VEDIC MATHEMATICS NEWSLETTER
ISSUE No. 42
A warm welcome to our new subscribers.
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 or tell us about a course or talk you will be giving or have given.
If you are learning Vedic Maths, let us know how you are getting on and what you think of this system.
A HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS
This issue's article is by Raji Sharma, a faculty member of the World Academy of Vedic Mathematics. It has been printed in a magazine published by the Swayamprakasha Trust at SreeMath, Hariharapuram, Karnataka, India.
THE DIVINE UNITY AND ZERO
In mathematics unity means the number 1. '1' is the life giving force for the whole number system, because, it is from '1' that the whole system of numbers sprung up. Without '1' there could not be numbers like 2, 3, 4, etc., and hence no mathematics at all! Hence '1' is called 'Unity' or 'The Absolute'. From '1' arose numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., by just adding '1' to itself.
2 = 1 + 1
3 = 1 + 1 + 1
'1' can thus be compared to the life giving force 'God' , the 'primal Supreme Reality', because it is from this Pure Spirit that the whole universe with all its diverse forms is born. Just as the whole universe with all its varied forms arose out of that One Vital Force, similarly all the numbers with all their various properties were born out of '1'.
The Pure Spirit resides in each and every form of life. In the same way '1' resides in every number as a factor.
For example, 7 = 1 x 7, 18 = 1 x 18
Of course we cannot 'see' the '1' in the numbers, yet we know it is there. It is a hidden presence. Just as we cannot 'see' the God in every form of life even though we know that He is present everywhere, in the same way we do not see the factor '1' in every number.
The Infinite reality has limitless potentiality inherent within itself. Similarly the number '1' has unlimited potentiality to create different types of numbers. With the help of the various operations like +, - ,x, divide, etc., it can create positive, negative, rational, irrational and imaginary numbers. Yet all these numbers cannot exist without '1'.
Consider the fraction ½. (Half). Now we know that 'half' cannot exist without the 'whole'. Since '1' represents the whole, the idea of half is possible. Even the imaginary numbers arise from square root of '-1'. Thus '1' is 'All Pervasive' or the 'Absolute'.
Let us now look at the magical number 'Zero'. The symbol is '0'. In fact '0' is not an ordinary number. We can say that '0' is just a symbol to represent 'Nothing'. Robert Kaplan in his book titled ' The Nothing That Is' says, " If you look at zero you see nothing, but look through it and you will see the world." Zero is the small pivot on which swings the whole realm of mathematics. The invention of 'zero' by the ancient Indian mathematicians made arithmetic infinitely easier. It now forms part of the binary code which powers all computers.
It is because of '0' that the very idea of place value was possible. The pride of giving this to the world goes to India. With just 9 symbols and a '0', our ancient mathematicians could write any number as big as they wanted.
Zero brought variety to numbers. Consider '0' by itself. You have nothing. Put it next to '1'. You have '10'. Add as many zeroes as you want now. You have a staggeringly big number whose value you cannot even tell. We can proceed towards infinity as we add more and more zeroes next to '1'. This is why in Sanskrit zero is also called 'Anantha' the 'Infinite'. This is the power of '0'. Possessing no value itself, it is able to confer infinite value to '1' by just placing itself next to it repeatedly. '0' is thus able to confer infinite forms and values not only to '1' but also to other numbers.
Now we saw that '1' is related to the 'Supreme Reality' or the 'Pure Spirit'. To what is '0' related?. What is that inscrutable, inexplicable mighty power which is the cause of the multifarious creations in the universe, which makes the impossible possible and creates differences and distinctions?. It is 'Maya'.
Maya is defined as 'That which is Not'. Swami Swaroopananda has explained 'Maya'as follows. " One cannot say that she exists nor can one say that she does not exist. She is not separate from the Lord, nor is she one with the Reality. Hence Maya has been described as Shakti, the incomprehensible and mysterious power by which the Infinite projects the universe." Because of Maya, 'One' appears as 'Many'. There are many different types of life forms as well as inanimate forms due to this Maya Shakti.
The entire play of creations is made up of Maya. It is only because of Maya Shakti the Supreme becomes Ishwara and takes different forms, so we can worship him in his different forms. Remove Maya, all the infinite forms vanish and only the supreme reality is left behind.
