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Aryabhata (Sanskrit: ; IAST: ryabhat a) or Aryabhata I[1][2] (476550 CE)[3][4] was the first

in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian

mathematics and Indian astronomy. His works include the ryabhaya
(499 CE, when he was 23
years old)[5] and the Arya-siddhana.
The works of Aryabhata dealt with mainly mathematics and astronomy.

While there is a tendency to misspell his name as "Aryabhatta" by analogy with other names
having the "bhatta" suffix, his name is properly spelled Aryabhata: every astronomical text spells
his name thus,[6] including Brahmagupta's references to him "in more than a hundred places by
name".[7] Furthermore, in most instances "Aryabhatta" does not fit the metre either.[6]

Time and place of birth

Aryabhata mentions in the Aryabhaiya that it was composed 3,600 years into the Kali Yuga,
when he was 23 years old. This corresponds to 499 CE, and implies that he was born in 476. [4]
Aryabhata provides no information about his place of birth. The only information comes
from Bhskara I, who describes Aryabhata as makya, "one belonging to the amakacountry."
During the Buddha's time, a branch of the Amaka people settled in the region between
the Narmada and Godavari rivers in central India; Aryabhata is believed to have been born there.

Other hypotheses
It has been claimed that the amaka (Sanskrit for "stone") where Aryabhata originated may be
the present day Kodungallur which was the historical capital city ofThiruvanchikkulam of ancient
Kerala.[9] This is based on the belief that Kot uallr was earlier known as Kot um-Kal-l-r ("city
of hard stones"); however, old records show that the city was actually Kot um-kol-r ("city of strict
governance"). Similarly, the fact that several commentaries on the Aryabhatiya have come from
Kerala has been used to suggest that it was Aryabhata's main place of life and activity; however,
many commentaries have come from outside Kerala, and the Aryasiddhanta was completely
unknown in Kerala.[6]
Aryabhata mentions "Lanka" on several occasions in the Aryabhaiya, but his "Lanka" is an
abstraction, standing for a point on the equator at the same longitude as hisUjjayini.[10]

It is fairly certain that, at some point, he went to Kusumapura for advanced studies and lived
there for some time.[11] Both Hindu and Buddhist tradition, as well as Bhskara I (CE 629),

identify Kusumapura as Pt aliputra, modern Patna.[6] A verse mentions that Aryabhata was the
head of an institution (kulapa) at Kusumapura, and, because the university ofNalanda was in
Pataliputra at the time and had an astronomical observatory, it is speculated that Aryabhata
might have been the head of the Nalanda university as well. [6]Aryabhata is also reputed to have
set up an observatory at the Sun temple in Taregana, Bihar.[12]

Aryabhata is the author of several treatises on mathematics and astronomy, some of which are
His major work, Aryabhaiya, a compendium of mathematics and astronomy, was extensively
referred to in the Indian mathematical literature and has survived to modern times. The
mathematical part of the Aryabhaiya covers arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry,
and spherical trigonometry. It also contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums-ofpower series, and a table of sines.
The Arya-siddhana, a lost work on astronomical computations, is known through the writings of
Aryabhata's contemporary, Varahamihira, and later mathematicians and commentators,
including Brahmagupta and Bhaskara I. This work appears to be based on the older Surya
Siddhanta and uses the midnight-day reckoning, as opposed to sunrise in Aryabhaiya. It also
contained a description of several astronomical instruments: the gnomon (shanku-yanra), a
shadow instrument (chhAyA-yanra), possibly angle-measuring devices, semicircular and circular
(dhanur-yanra / chakra-yanra), a cylindrical stick yasi-yanra, an umbrella-shaped device called
the chhara-yanra, and water clocks of at least two types, bow-shaped and cylindrical. [8]
A third text, which may have survived in the Arabic translation, is Al nf or Al-nanf. It claims that it
is a translation by Aryabhata, but the Sanskrit name of this work is not known.
Probably dating from the 9th century, it is mentioned by the Persian scholar and chronicler of
India, Ab Rayhn al-Brn.[8]

Main aricle: Aryabhaiya
Direct details of Aryabhata's work are known only from the Aryabhaiya. The name "Aryabhatiya"
is due to later commentators. Aryabhata himself may not have given it a name. His
disciple Bhaskara I calls it Ashmakaanra (or the treatise from the Ashmaka). It is also
occasionally referred to as Arya-shaas-aShTa (literally, Aryabhata's 108), because there are 108
verses in the text. It is written in the very terse style typical of sutra literature, in which each line is
an aid to memory for a complex system. Thus, the explication of meaning is due to
commentators. The text consists of the 108 verses and 13 introductory verses, and is divided into
four pdas or chapters:
1. Giikapada: (13 verses): large units of timekalpa, manvanra, and yugawhich present
a cosmology different from earlier texts such as Lagadha's Vedanga Jyoisha (c. 1st

century BCE). There is also a table of sines (jya), given in a single verse. The duration of
the planetary revolutions during a mahayuga is given as 4.32 million years.
2. Ganiapada (33 verses): covering mensuration (ks era vyvahra), arithmetic and
geometric progressions, gnomon / shadows (shanku-chhAyA),
simple, quadratic,simultaneous, and indeterminate equations
3. Kalakriyapada (25 verses): different units of time and a method for determining the
positions of planets for a given day, calculations concerning the intercalary month
(adhikamAsa), kShaya-ihis, and a seven-day week with names for the days of week.
4. Golapada (50 verses): Geometric/trigonometric aspects of the celestial sphere, features
of the ecliptic, celestial equator, node, shape of the earth, cause of day and night, rising
of zodiacal signs on horizon, etc. In addition, some versions cite a few colophons added
at the end, extolling the virtues of the work, etc.
The Aryabhatiya presented a number of innovations in mathematics and astronomy in verse
form, which were influential for many centuries. The extreme brevity of the text was elaborated in
commentaries by his disciple Bhaskara I (Bhashya, c. 600 CE) and by Nilakantha Somayaji in
his Aryabhaiya Bhasya, (1465 CE).

Place value system and zero
The place-value system, first seen in the 3rd-century Bakhshali Manuscript, was clearly in place
in his work. While he did not use a symbol for zero, the French mathematicianGeorges
Ifrah argues that knowledge of zero was implicit in Aryabhata's place-value system as a place
holder for the powers of ten with null coefficients[13]
However, Aryabhata did not use the Brahmi numerals. Continuing the Sanskritic tradition
from Vedic times, he used letters of the alphabet to denote numbers, expressing quantities, such
as the table of sines in a mnemonic form.[14]

Approximation of
Aryabhata worked on the approximation for pi (


), and may have come to the conclusion

is irrational. In the second part of the Aryabhaiyam (ganitapda 10), he writes:

cauradhikam aamas agun

sahasrn m
am dvs as isah

ayuadvayavis kambhasysanno vraparin

hah .
"Add four to 100, multiply by eight, and then add 62,000. By this rule the circumference of a circle
with a diameter of 20,000 can be approached."


