Again in the field of literature, the earliest writing can be traced to
the Rig Vedic poetry in
Sanskrit. The Rigveda
consists of 1028 suktas or
hymns that are distributed in ten books called mandalas.
This is perhaps, the
earliest poetry in the world. The two great Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana
and the Mahabharata composed
by Valmiki and Vyasa respectively, along with the Puranas, constitute the pillars of the Indian literature. The Manu
Smriti (1st century BC) is the best illustrator of the Dharma-sastras
or Smritis or the Hindu
religious laws. Kalidasa, Bairavi, Sudraka, Vishnu Sharma, Dandin and
others composed several literary masterpieces in the ancient times.
's contribution to the world was also immense in the field of astronomy,
mathematics and Medicine. Aryabhatta was the first to state that the
earth moves round the sun and that the eclipses are caused by the shadow
of the earth falling on the moon. Aryabhatta's Aryabhatiya,
Dasagitika-Sutra and Aryastasata
belonging to the 5th century, Varahamihira's Pancha-siddhantika, Brahmagupta's Brahmasphuta-siddhanta and Khanda-khadyaka,
and Karana-kutuhala and
Bhoja's Raja-mriganka are
important ancient Indian texts on astronomy.
Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans, which was
consolidated 2500 years ago by Charaka, the 'Father of Medicine'.
Another ancient Indian, Sushruta, who is considered as the 'Father of
Surgery', is believed to have conducted complicated surgeries using over
125 different surgical equipments. Usage of anesthesia was also well
known in ancient
. Like-wise, detailed references to anatomy physiology, etiology,
embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity are found in
many ancient Indian texts.
's most precious gift to the world is zero (0), which was referred to as
Shunya in ancient texts.
Algebra, trigonometry and calculus also came from
. One of the best-known achievements of the Indian mathematics is the
decimal system. Its first occurrence was on a plate of the year 595 AD
where the date 346 AD was written in decimal place-value notation.
Aryabhatta, who calculated the value of π as 3.1416, is also
credited with the creation of Algebraic analysis. Budhayana explained
the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem way back in the 6th century.
has two chapters devoted to arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Bhaskara's
Lilavati was for many
centuries a standard work on arithmetic and mensuration in the East.
The world's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC,
where more than 10,500
students from all around the world studied more than
60 different subjects. The
, established in the 5th century BC, was perhaps the greatest centre of
learning in ancient
. Described as "The Oxford University of Mahayana Buddhism",
it offered wide range of subjects like literature, logic, grammar,
medicine, philosophy and astronomy.
Sanskrit is the mother of all the European languages.
A report in the Forbes magazine of July 1987 described Sanskrit
is the most suitable language for the computer software. Vaishali, in
is acknowledged as the World’s
that had a duly elected assembly of representatives and efficient
administration as early as 6th century BC.
's culture and heritage is so rich and deep-rooted that it may take
several days or even years to understand all its dimensions.
From the time immemorial
has fascinated many a world traveller like Fahien, Hiuen Tsang, Ibn
Batuta, Alberuni, Ferishta, Vasco da Gama, Marco Polo and several
others. Albert Einstein once said: "We owe a lot to the Indians,
who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific
discovery could have been made."
The great German Indologist Max Muller said: "If I were to look
over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with
all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow - in some parts
a very paradise on earth - I should point to
. If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed
the choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of
life, and has found solution of some of them, which well deserve the
attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant - I should point
The following quotation of the great American philosopher and writer
Will Durant sums up the divine land called India, thus "India was
the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's
languages; she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the
Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of ideals
embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of
self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother
of us all."