Ancient Indian cosmology

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby Namgyal » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:12 pm

:applause: Huseng...the antikythera mechanism. If you have a look at Michael Wright's model it will really bend your mind!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI

As for the comment...

'Are we really going to argue whether people in India, circa 2600 BCE to say, even 1000 CE,had "knowledge" in anything like the conceptual categories and detail we have now (and vice-versa)? We now have dharmas that had not yet even occurred to anyone (dharmas that are subject to the same destabilizing (and affirming) Buddhist analysis as any other, including dharmas apparently referenced in the Suttas/Sutras, I will add). However, we also know things about this world that ancient Buddhists had no idea about - the Americas and Antarctica, for instance.

That's a Western Scientific perspective, a tradition that is only two hundred years old, yet apparently knows everything. In this frankly delusional world view everything throughout millions of years of human history was meaningless caveman-stuff up to day...the myth of progress. The other view, of Buddhism, and Ancient Indian Cosmology is the opposite...once we were like gods, and now we have descended to this state. The fact that we have come up with a few amazing scientific toys doesn't cut it, because our minds have completely degenerated. Now instead of flying to explore Antarctica by the magic power of thought we have to buy stupid air tickets.
:namaste: R.
Namgyal
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:29 pm

Raksha wrote:That's a Western Scientific perspective, a tradition that is only two hundred years old, yet apparently knows everything. In this frankly delusional world view everything throughout millions of years of human history was meaningless caveman-stuff up to day...the myth of progress. The other view, of Buddhism, and Ancient Indian Cosmology is the opposite...once we were like gods, and now we have descended to this state. The fact that we have come up with a few amazing scientific toys doesn't cut it, because our minds have completely degenerated. Now instead of flying to explore Antarctica by the magic power of thought we have to buy stupid air tickets.
:namaste: R.


:good:
User avatar
Lhug-Pa
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:37 pm

Huseng wrote:There is a widespread belief of definite progress in our modern day, which you incidentally display, that suggests without question we know better about reality than anyone else before us.


We do without question know better about physical reality than any generation preceding us (with some allowance for the loss of some knowledge like concrete which was lost to the world for some 1500 years after the fall of the Roman Empire). We have much more advanced knowledge in every sphere about the physical universe and this process has been going on world wide for hundreds of years now. The last major time that knowledge was "recovered" was the creation of the calculus, the mathematical study of continuous change, by Leibnitz and Newton - unfortunately Southern Indian mathematicians did not widely disseminate that vital bit of mathematics (almost discovered by Archimedes, BTW).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:40 pm

Raksha wrote:That's a Western Scientific perspective, a tradition that is only two hundred years old, yet apparently knows everything.


More like about 430 year old - since Galileo. :stirthepot:

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:56 pm

Huseng wrote:They also had atomic theory and measurements for things at the atomic level.


Atomic theory, yes. Measurements for things at the atomic level - no. :rolling:
They had fanciful names for things and a lot of speculation. I'll grant you that it was basically on the same level as the pre-scientific age that came along later in Europe.

There is also the question of how much knowledge from ancient periods has simply been lost with no record of it. Take for example the antikythera mechanism which was pulled out of the sea about a century ago. Until it was discovered we really had no idea people in that period of Roman/Greek history could build such things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

It leads one to wonder about other lost technologies, sciences and knowledge.


That's true but it also shows that clock and calendar devices on the verge of being mechanical analog computers have been possible for a long time. Humans have been using mechanical calculators for much longer than people imagine. And for restricted purposes have been using basic analog computers (you can make an analog computer out of string or sticks - you just have to have the idea that you are mapping some ideas onto the string or stick representation).

In India especially given the vague historical record we're really uncertain about its ancient periods. Some of the ancient literature even speaks of flying devices and metal automatons of all things.


None of which we've found. You'll need something out of the realm of von Danikenesque "speculation".

When it comes to astronomy, as Thompson points out in his book, they had no shortage of accurate astronomical knowledge. Some of it doesn't match up with contemporary numbers, but then much of it actually does correspond close enough. There's also the possibility of data being corrupted over the centuries in the transmission of the texts (Thompson indicates this as well).


