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A Concise History of Science in India by D. M. Bose, S.N. Sen, B. V. Subbarayappa

By D. M. Bose, S.N. Sen, B. V. Subbarayappa

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Yaska's Nirukta is derived from the ancient nighanlavas, that is lexicographical works containing Vedic terms. Other well-known lexicons from which citations have come down to us include Katyayana's Ntimamiilii and Vya4i's Utpalini. The most important and exhaustive lexicographic work that we now possess is the Niimalingiinusiisana Of Amarasitpha, better known as Amarakosa. , 4 although Keith would place him after the eighth century. b The scientific importance of the work will be apparent from the fact that the first section gives names for sky, celestial space (atmosphere, planets and stars), regions, divisions of time, phases of the moon, eclipses, denizens of the underworld (serpents, poison).

And several others. ), Sivaditya's Saptapadiirthi (c. D. ). The rationalism of the Nyaya-Vai§e~ika realists has left its indelible marks on the physical concepts of the ancient and medieval Indians, in the development of atomism, an impetus theory of motion, nature and propagation of sound, classification of plants and animals and their various characteristics, and of a methodology by which to acquire true knowledge.

THE VEDIC LITERATURE The Vedic literature is the oldest Indian and also the most outstanding specimen of the earliest Indo-European literary effort. Unlike the canonical literature of other great religions, which often represents a complete collection worked out in some definite time, the Vedas are considered to be revealed (sruti) knowledge par excellence handed down from generation to generation by a unique method of oral transmission. g. ralJyakas-Upani~ads. Despite this classification, there is a great deal of unity and intermixture of materials among the three divisions.

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