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Re: ARTICLE : Modern Discoveries in Ancient Works

Posted By Mani Varadarajan (mani@be.com)
06 Jan 1997 17:27:54 -0800

kishore@mail.utexas.edu (Kishore Krshna) writes,
about Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati's surprising comments
on ancient Indian astronomical ``discoveries'':
> The intent of these short pieces is (apparently) to inspire readers to
> think about their heritage, excel in their pursuits, and hopefully to instil
> a sense of duty/devotion.

Is it correct to be inspired by pseudoscience, or by
false and unhistorical claims?

The words attributed to Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati
claimed that Sankara discovered and understood the concept
of gravity, and bases this claim on a strange extrapolation
of metaphysical concepts expressed by the 7th century
philosopher.

There is absolutely no evidence that our ancient systems
of astrology ``foresaw the mathematical systems'' prevalent today,
that ancient Indians were aware of the earth's revolving on an axis,
etc.

Is it really necessary to resort to such kitsch? The fact that
such statements inspire confidence and reverence for one's
own culture neither makes them true nor necessary. I would
rather have an honest appreciation of history than be inspired
by falsehoods.

Duty and devotion can be instilled in many more respectable
ways.

satyam eva jayate, nAnRtam

Mani

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