Wines in India (was Re: "Science" in India)

Arun Gupta suvidya at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Wed Oct 25 23:02:58 UTC 2000

Dominik Wujastyk <ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK> wrote:

>Now there's a nice idea, eh?  An infant prodigy indologist, piping-voiced
>seven-year-old, discussing the difference between a horse and an onager,
>the horse-training terms in the Mitanni documents, the reasons why the
>artha-vakyas in the dhatupatha can't be by Panini, and the authorship
>problems of the Rtusamhara.  :-)

Sorry, it has been done already -- and if Indologia is correctly recited
while the child is in the womb, he will not be born Ashtavakra.

Unlike Ashtavakra, his father Kagola was not much of a scholar, and had to
drown himself after losing in debate.  Another worthy tradition worth
reviving ?  :-).

With tongue firmly ensconced, I propose an alternate solution to the problem
exercising a few of this list's members.

  "The religious books of the Hindus and their codes of tradition,
   the Puranas, contain sentences about the shape of the world which
   stand in direct opposition to scientific truth as known to their
   astronomers.  By these books, people are guided in fulfilling the
   rites of their religion, and by means of them the great mass of the
   nation have been wheedled into a predilection for astronomical
   calculation and astrological predictions and warnings.

   The consequence is, that they show much affection to their astronomers,
   declaring that they are excellent men, that it is a good omen to meet
   them, and firmly believing that all of them come into Paradise and
   none into hell.

   For this the astronomers requite them by accepting their popular
   notions as truth, by conforming themselves to them, however far from
   truth most of them may be, and by presenting them with such spiritual
   stuff as they stand in need of.  This is the reason why the two
   theories, the vulgar and the scientific, have become intermingled in
   the course of time, why the doctrines of the astronomers have been
   disturbed and confused......[and why originality has been lost]"
   (Al Biruni, Sachau translation).

For people who are appalled by this theory : please take Al Biruni to be yet
another comparative historian :-):-)

-arun gupta

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