Ancient Indian Scientist

India is recognized as a symbol of Culture, Traditions, Customs, Peace and a Spiritual Centre. The World does not credit India for its contribution in the fields of science and technology, even people of this country know very little about it. However, in recent decade’s world has slowly started to recognize what were the contributions of Indians.
Indian has some of the oldest universities in the world, students from other countries traveled to study there.
It is of great importance to know the scientists who have greatly contributed and influenced science, technology and medicine knowledge which is now offering light to the world in many discoveries and innovations.

S.No Scientist Period Field Titles Contribution
1 Susruta 600 BCE Medicine, Plastic Surgery, Dentistry, Obstetrics and Gynecology Father of Plastic Surgery Susruta is considered pioneer in the field of surgery.
He was first to study human anatomy using dead bodies.
He quoted “surgery is the highest division of the healing arts and least
liable to fallacy”. He wrote a book based his study “Susruta Samhita”,
the book covers over 1100 diseases, including fevers of twenty-six kinds,
jaundice of eight kinds and urinary complaints of twenty kinds.
Over 760 plants are described and which parts of the plant to be used for treatment.

Household remedies were suggested by him which included cinnamon, sesame, peppers,
cardamom, ginger, etc. are used even today.

He also explained the method of selecting and preserving a dead body for the
purpose of its detailed study has also been described.
Susruta’s greatest contribution was in the fields of rhinoplasty (plastic surgery)
and ophthalmic surgery (removal of cataracts), there is a very accurate step-by-step
description of these operations. Surprisingly, the steps followed by Susruta are
strikingly similar to those followed by modern surgeons while doing plastic surgery.

2 Charaka 300 BCE Medicine Father of Medicine Charka was the Raj Vaidya (royal doctor) in the court of Kanishka.
He wrote a book “Charaka Samhita” which has the description of a large number of
diseases and gives methods of
identifying their causes as well as the method of their treatment. Charaka also
discussed Genetics. He spoke importance of digestion, metabolism, and immunity.
In Charaka Samhita, more stress has been laid on removing the cause of disease rather
than simply treating the illness.

3 Boudhayana 8 – 7 Centuries BCE Mathematician Father of Mathematics Baudhayan’s work in the
field of mathematics was well ahead of western world. He invented many concepts
in mathematics.

Baudhayan calculated the value of “pi”, which is one of the most discussed
mathematical value. The value of pi is used to calculate the area and circumference
of a circle. Baudhayan also invented “Sulva Sutra” which later became famous as
Pythagoras theorem.

4 Kanad 6 – 2 Centuries BCE Astronomy and Philosophy Aulukya famous as Kanad established Vaisheshika School,
one of the six systems of Indian philosophy. It is said that because of his
interest in minute particles “Kana” since childhood he got that name.
Kanad has given the theory of universe being made up of Kanas (atom) which are
invisible to naked eye, a kana cannot be subdivided and are indestructible.

5 Mahaviracharya 9 CE A.D Mathematician Mahaviracharya was a Jain Guru, he wrote “Ganith Sara Sangraha” in 850 A.D.
which dealt with Arithmetic. Various Jain literature has elaborate mathematics
concepts which explained how to solve quadratic equations, concepts of fractions,
number series, logarithms, set theory, algebra, etc. long before western world
invented LCM method, Mahaviracharya discussed it in his book.

6 Nagarjuna 150 – 250 A.D Metallurgist Nagarjuna was famous for his experiments which were
to transform base elements into gold, in western world such experiment are
known as alchemy. He succeeded in making an element with gold-like shine it
is used in making imitation jewelry. Nagarjuna also explained methods to extract
metals like gold, silver, tin and copper in his book “Rasaratnakara”.

7 Patanjali 400 A.D Medicine and Yoga Healing without use of medicine is the science of Yoga developed in ancient India,
it is an allied science of Ayurveda which treats with use of herbs and plants.
Yoga focuses on healing at physical and mental level by detaching the inner self
from outer subjects of senses, physical exercise and mudras help in getting rid of
ailments.

Vedas are the source for yoga. Meditation is important aspect of yoga it sets in to
motion the force that purifies and uplifts the consciousness to divine realization.

Physical yoga is called “Hath Yoga” and mental yoga is called “Raja Yoga”.

Acharya Patanjali is credited to conceptualize “yoga sutras”, it refers to “Aum” as
a cosmic sound, continuously flowing through the ether, fully known only to the illuminated.
Besides Yoga Sutras, Patanjali also wrote a work on medicine and worked on Panini’s
grammar known as “Mahabhasaya”.

8 Aryabhatta 476 – 550 A.D Mathematics and Astronomy Aryabhatta is most famous of all the Indians for the discoveries
and work in field of Mathematics and Astronomy.
Aryabhatta wrote a book “Aryabhattiya”, which dealt with mathematics.

In his book, Aryabhatta discussed Number Theory, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Algebra.
Aryabhatta was first to introduce “0” as a numeral and said it’s not just a numeral but a
symbol and concept. Aryabhatta calculated distance between moon and earth and proposed
negative numerals theory with the introduction of zero.

The book “Khagol Shastra” in the field of astronomy has great contributions from Aryabhatta.
He stated his theory of earth’s rotation around the sun and on its own axis. He also
correctly stated that the moon and the planets shined by reflected sunlight.
Solar and lunar eclipse were explained by him and proved that popular legend about
Rahu and Ketu causing eclipse as wrong.

9 Varahamihira 505 – 587 A.D Astronomy, Mathematics and Astrology Varahamihira lived in the Gupta Period, his contributions were mainly in the fields
of Hydrology, Geology, and Ecology. He was the first to state that termites and plants
would indicate the presence of water underground. He has enlisted 30 plants and 6 animals
whose presence would indicate water.

“Brhat Samhita” is the work about earthquakes theory in which he explains signs of
earthquakes, the influence of planets, undersea activities, water levels underground and
animal behavior.

Varahamihira also made a contribution to astrology, his explanations were backed with
scientific proof. Astrology is Jyothish which means “Science of Light”.

10 Brahmagupta 598 – 670 A.D Mathematics and Astronomy Brahmgupta’s contribution in mathematics took it to heights
far beyond others. Modern day multiplication is his contribution. He introduced negative
numbers and operations on zero.

Arabs took his book “Brahm Sputa Siddantika” as reference to understand our
mathematical system.

11 Bhaskaracharya 1114 – 1185 A.D Mathematics Bhaskaracharya wrote the book “Siddanta Shiromani” which discussed
about 4 mathematics concepts Arithmetic (Lilavati), Algebra (Beejaganit),
Sphere (Goladhyaya) and Mathematics of Planets (Grahaganit).

Bhaskaracharya introduced “Chakrawat”- the Cyclic Method to solve algebraic equations.
19th century, James Taylor, translated Lilavati and brought out for the world to know.

Listed above are few of them. Many people have contributed to science and technology and other fields. Motto of development was not to cause any harm to nature as well as humans in physical and psychological way. co-existence with nature was priority.

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