Similarly 'Zero' is able to confer infinite values to 'unity'. Let us consider an example which brings out the power of '0'. Let us try to factorise the following expression.
x^4 + 64
We cannot find any solution or method at the outset. It seems impossible to factorise the given expression, since it is of the form 'a^2 +b^2 ' Let us now call '0' to our aid. Let us add '0' in the form '16x^2 - 16x^2' to the above expression.
x^4 + 16x^2 - 16x^2 + 64
= x^4 + 16x^2 + 64 - 16x^2
= (x^2 + 8)^2 - 16x^2
= (x^2 + 8 + 4x)(x^2 + 8 - 4x)
Thus we see how '0' has helped us in factorizing an expression which seemed impossible to factorise. In this way '0' can help us in solving many equations. This is the creative power of 'zero'.
'Zero' can be added in any form we want, and those forms always occur in pairs, one positive and another negative. Just as Maya manifests duality in all forms like, the good and the bad, strong and weak, young and old, likes and dislikes, light and dark, etc., 'zero' brings into focus the dual nature of any number. Remove Maya and duality vanishes. Similarly, it is due to '0' that negative numbers exist. Thus every number has its opposite number, like 2 and -2, 3 and -3 ½ and - ½.
Also, 2 + (-2) = 0, 3 + (-3) = 0, etc. Together these opposite numbers vanish into '0'.
Yet '0' has no sign nor any opposite. There is only one '0' like the one and only one 'Maya Shakti'. Maya shakti creates opposites, differences and varieties yet Maya shakti itself is unaffected by all these differences. Similarly '0' has given birth to opposite numbers but it has no opposite number. It is unique.
Thus '0' has infinite power. Like 'Maya shakti' '0' can also take infinite forms and vanish whenever it pleases.
Once Swami Chinmayanandaji was asked, "How is it that Lord Krishna had 64000 wives?" He replied thus. "The stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana and other epics should not be taken literally. Each story contains deep philosophical meanings. There are about 64000 types of thoughts in our minds. Lord Krishna represents the divine spark. He is the one who infuses life into each of these thoughts. Without life, there can be no thoughts. It is because of the presence of this 'life spark' the thoughts materialize. Gopis are the materialistic representation of these thoughts." Now '0' is like a thought and '1' is the 'Absolute'. When these two stand as one we have '10'. With the help of '1' and '0' we have infinite varieties of numbers. Just as thoughts become very powerful and materialize into matter due to the divine will, in the same way 'zeroes', which are valueless become very powerful due to the presence of 'one'. Thus '1' and '0' empower each other. Thus the cosmic dance of numbers go on.
SERIES OF VM ARTICLES
A series of weekly articles on Vedic maths is being published by NIE (Newspapers In Education, a subsidiary of the Times of India), Mumbai. This is an influential and much read publication, for children. The articles are being written by five faculty members of the World academy of Vedic mathematics and the series started on 20th December 2004.
CD ROM ON MENTAL MATHS
An excellent CD-ROM is now available for people wanting to learn mental mathematics. With 60 lessons and using the methods of Vedic mathematics, it makes mental maths easy and fun with a Mental Math Master explaining everything both visually and with audio. Find out more at:
WRITE A VEDIC MATHS STORY
It has been suggested by Paul Mills, London, England that a good story on Vedic Maths would be a great asset. Below is Paul's letter.
"Dear Vedic Maths,
Why is it that none of your readers has striven to write a Vedic Maths story for children or just a book in general?
If a book was written for individuals to read, then more non Vedic maths persons may become more interested. You could offer a competition via this newsletter, whether in essay format or short story, and then you could collate the best of them and publish them for a wider readership.
But maths can only get a wider readership, that is of Vedic maths, by becoming getting a good story book into print. Even if characters from the Indian myths were incorporated to enhance the teachings. The asura teaching the ignorant novice English boy, how to learn vedic maths, and beat the English system. Or some other rather blasé formulaic approach.
But it needs to be done; even just to stimulate another aspect of writing and vedic maths within your newsletter."
Are you a story writer? If so, please send us your story, which we could circulate via the newsletter (in full or as a synopsis) and which may be published in a book.
ARTICLE ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF GEOMETRY
The next newsletter will feature an interesting article on the foundations of geometry by Andrew Nicholas. Here is a short quote from it:
"It is widely believed that the foundations of mathematics were sorted out long ago. This is not so. The truth is that not one of the established systems can be shown or even trusted to have sound foundations."
