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Lets see some Vedic quotes which says earth is static.

  • Oh Man ! He who made the trembling earth static is Indra. (Rig Ved 2/12/12)
  • The God who made the earth stable (Yajur Ved 32/6)
  • Indra protects the wide earth which is immovable and has many forms (Atarv Ved 12/1/11)

  • Let us walk on the Wide and Static earth (Atharv Ved 12/1/17)

Is this correct? If not, what is the actual meaning of these verses?

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3 Answers 3

Ancient Hindu spelled out concept of Heliocentric Universe as long back as Rigveda, which by conservative estimates can be traced to ~2000 BCE.

This hymn in Rigveda explains my position,

Upon this five-spoked wheel revolving ever all living creatures rest and are dependent. Its axle, heavy-laden, is not heated: the nave from ancient time remains unbroken. RV 1.164.13

Explanation: The five -spoked wheel is the 'Earth' and five spokes refer to the five climatic regions, 2 frigid, 2 temperate and the tropical zone. The revolution is the spinning of Earth about it's axis and which remains un-heated even after innumerable rotations.

High on the forehead of the Bull one chariot wheel ye ever keep, The other round the sky revolves. RV 1.30.19

Explanation: The Bull here is the Dasyu (sky) and the sun is the 'forehead of sky'. The wheel on the other hand, is the orbital motion of Sun.

For other hymns which conceptualize heliocentric universe, refer The Celestial Key to the Vedas.

Note that these concepts were purely based on observations and hence mythology and astronomy was amalgamated as seen never before. This was the main reason, in my opinion for the usage of 'strange' words.

The hymns OP quoted uses words like 'trembling', 'static' and 'immovable' with respect to Earth. These words describes the 'relative stability' of earth when compared to other terrestrial objects like trees and rock. For a casual observer, Earth is still and it feels only trembling when there's an earthquake.

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This is my idea!

Keeping Earth static may mean giving stability or gravity to earth which makes life possible. It may also seem like the Earth is making balance between the centripetal and centrifugal forces.

Vedas said that sun is the center of universe and all planets revolve & rotate around the sun and also, Moon shines because of the Sun!

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First of all, we can not believe translations to Sanskrit language as such. Even sanskrit experts have difficulties in defining the meaning of some words. And here is my explanation for your specific question. Let me answer this using your quotes itself.

The very first quote is against the earth static view.

  • Oh Man ! He who made the trembling earth static is Indra. (Rig Ved 2/12/12)

Just give proper look at this sentence and get what is the meaning of this sentence. This is an exclamatory sentence where it is emphasizing the power of Indra. The sentence simply means the Indra is powerful enough to make the trembling and moving earth still. That means rigveda is sure about it's movement. So the first quote proves that the static theorem which you pointed is wrong.

  • The God who made the earth stable (Yajur Ved 32/6)

The word 'stable' does not mean the earth is still, it do have a lot other meanings which are more suitable.

  • Indra protects the wide earth which is immovable and has many forms (Atarv Ved 12/1/11)

'Immovable' means which can not be moved by a force. That does not mean it is static. The text could be from a point of view from a common man, for him it is certainly immovable. Isn't it?

  • Let us walk on the Wide and Static earth (Atharv Ved 12/1/17)

The only quote which has a word 'static' is this one(and the question is up with the helping hand from this quote only). As this is only a translation, this one also can not be counted as a relevant one to be put forward the static earth view in the question.

And please see the synonyms of static: unchanged, fixed, stable, steady, unchanging, changeless, unvarying, invariable, constant, consistent, uniform, undeviating

Also as mentioned in the other answers here, vedas known that earth is round and it is rotating around sun ages before the modern scientists.

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