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Sulbha Sutras – Geometry in Ancient India (Part 1)

Vedic scholars documented the value of √2 with 4th decimal accuracy in 800 BC – that means they knew this few 100 years before that orally. They also knew Pythagorean theorem before Pythagoras. They listed many Pythagorean triplets and gave a general rule for generating many more. They knew the value of π. They were familiar with recursion, infinite series and irrational numbers.

This is fascinating. But more so, an interesting question is, what did they use this theorems and values for? What tools did they use to compute these values? How are they documented? What techniques and methods did they use? What can we learn from their knowledge that is relevant today?

In this 1st of 2 part series on geometry in ancient India, we learn about the magical science of “Sulbha Sutras”.

Credits:

https://www.sanskritimagazine.com/vedic_science/sulbasutras-vedic-texts-on-sacred-geometry/ NPTEL video on Sulbha Sutra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZCv7zgIBj4 https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/152811/15/10_chapter%204.pdf http://seeandohkerala.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-sketch-of-yaga-or-athirathram-venue.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baudhayana_sutras https://lvnaga.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/square-root-of-2-by-baudayana/ https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8C%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B2%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AC%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D http://peterffreund.com/Vedic_Literature/kalpa/shulba/baudhayana_shulba_sutra.html https://arxiv.org/pdf/1004.3770.pdf http://vedicastro.com/vedic-sundial/ https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/fire-altar/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLI_UU6dfnE https://nptel.ac.in/courses/111/101/111101080/ https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Indian_sulbasutras/ http://pi.math.cornell.edu/~dwh/papers/sulba/sulba.html https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/44468 https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/132298?mode=simple https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/66499

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