Number Crunching The Vedic Way!

Vedic Mathematics is the name given to an ancient system of Mathematics which was rediscovered from the ancient Indian Scriptures called Vedas meaning ‘knowledge’ between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji (1884 - 1960) who was the Sankaracharya of Govardhan Matha Puri.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, when there was great interest in the Sanskrit texts in Europe, some scholars ridiculed certain texts which were headed Ganita Sutra which means mathematic formulas. They could not decipher any mathematics in the translations and therefore dismissed the texts as rubbish. Bharati Krishna, who himself was a scholar of Sanskrit, Mathematics, History and Philosophy, studied these texts and after lengthy and careful investigation was able to reconstruct the mathematics of the Vedas in 1918.

Bharati Krishna wrote sixteen volumes expounding the Vedic system but these were unaccountably lost and when the loss was confirmed in his final years he wrote a single book - Vedic Mathematics. It was published in 1965, five years after his death.

According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras, or word - formulae. For example, ‘Vertically and Crosswise’ is one of these Sutras. These formulae describe the way the mind works naturally and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution. They are intuitive and fun to work with.

In the Vedic system difficult problems or huge sums can often be solved immediately by the Vedic method. These striking and beautiful methods are just a part of a complete system of mathematics which is far more systematic than the modern system. Vedic mathematics manifests the coherent and unified structure of mathematics and the methods are complimentary, direct and easy.

The simplicity of Vedic Mathematics means that calculations can be carried out mentally (though the methods can be written down). There are many advantages in using a flexible, mental system. Pupils can invent their own methods; they are not limited to the one correct method. This leads to more creative, interested and interesting pupils.

But the real beauty and effectiveness of Vedic Mathematics cannot be fully appreciated without actually practising the system. One can then see that it is perhaps the most refined and efficient mathematical system possible.

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