Monday, February 23, 2009

Aryabhatta and origin of zero

Aryabhatta (476-550 A.D.), one of the world’s greatest mathematician-astronomer, was born in Patliputra in Magadha, modern Patna in Bihar. Many are of the view that he was born in the south of India especially Kerala and lived in Magadha at the time of the Gupta rulers. However, there exists no documentation to ascertain his exact birthplace. Whatever this origin, it cannot be argued that he lived in Patliputra where he wrote his famous treatise the "Aryabhatta-siddhanta" but more famously the "Aryabhatiya", the only work to have survived.

The mathematical part of the Aryabhatiya covers arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry and spherical trigonometry. It also contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums of power series and a table of sines. This work is the first we are aware of which examines integer solutions to equations of the form by = ax + c and by = ax - c, where a, b, c are integers. Aryabhatta was an author of at least three astronomical texts and wrote some free stanzas as well.

He wrote that if 4 is added to 100 and then multiplied by 8 then added to 62,000 then divided by 20,000 the answer will be equal to the circumference of a circle of diameter twenty thousand. This calculates to 3.1416 close to the actual value Pi (3.14159).

But his greatest contribution has to be ZERO, for which he became immortal. He certainly did not use the symbol, but the French mathematician Georges Ifrah argues that knowledge of zero was implicit in Aryabhata's place-value system as a place holder for the powers of ten with null coefficients. The supposition is based on the following two facts: first, the invention of his alphabetical counting system would have been impossible without zero or the place-value system; secondly, he carries out calculations on square and cubic roots which are impossible if the numbers in question are not written according to the place-value system and zero.

He already knew that the earth spins on its axis, the earth moves round the sun and the moon rotates round the earth. He talks about the position of the planets in relation to its movement around the sun. He refers to the light of the planets and the moon as reflection from the sun. Aryabhatta gives the radius of the planetary orbits in terms of the radius of the Earth/Sun orbit as essentially their periods of rotation around the Sun. He believes that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight, incredibly he believes that the orbits of the planets are ellipses. He correctly explains the causes of eclipses of the Sun and the Moon.

This remarkable man was a genius and continues to baffle many mathematicians of today. His works was then later adopted by the Greeks and then the Arabs.

Bhaskara I who wrote a commentary on the Aryabhatiya about 100 years later wrote of Aryabhatta:-
"Aryabhatta is the master who, after reaching the furthest shores and plumbing the inmost depths of the sea of ultimate knowledge of mathematics, kinematics and spherics, handed over the three sciences to the learned world."

To read more about him:


  1. Aryabhatta is a great mathematician without his invention of zero we could not have done any research in scientific world .He is a God .I believe him like God.and iam proud that he is from Pataliputra Bihar the great land on Earth .This Place Called Bihar has Given so many legends in many field ..its an origin of great culture,Education,Discoveries.Bihar is freat place its a paradise ..please save Bihar.

    1. Please rise above Bihar. Before being a Bihari, Arya Bhatt was an Indian.

    2. Are you crazy Shriram Raghav 🙄? He was born in 476 A.D. in Patilaputra at that time there was no "India" as you know it. The word India was coined by Britishers taken from Indoi which means "People of Indus". And 'Bharatha' was divided in many small individual states, Patilaputra far in the east and had absolutely no connection to Indus river. So kindly go through history before implying Nationalism :)

  2. The value of Zero is well known today as it holds the highest value today.

    From:-Manu Nair

  3. Really He is one of the greatest son ever born in India.


    God created heaven and the earth
    In the beginning
    It was formless, empty and silent
    Emptiness and silent
    Implied a blurred concept of zero
    And was hovering invisibly
    In the course of time
    Reasoning began to emerge
    Although mathematics had sprouted out
    Greek Pythagoras laid the base of geometry
    And Roman numeral
    Although laid the foundation of mathematics
    Presence of something was felt necessary
    And it was missing
    Though logic was emphasized
    Yet the essence of math remained vague and dull
    For many ages
    A thin veil was still lingering and preventing
    A scholar named Arayabhatta
    Happened to born in a humble family
    In the Far East land called Hindustan
    He tore the curtain of ignorance
    From top to bottom
    A miracle! Unsolved for ages
    Happened to sum up within no time
    A marvelous idea, how he rendered
    He discovered funniest thing
    He discovered the simplest thing

    He solved the toughest thing
    He gave the world Zero
    The then scholars laughed
    Upon their own wits
    Assuming how easy it was
    A new era dawned
    The zero uncovered
    The mysterious of the world
    Paving the way
    For further exploration/ civilization
    Although zero mean nothing
    Yet it plays a pivot role
    Hence zero is the hero

    Noel Rai. Sikkim. Dated 09/09/09

  5. It is a greatest invention on which every calculation depends
    It is our proud that it is from India.

  6. aryabhatta is the hero because he invented zero

    1. arpana aryabhatta invented zero, but God created the which you breath and live every day. He is the life giver of all Humans, worlds wisdom and foolishness will pass but his word will never pass away...........

