Who is the father of vedic mathematics?

Who is the Father of Vedic Maths? History & Contribution to Vedic Matheamtics

Vedic Mathematics, a collection of techniques to solve mathematical problems in an easy and faster way, has captured the imagination of many enthusiasts and students around the world. At the heart of this ancient and revered mathematical system lies the genius of Bharati Krishna Tirtha, the individual known as the Father of Vedic Maths. His work has not only revived an ancient mathematical tradition but also made complex calculations accessible and enjoyable

Early Age

Venkataraman Shastri was born on March 14, 1884, in the vibrant city of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India. His family was deeply rooted in spiritual and scholarly traditions, which significantly influenced his upbringing. From a young age, Venkataraman exhibited an exceptional aptitude for learning. His intellect and curiosity set him apart, making it clear that he was destined for greatness.

Venkataraman’s father, P. Narasimha Shastri, was a highly respected scholar, while his mother, Subbalakshmi, was known for her piety and wisdom. This environment fostered a love for knowledge and a deep respect for spiritual practices in Venkataraman. His early education was marked by a keen interest in various subjects, ranging from languages and sciences to philosophy and mathematics.

Education

Venkataraman’s formal education began at the Church Missionary Society High School in Tirunelveli, where he quickly became known for his academic brilliance. He excelled in all subjects, but it was mathematics that particularly captivated him. His ability to grasp complex concepts with ease and solve intricate problems amazed his teachers and peers alike. After completing his primary education, Venkataraman moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) for higher studies. He enrolled in St. Xavier’s College, where he continued to shine academically. His proficiency in mathematics was matched by his talent in languages; he mastered Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and several other languages, showcasing his versatility as a scholar.

Venkataraman’s exceptional performance earned him numerous accolades, including a prestigious scholarship for further studies. He pursued a degree in mathematics and science at the University of Mumbai, where he continued to impress his professors with his extraordinary analytical skills and profound understanding of mathematical theories.

How did Venkataraman get the title Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha

Venkataraman’s journey to becoming Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha was marked by profound spiritual exploration and transformation. Despite his academic success, he felt a deep, unfulfilled longing that drew him towards spiritual studies. This inner calling led him to explore the ancient texts of India, seeking wisdom beyond the confines of conventional education. His quest for spiritual knowledge brought him to the holy city of Varanasi, where he met Swami Satchidananda Saraswati, a renowned scholar and spiritual leader. Under Swami Satchidananda’s guidance, Venkataraman immersed himself in rigorous study and meditation, delving into the Vedas, Upanishads, and other sacred texts. This period of intense spiritual practice and reflection profoundly transformed him, leading to a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all knowledge.

In 1919, Venkataraman was ordained as a monk, taking the name Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha. The title “Swami” signifies a master or a teacher, while “Bharati” and “Krishna” reflect his devotion to the goddess of knowledge and Lord Krishna, respectively. “Tirtha” denotes a spiritual pilgrim or one who has crossed over to the other shore of enlightenment. This new identity marked the beginning of his mission to share the ancient wisdom of Vedic mathematics with the world.

The Discovery of Vedic Mathematics

As Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha, his deep meditation and study of the Vedic scriptures led him to rediscover the ancient system of mathematics embedded within these texts. According to Swami Tirtha, the sutras (aphorisms) found in the Vedas encapsulated mathematical principles that were both profound and practical.

He spent years studying and interpreting these sutras, which covered various aspects of mathematics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and calculus. Swami Tirtha’s work was revolutionary because it demonstrated that complex mathematical problems could be solved with remarkable simplicity using these ancient techniques. His methods offered elegant solutions that were often quicker and more intuitive than conventional approaches.

Swami Tirtha compiled his findings in a series of lectures and eventually published his seminal work, “Vedic Mathematics.” This book outlined 16 main sutras and 13 sub-sutras, each providing a unique mathematical shortcut or insight. For instance, one of the sutras, “Ekadhikena Purvena,” meaning “one more than the previous,” provides a simple yet powerful way to perform multiplication.

Contributions and Impact

Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha’s contributions to mathematics and education have been far-reaching. His work on Vedic Mathematics has inspired educators and students worldwide, offering a new perspective on mathematical problem-solving. The simplicity and efficiency of his methods have made mathematics more accessible and enjoyable for countless learners. Educational institutions in India and around the globe have incorporated Vedic Mathematics into their curricula, recognizing its value in enhancing students’ computational skills and fostering a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Swami Tirtha’s techniques have also found applications in competitive exams, where speed and accuracy are crucial.

