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Advanced knowledge in the ancient world

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posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 10:49 AM
Most of the time when we look for “advanced” stuff in the ancient world, our focus is on the physical artefacts such as Pyramids, Stonehenge etc. This results in debates which usually are divided into the following camps. 1) The Pyramids, Stonehenge etc MUST have been built by a superior technological civilisation because even we cannot build them with our present civilisation
2) The Pyramids, Stonehenge etc were built using low-tech equipment and methods.

I want to move the emphasis away from this often beaten dead horse, and look at advanced ancient knowledge instead. Knowledge that is anomalous in its time and which seems very odd to be in the ancient world. It must be knowledge that is far beyond the ancient world and close to the modern world.

This thread is not going to be like my previous threads where I provide the information for it and then try to convince others of an ancient advanced civilisation. Instead I am going to leave this open for everybody to provide examples of advanced knowledge in ancient traditions, so I can also gain for myself a wider understanding of the advanced knowledge available in others cultures around the world, other than my main research area of India.

I will begin this thread by sharing examples of advanced knowledge in ancient India and explaining why this is advanced. Also note that the dates that I will provide are not widely accepted and there is wide variance, but I will provide the most conservative dates. It is acknowledged that because Indian history was not recorded in detail and the original traditions were oral traditions, a lot of these knowledge texts must have existed in an oral tradition before they were written down. This makes it difficult to pinpoint exact dates.

The grammar of Sanskrit

Sanskrit grammar is based on a text authored by Panini, known as the Asthtadyati written in 500BCE(Most conservative date) which describes the entire structure of the Sanskrit language and how to generate sentences in Sanskrit in 3559 rules.

Why is it advanced knowledge? The grammar contains many concepts and techniques used in computer science and mathematical linguistics which were only rediscovered in the 20th century. It contains virtually the entire science of linguistics in its most developed form.

It is the earliest known descriptive and generative linguistic text. The next known text on general linguistics was composed in 1957 by Naom Chomsky, who ironically was heavily inspired by Panini. He also named a theorem after Panini because Panini first discovered it as, “Panini's Theorem on Constraint Ranking”

Panini’s grammar is considered to be the worlds first formal system and a forerunner to modern computer languages. The earliest works on mathematical linguistics was by Gotlob Frege in the 19th century, and it was not until the logician Emile post(a contemporary of Alan turing) that Panini’s advanced technique which are now standards in designing computer languages were rediscovered. This makes Panini the first computer scientist of the world.

Panini had a direct influence on modern linguistics, with most modern linguistics deriving their concepts, theories from Panini directly. Such as Ferdinand Sauseere, Leonard Bloomfield, Chomsky, amongst others

Quotes on Panini

An ardent admirer of Panini, Prof. Honsell, who is the Rector of the University of Udine, Italy, and Professor of Computer Sciences, said modern day ‘Compilers’, come closest to the tools that the great Indian grammarian used to give form and content to language, especially Sanskrit.
Compilers are special programmes that help process statements written in a particular programming language and turn them into machine language or “code” that a computer’s processor understands.
Prof. Honsell, who is researching into the history of computers, said, “I first encountered the seminal work of Panini about nine years ago and was very impressed. He seems to have anticipated a lot of techniques that are being developed in modern computer language processing.” Panini’s syntax has been found suitable for computer codes and most world languages adhere to his syntax.

Further reading on Panini and his major contributions to Computer Science

Book review of “Natural Language processing: A Panini perspective”


I am sure this will divide people into camps again of those who will state that Panini’s grammar MUST be from an advanced civilisation, and those who say Panini’s grammar is normal for its time.

I will argue the position of the first camp. Those of who have studied things like logic and linguistics will know that logic and linguistics has a very long history, that we can trace back to the ancient Greeks 2000 years ago. Since then this field has been developing and it is not until the later half of the 20th century that that we see the full development of this science. This is a culmination of 2000 years of scientific and logical development, of which the majority of the development takes place in the 19th century and beyond. Panini’s grammar is therefore unambiguously advanced because it is already more developed than modern linguistics and computing science(theoretical) in 500BCE. It anticipates the entire history of linguistic development in the West, which therefore implies the Indians of ancient India had similar scientific and logical development as the Modern West has today. It is therefore unquestionably an advanced civilisation.

But how? How can primitive people be writing treatises on computer science, which are still extant today and inspiring future computer science? Therefore they cannot be primitive at all, and we are definitely wrong about our ancients.

Just a small note on dating Indian history. As I discussed earlier Indian history is difficult to date, because there are little extant Indian records and most of it was an oral tradition before it was finally written down. However, even the dates of when it was written down are controversial. While traditional Western dating assigns Panini a date of 500BCE, Indian dating methods would put Panini much earlier, perhaps even in 2000BCE. This is because there is a variance in the sheet-anchor theory for Indian history. The west base their sheet anchor on the Indo-Aryan invasion of India which they stipulate took place in 1500BCE, therefore this is the beginning of the later Vedic phase and therefore the classical phase occurred much later around 500BCE. However, this is very dubious as there is no substantial evidence for an Aryan migration or invasion into India around 1500BCE. Moreover, if this sheet anchor is accepted then it presents an evolution of Indian history which is unnaturally fast. That is around 1200BE during the Vedic age ancient Indian society is extremely primitive, anti-urban, anti philosophy and anti science and tribal. And then after 1000BCE, it is suddenly becoming extremely scientific and logical and composing computer treatises by 500BCE.

