• Post last modified:October 15, 2022
  • Post category:Science / History
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Did you know that India was once home to one of the most advanced civilizations on earth?

Archaeological findings indicate that the ancient Indians had several technological advances and innovations, many of which they passed on to other civilizations.

The following 10 ancient Indian scientists changed the world in their own way, including astronomy, mathematics, physics, and medicine.

1. Aryabhatta

Aryabhatta was an Indian mathematician, astronomer, and ancient scientist who lived in the 5th century CE during the Gupta dynasty.

He is best known for his work on the mathematics of the Hindu numeral system, which was later adopted in Europe and other parts of the world.

He also made significant contributions to astronomy, including the discovery of the precession of the Earth’s axis.

Aryabhatta demonstrated that zero was not only a numeral figure but also a symbol and a concept. The Discovery of zero enabled Aryabhatta to find out the exact distance between the earth and the moon.

Aryabhata also worked on the approximation for pi (π) and may have come to the judgment that π is irrational.

In the second part of his book the Aryabhatiyam (gaṇitapāda 10), he wrote:

caturadhikaṃ śatamaṣṭaguṇaṃ dvāṣaṣṭistathā sahasrāṇām
ayutadvayaviṣkambhasyāsanno vṛttapariṇāhaḥ.

Which means:

“Add four to 100, multiply by eight, and then add 62,000. By this rule, the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 20,000 can be approached.”

In his book, he demonstrates difficult questions on modern mathematics like number theory, geometry, trigonometry, and Beejganita (algebra). This indeed proves he is one of the greatest ancient Indian scientists who changed the world. [Reference]

2. Bramhagupta

Bramhagupta was a mathematician and a famous astronomer who lived in the 6th century AD. He is considered one of the most important mathematicians of his time and is credited with many important discoveries in mathematics.

Some of his most famous mathematical achievements include the discovery of the concept of zero and the theory of algorithms.

He is also known for his work in trigonometry and the calculation of astronomical tables. Bramhagupta is also credited with being the first person to use decimal notation in mathematics.

3. Charaka

Charaka was one of the main contributors to Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed during Ancient India.

He wrote the book Charaka Samhita, one of the foundational texts of classical Indian medical science and Ayurveda, included under Brhat-Trayi.

Charaka is believed to be a native of Kashmir valley, India.

According to Charaka Samhita, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort and attention to the daily lifestyle.

As per Indian lineage and the Ayurvedic medicine system, prevention of all types of diseases is always better than treatment, this includes restructuring of lifestyle to align with the course of nature and the six seasons, which will assure complete healthiness.

4. Susruta

Sushruta was an ancient Indian surgeon and medical scientist known for his pioneering operations and techniques and for his influential treatise Sushruta-Samhita, one of the main sources of knowledge about surgery during ancient India.

He is believed to live during the 6th century BCE. Susruta is known as the Father of Plastic Surgery for inventing and developing surgical procedures.

He also invented many unique and practical surgical techniques to dissect the human body and study its structure.

Susruta was one of the greatest and most legendary ancient Indian scientists who changed the world completely specifically in the medical field.

5. Kanada

Kaṇada also known as Ulūka was an ancient Indian scientist, sage, and philosopher who established the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy which represents the earliest Indian physics.

Assessed to have lived sometime between the 6th century to the 2nd century BCE, but slight is known about his entire life. His name “Kaṇāda” means “atom eater”,

Kanada is known for developing the foundations of an atomistic approach to physics and philosophy in the Sanskrit language text Vaiśeṣika Sūtra. His book is also known as Kaṇāda Sutras, or Aphorisms of Kaṇāda.

6. Varahamihira

Varahamihira was a renowned ancient Indian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. He is believed as the founder of the Indian School of Mathematics.

He is famous for his work in astronomy, particularly his analysis of planetary motion and the theory of celestial spheres. Varahamihira is credited with developing the first broad approach to ancient Hindu astronomy.

7. Bhaskara I

Bhāskara lived between c. 600 – c. 680 was a 7th-century mathematician, scientist, and astronomer, who was the first to write numbers in the Hindu decimal number system with a circle for referring to zero.

He gave a unique and remarkable rational approximation of the sine function in his commentary on another ancient scientist Aryabhata’s work.

Written in 629 CE, the commentary of Āryabhaṭīyabhāṣya is among the oldest known prose works in Sanskrit on mathematics and astronomy.

On 7 June in the year 1979, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched Bhaskara I honoring the greatest ancient Indian scientist Bhaskara I.

8. Nagarjuna

Nāgārjuna was an ancient Indian metallurgist and alchemist. Some of the Chinese and Tibetan literature says he was born in Vidarbha and then migrated to the Satavahana dynasty.

Another assumption is this Rasasiddha Nagarjuna was born in Gujarat and was a Jain during his life.

He traveled to various places in South India and established many laboratories throughout India. There is evidence found in his experimental laboratory in the village of Nagalwadi in the state of Maharashtra.

According to some evidence that he knew the extraction of iron and mercury and Nagarjuna was among the first scientist who know good plating.

9. Bhaskaracharya

Bhāskara ll lived in c. 1114–1185, popularly known as Bhāskarāchārya, was an ancient Indian mathematician, scientist, and astronomer.

From verses, in his main work, Siddhānta Shiromani, it can be assumed that he was born in 1114 in Vijjadavida and lived in the Sahyadri mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, acknowledged to be the town of Patan in Chalisgaon in the state of Maharashtra.

He is the only ancient mathematician and scientist who has been immortalized on a monument.

He was born in a Hindu Deshastha Brahmin family of scholars, mathematicians, and astronomers, Bhaskaracharya was the leader of a cosmic observatory center at Ujjain, one of the main mathematical centers of ancient India. [Reference]

10. Baudhayan

Baudhayan was one of the greatest ancient Indian scientists, who was the first one ever to arrive at several concepts in Mathematics, which were later rediscovered by the modern western world.

He lived somewhere in between 1st-millennium BCE and the value of pi was first calculated by him. As we know, the value of pi is necessary while calculating the area and circumference of a circle.

What is known as Pythagoras’ theorem today is already found in Baudhayan’s Sankrit book Sulva Sutra, which was written several years before the age of Pythagoras.

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