Beyond education, Swami Tirtha’s work has sparked interest in the broader field of ancient Indian science and knowledge systems. His research has encouraged scholars to explore and reinterpret traditional texts, uncovering hidden insights that can contribute to contemporary knowledge.

Personal Anecdotes and Legacy

Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha was not only a brilliant mathematician but also a compassionate and inspiring teacher. His students and followers often spoke of his humility, patience, and dedication to sharing knowledge. He believed in the transformative power of education and worked tirelessly to make learning a joyous and fulfilling experience.

One notable anecdote from his life highlights his unique approach to teaching. During a lecture on Vedic Mathematics, a student expressed skepticism about the practicality of the sutras. Instead of dismissing the student’s doubts, Swami Tirtha patiently explained the concepts, demonstrating their application through numerous examples. By the end of the session, the student was not only convinced but also enthusiastic about the methods, a testament to Swami Tirtha’s skill as an educator.

Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha passed away on February 2, 1960, but his legacy continues to thrive. His pioneering work in Vedic Mathematics remains a source of inspiration for educators, students, and scholars. The techniques he uncovered have not only simplified mathematical learning but have also bridged the gap between ancient wisdom and modern education.

How did he learn these skills in Maths and wrote a book on Vedic Mathematics?

Bharati Krishna Tirtha’s journey into Vedic Mathematics is as fascinating as the techniques themselves. While studying ancient Indian scriptures, he discovered references to mathematical formulas and techniques embedded in the Vedas, particularly in the Atharvaveda. These ancient texts hinted at a sophisticated understanding of mathematics that predated modern systems.Tirtha meticulously deciphered these cryptic references through rigorous study and contemplation. He claimed that the Vedic sutras (aphorisms) contained a wealth of mathematical knowledge that could be applied to various branches of mathematics including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and calculus.

His unique method involved understanding and applying sixteen primary sutras and thirteen sub-sutras. These sutras provided shortcuts to solving mathematical problems, significantly reducing the time required for calculations. For instance, the sutra “Ekadhikena Purvena” translates to “by one more than the previous one,” a technique that can be applied to find the square of numbers ending in 5. This simplicity and elegance are hallmarks of Vedic Mathematics. Tirtha spent years perfecting these techniques and compiling them into his seminal work. Despite facing numerous challenges, including the lack of proper facilities and scholarly skepticism, he persisted. His dedication culminated in the publication of “Vedic Mathematics,” a book that distills his findings and presents them in an accessible manner.

Contribution of Bharti Krishna Tirtha to Vedic Mathematics

The contributions of Bharati Krishna Tirtha to Vedic Mathematics are profound and multifaceted. He didn’t merely rediscover ancient techniques; he systematized and modernized them, making them relevant for contemporary education.


Revival of Ancient Knowledge:

Tirtha’s work was instrumental in reviving the ancient Indian mathematical heritage. By bringing these techniques to light, he showcased the rich intellectual tradition of India, which had largely been forgotten or overlooked.

Educational Impact:

His book “Vedic Mathematics” has become a valuable resource in educational institutions around the world. It is used to teach students quicker and more efficient ways to handle arithmetic and algebraic calculations, fostering a love for mathematics among learners who might otherwise find the subject daunting.

Practical Application:

The techniques outlined by Tirtha are not just theoretical but have practical applications in day-to-day life. From simple addition and subtraction to complex multiplications and divisions, Vedic Mathematics offers methods that can be applied swiftly and accurately, making it a useful tool for anyone who needs to perform calculations regularly.

Inspiration for Further Research:

Tirtha’s pioneering work has inspired further research in the field of mathematics. Scholars and educators continue to explore and expand upon his findings, integrating Vedic techniques with modern mathematical education and research.

Cultural Influence:

Beyond the realm of mathematics, Tirtha’s work has also contributed to a broader cultural revival. By highlighting the advanced knowledge contained within the Vedas, he has helped to foster a greater appreciation of Indian heritage and intellectual history.

Conclusion

Bharati Krishna Tirtha, the Father of Vedic Maths, left an indelible mark on the world with his  work. His ability to decode and systematize ancient mathematical principles has not only enriched the field of mathematics but also brought a piece of India’s cultural heritage into the modern educational landscape. At Medh, we take inspiration from luminaries like Tirtha and strive to integrate their teachings into our educational programs. We believe that his methods, which make mathematics accessible and enjoyable, align perfectly with our mission to provide innovative and effective learning experiences. By incorporating Vedic Mathematics as one of our key courses, we aim to empower our students with skills that enhance their mathematical techniques  and inculcate a deeper appreciation for this timeless knowledge.

1 Comment

  1. This whole passage was very helpful in understanding the history of vedic maths which would help me to better learn the concepts of vedic maths and how it is used in daily life.

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