I'll have to check out the text. Ancients had very accurate astronomical data. However they did not have a real description of our solar system as it really physically exists. They seem to know have known that planets orbited the Sun in ellipses for example. It really seems that no one knew that until Kepler (who wouldn't have figured it out either if he accepted observational errors in Brahe's extensive observations like everyone else).

I have read a mathematician who noted that Mayan observations of Venus were thought to be religious poems until he figured out that they were astronomical observations dealing with the rising and setting of Venus (I think through a very long cycle in terms of years). It's not impossible that other people knew about orbits and knew about them accurately. But it doesn't appear too likely.

Curiously, Vedic astronomy also claims its knowledge was bestowed unto humanity from gods. It was originally knowledge not of this world. Vedic mathematics are also associated with various gods. Apparently some gods like math. :smile:


How extensive is Vedic math? Mathematics is the very structure of the physical universe (and in this case I mean all phenomena).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby Namgyal » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:08 pm

Galileo dismissed Kepler as an 'occultist' because he proposed that the moon caused the tides, so science was completely half formed at that point. Isaac Newton wrote more texts about alchemy than about physics. Even half a century ago doctors were celebrating the final defeat of all communicable diseases and telling us that we should brush our teeth with radium toothpaste and cure depression by having a spike rammed into the brain. Of course that's all glossed over now, with that wonderful selective memory of Western science. :crazy:
Namgyal
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:26 pm

Raksha wrote:Galileo dismissed Kepler as an 'occultist' because he proposed that the moon caused the tides, so science was completely half formed at that point. Isaac Newton wrote more texts about alchemy than about physics. Even half a century ago doctors were celebrating the final defeat of all communicable diseases and telling us that we should brush our teeth with radium toothpaste and cure depression by having a spike rammed into the brain. Of course that's all glossed over now, with that wonderful selective memory of Western science. :crazy:


As I said, it was the approximate beginning date (really ought to push it out a bit to include Copernicus). Newton did do that. A half century ago (actually nearly the whole of the 20th century really) was a terrifying time. It's not glossed over at all. Science and current scientific knowledge are the beginning of wisdom, not it's end (from a famous Vulcan).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby viniketa » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:35 pm

kirtu wrote:How extensive is Vedic math? Mathematics is the very structure of the physical universe (and in this case I mean all phenomena).


http://talentsearch.ted.com/video/Gaura ... DBangalore

And: http://www.hinduism.co.za/vedic.htm#Wha ... athematics

In short, much more advanced than we tend to think. It is true that the rate of scientific discovery and technological change in the last 400 years outstrips anything that's gone before. This is in part due to implementation of other technologies in transportation and telecommunication. It is also largely due to the success of Roman Catholic Church-based bureaucratic hegemony that allowed the growth of the Western sphere of influence. Much of what was lost prior to these innovations in human "organization" was lost through denial and destruction of the cultural records of the conquered.

:namaste:

* I've still not figured out how to embed a video in bb code...
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:55 pm

viniketa wrote:
kirtu wrote:How extensive is Vedic math? Mathematics is the very structure of the physical universe (and in this case I mean all phenomena).


http://talentsearch.ted.com/video/Gaura ... DBangalore

And: http://www.hinduism.co.za/vedic.htm#Wha ... athematics

In short, much more advanced than we tend to think.


My undergraduate degree is in math and I know the history of mathematics pretty well so lay it out. Looks like they had differential calculus and that's it (that's a pretty good it too but why no further development?).

I'll take a look at the links when I have a chance. The second link is just basic arithmetic and some polynomial algebra. Dealing with quadratics, cubics, and higher degrees brings us up to 1400-1600 in Europe.

My argument isn't that Indian math and esp. South Indian wasn't more advanced than the West until about 1700, it's that the Indians didn't continue to develop mathematics beyond a point and look like they got stuck. Care to present some modern mathematics from an Indian author after about 1200-1500? Got some of Ramanujan's results in the Vedas? How about some results about the growth of functions in some form? I'm certain that the Indians had advanced trig (trig actually has been lost by and large because we quit needing it for sailing). But did they have heat flow equations in some form? Did they find higher primes and different classes of primes? Did they develop some kind of theory of algorithms?

