India, considered one of the oldest civilizations, was the centre of knowledge for the world. I think the following facts will convince us that it is the oldest civilization.
- Nalanada was the first university in the world. People from many parts of the world used to come to study there.
- The first Grammar for any language in the world is Sanskrit Grammar written by sage Panini.
- An engineering marvel, Rama Setu, is the first bridge on sea built by Rama. NASA confirmed that stones used for it were brought from outside 7000 years ago.
- ‘0’ and Decimal System is the contribution of India to the world. The mathematical calculations made by Indian sages in the field of Astronomy are the basis for development of sciences in the West, according to Albert Einstein.
- A few years ago NASA confirmed that the distance between the Sun and the Earth is the same as has been described in Hanuman Chalisa.
- The number of planets was found to be nine several thousands of years before. Western scientists wavered a lot before confirming that number.
- Chariots, elephants and horses have been used everywhere in India for thousands of years. But some historians tried in vain to make us believe that horses came to India from Middle East.
- There were lots of ‘Vyuha” (strategies) used in wars in India. Nowhere else did we find such advanced warfare strategies.
- There are innumerable temples across the length and breadth of India which are more than 800 years old. There we find exquisite architecture and marvellous sculpture. Some temples are carved out of mountains. The intricate designs and polishing of rock are unparalleled in the world. Temples are centres for dissemination of positive energy to visiting devotees. Location of a temple, the way it is constructed, the chanting of ‘mantras’ (utterance of holy sounds) there have lots of science behind them to create positive vibrations, to make mind and body peaceful and to awaken spirituality.
- Age old Charaka’s Ayurveda (an Indian system of medicine) is the foundation on which Allopathic medicine developed 150 years ago. Susruta is the first surgeon who conducted even Cataract operations thousands of years ago. Different stages in the development of embryo are illustrated even on stone carvings.
- Kama Sutra, the art and science of procreation, is described so well that there is no parallel to it till date.
- In Delhi we find several centuries old iron pillar without rust as proof of our superior knowledge in Metallurgy.
- In India international travel by ships was in vogue even at the time of Samudra Gupta of 4th century. Buddhist monks too went from India to Far East by ships. India had no threat of naval warfare and so only merchant navy was developed till recently.
- In 1980s an Israeli scientist published a paper drawing similarities between a modern nuclear powered aircraft and the ‘Pushpak Vimana’ described in the Ramayana.
- Ancient India believed that all human beings are of one family and that we should be kind to all beings (in which the five elements are also included). It says that God is one and there can be many ways to worship or reach Him. There was a four-fold division of men based on character and profession. Nobody is inferior or superior as all are created by God.
In spite of such facts, the glory of ancient India is dismissed as fiction by some. Destruction of idols and temples, burning of innumerable books in the form of Palmyra leaves, destruction of Gurukuls (ancient residential schools) and banning study of Sanskrit language through which the culture of India has been preserved has made us today aliens to our own culture and adopt some non-native cultures.
Ancient sages disseminated knowledge only to the deserving disciples as knowledge is power and power in the hands of the undeserving will harm society. Being spiritual persons they were not after name or fame. For the benefit of common people they disseminated their knowledge through Itihasas, Poetic Dramas and Poetry. Poetry which is metrical has rhythm which does not allow any omissions or alterations. Thus interpolations are prevented and purity of original text is protected. History was not written separately but it was incorporated in the form of a story in poetry. The Ramayana and The Mahabharata are called Itihasas. The word ‘itihasa’ means ‘this happened’. But the modern western educated mind sees History as a separate subject from Literature. But in the Indian context Literature had been an expression of all knowledge including History. History is interwoven in almost all the classics of ancient Indian literature. Without understanding this we started believing in western scientists who discovered some of the things in recent years to be the discoverers of things. Now some who are interested in clearing the ground are studying available Sanskrit texts and are bringing facts to light. This may take quite some time but ultimately truth has to and will prevail.