Rishi Agastya is known through history for his immense capabilities and contributions to mankind. Volumes of his findings are documented in the 3,000-year-old text ‘Agastya Samhita’ including workings of a kite, of air balloons and airplanes, ayurveda, astrology, martial arts and also electricity. He seems to be the first person in documented history to have created an electric cell. Agastya Samhita details how to construct an electric battery or cell, as also how to utilise the battery to ‘split’ water into its constituent gasses. The modern battery that we use today, in fact, follows Agastya’s principle of electricity.
Apparatus used by Sage Agastya to generate electricity included—an earthen pot, a copperplate, coppersulphate, wet saw dust and zinc amalgam.
संस्था प्ये मृन्मये पत्रे “तम्रपात्र्न” सुसांकरतम |
तेय्डाछ्च शिखी ग्रिवेनड्रारभिही कस्थापन्सुभिही ||
दस्तलोष्तो निधताव्याहा पारडच्छादितस्ताटाहा |
संयोगात जयते तेजो मित्रावरून संद्यिटम ||
Translation: Insert a copper plate in an earthenware vessel and cover it first by copper sulphate and then with moist sawdust. Then put zinc sheet amalgamated by mercury on top of an energy known by the twin name of mitra-varuna. Current produced will split the water into pranavayu and udanavayu. Combination of one hundred such vessels would produce a very strong electrical force.
In above verse, mitra is cathode and varuna is anode. Pranavayu is oxygen, udanavayu is hydrogen, ghritachi is earthen ceramic beaker, shatakumbh is 100 cells in series to convert chemical energy to electrical energy, Apsara is water tight vessel.
अणेन जलभगोस्ती प्रणोदनेशू वायूषू |
एवं शतना कुंभना संयोगहा कार्यक्ृटसमृताहा ||
Translation: If we use the power of 100 earthen pots on water, then water will change its form into life-giving oxygen and floating hydrogen.
Agastya’s experiment was successfully exhibited on August 7 in the year 1990, during the fourth general meeting of Swadeshi Vigyan Sanshodhan Sanstha in Nagpur, amidst all the scholars. When a cell was created according to this technique, it was observed to produce 1.4V of electricity and short circuit current as 23 mA. Some researchers claim that the electric battery was used in Vedic era to create medical ozone from electrolysis of water charged with fresh tulsi or basil leaves.
HOT AIR BALLOON
वायुबन्धकवस्त्रेणनिबद्धो यानमस्तके उदनःस्वलघुत्वे बिभर्त्याकाशयानकम्
Translation: If hydrogen is contained in an air tight cloth, it can be used in aerodynamics, i.e. it will fly in air.
The process of air proofing a balloon bag is described as follows:
Dip a silk bag in the bark of trees which produces milky juice (rubber), dry and dip it in the juice of another tree that produces tannin. Dry it again and coat it first with wax and then with mixture of lime and sugar.
Know Your Rishi:
- Rishi Agastya is one of the seven Saptrishis.
- According to Puranas, he was born in a kumbh (pitcher) from the semen of Varun and Mitra.
- He is considered the father of Tamil Literature.
- He is attributed many mantras of the first veda, the Rigveda.
- He made pioneering contributions in the field of Ayurveda and Jyotish
- Lalita Sahastranam, which praises the Goddess through her thousand names was revealed to Sage Agastya by Hayagriva, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
- Aditya Hrdyam, a hymn to Surya Deva, was composed by Sage Agastya. He taught it to Shri Ram just before war with Ravan.
- He also composed the Saraswati Stotram.
- According to texts, once Vindhyas grew so high that they began to obstruct the sun and approached heavens. Rishi Agastya then went to the mountain who prostrated before him and remained prostrated forever.
- During war between Indra and Vritra, asurs hid themselves in the ocean. Rishi Agastya then drank all the water of the ocean and exposed them. They were sent to netherworld. He then prophesied that they emerge again in kalyug, which is what is happening now.
- According to Ramayana, he is a unique sage, short and heavy in built, who by living in south, balances the powers of Lord Shiv and weight of Kailash and Mount Meru.
- Lord Ram stayed at Agastya ashram during his exile. The Sage gave him three gifts: a bow made by Vishvakarma for Lord Vishnu, an inexhaustible quiver and a sword.
- He killed demons Vatapi and Ilwala after they jointly misled and destroyed 9,000 men.
He is regarded as the founder and patron saint of silambam and varmam—an ancient science of healing and the southern martial arts—kalaripayat, which he learnt from Lord Kartikeya himself.