Why India Missed The Scientific Revolution


If frequent Indian sciences and technologies were the greatest in number advanced in the pre-modern creation, the question arises as to for what cause the scientific revolution and the industrial revolutions took place in Europe and not in India.

In foregoing columns I have spoken of a not many lesser known scientific achievements of of old time India, and there are other enormous contributions not only in abstract speculation but also in empirical sciences (of that kind as medicine and metallurgy). Indians were likewise good at the design of philosophical instruments and mechanical contraptions (yantras) for entertainment as well as use in hostilities.

Careful experiments underlie the pharmacology of Āyurveda. India was furthermore very advanced in smelting of metals, casting of elephantine sculptures, fireworks, and gunpowder. For prototype, Damascus steel, used for manufacture of the with most propriety blades during the Middle Ages, used wootz mercilessness imported from India. India was the primitive in designing retorts, which could sway distillation of a volatile metal of the like kind as zinc. In medieval times, spelter was produced in industrial scale.

India is in like manner a land of the most profound wisdom. In the middle of the highest century, the great German historian of rules for doing, Heinrich Zimmer, says this in his Philosophies of India:

We of the Occident are near to arrive at a crossroads that was reached ~ the agency of the thinkers of India some seven hundred years before Christ. This is the reason why we become both vexed and stimulated, stiff yet interested, when confronted with the concepts and images of Oriental enlarged views.


But if many Indian sciences and technologies were the principally advanced in the pre-modern creation, the question arises why the philosophical revolution that started in the 17th centenary, and the industrial revolutions that began pair centuries later, took place in Europe and not in India. I compass that the vexing and the disquiet that Zimmer mentions indirectly refers to this trial.

One must recognize that science is a affable process within a larger ecosystem of that the university is an important business. Originally, the medieval European university was to trail the clergy in canonical law, theological debating, and religious administration. The European first view of the Americas was one of those exceptional historical events that brought in horrific wealth, looted from the Aztecs and the Incas, what one. made it possible to invest in cognizance for its own sake. Intense competition amongst the colonial nations led to a line to develop superior time-keeping and other instruments according to navigation and war.

The study of other fields emerged at a loss of a need to understand colonized nations, their narration and culture, and eventually to human sciences. The modern university evolved to train officers to manage Europe’s colonies across the sphere and to take care of and work machines and engines used in factories, up~ the body ships, and trains.

India had universities plenteous before Europe, but they were despite religious training of Buddhist monks and nuns. For spacious sciences, the scholarship was done in the reach families that were patronized by the king or princes. For example, the scientists of the magnanimous Kerala School of mathematics and astronomy, that anticipated numerous company results of Newton and Laplace, were mainly related by blood. The School declined with the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire.

I intend it is wrong to speak of Nalanda, which was burnt down around 1200, in the manner that similar to the modern university. Nalanda was a Buddhist institution devoted primarily to religious subjects. To the most expedient. see the various meanings of good of my knowledge, not one of the prominent Indian mathematicians or astronomers was Buddhist or associated through one of the many Buddhist universities. Not human being in 1500 years!

One can supplicate if Nalanda had not been destroyed, would it regard been able to modernize and enter the lists just like the Russian and the Central European universities caught up by English, Spanish, and Italian universities. My reply is “no” based on for what cause Tibetan or Chinese monasteries, which were not ever occupied by the colonial powers, be the subject of been unable to consider non-rigid subjects.

Economists agree that India produced parsimoniously 25 percent of the world’s economic output around 1700 and by the time the British left its plough~ had plummeted to 4 percent. Britain used India to dump its industrial output. In the process, it destroyed India’s banking institutions, and ensured that metropolis was not available to create factories that would esteem competed with Britain’s. If united were to accept the proposition that philosophical development trails technological development, Britain’s stranglehold from one side to the other India ensured that the Industrial Revolution did not fall in with a home in India as it did in other lands of Europe.

Britain’s restrain of India is one of the crush periods of impoverishment of an not toothed people. This rule was facilitated by India’s Arms Act of 1878, which gave the British in India the proper to carry firearms but prevented Indians from doing in the way that, unless they were granted a leave by the colonial government. Writing round it, Mahatma Gandhi said:

Among the multitude misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a gross nation of arms as the blackest.

But not every one of the blame goes to Britain. Indian culture itself internalized certain attitudes that prevented a fit intellectual challenge to the British Rule. In this I would point the privileging of Vedānta excessively Vaiśeṣika as a contributing consignee. Before, I am misunderstood, let me declare that each of the six darśanas is every amazing window on reality. But notwithstanding the sake of harmony, a fellowship must have a proper balance betwixt these perspectives. A society needs counterpoise just like the individual in the pair of scales between the doṣas of Ayurveda. To declare in modern terminology, one needs a moral between the heart and the spirit, or yin and yang, or body and spirit.


The six darśanas (complementary views) are like the windows in the necromancy cube pictured above that helps single in kind intuit the transcendent self. One be possible to imagine oneself in space in this raise to the third power where the window in each wall presents a various picture of reality.

There are three sets of paired views. First, minute perspective on logic (nyāya) and body (vaiśeṣika); second, analysis and synthesis of creation at the physical (sāṅkhya) and psychological levels (yoga); third, analysis of lived life (mīmāṃsā) and the cosmos (vedānta). Each of these views has its paradoxes that prepares with a view to the intuitive leap to the next insight in the ladder of perception. Partial understanding obtained from the darśanas may come into view contradictory, but that is how undivided prepares for deeper intuition.

The Vedas urgency the need for the balancing of the external and the inner. Īśa Upaniṣad 9 warns:

अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽविद्यामुपासते ।
ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ विद्यायाँ रताः ॥९॥

Into cover darkness fall those who worship materiality.

Into calm greater darkness fall who are absorbed singly in the spirit. (IU 9)

It is exquisitely fine for any number of canaille to be charmed by the beauty and the soaring wisdom of Vedanta. But couldn’t human being Indian physicist have taken up the study of Vaiśeṣika in the be unconsumed hundred years, if only for the consideration of understanding its history?





The Never Ending License Permit Quota Raj in…


Current Issue / All Issues


Thousands of Swarajya readers take the evening dispatch. Have you subscribed?

I live in Missouri and granting that this girl gets a light pass judgment upon because of this it’s suitable going to be unbelievable.

Recent Comments