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History Of Indian Mathematics

Now we will briefly discuss the contributions and workings of the above listed scholars in different disciplines of mathematics.

1.1 Numbers and Arithmetic

The system of expressing the number from 1 to 9 has a base 10 from ancient time. No other base is found. Decimal denominational terms namely eka for one, dasha for 10, shata for 100, sahasra for 1000 etc up to parardha for 1012 are first described by Rishi Medhatithi in Rugveda. Similar list of decuple terms is given later by Aryabhata, Shridhara, Bhaskara (II) etc. Of course, one of the most important contributions of early Indian scholars is introduction of zero in number system and counting accordingly. Famous scientist A. Einstein rightly pointed that “We owe a lot to Indians who thought us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery is possible”. The ten base place value system of expressing the number is also unique and most significant contribution of Indian scholars. Not only the counting numbers but integers, rational and irrational numbers are studied and used since Shulva Sutra period. Eight basic operations namely Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Square, Square root, Cube and Cube root are extensively discussed. Rule of three, five, seven and nine is another significant contribution. Similarly rule for finding LCM of numbers, rule for net of numbers, laws of indices, root approximation formula, rules for simple and compound interest, summation of triangular numbers and arithmetic and geometric series, testing of answers of arithmetic operations by casting out 9, Shabdanka and Aksharanka system of expressing the numbers are few notable additions in the list of contributions by above mentioned scholars.