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Topic: Dictionary traces math concepts to Vedas
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Dr. Jai Maharaj

Posts: 276
Registered: 1/30/06
Dictionary traces math concepts to Vedas
Posted: Sep 4, 2012 2:43 PM
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Dictionary traces maths concepts to Vedas

By Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN
The Times of India
August 30, 2012

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

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Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi
Om Shanti

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