This implies that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is ((4 + 100) 8 + 62000)/20000
= 62832/20000 = 3.1416, which is accurate to five significant figures.
It is speculated that Aryabhata used the word sanna (approaching), to mean that not only is this
an approximation but that the value is incommensurable (or irrational). If this is correct, it is quite
a sophisticated insight, because the irrationality of pi was proved in Europe only in 1761
by Lambert.[16]
After Aryabhatiya was translated into Arabic (c. 820 CE) this approximation was mentioned in AlKhwarizmi's book on algebra.[8]

In Ganitapada 6, Aryabhata gives the area of a triangle as
ribhujasya phalashariram samadalakoi bhujardhasamvargah
that translates to: "for a triangle, the result of a perpendicular with the half-side is the area." [17]
Aryabhata discussed the concept of sine in his work by the name of ardha-jya, which literally
means "half-chord". For simplicity, people started calling it jya. When Arabic writers
translated his works from Sanskrit into Arabic, they referred it as jiba. However, in Arabic
writings, vowels are omitted, and it was abbreviated as jb. Later writers substituted it withjaib,
meaning "pocket" or "fold (in a garment)". (In Arabic, jiba is a meaningless word.) Later in the
12th century, when Gherardo of Cremona translated these writings from Arabic into Latin, he
replaced the Arabic jaib with its Latin counterpart, sinus, which means "cove" or "bay";
thence comes the English sine. Alphabetic code has been used by him to define a set of
increments. If we use Aryabhata's table and calculate the value of sin(30) (corresponding to
hasjha) which is 1719/3438 = 0.5; the value is correct. His alphabetic code is commonly
known as the Aryabhata cipher.[18]

Indeterminate equations
A problem of great interest to Indian mathematicians since ancient times has been to find
integer solutions to equations that have the form ax + by = c, a topic that has come to be
known as diophantine equations. This is an example from Bhskara's commentary on
Find the number which gives 5 as the remainder when divided by 8, 4 as the remainder
when divided by 9, and 1 as the remainder when divided by 7
That is, find N = 8x+5 = 9y+4 = 7z+1. It turns out that the smallest value for N is 85. In
general, diophantine equations, such as this, can be notoriously difficult. They were
discussed extensively in ancient Vedic text Sulba Sutras, whose more ancient parts
might date to 800 BCE. Aryabhata's method of solving such problems is called
the kuaka(
) method. Kuaka means "pulverizing" or "breaking into small pieces",

and the method involves a recursive algorithm for writing the original factors in smaller
numbers. Today this algorithm, elaborated by Bhaskara in 621 CE, is the standard

method for solving first-order diophantine equations and is often referred to as

the Aryabhata algorithm.[19] The diophantine equations are of interest in cryptology, and
the RSA Conference, 2006, focused on the kuaka method and earlier work in
the Sulbasutras.

In Aryabhaiya, Aryabhata provided elegant results for the summation of series of
squares and cubes:[20]

(see squared triangular number)

Aryabhata's system of astronomy was called the audAyaka sysem, in which
days are reckoned from uday, dawn at lanka or "equator". Some of his later
writings on astronomy, which apparently proposed a second model (or ardharArikA, midnight) are lost but can be partly reconstructed from the discussion
in Brahmagupta's khanDakhAdyaka. In some texts, he seems to ascribe the
apparent motions of the heavens to the Earth's rotation. He may have believed
that the planet's orbits as elliptical rather than circular.[21][22]

Motions of the solar system

Aryabhata correctly insisted that the earth rotates about its axis daily, and that
the apparent movement of the stars is a relative motion caused by the rotation of
the earth, contrary to the then-prevailing view, that the sky rotated. This is
indicated in the first chapter of the Aryabhaiya, where he gives the number of
rotations of the earth in a yuga,[23] and made more explicit in his gola chapter:[24]
In the same way that someone in a boat going forward sees an
unmoving [object] going backward, so [someone] on the equator sees
the unmoving stars going uniformly westward. The cause of rising and
setting [is that] the sphere of the stars together with the planets
[apparently?] turns due west at the equator, constantly pushed by the
cosmic wind.
Aryabhata described a geocentric model of the solar system, in which the Sun
and Moon are each carried by epicycles. They in turn revolve around the Earth.
In this model, which is also found in the Paimahasiddhna (c. CE 425), the
motions of the planets are each governed by two epicycles, a
smaller manda (slow) and a larger ghra (fast). [25] The order of the planets in

terms of distance from earth is taken as: the Moon, Mercury, Venus,
the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the asterisms."[8]
The positions and periods of the planets was calculated relative to uniformly
moving points. In the case of Mercury and Venus, they move around the Earth at
the same mean speed as the Sun. In the case of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, they
move around the Earth at specific speeds, representing each planet's motion
through the zodiac. Most historians of astronomy consider that this two-epicycle
model reflects elements of pre-Ptolemaic Greek astronomy.[26] Another element
in Aryabhata's model, the ghrocca, the basic planetary period in relation to the
Sun, is seen by some historians as a sign of an underlying heliocentric model.[27]

Solar and lunar eclipses were scientifically explained by Aryabhata. He states
that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight. Instead of the prevailing
cosmogony in which eclipses were caused by pseudo-planetary
demons Rahu and Ketu, he explains eclipses in terms of shadows cast by and
falling on Earth. These will only occur when the earth-moon orbital plane
intersects the earth-sun orbital plane, at points called lunar nodes. Thus, the
lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters into the Earth's shadow (verse
gola.37). He discusses at length the size and extent of the Earth's shadow
(verses gola.3848) and then provides the computation and the size of the
eclipsed part during an eclipse. Later Indian astronomers improved on the
calculations, but Aryabhata's methods provided the core. His computational
paradigm was so accurate that 18th-century scientist Guillaume Le Gentil,
during a visit to Pondicherry, India, found the Indian computations of the duration
of the lunar eclipse of 30 August 1765 to be short by 41 seconds, whereas his
charts (by Tobias Mayer, 1752) were long by 68 seconds. [8]

Sidereal periods
Considered in modern English units of time, Aryabhata calculated the sidereal
rotation (the rotation of the earth referencing the fixed stars) as 23 hours, 56
minutes, and 4.1 seconds;[28] the modern value is 23:56:4.091. Similarly, his
value for the length of the sidereal year at 365 days, 6 hours, 12 minutes, and
30 seconds (365.25858 days)[29] is an error of 3 minutes and 20 seconds over
the length of a year (365.25636 days).

As mentioned, Aryabhata advocated an astronomical model in which the Earth
turns on its own axis. His model also gave corrections (the gra anomaly) for
the speeds of the planets in the sky in terms of the mean speed of the sun.
Thus, it has been suggested that Aryabhata's calculations were based on an
underlying heliocentric model, in which the planets orbit the Sun,[30][31][32] though

this has been rebutted.[33] It has also been suggested that aspects of Aryabhata's
system may have been derived from an earlier, likely pre-Ptolemaic Greek,
heliocentric model of which Indian astronomers were unaware, [34] though the
evidence is scant.[35] The general consensus is that a synodic anomaly
(depending on the position of the sun) does not imply a physically heliocentric
orbit (such corrections being also present in late Babylonian astronomical texts),
and that Aryabhata's system was not explicitly heliocentric.[36]


