The British came to India to economically exploit an inferior country. They were more than just expert military conquerors. They were experts in diplomacy. They recognized that the unusually strong adherence to traditional values of the Indians was based on the Vedas and Puranas. Thus, part of the British indoctrination strategy was to break the faith of Indians in the Vedas and the Puranas.
The British looked for what they considered foolish or outmoded concepts in order to convince the Indians to abandon their faith in the Vedas and Puranas. They found that, among other objectionable items, the Puranas state that the Sun is billions of years old. Through the pioneering research of Henri Becquerel, Pierre and Marie Curie, and Ernest Rutherford, radiometric dating was born, which showed that Puranas are right on the dot. Not only the age of the Sun, but the age of the Universe and ages of major mass extinction given in the Puranas are stunningly close to modern scientific values. This means that the Puranas can no longer be labeled fantasy.
Another Puranic “absurdity” identified by the 19th-century British indoctrination program are deities with multiple arms and heads. For example, Durga has ten arms and Ravana had ten heads. This is physically impossible in three-dimensional space because the arms and heads would interfere with each other. Similarly, the Puranas state that the Himalayas have a height of ~120,000 Kms. This is again impossible in three-dimensional space because the Earth itself is ~12000 Kms. Even the most primitive human beings can easily recognize the difference between 100,000 Kms and 10 Kms. How can the people whose language is more sophisticated than any modern European languages not be able to differentiate between 10 KMs and 100,000 KMs? It is a great mystery how the British could seriously think that Indian people are so incompetent as not to recognize the difference between 10Kms and 100,000 Kms. If I had come to India in the 19th century and encountered the Puranic height of the Himalayas as 120,000 Kms, I would have thought that some profound insight is being revealed in the Puranas rather than calling them fantasy.
The essence of the problem is that the British imperialists had no conception of any space greater than three dimensional space because they based their whole understanding of reality on Euclidean geometry. Euclidean geometry was the simplistic and childish geometry developed by the Greeks 2,000 years ago.
In the early 19th century, brilliant German mathematicians began to develop higher dimensional mathematics, thus dismantling the simplistic worldview of Euclidean mathematics, which was the intellectual foundation of the British indoctrination strategy. The British imperialists were ignorant of this mathematical development and arrogantly consigned the Puranas to the realm of mythology and fantasy. Not only the 19th century British imperialists, but even today those who are not well versed in modern physics consider Puranic deities and cosmography to be fantasy. Unfortunately, the Puranas have never been studied in light of the most sophisticated advances of mathematics.
Let me share with you a brief history of the development of higher dimensional mathematics in Europe. Carl Friedrich Gauss, who is universally recognized as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, privately developed non-Euclidean geometry, also known as the geometry of higher dimensional space. He had to do it privately because, for conservative 19th century European mathematicians, any mention of higher dimensional space was heresy of the worst sort. Thus, he didn’t publish it at that time. Later, in the 1850s, his best student Bernhard Riemann developed the geometry of higher dimensional space in great detail.
Riemann was an amazing person. He was such a genius that he could multiply three and four digit numbers together in his head and instantly provide the correct answer, which his colleagues required at least a minute of pencil and paper work to verify. Of course, there were no calculators in those days. In other words, his brain was vastly superior to that of ordinary humans. Despite his utter genius, he was not at all proud. He was strongly theistic, but not a vague theist. He was firmly fixed in the conception of God as a person. Although most theists pray to God for material things, he carefully examined his motives every morning to ensure that they were pleasing to God. He wanted to serve the Lord using his mathematical talents. He was a very advanced person in many respects. The basis of his non-euclidean higher-dimensional geometry was his exceedingly innovative metric tensor, which is a collection of numbers at each point in space that defines the curvature of that space. This actually revolutionized the old euclidean geometry, which came tumbling down. Euclidean geometry had successfully weathered all assaults by critics for 2,000 years but was dismantled successfully by Reimann and Gauss. So Reimann’s work was highly sophisticated in terms of mathematics. Moreover, he made other brilliant mathematical innovations, including the zeta function, which remains to this day a million-dollar unsolved mathematical problem.
Higher-dimensional space is best understood by analogy with lower-dimensional space. Imagine a race of people who are entirely confined to a two-dimensional world, known as “Flatland.” In Flatland, a brilliant mathematician tries to convince his colleagues that there is a third spatial dimension, but he is severely ridiculed by narrow-minded conservatives who arrogantly inform him that the third dimension is obviously impossible. In the midst of their pontification, a being from the third dimension, Mr. Sphere, suddenly shows up, appearing like a disc that mysteriously changes size. Since nothing but two-dimensional objects exist in Flatland, a three-dimensional object must appear there as its two-dimensional cross-section which, in the case of a sphere, is a disc. Since a sphere is inherently three-dimensional, its motion in the third dimension appears to Flatlanders like a disc that mysteriously changes size.
Upon seeing such a disc, Flatlanders search for a physical explanation within the realm of two-dimensional physics, but all such explanations involve contrived forces. Finally, Flatlanders realize that the most parsimonious explanation is not to be found in the realm of two-dimensional physics; it’s found only by acknowledging the existence of the third spatial dimension.