I can only logically conclude the Western sheet anchor of the so-called Aryan invasion of India is categorically wrong and fabricated. That India’s classical period took place thousands of years earlier contemporary with the Indus Valley civilisation. And this would make a lot of sense because the Indus valley civilisation is unquestionably the most scientifically and technologically advanced civilisation of the ancient world, and only such a civilisation could produce something like Panini’s grammar. I therefore submit that around 3000BCE there was an advanced civilisation on this planet, this was the Indus valley civilisation, and the clearest evidence of that is Panini’s advanced grammar.

Anybody else with their own examples of advanded knowledge in the ancient world?

[edit on 6-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 11:11 AM
What about the Biblical text? There really are numerous examples of
scientific facts that we're written to The Bible. Most of which
were confirmed by science hundreds of years later.

star n flag.

[edit on 6-12-2009 by randyvs]

posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 11:29 AM
I was reading a book about how to learn Sanskrit a few years ago.
I can see how the structure and Panini's shaping would make it a basis for writing computer code.
It's geometrically beautiful in comparison to the other languages of the world.
Sanskrit was most likely, or the mother/father of it, used by whichever culture built astronomically aligned pyramids all over the face of the earth.
That would put Sanskrit at about 11,000 years old if that's true.

posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 01:20 PM
Star and flag. I don't quite agree that the topics you mentioned are overused, I just think they hog focus and other worthwhile facets of the ancient world go ignored.

posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 01:26 PM
This is one of the best threads i've seen on ats for a while.

i also remember reading somewhere that the mayans knew of multiple dimensions and that some of them intertwine, but i can't for the life of me remember where i saw it.

posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 02:14 PM
In my opinion the people in the past were just as smart as we are today

posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 01:58 PM
A small contribution on my part, or more of a talking point, but what are peoples thoughts on the great philosophers?

We only seem to have texts from relatively recent history (the Greeks, I think are as old as it gets). They seemed to value the idea of Philosophy much more than today.

posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 09:28 PM
Sorry for the one liner, but google "The Baghdad Battery."

No one is sure what it was used for, but the chemical composition was that of a working battery. There are all sorts of theories, but one interesting one I saw was that it may have been used to electroplate stuff, possibly giving rise to the myths about alchemy and the transmutation of elements.

It's one of the few examples I can think of that even a mainstream scientist/historian will accept as legit. (as opposed to something like crystal skulls or dropa stones, that most people, including me think are hoaxes)

posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 11:29 PM
I don't know what you'd consider ancient but the Antikythera 'computer' is thought to have been built around 150 BC. The following link has a section on other advanced mechanisms of the time as well.

Antikythera Mechanism Wiki

[edit on 7-12-2009 by Mad Simian]

[edit on 7-12-2009 by Mad Simian]

posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 11:59 PM
reply to post by jokei

As a philosophy graduate, I have a huge interest in philosophy. There are basically three major philosophical traditions in the world, they are: Indian, Chinese and Greek. There is of course germs of philosophical thinking in other parts of the world too, expressed in myth, but what we can technically call philosophy as rationally argued propositions does not appear until around 600BCE, according to conservate dating. Before this period in China we have the I-Ching, in India we have the Vedas, and in Greece we have Presocratics, where abstract philosophical ideas are stated but not rationally argued.

Indian Philosophy is the oldest known philosophy of the world, dating to the Vedas which are conservatively dated around 1500BCE, making them the oldest known texts of Indo-European literature(This group includes Greek, Latin etc) In here we can find the first germs of the philosophical thought that later appears in 1000BCE. There is strong evidence that Greek Philosophy, belong to the same Indo-European group, is derived from Vedic and Indian philosophy. This idea is hotly contested though, as Western thinking prefers to think of its origins in terms of the Greeks, and abhors the suggestion that it maybe Indian. Many Western philosophers and intellectuals such as Schropenhauer and Volataire however favoured the Indic origin of Philosophy and thus civilisation.

There appears to be a massive cover-up in anciet history research on the relationship between Indian and Greek philosophy, as even Greek records mention that they learned their philosophy from the East. It is also interesting to note Plato and Socrates and Presocratic thinkers like Pythogoras have parallels to Indian philosophers older than them. It is also interesting to note that Greek notions such as the 4 elements(fire, earth, air water) appears completely suddenly and out of context in the Greek tradition, whereas in the Indian tradition they are a highly developed system of thought whose origins can be traced to the Vedas.

