Thursday, April 7, 2011

संस्कृत मधील भौतिकशस्त्रिय संदर्भ्

 The root to the concept of atom in ancient India is derived from the classification of material world in five basic elements by ancient Indian philosophers. These five 'elements' and such a classification existed since the Vedic times, around 3000 BC before. These five elements were the earth (prithvi), fire (agni), air (vayu), water (jaal) and ether or space (aksha). These elements were also associated with human sensory perceptions: earth with smell, air with feeling, fire with vision, water with taste and ether/space with sound. Later on, Buddhist philosophers replaced ether/space with life, joy and sorrow.

From ancient times, Indian philosophers believed that except ether or space, all other elements were physically palpable and hence comprised of small and minuscule particles of matter. They believed that the smallest particle which could not be subdivided further was paramanu (can be shortened to parmanu), a Sanskrit word. Paramanu is made of two Sanskrit words, param meaning ultimate or beyond and anu meaning atom. Thus, the term "paramanu" literally means 'beyond atom' and this was a concept at an abstract level which indicated the possibility of splitting atom, which is now the source of atomic energy. The term "atom" however should not be conflated with the concept of atom as it is understood today.

Kanada, a 6th century, Indian philosopher was the first person who went deep systematically in such theorization. Another Indian, philosopher Pakudha Katyayana, who was a contemporary of Buddha, also propounded the ideas about the atomic constitution of the material world. All these were based on logic and philosophy and lacked any empirical basis for want of commensurate technology. Similarly, the principle of relativity (not to be confused with Einstein's theory of relativity) was available in an embryonic form in the Indian philosophical concept of 'sapekshavad', the literal translation of this Sanskrit word is theory of relativity.
These theories have attracted attention of the Indologists, and veteran Australian Indologist A. L. Basham has concluded that they were brilliant imaginative explanations of the physical structure of the world, and in a large measure, agreed with the discoveries of modern physics.
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