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Book Describes Indic Science and Culture

by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

Posted July 17, 2012

A few years ago I did an extensive lecture tour at over 70 different institutions, mostly colleges and universities of India, with a few corporations as well, mostly in the western part of India. In some of these places we had to show no sign of devotional clothing, nor present any kind of spiritual topics, but we could give what they called "cultural" presentations on the ancient Vedic tradition of India. Most universities like culture, even if they do not like anything spiritual or religious. Some places were more strict than others, where any accompanying devotees had to wait out in the car so they would not be seen.

I gave a PowerPoint presentation called "Rediscovering the Glory of India." This was all about the scientific advancements that came from the ancient Vedic culture, along with knowledge about Harappa and Mohenjodaro and the Indus or Sarasvati civilizations, and many of the developments in mathematics, medicine, astronomy and other fields of development that were superior, in my opinion, to anything else in the world at the time, including the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Chinese civilizations.

This caught the attention of numerous students, and I could see the pride in their culture actually increase as I spoke about this. Invariably, especially in the questions-and-answers portion, the students would ask about the spiritual aspects of the culture, or how I, especially as a Westerner, had begun to take such an interest in Indian and Vedic society. This would naturally open up the conversation to discussing the spiritual tradition of Vedic society. Naturally, if they had so many other advancements in other fields, why would they not also be highly developed in their spiritual knowledge?

At this point in the presentation the universities could not do anything about what was discussed in the Q-and-A section. I had already given the cultural presentation, and now the students were asking their own questions, so I could say whatever I wanted and made sure it focused on the deeper aspects of its spiritual knowledge, which many students really appreciated.

The following year I gave another successful lecture tour at over 35 different institutions, this time mostly in the south but using the same techniques. Over the course of 12 years I also had been collecting many books on these topics in India, and over the last 8 months I summarized this information into a book with an easy-to-understand format to not only include the details in my presentation but also to elaborate on explanations of much more information on various advancements that came out of the ancient Vedic culture.

This book shows how the planet’s earliest civilization led the world in both material and spiritual progress. From the Vedic culture of thousands of years ago, we find such things as the origins of mathematics, especially algebra and geometry, as well as early astronomy and planetary observations, many instances of which can be read in the historical Vedic texts. Medicine in Ayurveda was a pioneer in prescribing herbs for the remedy of disease, surgical instruments for operations, and more.

Other developments that surpassed the rest of the world in that era included:

  1. Writing and language, especially the development of sophisticated Sanskrit;
  2. Metallurgy and making the best known steel at the time;
  3. Shipbuilding and global maritime trade;
  4. Textiles and the dying of fabric, for which India was known all over the world;
  5. Agricultural and botanical achievements;
  6. Precise Vedic arts in painting, dance and music;
  7. The educational systems and early universities like Nalanda and Takshashila;
  8. Individual freedom and fair government, and the character and actions of rulers;
  9. Military and martial arts;
  10. Along with intricate and profound philosophy and spiritual paths, which became the basis of many religions that followed later around the world.

These and more are the developments that came from India, much of which has been forgotten, but should again be recognized as the heritage of the ancient Indian Vedic tradition that continues to inspire humanity.

This book is especially good for Indian youth who may be forgetting or never knew of the advanced developments that came out of the ancient Vedic culture of India, which is why they should be proud of their heritage. Every person of Indian descent and anyone interested in the Vedic tradition should understand this information to see the numerous contributions and origins of many of the sciences that we take for granted today.

This book is also especially meant for those who lecture at colleges or universities but who need information for a more cultural rather than spiritual presentation, one which can still show the advanced nature of Vedic culture in many aspects of life.

This book has many references and quotes to verify the information within. It also has 23 black-and-white photos to illustrate some of the topics.

Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture: The Planet’s Earliest Civilization and How it Influenced the World
ISBN 978-1477607893, paperback, 6" x 9", 376 pages, $20.95; ASIN B008BXBF8O, Kindle e-Book, $5.99

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