Saturday, April 01, 2006

Laws of Manu and Theory of Relativity

"The Manusmriti (Sanskrit मनुस्मृति), translated "Laws of Manu" or "Institutions of Manu", is regarded as a foundational work of Hindu law and ancient Indian society, compiled and written quite late, c.200 CE in India. It is one of the eighteen Smritis of the Dharma Sastra (or "laws of righteous conduct"); Smriti means "what is remembered" and is applied in general to a Hindu text other than the Vedas, including traditional Indian epics, the Puranas, and science and grammar treatises. Unlike the Vedas which are considered to be eternal or of divine origin, the Smritis are considered to be of human origin and therefore susceptible to the flaws of humans. They contain laws, rules and codes of conduct to be applied by individuals, communities and nations."
Source :

It was a Friday nite, and I was keeping guard in the hospital where my grand mother was admitted. During that period, I was going through a book on Indian Hindu Laws – “The Laws of Manu”, which gives rules to be followed in life. Though some of the concepts given here might not be apt today, many of them are. There was an interesting section (given below) that had gotten me in to thinking. It stated:

“64. Eighteen nimeshas (twinklings of the eye, are one kashtha), thirty kashthas one kala, thirty kalas one muhurta, and as many (muhurtas) one day and night.
65. The sun divides days and nights, both human and divine, the night (being intended) for the repose of created beings and the day for exertion.
66. A month is a day and a night of the manes, but the division is according to fortnights. The dark (fortnight) is their day for active exertion, the bright (fortnight) their night for sleep.
67. A year is a day and a night of the gods; their division is (as follows): the half year during which the sun progresses to the north will be the day, that during which it goes southwards the night."

This, to me, gives an insight to the Theory of Relativity
( and more specifically a concept called time dilation , which proves the above.

One fact which can be derived from The Theory is that time is not absolute. In fact, time as one person “sees” will be different than the time as another person “sees” it.

This is what the laws of Manu also postulates. That time for a man is not the same as time for gods. Many will find the concept of time gods difficult to accept, but I feel that god (and other beings) referred here are some beings in some other dimensions. Probably science will “discover” these one day, just as theory of relativity proves the laws of different time.

So it is safe to say that Vedas did have a lot of science behind them; just that we are slow in understanding them.

Comments on this are most welcome.


Anonymous said...

Hey it was good. But still have to read to understand it more clearly.


G U R U said...

Time dilation - A great concept indeed. Albert Einstein, I would say, was the last to re-discover this! Sages and Rishis during the ancient times used to time travel using their mind and this phenomenon was called 'Astral projection'. Guess you would be knowing about this.

Hinduism is not just a way of life, but is also Science in it's purest form.

Good work !

Sri said...

hi vivek
read your blog....interesting.....but had difficulty in understanding the science part of the theory of relativity but the philosophical part of it....must say it gave something to think about....thats why this mail.vedas have far more depth than what we know.guess you must have heard about this...the speed of light,the way it was first measured,in "modern" times,as i have heard,had been a pretty complex exercise. but it had already been measured and has been found mentioned in the vedas accurate to the last point!that says something about our vedas and about the intelligence level of our ancestors. :)
i have a lot of respect for our vedas but manu smriti....i really dont warm up to it...thats because i read this thing mentioned in it in one editorial article in the hindu....treating women the way it should be done( i am not a feminist...definitely.just giving u a little info about some other topic in the same manu smriti).if you would remember in the days when the word of the vedas was the last, women were treated with lot more respect.we had women like gargi who were pretty educated. and then came this new code of conduct and with it came a u-turn in treating women.there have been times and there still is this idea running across our society to a lesser extent definitely( and literally nil atleast among some educated people) that physical strength is the better you see that line "naan ambalai...nee verum pombalai"(check out our movies!:) )

TK said...

So like I was saying on IM, this is not new. Check out Amazon for some of the books by people who have studied the relationship between science and religion. Especially the eastern way of it. It is reasonably clear that the ancient Indian priest were among the first to make the relationship between religion and science. They made one simple statement - Do not accept anything that you cannot prove!!
This is the essential difference between science and faith. Facts can be proved and disproved, faith cannot be. And the ancient Indian priest made that association.

Quantum physics is a fascinating field. In simple form it is letting your imagination run wild within certain defined parameters.anachronic, isnt it?

Read more viveka...expands your tolerance and horizon!!


Saravana said...

dude this example I can say does point to Time dilation, but then there is no concrete proof saying this points to dilation, I know you've read the story that I've posted on the orkut community, please feel free to post it as a post on your blog.

Saravana said...

Say I can prove that this is not dilation by saying the definition of one year might be different for different people.

We define one year as the time taken for earth to go round the sun, possible pithrs and devas live on mightier planets and the time taken for the planet to go round the star might be longer, which makes the definition of one year longer, so here Time dilation is ruled out, coz in this case If there are two identical clocks, one on earth other on the planet, both of them would measure same amount of time.

I'm not saying that Time dilation is not discussed in Indian scriptures, there are places where they are discussed without ambiguity.

Anonymous said...

Seemingly its so good to relate both "Hinduism" and relativity.You have excellent taste on relating these two.
Ofcourse any sort of scientific invention should be touching the steps of philosophy when it attains its eternal concept.Even the great Einstein has quoted as follows
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

See the below mail I used to write before some years to make my friends understood about this "Time Dilation".
Dear Friends
The writer Sujatha has tried to explain something about Time Dilation(Relativity Theory) in this week "KATTRATHUM PETTRATHUM" Anantha Vikatan........We will definetly be highly ambiguous of this atleast to read and understand.Have a nice llok at this file.U can come to a clear picture.

Or else I will give u an example......

Let u just consider that u and me are twin brothers.You are in the earth.I start to have a nice journey in a spacecraft which travels with the speed of Light velocity.Or it approaches the light velocity....(3 laksh km/sec)....After some years I will return to earth.At that time u will be so older....But I will be too too younger.This is how means the time in the spacecraft(Moving frame) will be too slow whereas the clock in the earth is moving fastly as it is.....Simply the clock in the spacecraft will be slow....
So I will OOOObviously be younger than u......

This is the example for 2 nd postulate in Specail Theory of relativity.......which is as follows...

Whenever a particle tries to travel with the speed of light,its mass is getting converted into energy.......
Means let us assume that we have a particle in a KADUHU shape.....we acceleerate it fastly.......Speed parakkuthu.......Imagine it approaches light velocity(3laksh km/sec)......Appa enna ahumna.....Thalaivar Eintein solikkarubba......Whenever a particle approaches light velocity,it's mass will be increased.....So we will try to give some more energy to accelerate it.......That additional energy applied will again be dissipated into mass.....Then once again additional energy and subsequent conversion of mass....It will be like a cumulative process......Finally our KADUHU like particle will become Thiruppathi Laddu or(Mumtaj BOOBS)It can never approach the light speed......Whenever it happens, its length will be reduced,mass will be increased....Einstein goes beyond the universe u know....It's an absolute feeling to think off.......Now it has been proved in a device known as Synchrotron in European countries....

Thanks and Regards,
Kali (COEP - Verizon)-
Hope you could remember me.Came across your blog through "Stupid-Santhosh" .Really excited seeing your extraordinary writing skills. My Email :
Keep sending your writings to this id. Very rarely I use to write something.Lets share our views/opinions.