Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indian Hindu religious astronomers ahead of Galileo?

Jupiter and Dakshinamurti in Hindu religion!

What I have proposed here doesn't have any references or sources. I believe that I may be proposing this for the first time, from what I wondered long back while moving around, inside a Shiva temple (if someone else has proposed this earlier please do let me know about it).

In most of the typical Shiva temple one can come across the statue of Lord Dakshinamurti which is lord Shiva portrayed as Jupiter,, one of the Navagraha. Careful observation around the foot of Lord Dakshnamoorthy will reveal four rishis, two on either sides. I used to wonder why these four rishis are portrayed only with Jupiter, that is Dakshnamoorthy and not with other planetary god forms?! One story which I came across to explain this portrayal goes like this...

"the four sons, of Brahma, namely, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanaatana and Sanat kumaara did austere tapas and analysis, but they were unclear of the supreme truth. They finally decided to come to Lord Shiva to get the knowledge of the truth. The Lord sat under the banyan tree, and the four sages also sat down around him. Lord stayed in the yoga posture without saying a single word. The four sages got all their doubts cleared just by that posture."

This is a mythological explanation, but then I wondered is there anything realistic in portrayal of Jupiter in this way. Later in a public library, I remembered of this observation while grazing through the astronomy section of an encyclopedia. I noticed that Jupiter although had 63 natural satellites/moons, only four of them were massive with diameter greater than 3000 km (Io - 3643km, Europa - 3122km, Ganeymede - 5262km, Callisto - 4821km). Also later I came across a piece of information (unfortunately I could not remember or trace back that source now!) which reported, in astronomical observations, on special occasions these four moons of Jupiter, while orbiting outside the rim of visible sphere of Jupiter (not in foreground or in back of the planet) it becomes visible to the naked eye with sharp vision.

Jupiter and four moons


Now as per the scientific reports these four massive moons were discovered by Galileo in 1610 A.D. It is not clear since when the portrayal of Dakshnamurti with four Rishis started to appear in temples. It could be before Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four moons (1610 A.D.) or may be later on. If one can come up with evidence for dating this portrayal far before 1610 A.D., it would be possible to claim the discovery of the four moons of Jupiter was achieved prior to Galileo. In case if it is not possible, still it doesn't rule out the possibility of claims of independent discovery by Asian astronomer/astrologer with religious orientation.

Tail piece: Lord Shani Bhagavan or Saneesvaran, portrayal of Saturn, has a single crow with him. Surprisingly Saturn has only one massive moon out of at least 62 moons, the Titan (diameter 5150 km). Seems to be more than a coincidence!


Saturn with its moon Titan on top left corner as a white pixel (credits: Cassini)

I suggest the readers to discuss this possibility with people who might offer more light on this proposition. To get wide feedback and spread of this proposition, one can email the following link of this post and request views from interested people.
http://thiruspot.blogspot.com/2007/07/indian-hindu-religious-astronomers.html
Also if preferred, one can provide the link of this post (given above) for a short period in their blog. Leave your views in the comments link below.

Email this to a friend.

17 comments:

elsa said...

I posted this on the Top 10 Sources of astrology news here:

http://www.toptensources.com/topten/Astrology-News

Hope you get some feedback. :)

R.Prabhu said...

Good Post and a good observation Thiru. I too have done similar research on our mythology see the post on Dasavatharam http://rprabhu.blogspot.com/2007/03/dasavatharam-its-message-to-humanity.html

Your interpretation is right. Some great messages have been hidden in our mythology. Finding them is the big part. For eg, the Brahmasutram tells about the origin of the universe, but understanding it asks for research and observation like what you have done.

Wonderful post Thiru

Sree's Views said...

Thiru...
Good post :)
But I am still trying to grasp the whole thing :)

Sree's Views said...

Hey Thiru...
I was thinking and thinking how they could have discovered all this while scientist are still trying to understand the universe even now.
But I have a feeling that everyone experiences a 'spark of genius' at some time or other.
And in the age where meditation and penance was prevalent , ppl must have developed this skill to the max.
Thiru..I have read about 'the Alpha state of the mind' in a book by 'Al Koran'. It was not given in detail . It really intrigued me. Why dont u do a post on it ?

Thiru said...

ELSA

Thanks for your efforts, let me see whether I get any feedback.

Thiru said...

R. PRABHU

Thank you very much.
I read your post on Dasavatharam, it is an very interesting one. If you don't mind I am thinking of writing a short post on that with a link to your post and adding few more informations to it.

Thiru said...

hey sanguu

thanks :)

//But I am still trying to grasp the whole thing :)//
could you grasp the post.

//I was thinking and thinking how they could have discovered all this while scientist are still trying to understand the universe even now.//
hey... I have not talked about anything metaphysical here! just the discovery of Jupiter's moons from asia and documenting it in religious symbols.