India's first satellite named after Aryabhata

Aryabhata's work was of great influence in the Indian astronomical tradition and
influenced several neighbouring cultures through translations.
The Arabic translation during the Islamic Golden Age (c. 820 CE), was
particularly influential. Some of his results are cited by Al-Khwarizmi and in the
10th century Al-Biruni stated that Aryabhata's followers believed that the Earth
rotated on its axis.
His definitions of sine (jya), cosine (kojya), versine (ukrama-jya), and inverse
sine (okram jya) influenced the birth oftrigonometry. He was also the first to
specify sine and versine (1 cos x) tables, in 3.75 intervals from 0 to 90, to
an accuracy of 4 decimal places.
In fact, modern names "sine" and "cosine" are mistranscriptions of the
words jya and kojya as introduced by Aryabhata. As mentioned, they were
translated as jiba and kojiba in Arabic and then misunderstood by Gerard of
Cremona while translating an Arabic geometry text to Latin. He assumed
that jiba was the Arabic word jaib, which means "fold in a garment", L. sinus (c.
Aryabhata's astronomical calculation methods were also very influential. Along
with the trigonometric tables, they came to be widely used in the Islamic world

and used to compute many Arabic astronomical tables (zijes). In particular, the
astronomical tables in the work of the Arabic Spain scientist Al-Zarqali (11th
century) were translated into Latin as the Tables of Toledo (12th century) and
remained the most accurateephemeris used in Europe for centuries.
Calendric calculations devised by Aryabhata and his followers have been in
continuous use in India for the practical purposes of fixing
the Panchangam (the Hindu calendar). In the Islamic world, they formed the
basis of the Jalali calendar introduced in 1073 CE by a group of astronomers
including Omar Khayyam,[38] versions of which (modified in 1925) are the
national calendars in use in Iran and Afghanistan today. The dates of the Jalali
calendar are based on actual solar transit, as in Aryabhata and
earlier Siddhantacalendars. This type of calendar requires an ephemeris for
calculating dates. Although dates were difficult to compute, seasonal errors were
less in the Jalali calendar than in theGregorian calendar.
Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), Patna has been established by
Government of Bihar for the development and management of educational
infrastructure related to technical, medical, management and allied professional
education in his honour. The university is governed by Bihar State University Act
India's first satellite Aryabhata and the lunar crater Aryabhata are named in his
honour. An Institute for conducting research in astronomy, astrophysics and
atmospheric sciences is the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational
Sciences (ARIES) near Nainital, India. The inter-school Aryabhata Maths
Competition is also named after him,[39] as isBacillus aryabhaa, a species of
bacteria discovered by ISRO scientists in 2009.[40]

See also

ryabhat a numeration

ryabhat a's sine table

Indian mathematics

List of Indian mathematicians

1. Jump up^ "Aryabhata the Elder".
Retrieved 18 July 2012.

2. Jump up^ Britannica Educational Publishing (15 August 2010). The

Briannica Guide o Numbers and Measuremen. The Rosen Publishing
Group. pp. 97. ISBN 978-1-61530-218-5. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
3. Jump up^ Bharati Ray (1 September 2009). Differen Types of Hisory.
Pearson Education India. pp. 95. ISBN 978-81-317-1818-6. Retrieved 24
June 2012.
4. ^ Jump up to:a b B. S. Yadav (28 October 2010). Ancien Indian Leaps Ino
Mahemaics. Springer. pp. 88. ISBN 978-0-8176-4694-3. Retrieved 24
June 2012.
5. Jump up^ Heidi Roupp (1997). Teaching World Hisory: A Resource Book.
M.E. Sharpe. pp. 112. ISBN 978-1-56324-420-9. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
6. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f K. V. Sarma (2001). "ryabhat a
: His name, time and
provenance". Indian Journal of Hisory of Science 36 (4): 105115.
7. Jump up^ Bhau Daji (1865). "Brief Notes on the Age and Authenticity of the
Works of Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, Bhattotpala, and
Bhaskaracharya". Journal of he Royal Asiaic Sociey of Grea Briain and
Ireland. p. 392.
8. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Ansari, S.M.R. (March 1977). "Aryabhata I, His Life
and His Contributions". Bullein of he Asronomical Sociey of India 5 (1):
1018.Bibcode:1977BASI....5...10A. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
9. Jump up^ Menon. An Inroducion o he Hisory and Philosophy of
Science. Pearson Education India. pp. 52. ISBN 978-81-317-2890-1.
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10. Jump up^ See:
*Clark 1930
*S. Balachandra Rao (2000). Indian Asronomy: An Inroducion. Orient
Blackswan. p. 82. ISBN 978-81-7371-205-0.: "In Indian astronomy, the
prime meridian is the great circle of the Earth passing through the north and
south poles, Ujjayin and Lak, where Lak was assumed to be on the
Earth's equator."
*L. Satpathy (2003). Ancien Indian Asronomy. Alpha Science Int'l Ltd.
p. 200.ISBN 978-81-7319-432-0.: "Seven cardinal points are then defined
on the equator, one of them called Lak, at the intersection of the equator
with the meridional line through Ujjaini. This Lak is, of course, a fanciful
name and has nothing to do with the island of Sri Lak."
*Ernst Wilhelm. Classical Muhura. Kala Occult Publishers.
p. 44. ISBN 978-0-9709636-2-8.: "The point on the equator that is below the
city of Ujjain is known, according to the Siddhantas, as Lanka. (This is not
the Lanka that is now known as Sri Lanka; Aryabhata is very clear in stating
that Lanka is 23 degrees south of Ujjain.)"
*R.M. Pujari; Pradeep Kolhe; N. R. Kumar (2006). Pride of India: A Glimpse
ino India's Scienific Heriage. SAMSKRITA BHARATI. p. 63. ISBN 978-8187276-27-2.
*Ebenezer Burgess; Phanindralal Gangooly (1989). The Surya Siddhana:
A Texbook of Hindu Asronomy. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 46. ISBN 97881-208-0612-2.
11. Jump up^ Cooke (1997). "The Mahemaics of he Hindus". p. 204.
"Aryabhata himself (one of at least two mathematicians bearing that name)

lived in the late 5th and the early 6th centuries at Kusumapura (Pataliutra, a
village near the city of Patna) and wrote a book called Aryabhaiya."
12. Jump up^ "Get ready for solar eclipe". National Council of Science
Museums, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Retrieved 9 December
13. Jump up^ George. Ifrah (1998). A Universal Hisory of Numbers: From
Prehisory o he Invenion of he Compuer. London: John Wiley & Sons.
14. Jump up^ Dutta, Bibhutibhushan; Singh, Avadhesh Narayan
(1962). Hisory of Hindu Mahemaics. Asia Publishing House,
Bombay. ISBN 81-86050-86-8.
15. Jump up^ Jacobs, Harold R. (2003). Geomery: Seeing, Doing,
Undersanding (Third Ediion). New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
p. 70. ISBN 0-7167-4361-2.
16. Jump up^ S. Balachandra Rao (1994/1998). Indian Mahemaics and
Asronomy: Some Landmarks. Bangalore: Jnana Deep
Publications. ISBN 81-7371-205-0.
17. Jump up^ Roger Cooke (1997). "The Mathematics of the Hindus". Hisory
of Mahemaics: A Brief Course. Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 0-471-18082-3.
"Aryabhata gave the correct rule for the area of a triangle and an incorrect
rule for the volume of a pyramid. (He claimed that the volume was half the
height times the area of the base.)"
18. Jump up^ Howard Eves (1990). An Inroducion o he Hisory of
Mahemaics (6 ed.). Saunders College Publishing House, New York.
p. 237.
19. Jump up^ Amartya K Dutta, "Diophantine equations: The
Kuttaka", Resonance, October 2002. Also see earlier
overview: Mahemaics in Ancien India.
20. Jump up^ Boyer, Carl B. (1991). "The Mathematics of the Hindus". A
Hisory of Mahemaics(Second ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
p. 207. ISBN 0-471-54397-7. "He gave more elegant rules for the sum of
the squares and cubes of an initial segment of the positive integers. The
sixth part of the product of three quantities consisting of the number of
terms, the number of terms plus one, and twice the number of terms plus
one is the sum of the squares. The square of the sum of the series is the
sum of the cubes."
21. Jump up^ J. J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson, Aryabhata the
Elder, MacTutor History of Mathematics archive:
"He believes that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight,
incredibly he believes that the orbits of the planets are ellipses."
22. Jump up^ Hayashi (2008), Aryabhaa I
23. Jump up^ Aryabhatiya 1.3ab, see Plofker 2009, p. 111.
24. Jump up^ [achalAni bhAni samapashchimagAni ... golapAda.910].
Translation from K. S. Shukla and K.V. Sarma, K. V. ryabhaya

