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Speed of Light in the Rig Veda?

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Fun fact for today--- the Speed of Light is calculated by the ancients 14th Century? 

 

तरणिर्विश्वदर्शतो जयोतिष्क्र्दसि सूर्य |
विश्वमा भासिरोचनम |

 

taraNir vishvadarshato jyotishkrdasi surya |
vishvamaa bhaasirochanam ||

 

which means “Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Surya=Sun), maker of the light, Illuming all the radiant realm.

 

Commenting on this verse in his Rigvedic commentary, Sayana who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) says:

 

tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane
ekena nimishardhena kramaman.

 

which means “It is remembered here that Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha

 

NOTE: Nimisharda= half of a nimisha
In the vedas Yojana is a unit of distance and Nimisha is a unit of time.
Unit of Time: Nimesa
The Moksha dharma parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows:
15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha
30 Kashta = 1 Kala
30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta
30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night)
We know Day-Night is 24 hours
So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha
in other words 409050 nimisha
We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds
So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409050 nimisha
409050 nimesa = 86,400 seconds
1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)
1/2 nimesa = 0.1056 seconds

Unit of Distance: Yojana
Yojana is defined in Chapter 6 of Book 1 of the ancient vedic text “Vishnu Purana” as follows

10 ParamAnus = 1 Parasúkshma
10 Parasúkshmas = 1 Trasarenu
10 Trasarenus = 1 Mahírajas (particle of dust)
10 Mahírajas= 1 Bálágra (hair’s point)
10 Bálágra = 1 Likhsha
10 Likhsha= 1 Yuka
10 Yukas = 1 Yavodara (heart of barley)
10 Yavodaras = 1 Yava (barley grain of middle size)
10 Yava = 1 Angula (1.89 cm or approx 3/4 inch)
6 fingers = 1 Pada (the breadth of it)
2 Padas = 1 Vitasti (span)
2 Vitasti = 1 Hasta (cubit)
4 Hastas = a Dhanu, a Danda, or pauruSa (a man’s height), or 2 Nárikás = 6 feet
2000 Dhanus = 1 Gavyuti (distance to which a cow’s call or lowing can be heard) = 12000 feet
4 Gavyutis = 1 Yojana = 9.09 miles

Calculation: So now we can calculate what is the value of the speed of light in modern units based on the value given as 2202 yojanas in 1/2 nimesa

= 2202 x 9.09 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 20016.18 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 189547 miles per second !!
As per the modern science speed of light is 186000 miles per second !

 

https://www.booksfact.com/vedas/rig-veda/speed-of-light-calculated-in-vedas-of-ancient-india.html

Edited by forestofemptiness
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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

Fun fact for today--- the Speed of Light is calculated by the ancients 14th Century? 

 

तरणिर्विश्वदर्शतो जयोतिष्क्र्दसि सूर्य |
विश्वमा भासिरोचनम |

 

taraNir vishvadarshato jyotishkrdasi surya |
vishvamaa bhaasirochanam ||

 

which means “Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Surya=Sun), maker of the light, Illuming all the radiant realm.

 

Commenting on this verse in his Rigvedic commentary, Sayana who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) says:

 

tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane
ekena nimishardhena kramaman.

 

which means “It is remembered here that Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha

 

NOTE: Nimisharda= half of a nimisha
In the vedas Yojana is a unit of distance and Nimisha is a unit of time.
Unit of Time: Nimesa
The Moksha dharma parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows:
15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha
30 Kashta = 1 Kala
30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta
30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night)
We know Day-Night is 24 hours
So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha
in other words 409050 nimisha
We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds
So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409050 nimisha
409050 nimesa = 86,400 seconds
1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)
1/2 nimesa = 0.1056 seconds

Unit of Distance: Yojana
Yojana is defined in Chapter 6 of Book 1 of the ancient vedic text “Vishnu Purana” as follows

10 ParamAnus = 1 Parasúkshma
10 Parasúkshmas = 1 Trasarenu
10 Trasarenus = 1 Mahírajas (particle of dust)
10 Mahírajas= 1 Bálágra (hair’s point)
10 Bálágra = 1 Likhsha
10 Likhsha= 1 Yuka
10 Yukas = 1 Yavodara (heart of barley)
10 Yavodaras = 1 Yava (barley grain of middle size)
10 Yava = 1 Angula (1.89 cm or approx 3/4 inch)
6 fingers = 1 Pada (the breadth of it)
2 Padas = 1 Vitasti (span)
2 Vitasti = 1 Hasta (cubit)
4 Hastas = a Dhanu, a Danda, or pauruSa (a man’s height), or 2 Nárikás = 6 feet
2000 Dhanus = 1 Gavyuti (distance to which a cow’s call or lowing can be heard) = 12000 feet
4 Gavyutis = 1 Yojana = 9.09 miles

Calculation: So now we can calculate what is the value of the speed of light in modern units based on the value given as 2202 yojanas in 1/2 nimesa

= 2202 x 9.09 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 20016.18 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 189547 miles per second !!
As per the modern science speed of light is 186000 miles per second !

 

https://www.booksfact.com/vedas/rig-veda/speed-of-light-calculated-in-vedas-of-ancient-india.html

Astronomy and mathematics were very advanced sciences in (ancient) India. Though I believe the calculation comes from text known as "Surya Siddhanta", which is dated tentatively to be from between 4-6 CE (though some claim it to be much older) 

Edited by dwai

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10 minutes ago, dwai said:

Astronomy and mathematics were very advanced sciences in (ancient) India. Though I believe the calculation comes from text known as "Surya Siddhanta", which is dated tentatively to be from between 4-6 CE (though some claim it to be much older) 

 

Interestingly, this got scrubbed out of wikipedia, under the speed of light history, whereas other less compelling (European and Islamic) sources were left in. 

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4 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

Interestingly, this got scrubbed out of wikipedia, under the speed of light history, whereas other less compelling (European and Islamic) sources were left in. 

There’s a (I’m not kidding) strong bias wrt Indian history on Wikipedia (and western academia in general). And also an de facto attribution for anything significant in ancient India to Greece or Mesopotamia. 

Edited by dwai

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