The Root

 

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“We’re rooting for you”

  1. To encourage a team or contestant by cheering or applauding enthusiastically
  2. To lend moral support

“The knowers of the sutra know it as having few phonemes, being devoid of ambiguity, containing the essence, facing everything, being without pause and unobjectionable.”

The Bakhshali manuscript “employs a decimal place value system with a dot for zero.” Many of its problems are of a category known as ‘equalization problems‘ that lead to systems of linear equations. One example from Fragment is the following:

“One merchant has seven asava horses, a second has nine haya horses, and a third has ten camels. They are equally well off in the value of their animals if each gives two animals, one to each of the others. Find the price of each animal and the total value for the animals possessed by each merchant.”

The prose commentary accompanying the example solves the problem by converting it to three (under-determined) equations in four unknowns and assuming that the prices are all integers.

The religious texts of the Vedic Periodprovide evidence for the use of large numbers. For example, the mantra (sacrificial formula) at the end of the annahoma (“food-oblation rite“) performed during the aśvamedha, and uttered just before-, during-, and just after sunrise, invokes powers of ten from a hundred to a trillion:

Hail to śata (“hundred,” 102), hail to sahasra (“thousand,” 103), hail to ayuta (“ten thousand,” 104), hail to niyuta (“hundred thousand,” 105), hail to prayuta(“million,” 106), hail to arbuda (“ten million,” 107), hail to nyarbuda (“hundred million,” 108), hail to samudra (“billion,” 109, literally “ocean”), hail to madhya (“ten billion,” 1010, literally “middle”), hail to anta (“hundred billion,” 1011,lit., “end”), hail to parārdha (“one trillion,” 1012lit., “beyond parts”), hail to the dawn (uṣas), hail to the twilight (vyuṣṭi), hail to the one which is going to rise (udeṣyat), hail to the one which is rising (udyat), hail to the one which has just risen (udita), hail to svarga(the heaven), hail to martya(the world), hail to all.

The solution to partial fraction was known to the Rigvedic People as states in the purush Sukta (RV 10.90.4):

“With three-fourths Puruṣa went up: one-fourth of him again was here.”

The Satapatha Brahmana (ca. 7th century BCE) contains rules for ritual geometric constructions.

Indian Mathematics

(CC) 2016 Tysilyn Fernandez

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