The Sanskrit word Veda is derived from the root Vid, meaning to know without limit. The word Veda covers all Veda-sakhas known to humanity. The Veda is a repository of all knowledge, fathomless, ever revealing as it is delved deeper.
Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha (1884-1960), former Jagadguru Sankaracharya of Puri culled a set of 16 Sutras (aphorisms) and 13 Sub - Sutras (corollaries) from the Atharva Veda. He developed methods and techniques for amplifying the principles contained in the aphorisms and their corollaries, and called it Vedic Mathematics.
According to him, there has been considerable literature on Mathematics in the Veda-sakhas. Unfortunately most of it has been lost to humanity as of now. This is evident from the fact that while, by the time of Patanjali, about 25 centuries ago, 1131 Veda-sakhas were known to the Vedic scholars, only about ten Veda-sakhas are presently in the knowledge of the Vedic scholars in the country.
The Sutras apply to and cover almost every branch of Mathematics. They apply even to complex problems involving a large number of mathematical operations. Application of the Sutras saves a lot of time and effort in solving the problems, compared to the formal methods presently in vogue. Though the solutions appear like magic, the application of the Sutras is perfectly logical and rational. The computation made on the computers follows, in a way, the principles underlying the Sutras. The Sutras provide not only methods of calculation, but also ways of thinking for their application.
This book on Vedic Mathematics seeks to present an integrated approach to learning Mathematics with keenness of observation and inquisitiveness, avoiding the monotony of accepting theories and working from them mechanically. The explanations offered make the processes clear to the learners. The logical proof of the Sutras is detailed in algebra, which eliminates the misconception that the Sutras are a jugglery.
Application of the Sutras improves the computational skills of the learners in a wide area of problems, ensuring both speed and accuracy, strictly based on rational and logical reasoning. The knowledge of such methods enables the teachers to be more resourceful to mould the students and improve their talent and creativity. Application of the Sutras to specific problems involves rational thinking, which, in the process, helps improve intuition that is the bottom - line of the mastery of the mathematical geniuses of the past and the present such as Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, Srinivasa Ramanujan, etc.
This book makes use of the Sutras and Sub-Sutras stated above for presentation of their application for learning Mathematics at the secondary school level in a way different from what is taught at present, but strictly embodying the principles of algebra for empirical accuracy. The innovation in the presentation is the algebraic proof for every elucidation of the Sutra or the Sub-Sutra concerned.
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What is Vedic Mathematics?
Vedic Mathematics is the name given to the ancient system of Mathematics which was rediscovered from the Vedas between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884-1960). 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 naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Vedic system is its coherence. Instead of a hotch-potch of unrelated techniques the whole system is beautifully interrelated and unified: the general multiplication method, for example, is easily reversed to allow one-line divisions and the simple squaring method can be reversed to give one-line square roots. And these are all easily understood. This unifying quality is very satisfying, it makes mathematics easy and enjoyable and encourages innovation.
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 complementary, direct and easy.
The simplicity of Vedic Mathematics means that calculations can be carried out mentally (though the methods can also 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 intelligent pupils.
Interest in the Vedic system is growing in education where mathematics teachers are looking for something better and finding the Vedic system is the answer. Research is being carried out in many areas including the effects of learning Vedic Maths on children; developing new, powerful but easy applications of the Vedic Sutras in geometry, calculus, computing etc.
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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