The appearance of philosophy in ancient Greece is mysterious and sudden, which further suggests as the Greeks themselves indicate, that they learned their philosophy from elsewhere. Western Historians are not hostile to this idea, but they would prefer to ascribe this to ancient Babylon or Sumeria, than India, despite the fact that India as the source is the most logical, as here the philosophical traditions can be found in their most developed form and their origins in the Vedas. There is a tendency in Western scholarship to completely omit India, and I find this really ironic, as ancient India has the oldest records and vast amount of literature that can shed light on the origins of civilisation. If you do look into indological research, it will not be long until you begin to suspect a massive cover-up.

As I mentioned already Western dating of India dates Indian history far later than Indian history itself dates itself and is based on a dubious sheet anchor theory. This can especially be observed in the attempts of Western scholars to bring down the date of the Buddha to later and later dates, to bring it in line with Greek dates. However, what they omit is that Indian, Nepalese and Chinese records date Buddha before 1000BCE. What is going on here?

It is also curious to note that Panini mentions several past grammarians in the Indian grammar tradition, and some of these are named as Greek. This suggests as early as 500BCE(conservative dates) there was regular intercourse going on between Greeks and Indians. However, there is no such records of Greek grammar traditions in 500BCE in Greece, which means Panini is referencing a time much older. Perhaps when the Greeks were actually in India! We know for a fact that the Greeks and the Indians belong to the same group known as the Indo-Europeans.

It is known for a fact that the Indus valley civilisation(3000BCE) the most advanced and technological civilisation of the ancient world was trading with Sumeria, Babylon and other parts of the world and was a major exporter of goods. They were a major martime civilisation and had built docks and instruments to measure tidal waves. It is possible many Indian philosophical ideas were transmitted by the Indians to these far off places, as we can find Indian influence in many parts of the world in the ancient world. The most interesingly of which is the possible links between Mayans and Indians, as a script has been found on Easter island that is very similar to the Indus script.

The famous mathematician and historian, Abraham Seidenberg notes that the mathematics used by the Egyptians and the Old Babylonians appears to be derived from the Vedic mathematics of the Suba sutras. He concludes that either the Egyptians and the Babylonians got their knowledge from India, or that they all got it from another common source.

It appears, therefore, that when we try to trace the origins of civilisation and philosophy all roads lead to India. The archaeologicl evidence clearly indicates that ancient India was an incredibly advanced technological civilisation as early as 3000BCE. As early as 5000BCE evidence of precise dentistry has also been found with precision made holes in molars. Again, as I argued earlier only such a civilisation could produce an advanced grammar like Panini's. And if we look at Indian records, it was around 3000BCE that the Mahabharata war took place. This validates Indian history.

But if Indian history is valid, then it means that its dates which go back 2 million years ago when the Ramayana epic took place, are valid too and human civilisation is actualy that old. On the other hand, Western dating prefers to date human civilisation around 4004BCE, the biblical age of creation and hence the emphasis on Sumeria. Thus it makes sense why Western scholarship omits India and tries to look for the latest dates as possible for Indias history and the earliest for Sumeria. However, the give away is the advanced knowledge found in the Vedic tradition, such as Panini grammar, which definitely suggests a very advanced scientific civilisation. This only leads me to conclude that the suppression of India's history and the arbitrary late dates for the Vedic period is deliberate and to keep us in the dark about human and civilisation origins.

I will try to write more examples of advanced knowledge in the Vedic tradition later.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 12:02 AM

Originally posted by randyvs
What about the Biblical text? There really are numerous examples of
scientific facts that we're written to The Bible. Most of which
were confirmed by science hundreds of years later.

star n flag.

[edit on 6-12-2009 by randyvs]
four side? flat earth? unicorn?


posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 01:21 AM
reply to post by IceDash


Nice of you to under estimate me.

Time had a beginning - 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2, 1 Corinthians 2:72
The universe had a beginning - Genesis 1:1, 2:4, Isaiah 42:5, etc.3
The universe was created from the invisible(atoms) - Hebrews 11:34
The dimensions of the universe were created - Romans 8:38-395
The universe is expanding - 44:24Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, Isaiah 42:5,
Isaiah 45:12, Isaiah 48:13, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, Jeremiah 51:15, Zechariah 12:16
Creation of matter and energy has ended in the universe (refutes steady-state theory)
- Genesis 2:3-47
The universe is winding down and will "wear out" (second law of thermodynamics ensures
that the universe will run down due to "heat death"-maximum entropy) - Psalm 102:25-278
Describes the correct order of creation - Genesis 1 (Day-Age Genesis One Interpretation)
Number of stars exceeds a billion - Genesis 22:17, Jeremiah 33:229(Also I think that this
one predicts that man will also exceed the billions)
Every star is different - 1 Corinthians 15:4110
Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups - Job 38:3111
Light is in motion - Job 38:19-2012
The earth is controlled by the heavens - Job 38:331
Earth is a sphere - Isaiah 40:2213 Job 26:1014
At any time, there is day and night on the Earth - Luke 17:34-3515
Earth is suspended in space - Job 26:716
Earth began as a waterworld. Formation of continents by tectonic activity described -
Genesis 1:2-9, Psalm 104:6-9, Proverbs 3:19, Proverbs 8:27-29, Job 38:4-8, 2 Peter 3:517
Water cycle described - Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10, Job 36:27-2818
Valleys exist on the bottom of the sea - 2 Samuel 22:1619
Vents exist on the bottom of the sea - Job 38:1620
Ocean currents in the sea - Psalm 8:821
Air has weight - Job 28:2522
Winds blow in circular paths - Ecclesiastes 1:623
The chemical nature of human life - Genesis 2:7, 3:1924
Life of creatures are in the blood - Leviticus 17:1125
The nature of infectious diseases - Leviticus 13:4626
Importance of sanitation to health - Numbers 19, Deuteronomy 23:12-13, Leviticus 7-927

