Aryabhatta’s understanding of Mathematics and Astronomy and his courage is beyond amazing! He wrote a relatively short book called the Aryabhattiyam which many other mathematicians could not accept centuries after his death. What I did today was, I read the Aryabhattiyam, translated (in 1930) with notes by Prof. Walter Eugene Clark, who was a Prof of Sanskrit at Harvard University. He has given a detailed commentary to support his translation.
For simplicity’s sake and future reference, I created : Aryabhatta’s Dasagitika which has just the translation without much of the commentary.
- From this we can clearly see that Aryabhatta was 23 years old, 360 (Indian Translation) or 3600 (Western translation) years after the Bharata war.
- He says that the Mahabharata war took place in this kalpa, after 6 manvantaras, 27 mahayugas and 3 yugas. on a Thursday. In this he agrees with the Srimad Bhagavatam. Though his terminology is a little different, using the data from other mathematicians who followed or criticised him we can be very sure of this.
- In this document he makes no mention of any Saka Era even though many people (even Amratya Sen) tie the year 421 in the Saka calendar to his 23rd year. The basis is not in the Aryabhattiyam but in some external source.
- He lived in a place called Kusumapura. (Later identified by others as Patna or Pataliputra).
Why do we think he was a fearless genius?
- He worshipped Satya Devata the God of truth.
- He said that the earth spun on its own axis and implied that it was the sun and not the earth at the centre of the solar system.
- He said that eclipses were caused by shadows of the earth and the sun and he gave formulae for computing the time and duration of the eclipses.
- He created an alphabet based numbering sustem.
- He said that in a yuga there were 4,320,000 solar years and also said that the four yugas Kruta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali were of the same duration. (Markandeya had said that they were in the ratio 4:3:2:1). He called them Yugapadas. (quarters of Yugas). He defined yugas based on astronomical alignments of the grahas.
- He gave formulae for computing pi, area of a cirle, volume of a sphere etc, division…
- He gave formulae for determining the size of grahas and their mean orbits.
- He gave methods for physically modelling the solar system.
- He gave a description of astronomical measurements.
- He gave some algebaric formulae like roots of a quadrilateral and the square of the sum of two numbers.
- He said that the earth was a globe and that people standing in the northern and southern hemispheres would think of each other as upside down. See : Varahamihira and Aryabhatta, Spherical Earth – Rotation
- Ahargana : Count of Days : Aryabhatta : Julian Date : Calendars
If I remembered more mathematics including trigonometry and had learn more astronomy, I would have given you a detailed commentary and explained more detail to you. As it is I urge you to take a look at the links and documents given here : Aryabhattiyam
As usual, the more I learn the more I will share… so keep praying for me!
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