VEDIC MATHEMATICS NEWSLETTER
ISSUE No. 15
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 this system.
This issue's article
From the Author's preface to "Vedic Mathematics by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji
A DESCRIPTIVE PREFATORY NOTE ON THE ASTOUNDING WONDERS OF ANCIENT INDIAN VEDIC MATHEMATICS
1. In the course of our discourses on manifold and multifarious subjects (spiritual, metaphysical, philosophical, psychic, psychological, ethical, educational, scientific, mathematical, historical, political, economic, social etc., etc., from time to time and from place to place during the last five decades and more, we have been repeatedly pointing out that the Vedas (the most ancient Indian scriptures, nay, the oldest "Religious" scriptures of the whole world) claim to deal with all branches of learning (spiritual and temporal) and to give the earnest seeker after knowledge all the requisite instructions and guidance in full detail and on scientifically- nay, mathematically- accurate lines in them all and so on.
2. The very word "Veda" has this derivational meaning, i.e. the fountain-head and illimitable store-house of all knowledge. This derivation, in effect, means, connotes and implies that the Vedas should contain within themselves all the knowledge needed by mankind relating not only to the so-called 'spiritual' (or other-worldly) matters but also to those usually described as purely "secular", "temporal", or "worldly"; and also to the means required by humanity as such for the achievement of all-round, complete and perfect success in all conceivable directions and that there can be no adjectival or restrictive epithet calculated (or tending) to limit that knowledge down in any sphere, any direction or any respect whatsoever.
3. In other words, it connotes and implies that our ancient Indian Vedic lore should be all-round complete and perfect and able to throw the fullest necessary light on all matters which any aspiring seeker after knowledge can possibly seek to be enlightened on.
4. It is thus in the fitness of things that the Vedas include (i) Ayurveda (anatomy, physiology, hygiene, sanitary science, medical science, surgery etc., etc.,) not for the purpose of achieving perfect health and strength in the after-death future but in order to attain them here and now in our present physical bodies; (ii) Dhanuveda (archery and other military sciences) not for fighting with one another after our transportation to heaven but in order to quell and subdue all invaders from abroad and all insurgents from within; (iii) Gandharva Veda (the science and art of music) and (iv) Sthapatya Veda (engineering, architecture etc., and all branches of mathematics in general). All these subjects, be it noted, are inherent parts of the Vedas i.e. are reckoned as "spiritual" studies and catered for as such therein.
5. Similar is the case with regard to the Vedangas (i.e. grammar, prosody, astronomy, lexicography etc., etc.,) which, according to the Indian cultural perceptions, are also inherent parts and subjects of Vedic (i.e. Religious) study.
6. As a direct and unshirkable consequence of this analytical and grammatical study of the real connotation and full implications of the word "Veda" and owing to various other historical causes of a personal character (into details of which we need not now enter), we have been from our very early childhood, most earnestly and actively striving to study the Vedas critically from this stand-point and to realise and prove to ourselves (and to others) the correctness (or otherwise) of the derivative meaning in question.
7. There were, too, certain personal historical reasons why in our quest for the discovering of all learning in all its departments, branches, sub-branches etc., in the Vedas, our gaze was riveted mainly on ethics, psychology and metaphysics on the one hand and on the "positive" sciences and especially mathematics on the other.
8. And the contemptuous or, at best patronising attitude adopted by some so-called Orientalists, Indologists, antiquarians, research-scholars etc., who condemned, or light-heartedly, nay; irresponsibly, frivolously and flippantly dismissed, several abstruse-looking and recondite parts of the Vedas as "sheer-nonsense"- or as "infant-humanity's prattle", and so on, merely added fuel to the fire (so to speak) and further confirmed and strengthened our resolute determination to unravel the too-long hidden mysteries of philosophy and science contained in India's Vedic lore, with the consequence that, after eight years of concentrated contemplation in forest-solitude, we were at long last able to recover the long lost keys which alone could unlock the portals thereof.
