Thursday, February 16, 2012

Science - in Sanskrit, with Sanskrit, is Sanskrit

As a student entering into the vast ocean of Sanskrit Sciences I am compelled to write the sorry state of our country's grate scientific and mathematical heritage and also my views on some of the remedial steps.

First Science in Sanskrit is called as Shastra (the word Vignana has different meaning). The Shastra treaties in Sanskrit in comparison with the Kavya /Sahitya (the literature part of the Sanskrit) is like an Ocean with a Pond - that much is the vastness of Science in Sanskrit

Though Sanskrit has science treatises covering various topics, Indians stopped studying Sanskrit and particularly Science through Sanskrit. With the introduction of wide spread English (only) education since 1900s. Sanskrit studies are also down-graded to humanities in Universities and Language studies in Schools - this way people are kept away from the core of Sanskrit - which is Science and are taught only the Literature part. For example when we think of Sri. Narayana Bhattathiri we think of only of Narayaneeyam and not his work on science of language called "Prakriya Sarvasvam" (grammar) neither the fact that he is a shishya of Achyuta Pisharati who is a Grammarian, Mathematician, Astronomer and Narayana Bhattathiri himself is grammarian, scientist (most of the scientists are grammarians)

Sanskrit is not only a scientifically created language. It also has the second highest repository of science treatises (after English) and entirely original Scientific thoughts and concepts - unlike in English till 1900s most works are translations from other languages. There is a 800 page book published 10 years back containing just the names of the Mathematics treatises from Kerala region alone during the past 500 years - imagine how many book names could be covered in 800 page book in fine print - (we can write atleast 50 book names in one page) - that many original books are available in manuscript forms in many of our countries archives.

Sanskrit as a language inherent with phonetic, syntactic and semantic ingenuity and the widest morphological verity. Studying Sanskrit not as a language but as a tool for science would be the best approach. Contained in the depths of the language the most sought after ideas to solve not just the problems of today, individual, national or international. The particular emphasis on Objective and Subjective scientific inquiries into the ontological aspects of the earth to the nature of human thought and understanding. Many of the scientific /philosophical treaties looks at the God more from a Cause/Effect PoV than anything else. Thus the basis found in the Sanskrit science offers is on the scientific thinking which starts with the material ontological aspects of the visible world and proceed towards the logics of proof and the methodology of inquiry, etc.

By not communicating this (Science) part of Sanskrit effectively to younger generation we are doing injustice to this great language as well as our tradition of a scientific society and also to the future generations. Many of our cultural and traditional activities stemmed out science and not from any blind superstitions.

Why elders are not able to communicate - they themselves don't know !. Not only many of our elders themselves are unaware of these facts also ridicule our culture as they are the first /second generation of English learners or Macaulay's children

The fact that many treatises are available on the objective (materialistic) sciences for Eg.: On the Mathematical front starting with Vedic mathematics (Vedangani) - Sulba Sutras; Bodhayana sutra; The nature of Zero - difference and usage between poojya, shoonya, poorna; The 6 different Infinity concepts; KATAPAYAaadi Sankhya system, Bhaishali manuscripts, the Khagolajnah (astronomer) parampara from Aryabhatta onwards and their works, Kerala Ganitha parampara (Kerala Mathematical lineage), Basis for Quadratic equations, Trikonamiti (Trigonometry), Calculus, etc.

On the Health sciences front - Ayurveda (I need not elaborate here as it is a holistic health science including objective and subjective aspects of the medicine including the spiritual health of subjects). The Ecology /Botany /Agriculture combined into one group of science called Vrukshayurveda (Science of Plant health); the chemical and physical science treatises; Science of construction - Vaastu - our countries Temples, Forts, Dams, etc. stands as testimony to the advanced science;

Chandas shastra (phonetics), The science of music (Shastriya sangeeta) and its connections to science of sound, Akshara-Shabda shastra (Shiksha - science of sound), Pada shastra (vyakarana /Grammar - science of the word and the meaning), Nyaya /Vaishesika (Epistemological /Ontological view of the world from cause and effect to sub-atomic views - Science of reasoning and methodology of reasoning) Psychological and Para-psychological sciences covered in Tantra sastra; philosophical and scientific debates in Mimamsa and Saankhya shastra and finally the core-subjective science parts propounded in Upanishads (spiritual - adhyaatma).

