Speed of Light discovered by Vedic scholar Sayana - Professor Subhash Kak
14/02/2013 15:01:15  Courtesy: S C Sharma

Professor Subhash Kak of Louisiana State University recently discovered a statement by Sayana, a 14th century Indian scholar. In his commentary on a hymn in the Rig Veda, Sayana says: "With deep respect, I bow to the sun, who travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha."

A yojana is approximately 9 miles; a nimesha is 16/75 of a second. Therefore: 2,202 yojanas x 9 miles x 75/8 nimeshas = 185,794 miles per second

How could a Vedic scholar who died in 1387 A.D. have known the correct figure for the speed of light?

The yogic tradition is full of such coincidences. Take for instance the mala of traditional beads. Students often ask why they have 108 beads instead of 100. The reason is that the mala represent the ecliptic, the path of the sun and moon across the sky. Yogis divide the ecliptic into 27 equal sections called nakshatras, and each of these into four equal sectors called padas, or "steps," marking the 108 steps that the sun and moon take through heaven.

Professor Kak points out that the distance between the earth and the sun is approximately 108 times the sun's diameter. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the earth's diameter. And the distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times the moon's diameter.

Could this be the reason the ancients considered 108 to be a sacred number? If the microcosm (us) mirrors the macrocosm (the solar system), maybe you could say there are 108 steps between our human awareness and the divine light. Each time we chant another mantra as our mala beads slip through our fingers, we are taking another step toward our own inner sun.

The Surya Siddhanta is the oldest surviving astronomical text in the Indian tradition, dating to the 6th A.D. or earlier It states that the earth is shaped like a ball, and that at the very opposite side of the planet from India is a great city where the sun is rising at the same time it sets in India. In this city, the Surya Siddhanta claims, lives a race of siddhas, or advanced spiritual adepts. Is it possible that the ancient Indians were aware of the Mayans and Incas?

While European traditions claimed that the universe was created approximately 6,000 years ago, Indian sages have always maintained that our cosmos is billions of years old, and that it's just one of many such universes which have arisen and dissolved in the vastness of eternity.

In fact the Puranas describe the birth of our solar system out of a "milk ocean" ~ the Milky Way? Through the will of the Creator, they tell us, a vortex shaped like a lotus arose from the navel of eternity. It gradually coalesced into our world, but will perish some day billions of years hence when the sun expands to many times it present size, swallowing all life on earth.

In the end, the Puranas say, the ashes of the earth will be blown into space by the cosmic wind. Today we known this is a scientifically accurate, if poetic, description of the fate of our planet.

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15/02/2013 21:52:11
secularist meaningless rant!
Is Subash Kak a secularist? No, as he writes on behalf the hinduism.So he must be a communalist.So what he writes has no meaning for the secularists! the really brain dead morons these people!
15/02/2013 09:07:39
Devils advocate
Gentlemen, i am no pseudo secularist. I was only playing a devils advocate. I have read enough of our scriptures which are great knowledge base for scientific facts. But could anyone tell me when did our country become so dumb as we are today.From being leaders we have become copy cats and with sheep mentality, following the goras in every field.Probably this was engineered by Macaulay.Let us ponder over it.
15/02/2013 07:15:08
Re: Misleading

Time uses day(24hrs) as refernce and length uses angulam as reference. There are yojana-to-angulam and nimisha-to-day conversions in ancient texts.

So the conversion is absolutely correct.

Moreover Dr. Subhash Kak is a professor Emeritus with interests in physics, maths , engineering etc. He is a poet, historian and sanskrit scholar.
Dont under estimate this.

15/02/2013 06:42:03
1 yojana is said to comprise either 4 or 8 krosha (a cry or shout, or the range of the voice in calling); and 1 krosha (or goruta ~ as far as a cow’s lowing may be heard, or a bull’s roar) may represent either 1000 or 2000 daNDa (a rod or staff), and 1 danda represents 1 pauruSa (a man’s length) which equals 1 dhanvantara (bow-string) or dhanu (bow). 1 yojana measures either 4,000 or (more likely) 8,000 dhanus. Assuming that 1 paurusha is 6 ft long, then 1 yojana must represent a distance of about 14.6 km (or about 9 miles, as suggested by Monier-Williams).
nimesa means shutting the eye or winking, and as a measure of time it is a wink of the eye or a moment. The Arthashastra (c. 300 BC) defines 1 nimesa as 1/360,000th of a day and night, i.e. 0.24 seconds.
Given that 1 yojana is between 14.6 and 16.4 km, 2,202 yojanas must represent between 32,149 and 36,113 km. Half a nimesha is 0.12 seconds. Sayana thus gives the "speed of the Sun" as between 267,910 and 300,940 km/sec, i.e. the same order of magnitude as the speed of light at 299,792 km/sec.
Vartak treats this as an instance of scientific foreknowledge in the Vedas, even though the claim is not in the Vedas but in Sayana's 14th century commentary. Sayana's commentary is still 300 years older than the first known successful measurement of the speed of light. Kak points out that the Vayu Purana (ch. 50) has a comparable passage, where the "speed of the Sun" is exactly 1/18th of Sayana's value. While he is also susceptible to assuming "scientific foreknowledge" by mystical means, he also accepts that "to the rationalist" the proximity of Sayana's value to the physical constant is simply coincidence.[3]
Senthil Kumar
15/02/2013 04:02:29
Son of Maculay
Mr. Ganesh, you still seem to represent the step sons of Maculay. Please read more about Vedic Mathematics before commenting like a half baked egg
15/02/2013 01:11:44
Re. misleading

for time conversion, day time(24) is reference. for distance angulam is the reference. So the conversion is absolutely correct. Moreover Dr.subhash kak is scientist emeritus of physics, maths, engineering. multversed scholar and genius. He had solved twin paradox.