[edit on 8-12-2009 by randyvs]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:35 AM
reply to post by randyvs

I hope you don't mind me being critical of your claims that the following advanced knowledge is in the bible. I have looked at the relevant passages, as I am always interested in finding advanced knowledge in ancient texts, but it appears the claims you are making about this knowledge being present there is based on post-hoc reading fallacies

A look at a few of them:

The chemical nature of human life - Genesis 2:7, 3:1924

The passage 2:7 actually says:

the LORD God formed the man [a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

This is talking about god breathing into dust to make man, nothing about the chemical nature of human life. The notion that we are made out of dust is hardly advanced knowledge.

The dimensions of the universe were created - Romans 8:38-395

The passage actually says:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is nothing about dimensions of the universe in this passage. It is a devotional passage about how nothing(angels and demons, present or future, height or depth) can separate us from the love of god.

Creation of matter and energy has ended in the universe

The passage is actually talking about how god made Adam, put him in the Garden of Eden, describes the geography of Eden, and then describes how Eve was made out of Adams ribs. Most of us know this myth very well.

There is nothing about matter and energy or anything remotely cosmological in this passage.

I don't think it is necessary to look at the others as they are also probably post-hoc reading fallacies. To appreciate the purpose of this thread is to actually show evidence of advanced knowledge in the ancient world, such as what the others have done with the Baghdad battery and the Antikythera mechanism. This is knowledge that is objective and can be independently verified(Such as Panini's grammar) Not knowledge which is interpreted into an ancient text, but it may not actually be there, such as with your examples from the bible. If, however, you feel the interpretation can be objectively demonstrated, then you should be prepared to argue the point critically to us.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:45 AM
reply to post by Indigo_Child

The passage is actually talking about how god made Adam, put him in the Garden of Eden, describes the geography of Eden, and then describes how Eve was made out of Adams ribs. Most of us know this myth very well.

Yes On the seventh day God rested from all his works. Some may
not be right on the surface so to speak.
Being willfully dense won't help either though.
Some of them may need to be looked on in the right translations.
You can't say anything about most of them. If you don't appreciate the info
that's fine. nuf said.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by randyvs]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 04:33 AM

Originally posted by Indigo_Child
...On the other hand, Western dating prefers to date human civilisation around 4004BCE, the biblical age of creation and hence the emphasis on Sumeria........

For the conversation to flow, I thought it should be pointed out that your noting of the above seems true enough, but there is a problem inherant within Western Society.

Western dating of the Creation of Adam, and then Eve, is fairly accurate in the sense that in or around 4000 BC, Adam and Eve where created.

BUT, many cultures where here long before this period, and due to misguided attempts by the clergy to relegate Genesis 1 into some confusing topic we need not address, society, for the most part, only remember about Adam and Eve.

We choose to ignore the Aboriginies and their culture dated to some 14000 Years ago for an example. You see, the Aboriginies are part of the 6th Day Re-Creations, as are many other peoples on this planet. The Nubian Societies of Africa, The Asian Groups including India, as well as the ancient peoples of the Americas. They where, and for the most part remained, the "Hunters and Gatherers" spoken of in Genesis

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful,
and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every
tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to
you it shall be for meat.

This is not Adam's role. He was the agriculturalist. This is the role given to the 6th day MAN alone.

History itself is clear about this, as is the Bible, but it remains ignored.

Hope this helps.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:04 AM
reply to post by Shane

It is possible the biblical accounts for the creation, if creation is seen as the creation of civilization are correct. That is even Indian records take its continuous history up to around 10,000 years ago, and after that there is a huge gap with the next period of Indian history appearing 2 million years ago during the age of Lord Rama. Thus suggesting that in the period between 2 million years ago and 10,000 years ago, humans may well have been hunter gatherers. Around 10,000 years ago civilisation seems to appear suddenly and develop very quickly, and once again decline again with the fall of the Indus Valley and Sumeria. And then later picks up again.

If we look at ecological data the recorded rise and fall of civilisation coincides with the appearance and disappearance of the ice age. So when the planet was not in an ice age around 2 million ago, there was according to Indian records, human civilisation thriving which must have been very advanced. This is according to the Indian records the origin of the Vedas and all Indian sciences(includnig the science of grammar) It is curious that humans settlers already seemed to have knowledge of urban planning as soon as the ice age is over and are able to spring up civilisation so fast. As if they already had previous knowledge of this. Food for thought.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 01:52 PM
In this post I will look at the six orthodox schools of Indian Philosophy and unorthodox. It is likely some of you will be already familiar with these, but others maybe exposed to them for the first time. There are countless books written on them that introduce these schools very well and there are several internet articles which I will cite as further reading at the end of this post series if you are interested. This will only be a brief overview of each school, and not an indepth look into the history, arguments, key philosophers and complexities of the schools, these are best learned by reading books on each school. My emphasis will be on the advanced knowledge contained within the philosophical schools and explaining why this is advanced.

