Acharya Kanad

The Indian Sage who developed Atomic Theory 2,600 years ago

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John Dalton (1766 – 1844), an English chemist and physicist, is the man credited today with the development of atomic theory.  However, a theory of atoms was actually formulated2,500 years before Dalton by an Indian sage and philosopher, known as Acharya Kanad.

Acharya Kanad was born in 600 BC in Prabhas Kshetra (near Dwaraka) in Gujarat, India. His real name was Kashyap.

Kashyap was on a pilgrimage to Prayag when he saw thousands of pilgrims litter the streets with flowers and rice grains, which they offered at the temple. Kashyap, fascinated by small particles, began collecting the grains of rice. A crowd gathered around to see the strange man collecting grains from the street. Kashyap was asked why he was collecting the grains that even a beggar wouldn’t touch. He told them that individual grains in themselves may seem worthless, but a collection of some hundred grains make up a person's meal, the collection many meals would feed an entire family and ultimately the entire mankind was made of many families, thus even a single grain of rice was as important as all the valuable riches in this world. Since then, people began calling him ‘Kanad’, as ‘Kan’ in Sanskrit means ‘the smallest particle’. 

Kanad pursued his fascination with the unseen world and with conceptualising the idea of the smallest particle. He began writing down his ideas and teaching them to others.  Thus, people began calling him ‘Acharya’ (‘the teacher’), hence the name Acharya Kanad (‘the teacher of small particles’)

Kanad’s conception of Anu (the atom)

Kanad was walking with food in his hand, breaking it into small pieces when he realised that he was unable to divide the food into any further parts, it was too small. From this moment, Kanad conceptualised the idea of a particle that could not be divided any further. He called that indivisible matter Parmanu, or anu (atom).

Acharya Kanad proposed that this indivisible matter could not be sensed through any human organ or seen by the naked eye, and that an inherent urge made one Parmanu combine with another.  When two Parmanu belonging to one class of substance combined, a dwinuka (binary molecule) was the result. This dwinuka had properties similar to the two parent Parmanu.

Kanad suggested that it was the different combinations of Parmanu which produced different types of substances. He also put forward the idea that atoms could be combined in various ways to produce chemical changes in presence of other factors such as heat. He gave blackening of earthen pot and ripening of fruit as examples of this phenomenon.

Acharya Kanad founded the Vaisheshika school of philosophy where he taught his ideas about the atom and the nature of the universe. He wrote a book on his research “Vaisheshik Darshan” and became known as “The Father of Atomic theory.”

In the West, atomism emerged in the 5th century BC with the ancient Greeks Leucippus and Democritus. Whether Indian culture influenced Greek or vice versa or whether both evolved independently is a matter of dispute.

Kanad is reporting to have said: ”Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules.”  His theory of the atom was abstract and enmeshed in philosophy as they were based on logic and not on personal experience or experimentation. But in the words of A.L. Basham, the veteran Australian Indologist, "they were brilliant imaginative explanations of the physical structure of the world, and in a large measure, agreed with the discoveries of modern physics."

By April Holloway

References:

The Father of Atomic Theory: Acharya Kanad – Sanskaar Varg

Ancient India’s Contribution to Physics – United India

Comments

The Aryan invasion theory has been a basis and justification of Western interpretation upon the civilization and history of India. Although many Indologists within India have been influenced by such thought, the theory has not met majority acceptance within India and is even coming under attack in the West. David Frawley, one Sanskrit scholar recognized both inside as well as outside of India has assessed the current situation of the Aryan invasion theory thusly:

“ One of the main ideas used to interpret – and generally devalue – the ancient history of India is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500-100 BC, who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture … This idea- totally foreign to the history of India, whether North or South, has become an almost unquestioned truth in the interpretation of ancient history today. Today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it into question.” ( David Frawley, “ The Myth of the Aryan Invasion” )

One main reason that the theory has been called into question is that there is no primary evidence. No monuments to any heros of such invasions have been excavated, no related cemeteries unearthed, no battle fields identified in relation to the theory, no forts, in short- nothing in the way of physical evidence. There is a host of other incongruencies, but this is the general idea.

