Your List of 15 Greatest Indians in History

rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,224
India
Adi Shankara was a good organizer and I think that is at least as important as his theories, if not more.

Dashnami Saampradaya:

Firstly, he established the "Dashnami" Sampradaya (=Order) of Hindu monks. [1] Today, I think, more half the Hindu sants (=monks) belong to this tradition. many well-known saints have come from this tradition - Swami Yogananda, Swami Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda.

Panchayatana-puja:

Secondly, he initiated and/or gave impetus to "Panchayatana-puja" [2], [3]. In style of worship, five Gods / Goddesses are installed in domestic / public temple. The worshipper is free to put the specific deity he worships in the centre. This method of worship, brought together different streams of Hinduism like Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta. Almost all modern temples in Hinduism now have multiple Gods.

Four Mathas:

Thirdly, he established four "Mathas" (Seats) in four corners of India - Badrinath, Puri, Shringeri, and Dwaraka - to propagate his philosophies and Hinduism. There was no financial corpus created, nor any grand institutional buildings. There were many changes of political setups around. Yet these four Mathas have continued till date - for more than 1000 years - without a significant break in genealogy.

One God:

Sikhism, which came later followed the view that there is only one God. Similarly, saints like Kabir, who belonged to "Sant Mat" also followed this view.

In his hurry-burry world, he also found time to compose a few books.

And all this Adi Shankara achieved in a very short life span - just 32 years [4].

References:

[1] Dashanami Sampradaya - Wikipedia
[2] Pañcāyatanapujā - Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
[3] Shanmata - Wikipedia
[4] Adi Shankara - Wikipedia
A good reply to 'Eternal Way' . Many Westerners think that the 'Hindu Mentality ' and 'Hindu Nationalism' is something to be condemned. Hinduism is what is the essence of India , it has sustained India for thousands of years. Adi Shankaracharya as well as Shivaji Maharaj were the two persons of Indian History who cannot be ever omitted from any such lists.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,579
USA
Adi Shankara was a good organizer and I think that is at least as important as his theories, if not more.

Dashnami Saampradaya:

Firstly, he established the "Dashnami" Sampradaya (=Order) of Hindu monks. [1] Today, I think, more half the Hindu sants (=monks) belong to this tradition. many well-known saints have come from this tradition - Swami Yogananda, Swami Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda.

Panchayatana-puja:

Secondly, he initiated and/or gave impetus to "Panchayatana-puja" [2], [3]. In style of worship, five Gods / Goddesses are installed in domestic / public temple. The worshipper is free to put the specific deity he worships in the centre. This method of worship, brought together different streams of Hinduism like Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta. Almost all modern temples in Hinduism now have multiple Gods.

Four Mathas:

Thirdly, he established four "Mathas" (Seats) in four corners of India - Badrinath, Puri, Shringeri, and Dwaraka - to propagate his philosophies and Hinduism. There was no financial corpus created, nor any grand institutional buildings. There were many changes of political setups around. Yet these four Mathas have continued till date - for more than 1000 years - without a significant break in genealogy.

One God:

Sikhism, which came later followed the view that there is only one God. Similarly, saints like Kabir, who belonged to "Sant Mat" also followed this view.

In his hurry-burry world, he also found time to compose a few books.

And all this Adi Shankara achieved in a very short life span - just 32 years [4].

References:

[1] Dashanami Sampradaya - Wikipedia
[2] Pañcāyatanapujā - Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
[3] Shanmata - Wikipedia
[4] Adi Shankara - Wikipedia
Great reply Rajeev!
 
Aug 2017
210
USA
A good reply to 'Eternal Way' . Many Westerners think that the 'Hindu Mentality ' and 'Hindu Nationalism' is something to be condemned. Hinduism is what is the essence of India , it has sustained India for thousands of years. Adi Shankaracharya as well as Shivaji Maharaj were the two persons of Indian History who cannot be ever omitted from any such lists.
No, nothing Rajeev said invalidates my earlier point that crediting Adi Shankara entirely with the "rescuing" of Hinduism (you have yet to expound on what you meant by this) from Buddhism or Jainism is a simplification at best and a falsehood at worst. There were numerous cultural, political, and ideological factors that contributed both to the decline of Buddhism/Jainism and the resurgence of "Hinduism". You have also yet to justify precisely how Adi Shankara's influences prevented Hinduism's subsequent destruction starting 300 years later at hands of Islamic invaders.
 

rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,224
India
Shankaracharya stalled the drift towards Buddhism ; which had gathered strength due to the conversion of Emperor Ashok to Buddhism. Shankaracharya reunited the two factions among the Hindu seers, those who were the monists being strengthened by his triumphs in the debates with the dualists. He was truly the renaissance man of Hinduism.
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
Is there any refutation of, or even mention of, any Buddhist doctrines in Adi Shankaracharya's work?
 

rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,224
India
Is there any refutation of, or even mention of, any Buddhist doctrines in Adi Shankaracharya's work?
He has not mentioned Buddhism in his works, true. But he pusuasively asserted the Hindu spiritual principles which led to an effective stoppage to the spread of Buddhism.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,579
USA
Is there any refutation of, or even mention of, any Buddhist doctrines in Adi Shankaracharya's work?
I believe Shankara's main refutation is of the Buddhist philosophies at his time (If I am not wrong, of Nagarjuna's). I will confirm. His refutation of Jain doctrines is also documented.

