Friday, September 4, 2009
Another appaling newspaper headline - A person in the USA applies for patenting the Vedic Maths method! Similar to patenting the physical practices like Yoga and Thoppukaram (alias Super Brain Yoga), people in the USA have now begun to patent our intellectual concepts like Vedic Maths as well...
So what is Vedic Maths? It is a way of computing Mathematical quantities at an extremely fast rate and is based on 16 basic Vedic Slokas/Sutras. The list of Sutras as mentioned in the Vedic Maths Foundation are given below:
The method, found in the Vedas, was lost for centuries, but was brought to light by Sri Bharti Krsna (Krishna) Tirthaji Maharaj, Jagadguru of the Puri Mutt from 1925-1960. After painstakingly researching the Atharvana Veda to make a compendium of all the shortcuts involved to make maths simpler, the Jagadguru was shocked when his entire manuscript was found burnt in a house fire. But he didn't lose heart, and before breathing his last, he rewrote parts of the huge-resource, even though we will never get to know the entire list of formulas.
The most simplest and commonly used method of Vedic Maths is the multiplication of large numbers in a fast way. Consider you are multiplying 123 and 456. You can either go for the long multiplication method, or use the one I have stated below, which can be done mentally (The lines between numbers denote multiplication) :
Finally, the result is 56088, which is the actual answer. The beauty of this technique is that it can be extended upto n digits in both multiplicants, and we could still use a one-line or mental calculation method. Do try it out for other numbers as well as larger ones...
For those of you who are interested, you can check out the book "Vedic Mathematics", authored by Tirthaji Maharaj himself:
Apart from this multiplication technique, it contains several other techniques that can be used to simplify topics such as Quadratic and Cubic equations, fractional coefficients, geometric applications of equations, Hyperbolas, Asymptotes, etc. Unfortunately, there is only a small intro to Integral and Differential Calculus. If only these topics would have been dealt in detail, it would make the life of so many school-children and would-be engineers. It certainly would have made mine a lot better :-)
- Nikhil Mundra