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Ganitasarasangraha Of Jain Mathematician Mahavira Acharya

Ganitasarasangraha is a popular textbook mathematics by the Jain Mathematician Mahavira Acharya of Karnataka in the 9th century CE. Ganitasarasangraha literally means ‘the essence of mathematics’. The text provides the important mathematical results developed till the time of Mahavira Acharya by Indian mathematicians over the centuries and presents that knowledge through a variety of interesting problems and examples in the form of a systematically prepared textbook.

Ganitasarasangraha enjoyed the privilege of being used as a textbook for a very long time in South India. This treatise of Mahavira Acharya has served as a model for modern Indian textbooks in mathematics. This is the first work, in the world of mathematics to provide the general formula for Cr (combination).

Mahavira Acharya was conversant with the works of his celebrated predecessors such as Aryabhata I (476 CE), Bhaskara I (629 CE) and Brahmagupta (628 CE). His text deals not only with the topics discussed in their works but elaborate in a manner that improves the topics.

Mahavira Acharya has incorporated his own significant contributions in Ganitasarasangraha in a natural way. This is the only Indian text that gives the formulae for the perimeter and area of an ellipse. It contains topics of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and mensuration, divided into nine chapters containing about 1,100 slokas.

In the 11th century, Ganitasarasangraha was translated into Telugu by Pavuluri Mallana, probably under the influence of the then powerful king, Raja Raja Narendra of Rajamahendri. Later, a large number of manuscript copies were discovered in Kerala, thus establishing the popularity of the text and its author.

In 1912, the Madras government published the work along with an English translation by M. Rangacharya. The English translation remained out of print for a long time. Its Kannada version by Padmavathamma appeared in 2000. A Hindi translation by L.C. Jaina was brought out in 1963.

Source – 
The History of Ancient Indian Mathematics (1967) C.N. Srinivasiengar – World Press Private, Calcutta
The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics (1994) – George Gheverghese Joseph – Penguin Books (London)
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV page 244 – Rupa IHRF 2011




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