9. And we were agreeably astonished and intensely gratified to find that exceedingly tough mathematical problems (which the mathematically most advanced present day Western scientific world had spent huge lots of time, energy and money on and which even now it solves with the utmost difficulty and after vast labour and involving large numbers of difficult, tedious and cumbersome "steps" of working) can be easily and readily solved with the help of these ultra-easy Vedic Sutras (or mathematical aphorisms) contained in the Parishishta (the Appendix-portion) of the ATHARVAVEDA in a few simple steps and by methods which can be conscientiously described as mere "mental arithmetic".
10. Ever since (i.e. since several decades ago), we have been carrying on an incessant and strenuous campaign for the India-wide diffusion of all this scientific knowledge, by means of lectures, blackboard-demonstrations, regular classes and so on in schools, colleges, universities etc., all over the country and have been astounding our audiences everywhere with the wonder and marvels not to say, miracles of Indian Vedic Mathematics.
11. We were thus at last enabled to succeed in attracting the more than passing attention of the authorities of several Indian universities to this subject. And, in 1952, the Nagpur University not merely had a few lectures and blackboard-demonstrations given but also arranged for our holding regular classes in Vedic Mathematics (in the University's Convocation Hall) for the benefit of all in general and especially of the University and college professors of mathematics, physics etc.
12. And, consequently, the educationists and the cream of the English educated section of the people including the highest officials (e.g. the high-court judges, the ministers etc.,) and the general public as such were all highly impressed; nay, thrilled, wonder-struck and flabbergasted! and not only the newspapers but even the University's official reports described the tremendous sensation caused thereby in superlatively eulogistic terms; and the papers began to refer to us as " the Octogenarian Jagadguru Shankaracharya who had taken Nagpur by storm with his Vedic Mathematics", and so on!
We need articles for these Newsletters. Would you like to write something or send something you have written? Perhaps your experience of using the Vedic methods or of teaching Vedic Maths. Or your views on some aspect of the system.
The 9th SEAL (Society for Effective Affective Learning) Conference takes place at The King's School, Canterbury, Kent, UK from 29 March to 1/2 April 2001. This includes a talk by Andrew Nicholas entitled "Vedic Maths - India's System of Mental Mathematics".
Full colour Conference Brochure available.
Tel: +44 (0)20 8883 3445,
Fax: +44 (0)20 8444 0339,
THIS TALK IS ON FRIDAY 30TH MARCH FROM 4 PM TO 5.30 PM.
WORKSHOPS IN INDIA
There was a press conference on 20th March in Goa followed by a 2-day workshop at the International Centre. Another workshop was also being planned for 23rd March.
REPUTATION IN INDIA
There still appears to be much discussion and controversy about Vedic Mathematics in India. Some want to dismiss the system, giving all kinds of reasons. They say the methods and notation are given in a modern style and so cannot be of Vedic origin. And also that the system is not given in any Vedic text, so it must be a misnomer. These opinions and the others are easy to refute and it would appear that some of those involved have little understanding of the Vedic system and the considerable amount of research that has been done in this area. Let us know your opinion on this subject.
CONFERENCE IN FRANCE?
Is anyone interested in organising a conference on Vedic Mathematics in Paris? Please let us know as there are some interested people there.
VEDIC MATHS IN BIRMINGHAM
Vedic Mathematics will have a presence at the Natural Health and Ecology Show, 2nd, 3rd June at Ryton Organic Gardens near Birmingham, England. There will be presentations and books will be available.
VEDIC MATHEMATICS BOOKS
These are three new sources of knowledge and empirical research on Vedic Mathematics.
The following book has 96 pages on Vedic Mathematics (pp. 335-395 and 611-647). In it, Maharishi elaborates his contribution to Vedic Mathematics. He points out that Vedic Mathematics, like all the Vedic disciplines, have their origin in consciousness. He then explains the value of experiencing pure consciousness, the home of all Vedic knowledge, through the Transcendental Meditation technique. Some of the most fascinating contributions are his Absolute Number and Apaurusheya Bhashyaóthe mathematical structure of the Veda.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (1996).
