Are there any references to Gravity or any fundamental forces in Hindu Scriptures viz. Vedas, Upanishands and Puranas or any Scientific Vedic Scriptures?
1You may find this interesting. It is not about gravity but time. I is from Bhagabatam cant remember the exact number. God has created the universe (the material universe) but none of its matters was reacting to each other. Then god enter himself as time (kaal).– SisirFeb 7, 2016 at 9:42
@Sisir Thanks for comment. Now i know some info about "time in Hindu scriptures". I want references about Gravity and other fundamental forces.– The Destroyer ♦Feb 7, 2016 at 9:50
1Anil- an interesting reading for you kamakoti.org/kamakoti/details/bhagvatpurana24.html . Lord Narayana used his ojas shakti to place the heavenly bodies in their orbits. He uses his sahas shakti to keep them in place across time. So Narayana's sahas may probably be likened to gravity.– user1195Aug 17, 2016 at 2:42
Its sankarsha sakthi which holds the planet together its mentioned in vedas and puranas. Sankarsha otherwise mordern sceintific term is Gravity, one which pull down...The lord is Anantha serpent which always moves through the surface. So Sankashna is also called sesha or when every thing is destroyed in the universe in pralaya but the gravity is still remaining tha is why Adi Seshsa. Sesha is leftover remains– Prasanna RJan 20 at 7:09
Universe sit on top of sesha– Prasanna RJan 20 at 7:41
Due to the dominance of Vedanta school in present time, Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is often seen only in the light of Vedanta. If we go with respect to doctrines, Vedanta is only a small part of philosophies of Sanatana Dharma.
Sanatana Dharma is mainly represented by six philosophies like Vedanta, Mimamsa, Nyaya etc.. Among the six school of philosophy, Vaishesika is one of them. Vaisheshika philosophy was founded by Maharsi Kanada.
Just as Vedanta is represented by Brahma Sutra in a concise manner, Vaishesika philosophy is concised by Vaishesika Sutra. Vaishesika Sutra are very old texts. Even the western indologists date it to older than 500 BCE. And Vaisheshika Sutra clearly discuss about Gravity in the Sutras themselves.
Vaishesika Sutra discuss about role of Gravity in mainly three events:
1) Why does an object held fall when you let go?
To describe this first of all Sutra 5.1.6 states:
आत्मकर्म हस्तसंयोगाश्च ।
Action of body and it's members is also from conjunction with the hand.
As the above Sutra describes that it is due to conjunction with hand object remains. Then the next Sutra describes that in the absence of conjuction falling results due to Gravity.
संयोगभावे गुरुत्वात्पतनम (V.S. 5.1.7)
In the absence of conjunction falling results from Gravity.
Thus it clearly recognizes objects fall downward due to Gravity.
2) Why does an object thrown in air fall after sometime?
Then Vaishesika Sutra discuss role of Gravity in falling of moving objects. It gives through the analogy of arrow. First it gives mechanism of arrow projection in Sutra 5.1.17
नोदनाद्यभिषोः कर्म तत्कर्मकारिताच्च संस्कारादुत्तरं तथोत्तरमुत्तरं च ।।
The first action of arrow is from impulse; the next is resultant energy produced by the first action, and similarly the next next.
Then it explains why it falls in next Sutra.
संस्काराभावे गुरुत्वात्पतनम (V.S. 5.1.18)
In the absence of resultant/propulsive energy generated by action, falling results from Gravity.
3) Why does water fall (and rise) ?
Then the Sutras discuss cause of falling of water from sky.
अपां संयोगाभावे गुरुत्वात्पतनम (V.S. 5.2.3)
The falling of water in absence of conjunction is due to Gravity.
Then it discusses flow of water.
द्रवथ्वास्यन्दनम् (V.S. 5.2.4)
Flowing results from fludity.
Then it discusses why water rises.
नाड्यो वायुसंयोगादारोहणम् ।(V.S. 5.2.5)
The Suns rays (cause) the ascent of water through conjunction with air.
Thus from above Sutras, we can acknowledge that Vaisheshika Sutra clearly discuss Gravity. It uses the word "Gurutwa" which is also used in present time to represent Gravity. Gurutwa means force which arises due to mass.
However Vedanta School in Vedanta Sutra/ Brahma Sutra doesn't discuss about Gravity. In my view it is because it doesn't think Gravity is a worthy thing to be discussed as Vedanta Sutra are related to realization of Brahman and topics like Gravity aren't worthy to be discussed in Brahma Sutras.
One can read Vaisheshika Sutras with translation here.
