Author: T A Sarasvati
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120813448
This book is a geometrical survey of the Samskrt and Prakrt scientific and quasi-scientific literature of India beginning with the Vedic literature and ending with the early part of the 17th century. It deals in detail with the Sulbasutras in the Vedic literature, with the mathematical parts of Jaina Canonical works and of the Hindu Siddhantas and with the contributions to geometry made by the astronomer-mathematicians Aryabhata I & II, Sripati, Bhaskara I & II, Sangamagrama Madhava, Paramesvara, Nilakantha, his disciples and a host of others. The works of the mathematician Mahavira, Sridhara and Narayana Pandita and the Bakshali Manuscript have also been studied.
The work seeks to explode the theory that the Indian mathematical genius was predominantly algebraic and computational and that it eschewed proofs and rationales. There was a school in India which delighted to demonstrate even algebraical results geometrically. In their search for a sufficiently good approximation for the value of Indian mathematicians has discovered the tool of integration, which they used equally effectively for finding the surface area and volume of a sphere and in other fields. This discovery of integration was the sequel of the inextricable blending of geometry and series mathematics.
EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS
The book under review is an almost exhaustive survey of geometry in Sanskrit and Prakrit literature right from the Vedic times down to the early part of the seventeenth century A D. The contributions to geometry made by Sulba Sutras, Hindu Siddhantas, Jaina Canonical works, Bakshali manuscript as also by eminent mathematicians, Aryabhata I & II, Sripati, Bhaskaracharya I & II, Mahavira, Sridhara, Nilakanta and a few others have been dealt with critically.
The present book has filled more than adequately the long gap after the publication of an equally authentic, exhaustive sour book, History of Hindu Mathematics in two Volumes (1935, 1938) by BB Datta and A N Singh, which deals with ancient Indian arithmetic and algebra.
-S Balachandra Rao
Deccan Herald, Magazine,
Sunday, October 21, 1979
An admirable feature of the book is the impartial scholarly attitude to the study and a complete absence of parochialism.
The book is supplemented with an exhaustive Bibliography, a Glossary of Geometrical Terms and an Index.
A highly commendable treatise, the work is very useful as a text book of Hindu geometry.
-D G Dhavale
Annals of B O R Institute
Vol. LXIX (1988), Poona 1988
Early Jaina Geometry
Volumes and Surfaces of Solids
Shadow problems and other problems
Glossary of Geometrical Terms