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Invaluable Indian Inventions

January 24, 2017       Curious Mind
Indian Inventions

Unheralded until recently, inventions
by Indians are among the world's
most important tools,
knowledge and technologies

Often overlooked as the most advanced society in ancient times, and still among the smartest inventors and scientists from before the birth of Christ until this day and age, India's renowned people and ancestry has bestowed upon mankind many of the objects and knowledge and learning that the world takes for granted.  It is known superstitious lore that Indians are descended from among Aryans or from the gods themselves.

Supposedly, Vedic kingdoms in the mysterious Ramayana epic waged war with Atlantis using Vimanas or space ships as large as a floating city.  Armed with  nuclear weapons that devastated the earth that an Ice Age reverted the planet back to the Stone age and it took mankind three centuries to recover from that doomed age.  Fast forward to today, Indians still make and create many wondrous and lifesaving technologies and are known to be among the world's smartest scientists and tinkers.

Let us look at the most interesting and invaluable contributions of Indian inventors and scientists that we should never forget:

Learning Systems:  Measures, Math, Outer Space Physics

Indians are credited to be the first to devise a ruler as a means for measuring and as a work tool for configuring how they build or divide or cut objects precisely.  The need for uniform means of measuring their environment led to Indians developing a system of using weights and other measuring systems to quantify and gather as well as for fairness in trade and barter.

Though Newton and Leibniz are credited with the development of calculus in the west, researchers have proven that 2 centuries before both, an Indian mathematician named Madhava was able to complete a more precise infinite series in the Indian province of Kerala, where their mathematicians fluorished. There are increasing research that point at mathematics being developed and invented outside of Europe first by ancient civilizations like China and India.

For space exploration and theoretical physics, Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose formulated the idea of a condensate or another state of matter that can be a physical representation in data of the ether or of gravity.  Asking Albert Einstein to verify his theory, both shared the idea and have been credited as the Bose-Einstein condensate.  This theory explains the possible condition of empty space being a quantum fluid and gravity as possibly a measurable wave or particle.

World's First University: Takshashila

India was the first nation that put together their best teachers and wise men in a place of learning for their youth creating the first
University in 700 B.C.  Takshashila was
Taksha, the son of Bharata and Mandavi, two important character in the Ramayana oral epic.  The location of the first university is what is now Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in the Punjab state of Pakistan.

During the time that Takshashila was run as a place of learning, their curriculum consisted of some 68 elective courses where more than 10,500 students from India and nearby nations came and studied under the guidance of more than 2000 teachers.

Cures and Healing

Yoga and Ayurdvedic medicine are now renowned for being a much better healing method and way for keeping healthy.  Healing by knowing food properties and herbal concoctions that can do better than biochemical medicines manufactured today has been finally accepted by natural healing advocacy doctors and medical practitioners since the properties of Ayurdvedic medicine or healing regimens are usually more potent at curing common ailments and even when treating acute illnesses. 

Ancient non-invasive regimens like poultices are used along with elixirs, food preparations and the like.  Indians are reputed to have the least incidence of cancer, and other prevalent modern western degenerative diseases because of a diet heavy in ginger, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon--all of the most powerful healing and antioxidant spices and herbs in the world. 

Yoga allows even slim built men and women to possess core strength and stay healthy with good posture, aerobic exercise, stretching for improvement of circulation and flexibility to avoid movement injuries.  Although some western health practitioners may claim that yoga has no positive effects on health, just check out any yoga practitioner and ask them how their body is more fit from both, stretching, aerobic exercise and better posture as well as muscle tone and core strengthening.

Tetracycline, Cancer and Filariasis, Anemia treatment.  Yellapragada Subba Rao was a biochemist and pharmacological researcher, who helped invent for various American drug companies some of the most important medicines known to man.  His research produced one of the first cancer chemotherapy agents: methotrexate.  Under his program, Benjamin Duggar developed Aureomycrin the first tetracycline, as a better treatment for staph infections from war wounds.  He also invented Hetrazine, the only known cure for filariasis, a worm parasite disease that blocks blood vessels in the lower limbs; the drug is used to keep cattle and livestock from catching worm parasites too.  Subbarao also helped invent the first synthesized folic acid (vitamin B9) as treatment for anemia.

