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Speaker Event – Knowledge Transfers from Ancient India

The Guest Speaker on Monday, 26th August, Dr. Raj Vedam provided an overview of how Indian history is distorted due to several malefic forces such as colonial Indologists who imposed a young chronology on India; Eurocentric scholars who sought a homeland for the “Aryans” in Central Asia, leading to the nefarious “Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory”; liberal academic bias that brings in post-modernism and “oppressor-oppressed” narratives; vested interests among powerful lobbies and media; and Marxists who control the education sector.

The speaker took the audience through a fast-paced description of the night sky as seen by ancient Indians and explained how ancient observations of Nakshatras at the cardinal positions of winter or summer solstice and the equinoxes can be used as a celestial clock to date the observations, with knowledge of the 26,000-year Precession cycle.

He called out the antiquity of the Vedanga Jyotisha to 1440 BCE( Before Common Era), spoke about an observation in Satapatha Brahmana to 2982 BCE, and ancient epoch encoded in Indian astronomical tables dating to Feb 18, 3102 BCE, the Era of Aditi to 6000 BCE, and the Era of the Ashvinis to 7200 BCE.

With these observations, he called out the absurdity of Max Mueller’s dating of the Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads and Sutras from 1200 BCE to 200 BCE.

The speaker illustrated how colonial Indologists and present-day Western scholars such as Otto Neugebauer, David Pingree and others continue on a similar trajectory of viewing Indian astronomy as “unreliable” or “error-prone” and emphasize that it “borrowed from Greeks and Babylonians” – all of which can be strongly refuted, but are considered as “received wisdom”.

The speaker then outlined the philosophical schools of ancient Indians – Nyaya, Yoga, Vaisesika, Samkya, Uttara Mimamsa and Vedanta, and showed how the ancient Indian civilization was based on a strong foundation of understanding valid means to knowledge, “pramana”.

Speaking about pathways to knowledge transfer from India, he proposed that knowledge from ancient India seeded several civilizations, between 2000 BCE to present times.

He showed how a 200-year drought and monsoon failure around 2000 BCE led to large-scale migrations out of India, and showed how Egyptian, Hittite and Mittani medical systems showed a strong echo with Ayurveda, starting from 1800 BCE.

  • He next showed how Indic knowledge seeded the ancient Greeks, both pre- and post-Alexander. He showed how the Silk Route too was a conduit to knowledge transfer to China and SE Asia and the Mediterranean world. He showed knowledge transfers in the medieval periods, the Muslim periods and the colonial periods.

The 35-minute talk was packed with data, and evoked strong audience participation.

The speaker was introduced by Rtn. Raj Cherla with Rtn. Purnimaa Ranganath proposed a vote of thanks.

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