Maharishiís absolute theory of defense: Sovereignty in invincibility.
Vlodrop, Netherlands: Maharishi Vedic University Press.
Available through: Maharishi Vedic University, 6063 NP Vlodrop, Holland.
The next book is a Ph.D. dissertation on Maharishiís Vedic Mathematics at the elementary level. It gives a comprehensive understanding of Maharishiís Vedic Science and describes an empirical study done at the 3rd grade level on urdhva-tiryagbhyam (vertically and crosswise) multiplication. The research indicated that most students found the Vedic techniques of multiplying and checking to be faster, easier, more enjoyable, and less complicated than conventional mathematics. These qualities indicated that Vedic Computation cultures "skill in action."
Muehlman, J.M. (1994).
Maharishiís Vedic Mathematics at the elementary level: Improving achievement, affect, and mental mathematics through Vedic sutra based computation.
Doctoral dissertation, Maharishi Univ. of Management, Fairfield, Iowa.
Available through UMI Dissertation Services (800-521-0600 x3879), order no. 9431798.
The following is a 65 page summary of the above book:
Muehlman, J.M. (1998).
Maharishiís Vedic Mathematics in elementary education:
Developing all knowingness to improve affect, achievement and mental computation. Modern Science and Vedic Science, 8, 37-101.
Available through Maharishi University of Management Press (phone 641-472-1101),
Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.
We sometimes get inquiries or comments which may interest readers of this Newsletter. So we are adding a new section headed correspondence. We will not give people's details unless they ask us to so if you want to reply to them please do so through the Newsletter:
EMAIL: Does the vedic system of maths have its own techniques to prove any theorem/formulae in mathematics, rather like proof by deduction/induction/contradiction is to be found in regular maths? If this is the case, where can I learn about it? Thank you.
REPLY: Thank you for the interesting inquiry. I do not think the techniques of proof differ in any significant way to those we are accustomed to. However I am sending a copy of your email to Dr Kapoor in India who I think would disagree with my statement above. I am studying his system of Vedic Geometry/Mathematics which he apparently uses to prove, for example, Fermat's Last Theorem and the Goldbach Conjecture.
EMAIL: Hi! I live in London and go to St James Independent School for Boys which supports Vedic Mathematics very strongly. I am due to take my Maths GCSE this year (a year early) and then Additional Maths. I am very likely to take Maths and Advanced Maths for A-Level. At school, we don't use calculators until the very last moment (when trigonometric functions are required). Therefore we are well grounded in Vedic Mathematics and how it can make life so much easier. Even though I am now allowed to use a calculator at school, I find that Vedic methods are much quicker and a brilliant training for the mind. I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter. Obviously, as a schoolboy I don't have much work I can email you, but I'm very interested in the applications of Vedic Mathematics. Thank you.
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
Articles in previous issues of this Newsletter can be copied from the web site - www.vedicmaths.org:
Issue 1: An Introduction
Issue 2: "So What's so Special about Vedic Mathematics?"
Issue 3: Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji: More than a Mathematical Genius
Issue 4: The Vedic Numerical Code
Issue 5: "Mathematics of the Millennium"- Seminar in Singapore
Issue 6: The Sutras of Vedic Mathematics
Issue 7: The Vedic Square
Issue 8: The Nine Point Circle
Issue 9: The Vedic Triangle
Issue 10: Proof of Goldbach's Conjecture
Issue 11: Is Knowledge Essentially Simple?
Issue 12: Left to Right or Right to Left?
Issue 13: The Vinculum and other Devices
Issue 14: 1,2,3,4: Pythagoras and the Cosmology of Number
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Visit the Vedic Mathematics web site at http://www.vedicmaths.org
24th March 2001