We had a hint by Panini's grammar itself that the level of scientific and rational thought in ancient India was very advanced and that alone would give it the status of an advanced civilisation if we look at the category of knowledge alone. In Panini's grammar we find the entire history of science of linguistics and logic already complete by the conservative dates of 500BCE. It will now be demonstrated that in the Indian philosophical schools we find the entire history of philosophical thought complete in the same conservative timeframe. That is that ancient Indian philosophy, is just as vigorous, analytical and dialectical as the most modern philosophy and it is not until the 20th century that Western philosophy actually is comparable to ancient Indian philosophy, and in fact modern Western philosophy borrows a lot from the Indian tradition.

There is a tendency in Western scholarship to look at Indian philosophy and Greek philosophy in equivalent terms at least until the presocatic age and there is a special status given to the socratic method. As somebody who has read and studied Plato and Aristotle, I can state whilst holding my utmost respect for these Greek philosophers, that their philosophy is certainly underdeveloped and primitive compard to Indian philosophy. We have already had a fleeting glance at how Greek Philosophy most likely originally learned their philosophy from the Indians, but it seems they only learned it in the form of ideas and developed those ideas in their own unique way, which makes Greek Philosophy original in its own right and this later lead to innovations in technology which is more dominant and developed in the West culminating in the industrial revolution, than it is in the East.

To describe Indian philosophy I would say it is analytical, practical and rational. All Indian philosophies begin with the question of suffering, as opposed to Western philosophy which begins with abstract questions for the sake of it such as "What is this world made of" Thus Indian Philosophy always wants to remain grounded in reality, its propositions must be based on actual evidence and it must be able to produce practical applications that can alleviate suffering. This places Indian philosophy closer to Western science than it does to Western logic and mathematics.

A unique feature of Indian philosophy is its obsession with categories. It is fond of analysing and classifying things into categories and classes, much like science is fond of classifying the world. Depending on the school, the list of categories is unique, as each school has a different and unique view of reality which contradicts the other school.

The Indian philosophical schools appear in the conservative 1000BCE timeframe in the following order Vedanta, Samkhya, Buddhism, Jainism, Yoga, Vaiseshika, Nyaya and Carvaka. However, there is definitely evidence all these schools are older because they are found mentioned in older texts and in the Vedas in some form. Remember the 1000BCE timeframe for Indian history is very dubious, and it is more than likely their actual dates are thousands of years earlier, coinciding with the Indus valley phase. As Indian dating states itself.

Now let us look at each school and some of the advanced concepts they contain:


Vedanta is the most popular and dominant of Indian philosophies and it is especially the most well known of Hindu philosophies in the West, mainly because it was popularised by Swami Vivivekananda, Sri Ramanaha Maharishi and many other Indian sages who came to the West.

Its worldview that everything is actually one substance alone and that is consciousness(Berkely) Everything that we perceive is just a name and form and thus reality is only a linguistic reality(Wittgenstein) and this reality is due to our desires(Schrophenhauer) However, the real part of us, the Atman(being) is pure, eternal, infinite and unchanging(Sartre) and the historical part of that is in the world and changing is impure, transient, finite(Heidegger) The reason we perceive reality as multifarious is because our mind categorises and orders the world(Kant) There exists within us an innate instinct that recognises that we acually are perfect, infinite and pure being, but the fact it appears we are not is the cause of suffering and thus to liberate ourselves from empirical reality we must recognise our true spaceless and timeless being.

Arguably Vedanta philosophy is what modern philosophy is increasingly moving towards especially with the emergence of quantum mysticism.


Samkhya is no longer extant as its own philosophical school, but it has been assimilated by other schools such as Yoga and Tantra. It has had a huge influence on all Indian philosophical schools.

Samkhya's worldview is there are two substances: consciousness and matter or observer and observed, and also field and the core of the field. Quantum field(Quantum field theory) exists in an undifferentiated and pure potential state originally. It is exists in a state where three fundamental forces are in a state of balance(supersymmetry) It is only when the observer observes quantum matter(Schrodinger, QM) that this state is collapsed and the fundamental forces starte to vibrate(string theory) leading to the evolution of many evolutes from minute atoms to massive atoms, even cognition and senses are considered evolutes and the mind is seen nothing more than an information processing system (cybernetics) The samkhya are completely silent on god.


Buddhism requires no introduction as it is such a well known school. The traditional dates date the Yoga school as later than Buddhism, but I think the reality is the Yoga school predates Buddhism significantly, and it is most likely Yoga which inspired Buddhist analytics and not the other way around. This is because Yoga is first found mentioned in the Vedas, which predate Buddhism and because Yoga is not as analytical as Buddhism.

