Similarly, there are other divisions too. Because of the expression and suitability of these Sanskrit names, Sir William Jones said, ?Had Linius (the father of modern science of classification) learnt Sanskrit, he could have developed his method of giving names more perfect.?
Drinking water from the roots?Indians knew the plants take in liquid food, so they were called paadap(one who drinks water from the roots).
Tatha pawanasanyuktah paadaih pibati
?Just as if one puts the lotus stem in his mouth and sucks to drink water, similarly, with the help of the wind, the plants can drink water from their roots.?
Diseases of plants?Varahamihir'sBrihat Samhita describes four kinds of diseases of plants. The modern description also has these.
Heredity?A Concise History of Science in India says that Charka and Sushruta have stated that all parts of the vegetable are present in their minute forms in the fruit bearing part of the flower. These appear one by one later on.
Contribution of Jagdish Chandra Basu
What is written above pertains to ancient times. However, even in modern times, how much does the country know about the matchless contribution of the great scientist Jagdish Chandra Basu in the field of botany?
Jagdish Chandra Basu proved that life of consciousness is not limited to humans, birds and animals along, but in plants and other things which we consider inanimate, too.
In this manner, he presented the unanimity of life. He said that the lifeless and the living are relative words and not absolute. The only difference between the two is that metals are a little less sensitive, plants a little more, animals more than plants and humans, the most sensitive. There is only a difference of degree but there is life in each of them.
Jagdish Chandra Basu'sexperiment
Around 1895, Jagdish Chandra Basu was carrying out some scientific experiment. He sent waves to a metal detector. As a result, the detector recorded some signs. When he repeated this experiment, he noticed that the picture of the sign was a little hazier each time he performed the experiment. This surprised him because this should not happen to non-living things. Being inanimate, its response must not vary, it should be the same. This is characteristic of muscles?when they are tired, the reflexes are a little slow but they return to normal once the body has rested. This raised a doubt in his mind. He, therefore, gave the detector a little rest and then repeated the experiment. He was amazed to see the result. After a little rest, the detector started responding as earlier. He wondered why this was so? He tested it repeatedly and established the principle that even a non-living thing has sensitivity. The only difference is that it is inert.
How the western scientists reacted when Jagdish Chandra Basu expounded this theory, can be seen from the following reference. Jagdish Chandra Basu was to deliver a lecture at the Royal Scientific Society. An intellectual named Hobbes told Hartog, the famous biologist of England, ?Today, Jagdish Chandra Basu, who has proved that plants and non-living things have sensitivity, is going to deliver a lecture. Will you come to listen to it? At this Hartog'sfirst reaction was, ?I am still in my senses. I am not drunk. How did you even imagine that I will believe such a ridiculous thing?? Yet, with the idea of having fun, he attended the lecture. There were many others like him awaiting some fun. Jagdish Chandra Basu not only gave a theoretical lecture but, with the help of apparatus, he gave practical demonstrations. When he started proving his theory, all the intellectuals who had been looking on with indifference, started clapping within fifteen minutes. At the end of the session, when the Chairman asked if anyone had any doubts or would like to ask the speaker some question, no one got up. Then, Prof. Hobbes stood up and said that there was nothing worth asking and the Mr. Basu had proved his theory practically. ?His lecture and the experiment would arouse curiosity but the next experiment would clarify the doubt that had arisen.? Even the Chairman of the Royal Society expressed his belief in Jagdish Chandra Basu's successful attempt to prove the amalgamation of life.
Later, Sir Bose made a deep study and carried out many experiments on plants and travelled around the world carrying his plants. He made many sensitive instruments which helped in looking into the minute internal changes in plants. He made the Crescograph which could show the sensitivity ten million times larger. When these instruments were put on plants, it seemed as if the plants were telling us of all that they had felt during the day.
He wrote about his experiences and experiments in articles like ?Unity of life, voice of life,? etc. and in this modern world, proved the age old theory that plants, animals, birds, insects and in fact, the whole world has sensitivity.
Brihat Samhita – Modern
1. Pandu Patrata – Chlorosis of leaves
2. Pravaal Avriddhi – Falling of buds
3. Shaakha Shosh – Drying up of branches
4. Rasa Struti – Exudation of sap
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