I do have copies (one by Shankara Mutt and the other by Ramakrishna Mutt) of Shankara's Brahma Sutra Bhashya, which by a wide consensus is the authentic work of Shankara. Let me find if there is any mention of Buddhist philosophy in there.
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
15 Greatest Indian Scientists:

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1. Bhishma Pitamaha (Astronomy):

He gave one of the ancient astronomical system on Indian astronomy. Known to us from Pancha-siddhantika composed in 6th Century CE. See in Varāhamihira
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2. Lagadh, author of Vedanga Jyotisha (Astronomy)

Oldest available treatise on Indian astronomy. Ancient Indian astronomy is generically different from Babylonian because Indian divided the ecliptic into 28/27 constellations but the Babylonian divides it into 12 zodiac-signs

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3. Pāṇini (Linguistics):

Pāṇini (c. 5th century BC) formulated the rules for Sanskrit grammar. His notation was similar to modern mathematical notation, and used metarules, transformations, and recursion.

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4. Pingala (Prosody):

Pingala (roughly 3rd–1st centuries BC) in his treatise of prosody uses a device corresponding to a binary numeral system. His discussion of the combinatorics of meters corresponds to an elementary version of the binomial theorem. Pingala's work also contains the basic ideas of Fibonacci numbers (called mātrāmeru).

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5. Charaka (Medicine - Ayurveda)

He authored Charaka Samhita , a foundational text on ancient Indian medicine.
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6. Sushruta (Medicine - Ayurveda)

First in the world to practice plastic surgery like Rhinoplasty. He authored Sushruta Samhita

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7. Aryabhata (Astronomy & Mathematics):

Though about half of the entries are wrong, it is in the Aryabhatiya that the decimal place-value system first appears.

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8. Brahmagupta (Astronomy & Mathematics)

In the 7th century, Brahmagupta identified the Brahmagupta theorem, Brahmagupta's identity and Brahmagupta's formula, and for the first time, in Brahma-sphuta-siddhanta, he lucidly explained the use of zero as both a placeholder and decimal digit, and explained the Hindu–Arabic numeral system. It was from a translation of this Indian text on mathematics (c. 770) that Islamic mathematicians were introduced to this numeral system, which they adapted as Arabic numerals. Islamic scholars carried knowledge of this number system to Europe by the 12th century, and it has now displaced all older number systems throughout the world.

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9. Madhava of Sangamagrama in Kerala (Mathematics & Astronomy - Kerala School):

In the 14th century, Madhava of Sangamagrama, the founder of the so-called Kerala School of Mathematics, found the Madhava–Leibniz series and obtained from it a transformed series, whose first 21 terms he used to compute the value of π as 3.14159265359. Madhava also found the Madhava-Gregory series to determine the arctangent, the Madhava-Newton power series to determine sine and cosine and the Taylor approximation for sine and cosine functions.

Kerala School of Astronomy and Mathematics
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10. Srinivasa Ramanujan (Mathematics):

During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3,900 results (mostly identities and equations). Many were completely novel; his original and highly unconventional results, such as the Ramanujan prime, the Ramanujan theta function, partition formulae and mock theta functions, have opened entire new areas of work and inspired a vast amount of further research. Nearly all his claims have now been proven correct. The Ramanujan Journal, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, was established to publish work in all areas of mathematics influenced by Ramanujan, and his notebooks—containing summaries of his published and unpublished results—have been analyzed and studied for decades since his death as a source of new mathematical ideas. As late as 2011 and again in 2012, researchers continued to discover that mere comments in his writings about "simple properties" and "similar outputs" for certain findings were themselves profound and subtle number theory results that remained unsuspected until nearly a century after his death.

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11. Jagadish Chandra Bose (Physics)

He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent. IEEE named him one of the fathers of radio science. Bose is considered the father of Bengali science fiction, and also invented the crescograph, a device for measuring the growth of plants. A crater on the moon has been named in his honour.

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12. Homi J. Bhabha (Indian Nuclear Science)

Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha (30 October 1909 – 24 January 1966) was an Indian nuclear physicist, founding director, and professor of physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Colloquially known as "father of the Indian nuclear programme", Bhabha was also the founding director of the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) which is now named the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in his honour. TIFR and AEET were the cornerstone of Indian development of nuclear weapons which Bhabha also supervised as director.

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13. Vikram Sarabhai (India Space Programme)

Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai (12 August 1919 – 30 December 1971) was an Indian scientist and innovator widely regarded as the father of India's space programme.

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14. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (A-Bomb & Propulsion Vehicles)

He was intimately involved in India's civilian space programme and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

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15. M. S. Swaminathan (Agricultural Scientist)

Force behind India's Green Revolution which made India self-sufficient in food-grain production.

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Also see: History of mathematics - Wikipedia
 
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