India, the land of Rishi Munis is the birthplace of Vedic Science. It is the exploration of nature and its laws. The knowledge gathered by Vedas strongly relies on experience through our senses. An array of traditional practices like; Indian Mathematics, Hindu units of measurements, Ayurveda (the study of ancient Indian medicine), Dhanurveda (ancient Indian martial arts), Yoga, etc have been formed by applying the principles of Vedic Science. For example, to measure the weight of wheat, rice people used Ratti seeds, and the length was measured with the help of arm and width was measured by their fingers.
Medicines were made by natural herbs for example tulsi(holy basil), sandalwood, neem, turmeric, etc and fractured joints were treated by wooden splints. Since Treta Yug (as recorded in Ramayana), when Lord Lakshman was injured during the war. He was treated with a medicinal herb called Sanjeevani buti.
In the classical period of Indian mathematics (400 AD to 1200 AD), important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata (founder of number zero), Brahmgupta, Bhaskara II, and Varahamihira. Decimal System has said to be recorded in Indian mathematics first.
The word Yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. It was developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago.
The above-mentioned traditions have been formed by following six major disciplines of Vedic Science; Shiksha, Shiksha, Vyakarana, Nirukta, Jyotisha, and Kalpa based on developments in Vedas. These are called Vedangas, or limbs of Vedic Science.
Following are the six major disciplines –
Developed by Gurukuls (schools in India during ancient times), Shiksha is the Vedic Study of sound, accent, melody, stress, and guidelines of the euphonic match of words during a Vedic recitation. This discipline helped in preserving the Vedas and Upnishashadhs as the pillars of Hinduism since ancient times.
Chandas is the study of poetic meters and verse in Sanskrit. This discipline holds utmost importance in the composition of Vedas, the scriptural pillars of Hinduism. As developed by Gurukuls, the system is organized around seven meters, that is; Gayatri, Ushnik, Anushtup, Brihati, Pandit, Trishtup, Jagati. These are also known as “seven birds” or “seven mouths of Brihaspati”, each of them have their own rhythm, aesthetic and movement.
Vyakarana is the grammatical analysis and the linguistic conventions that create, polish, and helps a writer or a reader to express and discriminate accurate language respectively. Panini’s Astadhayayi is an important surviving text of Vyakarana.
Nirukta is a discipline that studies the correct interpretation of Sanskrit words in the Vedas. It is an organized creation of a glossary, similar to a dictionary that helps understand Vedic terms. This discipline was studied because a lot of words mentioned in the Vedic texts appear only once.
Jyotisha is the discipline that predicts and tracks the astronomical bodies in order to keep time. It helps in fixing days and hours of Vedic rituals and practices. Jyotisha also refers to Hindu astrology, a field that was popularized in the millennium when Greek astrology came into the subcontinent along with Alexander the Great. Both Hindu and Greek zodiac signs are nearly identical.
Kalpa focuses on ceremonies and procedures associated with Vedic rituals and practices. These include rituals associated with main life events such as birth, death, marriage within the family, duties to be carried out by an individual during their life. One of the mantras in Rig Veda is “Apah Shantih Oshadhayah Shantih Vanaspatayah Shantih” which means, I meditate on the peace which pervades the Apah(Water), Oshadhi(Herbs), and Vanaspati(Tree).
Vedic science is not just an ancient science, it is our past and present too. We have to remember that while modern science has evolved only in the past 500 years, there are ancient civilizations that have lived for thousands of years continuously, so there are greater possibilities that they knew much better than us.