There is much talk of the glories of ancient Hindu sciences in India today. Landmark discoveries in every field of science, from mathematics to medicine, are being credited to ancient scientists-sages of India. This book places such priority claims in a comparative global history of science. While fully acknowledging the substantial contributions of Indian geometers, mathematicians, physicians, artisans and craftsmen, it challenges their glorification for nationalistic purposes. It also questions the neo-Hindu scientization of yoga and Vedanta pioneered by Swami Vivekananda. Backed by the best available scholarship on history of science, this book offers a reading of history of Indian science without the hype that has come to surround it.
1. Who Discovered the Pythagorean Theorem?
2. Nothing That Is: Zero’s Fleeting Footsteps
3. Genetics, Plastic Surgery and Other Wonders of Ancient Indian Medicine
4. Yoga Scientized: How Swami Vivekananda rewrote Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra
References and Index
On the cover: The Welcome Ayurvedic Anatomical Man, circa 1700