3 - SRI BHARATI KRSNA TIRTHAJI - More than a Mathematical Genius.



Vedic Mathematics is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are introduced to the beautifully unified and easy Vedic methods.

The purpose of this Newsletter is to provide information about developments in education and research and books, articles, courses, talks etc., and also to bring together those working with Vedic Mathematics.

If you are working with Vedic Mathematics- teaching it or doing research- please contact us and let us include you and some description of your work in the Newsletter. Perhaps you would like to submit an article for inclusion in a later issue.

If you are learning Vedic Maths, let us know how you are getting on and what you think of this system.


Editor's Note: Although it has been some time since the second issue of the Newsletter a great deal has happened in relation to Vedic Mathematics over the past months. It is hoped that further Newsletters will be more frequent to keep you up to date with events, and where possible before they occur.


This issue's article:

SRI BHARATI KRSNA TIRTHAJI - More than a Mathematical Genius

Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (hereafter "Bharati Krsna") lived from 1884 to 1960. He is said to have reconstructed the ancient system of Vedic Mathematics from certain Sanskrit texts which other scholars had dismissed as nonsense. He tells us that the Vedic system which he rediscovered is based on sixteen Sutras which cover all branches of mathematics, pure and applied. The methods he showed and the simple Sutras on which it is based are extraordinarily simple and easy and the whole system possesses a unity not found in conventional mathematical methods. It can hardly be doubted that Bharati Krsna's remarkable discoveries in mathematics will in time change the teaching of and approach to mathematics worldwide: but this was not his main interest in life. His life was devoted to helping those individuals he could and also helping to bring about world peace and spiritual renewal. This short article aims to show something of his character and life and is drawn mainly from an introduction by Mrs Manjula Trivedi in the book "Vedic Mathematics" by Bharati Krsna. She looked after Bharati Krsna in the last years of his life and afterwards took charge of the Foundation he set up in Nagpur in 1953- the Sri Vishwapunarniman Sangha.

According to Manjula Trivedi, Bharati Krsna "named as Venkatraman in his early days, was an exceptionally brilliant student and invariably won the first place in all subjects in all the classes throughout his educational career. . . at the age of just twenty he passed M.A. Examination in further seven subjects simultaneously securing the highest honours in all, which is perhaps the all-time record of academic brilliance. His subjects included Sanskrit, Philosophy, English, Mathematics, History and Science". In 1908 he was made first Principal of the newly started National College at Rajmahendri, a post he held for three years.

Having a "burning desire for spiritual knowledge, practice and attainment" he then spent many years at the most advanced studies with the Shankaracharya at Sringeri in Mysore and was given the name Bharati Krsna Tirtha when he was initiated into the order of Samnyasa at Benares in 1919. He later, in 1925, became a Shankaracharya (the highest religious title in India).

He believed in the ancient Vedic tradition of all-round spiritual and cultural harmony, and his ambition for humanity was a world-wide cultural and spiritual renewal. People flocked to him in crowds and waited at his doors for hours. Granted an interview with him people felt that he immediately knew their need. Even when suffering from excessive strain he refused to take rest, continuing with his studies, talks, lectures and writings with unabated and youth like vigour and enthusiasm.

In 1958 Bharati Krsna went on a tour to America, addressing audiences in hundreds of colleges, universities, churches and other institutions. He also gave talks and mathematical demonstrations on television and gave some lectures in the UK on his way back to India, in May 1958.

Bharati Krsna wrote sixteen volumes on Vedic Mathematics, one on each Sutra, but the manuscripts were irretrievably lost. He said that he would rewrite them from memory but owing to ill-health and failing eyesight got no further than writing a book intended as an introduction to the sixteen volumes. That book "Vedic Mathematics" written with the aid of an amanuensis is currently available and is the only surviving work on mathematics by this most remarkable man.


Future issues of this Newsletter could focus on:

    advice and comments from teachers teaching Vedic Mathematics,
    educational research,
    places where Vedic Mathematics is being taught,
    research in new applications of the Vedic methods,
    names and location of people involved,
    historical issues,
    the Sutras,



#1. A 2-day workshop on Vedic Mathematics took place on 8th and 9th August last year in Nagpur, India. This was organised by the Bharati Krishna Vidya Vihar* and the leading Indological publishers Motilal Banarsidass (who publish Bharati Krishna Tirthaji's book "Vedic Mathematics"). Following this event there has been a great deal of interest in Vedic Mathematics in India; many further introductory workshops have been organised and there has been extensive press coverage. Also a 1-day course took place at the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in London last October. For more information see www.cyberasia.co.uk/lifestyle/bhavan/events/11oct.html.

The web site for Motilal Banarsidass is at www.mlbd.com.

*This is a school managed by the Sri Vishwapunarniman Sangha (see article above).

#2. A forum has been instigated in India for the promotion of Vedic Mathematics from school levels onwards. This is called the International Research Foundation for Vedic Mathematics and Indian Heritage. So far lectures have been organised on Vedic Mathematics in Delhi schools and a 3-day Workshop was held in August in Pune.

#3. The first class at the Maharishi School in Skelmersdale, England to study the Vedic Mathematics course called The Cosmic Computer received their GCSE results recently. The class which consisted of five students took their examination a year early (it is normally taken at the age of sixteen) and all got A grades. Congratulations to them!

#4. Congratulations also to the pupils of St James School for Boys and St James School for Girls where a total of 36 A grades were obtained for GCSE Maths out of 60 pupils. Twenty of these took the examination a year early. St James' schools have been teaching Vedic Mathematics for some years with great success and it is also used in a large number of topics at Advanced level (exam taken two years after GCSE). At St James' schools, 10 A grades were obtained by 20 pupils at this level.

#5. The Head of Mathematics at St James' schools, James Glover, has written two excellent articles on Vedic Mathematics for the magazine 'Hinduism Today'. These should be in print soon.

#6. Thayala Sridhar in Malaysia asks for Vedic Maths solutions to problems of the type:

a) 2x^2 -3x -5 = 0 (quadratic equation) has m and n as roots.

Find the equation which as roots of m/n and n/m.

b) Given x^2 +px + q = 0 has m and 2m as roots, show that 2p^2 =9q.

Any offers?

#7. The Vedic Mathematics web site (address at the end of this Newsletter) is soon to be replaced by two web sites. One site will be at www.vedicmaths.com and is a commercial site selling books on Vedic Mathematics. The other site is intended to be an extensive resource site covering all aspects of Vedic Mathematics.

#8. The book "The Cosmic Computer- Abridged Edition" is being published in the USA and will soon be available there.

#9. The Book "Geometry for an Oral Tradition" is now published and available. It shows how geometry might have been taught before writing was extant and describes a simple and coherent geometrical structure that is easy to understand and use. From a small number of self-evident principles Andrew Nicholas shows how the whole of geometry can begin to evolve. There is philosophical discussion and comparison with Euclid's Elements.

#10. Andrew's book "The Circle Revelation", which is a popularised version of this, will be available next month. The book will have about 200 pages, will be A5 in size and there is an initial bargain offer of 4.95 pounds (plus packing and postage: see web site for details).

#11. Andrew Nicholas will be visiting the United States next month, from mid-October to mid-November, to present his original work on geometry. He will be in Connecticut and neighbouring areas. If anyone would like to contact Andrew about this send an e-mail to .


Your comments about this Newsletter are invited.

If you would like to send us details about your work or submit an article for inclusion please let us know on

Articles in previous issues:

Issue 1: An Introduction
Issue 2: "So What's so Special about Vedic Mathematics?"

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20th September 1999


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