Book Review

Author: Dr.RVSS Avadhanulu
Shri Veda Bharthi
H No H-34 Madhuranagar
Hyderabad 500038
Price: :Rs.350/- US$30/-

Prof. S. S. Murthy,
Former Director, NIT, Surathkal and
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology,
New Delhi 110 016.

It is well known that Indian scriptures and Sanskrit literature are a storehouse of knowledge. But there are very few attempts to systematically classify them into known branches of knowledge in an illustrative manner to familiarize a lay reader with the richness of Indian past. The painstaking effort of Dr. Avadhanulu in this direction by picking up relevant extracts from literature, likes drops picked from the ocean, and compiling them and translating has resulted in this book which any reader can vouch, is unique.

Today there is a worldwide interest in these Indian thoughts leading to considerable research in well-known universities across the world. Yoga, meditation and holistic methods enunciated in our scriptures are recognized globally as sure remedies of happy and healthy living.

Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmasutra, Gita, Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharatha are considered holy texts containing information on all aspects of human activity – physical and spiritual. There are a galaxy of Sanskrit luminaries – Kalidasa, Panini, Bhasa, Bana, Varahamihra, Bhartruhari and many others whose works have inspired and enlightened generations of humankind over centuries. Works of Charaka, Sushrutha, Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, Lilavati and others deal with different aspects of science and medicine. Ramayana and Mahabharatha have innumerable illustrations of science, technology, arts, sports, music, dance, architecture, weaponry, defense, vehicles, textiles, navigation, metallurgy and space craft to name a few. By observing ancient temples, paintings and historical structures, one wonders about the technology prevalent several hundred years ago. For example, the rusting iron pillar near Kutub Minar unravels the metallurgical experiences of those times.

The present book synthesizes the knowledge spread over 5000 years to enlighten the reader on the ancient wisdom in different areas.

Knowledge is classified as Vidya and Avidya (Apara vidya) – the former dealing with knowledge within (internal to the human being) and the latter with knowledge without (external to the human being). Vidya deals with philosophy and spirituality linking man with God. The scriptures deal extensively with Vidya. Critical commentaries on scriptures such as those by Adi Shankara guide an individual choose a path of God realization. This deals with mind, body and soul – Yoga, Meditation, Bhakti, Jnana are different manifestations in this class. On the other hand, Avidya deals with physical or external aspects such as Science and Technology and issues external to the human being.

The present book deals with both “Vidya” and “Avidya” and the author has classified this into chapters dealing with different aspects. The significance and importance of Vedas are highlighted in this book. It is regrettable to note that only 13 out 1311 branches of Vedic knowledge are presently traceable. This is great loss of vast storehouse of information to humanity for ever.
In different chapters, the author deals with almost all branches of science and narrates relevant Sanskrit text to prove that several present day findings are not new such as the concepts on gravitation, solar system, the value of Pi and so on. The author has carefully chosen and discussed many topics from Sanskrit literature which dealt with geometry, chemistry, physics, agriculture, irrigation, rain forecasting, imaging, wave theory, healthcare, energy, cognition, computers, cosmology, quantum mechanics and unified theory. Extracting computer concepts from Vishnu Sahsranama is very interesting.

While one may question the validity of some of his propositions, none can question his sincerity in mining useful data from earlier Sanskrit literature which may make every Indian proud.

This book makes several interesting comparisons between Vedas and Science and the concepts therein. Dr. Avadhanulu, the author of the book, has done a commendable work. This book is a useful reference guide for all those who want to know what is hidden in our scriptures in a readable language. I would certainly advise our youngsters in schools and colleges to read this book which would give a glimpse of our ancestors’ wisdom and scientific temper and inspire them in making India once again a global center of knowledge creation for the betterment of humanity.
Prof. SS Murthy
New Delhi

This book is available at :-
Shri Veda Bharthi
H No H-34 Madhuranagar
Hyderabad 500038