Sanitation:  Shampoo & Flush Toilets

Indians were concerned with keeping clean and invented shampoo via
a variety of herbs and their extracts as hair cleaning concoctions with water.  Boiling the fruit pulp of soapberries or soapnuts to form the soapy agent for cleaning one's hair was called Ksuna (Sanskrit: क्षुण) in ancient Indian texts. Soapberries were a tropical tree widespread in India which could create a nautral lather that left hair  soft, shiny and manageable.

Image Credit:  theindianspot
Many herbal and spice derived concoctions for natural
healing, medication and disinfecting
were created
by Indians from pre-Christian times.

Cleansing with hair and body massage (champu in Indian) during daily strip wash was an indulgence of early colonial traders staying in India. The newly acquired healthy habits for washing every day and using a lather to clean the hair was brought back to their homeland and was practiced more widely.  Hair cleaning treatments were called shampoo.

In keeping communities clean and free from disease, Indians also invented the world's first flush toilets.  Seating holes that were connected to a centralized sewage system that carried the waste elsewhere to compost.  There was a water source nearby with buckets for washing out your poop hole after Indians used the toilet to keep it clean.

Rocket Technology 

The first iron-cased, cylinder rockets were developed by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the South Indian Kingdom of Mysore, in the 1780s.  Tipu was successful fighting British colonizing troops of the British East India Company during the Anglo-Mysore wars.

The Mysore rockets of the Indians with casings holding more propellant, enabled higher thrust and longer range for the missile (up to 2 km range).   Tipu was eventually defeated by the 4th Anglo-Mysore war and the capture of the Mysore iron rocket technology helped the English improve their rocket weapons and be a world superpower at from that time until the 20th century.

Communications Technology

Fiber Optics

Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany is an Indian-born, American Sikh physicist whose invention of fiber optics was made more than half a century ago.  Born in Moga in Punjab on 12 October, 1926, Kapany was a curious child. During a physics lecture at school, his teacher taught the class that light always travels in a straight line. The young boy wondered why light could not travel along any other way and inspired him to think over the mechanics of it and prove it wasn't so. 

By 1954 Kapany at the Department of Physics that light can travel in bent glass fibers. His research paper entitled ‘A Flexible Fiberscope Using Static Scanning’ appeared in the seminal scientific journal Nature in the January issue of the same year. He published over 100 scientific papers in various international science journals and established the term fiber optics.

His work led to the development of such medical devices as endoscopes.  For this critical and early work in fiber optics and communication, other light based research was developed including using it as a data transmission medium that enabled fiber optic cable to be invented and used worldwide as communications equipment and even possibly parts of a computer that can run on light instead of just circuit board electric signals.

Radio and Microwave Transmission

Jagadish Chandra Bose was the first person to demonstrate in public the workability of radio messaging or microwave transmission as a means of sending messages.  The demonstration Bose made in Calcutta in 1895, was two years earlier than a similar demonstration by Marconi in England.

Bose's demonstration has been documented and it forms the foundation for most of the basic technology used in mobile telephony, radars, satellite communication, radios, television broadcast, WiFi, remote controls and countless other applications.   In western textbooks, a different inventor is identified for the enabling of radio communications.

Mysterious Indian Legends

Vimanas are supposed to be both UFO like airships of advanced ancient civilizations who made up the fighting nations mentioned in the Vedic oral epic, the Ramayana.  The largest Vimana craft was  the size of a small city and supposedly powered by a mercury-ion engine that created an anti-gravity field that allowed the huge craft to levitate, fly and still be maneuverable in the Earth's atmosphere. 

A Vimanas battle of ships on the surface of the moon supposedly took place if the oral epic is an accurate hand-me down tale of events eons ago.  As large as they were, they also carried nuclear weapons and these were described as lightning and thunder in the epic.

Carbonized Steel Wootz Steel is a weapon forging technology for plasticized steel or swords so sharp and keen that they supposedly could cleanly cut a silk kerchiief floating down the sharp end of the blade into two.  The blacksmithing secrets for carbonized steel infused carbon from coals into steel at very high temperatures then the metal was also provided an extra boost when it was cooled down after hammering by stabbng into the body of a captive slave or opponent.  Indian Wootz steel was invented in South India in the 6th century BC and was known as Seric Iron or Ukku steel. 

The knowledge for Wootz Steel was never documented and was supposedly lost after British colonizers abolished Indian foundries and smiths while gunpowder also changed the way wars were fought on the battlefield.  Wootz steel is identified by the distinctive water stain markings on the flat side of carbon-infused steel swords and blades.  The legendary Damascus blade or steel is claimed to be an offshoot of Wootz steel-crafting blacksmiths. 


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