Ancient India and Mathematics

via H.Balakrishnan published on August 15, 2007





It was heart-warming to read “Newton’s Infinite Series:We heard it in Malayalam first” (TNIE-14 AUG).Despite all the efforts of historians from the days of the Raj, todate, to suppress India’s ‘glorious past’, truth has started triumphing. Earlier the BBC had debunked the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’, and, accepting the fact of India being the oldest continuing civilisation in the world. And now the truth about Ancient India’s scientific heritage comes to light.


The BBC is also in the process of filming a four-part documentary
entitled “The Story of Maths”. This project is being led by an Oxford professor, Dr. Marcus Du Sautoy. It’s his conviction that Ancient India created some of the most fundamental mathematical theories well before Newton was born. The India reel, in the second part, focuses on how several Indians developed theories in maths that were later discovered by Westerners who took credit for them!! The documentary is slated for screening on BBC-4 in 2008.


In 1978,the internationally renowned American mathematician and
Historian of science, Dr.A.Seidenberg,in his monumental paper “The Origin of Mathematics”,had recognized the seminal contributions of Ancient India to the development of Mathematics.He wrote: :


“If it could be shown that each of these has a single source-and there are many rather familiar facts that suggest this is so-and if, moreover, in both cases the sources turn out to be the same, it would be plausible to claim we have found the unique origin of mathematics”. Siedenberg was referring to the existence of algebraic and geometric traditions in the ‘SULABASUTRAS’.


It is a tragedy that Ancient India’s contributions in the field of science are NOT being taught to our children in schools. We have to thank the (secular) ‘EMINENT HISTORIANS’ for this sorry state of affairs.



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