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Hinduism & Science: 8.4 million Species of Life
Vishnu Purana, One of the 18 Major Purana texts of Hinduism which is estimated to be written between 100 BCE & 100 CE. Mentions the number of Species on earth to be around 84 Lakh or 8.4 Million. It was brought to mainstream attention by Swami Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1974 Lectures. The same number and classification can also found in Karma Vipaka [Source] and is said to be in Padma Purana as well.
Here is the Verse:
According to this Verse, the number of Species in each category is as follows [From Sanskrit Lexicon]:
Garuda Purana (800CE- 1000CE) (Preta Kalpa: Chapter 12: Verse 2) Classifies 84 Lakh Species into 4 Categories:
Other References in the Scriptures, Texts
Kanaka Dasa (1509CE-1609CE): A saint who lived in Karnataka, Southern state of India, in one of his songs writes:
Sikh References: Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh [1666 CE-1708 CE] wrote a Poem title "Chaurasi Lakh Joon Upai" which means "Solution to pass through 84 Lakh Life forms" to liberation.
What does Science Say?
Recent researches have found that there are around 8.7 Million Species (Source 2), but with around 15% variation Positive or negative. Scientists also affirm that new species come to existence and go extinct all the time.
Scientists Classify Life forms as follows:
The Total number of Species mentioned in the scriptures(8.4 Million) and the Recent Scientific research (8.7 Million) are very close. But the classification of species in both are very different, thus difficult to compare the numbers in each.
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