Claire Barnes

Claire Barnes



Dipavali & firecrackers In this thread, I will debunk the MYTH that bursting firecrackers is a new innovation that was recently introduced into dīpāvali festivities. It will be shown that bursting firecrackers has always been intergral and central part of dīpāvali . [Thread]

At the very core of this entire MYTH is the presumption that Gunpowder (cf. fireworks) was invented in China in 9th century and brought to India by Muslim rulers. This THREAD debunks this widespread MYTH and throws light on the unknown/hidden history of dīpāvali & gunpowder.

Indeed, so widespread is this myth that gunpowder is popularly known as one of “ the "Four Great Inventions" of China”. However, this myth starts falling apart when we examine Chinese sources themselves for the origin of Gunpowder.

According to Chinese sources themselves, an Indian Buddhist monk who brought gunpowder technology to China In 664 CE, he discovered soils in China containing Saltpetre (primary constituent of gunpowder). Chinese studies of Chemistry of saltpetre show evidence of Indian origin.

Of course, this is not to say that Chinese have no contribution to Gunpowder technology. They improvised it & made innovations. However, the initial knowledge of Gunpowder came to China from India. Even Scholar Roger Pauly, a hardcore Sinophile, admits "Indian inspiration"

For those familiar with Indian literature, this should hardly come as a surprise. Indian literature contains ample references to what could be seen as an early form of Gunpowder Let us examine these references before jumping into the discussion about Dipavali

Vaisampayana, the narrator of Mahabharata, describes the manufacture of smoke balls by ancient Indians using what many scholars see as Gunpowder. According to a medieval commentator of the verse, the aforementioned smoke balls were indeed made of Gunpowder.

Atharvanarahasya mentions the use of charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre to make gunpowder, which are the same ingredients used even today to manufacture Gunpowder. In-fact, workers at Sivakasi use these ingredients to make fireworks even today (more below)

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