One major platform that Western scholars have relied upon to substantiate the theory is etymology. They trace linguistic patterns, encompassing East and West, and then by implication pinpoint a central geographic area which then serves as a common point of origin of the Indo-European language and race. This point, being basically the Caucasians and mountainous regions of Persia, is of course, outside of India, such that the existence of the Aryan race in Northern India is attributed to an invasion, and such is the explanation they offer for the Caucasian presence in India.

It has often been pointed out that few other principal theories have ever been accepted based on such indirect, flimsy evidence. When something ends up being so rigidly imposed with such little basis, a reasonable mind will look for other motives. Again we may rely on the broad understanding of David Frawley. ” It is important to examine the social and political implications of the Aryan invasion idea:

First, it served to divide India into a northern Aryan and southern Dravidian culture which were made hostile to each other. This kept the Hindus divided and is still a source of social tension.

Second, it gave the British an excuse in their conquest of India. They could claim to be doing only what the Aryan ancestors of the Hindus had previously done millennia ago.

Third, it served to make Vedic culture later than and possibly derived from Middle Eastern cultures. With the proximity and relationship of the latter with the Bible and Christianity, this kept the Hindu religion as a sidelight to the development of religion and civilization to the West.

Fourth, it allowed the sciences of India to be given a Greek basis, as any Vedic basis was largely disqualified by the primitive nature of the Vedic culture.

This discredited not only the ‘Vedas’ but the genealogies of the ‘Puranas’ and their long list of the kings before the Buddha or Krishna were left without any historical basis. The Mahabharata, instead of a civil war in which all the main kings of India participated as it is described, became a local skirmish among petty princes that was later exaggerated by poets. In short, it discredited the most of the Hindu tradition and almost all its ancient literature. It turned its scriptures and sages into fantasies and exaggerations.

This served a social, political and economical purpose of domination, proving the superiority of Western culture and religion. It made the Hindus feel that their culture was not the great thing that their sages and ancestors had said it was. It made Hindus feel ashamed of their culture – that its basis was neither historical nor scientific. It made them feel that the main line of civilization was developed first in the Middle East and then in Europe and that the culture of India was peripheral and secondary to the real development of world culture.

Such a view is not good scholarship or archeology but merely cultural imperialism. The Western Vedic scholars did in the intellectual sphere what the British army did in the political realm – discredit, divide and conquer the Hindus.

In short, the compelling reasons for the Aryan invasion theory were neither literary nor archeological but political and religious – that is to say, not scholarship but prejudice. Such prejudice may not have been intentional but deep-seated political and religious views easily cloud and blur our thinking.”

What impact does the Hollow Earth understanding have on this issue? The impact that it has may be found in one of the best places to hide anything- right under our noses, in the Puranas themselves! The Puranas tell us that at the end of the Kali Yuga, Vedic culture becomes regenerated from the interior of the Earth, after the Kalki Avatar brings the Kali Yuga to a close. This is not the only reference to the hollow earth in the Puranas, but it is the one which indicates the origin of the Aryans ( Caucasian race ) on the surface of the Earth.

The Caucasian race can easily be seen to stretch from Northern India to Scandanavia and to European Russia. How far would it be from the Artic coast of the Siberian and European side of the polar basin to the opening suggested by several hollow Earth researchers, which is offset from the North Pole just above the New Siberian Islands? ( See the oval on the map in Chapter Seven ) A hop, skip and a jump- no more than a few hundred miles. So how difficult would it be for the Caucasian and, of course, other human races to re-introduce themselves to the surface of the planet from this particular opening at the end of every Kali Yuga? It does not seem that it would be so difficult at all.

In addition, the fact that the Caucasian race is so light skinned in Northern Europe is indicative of a top-down migration. This is because in the Middle East and India, the race has a light tan complexion. It is easier to go from a light complexion to a darker complexion, while is is harder to believe that darker skinned Caucasians migrated Northwards, then became sun bleached to their present blond haired, blue eyed state- the genes which generate fair complexions and blue eyes are passive. Therefore, we can surmise that the Caucasians are not Caucasian in origin but rather, that their surface migration began in Northern Europe, along the Artic basin, from the Polar opening to the hollow Earth.

The reader may keep in mind that in millennia past, these areas were not as cold as they are now. As an example, we’ll note that Viking graves from 1,000 years ago have been opened up in Greenland, and it was found that roots, at that time, had penetrated the coffins. Now the graves lie under permafrost. This means that, previously, vegetation existed in the area and that there was a different climate.