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby viniketa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:03 am

Those links are more to the modern use of ancient techniques of calculus as a teaching method. I'm not a mathematician nor an expert in the history of mathematics. My degrees are in the area of the sociology of science and technology, so I know enough of the history of science to have a good understanding of how much of the historical records of Asian developments in science in math have been neglected in the re-telling of history in West.

P.S.: The point is that the Sutras from which these techniques are developed are not discussed in the Western account of the development of mathematics. Given the age of the sutras, one has to rethink the historical developments of mathematics.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby kirtu » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:11 am

viniketa wrote:Those links are more to the modern use of ancient techniques of calculus as a teaching method. I'm not a mathematician nor an expert in the history of mathematics. My degrees are in the area of the sociology of science and technology, so I know enough of the history of science to have a good understanding of how much of the historical records of Asian developments in science in math have been neglected in the re-telling of history in West.

:namaste:


I'm not interested in the telling or retelling of history in the West. The claim was made that Indians had advance mathematics, possibly flying machines and robots (actually technically Egyptians had forms of robots so this isn't so outlandish technically - but real robotic systems beyond a steam powered door opener?). Where is it? It looks like Indian mathematics got stuck after calculus around 1500 AD (maybe earlier) through Ramanujan in the early 1900's. The history of Indian mathematics needs to be written. Looks like the Mughals stopped India in it's tracks and switched the intellectual track entirely (but perhaps not - very impressive engineering occurred in this time as well).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby kirtu » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:15 am

viniketa wrote:
P.S.: The point is that the Sutras from which these techniques are developed are not discussed in the Western account of the development of mathematics. Given the age of the sutras, one has to rethink the historical developments of mathematics.


That is certainly true. There have been claims from Indians that in fact Leibnitz or Newton actually had access to Indian text's teaching differential calculus. Of course Leibnitz developed integral calculus but it may have been that one or the other or both got a jump start from India.

Nonetheless Indian mathematics stagnated for about 400 years giving the rapacious Westerners time to dominate the world.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby viniketa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:32 am

kirtu wrote:It looks like Indian mathematics got stuck after calculus around 1500 AD (maybe earlier) through Ramanujan in the early 1900's. The history of Indian mathematics needs to be written. Looks like the Mughals stopped India in it's tracks and switched the intellectual track entirely (but perhaps not - very impressive engineering occurred in this time as well).


There have also been claims that the Indians of the Americas had commerce with aliens in space suits. I'm not making nor supporting claims. Maybe they are so, maybe not...

kirtu wrote:There have been claims from Indians that in fact Leibnitz or Newton actually had access to Indian text's teaching differential calculus. Of course Leibnitz developed integral calculus but it may have been that one or the other or both got a jump start from India.


It's not just Indian mathematics, but Asian-African mathematics in general (including Chinese, Arabic, Egyptian, etc.) that have been neglected. Much of the history of these mathematics has been written, one needs to go into academic sources to find them, and they're not all written in English.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby Namgyal » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:50 am

Kirtu, If you think the scariness is over take a look at the GM food post. This is my point about glossing over; scientists continually mess up, as one might expect from ongoing experiments, but they are completely dishonest about this and at each successive stage they pretend that their discoveries are final and incontrovertible, when in fact they are merely provisional. When these are superseded in the course of time by new discoveries they pretend that their earlier 'final position' never happened. Whether this is to look good or inspire confidence I don't know, but the effect is a dangerous and offensive arrogance.
As for 'Vedic mathematics' without it we would not be having this pleasant chat because of course we would not have a zero.
:namaste: R
(Joined this forum XXVIII/IX/MMXII ;) )
Namgyal
 
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby Indrajala » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:17 am

Raksha wrote:As for 'Vedic mathematics' without it we would not be having this pleasant chat because of course we would not have a zero.


Or "Arabic numerals".
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re:

Postby Indrajala » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:40 am

kirtu wrote:We do without question know better about physical reality than any generation preceding us (with some allowance for the loss of some knowledge like concrete which was lost to the world for some 1500 years after the fall of the Roman Empire).


