# VEDIC MATHEMATICS NEWSLETTER

ISSUE No. 6

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.

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This issue's article:

## The Sutras of Vedic Mathematics

Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji who reconstructed the system of Vedic Mathematics

between 1911 and 1918 tells us that Vedic Mathematics uses sixteen Sutras and

some sub-Sutras. There is no doubt that this mathematical system is extremely

powerful and coherent, but there are a number of questions that arise about

the Sutras themselves. These include questions about the origin of the

Sutras, their structure, their comprehensiveness and their relation to the

sub-Sutras.

We do not know, for example, where the Sutras come from. Are they from one of

the countless Vedic manuscripts as Bharati Krsna implies, or did he discover

them for himself? The word 'Veda' means 'Knowledge' and also refers to a vast

number of Sanskrit texts in India known as the Vedas. Bharati Krsna tells us

that he found some clues in certain texts and gradually rediscovered the lost

Vedic system. The best explanation for the origin of the Sutras is therefore

that Bharati Krsna cognised them or some of them himself. And this fits

perfectly with the first meaning of the word Veda, that of pure knowledge.

Close examination of these Sutras suggests that though they are given in

mathematical form they refer to fundamental principles which go beyond what

we normally think of as mathematics. It is therefore possible to relate the

Sutras (and sub-Sutras) to functions of mind: each Sutra and sub-Sutra

describing a commonly used type of mental activity. The Sutra 'By One More

than the One Before' relates to the processes of deduction and implication

where one idea follows from another, and 'Transpose and Apply' refers to the

reversal technique that we often find useful in our thinking. We cannot go

into greater detail here but many of the questions relating to the Sutras and

sub-Sutras can be answered by looking at the Sutras from this standpoint.

This also adds an extra dimension to the use of the Sutras as an educational

tool. Not only do they have mathematical applications but they also offer the

student a way to go about solving problems. In first looking at a question

the student may not know what to do - how to begin to think about the

problem. There seem to be very many possibilities, many ways of using the

mind, and the Sutra indicates a starting point. The rest of the method then

follows on. A motorist on a narrow country lane encountered a flock of sheep

being driven along by a shepherd. After some time the motorist was getting

very impatient. The shepherd stopped his flock and quietly drove the sheep

back past the car. The motorist then drove off and the shepherd continued on

his way. This is an example of using reversal (Transpose and Apply) to solve

a problem. It is getting started that the student often finds difficult.

Since mathematics is perceived in the mind, the validity of the Sutras as a

basis for mathematics could be established once it is demonstrated that there

are sixteen basic mental activities and that these correlate with the sixteen

Sutras.

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## NEWS

**#1**. There will be an introductory lecture on Vedic Mathematics given by James

Glover, head of mathematics at St James School, London, on Tuesday 29th

February. This will be at University College London, Computing Department at

5.30 p.m. This talk follows one James Glover gave on 17th February at

Imperial College as a guest of the Hindu Society. The talk, which was

attended by about 50 students, lecturers and guests, gave a brief history and

description of Vedic Mathematics with audience participation on recurring

decimals. It also touched on some aspects of coordinate geometry, the

binomial theorem and calculus. All seemed extremely impressed, particularly

the computer boffins and those who thought maths difficult. The main question

people asked was "Why is this not more widely known about?" Mr Glover has

been invited to give a series of talks/workshops in the Autumn at the same

venue. We will keep you informed.

**#2**. A talk has been organised by Howard Chester, Inspector of Maths and

Primary Education, for Richmond Upon Thames. This is entitled "An Oral

Tradition in Geometry" and is given by Andrew Nicholas on Wednesday 8th

March, 4.15 - 5.45 p.m. This is at Richmond Curriculum and Teachers' Centre,

Clifden Road, Twickenham, Near London. This is an exciting approach to

geometry which could have implications for teaching. Particularly in the

areas of oral and mental strategies, extension work with higher attaining

pupils and multicultural mathematics. There will be an opportunity to discuss

the approach and look at ways in which it might be used in the classroom.

This course will be of interest to both primary and secondary teachers.

Entrance free.

**#3**. James Glover's Book 2 of "Vedic Mathematics for Schools" is now published

and available.

**#4**. An article on Vedic Mathematics by Andrew Stewart-Brown is due to appear

in "Mathematics Teaching" No. 170, March issue. This is a publication of the

Association of Teachers of mathematics.

**#5**. There has been a review of the little book "Fun with Figures" by Kenneth

Williams. It is from 'inTouch', Jan/Feb 2000, the Irish National Teachers

Organisation (INTO) magazine.

"Entertaining, engaging and eminently 'doable', Williams' pocket volume

reveals many fascinating and useful applications of the ancient Eastern

system of Vedic Maths. Tackling many number operations encountered between

First and Sixth class, Fun with Figures offers several speedy and simple

means of solving or double-checking class activities. Focusing throughout on

skills associated with mental mathematics, the author wisely places them

within practical life-related contexts."

"Compact, cheerful and liberally interspersed with amusing anecdotes and

aphorisms from the world of maths, Williams' book will help neutralise the

'menace' sometimes associated with maths. It's practicality, clear

methodology, examples, supplementary exercises and answers may particularly

benefit and empower the weaker student."

"Certainly a valuable investment for parents and teachers of children aged 7

to 12."

(Reviewed by Gerard Lennon, Principal, Ardpatrick NS, Co Limerick.)

**#6**. The Vedic Square. If you take a 10 by 10 square and put the numbers from

the 1 times table in the first row, the 2 times table in the second row, and

so on up to the 10 times table, and if you then replace the number in every

square by its digit sum (you add the number's digits until you have a single

figure) you will have a Vedic Square. This square has many interesting

properties. Shreepad Hardas has sparked enquiries into the origins of this

square. If you know anything about this (or if you would like to mention an

application or property of this square) please let us know.

**#7**. Our web site (www.vedicmaths.org) continues to be updated and improved

due to the continued efforts of Mr Clive Middleton. Thank you Clive. The

first chapter of "The Circle Revelation" can now be viewed on the site.

**#8**. The Centre for Vedic Mathematics in Singapore has changed. The new name,

address and telephone numbers are:

Vedic Mathematics Education Svcs

113 Tai Keng Gardens

Singapore 535394

Tel : +65 8580414

Fax : +65 8583224

Email :

Person to Contact : Raaj (Mr), Project Co-ordinator

Pager No : +65 92591720

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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

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Visit the Vedic Mathematics web sites at

www.vedicmaths.org and www.vedicmaths.com

27th February 2000