15/02/2013 00:11:49
ignorance is bliss
and ignorance of hindus is self destructive and not bliss!
please read here who connected Yojanas to miles and nimesha to seconds.See if your secular mind can decipher that!
14/02/2013 23:42:15
secularist meaningless rant!
The Nimisha is a unit of time and Yojana is a unit of distance! Distance traveled multiplied by unit time gives the speed!
Here is how the value of a nimesha can be derived.

Unit of Time: Nimesa
The Moksha dharma parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows:
15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha
30 Kashta = 1 Kala
30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta
30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night)
We know Day-Night is 24 hours
So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha
in other words 409050 nimisha
We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds
So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409050 nimisha
409050 nimesa = 86,400 seconds
1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)
1/2 nimesa = 0.1056 seconds
14/02/2013 23:28:36
secularist meaningless rant! will they now shut their mouths?
Here is the answer for your question.Relation between Nimesha and seconds and yojana and miles.Please do not expose your intelligence too much! In your attempt to bash hinduism, you have exposed your intelligence or the non existence of it!

Unit of Time: Nimesa
The Moksha dharma parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows:
15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha
30 Kashta = 1 Kala
30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta
30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night)
We know Day-Night is 24 hours
So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha
in other words 409050 nimisha
We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds
So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409050 nimisha
409050 nimesa = 86,400 seconds
1 nimesa = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal! Wink of an eye=.2112 seconds!)
1/2 nimesa = 0.1056 seconds(100 milli seconds!)
So now we can calculate what is the value of the speed of light in modern units based on the value given as 2202 yojanas in 1/2 nimesa
= 2202 x 9.09 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 20016.18 miles per 0.1056 seconds
= 189547 miles per second !!
As per the modern science speed of light is 186000 miles per second !
And so I without the slightest doubt attribute the slight difference between the two values to our error in accurately translating from vedic units to SI/CGS units. Note that we have approximated 1 angula as exactly 3/4 inch. While the approximation is true, the angula is not exactly 3/4 inch.
14/02/2013 23:28:15
secularist meaningless rant!
spoken ( or is wrote?)like a True secularist Sir Ganesh. Your enthusiasm to put down Hinduism, you for got to do a simple thing! Thinking! That is grossly lacking in all the secularists !
For your information just do google search! it takes 3 minutes to get the information.

The length of the Yojana varied depending on the different standards adopted by different Indian astronomers. It was taken to be the distance covered by an ox cart in one day. In the Surya Siddhanta of the 5th century, for example, a Yojana was equivalent to 5 miles,[1] and the same was true for Aryabhata's Aryabhatiya (499).[2] By the time of Paramesvara in the 14th century, the Yojana was more than 1.5 times larger than it was in Aryabhata's time, thus a Yojana was equivalent to at least 8 miles by Paramesvara's time.[1]
Religious leader A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives the equivalent length of a yojana as 8 miles (13 km) [3] throughout his translations of the Bhagavata Purana. Some traditional Indian scholars give measurements between 13 km and 16 km (8-10 miles) or thereabouts.[citation needed] Alexander Cunningham, in The Ancient Geography of India, takes a yojana to mean 8 miles.
Nimesha means in sanskrit blink of an eye and that is The average length of a blink is 100-400 milliseconds. In 100 milli seconds the sun travels 9 miles,But you are not too smart to convert milli seconds in to seconds and then multiply it by 9! that is too much of a brainer for a secularist!Incidentally the smallest measurement and largest measurement were described by the same hindus, whom you love to hate! Don't hate your parents if they are hindus too!Read my next post too!
14/02/2013 19:43:36
Vedas are the source of all knowledge
Vedas contain much many knowledge in the root form. The Rishis contamplated on those veda antras and developed many sasthras like, AYURVEDA, DHANUR VEDA (SCIENCE OF ARTILLERY), METULLARGY, ASTRONOMY (Sayana quoted an old text on astronmy while giving commentary to RIG VEDA), NATYA SASTHRA, MUSIC, VIMAANA SASTHRA (a model of old aeroplane was built and tested by a scholar in MUMBAI before the Wright brothers invented the plane), Civil engineering, mathematics like geometry, triginometry (remember Boudhayana framed the Pythagorus theorem), Agriculture, Gemmology etc., These knowledge, the VEDAS, belongs to everybody irrespective of cast creed and gender. So kindly GO BACK TO VEDAS. Study vedas and vedic culture and practise tem in you life. Surely india can emerge as a super power.
14/02/2013 19:24:00
Speed of light is 2202 Yojanas in half a nimesha.So far so good.But the crucial part is who found the link between Yojana and Mile.Who found the link between nimesha and seconds.This is where the catch lies. I think somebody adjusted the ratio in such a way that the final measurement tallied with the scientific findings.Even I can say that the speed of light is 133 pinnak in 2 mangos and then find a ratio between miles and pinnak.
14/02/2013 16:37:13
Very true
I read one book on Chattambi Swamiji. In it it is stated that, Sage Agasthya, in his Agasthar njaala nool ( a Thamizh book) states that, "IPPUVIYIN KEEZH CHITTAR PATHALAM THANE. IRAVI INKU VILANGUMAANAAL IRAVU ANGU AAKUME" IT MEANS, BELOW THIS GROUND IS 'CHITTAR PATHALAM" When sun shines here there it is night. Yes, our sages new about a place where humans inhabited and exactly opposite to our land. Mayans had a calender also which is almost matching our Kalivarsha.
"Even if a snake is not poisonous,
it should pretend to be venomous."


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