If one notices carefully many of the Scientific texts in Sanskrit deals with subjects very rationally and some even denounces God itself - not like a Nastika vada point of view but more from a rational inquiry and critical thinking point of view


Parents those who are studying Sanskrit - if they need to inspire /motivate their children into studying Sanskrit - first they should themselves pick-up knowledge on Science and also focus on the aspects of Scientific /Rational analysis - science of reasoning - rather than just the standard monologue that "Sanskrit is a Deva Bhasha" or "Samskriti" etc. though they are essentially truth but don't cut ice with the modern students who are looking at studying engineering then Sanskrit.

Probably parents themselves want their children to study applied science and applied mathematics than pure science or pure mathematics (pure science is research oriented and applied science is job oriented). Sanskrit would be an excellent starting point for those who pursue pure science /pure maths. Few of my Sanskrit teachers are teaching to IIT students both UG & PG students Sanskrit grammar and Tarka (Nyaya /Vaishesika) - as there are few pockets of awareness exists among students that the science part of Sanskrit is indeed a great boon for researchers who are seeking radical topics, ideas, concepts and even out of the box thinking itself.

India had many great scientists and mathematicians till 1950s and slowly the decline started - due to ignoring pure science and mathematics and our inborn logical /critical thinking. As a society when we slowly moved to applied science purely for economical benefits we are loosing our edge on innovation and scientific thinking.

Some of the non-fiction general science books covering ancient Bharatam's science glory may need to be studied by Parents especially the books by authors such as Fritjof Capra, Erich Von Daniken, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Carl Sagan, etc. would help to kindle some scientific perspectives

CDAC (center for development of Advanced computing) the institution which brought out PARAM super computer is having a large team of Sanskrit scientists. GOOGLE and few other software giants are having teams of software engineers who are working on Sanskrit NLP, Computational Linguistics and Semantics. Some other Open source teams are also into Sanskrit NLP open source projects

(NLP - Natural Language Processing is a field of computer science and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages; it began as a branch of artificial intelligence.) for more info on Sanskrit NLP - or or

NASA is working on Mercury Vortex based vertical take-off /landing Vimana (some of the concepts for this are taken from Yantra Sarvasvam of Maharishi Bharadwaja). Though some of the vimana concepts are disputed scientifically - the ideas are indeed rich and thought provoking

Most IITs, IISc and Major universities have some sort of Computational Linguistics /Sanskrit studies - departments including the Left-leaning JNU in Delhi. These universities are having funds and grants for Research for Sanskrit-Science. The sorry state is that we don't have enough students who are into both Science and Sanskrit.

Economically also these research students are paid well (fellowships, aids, etc.) and on completion there are plenty of career options available which are both intellectually & economically fulfilling and also global in nature - in simple language this means that one can also land in a well paid career inside as well as outside India as many universities and research bodies outside India focusing on Sanskrit-Science

No point in boasting our past glories when we ourselves are not ready to learn Sanskrit or science for our own rational-critical-thinking. As a society we simply develop conclusions based on News reports and advertisements instead of doing our own bit of research and investigations.

This translates to we are becoming a large group of consumer of propaganda and opinion fed to us by media as a proof for many of our decision making with respect to health, religion, medicine, food, education, etc. We slowly become idiots controlled by media and addicted to it. Which is one of the reason for our decline as a society and being Ruled by people who are unfit. The rational scientific thinking which is a pre-requisite for getting into Sanskrit Science hopefully will relieve us from stupidity of becoming a consumer of all junk.

Please forward the link to many people studying Pure science and Maths and also people in the IT Industry - who could contribute to Sanskrit-Science by learning Sanskrit. Many of you may be able to recall the large Science exhibition during the World Sanskrit Book Fair conducted by by Samskrita Bharati in Bangalore in Jan 2011 - Some Scientists came and presented - many such people are there to guide us...

Friends over 300,000 Science manuscripts are waiting to be explored - what is hidden in those treatises - we don't know !

Shouldn't we know ??

Some information about a book by name " Sanskrit Computational Linguistics" published by "Springer" given below:

This volume constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Sanskrit Computational Linguistics, held in New Delhi, India, in December 2010. The 18 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from numerous submissions. The papers can be categorized under following broad areas such as phonology and speech technology; morphology and shallow parsing; syntax, semantics and parsing; lexical resources, annotation and search; machine translation and ambiguity resolution.
Content Level » Research
Keywords » computational linguistics - dependency trees - finite state calculus - morphology analyzer - paninian grammar - parsing - sanskrit analyzing systems - sanskrit grammar - sanskrit tagger - text analysis
Related subjects » Artificial Intelligence - Communication Networks - Theoretical Computer Science
Cost - 46 Euro
Many such publications are also available for serious students...