Maths In Hinduism : Part 3

Did you know that before 1820 all years were marked as KE, not AD or BC? KE stood for Kali Era or Kaliyug as we know it. It was only after 1820 that the term Christian Era or CE was used. This in short would sum up the status that India had over Time, Distance and Space, in the past.

A normal human being inhales and exhales in 4 seconds. Breath is Time – This is a fundamental postulate of Shri Vidya and much of the symbolism is based on it. The letters of Sanskrit are 52 in number: 16 vowels and 36 consonants. These are said to represent the embodiment of Lalita Tripurasundari or Parambika. Now, 16 is the number of ‘Kalas’ (Shodashakala) or potencies 36 are the ‘Tattvas’ (element or aspect of Reality). When multiplied together, they total 576. This number divided by nine yields 64. The Shri Yantra is said to have 64,000,000 yoginis in the nine sub-mandalas.

Each mandala has a unit of Time associated with it. The basic unit is a breath. One nadika (‘galige’ in Kannada) is equal to 24 minutes or 1440 seconds, and each breath is one 360th of this, or four seconds. A human being breathes 21600 times each 24 hours. Readers must be knowing that 1440 is the number of minutes in a 24-hour day. Based on this our ancient scientists (Rishis) calculated the time associated with each Yuga. A Kali Yuga is 432,000 years of 360 days. A Dvapara Yuga is 864,000 years. A Treta Yuga is 1,296,000 years. A Satya Yuga is 1,728,000 years.

I have mentioned the above to show how our ancestors linked their mathematical discoveries to human life and to the Divine. Shunyata (Zero) and Purnata (Infinity) are two sides of the same coin. But it was only our philosophical genius which stated that to attain Purnata, one has to attain Shunyata first.

The verse, “Om Poornam-Adah Poornam-Idam Poornnaat-Poornam-Udacyate
Poornasya Poornam-Aadaaya Poornam-Eva-Avashissyate ||
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||”

The Brihad Upanishad says, “Purnam adah: that origin of all things is full;purnam idam: this entire creation that has come from that origin of all things is also full; purnat purnam udachyate: from that Full this Full has come; purnasya purnam adaya: having taken away this Full from that Full; purnam evavasisyate: the Full still remains unaffected.” Another meaning states : That (Outer World) is Purna (Full with Divine Consciousness); This (Inner World) is also Purna (Full with Divine Consciousness); From Purna comes Purna (From the Fullness of Divine Consciousness the World is manifested)

This Poorna is infinity from which if you take a part, it still remains infinite. This concept is pure Maths, isn’t it?

Logarithm is a inseparable part of Jyotish Shastra (Astrology). Any good astrologer will be able to calculate logs in seconds without the help of a calculator. The squares and roots and calculations based on that was basic stuff for our Vedic students. Using the logarithmic tables, till today astrologers and astronomers in India are able to calculate the date and time of any event, past or future (as seen in birth charts or horoscopes). 14th century Kerala Mathematician-Astronomer Madhava of Sangama-grama used the ‘Katapayadi’ system to make the sine table and list out the trigonometric sine of angles. What is the ‘Katapayadi’ system? If the reader remembers, in my previous blog ‘Maths in Hinduism – II’ I had mentioned how each syllable was given a numeral. That is the Katapayadi system. This system is also used in Carnatic music to form Raagas. Phew …

Readers will wonder why if all this was known to us, we were not credited with these discoveries. Also, if all this was already known, why they had to be rediscovered? A very valid question! The answer is that in Sanatan Dharm all knowledge was credited to the Divine. That was why they never went boasting about their achievements or tried to ‘cash in’ on it. Secondly, most of the discoveries were written in such a language that for a commoner it would seem like an innocuous Shloka or Stotra. It was only one with a true interest in the matter, who would be able to decipher the real meaning. For that, having a Guru or a good Acharya was essential. When Buddhism started rising in India, there was a rush to decimate the Vedas and the knowledge in the Vedas. This was because by the time Buddhism was accepted, people had forgotten about the true knowledge in the Vedas and were on to just the ritualistic aspects of Sanatan Dharm. It was Adi Shankaracharya who once again brought out the glory of Sanatan Dharm, the Vedas and the Vedaangas. But about 2-3 centuries after that, we had the start of the brutal invasions from all parts of the world. This meant that once again, all knowledge was coded once again. The invaders were never able to really understand the value of our knowledge and from one generation to another, such knowledge was lost. When the Britishers came to India, their faulty translations only made matters worse. And they wanted to establish their supremacy as a race. So they implanted the lie of an ‘ARYAN INVASION’ into our heads. We forgot our own glorious past and became slaves – this time with our minds.

Before I end this –

Verse 14 of the Soundarya Lahiri, a hymn in praise of Lalita Tripurasundari (reportedly written by Adi Shankaracharya) says :

“Ksitau sat-panchasad dvi-samadhika-panchasadudake

Hutase dva-sastis chatur-adhika-panchasad anile;

Divi dvih-shatrimsan manasi cha chatuh-sashtir iti ye

Mayukhastesham athyupari tava padambuja yugam.”

The above Shloka says that 360 rays or Rashmis emanate from the Manipur Chakra of the Devi. These rays go to the 6 other chakras and expand to the 72,000 nadis in our body. 360 rays also refer to the 360 days or tithis in the Lunar Calendar and have reference to the 6 seasons or Ritus that exist in India. They can be broken up as :

56 in Earth in Vasanth Ritu (Spring)

52 in Water in Varsha Ritu (Monsoon)

62 in Fire in Grishma Ritu (Summer)

54 in Air in Sharath Ritu (Autumn)

72 in Aakash (Space) in Hemant Ritu (Winter)

64 in Mun (Mind) in Shishir Ritu (end of autumn and beginning of winter)

  • Totaling to 360 days.

Do calculate and see if these figures correspond to the actual number of days in each season.

Maths In Hinduism : Part 1

Maths In Hinduism: Part 2

Rathi Hegde