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A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago

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I read this while clicking around researching some pretty fantastical claims made by Sadhguru of Isha Foundation
An excerpt of what I found:

Professor Subhash Kak of Louisiana State University referred to the statement by Sayana, a fourteenth century Indian scholar. In his commentary on a hymn in the Rig Veda, the oldest and perhaps most mystical text ever composed in India, Sayana has this to say: "With deep respect, I bow to the sun, who travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha."

A yojana is about nine American miles; a nimesha is 16/75 of a second. 2,202 yojanas x 9 miles x 75/8 nimeshas = 185,794 m. p. s.

Basically, Sayana is saying that sunlight travels at 186,000 miles per second! How could a Vedic scholar who died in 1387 A. D. have known the correct figure for the speed of light? If this was just a wild guess, it's the most amazing coincidence in the history of science!

For those scientific materialists or non-mystical thinkers out there, how could this be?

I actually stumbled on the above while reading about the mystical significance of the number 108, the article continues:

The distance between the earth and the sun is approximately 108 times the sun's diameter. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the earth's diameter. And the distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times the moon's diameter.

Could this be the reason the ancient sages considered 108 such a sacred number? If the microcosm (us) mirrors the macrocosm (the solar system), then maybe you could say there are 108 steps between our ordinary human awareness and the divine light at the center of our being. Each time we chant another mantra as our mala beads slip through our fingers, we are taking another step toward our own inner sun.

As we read through ancient Indian texts, we find so much the sages of antiquity could not possibly have known-but did. While our European and Middle Eastern ancestors claimed that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago, the yogis have always maintained that our present cosmos is billions of years old, and that it's just one of many such universes which have arisen and dissolved in the vastness of eternity.

In fact, the Puranas, encyclopedias of yogic lore thousands of years old, describe the birth of our solar system out of a "milk ocean," the Milky Way. Through the will of the Creator, they tell us, a vortex shaped like a lotus arose from the navel of eternity. It was called Hiranya Garbha, the shining womb. It gradually coalesced into our world, but will perish some day billions of years hence when the sun expands to many times its present size, swallowing all life on earth. In the end, the Puranas say, the ashes of the earth will be blown into space by the cosmic wind. Today we know this is a scientifically accurate, if poetic, description of the fate of our planet.

The Surya Siddhanta is the oldest surviving astronomical text in the Indian tradition. Some Western scholars date it to perhaps the fifth or sixth centuries A. D., though the next itself claims to represent a tradition much, much older. It explains that the earth is shaped like a ball, and states that at the very opposite side of the planet from India is a great city where the sun is rising at the same time it sets in India. In this city, the Surya Siddhanta claims, lives a race of siddhas, or advanced spiritual adepts. If you trace the globe of the earth around to the exact opposite side of India, you'll find Mexico. Is it possible that the ancient Indians were well aware of the great sages/astronomers of Central America many centuries before Columbus discovered America?- the Mayans or Incas.

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/8/15 8:59 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
For those scientific materialists or non-mystical thinkers out there, how could this be?


These people will have no answer for you.

Siddhas have access to "universal (and beyond-universal) knowledge" ("akashic records" though I dislike that term).  There is no time and all knowledge past and future is already known.  They knew the answer because the answer is known by the "multiverse" "itself."  This would be a quite simple thing for an adept to know.  Go find one and find out for yourself.

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/8/15 9:10 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
For those scientific materialists or non-mystical thinkers out there, how could this be?


These people will have no answer for you.

Siddhas have access to "universal (and beyond-universal) knowledge" ("akashic records" though I dislike that term).  There is no time and all knowledge past and future is already known.  They knew the answer because the answer is known by the "multiverse" "itself."  This would be a quite simple thing for an adept to know.  Go find one and find out for yourself.

Thanks for your reply Tom Tom
I think you are right that no one will provide a satisfying answer to the question of how this could have occurred from a western/materialist perspective - and I doubt anyone with such leanings will decide to post here
I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some wise people in my life that possessed some siddhis, and I have experienced premonitions and telepathic communication in the past myself, though I know so-called rational people here eschew such claims, until they've had them that is : )
Be well

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/8/15 10:13 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
I'm open and sympathetic to these ideas, but if Wikipedia can be considered reliable on those units the numbers don't work out

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yojana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_units_of_time

Based on these Wiki numbers, the value should be between 2202 * 5 /(.1067/2) and 2202 * 10/(.1067/2) miles per second, depending on the value taken for the yojana. That's between 206,373 and 412,746 miles per second. The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second.

I'm trying to understand astrology in a Tantric context and it's making my head swim.