New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy, 1976. Quoted in
Plofker 2009.
25. Jump up^ Pingree, David (1996). "Astronomy in India". In Walker,
Christopher. Asronomy before he Telescope. London: British Museum
Press. pp. 123142. ISBN 0-7141-1746-3. pp. 1279.
26. Jump up^ Otto Neugebauer, "The Transmission of Planetary Theories in
Ancient and Medieval Astronomy," Scripa Mahemaica, 22 (1956), pp.
165192; reprinted in Otto Neugebauer,Asronomy and Hisory: Seleced
Essays, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983, pp. 129156. ISBN 0-387-908447
27. Jump up^ Hugh Thurston, Early Asronomy, New York: Springer-Verlag,
1996, pp. 178189. ISBN 0-387-94822-8
28. Jump up^ R.C.Gupta (31 July 1997). "ryabhat a". In Helaine
Selin. Encyclopaedia of he hisory of science, echnology, and medicine in
non-wesern culures. Springer. p. 72.ISBN 978-0-7923-4066-9. Retrieved
22 January 2011.
29. Jump up^ Ansari, p. 13, Table 1
30. Jump up^ The concept of Indian heliocentrism has been advocated by B.
L. van der Waerden,Das heliozenrische Sysem in der griechischen,
persischen und indischen Asronomie.Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in
Zrich. Zrich:Kommissionsverlag Leeman AG, 1970.
31. Jump up^ B.L. van der Waerden, "The Heliocentric System in Greek,
Persian and Hindu Astronomy", in David A. King and George Saliba,
ed., From Deferen o Equan: A Volume of Sudies in he Hisory of Science
in he Ancien and Medieval Near Eas in Honor of E. S. Kennedy, Annals of
the New York Academy of Science, 500 (1987), pp. 529534.
32. Jump up^ Hugh Thurston (1996). Early Asronomy. Springer.
p. 188. ISBN 0-387-94822-8.
33. Jump up^ Noel Swerdlow, "Review: A Lost Monument of Indian
Astronomy," Isis, 64 (1973): 239243.
34. Jump up^ Though Aristarchus of Samos (3rd century BCE) is credited with
holding an heliocentric theory, the version of Greek astronomy known in
ancient India as the Paulisa Siddhanamakes no reference to such a theory.
35. Jump up^ Dennis Duke, "The Equant in India: The Mathematical Basis of
Ancient Indian Planetary Models." Archive for History of Exact Sciences 59
(2005): 563576, n. 4 [1].
36. Jump up^ Kim Plofker (2009). Mahemaics in India. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-691-12067-6.
37. Jump up^ Douglas Harper (2001). "Online Etymology
Dictionary". Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-0714.
38. Jump up^ "Omar Khayyam". The Columbia Encyclopedia (6 ed.). May
2001. Retrieved 2007-06-10.[dead link]

39. Jump up^ "Maths can be fun". The Hindu. 3 February 2006. Retrieved
40. Jump up^ "ISRO Press Release 16 March 2009". ISRO. Retrieved 24 June


ARYABHATTA (476 - 550)

476 AD



550 AD


Kusumapura or Pataliputra (Patna)




Mathematics, Astronomy


Nalanda University

Aryabhatta was the first of great Hindu mathematician. He is also known as

Aryabhatta I. He lived at Kusumapura or Pataliputra in ancient Magadhar or modern
Patna. He was born in 476 AD.
At the age of 23 years Aryabhatt wrote two books on astronomy (1) Aryabhatiya (2)
Arya-siddhanta. The aryabhatt deals with both mathematics and astronomy. It contains
121 stanzas in all. Aryabhatt is divided into 4 chapters called Pada (section)
Pada 1 GitikaPada 13 stanzas of basis definition of important astronomical
parameters and tables.
Pada 2 Ganita Pada 33 stanzas deals with mathematics. The topics are geometrical
figures with their properties and mensurations, series, linear and quadratic equations,
methods for extracting the square roots, the cube roots etc.
Pada 3 Kalakriya Pada 25 stanzas deals with the true position of sun, moon and
Pada 4 Gola Pada 50 stanzas deals with the motion of sun, moon and planets on
the celestial sphere.



Numerical values: he made a notation system in which digits are denoted with the help
of alphabet numerals e.g., 1 = ka, 2 = Kha, etc.
Aryabhatta assigned numerical values to the 33 consonants of the Indian alphabet to
represent 1,2,325,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100.
Notation system: He invented a notation system consisting of alphabet numerals Digits
were denoted by alphabet numerals. In this system devanagiri script contain varga
letters (consonants) and avarga letters (vowels).1-25 are denoted by 1st 25 varga
Place-value: Aryabhatta was familiar with the place-value system.
He knew numeral symbols and the sign for zero
Square root & cube root: His calculations on square root and cube root would not have
been possible without the knowledge of place values system and zero. He has given
methods of extracting square root cube root along with their explanation.
Interest: He formulated for the first time in India the formula for interest, time and
other related ones, in the problems of interest.
Integer solutions: Aryabhatta was the first one to explore integer solutions to the
equations of the form by =ax+c and by =ax-c, where a,b,c are integers. He used
kuttuka method to solve problems.
Indeterminate equations: He gave general solutions to linear indeterminate equations
ax+by+c= 0 by the method of continued fraction.
Identities: He had dealt with identities like (a+b)2=a2+2ab+b2and ab={(a+b)2-(a2b2)}/2
He has given the following formula in aryabhatia
13+23+33+---------+n3 = (1+2+3+------------+)2= {n2(n+1)2}/4
Algebraic quantities: He has given the method of addition, subtraction, multiplication of
simple and compound algebraic quantities
Arithmetic series: He was given a formula for summing up of the arithmetic series after
the Pth term The rule is S= n[a+{(n-1)/2+p} d]
S=(a+1) n/2
Discover the Value : The credit for discovering the exact values may be ascribed
to the celebrated mathematician Aryabhatta.
Rule: Add 4 to 100, multiply by 8, add 62000. The result is approximately the
circumference of a circle of diameter twenty thousand. By this rule the relation of the
circumference to diameter is given.
This gives =62832/20000=3.1416. Which is an accurate value of . Aryabhatta
discovered this value independently and also realized that is an irrational number

Pythagorean Theorem: The Pythagorean theorem is stated as follows in his work the
square of the Bhuja (base) plus the square of the koti (perpendicular) is the square of
the Karna
(Buja and koti are the sides of a right-angled triangle. The Karna is the hypotenuse)
Circle Theorem: He has postulated a theorem relating to circle as follows In a circle the
product of two Saras is the square of the half chord of the two arcs i.e. a*b=c2 where c
is half the chord and the saras or arrows are the segments of a diameter which bisect
any chord.
Formula: Aryabhatta gives formulae for the areas of a triangle, square, rectangle,
rhombus, circle etc.
Sine Table: Aryabhatta gave a table of sines for calculating the approximate values at
intervals of 90/24 = 3 45. This was done using the formula for
sin (n+1)x - sin nx in terms of sin nx and sin (n-1) x.
Versine: He introduced the versine (versin = 1-cosine) into trigonometry.