Many favourable comments have been received following the merging of three Vedic maths web sites as announced in the last newsletter. This web site has had further improvements and updatings in recent weeks. If you are involved in Vedic maths please check references to yourself and/or your organisation. Also any hyperlinks you had to pages within the old sites will need updating. If you have any suggestions about the site please let us know.
VEDIC MATHS AND NASA
From time to time we see references to Vedic Mathematics being used by NASA, often with regard to artificial intelligence. Do you know where this idea may have originated? If you have any information or ideas about this please email us at .
VEDIC MATHS MATERIAL IN FRENCH
If anyone knows of any Vedic Maths educational material written in French please email us at mailto:
21st Century Books in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, have recently opened a bookshop on the internet where several Vedic Maths books can be purchased. See http://www.21stbooks.com/. If you "search by subject" and click on "Vedic Math" you will find a range of VM books.
VEDIC MATHS TEACHER IN BOMBAY
Name : Atul Gupta
Email : Tel : 98208-45036.
I am an engineer from IIT-Bombay and a software professional, with over 20 years of teaching and corporate experience. I have trained more than 1500 students in Vedic maths and conducted several seminars on it. I provide world-class training for students from Class IX onwards in Vedic Maths, preparation of IIT-JEE and CAT/GMAT in Bombay. My interview on Vedic maths can be seen at
Email: I have two extremely bright 13-year-olds working on algorithms to show how much faster Vedic Maths would be when applied to programming multiplication.
They are doing this for a project in the young scientist exhibition.
Would you recommend other computer applications, which would show this?
Rutger Kortenhorst, USA
WORLD ACADEMY FOR VEDIC MATHEMATICS - contact details
Registered Address: Vishwa Punarnirman Sangh, Raval Bhawan, Near Telankhedi Garden, Nagpur-440 001, India.
Contacts in other Cities in India :
Delhi R.P. Jain, MLBD bookstore
91(011) 2385-2747 / 2385-4826 / 2385-8335 / 2385-1985.
Varanasi 91 (0542) 2352331
Kolkata MLBD bookstore 91 (033) 22824872
Mumbai MLBD bookstore 91 (022) 24923526 / 24982583
Nagpur Alka Sahani 91 (0712) 2531363 / 2550906 / 2545637
Pune MLBD bookstore 91 (020) 24486190
Dr. Bhavsar 91 (020) 25899509 / 21115901
Bangalore School of Ancient Wisdom - Devanahalli, 91 (080) 768-2181 / 7682182 / 558-6837
MLBD bookstore 91 (080) 6533729 / 6542591
Chennai 91 (044) 24982315
Your comments about this Newsletter are invited.
If you would like to send us details about your work or submit an article or details about a course/talk etc. for inclusion, please let us know on
Previous issues of this Newsletter can be copied from the Web Site: www.vedicmaths.org
Some articles from previous newsletters are:
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 6: The Sutras of Vedic Mathematics
Issue 7: The Vedic Square
Issue 8: The Nine Point Circle
Issue 11: Is Knowledge Essentially Simple?
Issue 14: 1,2,3,4: Pythagoras and the Cosmology of Number
Issue 16: Vedic Matrix
Issue 17: Vedic Sources of Vedic Mathematics
Issue 18: 9 by 9 Division Table
Issue 19: "Maths Mantra"
Issue 20: Numeracy
Issue 21: Only a Matter of 16 Sutras
Issue 22: Multiplication on the Fingertips
Issue 23: India's System of Mental Mathematics
Issue 24: The Sign of Nine
Issue 25: Maharishi's Vedic Mathematics
Issue 26: Foreword
Issue 27: Mathematics with Smiles: the Vedic Way
Issue 28: The Absolute Number
Issue 29: Report on India Tour
Issue 30: Vedic mathematics - excerpts from research paper
Issue 31: Why Vedic Mathematics?
Issue 32: Kolkata Workshop - an Overview
Issue 33: Report on Vedic Mathematics Workshop
Issue 34: LETTER TO NCERT DIRECTOR
Issue 35: LETTER FROM NCERT
Issue 36: WAVM Brochure
Issue 37: VM PROJECT
Issue 38: The Evolution of Simple Sums
Issue 39: The Cosmic Trust Mathematics Cause
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Editor: Kenneth Williams
Visit the Vedic Mathematics web site at
7th January 2005