken cloth
2. Saudamini—created from friction of gems.
3. Electricity—created by clouds
4. Shatakumbhi—created by 100 cells or pots
5. Hridani—stored or assimilated electricity
6. Ashani—born of magnetic bar.
Agastya Samhita also contains an account of how electricity can be
used for electroplating. He also discovered a way to polish gold,
silver, and copper with a battery. Hence, Agastya is also called one
who is `Battery Born'.
(This book is available with Ocean Books(P)Ltd.,4/19, Asaf Ali Road,
New Delhi-110 002.)

--- On Sat, 9/12/09, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] UK apology for its treatment of Turing
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: paoladimaio10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Saturday, September 12, 2009, 5:56 PM


I would certainly agree that the ancient Indians and other great
civilizations of the past had highly developed bodies of knowledge.
But a great deal of knowledge has been common to humanity for many

> For example, ancient Indians knew that one needs oxygen from the
> air to be alive and vibrant.. and called it "Pranavayu" and
> many yogas still revolves around circulating oxygen within the
> different parts of ones body ..  from head to toe to rejuvenate
> the body...  such knowledge is science and today's science agrees
> with it..

Yes, but I doubt that they had done the experiments to distinguish
the components O and N.  It's hard to believe that there were any
human societies that did not understand the need to breathe.  It's
also hard to distinguish discoveries made by different civilizations
across the silk road from China to Egypt and Greece.  They had been
trading, communicating, and fighting with each for thousands of years.

Following is a book co-authored by Karl-Erik Sveiby (the man who
coined the term 'Knowledge Management') and an Australian aborigine
named Tex Skuthorpe:


The title is "Treading Lightly" and the subtitle is "The Hidden
Knowledge of the World's Oldest People" -- that is the accumulated
wisdom of the native Australians who had been isolated from other
human societies for about 40,000 years.

For various articles by Sveiby, including material related to that
book and other material related to knowledge management, see


John Sowa

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