Buddhist worldview is there are no substances, everything is actually void. All things only have a temporal existence, and the continuity that we perceive is arifically imposed by drawing associations between events(David Hume) The self is one such artifical construction, it is nothing more than a memory(Daniel Dennet) All things have a dependent origination and can be reduced to void, nothing of the empirical reality is real. To end suffeing one must systematically eliminate all of reality by anaylsing reality and reducing it to nothingness. The Abhidhamma present the most vigorous analysis, perhaps ever done, by analysing the mind and reality into hundreds of categories and sub-categories.


Jainism is the only Indian philosophical school that does not present a definitive worldview, but rather emphasises relativism. In this sense Jainism is very close to postmodern thinking and modern analytical logic(Bertrand Russel, Derridere etc)

Jain worldview is that reality is relative, a proposition is never just true or false, but is relatively true and relatively false based on ones perspective(Heurmenutic suspicision, Postmodernism) Every statement is a conditional statement, based on a limited view of reality which can be:

syād-asti—in some ways, it is,
syād-nāsti—in some ways, it is not,
syād-asti-nāsti—in some ways, it is, and it is not,
syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, and it is indescribable,
syād-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is not, and it is indescribable,
syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, it is not, and it is indescribable,
syād-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is indescribable.

Jainism, quite reasonably so in my opinion, consider any positive statement on the reality of something to be a fallacy of dogmatism. This puts them at odds with with pretty much every philosophical school in history. However, the Jains do believe that it is possible for an awakened being(like a Buddha being) to be able to perceive all perspectives at once to know the actual reality of things.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:58 PM

Yoga is the next most well known school of Indian philosophy after Vedanta, but for the wrong reasons. In the West it has become associated with physical postures only, when in fact the Yoga school of philosophy is far more complex and postures is considered a minor limb of it. Please see Skyfloating's thread, "5 Yogas" to gain more insight into the various Yogas.

Yoga's worldview is significantly derived from Samkhya. The quantum field and the core of the field of the Samkhya becomes the mind-field of Yoga and pure consciousness/god. The Yoga philosophy is that all of reality is taking place within the mind-field and the reason we cannot perceive the pure consciousness/god is because of flux in the mind-field which it analyses into 5 categories(correct knowledge, false knowledge, imagination, states of awareness and memory) These together produce hundreds of thought-waves in the mind-field covering the pure consciousness. Basically it is our belief systems, our fallacious reasoning, baseless speculations, relience on memory and poor states of awareness which prevent us from directly experiencing the true being of anything. The Yoga solution is to cease all thinking and simply witness reality as it appears(Edmund Husserl, Phenomenology) In order to do this it suggests an 8-fold method one should follow which will facilitate the the cessation of thought, they are: Moral and personal observances, postures, breath control, sensory withdrawal and concentration exercises. These will logically lead to meditation when mastered. Yoga also describes the various states one will pass through in meditation.

The Yoga school describes the mind as an cognitive processing system, with an internal representation of the world(cognitive psychology) where thoughts become associated with other thoughts(conditioning) leading to complex networks of thoughts. It also says that the mind exists in various levels conscious, subconscious and unconscious(Psychoanalysis) and mentions desire as the root cause for thoughts. Such as I perceive an object which is desirable and think, "I want that object"(Freud) This desire-thought cycle sets up a complex cycle of karma.


I am including both of these under one heading because they offer similar worldview and because they are traditionally considered complimentary. The Nyaya-Vaiseshika worldview is empiricst and pluralist, they believe in the existence of everything which can be empirically observed and logically inferred. Let us begin with Vaiseshika.

Vaiseshika: Vaiseshika, considered to be the Indian physics school, considers reality to be made up of 9 main substances: solids, liquids, light, forces and ether, space, time, mind and soul. In a substance inheres qualities which are innumerable, the main ones enunmerated by Vaiseshika are: colour, taste, smell, touch, sound conjunction, disjunction, inherence, particularity, liquidity, gravity, number, proxmity, temporality, desire, pleasure, pain and memory and so on. Vaiseshika assigns each quality to its substratum. Forces have only touch, colour has both touch and colour, water has touch, colour and taste etc etc.

As Vaiseshika deals with particular things it concludes the existence of various types of atoms. Solid atoms, liquid atoms, light atoms, force atoms and ether(non atomic). They are not as traditionally mistranslated as fire, earth, air, water, and reading the primary texts which describes the properties of them, makes that clear as day light. Moreover the Sanskrit terms, "Pritvhi, Jaal, tejas, vayu and akasha" do not at all translate to them.

The Vaiseshika atom is a spherical point in space-time and it is completely imperceptible and the final limits of matter, and these atoms undergo a process of aggregation where they first combine in pairs to form binary-atoms, binary atoms combine in pairs to form triplet atoms and so on(quarks, subatomic particles) It is via a process of conjunction or nuclear binding that these aggregate atoms come into being and it is only under the influence of heat energy that they combine(nuclear physics) The new atomic aggregates have properties that are different from their parent particles(particle physics) What is remarkable about Vaiseshika description of the atomic structure of consisting of finer and finer atoms it suggests a clear knowledge of nuclear physics. Could the ancient Indians have considered splitting the visible atom? If so, does this suggest the nuclear-weapon like weapons descibed in ancient Indian epics are actually real? Food for thought.

