Aryabhatta - Astronomer, Mathematician, Scientist

Discussion in 'Hindu History' started by garry420, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The thread is about most ancient & world's greatest mathematician and astronomer, Aryabhatta.

    Aryabhatta was born around 475 AD, and had already published his most significant work, "Aryabhatiyam", by the age of 23.

    Though Aryabhatta has made innumerous contributions to both mathematics and astronomy, in this post, I would like to specifically elucidate how he was the first person to identify the irrationality of possibly the most enchanting and intriguing of numbers, Pi.

    Aryabhatiyam is also referred to as Ashtamkara and also as Aryashastasashta (108 verses), but is now popularly called Aryabhatiyam. The Sanskirt verse describing Pi is given below:
    The English interpretation of the above Shloka would be:

    Add 4 to 100, multiply by 8, then add 62000, then divide by 20000. The result is "approximately" circumference of a circle of diameter 20000.

    The answer of the above calculation is 62832/20000 = 3.1416.

    By using the word"Asanna"(last word in the Sanskrit verse), Aryabhatta clearly states that the value so found is not exact, but an "approximate" one, something that was "approaching" the exact value. So he is referring to it being irrational.

    This is quite a significant contribution, as it was not until the 17th century that Pi was proved to be irrational in Europe.
  2. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    Our curriculum teach us that theory on Planetary motion was propounded by Johannes Kepler, a German Astronomer and Mathematician. This was done as late as the 17th century AD. But as usual, India had an answer to the same question way back in the 5th Century AD. The following Sloka from Aryabhatiyam-Kalakriyapada gives Aryabhatta's version:
    The meaning of this Sloka is as follows:

    "The mean planets move on their orbits and the true planets move in eccentric circles. All such planets move with their own motion, anti-clockwise from their apogees and clockwise from their perigees."

    So it took around 1200 years for the Western "Civilization" to re-discover something that Aryabhatta had stated in the 5th Century! Truly Amazing!

    Rare Triple Eclipse, Aryabhatta and End of World?

    The first recorded triple eclipse took place in 3067 BC, hovering around the Kurukshetra war period. Another one in 3031 BC oversaw the collapse of the Golden city of Dwarka. This was a turbulent time and signalled the end of the Dwapar Yuga and the beginning of the KalYuga, which is currently going on.

    Interestingly, the Mayan Long calender ends on December 29th, 2012. Lord Krishna had predicted that approximately 5000 years after the onset of KalYuga, there will be a lot of problems on the earth...

    Triple eclipses have also been seen to coincide with both the World Wars. So is this a premonition of something dangerous about to happen? We will just have to wait and watch...

    Eclipses have mystified the human race from millenia. In ancient China, a dragon was thought to be swallowing the sun whenever an eclipse occured. Records from ancient Greece attribute the eclipses to Zeus, the king of Gods. The eclipses also form an important observation subject of the Mayans and the Incas.
    However, the concept of the eclipse has been woven into a story in ancient Hindu texts, and a very famous one at that. It is connected with the churning of the milky ocean (Samudramanthan).

    The last item to come out of the great milky ocean was the pot of nectar (Amrit). A fight ensued between the Sevas and Asuras on who should have a go at it first. Then Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Mohini, an enchantress, and volunteered to distribute the potion. Blinded by lust, the Asuras gullibly agreed. Mohini began doling out the potion to the Devas first, and an intelligent Asura named Rahu saw through her plan. Taking the form of a Deva, he sat between Chandra (Moon God) and Surya (Sun God).
    Chandra recognized Rahu as one different from them, and tried to inform the same to Lord Vishnu. But the damage had already been done. By the time Lord Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra took care of Rahu, the Asura had drunk the Amrit. Though the divine Chakra sliced him into two, both his head and his body remained alive. Since he too had become immortal, Lord Vishnu ordered Rahu (the head) and Ketu (the body) to remain in the company of the sun and moon, and thus they complete the Navagraha along with the other planets. The significance of the 7 planets + Rahu and Ketu will be discussed in another post...

    It is said that the eclipse occurs whenever Rahu tries to engulf the moon or come between the moon and the sun. It is important to note the reference of Rahu sittingbetweentheSun and Moon, thus creating a barrier or shadow, which is the principle of the eclipse. This is how the concept of eclipses was passed down from generation to generation in ancient India.

    Meanwhile, I came across a Shloka in which Aryabhatta, India's great mathematician and astronomer of the ancient age, has lucidly explained the concept of both the Solar and Lunar eclipses. This Shloka, from his famous work Aryabhatiyam, was stated in 499 AD, and is given below:
    Translated into English, it says"The moon covers the sun and the great shadow of the earth covers the moon."

    Thus, in a single line, Aryabhatta has described both the eclipses. Truly a blessed and great soul!
    I recently read reports that 2 places in Bihar, known to be the birthplace of Aryabhatta, are called "Taregna" and "Khagoul". Clearly, both are in honour of their most famous son, Aryabhatta's astronomical expertise, as both of them are corruptions of Astronomical terms. Taregna relates to "Tare" (Stars), while "Khagol" is Astronomy in Hindi. Isn't it wonderful that Bihar will be under the spotlight and witness to this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle?
    Via : - Nikhil

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