Ancient Indian Mathematician and the glorious legend of Lilavati


In today’s times, a subject which is most feared and hated is mathematics. Students dread this subject. It is considered to be one of the most difficult subjects. But history tells us otherwise. Ancient Indians loved mathematics. They also made fascinating inventions and discoveries in mathematics.  One of the famous stories in the history of mathematics is the story of Bhaskaracharya. He penned down the legendary Lilavati.
Bhaskaracharya was a distinguished astronomer and  mathematician. His principal work is Siddhant Shiromani and Lilavati is its first volume. It was written as early as in 1150.  Legend states that this book on arithmetic was written for her daughter Lilavati. Bhaskaracharya predicted that her daughter would remain unmarried. To avoid this fate, he predicted an auspicious moment for the wedding and devised a mechanism to let her daughter know the right time. 
Lilavati was instructed not to go near the device but because of her curiosity she went near it. A pearl from her dress dropped into the device. The auspicious moment was lost during this incident. Then a promise was made by Bhaskaracharya to his daughter that he will write a book in her name that will remain forever. The book contains 13 chapters which includes arithmetical terms, definitions, interest computation, plane geometry, solid geometry, arithmetical and geometrical progressions, the shadow of the gnomon, the Kuṭṭaka – a method to solve indeterminate equations and combinations. 
Bhaskaracharya gave the value of pi as 22/7. He even suggested a more precise ratio of 3927/1250 to be used in astronomical calculations. Lilavati contains numerous methods of calculating numbers such as squares, multiplications, progressions with examples using common objects, kings and elephants. Ancient India had numerous exceptional mathematicians that made astonishing discoveries. The legend of Lilavati is popular and has been widely used by mathematicians. 


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