Who Was the First Indian Sage Who Proposed the Atomic Theory?


Jane Flores

India has a rich history of philosophy and science that dates back thousands of years. One of the most fascinating aspects of this heritage is the ancient Indian atomic theory.

This theory proposes that everything in the universe is made up of tiny, indivisible particles known as atoms. But who was the first Indian sage to propose this revolutionary idea?

The answer to this question lies in the ancient text known as Vaisheshika Sutra, written by sage Kanada around 6th-2nd century BCE. Kanada was a philosopher and a sage who is considered one of the founders of the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy.

According to Vaisheshika Sutra, all matter in the universe is made up of small, indivisible particles called “anu.” These anu are so small that they cannot be seen by human eyes or even by any instruments. However, they are eternal and indestructible.

Kanada’s atomic theory also proposed that different substances are made up of different types and arrangements of anu. For example, fire is made up of small anu that move rapidly while water is made up of larger anu that move slowly.

One interesting aspect of Kanada’s atomic theory is that it also proposed a concept similar to modern-day energy. According to him, every anu has inherent energy or “virya.” The amount of virya within each anu determines its properties and behavior.

Kanada’s atomic theory went on to influence many other ancient Indian philosophical schools such as Nyaya and Samkhya. It also influenced modern-day science with many scholars comparing it to early Greek atomism.

In conclusion, sage Kanada was the first Indian sage who proposed the atomic theory in his seminal work Vaisheshika Sutra. His ideas were revolutionary for his time and continue to influence philosophical and scientific thought today.