  7. poo is soonam suunym in malayalam
    poo cheyyal became pooja in Sanskrit
    poovattam in onam festival are 10 flower circles
    around the concept of one
    poojyam arose may be from onam

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. India was always the GOLDEN BIRD
    No doubt it still is
    Just because India is

  10. one thing i want to mention that aryabhat establised several observatories to watch the movement of planets & named it taregna. two taregnas ie taregna dih & taregna top were discovered by one mr s n pandey. no one reffered his name as discoverer of both taregna though it was known that khagaul was his ashram or university of arybhat near to kusumpur or patalitutra or modern patna .

  11. India is one of the country in which, anything is written before it happen.

  12. I feeling proud about Arya Bhat.!.

  13. In his book Aryabhatteeyam, Aryabhatta clearly provides his birth data. In the 10th stanza, he says that when 60 x 6 = 360 years elapsed in this Kali Yuga, he was 23 years old. The stanza of the sloka starts with.

    “Shastyabdanam Shadbhiryada vyateetastra yascha yuga padah.”.

    “Shastyabdanam Shadbhi” means 60 x 6 = 360. While printing the manuscript, the word “Shadbhi” was altered to “Shasti”, which implies 60 x 60 = 3600 years after Kali Era. As a result of this intentional arbitrary change, Aryabhatta’s birth time was fixed as 476 A.D Since in every genuine manuscript, we find the word “Shadbhi” and not the altered “Shasti”, it is clear that Aryabhatta was 23 years old in 360 Kali Era or 2742 B.C. This implies that Aryabhatta was born in 337 Kali Era or 2765 B.C. and therefore could not have lived around 500 A.D., as manufactured by the Indologists to fit their invented framework.
    Bhaskara I is the earliest known commentator of Aryabhatta’s works. His exact time is not known except that he was in between Aryabhatta (2765 B.C.) and Varahamihira (123 B.C.)."

    1. so Aaryabhatta was lived around 5000 years ago??? its great


      What is your opinion on this blog?

  14. Zero invented in arab by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi not aryabhata. he later used it. for source check wikipedia

    1. Wikipedia is not the perfect source of information. It is highly influenced by the West. And for your information, Mr. Khan, Yale University's HOD of History records in his book "the concept of 0 was present in most of the major civilizations of the world but it was nothing more than a concept. In India it was nurtured and it was here that it joined the congress of numerals. It later traveled to the Middle East and was 'traded' to the West." Please don't rely on Wikipedia.

  15. India was always poor due to the hindu mythological beliefs and customs. Today, 90 crore Indians earns only 40 rupees per day, out of which 60 crores earns only 20 rupees, out of which 25 crore people earns only 5 ruppes. About 5 crore people earns nothing. India was prosperous only under muslim rule. Today, India is far worst condition than anytime in its history.

    1. 5 lakh villages have no water and electricity. Our country since independence has become the dirtiest and most hygienic on the planet. Worst than African Sub Sahara. Aryabhatta has no historical connotation at all. These are all mythological beliefs. What good that zero would be had it not taken by Arabs and shared with the world. Indians love to hide the money, store the money in temples but they don't believe in sharing the wealth with others. They also worship the money.

    2. dear farhana dont know why you people always fight on petty issues.even before mughals we had more wealth which was plundered by mughals as well as middle east. thank our numeric system which shaves off all ur pity issues .being proud to be in a country everyone wanna live

    3. ISLAMIST,BARBARIAN,TERRORIST-LOOK HERE-Islamist from Arab plundered and trying to plunder all civilization. it is a cult.

    4. Wow what a great findings Farhana. Don't forget that, India had the oldest civilization in the world. India had the first universities in the world. Indians contribution to Astronomy and Mathematics is incredible. Arabic numerals went from India. Don't they (Arabians) shy to use that word, which have not having their contribution? Don't say that under Muslim ruling India shines. We, Indians accepted every religion etc.. India is the only country which produces three religions.

      Nalanda university was destroyed by a Muslim king. They set fire there. The story was the great library burn more than one year.

      The ancient incidents can only tell about some vague proof and guess. So that you can't tell that it is not happened. If you are believing that Muhammad Nabi was alive, then you should believe that Arybhtta was alive.