In addition to the large, polar openings there are said to be tunnels which connect the surface of the planet with the hollow portion. Nicholas Roerich, for example, in his book “ Shamballa,” wrote of his travels through Tibet in the 1920s, through the Karakorum Pass in the Altai Mountains. He was shown caves closed up by boulders, and he wrote of passing over what seemed to be hollow areas by the echos from the horses’ hooves, and wrote of a current recollection of the hollow Earth in the collective minds of the Tibetan people.

Therefore, any cyclical reappearance of Vedic civilization and the Caucasian race could manifest from at least two points which span the length of the Aryan presence on our Earth, from top to bottom. The Caucasian presence in Northern Europe could be explained by migration from the polar opening, situated above the New Siberian Islands in the Arctic basin, while openings and tunnels in the Tibetan region could account for Caucasian presence also, even down as far as the Indian subcontinent.

No Caucasian migration into India is necessarily indicative of an introduction of Vedic culture. Aryan insertion into any given area, India included, could have simply reinforced already existent Vedic culture without having been an introduction. It is not a matter, really, of accounting for the Aryan presence in the Indian subcontinent. Rather, it is a matter of accounting for human presence on the surface of the planet after the end of every chatur yuga, and the Hollow Earth Theory explains this admirably well in conjuction with the appearance of the Kalki Avatar and regeneration of the surface population from Shambhalla and the hollow earth.

The hollow Earth theory certainly strengthens the Puranic account of a cyclical, re-population of the surface of our planet from the madhyatah, the hollow portion, including its chief city Shambhalla, and suggests that what is past will one day be prologue.

In this way, the hollow Earth theory offers an intriguing alternative to previous interpretations of the Caucasian presence in India, otherwise known as the Aryan Invasion Theory.

Imhotep pre dated Hippocrates....

Well.. take a look at where Indian's come from. Dravidians (native Indians) appeared to be flourishing around 4000 BCE, founding the Harappan societies. Harappan people however, went into decline without any real apparent cause, by 1500 BCE. About that time, a wave of Indo Europeans called the Aryans were arriving in India. The Aryans pretty much made Indian society what it is today. The Aryans were blue eyed, fair skinned people and considered god-like to the Native Dravidians.

The Aryans were nomads and warlike, but when they invaded, their invasion was actually very gradual as they not only fought, but intermarried in the Dravidian society, learning sedentary agricultural lifestyles from the Dravidians. By 1000 BCE when Greece was experiencing its Dark Age and the Mycenaeans were disappearing, the Aryans were actually helping build something like what we recognize as a more modern Indian culture.

With them, the Aryans brought entirely new concepts like the Rajah (chief) which eventually evolved into a Maharajah (king), which the native Dravidians didn't have previously. Dravidians were a loose confederation of landlords and merchants with no apparent kingship or other rulers over them, nor did they use religious justification for rules that were implemented in their society. But the Indo Europeans changed that.

The Indo Europeans also gave India a Priest class, a series of many gods to be worshiped and what we know as the four main VARNA (colours), i.e. social stratifications in India. And because the Aryans were fair skinned, thereby being seen as more 'godlike', they were the only ones allowed to be at the top of the social ladder. The Indo Europeans then, were the Priests, Warrior and Aristocrat classes while the native Dravidians remained in the lower two classes of (Cultivators, Artisians, Merchants) and then Commoners. Because of how strict social stratifications became, there was not much mixing between the classes and therefore, even to this day, those in India of higher Varna are genetically more Indo European than Dravidian (who are darker skinned).

Your higher thinkers like the philosophers and priests and those considered to be more educated were from these higher Indo-European-descended social classes.

