The Vedic Fathers of Geology, Part 14
BY: SUN STAFF
Birth of the Elements in the Cosmic Ocean
Dec 03, 2011 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation on Vedic discoveries in Geology, from the book by Narayan Bhavanrao.
From the foregoing scrutiny of facts, and the details given in statement No. I, the reader will have easily perceived that the central idea of our Vedic Fore-fathers, in regard to the present configuration of the globe was, that
(a) it was first in a gaseous state of igneous fusion; that
(b) then, it acquired liquid condition, in which the materials of all rocks were held in solution; and that
(c) subsequently, part of it having become converted into a solid crust as it cooled down, it appeared in the form of lands and mountains.
Let us, therefore, compare this very ancient Vedic idea with the most modern views of the recent West. And I may here, at the very outset, be allowed to offer an humble suggestion that, in time as also in space, the confines of the Universe, or His works of creation, absolutely lie beyond the reach of mortal ken. Naturally, therefore, many Vedic Scientists and subsequent Hindu philosophers, as also Western Savants and geologists, touch at times a most sonorous chord and strike a soft melodious note, by declaring their deep conviction, that so far as the primaeval state of our Globe was concerned, there never was a beginning to the present order of things. Thus, the great saint, poet, and philosopher, Janeshwara of Maharashtra of the 13th Century, says:
"This creation has been in existence from Eternity. That is to say, it is without beginning and without end." The original verse in Marathi is as follows:
(Janeshwari or Bhavartha – Dipika II, 95, 100)
In the same way, the learned Swami Vidyaranya, better known as Madhava Sayana, the great Vedic Exegetist and the celebrated (or as some say the brother of the) Prime Minister of King Bukka of the 14th Century, who held sway over the extensive Empire of Vijayanagar, writes in respect of the creation of this world, as "being without beginning and without end." (Pancha Dashi I, 59)
Besides, some Rishis (sages) of the Upanishad period declare that, "That which is (that is the Universe), has been so, from the beginning of time". (Chhandogyopanishad. VI, 2.1)
Now, let us for a while turn our attention to the West, and see what the Occidental Geologists have to say in respect of the matter. Dr. David Page of the Geological Society asserts that, "In all times past, the same kind of agencies operated on, and modified the rock-materials of the globe." "That then, as now, the world had its oceans and continents, its seas and islands, its lakes and rivers, ...... the plains and hills" ...... (Advanced Text Book of Geology by Dr. David Page, Edition 1856, p. 275) Hutton, in like manner, writes that, "We find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end."
Sir Charles Lyell also contends that, "there are certainly no geological proofs that the granite which constitutes the foundation of so much of the Earth's crust was ever at once in a state of universal fusion." (Elements of Geology, Sixth Ed., p. 90)
However, the thirst for knowledge makes us dive deep, and peep into the mysteries of the unknown past; and as the arguments from analogy, in favour and support of a beginning, remain, in the opinion of some Geologists, unassailable and unshaken, the researches become attractive in the extreme. Geologists, therefore, while engaged in these interesting pursuits and the fascinating love of labour, have been compelled by the evidence of solid facts derived from the study of the Earth's crust and its rock-formations, to entertain the hypothesis that the globe has "gradually cooled down from a state of molten incandescence to its present temperature" (vide David Page's Geology, p. 277, Ed. 1856), admitting, however, the fact that science is silent, not to say defective, in respect of direct evidence, though circumstantial evidence goes far enough to sustain the belief of gradual refrigeration and consequent introduction of life at the stage compatible with its existence.
In the same way, the great Leibnitz argued that the whole planet (the Earth) was once in a state of liquid action by heat or igneous fusion. While at present, four different views have been entertained in regard to the condition of the Earth, of which, therefore, I venture to offer here a summary as follows, for the sake of comparing these views with those of the Vedic Fathers of Geology: That
(1) Our planet is in a molten state, and surrounded by solid crust,
(2) It is practically solid throughout.
(3) It has a thin viscous intermediate ill stratum, reposing on a solid core, and covered by a solid crust.
(4) It is a globe of gas, enveloped first by an inner molten layer, and next by an outer solid crust. (Vide Lapworth's Text-Book of Geology, pp. 49, 50. Ed. 1899).
In all these views, however, the hypothesis of the original molten condition or gaseous state of the Planet, and its subsequent slowly-cooling process is practically involved. Therefore, this modern and admittedly scientific view of the Western Geologists belonging to the last, that is, the nineteenth century, very favourably compares even with the most ancient geological ideas entertained by our Fore-fathers of the Upanishad period, about over 4,000 years before (vide ante pp. 26 @ 29), and even by Rishis of the Rig-Vedic times who lived in the Tertiary Period, and as such in the still more remote and hoary past, (vide ante pp. 32 @ 85). For, they maintained, that the planet Earth was at first in a gaseous state and igneous fusion, that it then assumed a molten state; the materials of all rocks, viz mountains and earth having been held in solution and Indra having reduced them to the condition of fluid by his prowess (R.V. II, 17.5; R.V. II, 12.2); that after lapse of ages, it cooled down; and that subsequently, the same became earth, Indra having converted it into a solid crust (R.V. II, 12.2). (Vide ante pp. 13 @ 18, 20, 21.)
Moreover, there appears a distinct statement in the Rig-Veda and the Upanishads of there having been a thermal deep, or of the fire having dwelt on the lap of the waters (R.V. I, 144.2); and this, beyond doubt, indicates a state of things, in which our planet (the Earth) was in igneous fusion and surrounded by watery vapours; or rather, it was in a liquid or molten condition (vide ante pp. 105 (d), 106 (c)).
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