Genetics and other Sciences in Chanakya Niti (Post No.4818)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 15 MARCH 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 14-47

 

Post No. 4818

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Chanakya, one of the greatest geniuses of India, lived 2300 years ago. He was a statesman and an economist. Though he was not a scientist he has composed slokas on various subjects including science. Here are some slokas/couplets:

GENETICS

While  a being is still in womb the following five are created for him—

Life span, action, wealth, knowledge and death.

Chanakya Niti 4-1

 

aayuh karma ca vittam ca vidhyaa niddhanameva

pancaitaani hi srujyante garbastarayaiva dehinah

 

This sloka points out that astrology is true. One year after the birth of a baby, the horoscope of that baby is cast in Hindu houses. The family astrologer used to write the education, job, money matters and the life span of that child. So, we know that this type of belief existed 2300 years ago!

 

Manikkavasagar, one of the four great Saivite Tamil saints, also describe the development of foetus in the womb. He lived 1500 years ago in Tamil Nadu.

GEMMOLOGY

Hindu knowledge about gem stones is found in all the Tamil and Sanskrit books. Here is what Chanakya says,

Ruby is not found in every mountain, pearl is not met with in every elephant, good people are not found everywhere, sandal wood is not found in every forest.

2-6

saile saile na maanikyam mauktikam na gaje gaje

saadhavo nahi sarvatra candanam na vane vane

 

The belief about gem stones is same in Sanskrit and Tamil books. They believed that in addition to oysters, pearl is ‘born’ in bamboos, elephants and scores of plants and animals!

 

Hindus knew that ruby, sapphire, diamonds are available in certain places only. They knew the fauna and flora of the country. Even Kalidasa, who lived 2000 years ago (see my research article on Kalidasa’s age), sings about the sandal wood available In Tamil Nadu. This sloka points out that beliefs were same even 2300 years ago in a vast land mass. So foreign rulers were not the people who united India.

PHILOSOPHY

Will the ladle know the taste of the food it serves?

A Tamil Siddha sang ,

Will the ladle know the taste of the curry it serves?

 

Chanakya also says the same!

People who go through the four Vedas and Darmasastras (Law books) time and again, still they do not know their own self like a ladle the taste of the cooked food.

patanti caturo vedaan dharmasaastraanyanekasah

aatmaanam naiva jaananti darvii paakarasam yathaa

15-12

 

It is amazing to see that for 2300 years the same simile is used by Tamils and Sanskrit scholars to illustrate the same point.

 

TIME

Time brings close to death, it destroys them. It keeps awake while others are asleep. It is difficult to overstep time

6-6

 

kaalah pacati bhutaani kaalah samharate prajaah

kaalah supteshu jaagarti kaalo hi duratikramah

 

–subham–

 

 

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