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Lecture Series in Ancient Indian Sciences
Lecture 17
Dr T.S.Ramakrishna
All of us in general wish to do well or perform well. But the final product of performance depends on our food and 'lifestyle' or attitude towards life. According to Bhagavad Gita, food is divided into three types- Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasic. Satvik foods like fruits, milk, fresh vegetables etc. are easily digestible, leave no bad effects behind and make a man sober, contended, and blissful. Rajasic foods are hot, spicy, sour, salty etc. and breed ego, passion, greed, jealousy etc. Finally Tamasic foods are those that are stored, stale, polluted foods unfit for offering to others or discarded foods. These foods breed lethargy, ignorance, and foolhardiness. One of three always overpowers the other two and affect our performance. Good food habits breed equanimity, equanimity breeds contentment, contentment breeds sacrifice, sacrifice breeds fraternity and fraternity breeds peace.

Modern food habits put a lot of burden on body and mind and breed enormous desires. Desire breed selfishness, selfishness breeds frustration, frustration breeds hatred and violence. Local foods, fruits etc. are believed to be better suited to the body than far-fetched counterparts. But nowadays with the globalisation of culture we have started eating foods that actually do not suit our body and mind. Armchair employees should avoid heavy non-vegetarian foods. Natural foods are always considered superior to synthetic foods and genetically modified (GM) foods, whose effects on the body are still not clearly understood. Bad foods upset the rhythm of the body and adversely affect the performance of a person.

Man's extraordinary powers are well known in India and even the developed world also is trying to investigate the supernatural. This forms the Rajayoga , which declares that man is only a conduit for Infinitive Ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. Sage Patanjali who has written the 196 yoga sutras, is the highest authority on 'Rajayoga'. These aphorisms are divided into four chapters titled Samadhi Pada (Concentration 1), Sadhana Pada (Concentration 2), Vibhuti Pada (Powers) and Kaivalya Pada (Independence). Practice of this Rajayoga equips persons with outstanding abilities and performance.
Lecture 16
The Glory of Ancient Indian Mathematics
Prof. V. Kannan
Apart from Vedic mathematics, India's contribution in the field of mathematics is world-renowned. Great names in mathematics include Bodhayana, Brahmagupta, Mahaavira, Bhaskara II, Madhava Parameswara. Brahmagupta who was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjaini wrote well-known treatises Brahmasphuta Siddhanta and Khanda Khadyaka. Bhaskaracharya was the author of the famous Bijaganitam. Unfortunately, many of the discoveries made by the ancient Indian mathematicians and found in older Indian texts, are usually credited to European mathematicians but are later recognized to be so by historians and scholars. Six specific instances are chosen here chronologically for mention here.


Hypotenuse theorem Pythagoras(540 B.C.) Bodhayana(~800 B.C)


Area of a cyclic quadrilateral

W Snell (1619),



Formula for nc r


Mahaavira (9 th century),

4 Power series for tan -1 x James Gregory (1675) Madhava(1340)


Diaphontine Equations of the form Nx 2 +1 = y 2

John Pell (1685),

Bhaskara II (1150),


Circumradius of a cyclic quadrilateral



The contributions of Brhamagupta and Bhaskara in solving the quadratic indeterminate equations of the form shown above are unique. In particular Bhaskaracharya gave an elegant and powerful method called chakravalam , to construct an auxiliary equation that provides a crucial step in obtaining a solution.

In addition to the above, there are contributions of ancient Indians in many branches of mathematics such as 1) Number systems 2) Geometry 3) Arithmetics 4) Algebra 5) Trigonometry 6) Astronomy 7) Binary Arithmetic and 8) Combinatorics. Glimpses of their actual contribution will be given, quoting from the original passages of older texts wherever necessary.

Now there is a general recognition of the achievements of early Indians by others throughout the world. In support of this, some extracts are presented from the works of scientists and mathematicians like Albert Einstein and Laplace, and also from the works of historians and scholars like W W Hunter, Thibaut and Weber
Lecture 15
Dr. K.V.Rajagopalan
The science of Ayurveda stands on the foundations of Panchamahabhhootas and Tridoshas . The five mahabhootas, prithvi (earth) ap (water) tejas (fire) , vayu (wind), akasa (space) and tri doshas vata, pitta and kapha are the basic elements which are responsible for the existance of living beings as well as their conditions of health and disease. While the mahabhootas are the physical basis of the body, the tridoshas are their biological representatives responsible for prakriti (physoiological function) and vikruti (pathaological disorders).