Another remarkable idea of the Vaiseshika is that space and time are unified and actually one. The so-called divisions of past, present and future or near and far are artificial and simply depend on ones frame of reference(General Relativity) space-time is actuallly infinite and whole.

Gravity seems to be given a special status by the Vaiseshika as it seems to be connected intrinsically to mass. It is because of mass that there is gravity. The Vaiseshika describe the movement of an arrow in motion in what unquestionably sound like force vectors. The horizonal component of the arrow is due to the momentum from the bow, the vertifical component is due to the the gravity causing the arrow to fall, hence its parabolic path(Newtonian Mechanics)

The Vaiseshika seem to be aware of all of Newton's laws of mechanics, but have not given any equations. There is actually some evidence which suggests Newton may have been aware of the Vaiseshika.

There is definite evidence that the Vaiseshika did actually conduct empirical observations and experiments to discover some of their postulates. However, there is a metaphysical base to the Vaiseshika teaching which is often overlooked. The original atoms do not have mass, they exist in some kind of virtual domain(Higgs field) but via aggregation they become physical. However, how can virtual entities combine together and produce a real entities? Either this is a fatal contrdiction or Vaiseshika is suggesting that physical reality is fact a holographic ensemble.

Nyaya: Nyaya's worldview is a logical and empiricst one like Vaiseshikas. However, its emphasis is not on analysing substances, but analysing reasoning itself to create a proper scientific method of reasoning from which certain conclusions can be derived. The name literally means that "From premise to conclusion" All reasoning process begins with doubt and doubt is literally contradictory views on something. In order to settle doubts it provides a method via which valid knowledge can be derived, known as the 5-step syllogism:

Thesis: There is fire on the mountain
Reason: Because there is smoke on the mountain
Premise: Where there is smoke there is fire(observation)
Application: There is smoke on the mountain
Conclusion: Therefore there is fire on the mountain

For those of you have studied logic you will instantly recognise this as an inductive form of reasoning. As the premise is based on observation of a relationship. All scientiic reasoning is inductive, thus it is clear Nyaya is a scientific form of resoning as opposed to a deductive one. As the reason, called the middle term, for stating a proposition is so crucial to the Nyaya argument, Nyaya dedicates most of its philosophy to fine-tuning the middle term and analysing fallacious and rhetorical reasoning. In that sense it is both inductive and deductive at the same time. There are 5 types of formal fallacies mentioned:

1. Irregular middle: This is when the reason is too wide and can apply to many things. All Indigo children are intelligent. I am an Indigo chid. Therefore I am intelligent. In Aristotle logic this is valid, but in Nyaya logic this a fallacy. There ias no exclusive relationship between Indigo children and intelligence, because even non-Indigo children are intelligent. Therefore this is a fallacy of an irregular middle

2. Contradictory middle: This is when the reason contradicts the proposition it is trying to establish. All Greeks are geniuses, because they failed their IQ test

3. Inferentically contradictory middle: This is when the reason can be contradicted by a counter-reason. Sound is eternal because it is audible(sound waves are eternal) can be countered by sound is non-eternal because it is produced

4. Unproven middle: This is when reasoning does not prove the thesis, because the thesis does not exist. The invisible pink uncorn belongs to the horse category, because it has horseness. There is no such thing as an invisible pink unicorn.

5. Non-inferential contradictory middle: This is when the reason can be contradicted by perception. There is no self because it is a memory is contradicted by our perception of ourselves or the world does not exist because it is all in the mind is contradicted by the perception of the world.

The informal fallacies are huge in number including the well known ones like strawmans, equivocation, quibbiling etc


There is very little known about Carvaka as none of its texts have survived, we only know about them from other schools who refuted them.
The Carvaka were atheist and hedonists. They only believed in what they could see directly and considered logic to be a false means of knowing. They refuted the existence of god, the authority of the Vedas, the soul and the afterlife. Like modern materialists they considered to be nothing more than a biproduct of matter arranged in a certain way. They rejected the question of suffering which other Indian philosophers took seriously and announced that life was to be enjoyed through absolute indulgence - eat, drink, have sex and be merry was their principal philosophy. Their philosophy was not really all that developed and this is probably why they died out in face of the giants.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 07:17 PM
This will be the last post in this series.

In the brief overview I gave of Indian philosophical schools I omitted one major one called Purva-Mimmasa, this is because while it is classified as one of the six orthodox schools of philosophy, it cannot be considered a philosophy as such, as much as it is a theology. It's emphasis is on exegisis or correct interpretation of the Vedas so that the rituals can be performed correctly. However, despite its theological ambitions, it does introduce some philosophical concepts such as the meaning of language and how correct meaning can be ascertained. Later, Bharathari, a major Indian philosophers of language springs from this tradition.


