Though sacred text maths evokes Hindutva connotations, the very fact is that it is a system of straightforward arithmetic, which might be used for tangled calculations.

— (Credit: Ajit Ninan)NO ONE raises a hair once kids are needed to study multiplication tables until nineteen. Then, throw a match if students are instructed a way to multiply 199 by 199 while not resorting to multiplication tables, just because the strategy used is sacred text mathematics?

The revivification of interest in sacred text maths passed off as a results of Jagadguru Hindoo Sri Bharathi avatar Tirthaji Maharaj business enterprise wrote a book on the topic in 1965. The erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party government in state, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh then introduced sacred text maths into the varsity course of study, however this move was perceived as an endeavor to impose Hindutva, as a result of sacred text philosophy was being projected because the repository of all human knowledge. The following hue and cry over the teaching of sacred text maths is especially as a result of it’s come back to be known with Protestantism and obscurantism, each thought-about the polar opposite of science. The critics argue that belief in sacred text maths mechanically necessitates belief in Hindu renaissance.

But is that this argument valid? it’s long been famous that the richness of Indian arithmetic extends on the far side the invention of zero. Avatar Tirtha is attributable with the invention of sixteen mathematical formulae that were a part of the parishishta (appendix) of the Atharva Vedic literature, one amongst the four Vedas (See box). Tirtha’s easy formulae build tangled mathematical calculations attainable. Besides dashing up variety of mathematical procedures, Tirtha’s formulae cowl factorisation; highest common factors; coinciding, quadratic, boxlike and biquadratic equations; partial fractions, geometry, and differential and the calculus (See box). However Tirtha isn’t while not his critics, even except for those that take into account sacred text maths is “unscientific”.

So, not all of Tirtha’s work is laid-off as elementary. Abundant of it is pure mathematics in nature and enhances process skills that have sizable pedagogic price.

Tirtha’s work contains decent examples to discount complaints that it’s simply a bag of process tricks, however it’s true that the supposed appendix to the Atharva Vedic literature isn’t to be found in any living text. sadly, Tirtha ne’er set down in complete kind the sixteen formulae that were presupposed to lie on the far side the process ways used. The sole references are to abbreviated forms. It is conjointly true that the techniques in Tirtha’s book regarding division and revenant decimals aren’t to be found within the work of early Indian mathematicians. However, Tirtha’s techniques regarding squares, sq. roots, cubes and cube roots follow the acquainted work of Aryabhata I, Sridhara (750) and Bhaskara II.

Two potentialities arise from all this: Either Tirtha discovered lost elements of the Atharva Vedic literature or he should have evolved the formulae himself, which might build him a larger man of science than he claimed to be. In either case, it’s impertinent to dialogue whether or not the kindulae form a part of the appendix of the Atharva Veda; what’s vital is whether or not the formulae are helpful — and on now, there is no dispute.

Rich tradition

Even on the far side Tirtha’s work, there’s a case being created for a better examination of ancient Indian arithmetic. As a result of Aryabhata’s technique of decisive sq. and cube roots and Sridhara’s and Bhaskara II’s formula to work out cubes ar all way faster than the standard ways, why should not they be used? Why should not students be instructed Bhaskara II’s and Brahmagupta’s ways of determination equations?