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Biological Achievements of Ancient India


Medical science was far advanced during ancient times of the Vedas, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. It is proved with evidence that Cloning, which is supposed to be the highest achievement of the modern world, was done in Vedic era to produce a horse ‘Hari’ and a cow ‘Wishwaroopa’. The cow was cloned from the skin of a cow, similar to the modern cloning of a lamb ‘Dolly’, from an udder of a sheep. Human clones were developed, even from a dead man. Cloning from layers of skin and from drops of blood was done. Test tube babies were prepared. Parthenogenesis was performed producing six male children. From an aborted embryo 101 full grown children were produced. Chamasa was divided to make four animals from a single fertilized ovum. In vitro development of foetuses was carried out.

Life science was fully studied, so the sages knew about the chromosomes which were termed as ‘Gunawidhi’.(Mahabharata Shanti 308) This is a perfectly scientific term; because these principles control the characters i.e. ‘Guna’ and also ‘Widhi’, the functions, of a person. Even the chromosome number 23, specific for human beings is recorded, in the Mahabharata and the Bhagawata. It is also stated that these principles give rise to genetic diseases. A list of genetic diseases is given in the Mahabharata, which is similar to the list in the modern science. Bhagawata (3/6/1-7) has recorded that these 23 Gunavidhi of a male gamete enter the female gamete and unite with her 23 Gunavidhi to stimulate them so that a zygote is formed. Then the zygote, which is termed as ‘Kalala’, goes on dividing once, ten times, three times. It means that the cell divides once to give rise to two cells. This happens ten times so that two raised to the power of ten cells form. This happens thrice, at three layers namely Endoderm, Mesoderm and Ectoderm. This multiplication produces two raised to the power of thirty cells, which are really present in a newborn baby, according to the modern science.

How could the sages achieve such a vast and microscopic knowledge? All the stages of growth of an embryo are given in the Bhagawata commencing from the first day up to the full term. These stages concur with those proved by modern science, and some times supercede the modern science. Bhagawata records that heart of a foetus begins its work in the second month of pregnancy. This fact was unknown to the modern science till December 1972. Medical science presumed till then, that the foetal heart began in the fifth month of pregnancy, but then with the use of Disonar apparatus it was confirmed that the foetal heart begins in the second month of pregnancy. This is now well known due to ultrasonography. Aitareya Upanishad, which is composed in about 6000 B.C., much earlier than the Bhagawata [of 1652 B.C.] also states the same fact.

The Bhagawata (2/1022, 3/26/55) states that ears are responsible for recognizing the directions. This is proved by the modern science after 1935, when the Labyrinth or the Vestibular apparatus was discovered in the internal ear.

During Vedic era, Rubhus had divided one ‘Chamas’ (pel), which was prepared by the God Twashta, into four parts.(RV.1-20-6, 1-110-5, 4-33-5, 4-35-3,4, 4-36-4) that ‘Chamas’ means an urn containing life. The word ‘Chamas’ is formed of two components Cham + Asa. The verb ‘Cham’ pe~ means to drink, to eat. The verb ‘Asa’ vl~ means to live, to exist. Therefore, Chamas means a thing, which eats and drinks to live. It means in the modern language a primary cell, full of life or a fertilized ovum.

Other achievements like Parthenogesis, Test-tube-baby etc are also reported in ancient literature of India. The technique of division of Chamasa might have been used by sage Vyasa.

– Dr. P.V. Vartak


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