The Sciences

ISRO Chief Says Scientific Discoveries Were in the Vedas, Later Repackaged As Western Concepts

S. Somanath was speaking at the convocation of the Maharishi Panini Sanskrit and Vedic University in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

New Delhi: Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) S. Somanath has said that scientific concepts like algebra, square roots, concepts of time, architecture, the structure of the universe, metallurgy and even aviation were first found in the Vedas, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.

Somanath was addressing the students of Maharishi Panini Sanskrit and Vedic University at their convocation when he said that these Indian discoveries reached Europe through Arab countries and were then put forth as western concepts, the report said.  

He said that this happened because Sanskrit was an oral language at the time and that it was only later that people started using the Devanagari script for it, the Hindustan Times reported. 

It is believed that Maharshi Panini wrote down the rules of Sanskrit grammar and the language’s syntax and structure make it ideal to “convey scientific thoughts and processes”, Somanath said, according to the report 

While talking about Sanskrit’s suitability for artificial intelligence (AI) and writing other kinds of code, he said, “Engineers and scientists like Sanskrit a great deal. It suits the language of computers and those learning artificial intelligence learn it. Lots of research is being done on how Sanskrit can be used for computation,” the report said. 

The claim about ‘Sanskrit being the most suitable language for programming’ is usually misattributed to NASA because of ambitious interpretations of a 1985 research paper published by researcher Rick Briggs. While Briggs mentions the use of Sanskrit in early AI research, he never asserts that it is the best.