India is the cradle of humanity

In «Isis Unveiled», a reference is made to Jacolliot's «Christ and Krishna», written by a man who spent many years in India studying her philosophy, where we find the following classification:

"Philosophy. — The ancient Hindus have created from the foundation the two systems of spiritualism and materialism, of metaphysical philosophy and of positive philosophy. The first taught in the Vedantic school, whose founder was Vyasa; the second taught in the Sankya school, whose founder was Kapila.

"Astronomical Science. — They fixed the calendar, invented the zodiac, calculated the precession of the equinoxes, discovered the general laws of the movements, observed and predicted the eclipses.

"Mathematics. — They invented the decimal system, algebra, the differential, integral, and infinitesimal calculi. They also discovered geometry and trigonometry, and in these two sciences they constructed and proved theorems which were only discovered in Europe as late as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was the Brahmans in fact who first deduced the superficial measure of a triangle from the calculation of its three sides, and calculated the relations of the circumference to the diameter. Furthermore, we must restore to them the square of the hypotenuse and the table so improperly called Pythagorean, which we find engraved on the gôparama of the majority of great pagodas. 

"Physics. — They established the principle which is still our own to-day, that the universe is a harmonious whole, subject to laws which may be determined by observation and experiment. They discovered hydrostatics; and the famous proposition that every body plunged in water loses of its own weight a weight equal to the volume which it displaces, is only a loan made by the Brahmans to the famous Greek architect, Archimedes. The physicists of the pagodas calculated the velocity of light, fixed in a positive manner the laws which it follows in its reflection. And finally, it is beyond doubt, from the calculations of Surya-Sidhenta, that they knew and calculated the force of steam. 

"Chemistry. — They knew the composition of water, and formulated for gases the famous law, which we know only from yesterday, that the volumes of gas are in inverse ratio to the pressures that they support. They knew how to prepare sulphuric, nitric, and muriatic acids; the oxides of copper, iron, lead, tin, and zinc; the sulphurets of iron, copper, mercury, antimony, and arsenic; the sulphates of zinc and iron; the carbonates of iron, lead, and soda; nitrate of silver; and powder. 

"Medicine. — Their knowledge was truly astonishing. In Tcharaka and Sousruta, the two princes of Hindu medicine, is laid down the system which Hippocrates appropriated later. Sousruta notably enunciates the principles of preventive medicine or hygiene, which he places much above curative medicine — too often, according to him, empyrical. Are we more advanced to-day? It is not without interest to remark that the Arab physicians, who enjoyed a merited celebrity in the middle ages — Averroes among others — constantly spoke of the Hindu physicians, and regarded them as the initiators of the Greeks and themselves. 

"Pharmacology. — They knew all the simples, their properties, their use, and upon this point have not yet ceased to give lessons to Europe. Quite recently we have received from them the treatment of asthma, with the datura. 

"Surgery. — In this they are not less remarkable. They made the operation for the stone, succeeded admirably in the operation for cataract, and the extraction of the fœtus, of which all the unusual or dangerous cases are described by Tcharaka with an extraordinary scientific accuracy.

"Grammar. — They formed the most marvellous language in the world — the Sanscrit — which gave birth to the greater part of the idioms of the Orient, and of Indo-European countries.

"Poetry. — They have treated all the styles, and shown themselves supreme masters in all. Sakuntala, Avrita, the Hindu Phædra, Saranga, and a thousand other dramas have their superiors neither in Sophocles nor Euripides, in Corneille nor Shakespere. Their descriptive poetry has never been equalled. One must read, in the Megadata, "The Plaint of an Exile," who implores a passing cloud to carry his remembrances to his cottage, his relatives and friends, whom he will never see more, to form an idea of the splendor to which this style has been carried in India. Their fables have been copied by all modern and ancient peoples, who have not even given themselves the trouble to color differently the subject of these little dramas. 

"Music. — They invented the gamut with its differences of tones and half-tones much before Gui d'Arezzo. Here is the Hindu scale: Sa—Ri—Ga—Ma—Pa—Da—Ni—Sa.

"Architecture. — They seem to have exhausted all that the genius of man is capable of conceiving. Domes, inexpressibly bold; tapering cupolas; minarets, with marble lace; Gothic towers; Greek hemicycles; polychrome style — all kinds and all epochs are there, betokening the origin and date of the different colonies, which, in emigrating, carried with them their souvenirs of their native art." 

Such were the results attained by this ancient and imposing Brahmanical civilization. Beside such majestic achievements of the past, what can we place that will seem so grandiose and sublime as to warrant our boast of superiority over an ignorant ancestry? Beside the discoverers of geometry and algebra, the constructors of human speech, the parents of philosophy, the primal expounders of religion, the adepts in psychological and physical science.