Continuing from the previous article:- Origin of the Universe | Vedic Conception | 101; Fossil is preserved remains of animals or plants. The remains of an animal or plant present from an earlier era inside a rock or other geologic deposit, often as an impression or in petrified state. Fossils help scientists to understand how life on the earth grew from a few tiny living things to the great variety we know today. This fossilized ichthyosaurus was found in Germany and dates from the early Jurassic Period, about 185 million years ago. Before 3400 million years ago, in the pre Cambriaonic period prokaryotes and single called micro-organisms were able to photosynthesize, which produce oxygen. 1000 years after soft bodied jellyfish, corals and sea-worms were found before the beginning of Devonian period. Fossils make it possible to estimate the time period when the rocks and the fossils associated with them were formed. The oldest known animal fossil, about 700 million years old, small worm like creatures with soft bodies.
Flood Legends of Western Country:- Like that of Puranic flood legend, history of many western countries stated the flood legends happened to dissolute the world and recreate the new world from the water. Here some important historical western flood legends are discussed in brief to show the one and same principle in the origin of the earth from the flood water and the history of development of the geology. Biblical reference – [Babylonian history] In Biblical genesis describes the well- known story of the creation of the world. It states that ‘in the beginning, god created the heaven and the earth. The earth was not formed and empty, the darkness covered the abyss and the spirit of god blew over the water. These last words suggest that the earth originally passed through a state of aqueous liquidity. The work of creation was completed in six days in which on first day the light is created. Throughout the Bible the transcendent god is referred by the sign of light. Where as in firstly the sun is created. There were 30 million species on board while creationists estimate some 16,000 to 30,000 population founders on board Noah’s ark. Perhaps the second most important historical account of a global flood can be found in a Babylonian flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. When the Biblical and Babylonian accounts are compared, a number of outstanding similarities are found that leave no doubt these stories are rooted in the same event or oral tradition. Some geologists believe that quite dramatic, unusually great flooding of rivers in the distant past might have influenced the legends. A news article from National Geographic News February 2009 reported that the flooding might have been quite mild. K. A. Von Zittel explains the ancient stories of creation on the basis of Babylonian and Jewish accounts. Alexander [611 B.C.] states an infinite all pervading primeval substance posses in an inherent power of movement from the first. He also explains that the earth rested in the center of the whole universe and human beings were at first fish like in forms consisted with the semi fluid state of their environment.
According to Plato [427 B.C.] the universe is the production of divine intelligence and of the necessary development of nature. A great philosopher and of Greek Aristotle remarked that the universe is divided into an earthly and heavenly half while the four elements – earth, water, air and fire compose the earth and the planets.This concept is similar to Pañcatanmatras. John Woodward described that fossils represented past faunas and floras and he supposed these remains to have been carried to their present position in the earth by a universal flood, the deluge of Scriptures. He also concludes that before the flood, the earth’s surface conformation had been similar to that which we now know. A study of cores of sediments found in the bottom of Gulf of Mexico has shown the evidence of a vast flood of fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico. It clearly shows that there was a major period of flooding from 12,000 to 10,000 years ago. There was no question that there was a flood and there is no question that it was a universal flood. All above discussed opinions proves the basic concepts of origin of earth, described in Puranas, is same with ancient geologist of western countries. Modern geological researchers support to the theory of occurrences of floods and devastation of the land by the erosion of the sea as in Western Asia, Southern India and other parts of the world. Traditionally in the world every country has same version of flood or the flood legends. According to the chronological table drawn up by the Pavan chronicler in 265 B.C. the deluge is said to be dated in the year 1539 B.C.41 Diksitar points out to view that Indus people must have migrated to Elam, Tunis, Babylon and even to the Egypt. About this migration there are two opinions that one is the migration of the culture must have been from the Indian home rather than the other way about. Second one is there is evidence of pottery. It may be happened that the Sumerians took with them the Indian Potter’s art from Sind. According to Diksitar, if this assumption of migration from India be correct, the Vedic legends as seen in SB, was the origin of other flood legends. According to Hindu literary tradition the flood legends of western countries were partial deluge and not a Mahapralaya which enveloped all the words.
Development of Matsya:- According to geological time scale before 540 million years ago evolution of chordates occurs in cambrianoic period. In this period fishes are diversified maximum up to Devonian period to this period and this is known as the age of fishes. Armored limbless fishes are called as Ostracoderms. They have no genes and gill slits are used for respiration. These are the first vertebrates having a backbone or spinal column. In Devonian period fishes diversified into jawed fishes, joint necked fishes and armored like modern sharks. They became extinct by the close of the Devonian illustrating the lane of evolution. These developed into bony fishes having hard bony skeleton. In the mid Devonian period cartilaginous fishes developed very well having real jaws, paired limbs and had cartilaginous skeleton on the body. Lung-fishes in the Devonian were a group of Mud-fishes. They had limbs and swim-bladders as lungs. These lung-fishes had balloon-like sac filled with air, called the swim-bladder. According to evolutionary process, the useful features were developed into fishes, which were helpful to them for surviving in their inhabitants. According to the habitat of fishes, shape, food and size of the fishes had many variations as a result a variety of diversity was produced. According to the evolution of fish, the Matsya development occurs in the second chapter of MP, where Manu protected the Saphari – small carp and changed its habitat according to the growth of that Saphari. This development shows many similarities to the evolutionary development of fishes [for details vide chapter-1 Manu-Matsya conversation]. This proves that why Puranas are said to the real sources of different scientific studies. If the Matsya development based on MP is considered true in shape and size, modern species of fishes found in different habitats are compared with that of fishes which developed fast as Manu changed their habitats. MP mentions exact measurement of developing fishes, coincidently which match with some modern species. This comparative study is shown below, which is described systematically in the table shown below. Over and above this, Puranic writers were familiar to the science and evolutionary developments at their level in traditional way. There was awareness about the protection of animals and environments which is explained as Bhutadaya.
|No||Length of the Matsya in MP||Habitat – MP||Modern class||Habitat Ichthology||Special features of fish|
|1||Very small fish [Saphari] [3-4 cm]||Manu’s hand/ Kamndalu||Agnatha Jawless fish||Fresh water||1st vertebrates No true jaws Filter feeding mouth|
|2||16 fingers [8-10 inc.]||Jar||Gnathostom-ata Jawed fish [Placodermi]||Fresh and salt water||Mouth jawed, paired fins and scales|
|3||2 hands [5-7 feet ]||Well||Chondricthy-es Cartilaginou-s fish||Salt water||Skeleton of cartilage, live mainly in salt water|
|4||1 Yojana [8 miles]||Tank||Osteichytes [Teleostei] Bony fish||Fresh and salt water||Skelton of bone, rayed fins|
|5||[50-80 feet]||Ganges||Cetaceans [Giant Whale]||Polar regions||Aquatic mammals, large in size|
|6||200 Yojanas [1600 miles]||Entire Ocean||Matsya Incarnation of Visnu||NA||Half fish and half man i.e. features of Whale|
Table : Development of Matsya according to MP and Ichthyology.