Monday, 22 July 2013

Sayanacharya and Speed of Light in Rig Veda

Sāyaṇa (सायण, with honorific Sāyaṇācārya ; died 1387) was an important commentator on the Vedas. He flourished under King Bukka I and his successor Harihara II, in the Vijayanagar Empire of South India. He was the son of Māyaṇa, and the pupil of Vishnu Sarvajna and of Samkarananda. More than a hundred works are attributed to him, among which are commentaries on nearly all parts of the Veda; some were carried out by his pupils, and some were written in conjunction with his brother Mādhava or Vidyāraṇya-svāmin.
Sayana's major work is his Vedartha Prakasha (literally, "the meaning of the Vedas made manifest"), or commentary on the Vedas. His commentary on the Rigveda was edited by Max Müller, 1823-1900. The core portion of the commentary was likely written by Sayana himself, but it also includes contributions of his brother Mādhava, and additions by his students and later authors who wrote under Sayana's name. "Sayana" (or also Sāyaṇamādhava) by convention refers to the collective authorship of the commentary as a whole without separating such layers.He has also written many lesser manuals called Sudhanidhis treating Prayaschitta (expiation), Yajnatantra (ritual), Purushartha (aims of human endeavour), Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), Sangit Sara (The essence of music), Prayaschitra, Alankara, and Dhatuvrddhi (grammar)
"tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane ekena nimishardhena kramaman"
तथा च स्मर्यते योजनानां सहस्त्रं द्वे द्वे शते द्वे च योजने एकेन निमिषार्धेन क्रममाण नमोऽस्तुते॥
"[O Sun,] bow to you, you who traverse 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha.".
Strictly speaking, Sayana here attributes a (fantastically high) speed to the Sun (Surya), not to light itself. Depending on what values one assumes for a yojana and for a nimesha, this speed corresponds to about 186,000 miles per second, roughly equal to the speed of light. This was pointed out by P.V. Vartak in his Scientific Knowledge in the Vedas (1995, p. 95).1 yojana is said to comprise either 4 or 8 krosha (a cry or shout, or the range of the voice in calling); and 1 krosha (or goruta ~ as far as a cow’s lowing may be heard, or a bull’s roar) may represent either 1000 or 2000 daNDa (a rod or staff), and 1 danda represents 1 pauruSa (a man’s length) which equals 1 dhanvantara (bow-string) or dhanu (bow). 1 yojana measures either 4,000 or (more likely) 8,000 dhanus. Assuming that 1 paurusha is 6 ft long, then 1 yojana must represent a distance of about 14.6 km (or about 9 miles, as suggested by Monier-Williams).
nimesa means shutting the eye or winking, and as a measure of time it is a wink of the eye or a moment. The Arthashastra (c. 300 BC) defines 1 nimesa as 1/360,000th of a day and night, i.e. 0.24 seconds.Given that 1 yojana is between 14.6 and 16.4 km, 2,202 yojanas must represent between 32,149 and 36,113 km. Half a nimesha is 0.12 seconds. Sayana thus gives the "speed of the Sun" as between 267,910 and 300,940 km/sec, i.e. the same order of magnitude as the speed of light at 299,792 km/sec.
Vartak treats this as an instance of scientific foreknowledge in the Vedas, even though the claim is not in the Vedas but in Sayana's 14th century commentary. Sayana's commentary is still 300 years older than the first known successful measurement of the speed of light. Kak points out that the Vayu Purana (ch. 50) has a comparable passage, where the "speed of the Sun" is exactly 1/18th of Sayana's value. While he is also susceptible to assuming "scientific foreknowledge" by mystical means, he also accepts that "to the rationalist" the proximity of Sayana's value to the physical constant is simply coincidence
Velocity of Light was calculated by Scotland's Maxwell(13 June 1831 - 5 November 1879) in 19th century but its was actually determined accurately in Rig Veda.
It was further elaborated by Sayana in 14th century AD.
Also Sun was described as a god riding on a chariot with seven horses of different colors. These are the 7 colors in VIBGYOR.
Indian Almanacs calculated accurately the motion of planets, sunset, sunrise, eclipses etc without using telescopes.तरणिर्विश्वदर्शतो जयोतिष्क्र्दसि सूर्य |
विश्वमा भासिरोचनम |
taraNir vishvadarshato jyotishkrdasi surya |
vishvamaa bhaasirochanam ||
which means “Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Surya=Sun), maker of the light, Illuming all the radiant realm.”
Commenting on this verse in his Rigvedic commentary, Sayana who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) says:
tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane
ekena nimishardhena kramaman.
which means “It is remembered here that Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha”
NOTE: Nimisharda= half of a nimisha
In the vedas Yojana is a unit of distance and Nimisha is a unit of time.
Unit of Time: Nimesa
The Moksha dharma parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows:
15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha
30 Kashta = 1 Kala
30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta
30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night)
We know Day-Night is 24 hours
So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha
in other words 409050 nimisha
We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds
So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409050 nimisha
409050 nimesa = 86,400 seconds
1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)
1/2 nimesa = 0.1056 seconds
Unit of Distance: Yojana
Yojana is defined in Chapter 6 of Book 1 of the ancient vedic text “Vishnu Purana” as follows
10 ParamAnus = 1 Parasúkshma
10 Parasúkshmas = 1 Trasarenu
10 Trasarenus = 1 Mahírajas (particle of dust)
10 Mahírajas= 1 Bálágra (hair’s point)
10 Bálágra = 1 Likhsha
10 Likhsha= 1 Yuka
10 Yukas = 1 Yavodara (heart of barley)
10 Yavodaras = 1 Yava (barley grain of middle size)
10 Yava = 1 Angula (1.89 cm or approx 3/4 inch)
6 fingers = 1 Pada (the breadth of it)
2 Padas = 1 Vitasti (span)
2 Vitasti = 1 Hasta (cubit)
4 Hastas = a Dhanu, a Danda, or pauruSa (a man’s height), or 2 Nárikás = 6 feet
2000 Dhanus = 1 Gavyuti (distance to which a cow’s call or lowing can be heard) = 12000 feet
4 Gavyutis = 1 Yojana = 9.09 miles
Calculation: So now we can calculate what is the value of the speed of light in modern units based on the value given as 2202 yojanas in 1/2 nimesa
= 2202 x 9.09 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 20016.18 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 189547 miles per second !!
As per the modern science speed of light is 186000 miles per second !

1 comment:

  1. Good analysis reproduced.can you please give the reference so that I can read further.

    ReplyDelete