Bharati Krishna Teertha: Presenter of Vedic Mathematics, by Sai Tenneti

Discussion in 'Hindu History' started by Speechless world, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Speechless world

    Speechless world New Member

    Many are familiar with the concept of Vedic Mathematics, a system of mathematics that originated in Ancient India and has been compiled into a list of 16 basic sutras. However, not everyone knows about the genius of the scholar behind this work. Bharatiya Krishna Teertha was not only a great mathematician, but also was a significant spiritual giant who lived during the early part of the 20th century. He was born on March 14, 1884 in Tinnavelly, Tamil Nadu to a highly illustrious family, and was given the birth name Venkatraman Shastri. (Since he composed a poem that presented the value of π to 32 decimal places, is it mere coincidence that he was born on π-day?)

    For his higher education, Venkatraman started at the National College in Tiruchirapalli, but later moved to the Church Missionary Society College and then a Hindu College, both located in Tirunelveli. As a student, he was marked for his splendid brilliance, superb retentive memory, and an insatiable curiosity. He was known to ask his teachers piercing questions that made them uneasy and even admit ignorance. That was the spark of his genius. At the age of 15, he was awarded the title of “Saraswati” due to his all-round proficiency and gifted oratory in Sanskrit by the Sanskrit association of Madras. He had an outstanding academic record with Master’s degrees in six subjects: Sanskrit, Mathematics, English, History, Philosophy, and Science. At the young age of 20, he had simultaneously scored the highest honors in all the subjects. Venkatraman also used to write regularly on diverse topics such as religion, science, history, sociology, philosophy, politics, and literature. His main hobby throughout his life was to read about the latest scientific research and discoveries.

    1905 was the year when the Freedom Movement started in Bengal. Bharati Krishna Teertha ji participated in the movement along with Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Sri Aurobindo. He also contributed to several newspapers propagating the freedom movement, and was appointed “Warden of the Sons of India” by Dr. Annie Besant in 1908.

    Because he wanted to devote his life to the service of humanity, and believed that this was possible only with the success of Self-Realization, Venkatraman proceeded to Shringeri Matha and obtained his deeksha through Shri Shankaracharya Sacchidananda Shiva Abhinava Narasimha Saraswati. From 1911-1918, Bharati Krishnaji practiced deep meditation and studied the Vedas and metaphysics, which then led him to practice the arduous life of austerity. While he led a purely saintly life living on roots and fruits, he also devoted himself to the study of Vedanta and resided in the forest so his spiritual goals could be achieved. He was initiated into Sanyaas in July 1919, and that was when he was given his new name, of “Shri Bharati Krishan Teertha”. He was later appointed as the head of Dwarakapeeth, and from then on, started the life of a Shankaracharya.

    Bharati Krishnaji wrote the “Ganita Sutras” or the easy mathematical formulas on which he compiled his work “Vedic Mathematics.” This was an original contribution to the field of mathematics and research. Krishnaji got the key to the Ganita Sutra coded in the Atharva Veda and rediscovered the Vedic Mathematics with the help of lexicography. He composed sixteen sutras containing only 120 words, which cover all the branches of mathematics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, conics, and calculus. They also relate to differential and integral functions, and also applied mathematics of various kinds such as dynamics and hydrostatics.

    Bharati Krishna Teertha ji was the first of the Shankaracharya order to ever visit the West. He went for a three month tour of the United States and the United Kingdom in 1958, and spoke at various lectures attended by thousands of students of various universities and organizations, such as Stanford, Caltech, UCLA, San Diego College, Hollywood, Church of Religious Science, and the American Academy of Asian Studies. When he addressed the group of Caltech graduate students in mathematics, he gave extensive blackboard demonstrations, which was the first time in the United States His Holiness presented his mathematical discoveries.

    Bharati Krishna Teertha ji served as the Head of the Govardhana Matha Monastery in Puri, Orissa until his passing away in 1960. Because of his spiritual authority over millions of Hindus, even the Government of India consulted him on policies relating to spiritual rules and religious matters. Unfortunately near the end of his life, all the 16 sutras that he wrote were lost. He started to rewrite all of them, but could only rewrite one sutra before his health failed and he passed away. However, five years later, a disciple of his published the rewritten book on Vedic Maths, which has proven to be a great treasure for mankind. The techniques and sutras can easily be found online, and are quite fun and easy to learn. This leads one to wonder that if rewritten volumes are so valuable, what to say of the original ones written by the great genius himself.

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