Yet there is more to causality, experience and reality than the physical world.

In any case, for all our knowledge of the physical world we're certainly doing a quick job of destroying it. Despite it being largely believed that "this is just it", we're certainly not protecting our living spaces with the technologies being developed.

Robert Thurman mentions in his talks about how in ancient India some predicted that if materialists ever became the dominate ideology in the world they'd be prone to destroy and eradicate everything. Many humans having an inherent desire for death perceived as oblivion in the face of so much suffering, a lot of materialists don't really care about either directly or indirectly eradicating life, even their own ultimately.

With science divorced from any kind of spirituality (becoming 'morally neutral' like a tool), it falls prey to negative habituations of humans owing to our afflictions.

This is why I think for all we've built, we would have been better off without the scientific revolution. Science might benefit plenty of humans, but it sure sucks for animal and plant life.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Ancient Indian cosmology

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:58 am

*Never mind. Might repost with editing later*
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:26 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
Lhug-Pa
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:59 am

I'll have to check out the text. Ancients had very accurate astronomical data. However they did not have a real description of our solar system as it really physically exists. They seem to know have known that planets orbited the Sun in ellipses for example. It really seems that no one knew that until Kepler (who wouldn't have figured it out either if he accepted observational errors in Brahe's extensive observations like everyone else).



You should read through Thompson's book if you get the chance.

The treatises he reviews were clearly aware of how the solar system physically exists, but then there is expansion on that to clearly immaterial realms. This doesn't apply to the materialist model, but that's of no consequence to a Vedic astronomer.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Re:

Postby viniketa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:09 am

Huseng wrote:With science divorced from any kind of spirituality (becoming 'morally neutral' like a tool), it falls prey to negative habituations of humans owing to our afflictions.


And all of this goes back to the Western re-telling of history. Even in the West, "science" does not become divorced from other philosophy until the early 1900s, and that doesn't come to the forefront as the normative reproduction of the history of thought until the mid 1900s (particularly, beginning in the 1960s). Popperian 'positivism' plays a part in this, but one can't blame poor Karl for everything (nor was he expressing something particularly new, just the hearing it got was new). German phenomenology ('bracketing out' experience) and a number of other Western views come into play in this divorcement. It's a topic about which books are being written as we (virtually) speak.

Not only does the divorce between scientific thinking (as 'means') and religious (or ethical) thinking (as 'ends') lead to an impoverished view of science, it also leads to impoverished view of the world as a 'whole', and therefore to the decimation of the non-human (plant and animal life). And it is this very view of science as 'sterile' and somehow divorced from 'living' that leads to student's eyes glazing-over in classes. Science, which is portrayed as having some sort of superior "lock" on reality, instead becomes so isolated from the world of the living as to seem dead -- students cannot see how science and math apply to their 'real life'.

Getting down...
:soapbox:

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:19 am

viniketa wrote:In short, much more advanced than we tend to think. It is true that the rate of scientific discovery and technological change in the last 400 years outstrips anything that's gone before.


In the last two centuries it has largely been a result of increased social complexity as a result of fossil fuel exploitation coupled with a culture that directs its intellectual resources into the direction of engineering and science. We went from having 80~90% of the population in any country being self-sustaining rural food producers with skill sets tailored to such circumstances to something entirely else where it became possible for many people to devote themselves exclusively to the study of science. There also developed institutions and commercial / military support for scientific endeavours, especially starting in the early 20th century. All this enabled a rapid acquisition of scientific knowledge and prompt application of it in various ways owing to industrialization. For instance, mass production of components necessary for nuclear reactors. This arrangement was dependent on having enough of the population freed from food production to engage in other activities like science, engineering and crafts to support them.

I don't think the rate of scientific discovery was a direct result of people somehow "finally getting it right", but just that they had the resources suddenly to devote themselves exclusively to such pursuits. The culture also directed intellectuals in the direction of engineering and sciences rather than, say, arts or spiritual pursuits like we saw with Nalanda where surplus was funnelled into those kinds of institutions.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alfredo, dude, jeeprs, odysseus, Simon E., smcj and 13 guests

>