Thursday, November 17, 2005

Relativity in ancient India

Many of us today are aware of the theory of relativity, We think its a recent scientific thought. But sometime back I stumbled upon a story from an ancient Indian writing which clearly explains the relativity in simple terms. This book was written atleast 5000 years ago in ancient India. Here's the story.

Long time ago there lived a king who had a glorious daughter. He searched for a suitable groom for the princess and couldn't find one. So using his powers, he reaches Brahmaloka, the highest place in the Universe. When he reaches there a heavenly music was being played at Brahma's court. The king gets immersed in the music for a short time. When the music is stopped, the king consults with Brahma about who among his people will be a suitable groom for the princess. Brahma laughs at him and says, during your short visit here thousands of years (It's actually Yugas) have passed on Earth. Not even the name of your great grandsons are heard on Earth. Go to your place, The lord has taken birth as Krishna and Balarama. Balarama would be an ideal match for your daughter.

Though this story looks small, the definition of relativity of time discussed here is amazing. It's very similar to the twins paradox implied by general theory of relativity. To those who are curious of the science behind the story, the time flow depends upon the Space-Time curvature and space-time curvature is caused by gravity. so greater the curvature (gravity) greater is the space packed into it and greater the speed of time flow.

10 comments:

Giri said...

Its actually commented that a day in heavenly demons life is counted as a year in earthly life. I'm really amazed at this comparison in old literature.
Also similar to this there are lots of relevations in AandAl's PAasurams where she says
'VeLLi ezhundhu vyazhan UrangiTtru' in one of her chants.

This is a remarkable incident which happens once in 1000's of years. VeLli and Vyazhan(2 planets) criss-cross their periods once in this duration.And surprisingly it had happened during Aandal's period( I think its 300 AD sometime)

Ghost Particle said...

amazing corellations. Good job sourcing this sara.

A good mention too Giri.

Saravana Kumar said...

@giri - at first reading when you say a heavenly year equals a thousand human years, it gives an impression that those guys live for a longer period of time, but this story removes this assumption and states that time flows different at different places. btw giri, do you know if that Velli and Vyazhan thing has any significance astrologically ?? I strongly believe there should be ... don't know what it is

@gp - I know you would be interested in this post dude

senthil natarajan said...

awesome da......... din think that way....

Tamizhan said...

Dei miltry, Krishnan oda pesiniya? Avan thaan ipdi ellaam pesuvaan....

sathyus said...

militry thottute ma thotute.. we are all amazed at ur information speed... potu thaaku..ithuku than india la software company la irunthutu high speed intrenet vachika kudathu nu solaranga pola... :P but.. seriously good post...

dondu(#4800161) said...

"do you know if that Velli and Vyazhan thing has any significance astrologically ??"
Not so fast Saravanakumar, it is really tempting to read more into these things. It might also actually refer to the coming of Friday after Thursady. But seriously, I remember the writer Sujatha writing something to that effect and deriving the exact date of Thiruppavai.
Regards,
Dondu N.Raghavan
http://raghtransint.blogspot.com/

CR said...

Very nice.

bhattathiri said...

The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful state of affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today – and probably in enterprises in many other countries.

The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is one major difference. While Western management thought too often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.

The management philosophy emanating from the West is based on the lure of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in the abundant wealth of the West and so 'management by materialism' has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend. My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers, which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and anything Indian, is inferior.

The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the general quality of life - although the standards of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalization of institutions, social violence, exploitation and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.

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