And Where do Indo Europeans (like the Aryans) originate from? Well, at the time of the Aryans, they were from Japhetic tribes, but there were also Indo-Europeans from Hebrew tribes later on. After around 721 BCE, the ten tribes of Israel were taken captive by the Assyrians (All the tribes except for Judah and Levi) and then freed again when Babylon destroyed Assyria in a final show down. The Hebrews then high tailed it to the Caucus Mountains seeking refuge where they were able to hide out, intermarrying and living with other extant tribes of Japhetic people (like the Chamerians and Sideons) until Pompey (of the First Triumvirate of Rome) marched over the Caucuses in about 63 BCE to continue the typical Roman conquering and pillaging and assimilating. At that point, there was another wave of Indo-European migrations out from that part of the world, because the Hebrews were not a militaristic or political force, so usually they fled instead of fighting. Though this particular second wave of migrations from the Caucuses ended up resulting in the origins of the Scandinavian peoples and the Anglo-Saxons, not the Indians. Scandinavians Came not from the Aryans like the Indians did, but another group called the Ynglings, which means 'youth' of the Jewish tribe of Ephraim. [i.e. Ingles or Engles, aka, Angles led by their Chief, Woden/Oden -who is not a mythical god, he was a real person who is now buried at Upsala in Sweden, where he set up their capital city.]

Either way, India wasn't the only culture to have influenced other cultures of the ancient world. Of all of the ancient world cultures, it is widely accepted that Rome was probably the biggest culprit when it came to stealing ideas and implementing practices of outside cultures to make it their own. From greece though, we still get a lot of Firsts, like the first actual political lobbyists (Sophists), the first real democracy (from Pericles), the first practice of clinical observation (from Hippocrates) and what we know as the Scientific Method, as well as the first actual recorded histories as we perceive history today (from Herodotus and Thucydides). Though, honestly, I'm surprised that the Greeks were able to function as a society at all considering all the fighting they did. If they weren't involved in war with another society like the Persians, then they were at war amoungst themselves, forming different alliances amoungst themselves to fight one another and then breaking their alliances and forming different ones and fighting eachother again. ALL THE TIME. lol. Eventually that's what caused their decline. They broke their beautiful Golden Age by in-fighting. And plague. But essentially constant warfare weakened them to a point of ruin.

Of course, not all people in this part of the world were strictly Greek citizens, because there were also Macedonians, Irish, Egyptians, and maybe even Indians who happened to be in Greece too, further influencing how things went during Greece's Athenian Golden Age when all this was happening. After all, they were all involved in long distance trade with various civilizations and so there was definitely contact so we can't rule out that there was some crossing of ideas, too. I'm sure there would have been a LOT of that.

all the things that you said with your limited mind & full of pride regarding ancient greece culture & western educated mind - that we're the first & all are just "self praising / boastfull" is a total white lie which started approx 2000 years ago. Though this msg will seem to stand out as racial but the truth is western man makes up history according to their liking.

as per their requirement - all are pagan & non-belivers cannot know more than those who are from "judeo christian background" or descendants of adam/abraham etc etc.

In fact the greece were "BOY LOVERS" if it was not for the indians, western thought which has its root from greece would be absent today.

if you truly read then you will see indians shared everything with all cultures & got hatred in exchange. the chinese / the japanese / the middle east / & your fav - the greece -- all owe their knowledge from us, though now asserting it as their own.

But anyways its good to see that you can finally stand on your own feet. let us see how far will your stand remain in the future. what more can you conjure up to deliberetly hush up the truth.

AUM - SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI .......

Indians where not the only Civilization. And you say it's unheard of in other Civilizations, but Atomism was roughly known in the same time period in both India as Greece.
And there are many things that can be said completely the other way around for civilizations such as Greece, where many firsts in the world come from and the broader region, Greece,Bulgaria, Turkey.

1). For instance, the oldest gold smithing in the world (varna 4300BC), to symbol usages such as the swastika, the oldest of which found in (ukraine, 10.000BC) and Vinca civilization (Bulgaria, Greece) 7000-6000BC, which predates any other place in the world by many thousands of years.
http://aleximreh.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/swastika-in-the-vinca-script-6...

2).Or the oldest writing and language in the world, Greece, Dispilio tablet (5300BC) and Yura potteries, 6000BC, where Greek alphabetical letters where in use 6000BC, predating earliest writings from Egypt(3200BC), Mesopotamia(3400BC) and India (2600BC) by 2500-3500 years.
http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.nl/2012/07/prehistorc-tablet-call...
http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/dispilio-tablet-old...
http://www.hellinon.net/NeesSelides/greek_alphabet_was_in_use_at_600.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youra_Potsherds
http://newsarc.net/showthread.php/soc.history.ancient/Greek%20Alphabet%2...