Earth: Aryabhatta gave the circumference of the earth as 4 967 yojanas and its diameter
as 1 5811/24 yojanas. Since1 yojana =5miles this gives the circumference as 24,835
miles, which is an excellent approximation to the currently accepted value of 24,902
He believes that the orbits of the planets are ellipses. He correctly explains the caused of
eclipses of the Sun and the Moon.
Length of year: His value for the length of the year at 365 days 6 hours 12 minutes 30
seconds is an overestimate since the true value is less than 365 days and 6 hours.

Aryabhatta was one of those ancient scholars of India who is hardly surpassed by
any one else of his time in his treatise on mathematics and astronomy. In appreciation of
his great contributions to mathematics and astronomy, the government of India named
the first satellite sent into space on 19-4-1975 as aryabhatta, after him.

Aryabhatta the Indian mathematician

Aryabhatta, also known as Aryabhatta I or Aryabhata (476-550?), was a famous
Indian mathematician and astronomer, born in a place called Taregana, in Bihar (though
some people do not agree with the evidence). Taregana (also spelled as Taragna) which
literally means songs of stars in Bihari, is a small place situated nearly 30 km
from Patna, which was then known as Kusumpura later Pataliputra, the capital of the
Gupta Empire. This is the very empire that has been dubbed as the golden period in
Indian history. The best introduction to the genius of past is seen in the words of
Bhaskara I who said, Aryabhatta is the master who, after reaching the furthest shores
and plumbing the inmost depths of the sea of ultimate knowledge of mathematics,
kinematics and spherics, handed over the three sciences to the learned world.

Aryabhatta, the Indian mathematician head of Nalanda University at Kusumpura (modern Patna)

What was his name?

Varahamihira, the younger contemporary of Aryabhatta also mentions him as
Aryabhata. In addition to this, Bhaskara I too mentions him as Aryabhata. It seems as
if the correct name was Aryabhata and not Aryabhatta. This could mean that Bhatta
was not his surname but as part of his first name. In fact, there is a lot of confusion
about his name too. Perhaps he was called Arya and his surname was Bhat or Bhatta!

Where did Aryabhatta come from?

There is some disagreement about this birth place. Some are of the view that he was
born in Patliputra while some are of the view that he was born in Kerala and moved to
Patliputra and lived there. Those who say that he was in Bihar is because of this name.
His name Arya and Bhatta indicates that he was from North India. His suffix Bhatta
could have been either part of his name or his surname, till date its not known if this is
correct or not. It is interesting to note that Aryabhatta himself have mentioned himself
at only 3 places and as Aryabhata in his work Aryabhatiya.
The reason for not considering Kerala as his birthplace is that nowhere in his works he
has mentioned Kerala. In addition, all works of Aryabhatta is in Sanskrit and Sanskrit
was not used in Kerala. So to claim that Aryabhatiya was written in Kerala has no

credibility. Furthermore, he has been identified by numerous mathematicians and in

Arabic translations as someone who hailed from Kusumpura (modern Patna), the capital
of Magadha. It therefore appears that Aryabhatta was born, lived, flourished and worked
in Magadha. He has also been described as the head of the Nalanda University.

Aryabhatta mentions himself as Aryabhata

Influence of Aryabhatta on science and mathematics

Aryabhatta is considered to be one of the mathematicians who changed the course of
mathematics and astronomy to a great extent. He is known to have considerable
influence on Arabic science world too, where he is referred to as Arjehir. His notable
contributions to the world of science and mathematics includes the theory that the earth
rotates on its axis, explanations of the solar and lunar eclipses, solving of quadratic
equations, place value system with zero, and approximation of pie ().

Aryabhatta approximatted pi

Aryabhatta exerted influence on the Indian astronomical tradition to such an extent

that his presence was felt in neighboring countries and cultures also. There have been
various translations of his work among which the Arabic translation during the 820CE is
very significant.
When mathematical students are confused with trigonometry even today, Aryabhattahad
defined sine, cosine, versine and inverse sine back in his era, influencing the birth of
trigonometry. The signs were originally known as jya, kojya, utkrama-jya and otkram
jya. In Arabic they were translated as jiba and kojiba, which later when being translated
into Latin was misunderstood to be fold in a garment by Gerard of Cremona, who stated
it as sinus, which meant fold in Latin. Aryabhatta was the first mathematician to detail

both sine and versine (1 cos x) tables, in 3.75 intervals from 0 to 90, to 4 decimal
Aryabhattas astronomical calculations influenced the Arabians, who used the
trigonometric tables to compute many astronomical tables. His calendared calculation
has been in continuous use in India, on which the present day Panchangam is based. His
studies are also base for the national calendars of Iran and Afghanistan today.
The Story of Numbers (0 and 1) Indian Numerals or Arabic?

It is known that Aryabhatta has authored at least three astronomical books, in addition
he also wrote some free stanzas. Among them Aryabhatiya is the only text that has
survived to this day, whereas unfortunately his other works have been extinct. It is a
small treatise written is 118 verses, which summarizes the Hindu mathematics of that
time. This great mathematical masterpiece of the past starts with 10 verse introduction,
which is then followed by mathematical section which is written in 33 verses that gives
out 66 mathematical rules, but there is no proof to go with it. The mathematical part of
the Aryabhatiya is about algebra, arithmetic, plane trigonometry and spherical
trigonometry in addition to advanced mathematics on continued fractions, quadratic
equations, sums of power series and a table of sines.

Quadratic equation by Aryabhatta

The next section consists of 25 verses which gives us glimpse into the planetary models.
The final section of the book is dedicated to sphere and eclipses which runs into 50
verses. He states that the moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight. Instead of the
prevailing cosmogony where eclipses were believed to be caused by pseudo-planetary
nodes Rahu and Ketu, he explains eclipses in terms of shadows cast by earth or those
shadows that fall on earth. It is amazing how Aryabhatta could explain both lunar and
solar eclipse so accurately.

Statue of Aryabhatta at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Pune (India)

There is some argument over the claim of Aryabhatta being the inventor of place value
system that made use of zero. Georges Ifrah, in his work Universal history of numbers:
From prehistory to the invention of the computer (London, 1998) writes in work, is
extremely likely that Aryabhatta knew the sign for zero and the numerals of the place
value system. Georges Ifrah has studied the works of Aryabhatta and found that the
counting and mathematical work carried out by him would have been not possible
without zero or place value system.

