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Bapudeva Shastri - Indian Mathematician And Astronomer 19th Century AD

Bapudeva Shastri (1821 – 1890) is a celebrated Indian astronomer and mathematician in the 19th century AD. His parents were Pandit Sitarama and Shrimati Satyabhama. He belonged to a Rig Vedic Brahmin family, which originally lived in Toke, a town on the bank of the Godavari River in Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra, India.


He first studied in a Marathi school in Nagpur, where he learnt Bhaskara’s Lilavati and Bijaganita from Kanyakubja scholar named Dhundhiraja, who was also an expert on European Algebra.

Looking at his capability, L .Wilkinson, an agent of the British Government, took him to the Sanskrit school at Sihora for higher studies in 1838 AD. Here he studied Geometry (Rekha Ganita) and other subjects from Sevarama, a well known astronomer.

Around this period, European Science was finding its way into India, Bapudeva Shastri had an opportunity to learn European Astronomy and Mathematics.


In 1841 AD, Wilkinson appointed him as a teacher of Geometry at the Government Sanskrit College (Kashi Sanskrit Pathshala) in Banaras.
He became professor of Mathematics and Astronomy in the same college in 1859 and retired in 1889 AD.


Bapudeva Shastri wrote many books in Sanskrit on Mathematics and Astronomy.

His published texts are:
  • Rekha Ganita
  • Trikonamiti
  • Sayanavada
  • Prachina Jytischaryasaya Varnana
  • Ashtadasa Vicitra Prashna Samgraha Sutra
  • Tattva Viveka Pariksha
  • Kashi Manamandira Vedhalaya Varnanam
  • Arnka Ganita.
Some of these texts are brief, but all are written in a scholarly style. He uses compound words profusely and his expressions are powerful.

Kashi Manamandra Vedhalaya Varnanam is a firsthand account of the outdoor observatory, called Manamandira, constructed in 1737 AD by Jai Singh at Varanasi.

Some of his unpublished works are:
  • Calana Kalana Siddhanta Baudhaka (twenty verses)
  • Capiya Trikonamiti
  • Yantraraja Upagyogi Cedaka
  • Laghu Sankuchinnakshetra Guna.
He also published some texts on Arithmetic, Algebra and Astrology in Hindi.

He translated Surya Siddhanta into English, and corrected the English translation of Siddhanta Shiromani, prepared by Wilkinson.

Siddhanta Siromani is the major treatise of Indian mathematician Bhaskara II. He wrote the Siddhanta Siromani in 1150 when he was 36 years old.

Surya Siddhanta is the name of a Sanskrit treatise in Indian astronomy from the late 4th-century or early 5th-century CE

Additionally, he commented upon Lilavati, the Ganita and Gola chapters of Siddhanta Shiromani.

Lilavati is Indian mathematician Bhaskara II's treatise on mathematics written in 1150.


Bapudeva Shastri initiated the improvement of Panchang (Hindu calendar). He published a panchanga from 1875 to 1890. However, the traditional Brahmans of Kashi who used to follow the then prevalent Surya Siddhanta for day-to-day religious activities opposed his efforts.


  • He became an honorary fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 1864 AD and fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1868.
  • He was chosen as a fellow of Calcutta University in 1869 and became a member of the Senate of Calcutta and Allahabad Universities.
  • The British Government bestowed upon him the title of CIE in 1878. Companion (CIE) Most eminent order of the Indian Empire given by Queen Victoria to Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian rulers, Viceroys, Governors and senior administrators, Commanders-in-Chief, senior military officers and Indian civil servants.
  • He was given the title of Mahamahopadhyaya in 1887.
Source - notes taken from Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume II (IHRF) page 128
Additional notes taken from Wikipedia