ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Vedic Mathematics

Vedic Mathematics Jashbhai Patel THIS is in support of S G Dani's appeal (EPW, July 31, 1993): "It is high time that the saner elements joined hands to educate people... lest the intellectual and educational life in the country get vitiated..." Around 1976, the book Vedic Mathematics by Jagadguru Swami Shri Bharti Krishna Tirthaji Maharaj was referred to me. I refused to comment on it at that date because I did not know then nor know now a single word of Sanskrit. Even then, J was surprised to read the contents. It consisted of the various tricks to do arithmetic simply. No doubt, to discover an original or a new method in arithmetic or for that matter in any other field is a sure sign of a genius and the jagadguru was perhaps one such genius, I do not want to dispute this fact. What I felt then was this: to call his work mathematics, as the word is understood in the modern world, was certainly and highly problematic. Further, that the work was contained in the Vedas was beyond verification for me because I had not read them. However, I was fairly familiar with the work: History of Hindu Mathematics - A Source Book, Parts I and II by Bibhutibhushan Datta and Avadhesh Narayan Singh (1935, 1938). This is the best and the most reliable scholarly work on Hindu mathematics. The first part is devoted to Hindu Arithmetic and the second part deals with Hindu Algebra and a few allied topics. I did not find in this great work any reference to what the jagadguru had written about in his book. This did cast some doubt in my mind but 1 was not Bibhutibhushan Datta, a remarkably great scholar of Sanskrit and mathematics, whose student Dhar (Krishnamurty Foundation, Rajghat) said to me in Benaras that he became a sanyasi in his later life, to dispute the jagadguru's claims, I am happy that Dani has exposed the worth of the jagadguru ashok in his article.

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