# GRAVITY AND HINDUISM

Did newton first told us about gravity? Let see what our hindu scriptures say

GRAVITY AND HINDUISM

An apple fall on his head and Newton invented gravity in 1687” This is the story, we have been taught in our school. But is it true?

Well, this might be true for western people. But, the principle and specifications of gravitational force is mentioned in our scriptures 5000 years ago.

Forget the veda for a while, even gravitation was preached by many of our rishis way before the newton.

I will discuss everything but before that let us know how modern scientists describe gravity-

Gravity is a force, which depends on the mass of the two bodies and distances between them. This force is responsible for the revolution of planet around earth in a fixed orbit and falling down the objects.

Now lets look how our ancient rishis preached gravitation.

The words gravity and gravitational pull are generally translated into Indian languages as “GURUTVA AKARSHANA SHAKTI”. The word ‘Gurutva’ means ‘mass’ and ‘Aakarshana’ means ‘attractive pull’. The very name indicates that the ancient Indians observed some relation between the mass of a body and the gravitational pull. The centre of the gravitational force is the centre of earth itself

Hindu dharma is mainly represented by six philosophies Among the six school of philosophy, Vaishesika is one of them. Vaisheshika philosophy was founded by Maharsi Kanada. Vaishesika philosophy is concised by Vaishesika Sutra. Vaishesika Sutra are very old texts. Even the western indologists date it to older than 500 BCE. And Vaisheshika Sutra clearly discuss about Gravity in the Sutras themselves.

However, rishi kanada who lived in 6th century BCE, himself wrote few of the sloka of Vaishesika Sutra, regarding the gravitation, which we see today.

Vaishesika Sutra discuss about role of Gravity in mainly two events:

1) Why does an object held fall when you let go?

आत्मकर्म हस्तसंयोगाश्च । (V.S. 5.1.6)
Action of body and it's members is also from conjunction with the hand.

संयोगभावे गुरुत्वात्पतनम (V.S. 5.1.7)
In the absence of conjunction falling results from Gravity.

2) Why does an object thrown in air fall after sometime?

नोदनाद्यभिषोः कर्म तत्कर्मकारिताच्च संस्कारादुत्तरं तथोत्तरमुत्तरं च ।। (V.S 5.1.17)
The first action of arrow is from impulse; the next is resultant energy produced by the first action, and similarly the next sloka

संस्काराभावे गुरुत्वात्पतनम (V.S. 5.1.18)

In the absence of resultant/propulsive energy generated by action, falling results from Gravity.

Rishi Varāhamihira who also supposed to be lived in 5th century BCE, mentioned the following shloka in his Surya Sidhanta 12th chapter 32 sloka-
मध्ये समन्तादण्डस्य भूगोलो व्योम्नि तिष्ठति ।
बिभ्राणः परमां शक्तिं ब्रह्मणो धारणात्मिकाम् ॥

This means: The spherical earth stands at the centre of earth in space due to a ENERGY which prevents earth from falling away and helps it to stand firm.

But what is that energy?

This term ‘energy’ was further defined in following shloka by Bhaskaracharya, a mathematician who lived in 12th century AD. In his book Sidhanta Shiromani, Bhaskaracharya had explained that energy and named it as gurutvakarshan shakti.

आकृष्टिशक्तिश्च महि तय यत्।
खष्ठं गुरु स्वभिमुखं स्वशक्त्या ॥
आकृष्यते तत्पततीव भाति।
समेसमन्तात् क्व पतत्वियं खे ॥

The meaning is that the energy within the ball of earth is aakrushti shakti “attraction”. Because of this attractive force, the earth pulls a piece of any thing in/on her(svastham) towards herself and this power is her own and natural to her. Because of this pull, every object on this earth appears to be falling down. Bhaskara did not stop here. He concludes the Sloka with the question, where can this earth fall down in space?

Also, Aryabhatta says in his text gitikapada, shloka 7 mentioned that , just as the smaller flowers of the Kadamba flower are tied to the center of the cluster, all the water living, the surface living and the sky living creatures are tied to the center of the earth. By this poetic expression, Aryabhatta of the 5th century AD, indicates that the center of gravity of the earth is at her own centre.

Apart from these several mantra in different veda states about the gravitational force.

Rigveda 8.12.28

यदा ते हर्यता हरी वावृधाते दिवेदिवे Ι
आदित् ते विश्वा भुवनानि येमिरे ΙΙ

“All planets remain stable because as they come closer to sun due to attraction, their speed of coming closer increases proportionately.”

Rigveda 8.12.30

यदा सूर्यममुं दिवि शुक्रं ज्योतिरधारय∶Ι
आदित् ते विश्वा भुवनानि येमिरे ΙΙ

O God! You have created this Sun which posses infinite power. You are uploading the Sun and the other spheres(planets) and you render them steadfast by your power of attraction.

Rigveda 1.35.9
हिरण्यपाणि∶ सविता विचर्षणिरुभे द्यावापृथिवी अन्तरीयते Ι
अपामीवां बाधते वेति सूर्यमभि कृष्णेन रजसा द्यामृणोति ΙΙ
Sun orbit in its orbit, holding earth and other heavenly bodies in such a manner that they do not collide with each other by force of attraction.

Atharvaveda 4.11.1
अनड्वान् दाधार पृथिवीमुत द्यामनड्वान् दाधारोर्वन्तरिक्षम् Ι
अनड्वान् दाधार प्रदिश∶ षडुवीर्रनड्वान् विश्वंभुवनमाविवेश ΙΙ
God(Sun) has held the Earth and other planets, the way a bull pulls a cart.

The Taittiriya branch of Krishna Yajurveda says -

मित्रोदाधार पृथिवीमुतद्याम । मित्रः कृष्टी: ।

This means, the sun is holding the earth in the space. The sun has the power of attraction (kristheeh) and shines without interruption. The word “Kristhee” in the above sentence is derived from the root “krish” which has no other meaning, but attraction. Saying that the sun is holding the earth in the space through his power of attraction, implies that the earth also is a body with a different type of force of attraction.

Unfortunately the tender plant of Vedic knowledge, which was resprouting during the days of medieval periods, faced several more deadly blows during the subsequent periods of history. As a result of this, we are deprived of that meager treasure also.