History of Vedic Mathematics
The “Vedic Mathematics” is called so because of its origin from Vedas. To be more specific, it has originated from “Atharva Vedas” the fourth Veda. “Atharva Veda” deals with the branches like Engineering, Mathematics, sculpture, Medicine, and all other sciences with which we are today aware of. The Sanskrit word Veda is derived from the root Vid, meaning to know without limit. The word Veda covers all Veda-Sakhas known to humanity. The Veda is a repository of all knowledge, fathomless, ever revealing as it is delved deeper.
Vedic Mathematics forms part of Jyotish Shastra which is one of the six parts of Vedangas. The Jyotish Shastra or Astronomy is made up of three parts called Skandas. A Skanda means the big branch of a tree shooting out of the trunk. Vedic scholars did not use figures for big numbers in their numerical notation. Instead, they preferred to use the Sanskrit alphabets, with each alphabet constituting a number. Several mantras, in fact, denote numbers; that includes the famed Gayatri Mantra, which adds to 108 when decoded.
Vedic Mathematics is a system of mathematics which was discovered by Indian mathematician "Jagadguru Shri Bharathi Krishna Tirthaji" in the period between A.D. 1911 and 1918 and published his findings in a "Vedic Mathematics" Book by Tirthaji Maharaj. Vedic Mathematics is a collection of Techniques/Sutras to solve mathematical arithmetics in easy and faster way. It consists of 16 Sutras (Formulae) and 13 sub-sutras (Sub Formulae) which can be used for problems involved in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, conics.
Shri Bharathi Krishna Tirthaji Maharaj was born in March 1884 in the Puri village of Orissa state. He was very good in subjects like mathematics, science, humanities and was excellent in Sanskrit language. His interests were also in spiritualism and mediation. In fact when he was practicing meditation in the forest near Sringeri, he rediscovered the Vedic sutras. He claims that these sutras/techniques he learnt from the Vedas especially ‘Rig-Veda’ directly or indirectly and he intuitively rediscovered them when he was practicing meditation for 8 years. Later he wrote the sutras on the manuscripts but were lost. Finally in year 1957, he wrote introductory volume of 16 sutras which is called as Vedic Mathematics and planned to write other sutras later. But soon he developed cataract in both of his eyes and passed away in year 1960.
It will be of interest to everyone but more so to younger students keen to make their mark in competitive entrance exams. India’s past could well help them make it in today’s world. It is amazing how with the help of 16 Sutras & 13 sub-sutras, the Vedic seers were able to mentally calculate complex mathematical problems.