What is Vedic Maths?

To us, Vedic Mathematics is more than just speed maths skills! It’s something very enchanting. It gives us an adrenaline rush each time we teach this to a group of students anywhere on the globe. We are still awed by the magnitude and the impact which these simple mathematical teachings can have. To us Vedic Maths is a magical tool through which we can change the world, one student at a time!

Founded by an Indian Saint Tirthaji in the early 20th century who just like the Buddha went into the forests of South India and meditated, contemplated and created 16 Sutras or word formulas in Mathematics. These word formulas were able to solve complex calculations with ease and simplicity. As an example a sum like 998 x 997 could be solved in less than five seconds by a third grader which usually takes little more than two minutes to solve.

Because it cuts the time and speeds up the calculations whereby simplifying the entire process, Vedic Mathematics is getting popular amongst academicians worldwide as a mental system of arithmetic. Another reason for its adoration is the deepening maths crisis, low global numeracy levels and lack of Maths teachers.

Consider this for a moment

  • Currently in the UK, 17 million adults have the mathematics capabilities of an 11 year old or younger. Source: The Telegraph, UK.
  • 9-10 year olds and 13-14 year olds in the United States continue to lag behind several East Asian and European nations in Maths. Source: The New York Times
  • In India in 2012, 46.5% of children in Class V could not solve a two-digit subtraction problem without seeking help. Source: The Pratham Report.
  • South Africa ranks second last in the world for education in Mathematics. Source: World Economic Forum

In such a grim scenario in Maths, students and teachers too loathe Mathematics. They run away from it and develop a phobia towards the subject. Hence making Maths fun and interesting becomes a challenge. Now this is where Vedic Mathematics steps in through its out of the box methods and approach and makes learning math enjoyable and pleasant for everyone.

Calculators or No Calculators?

This debate has been going on for a long time now, ever since the Calculators were introduced in the mainstream curriculum worldwide couple of decades ago. We feel that calculators do enhance performance in maths tests only after the students learns and understands the basic mathematical principle behind it.

Recently as a way of reforms in the education system the UK Government announced that calculators will be banned in maths tests for 11-year-olds from 2014. This came after the realisation that over 17 million adults have maths capabilities of an 11 year old. This stresses the importance of mental maths skills for students which is coming slowly back in fashion.

Origins of Vedic Maths

Bharati Krishna Teerthaji got his revelations from a particular portion of the Atharvaveda called the Ganita Sutras . The Ganita Sutras are also called Sulba Sutras , “the easy mathematical formulae” , that’s the meaning of the expression. Now these texts were in Sanskrit and the grammar, the literature and the figures of speech in Sanskrit give great facility of expressing one’s dispositions in a number of different subjects but with the same set of words. Hence it becomes difficult for a person to understand the different layers of meanings encoded in one text.

Bharati Krishnaji underwent meditation for long years in the forest of Sringeri. He took the help of lexicographies, lexicons of earlier times, because as a language develops and comes in context with other languages words change their meaning. Words get additional meaning, words get deteroiorated in meaning. So Bharti Krishnaji studied old lexicons including Visva, Amara, Arnava, Sabdakalpardruma etc. With these he got the key in that way in one instance and one thing after another helped him in the elucidation of the other sutras (formulae).

It was to His Holiness’s extreme amazement that the sutras dealt with mathematics in all its branches. He realized only sixteen sutras cover all branches of mathematics – arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, plain and spherical geometry, conics, calculus, both differential and integral, applied mathematics of various kinds, dynamics, hydrostatics, static, kinematics and all.

[From Vedic Metaphysics- by Bharati Krishna Teerthaji Maharaj]

Sources Given by His Holiness Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sri Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj of Shri Govardhana Matha Monastery (Puri, Orissa)

There is a sub-sutra Sisyate Sesasamjnah which translated into English means “Remainder remains constant”. His Holiness Jagadguru Swami Nischalanand ji has revealed with his divine grace that it belongs toSrimad Bhagavatam ( Bhagavata Purana) (10.3.25).

The line literally means “With the cosmos at its end after millions and millions of years when the primary elements merge with the subtle and everything manifested by the force of Time turns unmanifest, is Your Lordship, the One with the Many Names, the only one to remain.”

The mathematical meaning of this is “Remainders remains constant” i.e. as the divisor goes on increasing in a certain ratio, the quotient goes on decreasing, proportionately; but the remainder remains constant.

Lost volumes of Bharati Krishna Tirthaji

His Holiness Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sri Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj of Shri Govardhana Matha (Puri) has confirmed that the 15 remaining volumes have been destroyed, lost or stolen by foreigners. They were not kept by Bharati Krishnaji in Puri but at Nagpur from where the mammoth loss has been confirmed.

Reconstruction of the Lost Volumes

His Holiness Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sri Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj of Shri Govardhana Matha (Puri) has stated that after his research in two years time he would be working on assimilating and reconstructing the lost volumes of Bharati Krishna Teerthaji Maharaj. He would be also training a team of teachers who would be responsible to popularize Vedic Mathematics in the world. The reconstructed volume will be called Vedikarsh Ganit’.

