It is non being increasing recognized that ancient Sanskrit literature contains profound wisdom of physical and social science. The scientific knowledge base presented by our Rishis and perceptive thinkers covers a wide canvas of subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Astronomy, Metallurgy, Bio-technology, Environment Science, etc. There were many firsts that are attributed to the Indian scientific mind. The invention of zero and the place value system, measurement of the value of (Pai) , formulation of the so-called Pythagoras theorem, the theory of revolution of the earth around the sun, the Law of Gravity, technical knowledge of medicine and surgery, are some of the themes which clearly reflect the richness of the Indian scientific heritage. Unfortunately, due to a very long period of intellectual domination of the forces from outside this region, we have lost our awareness about the profound contributions made by our ancestors that are hidden in the vast Sanskrit literature. Our continued apathy towards Sanskrit language over the recent centuries has also contributed to our lack of awareness about the rich scientific heritage. Our ignorance about the richness of our heritage has made us to lose our sense of pride for what is ours. As a result of all this, our sense of confidence in our own capabilities has also been shaken.
Knowledge of Sanskrit and perceptive analysis of contents of our ancient Sanskrit literature like Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Smritis others, would be of great help in getting a good insight into our rich scientific heritage. It is the responsibility of Sanskrit institution to arouse the interests of the modern world in Sanskrit by unraveling the profound scientific wisdom that is contained in the Sanskrit literature and by demonstrating its relevance to the modern world. It is only when a link between the Sanskrit world and the modern world is established that the acceptability of Sanskrit as a relevant subject for dealing with the contemporary challenges of life would be enhanced. It is with this object in view that the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, took the initiative of organizing an exhibition of Sanskrit and Science on the eve of its convocation function in April 2000 A.D… The exhibition was organized in a very short time, it became one of the most attractive events of the convocation function. I would like on record, the dedication and commitment with which Professor D. Prahlada Char, the then Vice Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, Prof. V. Muralidhara Sharma, Co-ordinator of the Sanskrit-Science Exhibition and his highly committed team of faculty members and staff worked on this project to make the exhibition a great success.
I would also like express my appreciation for the initiative taken by the Prof. K.E. Govindan, Vice Chancellor 1/c and his team for bringing out the main displays of the exhibition in the form of an attractive monograph for the second time. I am sure that this monographs would inspire many scholars of Sanskrit and science to contribute to work in this field further and bring to limelight, for the benefit of the modern world, the rich scientific knowledge base that exists in the Sanskrit literature. I am sure that exercise of this would enable Sanskrit to regain it pristine glory not only as a language, rather as the mother of all the language, but also as a medium for understanding the fundamental scientific perceptions of our Rishis and the ancient scholars.
We feel immensely happy and proud to present this small monograph to the readers who a longing to have a glimpse of the wisdom of ancient India.
There is a general belief that the contribution of ancient India is limited to the field of Humanities, particularly that of religion and philosophy. Of course, no other civilization can claim superiority over what had achieved in that area. Still, if we go through the pages of this small monograph, we will realize that even in the other areas such as that of Botany, Astronomy, Chemistry etc., India’s contribution was amazing. Now, India has already lost much of its ancient lore due to the impact of foreign invasions. What remains also is largely unknown as most of it is in Sanskrit. Hence, we feel that there is an urgent need to save the remaining knowledge and build up awareness in all concerned. It is important not only for sustaining national pride but also for more practical utilitarian reasons applicable to our present day life.
Much of the material of this monograph has been drawn from the exhibition that the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha organized during its fifth convocation. Inspiration to organize the exhibition came from our Hon’ble Chancellor Dr. V.R. Panchamukhi, Economist of Inter-national fame, and versatile scholar in Sanskrit in general and in traditional philosophy in particular. It was again he who inspired us to bring out the second edition of the monograph with scientific concepts that were newly added in the exhibition. We are very much indebted to him for his sustained encouragement and invaluable guidance.
When our Hon’ble Chancellor has discussed the organization of an exhibition on Sanskrit and Science, with a group of young shoulders of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, it was Prof. V. muralidhara Sharma now professor of Education, I.A.S.E. who came forward to shoulder the responsibility. Leading a team of youngsters changed with equal enthusiasm, in a short period, he organised the exhibition which was otherwise impossible. This monograph also could be brought out by the same team with great dedication and hard work. It is needless to say that the success of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha in future also will largely depend upon these and the like dedicated scholars.
If the second edition of this small monograph, which the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha has produced here, kindles tiny flame of desire in the hearts of the readers, for contributing their towards the preservation and propagation of Sanskrit, the store house of past glory of India, we would have been rewarded for our efforts.
About the Vidyapeetha:
The Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha was established at Tirupati (A.P.) in 1961 by the Govt. of India on the recommendations of the Central Sanskrit Commission as an autonomous body under name of “Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati society”. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then Vice President of India laid the foundation stone of the Vidyapeetha on the 4th January 1962.
Later, Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati came under the administrative control of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan as an autonomous body under the ministry of Education in April 1971. In the year 1987, the Vidyapeetha was declared as a deemed University by the Government of India, considering its progress in the past 25 years. It was formally inaugurated by the President of India Sri R. Venkataraman on 26th of August 1989. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (MAAC) has accredited the “Vidyapeetha at A+ Level” and also the Vidyapeetha was given the status of “Centre of Excellence in the subject of Traditional Shastras” by UGC for its development towards the traditional ancient language of Sanskrit.
The basic objectives of setting up of the Vidyapeetha is to impart and improve the Sanskrit pedagogy, to accelerate the place of higher Sanskrit learning and to combine the traditional Sanskrit education with modrn scientific research.
Students from the different parts of India are studying various Sastras as well as modern subjects like computer science, Maths, History etc., in this university. The medium of instruction of all traditional subjects is in Sanskrit only.
About Sanskrit-Science Exhibition:
Sanskrit-Science project is one of the emphasized endeavours of the Vidyapeetha. As a part of this project an exhibition with nearly 200 concepts pertaining to different branches of science with respective parallels from the ancient Sanskrit treatises has been prepared. The branches covered are Ayurveda, Gemology, Meteorology, Mathematics, Botany, Geology, Astronomy, Phonetics, Metallurgy, Physics, Chemistry and Acoustics etc.
We are continuing our exercise of identifying further many new themes which have been covered in the Sanskrit Literature and which have a bearing on Scientific Research. In addition to the aforesaid subjects, we are trying to cover many other branches of scientific thought, such as Architecture, Environmental sciences, Zoology, Psychology and Agriculture etc.
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