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/8/15 10:57 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
I'm open and sympathetic to these ideas, but if Wikipedia can be considered reliable on those units the numbers don't work out

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yojana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_units_of_time

Based on these Wiki numbers, the value should be between 2202 * 5 /(.1067/2) and 2202 * 10/(.1067/2) miles per second, depending on the value taken for the yojana. That's between 206,373 and 412,746 miles per second. The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second.

I'm trying to understand astrology in a Tantric context and it's making my head swim.

Thanks Droll, here's what that wiki link says:
 
The length of the yojana varies depending on the different standards adopted by different Indian astronomers. In the Surya Siddhanta of the 5th century, for example, a yojana was equivalent to 8.0 km (5 mi),[1] and the same was true for Aryabhata's Aryabhatiya(499).[2] 

8.0 km (if that is exactly one yojana) actually equals 4.97097 miles
The same wiki article says a nimesha is 0.1067 seconds
So my calc for 2202 yojanis in half a nimesha is:
2202 x 4.97097 = 10,946 miles in half a nimesha
10,946 divided by 0.05335 (half a nimesha) = 205,172 miles per second
So maybe the vedic scholar didn't mean exactly half a nimesha and he meant 55% of a nimesha (what my math got as the discrepency)
Still, pretty impressive that they had the concept of light having a speed at all, especially one that is pretty f-ing close to the actual speed of light (10% over if all these numbers are totally accurate and nothing was lost in translation or conversion) 
They also had the concept of the earth being round, the galaxy being billions of years old, and the end of the earth happening through the sun expanding until it explodes turning the earth and everything else to dust
Would you say that's all coincidence or blind luck?

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/8/15 11:22 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Yes, it's somewhat impressive that it's within the right order of magnitude. I have no idea if it's just a coincidence. Related to this perhaps?

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/9/15 12:30 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
...Related to this perhaps?


Oh my, that is very interesting to me Droll.  Somebody at BGeeks said I should talk to you.  Now I know it's a good idea.  I'll PM you, check your in box, if you have the time.

Best,

Matt

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/9/15 1:12 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Yes, it's somewhat impressive that it's within the right order of magnitude. I have no idea if it's just a coincidence. Related to this perhaps?

Cool shit indeed Droll. I'll bet Pawel could get down with something like that - the visualization technique presented seems intense to say the least

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/9/15 7:12 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
In Europe we have known and calculated the circumference of the earth for more than 2000 years using a stick and a well. We calculated the distance to the moon around same time as well. The distance to the sun were wrong since they didnt have good enough instruments at the time.

We mostly read about the numbers that sound correct, we conviently ignore all those numbers and explanations that are completly wrong. 

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/9/15 2:20 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
In Europe we have known and calculated the circumference of the earth for more than 2000 years using a stick and a well. We calculated the distance to the moon around same time as well. The distance to the sun were wrong since they didnt have good enough instruments at the time.

We mostly read about the numbers that sound correct, we conviently ignore all those numbers and explanations that are completly wrong. 

Cool - I'd like to know more about that, sounds very Macgyver
Do you have any references/links that describes how that went down?

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/9/15 4:47 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
The "greek" eratosthenes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes could argue if he was "european" or not. but I would group him with "european cultural sphere".

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/9/15 6:13 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Andreas:
The "greek" eratosthenes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes could argue if he was "european" or not. but I would group him with "european cultural sphere".

Nice Andreas, thanks for sharing
Are you familiar at all with Mayan cosmology?
I read a couple of books years ago (meaning I'm just slightly familiar, if that) but apparently their method of tracking time has not been determined yet. They say that the Mayans would have needed knowledge of the earth's precession (the wobble of the earth as it rotates on it's path around the sun) in order to calculate dates and times as precisely as they did
Not sure if they just used sticks and stones, but their math was good down to the seconds, spanning over hundreds of thousands, and I believe, billions of years
I was reading that stuff prior to 2012 when the earth was meant to end. Apparently the Mayans never really predicted the end of the world, but their calendar (from what I understand) did end at that time
Maybe they didn't use science as we think of it and were more like the Siddhas of ancient India, connecting to the multiverse as well, that contains this info within it. Mere speculation of course : )

RE: A Vedic Scholar Revealed the Speed of Light over 600 Years Ago
Answer
2/10/15 6:26 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Not that familiar. Though I know they had numerous different calendars for different purposes. They did not account for the non precise solar year. They didnt have any leapdays etc. The "end of the calendar" from what I understood the end of that cycle. Then comes a new cycle.

They most likely just used math and star constellations etc. Although for them that was religious rituals. From what I can tell connecting with the "multiverse", the storage conscioussness and what not, has yielded zilch reliable, usable info from a natural science perspective.