Surya Siddanta: Emergence of Empirical Reality

Empirical reality has been the focus of most scientific studies. But, humans have always been curious about how awareness, consciousness, sub-consciousness, or how the mind works. How are thoughts formed? Am I the mind? Is the brain responsible for consciousness? Are thoughts consciousness? Are there sub-conscious thoughts? Is the observable universe the truth? Is there a truth beyond reality? What is difference between a living being and a non-living being? What is the soul?

If it is not about consciousness, the next curiosity has been about space, time and matter. Is space finite or infinite? If space is expanding, where is it expanding into? What is time? Are there extra dimensions to space? Is time the 4th dimension? How many dimensions are present? How does space and time relate to consciousness? If consciousness was not present, would there be space and time? Is this whole universe just a thought? Is there a consolidated thought that ties all living beings together?

Surya Siddanta, the ancient sanskrit literature, when translated in the context of “emergence of reality”, answers just these questions. The concepts presented are surprisingly different and highly thought provoking, making us question our own science which we hold as undisputable. The Surya Siddanta describes the various steps involved the formation of reality, as it traverses from that incomprehensible, unmanifested qualityless truth to the formation of an Individual. This book explores the ideas, the principles and concepts presented in Surya Siddanta, and explains the steps presented with equivalent examples as seen in technologies created by us.


The first aspect of the book which piqued my interest was the Introduction itself. Surya Siddanta begins with a statutory alert — that it does not question nor validate established scientific ideas which are already part of the grand narrative. Instead, this book concentrates on how Ancient Indian Philosophy has perceived the ideas of soul, matter, time, space, mind, and so on. Read the full review at Amazon.

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As I have been writing in the various blogs about Surya Siddanta, I find that this literature is definitely not about astronomy. The context of translation of this literature needs to be “the emergence of this empirical reality from the truth”. When translated in this context, the concepts that emerge is surprising. Each and every verse in this document describes a host of concepts that even the smallest change in the interpretation changes the meaning and the continuity can be lost.

I am in awe of the concepts described in this literature. The first hurdle to cross is in understanding the concepts presented in this literature. But, even if we can visualise and understand the concepts as a running system, it poses a huge problem to conceptualise enough of the working of the described concepts to think of a way to prove it. Given this to be the case, it is with astonishment that I wonder how someone was able to conceptualise the intricate details described in this literature and state it with the conciseness and preciseness that is present in the document. It is as if that which is watching this reality externally is explaining the emergence of this reality. That something or someone who can see the details of this reality working without being inherently involved in this reality.

For example, the literature starts with an “incomprehensible, unmanifested quality-less (something)”. Obviously, given it is quality-less, we cannot definitely visualise it from within the system. Yet, from there it is said that an unordered, abundant inactive is present. How can this be arrived at unless the incomprehensible is viewed as a third person? Another example is the definition of reality as “each and every movable”, where movable is not motion as we describe it. To understand what is meant by “movable” in this literature, requires a whole new perspective of reality around us, which can only be visible to someone external to our reality. The only word I can use to describe this literature is “beautiful”!!!

In this book, I have explained the concepts the best as I understand it with examples from reality around us. After all, even if our brains provide a glossed, analysed version of the raw data observed by the reality, there needs to remain some unvarnished aspects of the raw data which the brain utilises. This can be used to understand the concepts. Further it should also be understood that in every law we define in physics, chemistry, maths, in every experiment with do to understand the reality around us, every experiment we do to understand the working of the body a small part of the limitation of our own existence is revealed. Thus, these concepts can also be visible by analysing the various output from our thoughts, because our thoughts have to confirm to that underlying fundamental concepts the define us.

Table of contents in book

Some quotes from the book

But, what is to be noted here is that in all means of transport, teleportation
and any such imagined technology, human imagination is not able to imagine
beyond distance, direction and duration. We have folded space to reduce
distance, we have invented warp cores to increase speed of travel and hence
reduced duration. Even in imagination we seem to only play around with the
numbers of distance, direction and duration. Yet, we do not seem to realise
that all these measurements that we have are very relative in nature.

Words inherently do not have meanings associated with them. We associate them to meaning based on the context of usage, for communication purposes. When we are faced with a description that has words without meanings attached to them from our own knowledge, we assign meanings to these words from a set of co-occurring concepts, based on the context we elect to understand the description in. Thus we are able to coherently decipher the description. Especially when the language is a language such as Sanskrit which is devoid of prepositions and connectors  such as “the”, “and”, “you” and so on that tightly bind words together to retain their structure, multiple co-occurring concepts can be plugged in for co-occurring sets of words to form various meanings. This is called a multi-facet reading of the same document.

We see that irrespective whether we talk about sentient or non-sentient
beings, animate or inanimate objects, for them to be present as a part
of this observable reality around us, they need to have to be movable and have
a qualified self. Hence, reality is defined as “each and every movable that is
qualified by self”.

It is strange that we do not stop to think what motion really is. In physics
it is defined simple as “change in position of an object over time.” While this
definition seems very simple, it is when we start questioning the basics that
all modern science go for a toss. “What does position mean?” and “What
does time mean?” and truly “What is a body or object?”

Rarely do we realise that to move, we need to store the starting point or
set of previous points and compare the current point to those previous series
of points to know there is motion or movement. It cannot be a comparison
just of a single previous point.

it should be recognised that “flowing” as a concept, has a
meaning only if there is an observer. Only an observer can mark a start point,
regularly monitor the position against the start point and hence know if there
is a flow. Given that we are looking at an environment where there is no
external observer, and the “nature of concentration” is an inherent observer,
how can the concept of “flowing” work?

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Surya Siddanta – Part 0

In the Surya Siddanta – Part 1, I had started at the verse 11. But, going back and reading all the verses together, I realise the first 10 are very important to the definition of prANa. While I was under the impression that prANa is just any change, these verses give it a qualification to… Read More

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The Surya Siddanta is considered to be a book of ancient astronomy. Yet, a translation of this book gives us a totally different view of what is presented in the translations. But, it cannot be ignored that what is calculated using the translations from this book turn out to be accurate. I believe the reason… Read More

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The more I translate the Surya Siddanta, the more I am surprised, how was this even mistaken for a literature describing astronomy. The only reason I can give for this is that the person translating it, translated it for what they had already understood and force fitted the concepts into it, rather than translating it… Read More

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