About evolution of life Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (6.4.1) states “The earth is the essence of all these beings, water the essence of the earth, herbs of water, flowers of herbs, fruits of flowers, man of fruits, and the seed of man.”
Taittiriya Upanishad Section two - Brahmnanda Valli (2.1) mentions “… So, from this Atman has sprung Ether and from Ether, Air; from Air, Fire; from Fire, Water; from Water, Earth; from Earth Vegetables from vegetables, food; from food Man. Thus, Man is constituted of essence of food." and
Chhandogya Upanishad (1.1.2) point out “The essence of all these beings is the earth, the essence of the earth is water; the essence of water, plant; the essence of plants, man…”
These three verses about man (life) has two common constituents, namely, essence (mentioned as Rasa in all three Sanskrit verses) and plants (vegetation). According to Max Muller (1879) essence, that is, rasa can be explained as sap that gives vigour and life to a tree. As per Monier Williams Sanskrit-English dictionary (1872) in philosophical work rasa is regarded as a kind of unusual essence of human body. Thus, every verse proclaims that the rasa- essence of the plant- is the common ancestor man (life).
Evidence i. Darwin’s Study - Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, in his classical work ‘On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’ (1859) on page 484 states “… Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed."
Evidence ii. Geological Study – Darwin suspected that there should be fossils if primitive life forms are to be found in Precambrian rocks. American economic geologist, Stanley Tyler, in 1950s found well preserved microfossils in ancient Precambrian Gunflint ironstones in Ontario, Canada along the shores of Lake Superior. Radiometric techniques confirmed the date to be 2100 million years.
Evidence iii. Genome Study- The most recent contribution to common ancestor theory comes from the study of human genome sequencing. (Genome is a complete set of DNA of an organism.) The data generated by human genome sequencing project indicates that any two randomly drawn humans are genetically 99.9% identical. Human geneticists who are intensively studying human genomic diversity engage themselves with a tiny fraction (about a 10th of one percent) of the human genome, which some may consider as an insignificant endeavour. However, it is this small fraction that confers an element of uniqueness to every human. It is primarily this fraction on which various evolutionary forces, particularly, natural selection, has acted on during the period of evolution of modern humans from its most recent common ancestor.
Moreover, all organisms have genomes and all genomes from organisms living or dead on this planet emanate from a single common ancestor. Because changes in DNA are passed on from a parent to an offspring, there is a continual record of the changes that have occurred over three billon years of existence of life on this planet.
Thus, to the philosophical thinking or visualization of Upanishads, Darwin provided qualitative data based judgment which was reconfirmed by modern scientific methods like radiometric and genome study.
In Adhyaya 184 of Shanti Parva, Mokshadharma Parva, of Mahabharata in conversation with Bharadwaja, Bhrigu says “… Through sound of wind and fire and thunder, their fruits and flowers drop down. Sound is perceived through the ear. Trees have, therefore, ears and do hear.” Later, this fact is scientifically proved by J. C. Bose. He showed that with the melodious music plants grow faster.
About Such information M. J. Filliozat, Professor of the College of France in his article, in the Journal of Word History, rightly expressed that “Research in ancient India led very early to the development of theories which, although ahead of their time, never the less logical systems of thought about structure of reality, that is to say of science.”
Dharmottara’s Nayavindu Tika notice phenomenon of sleep by contraction of leaves by plant, for example, rain tree, tamarind, lotus petals, etc
Udayana in a chapter named Prithvinirupanam in his Kiranavali , notices the phenomena of life, death, sleep, waking, disease, drugging, transmission of specific characters by means of ova, movements towards what is favourable and avoiding what is unfavourable, in plants, for example, coconut.
About mushrooms grown in stacks of straw medium the Sushruta Samhita states they are sweet in taste and during digestion subdue the three disturbed humours of the body Edible mushrooms are even today grown in rice or wheat straws
Gunaratna in his commentary on Saddarsana-samuchhaya says that seeds of nimba (neem) germinate well when sown in rainy season under influence of dew and air. It is true; because the author’s experience shows that in a nursery seeds of neem are to be sown for germination in monsoon that is during or just after its fruiting season. It is observed that, if seeds are sown later, they do not germinate because the kernel inside the seed dries up preventing germination.
References to Kunapajala, fermented liquid manure, are found in documents between 1000 AD to 1577 AD from different corners of the country namely, in Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda, and Sarangadhara’s Upavanvinoda, in Eastern India and Chakrapani Mishra’s Vishvavallabha in Western India, and in Chavundaraya’s Lokopakara in Southern India. Kunapajala can be prepared using easily available plant and animal ingredients. The beauty of Kunapajala is that, it can be used on any plant at any growth stage by soil application method. Recently field trials of Kunapajala have shown excellent results on mango, coconut, chilly, tomato, brinjal, etc. in various parts of the county.