I had come to know during my childhood itself that our country had had zero, advanced mathematics and physical sciences since before the Common Era. However, I too, like others had thought that it died in India without further evolution and that the West had independently invented the science which brought the modern age of education and enlightenment. Quite naively, like many others, I too thought that probably the Christianity itself had the scientific temper which had been responsible for the renaissance of the mankind.
In 1975, I started visiting a Christian missionary named Emmaus to learn the Bible. I was shocked to find soon that the Christianity was far more superstitious, dogmatic, and unscientific, and I stopped visiting the church and the missionary.
My curiosity in the ancient Indian science continued and it was enhanced rather than quenched by the scanty material such as that written by Gunakar Mule etc.
In 1998,I was window-shopping a bookshop at Louth in England, where on the shelf I found a book by David E. Duncan titled The Calendar. It was from this book that I learnt that all the science of the West was due to a direct transmission of the Sanskrit texts from India to Baghdad where it was translated into Arabic. It was from there that the texts were further transported to Spain where they were re-translated to Latin and that became the starting point of science for the West.
I first shared the matter with Arul Prakash, who became excited and encouraged me to research further and lecture on the topic among the UK-Indian diaspora. Soon I started lecturing on the topic to small groups of my Indian acquaintances in UK. In the meantime I shifted to Halifax.
One of my chelas at that time was Dr Milind Sovani at Halifax, who told me that lectures have not much value and I must try to write a book, and while it was in the process, I should put the matter on the internet. After a couple of months I was able to make a text, and posted it on the net in the year 2000. It received tremendous response, and a large number of websites hosted it. It had the seed value for the fact that today most of educated people are aware that the Western Science was the result of direct transmission of the Indian knowledge.
And the further research gave birth to my two books, India’s Contributions to the West, and Zero is not the only Story.
My lecture on the topic given in the IIT Kanpur presents discusses briefly the subject how Indian science was transmitted to Europe.