4With all due respect sir, these are hardly insightful. Even without knowledge of gravity, everyone knows that things fall downwards on the earth. We can give all these phenomena whatever fancy names we want, but that does not mean we discovered the concept of gravity. Nor, is saying that gravity is a energy or force, makes us any wiser until we know what force is. Did the vaiseshikas mention that whatever thing pulls an object towards earth, that same thing also keeps moon and earth in orbits? If not, please allow me to say that the above sutras are not related to the concept of gravity.– user23407Jun 1, 2021 at 8:27
3@zero 1) question asks about references to gravity which is answered. Also sutras by nature are like seeds can be pretty insightful to someone while someone might not understand at all. 2)Even without knowledge of fire everyone knows it burns but still our Vedas describe Agni 3) It is not a fancy name it is properly defined as 'Gurutva'. See etymology. It means which comes from mass. It's not called something like Indratva(electric) 4)It might make one wiser also. Kanada is wise Rishi. 5)By anumana on above sutras it's the same thing 6)yes these above concepts describe how water boils, agreed!– TezzJun 1, 2021 at 10:20
Sir, again, not to stretch the argument but 3) I checked etymology and heaviness or weight is one of the meanings mentioned (I do not know if ancient vaiseshikas has a concept of mass), the key to the concept of gravity is the understanding that it acts between any two masses, while I only see objects falling on to earth being mentioned above.– user23407Jun 1, 2021 at 10:50
The Sanskrit dictionaries I checked give "weight" or "heaviness" as some possible meanings of gurutva. To me, it appears that, गुरुत्वात्पतनम in the sutras means falling due to weight or falling due to heaviness. Of course, if any pre-Newtonian commentator interpreted it in terms of "gravity", I will stand corrected.– user23407Jun 1, 2021 at 11:23
Its comical to see someone hardly aware about gravity themselves arguing about others knowing gravity. Brother, for starters, gravity is not a force, it is mentioned like a force for the sake of newbies trying to understand universe. Gravity is an effect because of warped continuum of space time that is warped in the first place because of weight of an object. Read relativity in detail instead of reading school books on gravity. Kanada is way wiser and you would need Phd to even begin to understand his notes. Newton himself wasn't able to explain why gravity is. It was Einstein who explained.– ZekeJun 16, 2022 at 8:55
MOTION OF EARTH
Rig Veda 10.22.14
“This earth is devoid of hands and legs, yet it moves ahead. All the objects over the earth also move with it. It moves around the sun.
In this mantra,
Kshaa = Earth (refer Nigantu 1.1) Ahastaa = without hands Apadee = without legs Vardhat = moves ahead Shushnam Pari = Around the sun Pradakshinit = revolves
Rig Veda 10.149.1
“The sun has tied Earth and other planets through attraction and moves them around itself as if a trainer moves newly trained horses around itself holding their reins.”
In this mantra,
Savita = Sun Yantraih = through reins Prithiveem = Earth Aramnaat = Ties Dyaam Andahat = Other planets in sky as well Atoorte = Unbreakable Baddham = Holds Ashwam Iv Adhukshat = Like horses
Rig Veda 8.12.28
“All planets remain stable because as they come closer to sun due to attraction, their speed of coming closer increases proportionately.”
In this Mantra,
Yada Te = When they Haryataa = Come closer through attraction Hari = Closeness Vaavridhate = Increases proportionately Divedive = continuously Vishwa Bhuvani = planets of the world Aditte = eventually Yemire = remain stable
Rig Veda 1.6.5, Rig Veda 8.12.30
“O God, You have created this Sun. You possess infinite power. You are upholding the sun and other spheres and render them steadfast by your power of attraction.
Yajur Veda 33.43
“The sun moves in its own orbit in space taking along with itself the mortal bodies like earth through force of attraction.”
Rig Veda 1.35.9
“The sun moves in its own orbit but holding earth and other heavenly bodies in a manner that they do not collide with each other through force of attraction.
Rig Veda 1.164.13
“Sun moves in its orbit which itself is moving. Earth and other bodies move around sun due to force of attraction, because sun is heavier than them.
Atharva Veda 4.11.1
“The sun has held the earth and other planets”
LIGHT OF MOON
Rig Veda 1.84.15
“The moving Moon always receives a ray of light from sun”
Rig Veda 10.85.9
“Moon decided to marry. Day and Night attended its wedding. And sun gifted his daughter “Sun ray” to Moon.”
Rig Veda 5.40.5
“O Sun! When you are blocked by the one whom you gifted your own light (moon), then earth gets scared by sudden darkness.”
