The Indian culture and way of life has been popularized in recent years by Hollywood celebrities like Orlando Bloom and Uma Thurman, who both practice Buddhism. But celebrity attention to India doesn’t even come close to sharing the riches of Indian culture and history with the public. Long before other cultures began, India pioneered many of todays most important achievements. Before you continue, think about what you know about Ancient India achievements. Can you name any?
India pioneered many important scientific, medical, architectural and mathematical achievements that are still used today. Albert Einstein once quipped, “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”
- Ancient India was home to two of the world’s first cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. These cities had stone buildings, multiply stories, and sewage systems!
- India was one of the very first civilizations to use algebra and calculus.
- The number zero was invented in Ancient India by a man named Aryabhatta. Aryabhatta also created a decimal system that revolutionized arithmetic, algebra and trigonometry; discovered the earth moves around the sun and the moon orbits the earth; and more accurately estimated the Earth’s circumference than anyone in ancient Greece.
- Sushruta, who some call “The Father of Surgery and Ophthalmology” not only wrote a complete volume of ophthalmologic diseases which included signs, symptoms, prognosis, and interventions but he also performed some of the very first cataract surgeries in the world.
In addition to scientific achievements, Ancient India was the birthplace of two of today’s most widely practiced religions, Hinduism and Buddhism.
- Hinduism has given us “karma” a term popularly used today. It is the energy you create when you do something that is either right or wrong. Your karma determines what you will come back as in your next life. This is known as reincarnation.
- Buddhists believe in the state of Nirvana, or enlightenment. Nirvana is achieved when a person is free of suffering and all worldly problems.
How much did you already know? Discuss below! And learn more about Ancient India with our song, “It Goes Round and Round.” It’s all about Ancient India achievements and history. And when you’re done, explore more of our Ancient History offerings.