Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vedics roots of modern mathematics. (part -1)


Given below is a news report on the successful attempts on how the Vedic concepts were the mother of many mathematical concepts. Left out in this attempt (perhaps) is the knowledge of highest numbers in ancient Bharat. One such number is "Arbuda" which is the name for 'hundred million' . This is exactly the name for the disease cancer in Ayurveda. This disease is in the nature of or caused by the multiplying of cells in millions. The ancient sages have rightly named the disease as Arbuda.

The knowledge  and use of highest numbers had been prevalent throughout Bharat of olden days for, we find a mention of another highest number "Ambal" in the sangam text of Paripadal. It is the name given to the number which cannot be counted. It is described by the poem as the number which is in multiples of hundreds of thousands. Vishnu is identified as having Ambal number of hands!

There are verses given in the Tamil Thesaurus (Choodamani Nigandu) for the high- value numbers.

They are as follows:

100,000 =  Athi-yugam

100,000 Athi-yugam =  Brahmam

100,000 Brahmam = kOti

10 Koti = Arbudam

100 kOti = GaNakam

10 GaNakam= Kalpam

10 Kalpam = Nikalpam

10 Nikalpam = Sangam

10 sangam = Samudram

1 Samudram is equal to 10 lakh crores = 1000000,00,00,000

The existence of these words in Tamil and Sanskrit shows that there must have been texts or places where the ancients had used these numbers. All those are non-existent now.  In this context any attempt by anyone to bring out these information must be lauded and encouraged.

As a continuation of this post, I am happy to bring out part-2 of this post with more information on the Vedic roots of mathematics written by Dr Arun Kumar Upadhyay.






Dictionary traces maths concepts to Vedas

Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN Aug 30, 2012, 04.07AM IST


KOLKATA: For eight years, a few mathematics and Sanskrit scholars of the Calcutta University have been working on a mammoth project. They have been trying to establish a tall claim that at least 5,000 basic and advanced modern mathematical concepts have their roots in Sanskrit and most of these have Vedic antecedents.


At the end of this painstaking research, the first kosa or dictionary of Sanskrit to English mathematical terms is ready and there are four more to follow. This central government project is being touted as the first of its kind in the world as never before have the Indian etymology of so many modern technical terms been so radically established.


The project was given to these scholars by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, a wing of the ministry of human resources development, through the city-based Sanskrit Sahitya Parishat. The chief investigators of the project are retired faculty members of Jadavpur and Calcutta universities, Manabendu Banerjee and Pradip Kumar Majumdar, respectively.


While the world gives credit to India for invention of the concept of 'zero', not much else in modern maths is attributed to this country. "Also, while it is generally believed that it was the fifth century AD mathematician Aryabhatta who invented zero, we have been able to establish in our project that zero or ananta was a concept as old as the Rig Veda. Similarly, eka or number one also has roots in this Veda," explained Majumdar.


All branches of mathematics are well represented in the Vedas, Aranyakas, Brahminical literature, Upanishads, Panini's Ashtadhyayi and Yaska's Nirukto, the dictionary explains. It goes on to prove that most solutions that can be arrived through algebra, geometry and trigonometry have Sanskrit roots. Thus, what the world knows as Pythagoras' theorem existed in the Sulbasutras provided in the manuscripts of Boudhayan, Apostombo, Manaba and Katyayan. A large number of formulae developed thousands of years ago, which lead to the same assumption as modern theorems, have been provided in the dictionary, with their places of occurrence in Indian punthis.


"Take the case of Euclid's concepts, on which modern geometry is based. You will find that all of today's geometric shapes and angles were present in the way the yajnabedis or the holy sacrificial fires were erected. Each design had a typical astronomical or cosmic meaning to it and a specific purpose for which the yajna was to be conducted," explained Banerjee, who is also the former vice-president of Asiatic Society. The dictionary is replete with the designs of these yajnabedis and go on to explain their modern geometrical equivalents. The additional benefit is that the ancient custom and belief system surrounding these bedis have also been explained in the dictionary. It says that the origin of most of these designs can be found in Vedanga Jyotish of 12th century BC.


Similarly, what the world associates with trigonometry today can be found in the ancient Indian texts. Take one of the most common formulae in Trigonometry - sin 2A = 2 sin A cos A. The dictionary explains that you can find such formulae that are used to measure area or height in the manuscripts of not one but several scholars of ancient India. The term jyotpotti (trigonometry) and the integral formulae therein can be traced back to Aryabhatta in his Siddhantasiromani, in the 12th century manuscripts of Bhaskaracharya II, in the 7th century Brahmasputasiddhanta of Brahma Gupta and in the 16th century Siddhantatattobibek of Kamalakar, the dictionary says.


1 comment:

kirtimukha said...

We have managed to lose our great heritage and have descended to the lowest depth of culture (= restraint), morals and Value concepts. Instead of looking up to shreyas, we are steeped in wallowing in pleasure = preyas. The article tells us of the great heights our ancient ancestors, had scaled; may it re-ignite the spark of action needed for shreyas. श्रेयो भूयात् सकल जनानां ||