2- So What's so Special about Vedic Mathematics?



Vedic Mathematics is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are introduced to the beautifully unified and easy Vedic methods. The purpose of this Newsletter is to provide information about developments in education and research and books, articles, courses, talks etc., and also to bring together those working with Vedic Mathematics. If you are working with Vedic Mathematics- teaching it or doing research- please contact us and let us include you and some description of your work in the Newsletter. Perhaps you would like to submit an article for inclusion in a later issue. If you are learning Vedic Maths, let us know how you are getting on and what you think of the Vedic system.


The response to the first Newsletter has been very encouraging. People from all over the world have been subscribing to it. Some have made comments about Vedic Mathematics, books etc. (all positive); some had questions, mathematical or educational; some wanted advice. Please send in details about your work, interests, questions, talks, courses, articles etc. on Vedic Mathematics if you can.


This issue's article:


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.

The simplicity of the Vedic methods means that answers can be obtained in one line. Bharati Krsna Tirthaji, who rediscovered the system from the Vedic texts between 1911 and 1918, titled his book:"Vedic Mathematics or Sixteen Mathematical Formulae from the Vedas (For One-line Answers to all Mathematical Problems)". This means that the system is also a system of mental mathematics. Being a mental system students progress faster in terms of mental agility, capacity to hold ideas in the mind and to remember past impressions. They also develop flexibility in their methods of tackling problems and evolve their own strategies to handle situations not met before. All this also helps considerably in the study of other subjects, in personal growth and in everyday life.

The Vedic system is based on sixteen mathematical formulae. These formulae are given in word form, such as "Vertically and Crosswise" and "By One More than the One Before". They have a unifying effect: they describe principles or ways of using the mind and therefore help the student by giving direction to the mind. These formulae do not have to be learnt, they describe ways in which the mind operates and referring to them during study clarifies the work. As one Vedic Mathematics course participant once said "These formulae work the way my mind works". The mind is very subtle and without realising it we have all learnt various mental techniques- extending, combining, reversing and generalising ideas are simple examples of mental methods we use all the time and which are included in the Vedic formulae.

So the Vedic system is very special; but its real beauty and effectiveness 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.



#1. Filipe da Costa is a student at a school in Germany. He is working on a project on Vedic Mathematics. He is interested in comparing the Vedic and Western methods and explaining the Vedic mentality that led to the Vedic system. Filipe wants to apply complexity theory to his work to compare the two systems. If anyone can advise Filipe about the use of complexity theory please contact him at or through

#2. Development has started on a computer program to teach Vedic Maths interactively on a computer. The ideas currently being developed have text sections to explain the principles involved, complemented with interactive tests on the knowledge learned. The aim is to create a more natural learning environment. Thus students would practise the knowledge in the same way it is to be used (i.e. the question is raised and the mind naturally formulates the answer, with no paper and pen or calculators involved). The program will be developed in stages that are easy to complete. The first stage is to duplicate the books on Vedic Maths by Kenneth Williams and Mark Gaskell. The second stage is to develop the interactiveness of the program, taking full advantage of the flexibility a computer environment provides. Our current estimates indicate a development time of three to six months for each stage for a full time developer. As the developer of this program currently has to work etc., the progress of this program is very slow. Thus we are currently seeking sponsorship to enable program development to be carried out at a more realistic pace. We are currently seeking one or two major sponsors or lots of smaller sponsors. Sponsors would get feedback on the development of the program and early access to prototype versions of the program. If you can help or know of anyone who can help please let us know. For more information contact either myself Clive Middleton () or Kenneth Williams ()

#3. The book "Geometry for an Oral Tradition" by Andrew Nicholas is being printed at present and will be available by the end of May. This book presents a simple framework for developing brief, easily understood geometrical proofs, along with the philosophical background. It offers a new approach to the teaching of geometry. A second book, "The Circle Revelation", which will be available in a few months, is a shorter, popularised version of the first one. There are more details on the web site.

#4. Some articles for publication in mathematics journals are in the pipeline including one on Recurring Decimals by Andrew Stewart-Brown and one on Vertically and Crosswise by Kenneth Williams. More details later.


Future issues of this Newsletter could focus on:

advice and comments from teachers teaching Vedic Mathematics,
educational research,
research in new applications of the Vedic methods,
names and location of people involved in Vedic Mathematics,
Bharati Krsna Tirthaji
Maharishi Vedic Mathematics
historical issues,
the Sutras,

Your comments about this Newsletter are invited. If you would like to send us details about your work or submit an article for inclusion please let us know on

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