Welcome to Part 2 of Inventions and Discoveries in India. If you haven’t checked the Part 1 yet, please find the link to read it …
21st June is celebrated as International Yoga Day, but did you know that Yoga was originated in India? Yoga that has been performed since ages has its roots attached with India. We perform Yoga early in the morning and it is also said to be one of the way to provide peace to inner soul. When you are in harmony, the journey through life is calmer, happier and more fulfilling. Advantages of Yoga is plenty, whether it be weight loss, stress relief, better flexibility and posture or improve intuition, list goes on and on.
The origins of Yoga have been speculated from Indus Valley Civilization and Pre-Vedic Indian traditions. The Number of seals and fossils remains of Indus Valley Civilization with Yogic motives and figures performing Yoga Sadhana suggest the presence of Yoga in ancient India. The main sources, from which we get the information about Yoga practices and the related literatures during this period, which are available in Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis, teachings of Buddhism, Jainism, Panini, Epics, Puranas etc. Yoga forms which were early performed includes Classical Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Meditation. Statue of Lord Shiva in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, performing yogic meditation in the Padmasana posture is famous.
Yoga gurus from India were responsible for wide spread of yoga to the west. The person who can be thanked for his utmost importance in making yoga known to the world is Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th Century.
In Sanskrit, the word yoga comes from the root ‘yuj’ which means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite” or “to attach”. The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha (liberation). The term Yoga is also mentioned in script from Rig Veda and Pre-Classical era including writings of Bhagavad Gita, Shanti Parva (of the Mahabharta) and the Yoga Vasistha. The first known appearance of the word “Yoga”, with the same meaning as the modern term, is in the Katha Upanishad. Yoga is not only restricted to one religion, it was seen as one of the important exchange of ideas during the early centuries. In the early 11th century, the Persian scholar Al Biruni visited India, lived with Hindus for 16 years, and with their help translated several significant Sanskrit works into Arabic and Persian languages. One of these was Patanjali’s Yogasutras. Al Biruni’s translation preserved many of the core themes of Patanjali’s Yoga philosophy, but certain sutras and analytical commentaries were restated making it more consistent with Islamic monotheistic theology. Al Biruni’s version of Yoga Sutras reached Persia and Arabian peninsula by about 1050 AD. Later, in the 16th century, the hath yoga text Amritakunda was translated into Arabic and then Persian. Some Christians integrate yoga and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer and meditation. This has been attributed to a desire to experience God in a more complete way.
I am sure that you might have definitely watched the famous movie “Enter the Dragon”? Okay, what about “Fist of Fury”? If the answer is still ‘No’, you would have definitely heard about Bruce Lee? Yes, might be the answer. Ever wonder where the form of ‘Martial Arts’ derived from? Yes, the answer is India.
Martial Arts was first practiced in India and later spread to most parts of China. The foundation of modern Asian martial arts is likely a blend of early Chinese and Indian martial arts. Shaolin is of Indian origin, thanks to spread of Buddhism from India during the early 5th Century A.D, with the face of ‘Bodhidharma’ to China. From China it was communicated to almost all the parts of world. Modern Muay Thai was developed in the 1920s from traditional styles, known summarily as muay boran, which in turn was likely derived from the much older Indian Kalaripayattu.
Time Taken To Orbit the Sun…
Shocked? You probably would have. It is true that this major breakthrough was first studied with accuracy by famous Indian Astronomer and Mathematician Bhaskaracharya.
The time taken by Earth to orbit the Sun unto nine decimal places (365.258756484 days) was calculated with precise perfection by the great Mathematician. Todays accepted measurement is 365.2564 days. Therefore, assuming that today’s figures are correct, it means that Bhaskaracharya was off by only 0.0002%. No wonder, as to why the period between 500 and 1200 A.D. was consider as the Golden Age in Indian Astronomy. His writings were talk of the subject during that golden era. His famous book ‘Lilavati’ was even translated in Persian and Arabic and read in Europe.
Snakes and Ladders
I guess this game doesn’t require any introduction, name of the game is enough to bring all the joy and memories of childhood in your mind. We all have played Snakes and Ladders when we were younger and not to forget the 99 block snake was one of the heart-breaking and still bites.
Snakes and Ladders was originated in India as a part of family dice board games that included couple of more games, Gyan chauper and Pachisi (popularly known as Ludo and Parchessi). The game was popular by the name of ‘Moksha Patam’ in ancient India. Gyan Chauper, the version associated with the Jain philosophy encompasses the concepts like Karma and Moksha. It was played as early as 2nd Century B.C. So all the three games were started playing in India. Earlier it was designed on a cloth with the help of Gouache. The game made its way and was welcomed with open arms in England and was sold by the name of “Snakes and Ladders”. Later on the game concept was introduced in the United States as Chutes and Ladders by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.
After knowing about the famous Snakes and Ladders origin, let us explore about the well-known strategy game ‘Chess’. The original word for ‘Chess’ is the Sanskrit ‘Chaturanga’, meaning “four members of an army”—which were mostly likely elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers.
Chess is believed to be originated from Eastern India. The exact period of its discovery is not known but experts believed it to be originated in the Gupta Empire around 6th century A.D. The game reached Western Europe and Russia by at least three routes, the earliest being in the 9th century. By the year 1000, it had spread throughout Europe. Introduced into the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors in the 10th century, it was described in a famous 13th-century manuscript covering shatranj, backgammon, and dice named the Libro de los juegos. No wonder why Indian chess players are famous and holds a better ranking than their competitors.
WATER ON THE MOON
It’s obvious that we know about the first person on moon. We all know about the historic Apollo 11’s mission. What we don’t know is the country which found the existence of water on moon.
Water on the moon known as Lunar Water was found by India’s Chandrayaan-1. On 24th September 2009, Science magazine reported that the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 had detected water on the Moon. So if human that are believed to be residing on moon by the end of two decades have to thanks ISRO for their historic achievement.
Time for some TRIVIA on India:
- India is the world’s largest producer of dried beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas. It also leads the world in banana exports
- The Bengal tiger is India’s national animal. It was once ubiquitous throughout the country.
- Alexander the Great of Macedon (356-323 B.C.) was one of the first important figures to bring India into contact with the West.
- The lotus is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. The Bahá’í house of worship in Delhi, known as the “Lotus Temple”, is shaped like a lotus flower with 27 gigantic “petals” that are covered in marble.
- The official name of India is the Republic of India. The Republic of India or Bharat Janagarajya has two principal short names in both official and popular English usage, each of which is historically significant, India and Bharat. The name “India” was the manipulation of the word Sindhu. Because neighboring Persians and Arabs used to pronounce “s” as “h” they called the land Hindu. The Greeks called it Indus. Sindhu is the name of the Indus River, which was mentioned in the Rig-Veda, one of the oldest existing Indo-European texts.
- All of India is under a single time zone.
Image Source: Google Images.
Trivia Source: facts.randomhistory.