Or oldest sea navigation in the world, 130,000 years ago, Crete, Greece

Or yet another 8000 year old civilization, in Greece, published 2 weeks ago, that was very advanced for
it's time, which had multistory buildings and balconies. Which can be seen as a forefather of the incredibly advanced Minoan Civilization (3750-1400BC), which consisted of cities, palaces with sewerage systems, plumbing systems, urban planning, with toilets for every common house, even on the 3rd floor. With palaces of 5 to 7 floors high.with complex architecture to withstand earthquakes. They had complex society, beautiful art and writings.

4). These are just but a few examples of firsts, but also when we look at popular Ancient Greece, there have been many sciences and inventions, that where unheard of anywhere else in the world.

Few examples such as the Antikythera,
http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-technology/incredible-inner-worki...
The first computer in the world and most complex piece of technical engineering, unheard of anywhere in the ancient world, to invention of musical notation, that we use today. Or to to first robotics, Pneumatism, to the invention of the steam engine, automatic doors, elevators, steam cannon, to hydraulics, Automata, Mechanica, Catoptrica, Stereometrica, (heron of Alexandria), the first cookbook, astrolabe. Or even vending machines and washstands, where people could throw a coin in so that people could wash their hands or get food from the machine. Things that are unheard of to anywhere in the world and only to be re-invented in 18-19th century. Or to clock towers, alarm clocks, showers, central heating, railways,levers, inextinguishable Greek fire, the coinage system, cartography, lighthouses, anthropology,humanism, oldest composed musical piece in the world (Seikilos Epitaph), and really I could go on and on and on.

5). Not to forget that Ancient Greece, profoundly influenced central Asia and India, through Greco- Bactrian Kingdom that existed 400 years long. As Ancient Greece has Sculptures, architecture, Jewelry, Art, Theatre that was unrivaled to anywhere in the world, this resulted in the great transmission of Greek knowledge to Central Asia and India. Examples are:

The first buddha's made by Greeks:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhist_art

Indian theatre started after when Greek brought theatre to India:
Quote: "The earliest form of the theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre.[1] It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_India

And when you go to the exhibition of Alexander the Great, you notice that Greek architecture, jewelry, and sculpture was unrivaled to anywhere in the world. Also where ancient Greek jewelry was super refined, the Indian jewelry was thick, simplistic and unrefined.
http://c300221.r21.cf1.rackcdn.com/laocoon-and-his-sons-1348967845_org.jpg
http://www.greek-thesaurus.gr/images/p7/hairnet.JPG
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/145593000427091453/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/515169644846354380/
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m82bvcxdIz1rufkgxo1_1280.jpg
Only after the influence of Ancient Greece, and it's Greco-Bactrian Kingdom for 400 years, the jewelry, sculpting and many other crafts, of which Greeks where masters at, where transmitted to the peoples of Central Asia and India. This is also easy to attest. Go look for Ancient sculptures, jewelry, Architecture, in the region before Ancient Greece Influenced the region, and then after the 400 year of Hellenization of the region.

The same applies to Indian Astronomy, that was influenced with the rise of the Greek culture in the east.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_astronomy
"For example, Hellenistic astronomy is known to have been practiced near India in the Greco-Bactrian city of Ai-Khanoum from the 3rd century BCE. Various sun-dials, including an equatorial sundial adjusted to the latitude of Ujjain have been found in archaeological excavations there.Numerous interactions with the Mauryan Empire, and the later expansion of the Indo-Greeks into India suggest that transmission of Greek astronomical ideas to India occurred during this period"

6). What I am saying is, from Indian viewpoint it's fun to think as India being the oldest, first and greatest in everything, but that is not really the case. I know how some Indian people believe (it's part of the present-day Culture), to self-praise, boast (which is also part to survive in India), and take the All-Too-Common Indian storytelling for granted. In order to know your own civilization, you have to know others. The same applies to archaeology and history.

And I am very aware of Indian history timeline just as I am with Chinese, Egyptian, Fertile Crescent, Levant regions, I am merely pointing out that one should not fall into the trap of too much self-praising based on emotions, which is in my opinion and easy observation, all-too-common among some Indian people. With that said I'm not stating you are one of these people, nor Indian.

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