Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In Pursuit of Ancient Wisdom

From childhood, I have often had this thought. What would happen if one fine day every single amenity and technology disappeared from our lives? Or just got destroyed? Maybe in a cataclysmic event like a nuclear war? Can anyone of us survive such an event?

Perhaps the only ones who will survive are the tribal people, the hunter-gatherers. These people would then have tales to tell about this one magnificent set of human beings who could travel via air, water and even travel to other planets. The ones among us who survive would try their best to preserve what they had learned so that our future generations could benefit from it.

I think such an event has happened some time in earth’s history already. Do you wonder what makes me think so?

 I am a civil engineer and I am awed by the structures constructed by the Pharaohs, the Greeks, and the ancient Indians. We find so many mysterious, enormous and magnificent megalithic structures spread all over the world that baffle modern architects.

If we dive through the archives of ancient knowledge, we find so many statements which were considered as superstitions. Modern science is now accepting many of them as truths.

In every religion around the world, we have flood myths. About a devastating flood which destroyed the world as it was from which only a handful survived. That these people conserved whatever they could manage and gave birth to a new civilization.

Our epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata talk about interplanetary travel, wars fought in the skies and advanced medical skills like immortality and plastic surgery. Plato talks about the Atlantis which was struck down by the Gods because it was defying the rules of God by playing around with his creation. The Atlantis was submerged in the ocean. So was Dwaraka.

Are these really the products of a highly imaginative writer or a story teller?

I don’t think so.

Have we lost an entire civilization, which was technologically advanced, to some cataclysmic event?

The idea for this post was triggered by many things. The first was a visit to Belur-Halebidu temples which are amazing creations by the ancients.

Belur Chennakesava Temple (Image Source)

 Built in the 12th century, the beauty and intricacy of the carvings done on rock are unbelievable. Even today, with the latest technologies, it would be nearly impossible to achieve such perfection. They are not as ancient compared to many other structures elsewhere in the world, but somewhere in the stories scribbled in those statues, a lost legacy pleads for attention.
The second was Vedic mathematics. Mathematics always fascinated me, but I was never good at mental mathematics. I rely heavily on my calculator. Recently I came to know about Vedic mathematics. The many tips and tricks make calculations easy-peasy.

The third was Ayurveda. Miracle cures done using Ayurveda baffles modern science. Again, something which has roots somewhere in the Vedic period.

Many historians believe the Vedic period had a scientifically, culturally and medically advanced civilization. What happened to those technological advancements?

The flood myths answer all that and more.  

Maybe instead of dismissing our scriptures and epics as products of a highly imaginative mind or just as belonging to a specific religion, we should dive through them searching for lost knowledge.

The fourth and most impactful one was Graham Hancock, whose documentaries search for lost civilizations of the past. They make me believe that some cataclysmic event in the past of earth’s history, forced man to start everything from scratch.

Graham Hancock believes an advanced human civilization existed all over the earth some eleven thousand years ago. A meteor crashing onto the north American ice-plates caused the ocean water levels to increase and plunged the world into an icy darkness.  Some of the brilliant minds that survived that horrific event tried to preserve knowledge in whatever way they could, yet most of it got lost somewhere in the race to just survive in a suddenly wild and untamed earth.

Recent archeological discoveries proving that such a civilization did exist. In Turkey a huge ancient temple, Gobekli Tepe has been discovered which is 11600 years old. In Gunung Padang in Indonesia a 22000 year old pyramid has been discovered. We all know the ruins of the ancient city of Dwaraka has been found submerged in the ocean.

Can we now really be so arrogant to ignore archaeological marvels, ancient knowledge from the past and wait for science to prove our scriptures true?

Or should we start believing in what our Vedas and other ancient books of wisdom preach?

What is your take on this?



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