//..... ppl must have developed this skill to the max.//
In a sense you are right, ancient people had the same genes (meaning ability) compared to present modern world human being, but they were left with their whole lifetime connected with nature to observe and understand, which was free from millions of modern worlds diversions, in which we are getting lost now.
1/3rd of ancient peoples' lifetime was available to watch the night sky with its beauty without any electric light pollutions.

//...I have read about 'the Alpha state of the mind' in a book by 'Al Koran'//
I am yet to read that. Can you provide some sources? After reading, if I find it interesting I can try my hands on it.

R.Prabhu said...

Sure Thiru, by all means!!! Am awaiting the post of yours! :)

Sree's Views said...

Thiru thiru :P

epdee irukeenga ?

could you grasp the post.//
yeah..oruvazhiya :)
small brain slow processing :P


hey... I have not talked about anything metaphysical here! just the discovery of Jupiter's moons from asia and documenting it in religious symbols.//
[I noticed that Jupiter although had 63 natural satellites/moons, only four of them were massive ]
this is where I was confused...how can u ignore the rest ?


1/3rd of ancient peoples' lifetime was available to watch the night sky with its beauty without any electric light pollutions. //
sighhh....those were the days !!


I am yet to read that. Can you provide some sources? After reading, if I find it interesting I can try my hands on it. //
that book is not available now Thiru..I checked in Landmark. I dont have a copy.
I wanted to know if u have read about 'alpha state' anywhere.

Anonymous said...

hi

I would like to give you the following link to know more about alpha state of mind. I feel its interesting.

http://www.causeof.org/
brainwaves.html

http://www.thegeniewithin.net/
Lesson1.html

Thiru said...

R.PRABHU

thank you.

Thiru said...

hoi sanguu

am fine...and u?

[I noticed that Jupiter although had 63 natural satellites/moons, only four of them were massive ]
this is where I was confused...how can u ignore the rest ?//
I meant only four moons are massive enough to be discovered prior to the invention of modern telescope. The remaining small moons were discovered with the aid of modern telescopes.Hence only four could be spotted by ancient Indian astronomer and recorded it in religious symbols.

I wanted to know if u have read about 'alpha state' anywhere.//
ya I have read about brain waves (alpha, beta, theta, delta and gamma) in scientific context and to some extent in relation to meditative state. There is one interesting collaborative research study carried out with help of Dalai lama's monks, scanned for the state of their brain waves when they were in deep compassionate meditation.

Sree's Views said...

Hey Thiru....

am fine...and u?
Sooper :)

I meant only four moons are massive enough to be discovered prior to the invention of modern telescope. The remaining small moons were discovered with the aid of modern telescopes.Hence only four could be spotted by ancient Indian astronomer and recorded it in religious symbols. //
appo , what u mean is...it was discovered and not a flash of insight..ok. I was assuming that they had insights into such matters.
So I was wondering how they missed the rest .
Now I got it.

There is one interesting collaborative research study carried out with help of Dalai lama's monks, scanned for the state of their brain waves when they were in deep compassionate meditation.
//
Okay..I will tell in my crude language what I understood from the book.
It talks about a state of conciousness rather semi conciousness where u r one with urself.

It is achieved when u r doing some task that also involves some repetitive work that one enjoys.

for example...a rythmic swimming where u concentrate on the body movements. It has to be done steadily at a natural pace and the mind shd be oblivious to any other stimuli.

another example is doing embroidery..where each stitch is done with concentration and in a rythmic fashion.

One also lingers in Alpha state for a few minutes just before complete sleep takes over. Thats the semi concious sleepy state where ur mind is alert but not thinking anything.

It has been proved that the mind gets flashes of genius or a fool-proof solution to some problems that has been lurking in the mind , during Alpha state.

Thiru said...

hey sanguu

I guess what you have mentioned borders pseudo science. These kind of claims are made by meditation teachers who tries to explain meditation and its values with the support of science. Here I don't demean the value of meditation.
Our brain tends to be in one state or other during various activities. It needs rigorous testing and reproducible experiments to make such claims. Here you can get an idea on brain waves and its corresponding conscious states.

Sree's Views said...

okngo :) neenga sonna correcta dhaango irukkum :)

The Visitor said...

Thanks Thiru for your comment and the link on Jupiter's moons on Kathambamaalai.

Your reasoning seems right. But anyway what are we gaining by proving
"that Galileo's discoveries were made independantly by Indian astronomers?"
Some more thinnai gossipers to say our country was great etc?
LOL - no offence meant, I thought I could take the liberty to post such a question to you, because of your statement regarding pseudo-science. :)

@Sree's views - Neeng Coimbatoorung?

Krish Ashok said...

Well thought out. Mythology often tends to contain subtle/symbolic references to science. Just as long as we don't assume that all of it is science, I think we will all be enriched by the innate poetic beauty of mythology and the rational clarity of science :)