Honouring Aryabhatta
The Indian ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) named its first satellite after the
genius mathematician and astronomer. A research establishment has been set up in
Nainital, called the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIOS) to
honor his contribution to the field of science. There is also a lunar crater and a species of
bacteria discovered by ISRO named after Aryabhatta.

Some of the works of Aryabhatta include

Aryabhatta worked out the value of pi.

He worked out the area of a triangle. His exact words were, ribhujasya
phalashariram samadalakoti bhujardhasamvargah which translates for a triangle, the
result of a perpendicular with the half side is the area.
He discussed the idea of sin.
He worked on the summation of series of squares and cubes (square-root and
He talks about the rule of three which is to find the value of x when three
numbers a, b and c is given.
Aryabhatta calculates the volume of a sphere.
Aryabhatta described the model of the solar system, where the sun and moon are
each carried by epicycles that in turn revolve around the Earth. He also talks about the
number of rotations of the earth, describes that the earth rotating on its axis, the
order of the planets in terms of distance from earth.
Aryabhatta describes the solar and lunar eclipses scientifically.
Aryabhatta describes that the moon and planets shine by light reflected from the
Aryabhatta calculated the sidereal rotation which is the rotation of the earth with
respect to the stars as 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds.

He calculated the length of the sidereal year as 365 days, 6 hours, 12 minutes
and 30 seconds. The actual value shows that his calculations was an error of 3 minutes
and 20 seconds over a year.

Mention of rotation of the earth on its axis by Aryabhatta

Although we know nothing about the personal history of Aryabhatta, he was the genius
who continues to baffle mathematicians even to this day.
A new ebook (paperback coming soon) has been published called, Life and Works of
Aryabhata which is available on Amazon.

Life and works of Aryabhata

Mathematical Achievments of Aryabhatas

Alexander Volodarsky
Institute of the History of Science and Technology, Moscow
Full fifteen centuries have passed in 1976 since the birth of Aryabhata, an
outstanding Indian mathematician and astronomer.
Our knowledge of the scholar's life is very scarce. We know neither who his parents
were, nor his teachers, nor even the exact time of his death. Aryabhata was just 23
years old when in 499 A.D. he completed the famous Aryabhatiya, the only work of
his to be preserved till our time. Writes Aryabhata: "When sixty times sixty years
and three quarter yugas (of the current yuga) had elapsed, twenty-three years had
then passed since my birth". According to the Indian tradition, there are four
epochs, or yugas the Golden Age, the Silver age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron
Age and the last of these, the kaliyuga, began in 3102 B.C. It is from its
beginning that sixty times sixty years had elapsed, i.e. Aryabhatiya was written in
499 A.D. by the twenty-three-years-old author, which permits fixing 476 a.d. as the
year in which he was born.
The exact place of Aryabhata's birth is unknown. The treatise only mentions a major
Indian scientific centre Kusumapura (Pataloputra, modern Patna in Bihar), where
the scholar may have worked: "Having bowed with reverence to Brahma, Earth,
Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the asterisms, Aryabhata sets
forth here the knowledge honoured at Kusumapura" (see ref, 1, part II, rule 1).
Some authors believe him to be a native of Asmaka, a province in Southern India (p.
93), but that view is not shared by everybody.
Of his personal biography we know nothing more, but we have got something far
more precious the work which was indeed a turning point in the history of exact
science in India. In a way,Aryabhatiya was an interface work which took of
previous development and as far as was possible had imbibed the best achievements
of preceding epochs. But on the other hand, it marked the start of a new scientific
tradition in India and was studied and analysed over the centuries. Twelve
commentaries to the work are on record, the earliest dating back to the first quarter
of the 6th century and the latest to the mid-19th century. The commentators include
famous Indian mathematicians and astronomers, notably Bhaskara I (7th century),
Paramesvara (15th century) and Nilakantha (15th - 16th century). Quite a few
manuscripts of some of the commentaries have been preserved which is an
indication that Aryabhatiya was studied rather extensively. This is also indicated by
commentaries in vernacular languages. The original Sanskrit treatise had been
translated into vernacular Hindi, Telugu, and Malayalam and was studied thoroughly.
Apart from his main work, Aryabhata had written a work on astronomy, which was
knownAryabhata-siddhanta (p. 36-42), but it has not been preserved.
Aryabhatiya is a relatively small work written in traditional Indian form of distinctly
metrical verses made up into the four parts of the treatise: ?Dasagitika or the
Ten Giti Stanzas; Ganitapada or Mathematics; Kalakriya or the Reckoning of
Time; and Gola or the Sphere.

It is in Aryabhata's exposition that a number of mathematical rules have come down

to us. Mathematical matter is given, not just in the special second part, but
throughout all other chapters.
The treatise never mentions the ways by which rules were obtained and never sets
forth proofs or conclusions. The presentation is as succinct as could be, with all rules
stated in the form of advice or prescription. Aryabhatiya treats of diverse problems
of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, theory of numbers, trigonometry and astronomy'.
One of the most significant contribution to world science which was made by Indian
mathematicians is the establishment of decimal place-value system. Though there is
an abundant literature on the time and place of origin of this numeration, and the
components which led to its creation, these problems are still open to debate. The
scientific proceed from such clues as the shape of figures, the first application of
zero, the first record of the figures in this numeration, and the evidences of
contemporaries. All these must undoubtedly be taken into consideration, but the
most important is the rules for performing arithmetic operations according to
decimal place-value numeration. The earliest arithmetic rules known to us in this
system were described by Aryabhata in Aryabhatiya, namely the square-root and
cube-root evolution.
Closely related to the decimal place-value system was the alphabetic numeration
also given by Aryabhata. Such numerations were aimed at reducing the long strings
of words arising when numbers are written in a verbal form.
A central part in the arithmetic part of all Indian works was held by the Rule of
Three, teaching how to find a number x forming with three given numbers a, b, c
the proportion
Many problems were reduced to an application of this rule.
Indian scholars had coined a name for each term of the proportion and, in fact, gave
its name to the rule itself.
From the Indian the Rule of Three passed over into Arabic and thence into West
European mathematical writings.
The types of problem subject to the Rule of Three had been certainly known
elsewhere in China, Greece and Egypt, but it was only in India that the rule was
singled out, translated into problem solving methods, and extended to the case of
five, seven, etc. quantities.
These extensions seem to have been familiar to Aryabhata, even though he cites
only the Rule of Three. In his commentary, Bhaskara I writes: "Here Acarya
Aryabhata has described the rule of three only. How the well known rules of five,
etc. are to be obtained? I say thus: The Acarya has described only the fundamental
of anupata (proportion). All others such as the rule of five, etc. follow from the
fundamental rule of proportion. How? The rule of five, etc. consists of combinations
of the rule of three.. In the rule of five there are two rules of three, in the rule of
seven, three rules of three, and so on".
The treatise considers several problems which reduce to solving a linear equation in
one unknown. One problem, set forth in part II, rule 30, is to calculate the value of

an object if it is known that two men having equal wealth possess a different
number of objects, a1 a2 and different pieces of money remaining after the purchase,
b1, b2. The problem reduces itself to solving the equation a1x + b1 = a2x + b2.
Aryabhata formulates the rule of solving the linear equation in this manner: "Divide
the difference between the rupakas with two persons by the difference between
their gulikas. The quotient is the value of one gulika, if the possessions of the two
persons are of equal value" (See ref. 1, part II, rule 30). That is to say,

Another problem is the famous Problem of Messengers, which later peregrinated all
over the world'. algebraic literature. It is to calculate the time of meeting of two
planets moving in opposite directions, or in the same direction. Aryabhata
formulates this rule: "Divide the distance between the two bodies moving in the
opposite directions by the sum of their speeds, and the distance between the two
bodies moving in the same direction by the difference of their speeds; the two
quotients will give the time elapsed since the two bodies met or to elapse before
they will meet" (See ref. 1, part II, rule 31).
Thus, if the distance S between the two bodies and their velocities V 1 and V2 are
known, the time of meeting is found as
opposite directions or as

when they are moving in

when they are moving in the same directions.

