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1-Bhaaskaraachaarya: a mathematician
(Born in 1114, in Vijayapur;    Died in 1183 or 1185, in Ujjain, MP)

Bhaaskar II or Bhaaskaraachaarya was born in a Braahman family in Laal Gaanv, in Mahaaraashtra. His father's name was Maheshwar and he was a great astrologer. When Bhaaskaraachaarya had grown he became the Head of the astronomical observatory of Ujjain, MP. He was a great mathematician of 12th century AD. He understood the numbering system and solved many problems which the western world was not able to solve for centuries.

He has the authorship of six works, while his seventh work has been claimed a forgery. His these six works are
(1) Leelaavatee (The Beautiful) which is on mathematics - His this work was translated in Persian by Faizi (one of the nine gems of Birbal's court) in 1587. Joseph has given an interesting incident about it in his book "The Crest of the Peacock" - "Leelaavatee was the name of Bhaaskar's daughter. From casting her horoscope, he discovered that the auspicious time for her wedding would be a particular hour on a certain day. He placed a cup with a small hole at the bottom of the vessel filled with water, arranged so that the cup would sink at the beginning of the propitious hour. When everything was ready and the cup was placed in the vessel, Leelaavatee suddenly out of curiosity bent over the vessel and a pearl from her dress fell into the cup and blocked the hole in it. The lucky hour passed without the cup sinking. Bhaskaraachaarya believed that the way to console his dejected daughter, who now would never get married, was to write her a manual of mathematics."

It is not certain that Leelaavatee was his daughter, some say that she was his wife.

(2) Beejganit (Seed Counting or Root Extraction) which is on algebra.

(3) The Siddhaant Shiromani which is in two parts, the first on mathematical astronomy with the second part on the sphere. In this book he writes about planetary positions, eclipses, cosmography, mathematical techniques and astronomical equipment.

(4) The Vasan Bhaashya of Mitaakshar which is Bhaskaraachaarya's own commentary on the Siddhaant Shiromani ; the Kaaran Kautoohal (Calculation of Astronomical Wonders) or Brahm-tulya which is a simplified version of the Siddhaant Shiromani.

(5) The Vivaran which is a commentary on the Shishyaadi Viddhid Tantra of Lallaa.

(6) In the "Soorya Siddhaant" he makes a note on the force of gravity: "Objects fall on earth due to a force of attraction by the earth. Therefore, the earth, planets, constellations, the Moon, and the Sun are held in orbit due to this attraction." Bhaaskar was the first to discover gravity, 500 years before Sir Isaac Newton.

In Soorya Siddhaant, Bhaaskarachaarya calculated the time taken by the Earth to revolve around the Sun up to the 9th decimal place. According to Bhaaskaraachaarya's calculation it is 365.258756484 days. While the modern scientists accepted a value of the same time as 365.2596 days. The difference between the two observations made by ancient Hindu sage Bhaaskaraachaarya is just by using his super brain (in the 4th century AD) and today's NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Agency) scientists of America by using super computer (in the 20th century AD) is only 0.00085, i.e., 0.0002 per cent of difference.

The Invention of Trikonmiti - The word geometry seems to have emerged from the Sanskrit word Jyaamiti, which means measuring the Earth. And the word trigonometry is similar to Trikonmiti meaning measuring triangular forms. Euclid is famous for the invention of geometry in 300 BC whilst the concept of Trikonmiti had already emerged in India in 1000 BC . It is evident lucidly from today's "practice of making fire alters (at Homaagni Kshetra) in different shapes, e.g., round, triangular, hexagonal, pentagonal, square and rectangular". It was part and parcel of daily Poojaa and Homaagni in ancient times. The treatise of Soorya Siddhaant (4th century) described trigonometry, which was introduced in Europe by Briggs 1200 years later in the 16th century, in fascinating details.

It is the first three of these works which are the most interesting certainly from the point of view of mathematics.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 01/14/14