India from ancient times was the treasure of high level knowledge. We find the lots of branches of science from very beginning. High level philosophy, medicine and surgery, mathematics and architecture are few examples.
In this continuation we find a very wonderful text like Vimanasastra. Ratnapradipika is one of the some very important books related to Vimana-sastra. This was written by Sage Bharadvaja of ancient times. But it was almost unavailable. We find only one sutra of this text. Its commentator Bodhananda gives very useful information about this very important text. Bodhananda made the commentaries of Vimanasastra and Ansubodhini also. All these three texts were written by Sage Bharadvaja. Now these all are found incomplete and same with their commentaries. This Ratnapradipika was about the gems. This was written in sutra form of ancient Indian writing style.
Ratnapradipika was unavailable till Pt. Subraya Shastri revealed it again. He got it by divine revelation from his 'preceptor belonging to Himalaya.
The remaining commentary of Ratnapradipika informs that there were at least seventeen chapters before which are lost but it is hard to find the total number of chapters.
Current Ratnapradipika has two parts, both parts deals with the descriptions of making artificial diamonds.
Here in the first part is a very interesting topic about the formation of a machine which was used for making diamonds. This had seven supporting machines like grinder and electric hammer etc. Seeing the antiquity of the book description about the use of electric power is pretty amazing.
With the details of such matter the book will be very interesting for the readers and indologists, particularly concerned with the study of ancient Indian science & technology.
Dr. Umesh Kumar Singh obtained his doctorate in Sanskrit from Delhi University and has worked as a Research Associate (2009-12) for the Center for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA. His earlier education has been from Delhi University (M.Phil.), Banaras Hindu University (M.A.) and Allahabad Universities (B.A.). Dr. Singh has been awarded JRF & SRF from the UGC by National Eligibility Test (NET) twice (June 2002 & June 2003). Dr. Singh has worked as a Linguist (2009-10) in a Sanskrit-Hindi Machine Translation (SHMT) project and later as a Project Manager (2013-14) in Indian Languages Corpora Initiative (ILCI) sponsored by the Dept. of IT (Govt. of India) at Special Centre of Sanskrit Studies, JNU.
Dr. Singh has expertise in various fields of Sanskrit Studies like Vedic Literature, Ayurveda, Scientific Sanskrit Literature and Computational Sanskrit.
He has worked as a Co-editor in Samkhayana Samhita Publication Project run by Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan, Ujjain which is a milestone like work in the field of Vedic Studies.
Dr. Singh has edited and published 8 books and many papers related to the field of Sanskrit and Ancient Indian Sciences.
Currently he is publishing an online journal of Sanskrit Studies named by Nikasa since 20 12.
The growing interest in the study of ancient Indian knowledge has brought to light the lost knowledge, in one sense, to the fore front and has taken a new dimension of its vastness, richness and the scientific caliber. The present manuscript Ratnapradeepika is such an attempt to bring forth the knowledge base traditional Indian knowledge system, once very rich and advanced in dealing with the gemology. It not only elaborates the core science of gemology, but also describes the scope of this knowledge system. Interestingly, while classifying the types of diamonds the classification has been given a common societal touch for explanation.
Surprisingly enough, it touches the modern science of Solid state physics in such a simple way, so that even a layman can make some sense out of it. It talks of the clay, the mud, the coral the stone the minerals and even the formulaic bases for manufacturing the diamonds.
This Indian knowledge system needs to be discovered and brought to light to the levels of scientific treasures which have remained ignored for the millenniums.
Children’s Books (1723)
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