For Riemann, the mathematics of higher-dimensional space was much more than a fascinating intellectual exercise. Riemann brilliantly recognized that higher-dimensional space mediates a Grand Unification of the forces of nature, which seem so utterly disparate in three spatial dimensions. By the year 1858, Riemann had already recognized that magnetism, electricity, light and radiative heat were manifestations of one underlying entity, electromagnetic waves, which propagate at the speed of light. Riemann attempted to formulate the field equations that govern electromagnetism but, plagued by serious health problems, he was unable to do so. These equations were discovered a few years later by the Scottish physicist James C. Maxwell.
Riemann recognized that gravity can be unified with electromagnetism. However, Riemann was unable to formulate the field equations for gravity, which were discovered 60 years later by Albert Einstein. Einstein’s search for the field equations of gravity was hampered by his lack of mathematical expertise, so he requested a friend, the mathematician Marcel Grossmann, to help him. Grossmann realized that what Einstein needed was Riemann’s geometry of higher-dimensional space, which turned out to be just right for the job. Thus, Riemann’s geometry of higher-dimensional space is at the heart of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and is, in fact, indispensable for it.
In this theory, Einstein successfully utilized Riemannian geometry to produce a radical new theory of gravity, namely that gravity is the result of the deformation of space-time as opposed to a force in three-dimensional space, which was Newton’s conception. This new theory was able to account for certain facts that Newton’s theory apparently was unable to account for, namely the perihelion precession of mercury, which had been observed for more than a hundred years by European astronomers. European astronomers were wondering why Newton’s equations could not account for it, but Einstein’s theory of relativity explained the precession. Einstein also predicted that strong gravitational fields bend light. This was confirmed during a famous eclipse in the year 1919 when the British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington observed the displacement of stars exactly as Einstein’s theory had predicted. Overnight, Einstein became a great celebrity. Our understanding of the laws of Physics was radically changed. The essential feature of the change was that space and time were no longer regarded as absolute or autonomous. By absolute space, we mean nothing can modify it. Space is what it is. It’s background substrate for all events and it itself is never altered. Similarly, in Newton’s theory, time was another immutable entity. It ran at a steady rate that was not affected by anything else. Einstein revolutionized this paradigm by recognizing that space, time, mass and energy are interdependent entities. None of them are autonomous or independent of each other. Matter warps space-time and warped space-time causes objects to accelerate. This acceleration is also known as gravity. Thus, higher dimensional space became the backbone of physics through Reimann’s initial insight and Einstein’s practical application of it.
From the 1920s to the 1980s, dozens of new subatomic particles were discovered, as well as the forces governing their interactions. Again, physicists were faced with a jumble of seemingly disparate particles and forces, and again deeper insight was achieved by writing down Riemann’s metric tensor in higher-dimensional space, with the number of dimensions reaching ten or even higher to accommodate these new forces. These Riemannian theories of higher-dimensional space are now called “String Theory” or “M-theory,” which are the most sophisticated theories of modern physics. Thus, Riemann’s brilliant insight that the forces of nature are unified in higher-dimensional space continues to remain the guiding principle for physicists even up to the present day.
Looking back, the physical paradigm with which the British imperialists attempted to disparage the Puranas was ultimately an incorrect form of physics, which has now been supplanted by a superior form of physics based on higher-dimensional space. Although the Puranas never explicitly use the phrase “higher-dimensional space,” by reading the Puranic description, it is clear that this description is based on higher-dimensional space. For example, the Purāṇic Bhū-maṇḍala is an enormous disc of matter roughly six billion kilometers in diameter situated on the plane of the ecliptic, the plane in which the Earth orbits the Sun. In contrast, our Earth is a sphere roughly 12,000 kilometers in diameter.
Faced with this description, there are two logical alternatives: (1) The Purāṇic description is mythological, or (2) The Purāṇas are describing that which is beyond our sense perception; in other words, the Purāṇic description is higher dimensional. We favor the second alternative because, as shown earlier, the Purāṇas contain remarkably accurate scientific data that cannot simply be the product of imagination. Since Purāṇic dates are remarkably close to modern scientific dates, and since Purāṇic dates are inextricably interwoven with Purāṇic descriptions, it appears that most of the Purāṇic descriptions are factual.
Recall the depiction of Puranic deities with multiple arms or heads discussed earlier. They need no longer be derided as mythological when we recognize that the Purāṇas are expressing a very sophisticated concept – the multiple heads and arms belong to beings who operate in higher-dimensional space. Similarly, in three-dimensional space, the Himalayas are 9 Kms tall, but in the higher-dimensional world, they could be 120,000 Kms tall. The paradigm of higher-dimensional space, as championed by Riemann and Einstein, provides a plausible explanation for these Purāṇic descriptions.
In this way, the work of Einstein and Rutherford have removed the Puranas from the realm of mythology. Sadly, modern Indologists have yet to catch up with the latest developments in Physics, or even the Physics of a century ago. If history is a reliable guide, it is unlikely that Indologists will wake up anytime soon!
The people who study the Puranas don’t know sophisticated modern Physics, and the Physicists are generally not aware of the Puranas. This is where we come in. At Heretic Science, we are trying to bridge the gap between intelligent people and the remarkable Puranas.