What Is Vedic Maths? How Is It Different?

Vedic maths is a modern re-discovery of the ancient Hindu system of Mathematics. Many times kids are scared about mathematics because it is boring and there are so many calculations. Vedic mathematics is a gift to the world from a modern-day Rishi inspired by Vedic principles. In the Vedic mathematics system, huge or difficult calculations can often be done quickly and can sometimes be done mentally with only one or two steps. Due to its simplicity, one becomes more interested and creative while doing math. Vedic maths is spelled in different ways – vedik math, vedik mathematics, vaidik ganit among others.

Vedic maths discovery
Vedic maths was intuitively rediscovered between 1911 and 1918 during the process of extensive sadhana and tapasya by a Swamiji based on the study of Vedas especially Atharva Vedas. This Swamiji who later became Jagadguru Sankaracharya of Govardhana Matha was Swami Bharti Krishna Tirtha! This should not come across as a surprise because Swamiji was a brilliant science and mathematics student having passed a Post-graduate mathematics paper from a College of Science in Rochester, the USA in 1904 about 10 to 15 years before his discovery of Vedic mathematic techniques.

Unlike most dharma gurus, Jagadguru Sankaracharya Bharti Krishna Tirtha was a die-hard believer who thought the Vedas were a storehouse of wisdom on both spiritual and material matters. Swamiji in his various lectures in cities to which he was invited talked about Vedic mathematics along with concepts in Sanatana Dharma. This impressed many people in major cities.

Vedik mathematics history
Swamiji was sponsored by the Self Realization Fellowship of Los Angeles founded by Paramahansa Yoganandji by Jagadguru Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha Maharaja. By this time, Swamiji was in the late 70s and at this time the thought to publish the Vedic mathematics principles in a book form was felt. Unfortunately, his manuscripts from 1911-1918 in safekeeping could not be traced. Swamiji re-wrote the book from his memory while on the stip to the USA. The same was handed over for publishing the book.

The intention was that Swamiji would re-visit the USA again and proofread the copy and publish it there. However, due to failing health the visit never happened. Only later after his death, the proof o the book was brought back to India, and the book was published in 1965 as the 1st Vedic Maths book after the techniques were checked by none other than Dr. Brij Mohan, then the Head of Department – Mathematics of the Prestigious Banaras Hindu University.

Vedik maths and relationship with the Vedas
Vedic mathematics fits into the Sthapatya Veda, a Upveda of Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda the 4th one is focused on helping a human to not only master the atmik (spiritual) field but also practical studies to make a good livelihood in this world. A Upaveda is a type of book in the Sanatana Knowledge system which is associated with one of the Vedas but is related to a non-atmik (or non-spiritual) subject matter like engineering, economics, medicine, or Archery.

Publishing of first vedic maths book and its popularity
Swamiji had earlier written 16 volumes of work expounding the Vedic Math system and handed over to his disciple for safe custody. These volumes were lost despite much effort to find them and in 1956 the volumes were concluded to be untraceable. The volume of Vedic Mathematics which is available presently is rewritten by Swamiji in this tour. In his final years of his life, Swamiji wrote this single volume, which was published five years after his death.  At the time of writing this article, this book has been reprinted 19 times.

Sutras in vedik mathematics
The term Vedic Mathematics refers to a set of Sixteen mathematical sutras (formulae) and their sub sutras (corollaries) inspired by the Vedic system. The sutras (formulae) are single-line phrases, hence they are easy to remember and understand. Knowledge of the Sanskrit language is not necessary as the concept is clearly explained in plain English with examples. Many big calculations may be done much faster by Vedic methods than through the orthodox mathematic methods. Vedic mathematics is also called Vedic Ganith.

Benefits of vedic maths
The methods of Vedic Math leave sound effects on one’s mind if practiced regularly and efficiently. These methods are super-fast, mental, and one-line along with cross-checking systems. Many of these methods are simple and relatively effortless. Vedic Mathematics creates a positive impression of India’s mathematical heritage.

  • Vedic math encourages mental alertness.
  • Vedic math encourages mental alertness.
  • Vedic math involves less paperwork and can be done in the mind.
  • Vedic math improves decision making – choosing the right principle for a given situation.
  • Vedic math is coherent and integrated

Therefore, vedik ganit is simple and effortless in handling mathematical problems. The sutras are not only easy and unique but also develop and nurture our decision-making ability, judgment and encourage us to find simple effortless solutions to complex problems. Vedic mathematics can also be useful for students preparing for competitive examinations.

Vedic Mathematics helps the students to complement the methods learned at regular school with Vedic ones, as a result, they overcome fear, burden of orthodox mathematics subject and get more confidence in mastering math.

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