Noteworthily, Aryabhata formulates the solution in such a way as to avoid

introducing negative numbers, which Indian scholars, beginning with Brahmagupta
(7th century) later adopted and used quite regularly.
Several of problems in Aryabhatiya lead to quadratic equations, in particular, the
finding of the number of terms in an arithmetical progression and the calculation of
interest. In the latter case, the following problem is solved, which is quoted by one
of Aryabhata's commentators: capital A yields an unknown monthly profit x, which is
then itself lent for interest for T months. The initial profit added together with the
new interest is equal to B. Find the initial interest rate. Aryabhata gives the solution
of the equation Tx2 + Ax = AB in verbal form corresponding to this expression:

Similar problem of compound interest are posed by many Indian authors. They also
occur in European manuals belonging to modern history. For example, the first
problem of quadratic equations in Elements d'algebre by A. Clairaut (1746) is for
compound interest.
Beginning with Aryabhata, most Indian mathematical texts give rules and examples
of arithmetical progression Aryabhata knew the rules for the general term, sum, and
the number of terms of an arithmetic progression. The rules for the summation of an
arithmetical progression are set forth by Aryabhata in the part II, rule 19: "Diminish
the given number of terms by one, then divide by two, then increase by the number
of the proceeding terms (if any), then multiply by common difference, and then

increase by the first term of the (whole) series: the result is the arithmetic mean (of
the given number of terms) This multiplied by the given number of terms is the sum
of the given terms. Alternatively, multiply the sum of the first and last terms (of the
series or partial series which is to be summed up) by half the number of terms" The
first part of the rule finds the sum S of the terms of an arithmetical progression from
the term p+1 to the term p+n:

The second part of the rule gives the formula

Aryabhata also formulates the rules for finding the number of terms of an
arithmetical progression

Aryabhatiya states the rules for the summation of natural squares and cubes, as
well as some other series, which, however, had been previously known to
Babylonians and Greeks.
Aryabhata contributed enormously to the theory of numbers and its important
chapter the indeterminate equations. The problem first arose in India from
calendar astronomical needs of determining the periods of repetition of certain
relative positions of celestial bodies (the Sun, the Moon, and the planets) which had
different revolution periods and from other related issues. The problem reduces itself
to finding integer numbers which divide by given remainder, i.e. satisfying
indeterminate linear equations and equation systems.
In the third century a.d. the Greek mathematician Diophantus was concerned with
indeterminate equations, but he only was seeking for rational solutions. Beginning
with Aryabhata, the Indians tried to solve these equations in positive integers, which
was a far stronger proposition. Any direct Greek influence on the Indian scholars is
unlikely here, for each school had arrived at problems of the theory of numbers
proceeding from different needs and using different methods. One may rather
suppose some contacts of Indians linking them to ancient Chinese mathematicians,
who had likewise arrived at indeterminate equations proceeding from the needs of
astronomy and the problems of remainder and, moreover, also were only seeking
after integer solutions (See ref. 8 pp. 143-144). Aryabhata's contribution to the
theory of numbers was very valuable indeed; he was the first in the world literature
to formulate very elegant methods of integer solution of indeterminate equation of
the first degree.
Aryabhata gives the pertinent rule in part II, rule 32-33 for the Solution of this
problem: find a number N, which, when divided by given numbers a, c yields two
known remainders p, q. The problem leads to these indeterminate equations of the
first degree:
ax + b = cy, if p > q (b = p q)
ax b = cy, if p < q
Incidentally, the latter equation can be reduced to the former by substitution of the

Aryabhata's rule is stated in an extremely succinct formulation, which had given rise
to a great deal of comment and debate.
Aryabhata's geometrical rules include several verbal formulas. For example, he
defines the area of a triangle as the product of the height multiplied by a half of the
base (See ref. 1, part II, rule 7) as a half of the circle's length multiplied by a half of
the diameter.
The area of any plane figure, writes Aryabhata in part II, rule 9, can be found if we
single out two sides and then multiply one by the other. The commentator
Paramesvara explains that what is meant here is the mean length and width.
Aryabhata determines the volume of a pyramid as base area multiplied by half the
height. This, rather rough approximation is refined by other mathematicians, and in
particular by Sridhara, who finds the volume as the base area multiplied by a third
of the height. Aryabhata calculates the volume of a sphere by the formula r 2r2 ,
which is equal to 147r3. This is rather approximative as compared with the exact
formula for the volume of the sphere,

given in Bhaskara II.

An essential mathematical constant, which also had a great practical value, was
the number estimating the ratio of the length of a circle of its diameter. For his time,
Aryabhata's estimation was rather accurate (ref. 1, part II, rule 10). The value which
was given by Aryabhata is correct to four decimal places: 3.1416.
In part II, rule 14, Aryabhata gives the Pythagorean theorem: "Add the square of
the height of the gnomon to the square of its shadow. The square root of that sum is
the semi-diameter of the circle of shadow".
In part II, rule 13, the scholar gives several geometrical definitions which are rather
rare in Indian mathematical literature: "A circle should be constructed by means of a
pair of compasses; a triangle and quadrilateral by means of the two hypotenuses.
The level of ground should be tested by means of water; and verticality by means of
A look at some of the geometrical problems considered by Aryabhata shows that he
knew the basic properties of similar triangles and proportions, had an idea about
derived proportions, relations of the segments of two intersecting chords, and the
properties of the diameter perpendicular to a chord.
The trigonometric problems expounded in Aryabhatiya axe interesting. The Indians
seem to have lent in their trigonometric studies the works of early Hellinistic
astronomers, who had a fairly developed trigonometry of chords. But the Indians
replaced chords with sines, which enabled them to introduce various functions
related with the sides and angles of the right-angled triangle. They considered the
line of sine, the line of cosine, and the line which was later in Europe named the
sinus-versus, or reversed sinus. The earliest sine table is found in Suryasiddhanta and in theAryabhatiya [ref. 1, part I, rule 12]. The table is compiled
with a step of 345' = 225', i.e. 1/24 of the quadrant arc.

