[Advaita-l] Adi Sankara knew Earth is round and rotating

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 01:20:23 CST 2011

In Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy, Richard Thomson (Sadaputa Dasa) argues
that when all objects are moving relative to each other it is admissible to
have one of them as fixed and trace the movements of the others around the
chosenfixed object. He uses his mathematical training (Ph.D. from Cornell)
to show that the sun going on a chariot around the earth tallies perfectly
well. He even defends the view of Bhagavatham (5th Canto) that the moon is
farther from earth than the sun based on a concept of planar heights. He
also accounts for the oceans of liquor, salt water, milk etc. around the
earth, elephants & tortoise and the inverted mount meru. Danvir Goswami has
translated the commentaries of ten acharyas on the 5th canto of
bhagavatham, which describes the struture of the universe. His disciples
have made an animation movie showing all the stars going around Dhruva
nakshatra as described in bhagavatham but using modern astronomical data.

IMO, if earth were to be hit by an asteroid hundred years from now and we
had to escape to another planet, we will use modern astronomy and not surya
siddhanta or puranas though we appreciate the profound thoughts there. We
may even carry our copies of these texts in an embedded chip in our bodies
when we fly out so that we can pursue dharma and attain moksha there.

The sastras are authorities on dharma and moksha not what is better
revealed through pratyaksha and anumana. We see that they used the concepts
and constructs of their time. In some respects, we have better tools for
pratyaksha and anumana today to study medicine or astronomy and should
embrace the improvements instead of insisting that our ancients knew it
all. I am happy to be corrected.

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 10:04 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> But if we know our place in Earth is going from Day to Night we can
> easily say Sun is not rising and setting but we think Sun is rising
> and setting.
> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> I do agree, but I was just talking about the saNdarbha of that bhAshya
> vAkya nothing else. But if we see the astronomical siddhAnta-s as
> accounted in works like sUrya siddhAnta etc. our pUrvaja-s were of the
> opinion that earth is stationary, a fixed object in the space and other
> planets, including sUrya doing rounds around earth :-))  I think jyOtisha
> shAstra too is based on these assumed planetary movements.  And if we see
> the taitereeyAraNyaka pratha prashna maNtra-s (aruNa prashna) and
> Rigvedeeya mahA saUra and atharavaNi sUryOpanishat etc. even our veda-s
> too believe the mobility of Sun around the earth and sUrya is a
> personified God in vedic lore.  More details can be found in  Aditya
> hrudaya, atharvaNi sUryOpanishat, purANokta sUrya stOtra etc.
> Hari Hari Hari bol!!!
> bhaskar
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