34 krishnaarchana april 2023 ANCIENT MYSTERIES By Vrinda and Shilpa Bailur Ancient India’s Contributions To Math The Indian civilization, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, has a strong tradition of math, science and technology. In ancient times, India was a place of great mathematicians. According to research, India actively contributed to the field of math centuries before teaching the world how to count. Many of the old Indian thoughts and methodologies have shaped and strengthened the foundations of mathematical calculations. The Fibonacci sequence is a set of numbers in which each consecutive number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. Pingala mentions these Fibonacci numbers in relation to the Sanskrit tradition of prosody, and it first appears in Indian mathematics as mātrāmeru. Mathematicians Virahanka, Gopala, and Hemacandra later gave ways for producing these numbers long before the Italian mathematician Fibonacci brought the interesting sequence to Western European mathematics. Some of India’s mega-epics, such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as philosophica”l works like the Bhagavad Gita, were all poetry. In fact, the Mahabharata has around 1 lakh shlokas in its original poetry form. As we can see, Pingala 2500 years ago described the Fibonacci Series and its extension, Pascal’s Triangle, as part of Chandas Shastra, with reference to Matra-Meru, and Sanskrit poets have utilized the concept for more than 2000 years. Sanskrit poets, as well as Indian classical musicians (including Hindustani and Carnatic genres), have contributed to this tradition. For example, here’s an intriguing presentation (video embedded below this paragraph) of rhythms in Konnakol form, which is a type of Carnatic music, and you can see how it aligns with Pingala’s Chandas Shastra, which we now refer to as the Fibonacci Series. https://youtu.be/Zc7WMbVW-3s Another important mathematical finding was The Chakravala method of Algorithms. The Chakravala technique is a cyclic algorithm that can be used to solve indeterminate quadratic equations, such as Pell’s equation. It is usually assigned to Bhāskara II (c. 1114–1185 CE); however, some say it was created by Jayadeva (c. 950–1000

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