The Influence of the Indian philosophical schools on Modern Western philosophy are very strong and seem to have influenced the West at different times. First the Greeks, then via the Arabs, and then directly Europe in the 18th century. But the influence of Indian philosophy should not be overstated, because it is clear modern Western philosophy developed in an original way. Much of modern Western Philosophy seems to reach maturity in Kant with his critique of pure reason. This allowed for the analytical-logical tradition in Western philosophy to flourish and to a certain attitude that man can impose his laws on the world. This type of enlightenment thinking set-up the West to make huge strides in technology and mass-production, concentrating on the physical world for the sake of exploitation and self-profit. This attitude seems to be absent in Indian philosophy which may explain why it did not take to technology like the the West did.

However, enlightenment thinking also lead to Psychology being recognised as a science as well, which until then was the main area of dominance by Indian philosophers(Recall the analysis of the mind by Buddhists and Yogis) In this development, it seems Indian philosophy played a significant role. Vedanta had a huge impact on Schropenhauer. He arguably is the father of the philosophy of psychology in the West and had a huge influence on Freud and Nietzche, who in turn had an influence on William James, who in turn influenced Husserl, who in turn influenced Heidegger, who in turn influenced Sarte and so on. It is not until the appearance of Vedanta that major development begins to take place in Psychology in the West.

Some quotes


According to me, the influence of Sanskrit literature on our time will not be lesser than what was in the 16th century Greece's influence on Renaissance. One day, India's wisdom will flow again on Europe and will totally transform our knowledge and thought."

Schopenhauer, had extracted from Indian philosophy its contempt for the mere intellect. He admitted extracting his philosophical outlook from the Vedanta and attempting to weld "empirical realism" with transcendental idealism."

From every sentence (of the Upanishads) deep, original and sublime thoughts arise, and the whole is pervaded by a high and holy and earnest spirit...."In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. They are destined sooner or later to become the faith of the people."

Schrodinger, the father of quantum mechanics was also heavily influenced by Vedanta. In fact his theory was, as his biographer Walter Moore claims, derived from it.

The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. In 1925, the world view of physics was a model of a great machine composed of separable interacting material particles. During the next few years, Schrodinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on super imposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the Vedantic concept of All in One."

He became a Vedantist, a Hindu, as a result of his studies in search for truth. Schrodinger kept a copy of the Hindu scriptures at his bedside. He read books on Vedas, yoga and Sankhya philosophy and he reworked them into his own words, and ultimately came to believe them. The Upanishads and the Bhagavad gita, were his favorite scriptures.


My aim was to show the advanded knowledge in these schools which suggest to me at least, a highly scientific and advanced civilisation of an unknown antiquity. These schools definitely did not in appear in 1000BCE, they were around in 3000BCE and prior. In fact, I am willing to push them back even beyond 10,000 years ago. This is very ancient knowledge indeed and comes from an unknown civilisation.

Summary of the advanced concepts in each school

Vedanta: Reality is linguistic, it is due to the mind that it appears to be particularized and separate. It all is really just the substance of consciousness in various densities. This is comparable to modern views of quantum mysticism, especially to quantum scientists like Bell on the wholism of reality.

Samhya: Reality is a quantum field, and everything is actually the vibrations of the three fundamental forces of the field which exists in a state of balance prior to the interaction with the observer. This is comparable to Schrodinger's theory of quantum superpositoning. While everything being the oscillation of three fundamental forces has correlations with string theory.

Buddhism: Reality is permenant flux and everything is a temporal effect of this flux, including ones sense of "self" which nothing more than succession of memories. There is comparable to modern views on the self being non-existent and Hiesenbergs uncertainity principle.

Jainism: Reality is multidimensional and every statements about is conditional upon ones view of reality. All truths are relative to one another and only true under certain conditions. Nobody can make positive statements about reality unless they can apprehend all perspectives at once. This is comparable to postmodern philosophy.

Yoga: Reality is a mind-field and all things are due to the flux within the mind field, it is only when this flux is ceased that we can perceive the true being of things. This involved setting aside assumptions, beliefs etc. The mind contains an internal representation of the world, which contains networks of associated thoughts patterns on differing levels of consciousness. These thought pattern affect our behaviour. This is comparable to both Phenomenology and Cognitive and Psychoanalytic psychology.

Vaiseshikla-Nyaya: Reality is made up of several substances which can be empirically classified and analysed. They are made up of distnict atoms which are infinitestimal and virtual, but aggregate to produce the empirical world. This is comparable to particle physics, and in the case of Nyaya, it is directly comparable to analytical logic.

Carvaka: Eat, drink,have sex and be merry. There is no god, soul, afterlife. This is todays philosophy

Further reading:







Nyaya Vaiseshila


I hope this post series has been informative and has contributed to your knowledge of advanced knowledge in the ancient world.

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by Indigo_Child

By this theory of yours I guess we are undergoing de-evolution, mite be true. Many muslims too believe that there is a religious reference that we are going backwards in time, mite be they are rite. I did also notice that we are moving into the age of Aquarius from Pisces, which by the way always goes backwards. So there u have it. De Evolution...

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