      Thrikonamithi became Trignometry, Jyaamithi became Geometry and Kalaan became Calculus. Mathematics is the gift of India to the world. Why Einstein told that We are thankful to India who taught us to count. For every language including Sanskrit, Malayalam, Tamil etc have their own numbers. Europeans, also Arabs don't even think about those things at that time.

      If you are born and living in India, first start to love and respect your country. UAE or Saudi is not your country. You are part of Hindu culture. Respect it. It is the only country which give chance to every religion for living. It is a fact.

      Poverty is a problem. India facing many problems like any other country. Every country have their own problem. Intensity may be different. Problems may be different. But nobody is there who has no problem. If you know somebody, please tell me....

    5. You make me sick. Really! We give you let you live in our country. We let you follow your religion(while your Muslim rulers try to make life hell for us), we even give you minority rights but what do you give us in return? Jihad? Riots? Burning our trains and then blaming riots on Modi? Making us feel outsiders in our own country? I have no personal vendetta against Islam. It's it's demonic followers who have always remained as the biggest perverts on the planet. It's people like you who do it.
      1. Hinduism has been proven to make statements that couldn't be made during the era they were. This mean that we mentioned scientific knowledge (concept of anode-cathode, nuclear bombs, nuclear reactors, nuclear transfusion, thermo-dynamics, aircrafts, element manipulation, trigonometry and most other concepts of mathematics and physics, etc.) way beyond our age.
      2. Hinduism asks people to worship every specimen of life as a god. Why? You don't kill your gods and therefore, natural conservation takes place.
      3. Hinduism has many 'superstitions'. There is one stating that if you sneeze, don't go out and drink water before going . Do you know why? Because sneezing activates a temporary weakness in the body which causes the mind to send split second messages to get us back on track. Driving a car at such a point can cause accidents.
      I don't wish to relate anything more to such an infidel like you. You can be an outsider in Hindustan or you can be a Hindustani. Your choice.

  16. All of u believe in ur religion is good but please don't criticize any1s religion..bcz we can't win on the behalf of religious fight.i respect all religions but i can't tolerate the lame truth about m an indian

  17. farhana first thik of islamic countries where killing each other indian was worlds richest country before moughals occupied sanskrit is the world first language and 90% language r derived from it directly and india is the only country were any religion person can leave and follow his religion and about poor people u r talking for u r information india is the 4th largest economy and soon it will be the no.1 ok.

  18. Aryabhatta was a god of science, mathematics, astronomy, astrology and he always will be.

  19. Aryabhatta is a Great Mathematician... This is the Great information Thanks

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  20. jb zero diya mere bharat ne duniya ko tab ginti ayi taron ki bhasha bharat ne deta na decimal bharat to yun chand pe jana mushkil tha dharti aur chand ki doori ka andaza lagana mushkil tha

  21. I am not here comparing islam and Hinduism but people following islam needs to see their picture in mirror after uncovering VEIL- (iran hanged well loved poet)

  22. thank for all giving me good knowledge about Aryabhatta

  23. बोहोत ही बढ़िया लेख। कृपया अपने अगले लेख में आर्यभट्ट के कार्य पर प्रकाश डालें और बताएं कि किस तरह से आर्यभट्ट ने शून्य कि खोज की।

  24. Well, I m a Muslim and I respect all religions.
    Science/mathematics has nothing to do with politics or region.. Arrayabhatta was one of the greatest achievements ; thi planet has got.. And obviously , I love my India.. India hasproduced many scientists and mathematicians..

  25. Read out this new book from Sidin Vadukut
    The Sceptical Patriot : Exploring the Truths Behind the Zero and Other Indian Glories
    It gives new fact about who explored zero.

    Link for the book

    1. Then who invented you? or a calculus thief Newton. Problem with white christian people is they always try to show their false superiority over others. Isaac Newton who theft calculus from Aryabhat's work, Laws of Gravity from Surya Siddhanta written by Adi Shankara, Laws of motion from Vaiseshika Sutra written by sage Kanad, Newton-Gauss interpolation formulae to second order from Govindaswami 930 AD and all this shit happened when white christian people colonized India. They even eradicated Indian history by writing foul history like Akbar was great and he married Jodha, alexender defeated king Prus etc.


    PLEASE SEARCH IN GOOGLE WHO INVENTED ZERO................that and indian Muslim " Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi"

    so i think this all information is faulse

    1. Aryabhat was born 2700 BC, And your religion was made around 200 AD and you are talking about inventing zero. Muslims don't know anything else except killing people on the name of allah.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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