Aryabhata, as well as other Indian mathematicians made a wide use of the shadow
cast by a vertical pole, the gnomon, to determine heights and distances. A number
of relevant rules and problems are given in the geometrical chapter. This anticipated
the introduction of tangent and cotangent, which were introduced in the 9th century
by mathematicians in Islamic countries; incidentally, these functions were described
by the name of "shadows".
How far-reaching was the true mathematical contribution of Aryabhatiya? It
contains the first description of the rules in the decimal place-value system; the first
description of the alphabetic numeration; it contains the first Indian description of
the evolution of the square and cubic roots; the treatise considers several very
interesting problems, which had played the great role in the development of
mathematics; Aryabhata was also the first to formulate the rule of integer solution of
indeterminate equation of the first degree in two unknowns; he set forth the
methods of finding the general term, the sum, and the number of terms of an
arithmetical progression; for his time Aryabhata's estimation of was very accurate;
his methods of computing the sinus-table in trigonometry was an important
Those are just the principal mathematical innovations appearing in Aryabhata's
treatise. But this rundown by no means fathoms the important role
that Aryabhatiya played in the development of Indian and world's science.
Towards the end of the eighth century, the treatise was translated into Arabic under
the title of Zij al-Arjabhar. About the same time, two works by Brahmagupta were
also translated which carried some of Aryabhata's mathematical and astronomical
innovations. Later, when Arabic scholarly tests were translated into Latin, some of
Aryabhata's ideas were inherited by West European scientists.

April 19, 1975. Soviet spaceport. National flags of the Soviet Union and Indi waving
at a top of the ground control station. Up dashes a Soviet carrier rocket launching
into the Earth's orbit the first Indian sputnik. After a few minutes of suspense, the
loud-speaker announces: "The main fairing is off .... The second stage is working....
The sputnik has separated itself".
India has become a space power!
The first Indian artificial Earth's satellite was given the name of Aryabhata.
Antiquity and modernity intertwine.

In the history of mathematical science, it has long been a question to whom the
invention of Algebraic analysis is due? Among what people, in what region, was it
devised? By whom was it cultivated and promoted? Or by whose labours was it
reduced to form and system?

And finally from what quarter did the diffusion of its knowledge proceed? No
doubt indeed entertained of the source from which it was received immediately
by modern Europe; though the channel has been a matter of question. We are
well assured, that the Arabs were our instructors in this study. But the Arabs
themselves only play to the discovery of Algebra.

They were not in general inventors but scholars, during the period of their
success of the sciences: and the germ at least of the Algebraic analysis is to be
found among the Greeks in an age not precisely determined, but more than
probably anterior to the earliest dawn of civilization among the Arabs: and this
science in a more advanced state subsisted among the Hindus prior to the
earliest disclosure of it by the Arabians to modern Europe.
Life and the works of Aryabhatta (Aryabhata)

Pataliputra was the birth-place of another very great man, namely, Aryabhata,
the father of scientific astronomy and mathematics of the Hindus. He was born in
476 A D. and wrote his Kalakriyapada here at the age of 23 that is, 499 A.D.
Aryabhatta's Birthplace

There seem to have been a conflict of Eras at the time when Aryabhata
flourished. There was the Malava Era in Western Malwa, the Gupta Km known in
the Gupta Empire, the Saka Era, the Kalacuri Era and so on all local and tribal
eras. Time of Aryabhatta

Aryabhatta is the first writer on astronomy to whom the Hindus do not allow the
honour of a divine inspiration. Writers on mathematical science distinctly state
that he was the earliest uninspired and a merely human writer on astronomy.
This is a notice which sufficiently proves his being an historical character. Read
More on Aryabhatta

The chief doctrines which Aryabhatta professed were that he He affirmed the
diurnal revolution of the earth on its axis; an assertion which is fully borne out by
a quotation from one of his works, in a commentary on the "Brahmasphut'aSiddhanta" of Brahmagupta by Prithudakaswami: "The Earth making a revolution
produces a daily rising and setting of the stars and planets". Aryabhatta is said to
have discovered the diurnal motion of the earth' which he thought to be
spherical. Aryabhatta's diurnal motion

Aryabhatta had another celebrated astronomer known as Varahamihira as his

contemporary. Varahamihira

Aryabhatta also ascribed to the epicycles, by which the motion of a planet is

represented, a form varying from the circle and nearly elliptic. The chief
doctrines of Aryabhatta

Aryabhata wrote his Kala-kriya (calculation of time) here at the age of 23 that is,
499 A.D. Aryabhatta and Astronomy

ARYABHATTA was author of the Arykshiasata (800 couplets) and Dasagi-tica (ten
stanzas), known by the numerous quotations of BRAHMEGUPTA, BHAT'TATPALA,
and others, who cite both under these respective titles. Works of Aryabhatta

ARYABHATTAS text specifies the earth's diameter, 1050 yojanas; and the orbit or
circumference of the earth's wind [spiritus vector] 3393 yojanas; which, as the
scholiast rightly argues, is no discrepancy. Aryabhattas calculation of the earths

UNDER the Abbasside Khalifs ALMANSU'R and ALMAMUN, in the middle of the
eighth and beginning of the ninth centuries of the Christian era, the Arabs
became conversant with the Indian astronomy.

Brahmi numerals in India in the 1st century AD

Early Life
Aryabhata(some time misspelled as Aryabhatta) was one of the first Indian
mathematicians and astronomers belonging to the classical age. He was born in
476 BC in Tarenaga, a town in Bihar, India. It is however definite that he travelled
to Kusumapara (modern day Patna) for studies and even resided there for some
time. It is mentioned in a few places that Aryabhata was the head of the
educational institute in Kusumapara. The University of Nalanda had an
observatory in its premises so it is hypothesized that Aryabhata was the principal
of the university as well. On the other hand some other commentaries mention
that he belonged to Kerala.

Mathematical Work
Aryabhata wrote many mathematical and astronomical treatises. His chief work
was the Ayrabhatiya which was a compilation of mathematics and astronomy.
The name of this treatise was not given to it by Aryabhata but by later
commentators. A disciple by him called the Bhaskara names it Ashmakatanra
meaning treatise from the Ashmaka. This treatise is also referred to as Ayrashatas-ashta which translates to Aryabhatas 108. This is a very literal name
because the treatise did in fact consist of 108 verses. It covers several branches
of mathematics such as algebra, arithmetic, plane and spherical trigonometry.
Also included in it are theories on continued fractions, sum of power series, sine
tables and quadratic equations.

Aryabhata worked on the place value system using letters to signify numbers
and stating qualities. He also came up with an approximation of pi ( ) and area of
a triangle. He introduced the concept of sine in his work called Ardha-jya which
is translated as half-chord.

Astronomical Work
Aryabhata also did a considerable amount of work in astronomy. He knew that
the earth is rotating on an axis around the sun and the moon rotated around it.
He also discovered the position of nine planets and stated that these also
revolved around the sun. He pointed out the eclipses; both lunar and solar.
Aryabhata stated the correct number of days in a year that is 365. He was the
first person to mention that the earth was not flat but in fact a spherical shape.
He also gave the circumference and diameter of the earth and the radius of the
orbits of 9 planets.

More about Aryabhata

Aryabhata was a very intelligent man. The theories that he came up with at that
time present a wonder to the scientific world today. His works were used by the
Greeks and the Arabs to develop further. A commentary by Bhaskara I a century
later on Aryabhatiya says:

Aryabhata is the master who, after reaching the furthest shores and plumbing
the inmost depths of the sea of ultimate knowledge of mathematics, kinematics
and spherics, handed over the three sciences to the learned world.

Aryabhatas Legacy
Aryabhata was an immense influence to mathematics and astronomy. Many of
his works inspired Arabs more particularly. His astronomical calculations helped
form the Jalali calendar. He has been honored in many ways. The first Indian
satellite is named after him as Aryabhata, so is the lunar crater. An Indian
research center is called Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational