A little India trivia
India has an outstanding record for peace having never in its past 10, 000 years invaded another country, with the late great Mahatma Ghandi perhaps typifying this non-invasive attitude best of all?
Until the merchant invasion of the country by foreign traders, starting in the late seventeenth century, India was one of the richest countries in the world.
It then became one of the poorest after the re-establishment of independence, having been milked dry of its native greatness and left with little more than a colonial heritage and lots of elephants.
The present nation will no doubt be very aware of this cost as an ancient forefather, the sage Aryabhatta, rather appropriately invented the concept of the number zero.
In fact India also had the first university, based in Takshashila around 700 B. C. With in excess of 10, 000 students and sixty or so subjects to teach it was comparable to leading modern day universities.
With such learned systems in place it comes as no suprise therefore to learn that Ayurveda is the first school of medicine known to mankind, begun by Charaka in around 500 BC.
Stephen Hawking can be reassured of his astronomic calculations as the Hindus calculated ‘kalpa’, the time between birth and destruction of the universe at 25 billion years, near the figure currently accepted by leading scientists.
Diamonds were once the exclusive product of India, with jewellers for the Queen of England being the biggest customer of the nineteenth century. Now they are left with peanuts – thousand of tons of peanuts in fact, as the worlds greatest exporter of the fabled nut.
Vasco de Gama of Portugal was first European to map a satisfactory route from the west to India before continuing round to the coasts of China and Japan. The word ‘navy’ comes from the Sanskrit ‘nou’ and because navigational systems were invented on the river Singh around six thousand years ago, the word ‘navigation’ is derived from the Sanskrit ‘nav gatih’
Neighbouring country maps are China, Nepal, Sri Lanka.