The definition of health according to A yurveda is given by the sloka

Samadosha samagnischa samadhath malakriya

Prasannath mandriamana swastha ethyabhideeythe

ie when the tridoshas are in equilibrium, once digestive fire is normal, when the sapta dhatus like rasa (plasma) rakt a (blood), mamsa (flesh), medas (fat tissue), asthi (bone), majja (bone marrow), sukra (semon) are in equilibrium, when the excretory system (discharge of urine, stool, sweat) is functioning properly, then ones soul, mind and organs are in peaceful condition and one is told to be healthy. Any imbalance of the above is called dis-ease.

Ayurvedic treatment is mainly divided into samtarpana and apatarpana . While samtarpana is nourishing treatment, apatarpana is again divided into three types namely samana (treatment with medicine), sastrapranidhana (surgery) and sodhana (cleaning). This sodhana is what is called Panchakarma, the five types of actions for cleaning the body. The pancha karmas are vamana (emisis), virechana (purging), nasya (errhine), vasti (enema) and raktamoksha ( letting out impure blood).

Stomach is the root cause of most of the diseases because of bad and untimely food regimen, external factors, which lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body. Ayurveda treats the body as a porous sponge wherein the causative factors of disease can migrate from one part of the body to the adjoining parts or extremities and manifest there. Cleaning of this porous body by various techniques is called pancha karma. Pancha karma itself has to be preceded by what is called poorvakarma (prior action) involving snehana and swedana , which bring out the disease from various hiding places in the body out in to the accessible regions. Snehana or oleation is lubricatiung the system by using unctuous substances like oil, ghee etc. externally and internally. Swedana is sweating induced by massage, steam bath etc. Ayurvedic treatment was also divided by the ancient masters as pacificatory and purificatory. While pacification is a temporary cure with the possible recurrence of the disease, purification is a permanent method of treatment and Panchakarma does this.

Among the panchakarmas, Vamana is indicated mainly for kapha dosha while Virechana is indicated for pitta dosha. Vasti is indicated for all vata diseases and revives ojah (power) and rejuvenates the body. Nasya is indicated for all diseases above the neck whereas Raktamoksha is indicated for diseases associated with accumulation of impure blood as in the case of eczema, varicose, migraine. Panchakarma helps cure even chronic diseases.
Lecture 14
Prof. Nukala China Satyanarayana
There is a consensus among ancient thinkers all over the world that Cosmic Sound Energy is the source of all creation in the Universe. The sacred word ' Om ' or pranava is the fundamental sound and all sounds - music or talk - are manifestations of this cosmic energy or supreme consciousness. In fact this consciousness has two states, one is energy ( Shakti ) and the other is form ( Siva ). This energy is present in inanimate objects also, which can be easily understood from the atomic structure of the matter.

Sound is classified as anahatam the inaudible and ahatam the audible. Music (or even talk) involves four stages, para, pasyanti, madhyama and vaikhari. Para is unmanifest fluid state. This transforms into pasyanti, the vibratory state. These vibrations are organised in the state of madhyama. Finally they manifest in the audible form in the state of vaikhari. This entire process takes only microseconds. Lingering and haunting music in the mind is anahatam while what is audible or ahatam is nadam . Nadam is manifest as various ragas . Any sound produces sympatheitc reactions in all living organisms.
The secret power of music is being recognised even in the western countries. Ancient Indians and even Chinese believed that audible sound is not only capable of influencing the mind and emotions of man but literally shaping and changing physical events taking place within the world. Music is also believed to aid in raising the vibration or spiritual frequency of the body itself, beginning the process of transformation of matter into spirit. The traditional bhajans ( group singing of devotional songs), which are believed to be great relievers of stress besides having curative power, are based on this concept.

Difference in pitch results in microtones or Srutis. There are 7 tones, 12 semitones and 22 quartertones. A group of microtones becomes a quartertone or semi tone or tone. A combination of various tones becomes a raga. Different ragas produce different emotions, principally the nava rasas. All the soft emotions like tranquility, serenity etc. are produced by flat semitones or komala swarasthanas . The ragas todi, bhairavi etc come under this category. T eevra swarasrthanas are a result of sharp semitones and produce robust feelings, , spirited and enthusiastic activity and remove dullness. kalyani , mohana etc come under this class. There are also ragas of a mixed kind called komala-teevra swarasthanas, which are a combination of the first two. Mayamalavi gouda, subhapantu karali etc. belong to this type. Music of a particular raga can be effectively used for bringing requisite effects in the patients. For smoothly waking up somebody, bhupala, bhouli, revagupta are very useful. Neelambari raga has sleep inducing power. Lullabies thus are based on neelambari .

Music can be used either orally or even directly fed to the patient with sensors, similar to that used in ECG etc. This is useful in the case of patients averse to music. In summary, music plays a role of a catalyst, in the process of healing, particularly in diseases related to stress and other emotional disturbances.
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