Tag Archives: Hindu mathematics

Visualizing the Hindu divisibility test

Prologue This article continues on the themes covered by the last two (here and here) relating to factorization and the primitive root modulo of a prime number. Early in ones education one learns the divisibility tests for the first few … Continue reading

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A problem from 600 CE and some curiosities of Āryabhaṭa’s kuṭṭaka algorithm

Around 600 CE in the examinations of one of the Hindu schools of mathematics and astronomy one might have encountered a problem such as below (given by Bhāskara-I in his commentary on Āryabhaṭa’s Āryabhaṭīya): dvayādyaiḥ ṣaṭ-paryantair ekāgraḥ yo ‘vaśiṣyate rāśiḥ … Continue reading

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Triangles, Hexes and Cubes

One philosophical question which we have often ponder about is: Are numbers “real”? One way to approach this question is via figurate numbers, where numbers directly manifest as very tangible geometry. This idea has deep roots in our tradition: as … Continue reading

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Citrabhānu’s cubes

The Hindus unlike their yavana cousins preferred algebra to geometry. Yet on occasions they could indulge in geometric games for demostrating proofs of algebraic relations. We see a bit of this in the Āryabhaṭa school and the great Bhāskara-II, but … Continue reading

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The square root spiral and the Gamma function: entwined analogies

The topic discussed here is something on which considerable serious mathematical literature has published by P.J Davis, W. Gautschi and others. This partly historical narration is just a personal account of our journey through the same as a non-mathematician. As … Continue reading

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The magic of the deva-ogdoad

Classical Hindu tradition holds that the ogdoad of deva-s corresponding to their directions is: Indra: East; Agni: Southeast; Yama: South; Nirṛti: Southwest; Varuṇa: West; Vāyu: Northwest; Kubera: North; Īśāna: Northeast. The central position might be occupied in certain traditions by … Continue reading

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Āryabhaṭa and his sine table

Everyone and his son have written about Āryabhaṭa and his sine table. Yet we too do this because sometimes the situation arises where you have to explain things clearly to a layman who might have some education but is unfamiliar … Continue reading

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