Speed of Light discovered by Vedic scholar Sayana – Professor Subhash Kak

published on February 14, 2013

Professor Subhash Kak of Louisiana State University recently discovered a statement by Sayana, a 14th century Indian scholar. In his commentary on a hymn in the Rig Veda, Sayana says: “With deep respect, I bow to the sun, who travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha.”

A yojana is approximately 9 miles; a nimesha is 16/75 of a second. Therefore: 2,202 yojanas x 9 miles x 75/8 nimeshas = 185,794 miles per second

How could a Vedic scholar who died in 1387 A.D. have known the correct figure for the speed of light?

The yogic tradition is full of such coincidences. Take for instance the mala of traditional beads. Students often ask why they have 108 beads instead of 100. The reason is that the mala represent the ecliptic, the path of the sun and moon across the sky. Yogis divide the ecliptic into 27 equal sections called nakshatras, and each of these into four equal sectors called padas, or “steps,” marking the 108 steps that the sun and moon take through heaven.

Professor Kak points out that the distance between the earth and the sun is approximately 108 times the sun’s diameter. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the earth’s diameter. And the distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times the moon’s diameter.

Could this be the reason the ancients considered 108 to be a sacred number? If the microcosm (us) mirrors the macrocosm (the solar system), maybe you could say there are 108 steps between our human awareness and the divine light. Each time we chant another mantra as our mala beads slip through our fingers, we are taking another step toward our own inner sun.

The Surya Siddhanta is the oldest surviving astronomical text in the Indian tradition, dating to the 6th A.D. or earlier It states that the earth is shaped like a ball, and that at the very opposite side of the planet from India is a great city where the sun is rising at the same time it sets in India. In this city, the Surya Siddhanta claims, lives a race of siddhas, or advanced spiritual adepts. Is it possible that the ancient Indians were aware of the Mayans and Incas?

While European traditions claimed that the universe was created approximately 6,000 years ago, Indian sages have always maintained that our cosmos is billions of years old, and that it’s just one of many such universes which have arisen and dissolved in the vastness of eternity.

In fact the Puranas describe the birth of our solar system out of a “milk ocean” ~ the Milky Way? Through the will of the Creator, they tell us, a vortex shaped like a lotus arose from the navel of eternity. It gradually coalesced into our world, but will perish some day billions of years hence when the sun expands to many times it present size, swallowing all life on earth.

In the end, the Puranas say, the ashes of the earth will be blown into space by the cosmic wind. Today we known this is a scientifically accurate, if poetic, description of the fate of our planet.

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