Ganita Ratna Kosha - Treasures From Indian Mathematics

An Introduction

Ganita Ratna Kosha

A course on the Treasures from Indian Mathematics

Prepared by Sripathi Sripada

Welcome to - Ganita Ratna Koshah - a collection of interesting techniques from Indian Mathematics, compiled and brought out by Sri.Sripathi Sripada, an IT professional from Hyderabad, India, who graduated in Chemical Engineering graduate from Andhra University, did his MBA from IIM Calcutta and who is passionate about Mathematics, Samskrit, Grammar, Yoga, Philosophy and teaching.

Indian Mathematics, in the context of this series, refers to the mathematics that was developed in India in Samskrit language.

From a very long time upto early 19th century Samskrit was one of the prominent languages in India. During this period, as in other civilisations, there was huge amount of philosophical and scientific progress. Samskrit was the medium thorugh which this was passed on orally in the beginning and later on through written script.

One of the disciplines, where the Indian civilization has made significant contributions, is Mathematics or Ganita in Samskrit. If we turn back the pages of history we will find that there were 2 eras of amazing development in Ganita

  1. the Vedic period which is all the period upto 200 BCE and then
  2. after a brief hiatus, there was the classical period from 400 CE to about 1700 CE.

A couple of the widely acknowledged contributions of the Indian Mathematicians are extremely fundamental to our progress in science –

  • the concept of zero and
  • the place value system (wherein the value of digits in a number increases from as we go from right to left)

There were a lot of prominent mathematicians and mathematical knowledge that was passed on across generations.  There were texts documented towards the end of the vedic period which deal with geometry, combinatorials and a variety of mathematical topics.

The classical period had a number of prominent mathematicians across a few centuries. And all them wrote a variety of Mathematical texts in Samskrit. A few of these prominent ones have been listed in the introductory Video.

This is in no way an exhaustive list. A full list is available on the internet. The series of contributions in Samskrit came to a standstill, somewhere during the mid 18th to early 19th century when India was reeling under colonial oppression.

And in the middle of 20th century, Jagadguru Swami Bharati Krishna Tirthaji of Puri, documented some of this beautiful Mathematics in Samskrit and he called it Vedic Mathematics.

All this mathematics, that was written in Samskrit is not usually taught to us in our schools today but has some really helpful techniques that are complementary to our syllabus of Mathematics as we learn it in school today.

This Ganita Ratna Kosha series, hosted by Bharath Gyan, has been designed and created by Sri. Sripathi Sripada. In this series he will share his learnings from various Mathematical texts in Samskrit in a series of 5 to 7 min videos which will be very useful to middle and high school students.

He will cover a large variety of techniques for arithmetic and also bring in some techniques relevant to Algebra, Trigonometry and Mensuration.

These techniques can be learnt by anyone. They are easy to practice and master.

They have been designed them in 3 levels to help students gain accuracy and speed in arithmetic, while also helping them develop analytical skills.

  • Level 1 - Baalah, Beginners for children from Grade 3 to 5/6 

Teaches new ways to do simple Arithmetic Calculations 

  • Level 2 - Samarthah, Intermediate  for children from Grade 5/6 upto Grade 9 

Teaches more ways to do simple to moderate Arithmetic Calculations 

  • Level 3 - Kusalah, Proficient for children from Grade 10 upwards

Teaches ways to do complex Arithmetic calculations, Number Systems, Trigonometry, Algebra

Irrespective of age, all have to start from Level 1 to be able to learn how to work using this technique.

It is always an inspiration to know how our masters of the past had solved a variety of mathematical problems. Who knows where you will find them relevant in your own work.

Stay tuned….

Sri. Sripathi Sripada can be contacted at [email protected] .

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