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Bhaskaracharya - The Brilliant Mathematician Sage

Bhaskaracharya – The Brilliant Mathematician Sage

Bhaskaracharya also known as Bhaskara or Bhaskara II was an admired and appreciated Indian mathematician and astronomer. The name Bhaskara II is given to him to avoid any sort of confusion with Bhaskara I. Bhaskaracharya was born in the current day’s Bijapur, Karnataka in 1114 AD. The birthplace is known with different names like Bijjaragi or Chalisgaon. His family was Deshastha Rigvedi Brahmin Hindu. He came from a lineage of great Indian astronomers, mathematicians and scholars. Keeping in mind the date of his birth, it is clear to say that he lived in the Shaka era.

Being a mathematician his main interests were in Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry and Arithmetics. He was the chief of the cosmic observatory in Ujjain. This was the prime mathematical centre of acharyas in ancient India. His work and contribution in the fields of his interests and expertise prove to be a significant and noteworthy contribution to knowledge and skills amongst people in the 12th century. His work is regarded even today as a crucial part to study in these fields.

Bhaskaracharya being the intelligent man he was, gave information about the date of his birth, date of major compositions and family through verses. It says that he was born in 1036 which is 1114 CE as mentioned above. His birthplace as mentioned above is popularly known as Vijayapur or Vijadavida in today’s times. He lived in the Patnadevi region in Jalgaon district in Maharashtra which can be encapsulated to say that it was the Sahyadri region. Bhaskaracharya was 36 years old when he composed his most popular writing “Siddhanta Siromani”. He went to write “Karana Kutuhala” at the age of 69 in the year 1183. Various predecessors like Brahmagupta, Mahavira, Padmanavha and Sridhara show the influence of his work in their writings.

Siddhanta Siromani literally means “Crowns of Treatises”. This piece of writing is divided into 4 parts namely Bijaganita, Grahaganita, Lilavati and Goldadhyaya. These four writings are considered to be independent works by the great Bhaskaracharya. They deal with Algebra, mathematics of planets, arithmetic and spheres respectively. Amongst many of his works, he is particularly known for the discovery of principles in calculus and their application to various problems in astronomy and computations in astronomy. Bhaskaracharya’s study and work on the topic of calculus antedate the work of world-famous mathematicians Newton and Leibniz. The gap in their existence and work is more than half a century.

In the world where Newton and Leibniz are given credit for integral and intricate calculus, the evidence stands strongly in favour of Bhaskaracharya that he was in fact the pioneer of many principles of differential calculus. It can be considered as he was the one to conceive them and the modern mathematicians were to base their theories on that research and work in the field of differential calculus and differential coefficient.

Bhaskaracharya is known to have extended the work of Brahmagupta and taken it to an unmatchable level. He was at the peak of mathematical knowledge in the 12th century and that is when he understood the number system and solving equations. This is unique and special because this was not attained by Europeans for various centuries. Based on the knowledge that he was building his research and work on the understanding and research of Brahmagupta, he understood the concepts of zero and negative numbers very well. It needs to be mentioned that although he based his research on the work of Brahmagupta, his knowledge and intellect went beyond that of Brahmagupta.

Click here to read about Sage Kanada – Father Of The Atomic Theory.

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