1Is there any particular Sanskrit word for "Gravity" other that those words which have meaning "attraction".– The Destroyer ♦Oct 21, 2015 at 5:44
2@AnilKumar गुरुत्व means Gravity in Sanskrit find here spokensanskrit.de/… but this is not mention above mantra– BhavinOct 21, 2015 at 6:00
5@iammilind It's true that in general relativity, gravity is just a distortion of the spacetime metric rather than a force. But general relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics, and it's generally agreed that the resolution to that incompatibility is that gravity really is a force, and that the fact that it seems like a distortion in spacetime is just an artifact of certain symmetries of the gravitational field. (I'm keeping the math at a minimum in this comment since I don't know your background.) Oct 21, 2015 at 15:48
1-1: @BhavinChhatrola, from where did you get the translation of the Vedic verses? Rig-Veda 1.35.9 tr. by Griffith from sacred-texts.com has a completely different meaning: 9. The golden-handed Savitar, far-seeing, goes on his way between the earth and heaven, Drives away sickness, bids the Sun approach us, and spreads the bright sky through the darksome region. Dec 3, 2015 at 23:58
1@BhavinChhatrola Could you please tell me where did you get translation for Rig Veda 10.22.14 ? . Here is the one from Griffiths translation says "That Earth, through power of knowing things that may be known, handless and footless yet might thrive, Thou slewest, turning to the right, gu;na for every living man."– tekkkDec 4, 2015 at 6:27
RigVeda Hymn 1.35.9
हिरण्यपाणिः सविता विचर्षणिर उभे दयावाप्र्थिवी अन्तर ईयते | अपामीवाम बाधते वेति सूर्यम अभि कर्ष्णेन रजसा दयाम रणोति ||
हिरण्यपाणिः ...the golden-handed; सविता...sun; विचर्षणिर...very active or busy; उभे...fills; ईयते...so large; अन्तर...distance; दयावाप्र्थिवी... heaven and earth सूर्यम...sun; बाधते...drive away; अपामीवाम...disease; वेति...sets in motion; रणोति अभि...penetrates through; कर्ष्णेन रजसा...removes dark; दयाम... via compassion
The golden-handed Sun, the active, fills (with his rays) the large distance between the earth and heaven. He (the sun) drives away sickness, sets things in motion, penetrates through and removes darkness via his compassion.
There is definitely a hint to gravity here.
Yes, it is mentioned.
1)Why tides occurse?
Vishnu puran 2:4:89
“अन्यूनानतिरीक्ताश्च वर्धन्यापो हसंती च उदयास्तमनेष्विन्दो: पक्षयो: शुक्लकृष्णयो:” It holds Moon responsible for water’s ‘up & down (tide)’.
According to modern science, moon attracts water through it's gravity it means Hindus knew about gravity.
2)Why objects fall?
संयोगभावे गुरुत्वात्पतनम Every objects fall due to gravity in abscense of conjunction.
3)Gravity of sun
Praśnopaniṣad 3.8 and Śaṅkarācārya's commentary make a reference to gravity.
आदित्यो ह वै बाह्यः प्राण उदयत्येष ह्येनं चाक्शुषं प्राणमनुगृह्णानः ।
पृथिव्यां या देवता सैषा पुरुषस्यअपानमवष्टभ्यान्तरा यदाकाशः स समानो वायुर्व्यानः ॥ ८ ॥
ādityo ha vai bāhyaḥ prāṇa udayatyeṣa hyenaṃ cākśuṣaṃ prāṇamanugṛhṇānaḥ |
pṛthivyāṃ yā devatā saiṣā puruṣasyaapānamavaṣṭabhyāntarā yadākāśaḥ sa samāno vāyurvyānaḥ || 8 ||
8. The sun, indeed, is the external prâna. He rises favouring the prâna in the eye. So the goddess of the earth attracts the apâna downwards. The âkâsa between is samâna. The wind is vyâna.
Com. — The sun is the well-known outward Prâna among the Dêvâs. He rises and by his light favours this prâna, lodged in the eye of the body, i.e., helps it with luminosity in the perception of forms. Similarly the well-known goddess presiding over earth, attracts or controls the activity of the apâna in the purusha and favours its action by pulling downwards; for, otherwise, this body, owing to its weight, may fall down, or being unimpeded, may fly up. The air in the âkâsa, in the middle, i.e., between the earth and heaven (by the word âkâsa, the wind in it is denoted, as those in a cot are denoted by the word cot) is samâna, i.e., favours samâna, samâna resembling it, in the fact of being enclosed within the âkâsa in the middle. The external wind, vâyu, generally because it resembles vyâna in pervading, favours vyâna. This is the drift.
1I think the only reference to gravity is "this body, owing to its weight, may fall down". The rest of the passage is about how Bhumidevi goddess of the Earth regulates the flow of air, so that the body does not fall dead due to no air flowing and also the body doesn't float due to too much air flow. It's not saying that Bhumidevi is responsible for gravity. Sep 20, 2016 at 4:46
OP only wanted to know if there is a reference to gravity. Clearly, there is a reference here no matter how you interpret it. Yes, rest of the commentary is about air, but that is not what I highlighted in the answer. 'being unimpeded, may fly up' - is also a reference to gravity. Sep 20, 2016 at 5:04
Gravity wasn't about the fact that objects fall to the Earth when unsupported. Everyone knew that.
The discovery was important because it was a unification of various phenomena observed - The whole point was that the force that leads to an apple falling to the earth was the same force that kept the moon in its orbit!
Gravity is so much more than just attraction or causation of various phenomena! Newton's law theorizes the proportionality of the force to masses of the objects, that the attractive force follows the inverse square law - the fact that every massive object attracts every other massive object - the apple is attracting the Earth too! Einstein in general relativity says so much more than all this!
Based on all the other answers here and a clear understanding of gravity, it is very clear that NO, gravity - as the unifying force of the cosmos - isn't referenced in any hindu scriptures.
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