The mysteries of the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam have long puzzled students of Vedic cosmography and astronomy. Confronted with a description of the universe that seems much at variance with the information provided by our senses and standard astronomical calculations, foreign observers - and even Indian commentators - from the Middle Ages up to the present, have concluded that the Bhagavatm's account, elaborated in other Puranas, must be mythological. On the other hand, the same persons have been much impressed with Vedic astronomical treatises, the Jyotisasastras, which provide remarkably accurate measurements of the solar system.
Dr. Richard Thompson shows that the Fifth Canto's cosmography and the accounts of the solar system found in the Jyoisa-sastras are not contradictory, but that they in fact represent distinct yet mutually consistent ways of comprehending a universe with important features beyond the range of ordinary sense perception. Here in the book the author begins with the account of Vedic astronomy by discussing the astronomical siddhantas. It discusses space, physical laws and processes of sense perception; gives an account of Puranic cosmology, addresses the question of whether or not there is any empirical evidence supporting the higher-dimensional picture of the universe, and surveys the modern scientific evidence regarding the theory of the expanding universe. Lastly, some brief answers to a number of common questions are presented.
About the Authors:
Richard L. Thompson was born in Binghampton, New York, in 1947. In 1974 he received his Ph. D. in mathematics from Cornell University, where he specialized in probability theory and statistical mechanics.
Dr. Thompson has done scientific research in quantum physics, mathematical biology, and remote sensing. He has extensively investigated ancient Indian astronomy, cosmology, and spirituality, and he has developed multimedia expositions on these topics. He is the author of six books on topics ranging from consciousness to archeology and ancient astronomy.