Currently His Holiness is doing research on Yoga sutras and thereafter he would be working on the lost volumes of Ganita Sutras of Bharti Krishna Teertha ji.

His Holiness has also written three books on Mathematics Swastika Ganita, Anka padiyam, and Ganita Darshan where he has taken vedic texts as core reference material.

In this regard we would like to state that research on Vedic Mathematics is continous, alive and progressing in Govardhan Matha under His Holiness Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sri Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj.

Vedic Maths is the name given to the ancient system of Mathematics that was rediscovered from the Vedas between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krisna Tirthaji (1884-1960). According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras, or word-formulae. For example, ‘Vertically and Crosswise` is one of these Sutras. These formulae describe the way the mind naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Vedic maths system is its coherence. Instead of a hotchpotch of unrelated techniques the whole system is beautifully interrelated and unified: the general multiplication method, for example, is easily reversed to allow one-line divisions and the simple squaring method can be reversed to give one-line square roots. And these are all easily understood. This unifying quality is very satisfying; it makes mathematics easy and enjoyable and encourages innovation.
In the Vedic maths system ‘difficult’ problems or huge sums can often be solved immediately by the Vedic method. These striking and beautiful methods are just a part of a complete system of mathematics, which is far more systematic than the modern ‘system’. Vedic Maths manifests the coherent and unified structure of mathematics and the methods are complementary, direct and easy.
The simplicity of Vedic Maths means that calculations can be carried out mentally (though the methods can also be written down). There are many advantages in using a flexible, mental system. Pupils can invent their own methods; they are not limited to the one ‘correct’ method. This leads to more creative, interested and intelligent pupils.
Interest in the Vedic system is growing in education where mathematics teachers are looking for something better and finding that the Vedic maths system is the answer. Research is being carried out in many areas including the effects of learning Vedic Maths on children; developing new, powerful but easy applications of the Vedic Sutras in geometry, calculus, computing etc.
But the real beauty and effectiveness of Vedic Maths cannot be fully appreciated without actually practicing the system. One can then see that it is perhaps the most refined and efficient mathematical system possible.


Benefits of Vedic Maths

Benefits of Vedic Maths
We are living in the age of tremendous amount of competitions and Vedic Mathematics methods come to us as a boon for all the competitions. Present maths, a scary subject, requires higher amount of effort in learning. Maths can be learnt and mastered with minimum efforts in a very short span of time and can be translated into a playful and a blissful subject with the help of Vedic Maths.
The several advantages of Vedic Maths are:
• It reduces the burden of remembering large amount of stuff because it requires you to learn tables upto 9 only.
• It enables faster calculations when compared to the conventional method. Thus, the time that gets saved in the process can be used to answer more questions.
• It acts as a tool for reducing finger counting and scratch work.
• It plays an important role in increasing concentration as well as improving confidence.
• It is very simple, direct, totally unconventional, original and straight forward.
• It encourages mental calculations.
• It enriches our understanding of maths and enables us to see links and continuity between different branches of maths.
• Vedic Maths system also gives us a set of checking procedures for independent cross-checking of whatever we do.
• It keeps the mind alert and because of the element of choice and flexibility.

History of Vedic Mathematics

The ancient system of Vedic Mathematics was rediscovered from the Sanskrit texts known as the Vedas, between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884-1960). At the beginning of the twentieth century, when there was a great interest in the Sanskrit texts in Europe, Bharati Krsna tells us some scholars ridiculed certain texts which were headed ‘Ganita Sutras’- which means mathematics. They could find no mathematics in the translation and dismissed the texts as rubbish. Bharati Krsna, who was himself a scholar of Sanskrit, Mathematics, History and Philosophy, studied these texts and after lengthy and careful investigation was able to reconstruct the mathematics of the Vedas. According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras, or word-formulae.
Bharati Krsna wrote sixteen volumes expounding the Vedic maths system but these were unaccountably lost and when the loss was confirmed in his final years he wrote a single book: Vedic Mathematics, currently available. It was published in 1965, five years after his death.

• Holistic development of the human brain takes place through Vedic Maths along with multi-dimensional thinking.
• Vedic Maths system to quite an extent also helps us in developing the spiritual side of our personality.
• It can introduce creativity in intelligent and smart students, while helping the slow-learners grasp the basic concepts of mathematics. More and more use of Vedic maths can, without any doubt, generate interest in a subject that is generally dreaded by children.
Thus, Vedic maths is considered to be a blessing of the Vedas for the entire humanity.
Now, let’s learn how to multiply any two digit number with 11. It’s very easy. Let’s see this:
18 x 11 = 198
How do we do this?
We will break 18 in two parts. First part is 1 and second part is 8.
Take the first part and write that as the first digit of the answer: 1
Now, add 1 + 8 (part one + part two) and write the answer: 9
End the answer with writing the second part: 8
So, the answer is: 198
Let’s take: 16 x 11. The answer is: 1, 1+6=7, 6 = 176

What about, 25 x 11? The answer is: 2, 2+5=7, 5 = 275