Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times

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He continued to work as a Fellow at King's College until In , Fred Hoyle established the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in Cambridge, and Narlikar served as the founder staff member of the institute during Narlikar is internationally known for his work in cosmology, especially in championing models alternative to the popular Big Bang model. Biological studies of the collected samples led to the findings of live cells and bacteria, which introduced the possibility that the earth is being bombarded by microorganisms, some of which might have seeded life itself on earth.

Narlikar was also appointed the Chairperson, Advisory Group for Textbooks in Science and Mathematics, the textbook development committee responsible for developing textbooks in Science and Mathematics, published by NCERT, which are used widely as standard textbooks in many Indian schools. In year Hon. Narlikar has received several national and international awards and honorary doctorates.

Prior to this, in , he was conferred Padma Bhushan.

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He received Maharashtra Bhushan Award for the year He is a recipient of Bhatnagar Award, M. Besides scientific papers and books and popular science literature, Narlikar has written science fiction, novels, and short stories in English , Hindi , and Marathi. Narlikar married a mathematics researcher and professor Mangala Rajwade who was later known as Dr. These same words could be used to make the case that the mountainous terrain, and more especially the elephant, monkey, and snow leopard are more commonly found in the region of northern India and the Himalayas. This would tend to support the hypothesis that the IndoEuropean protolanguage originated in the region of the Himalayas of northern India and Tibet, rather than in the area of central Turkey, where there are few monkeys and elephants.

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At present, there is simply not enough evidence to discern the early patterns of migration and language shift that brought about the different language groups. We can say with relative certainty, however, that the Vedic people did not migrate into India from outside, so it is relatively unlikely that the Vedic language came from outside India.

Thus the origins of Vedic Sanskrit remain obscure. Many linguists stress that our "linguistic heritage, while it may tend to correspond with cultural continuity, does not imply genetic or biological descent. There is no more reason to suppose that we, as speakers of an Indo-European language, are descended biologically from the speakers of proto-Indo-European, than that the English speaking population of Nigeria is Anglo-Saxon.

A main tool of historical linguistics is the set of rules of sound and grammatical transformation governing the language change. One language evolves into another due to cultural or geographic separations of peoples due to migrations or other cultural displacements, such as conquest. Using the rules of historical linguistics, it appears to be possible to discern patterns of change and to determine which language has shifted into the other.

One such rule is the softening of consonants over time.

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Thus, for example, the "v" in the Sanskrit "Veda," meaning knowledge, is transformed into the softer English "w" in "wit," "witten," "wisdom" and the German "wissen," which also means knowledge, and derives from the more ancient Sanskrit root. The Sanskrit "deva" is transformed into the softer Latin "deus," Greek "theos," Lithuanian "dewas," Irish "dia," and Old Prussian "diews.

Historical linguists assume that these rules are constant over time and that they apply to early transformations as well as later ones. If we assume that the basic rules of language transformations are constant and do not mutate over time, then these conclusions follow. But could there have been sound shifts in the opposite direction at much earlier times in history?

Perhaps different laws applied at the time when Vedic Sanskrit changed from and to other languages. Consider that there are also changes in the reverse direction. For example, the "g" in the Sanskrit "go," meaning cow is transformed into the harder consonant "k," to make the German word "kuh" for cow. The English word "cow," pronounced with a hard "k," is a harder, guttural form than the "g" in the Sanskrit "go.

Also, in the case of the Vedic tradition, we have a people who were highly conscious of language and sound and the rules of sound transformation, even from the early Vedanga period. The Vedangas give elaborate theories of sound and its relation to meaning. Ancient Sanskrit grammar has its own rules for the transformation of consonants, internal rules for change, codified in ancient texts on phonology and grammar Nirukta and Vakaran , both of which express elaborate theories of sound.

Such self-reflective theories at an early date may have influenced the direction of language shift and may be anomalous to the rules applied in later linguistic theory. Other hypotheses may explain why Vedic Sanskrit appears to not be the proto-Indo-European root language. One might propose, for example, that an early form of Sanskrit arose in northern India, and that some north Indian peoples migrated west to the Black Sea area, where their language mutated into Anatolian, Armenian, Celtic, and Greek.

Then language change within Vedic Sanskrit, due to selfreflective grammatical theories, have mutated this earlier form of Sanskrit in a direction contrary to the typical rules of linguistic transformation. Computer simulated models of language change may be simply wrong or misleading. In other words, the transformation "rules" of historical linguistics may not apply to changes as early as Vedic Sanskrit.

Or they may reflect more the racial and cultural biases of the programmers. Rather than assume a migration from the Black Sea area into India, which is not supported by anthropological evidence, we must simply acknowledge that we do not have enough knowledge to discern the early patterns of migration of the people who wrote the Vedic literature. The simplest hypothesis to account for the data may be that Vedic Sanskrit is itself is the mother tongue of the proto-Indo-European peoples. For years, theories of the origins of the Indo-European people were based on small bits of evidence that were used to make sweeping generalizations.

The Euro-centric perspective so heavily biased the discussion that it became necessary for scientists of the later twentieth century to reexamine and re-balance the perspectives in order to remove long-standing misconceptions formed by two centuries of speculative mythmaking. When these misconceptions are eliminated by objective science, no evidence remains that the Veda tradition came to India from outside. Now we come to our second main question, How long ago was the Veda first cognized?

When did the Veda first come to be known in the civilization of India? How far back in time does the Vedic tradition go? Many scholars today have come to think that these dates are ridiculously recent and that the Vedic tradition, meaning the tradition of reciting the Rig Veda and the Vedic literature, is far more ancient.

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Scholars of the nineteenth century, the highly venerated Max Muller for one, give dates as recently as 1, to 1, BC. They were rooted in unsustainable religious, cultural, and ethnic assumptions that were not based on scientific evidence. Max Muller, one of many Christian missionaries to India, was firmly committed to the Biblical account of creation. This compelled him. Muller had to fit the entire Vedic tradition into a time-frame following the great flood, which Biblical scholars held took place in BC.

Muller wrote a letter to his wife, dated , in which he said "The translation of the Veda will hereafter tell to a great extent on the fate of India and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion, and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3, years. No matter how great Muller's scholarly reputation, we have to examine his reasons for setting the dates around to BC. Muller recognized that the Vedic tradition had to exist n part before Buddha, who lived in about BC and who reacted against the Vedic tradition. Muller and other Germanic scholars also noticed that the Agni Purana 16 and other Vedic texts refer to Buddha, so they felt justified in thinking that the Vedic tradition was just a little more ancient than Buddhism, and they put the dates of the Vedic period roughly two-thirds of way between the great flood the Biblical limit they accepted and the time of Buddha.

Muller thus set the dates of the Vedic period at to BC. Muller reasoned that if Buddha rejected the Vedic tradition, the Rig Veda must have preceded him by at least several centuries, but it had to have started in his opinion as a Bible scholar after the great flood. Even Muller, however, recognized that this was an estimate of a bare minimum of time that lapsed between the beginning of the Vedic tradition and the time of Buddha.

However, it became commonplace for textbooks to give the dates of the Vedic tradition as 1, to BC, based on Muller's minimum estimate. Soon these were known as the. This fixed Muller's estimate of a bare minimum into an absolute date in the popular imagination. Current evidence shows that the Veda did not began so recently in human history.

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    Roy, Professor Subhash Kak, Dr. Waradpande, and Bhagwan Singh have made a case for much more ancient dates of the Rig Veda. Also B. Tilak, P. Sidharth, among many others, have argued for its greater antiquity.

    The Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times
    Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times
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