The Indian Science Congress made history on Sunday with a symposium on “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit” that included a paper on the existence of interplanetary aircraft in India around 9,000 years ago, references to “cosmic connection” and a phenomenon explained as “fusion of science and spirituality due to inter-penetration law”.
Held under the aegis of Mumbai University, this is the first time in its 102 year history that the Congress has included such a session, a moved hailed by delegates as long overdue but criticised by many as mixing of science with mythology.
Seven papers were presented over the five-hour session. Papers were invited by the Department of Sanskrit, Mumbai University, and Kavi Kulaguru Kalidas University, Ramtek, and reviewed by the Mumbai University’s Department of Sanskrit. Some authors were professionals from varied fields, while others were students of Sanskirt.
One paper, co-authored by Captain Anand Bodas, retired head of a pilot training centre, and Ameya Jadhav, a teacher, claimed there was evidence of ancient aviation in the Rigveda.
Captain Bodas told his audience that knowledge of making aeroplanes existed between 6 and 7000 BC. An ancient Indian sage, he said, had also talked of a radar system, which depended on the “basic principle that any animate or inanimate object radiates energy all the time. We know that when radiation stops, that object is considered dead.”
Other papers spoke about how Indian texts were the first to talk about the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, a constant known as pi, the Pythagoras theorem, classification of plants, veterinary science and metallurgy.
“In the Sulbha Sutra written in 800 BCE, Baudhayan wrote the geometric formula now famously known as Pythagoras theorem. It was written by Baudhayan 300 years before Pythagoras,” said Dr Gauri Mahulikar, head of the Sanskrit department of Mumbai University. She added that Sulbha Sutra was also the first to crack the pi ratio.
Union Minister of State Prakash Javadekar said it was high time India used its ancient knowledge and wisdom. Even Germany was showing ‘pragmatic interest” in Sanskirt, he said at the inauguration of the symposium.
Delegates called for serious inter-disciplinary research between various branches of science and ancient Sanskrit texts.