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Bharatiya Vigyan Manjusha Treasure Trove of Ancient Indian Sciences

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Item Code: HAR703
Author: M.S. Sreedharan
Publisher: Publication Division, Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting
Language: Sanskrit Text with English Translation
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9789354093555
Pages: 965
Other Details 9.5x7.5 inch
Weight 1.68 kg
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Book Description

Malayalam reading public are already acquainted with the encyclopaedic Bharatiya Sastra Manjusha (1500 pages, 3 volumes) compiled by Shri M.S. Sreedharan. It is a comprehensive publication of ancient India's contributions to science and technology, a available in the Malayalam and Sanskrit literature I had gone through those volumes and admired at the large amount of scientific.

Contributions made by our people when the western world had not woken up for any good work in this field. It is true that they have overrun us now. It has made Indians feel (incorrectly though) that their own contributions have been negligible even in the past.

All have accepted that this part of the earth, called India by foreigners, and adopted by us, but originally called Bharat, had a glorious civilization beginning with the Vedic times. The age of the Vedas has been the subject of much research. The internal astronomical evidence first presented by Tilak and subsequently endorsed by German Indologists, suggests that the Rigveda was probably composed around 3500 BC. Apart from being beautiful literary compositions, the Vedas contain many universal, philosophical and scientific truths. They form the composition of a civilized people and not of primitive people. People belonging to such a civilization could not have remained intellectually idle or stagnant for thousands of years since the Vedic times, till modern science began to grow in Europe.

The thoughts of the inhabitants of Bharat, originating in their intrinsic curiosity and applied to the needs of the human society would have grown and borne fruit. Often they have started, "Loka samasta: sukhino bhavantu, Sarve bhavantu niramaya:" as their ideal. Their contributions have been in the field of philosophy, pure science and technology. Their contributions in the field of philosophy are still considered great, while those in the fields of science and technology have been superseded, or rediscovered. Yet they are or were substantial. Those major contributions have been in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, metallurgy, architecture, etc. During the time of Sushruta, surgery was extensively practised; cowpox and its inoculation into humans for alleviating smallpox had been advocated by him. Three infinite series for giving the value of (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diarneter) have been formulated, at least by the 7th century AD, by the astronomers of our land. There are names for the powers of ten up to 10", while in the West there are no names for powers higher than 10" (fera).

Due to poor communications in those days, and perhaps an unfortunate desire to keep knowledge confined to a selected few, the scientific and technological knowledge was transmitted only by word of month within the same family or to a closed group of scholars. It was only much later that it got transcribed into written matter on palmyra leaves.

This knowledge is our rich heritage. It is necessary that we do not lose it altogether in the huge volume of information now available.


The Bharatiya Vigyan Manjusha, which I may reasonably claim as the first encyclopaedia of Indian sciences, was compiled after a good deal of research and inquiry This is a book of basic information about various branches of ancient Indian scientific knowledge, rather, an annotated index of extant information.

The Malayalam edition of this encyclopaedia published in 1987 in three volumes was well-received by the Malayalam-speaking world and widely reviewed in the Press. The Government of Kerala approved the purchase of the book for school, college and university libraries, as well as libraries in local bodies ete. The Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, Department of Science and Technology. Government of India and the State Committee on Science and Technology, and Environment, Government of Kerala extended assistance for its publication. A galaxy of distinguished personalities including Swami Ranganathanandaji, Dr ECG. Sudharshan, Prof M.G.K. Menon. Prof P.R. Pisharoti, Shri Vedabandhan Sarma, the late Dr N.V. Krishna Warrior, Dr N.A Karim, Dr Balakrishna Karunakaran Nair conveyed their appreciation through their messages and introductory notes.

Many scientists of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, who had gone through the manuscript in Malayalam suggested an English edition of the Manjusha. Swami Ranganathanandji in particular persuaded me in this and extended his help. But for his kind blessings I would not have ventured into bringing out an English edition of the Manjusha.

To a large extent I have tried to include all the topics of the Manjusha in this English edition. However, the matter could not be translated in to because of several constraints. Also some topics which are of interest to the Malayalam readers only have been omitted. But in their place I have included certain new topics.

No knowledge other than 'Western' is seldom considered knowledge worth searching for. It is sad even our educated people are enveloped in this belief. To correct this misunderstanding of our scientific heritage, I thought of bringing out a book which would go a long way in achieving the objective.

Our dependence on western scientific tradition is so absolute that the ready answer of an average educated Indian to the question as to who discovered first that the earth we live on, is spherical will invariably be, 'Magellan of Spain. We are trained like that, in schools and colleges. But a thousand years before the birth of Magellan, Aryabhata (5 century AD) had taught the people of India that the earth is round.

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