From the scientific point of view, there has been a tradition of study and research since ancient times. A number of sages like Bhrigu, Vashishtha, Bharadwaj, Attri, Garg, Shaunak, Shukra, Narad, Chakrayan, Dhundinath, Nandeesh, Kashyap, Agastya, Parshuram, Drona, etc. who spent their entire lives on working in the fields of aeronautics, astrology, chemistry, military science, ship building and all other walks of life.
For example, in defining architecture, what Bhrigu has written encompasses such a vast periphery of knowledge, that it is difficult to imagine.
Dhatnnam Sudhananam Cha
Veshm, Prakar, Nagarrachana
Bhrigu mentions ten shastras?agriculture, hydrology, mining, shipping, charioteering, rocket science, Weshm Shaastra (House building, palace, temple, public place and forts building), Praakaar Shaastra, town planning and mechanical engineering, etc. Besides these, there is a mention of 32 different types of learning and 64 types of arts. These include metallurgy, textiles, health, agriculture, building dams, forestry, war science, bridge building, printing, boating, charioteering, air crafts, town planning, house building, health, zoology, botany, cooking, entertainment, administration, etc. Seeing the list of subjects, it seems that the periphery encompassed the entire life. There were many scriptures about these sciences, many of which have been lost and many have disappeared with the people who knew them because we have always believed that knowledge should not fall into the hands of unrightfully people. Although it is true that a lot of knowledge has been lost, yet, even today, several manuscripts are lying scattered around. What is required is to study, analyse and use them. This process may probably reveal new areas of knowledge. In this book, we shall discuss some aspects of Indian scientific uses, tradition and development in the ancient and modern times. We shall first discuss it from the point of view of applied sciences.
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'ssources were as follows:
Sansthapya Mrinmaya Patre
?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 this.
Anen Jalbhangosti Prano Daneshu
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 hydrogen.
?(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.
A layer of polish of artificial gold or silver is called satkriti (good deed.)
Aachhadyati Tattamram Swarnen
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.)