Issue 95 - Supersutras

Vedic Mathematics Newsletter No. 95

A warm welcome to our new subscribers.

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 or tell us about a course or talk you will be giving or have given. If you are learning Vedic Maths, let us know how you are getting on and what you think of this system.


This issue’s article is “Supersutras” by Kenneth Williams.



The next Vedic Mathematics Teacher Training course (the 7th in the series) starts 16th August 2014.
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(The 4th Introductory/Certificate course is currently underway.)


Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji’s monumental work “Vedic Mathematics” was first published in 1965, so next year sees the 50th anniversary of publication.

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Vitthal Jadhav has recently published a Marathi book on Vedic math called 'Ranjak Vaidic Ganit' for Maharashtra  India. See:
It is translation of his book 'Modern Approach to Speed Math Secret'. Soon it will be translated into Hindi.


Our organization Success WIth Self (SWIS) has initiated three years ago, Vedic maths courses under the name Vegam (Veda Ganitam the Amazing Mathematics). The course is offered as four level study. Level I (Basic Course) covering Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and division and a little bit of squares, is offered as three months course (2 hrs, once a week on Sundays) and several batches of students have attended in the last three years. This year we are introducing  Level II (Advanced Course) covering Advanced Multiplication and division, divisibility tests, squares, squareroots, cubes cuberoots, LCM, HCF, time and work study problems, interest, perimeter and area calculations.
Level III (Expert Course) will be introduced next year covering Vedic Algebra. Level IV (Masters Course) on advanced topics like Trignometry, coordinate geometry, calculus, etc. may be introduced as a learn-through-discovery study at a later stage.
Apart from the Sunday classes mentioned above, we are organizing the course at Schools also. Dayanand Anglo Vedic Public School (DAV) have invited us to organize the course as a part of the regular studies on weekdays. We are now teaching a nine month course with one period (45min to 50min) once every week at three of the DAV schools in Hyderabad during 2013-14. This year (2014-15) we are introducing Level II in the schools. The course is covering over 1300 students at the three DAV Schools mentioned above.  
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ARTICLE for VM Newsletter 95


In his book “Vedic Mathematics” Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji describes the sixteen basic sutras and shows many applications of them. Sometimes however two or more sutras are used together to achieve some result. For example, to find 7158 divided by 166 we may apply ‘Proportionately’ and ‘Vertically and Crosswise’. That is, halve these numbers, and find 3579 divided by 83. This makes the calculation easier.

In finding the Highest Common Factor of two expressions Bharati Krishna invokes three sutras: ‘By Alternate Elimination and Retention’, ‘By Addition and by Subtraction’ and ‘The First by the First and the Last by the Last’. These together achieve the required result.
In these examples (and there are many others in Tirthaji’s book) we have a single result, acquired by the operation of two or more Sutras. This is a sort of higher level Sutra application in which a more sophisticated mathematical result is obtained. We could call the application of two or more Sutras, used in combination to achieve a specific result, a Supersutra.
Take the simple process of plotting a point on a graph. We have the coordinates, say (5,2), and we want to locate the point indicated by them on a graph. We take the 5 first and deal with the 2 later (this is ‘By Alternate Elimination and Retention’). We count (‘By One More than the One Before’) 5 units, or locate (‘By Mere Observation’) the 5 on the horizontal axis. We then take the 2 and do the same thing on the vertical axis (‘Transpose and Apply’). This fixes the point which we can then plot. Maybe you can see more Sutras at work here.
We see several sutras operating here, but one result: we have plotted a single point. ‘Plotting a Point’ we could say is a Supersutra. We cannot say that there is a single Sutra for plotting a point as several are involved. Similarly the process of finding the Highest Common Factor would be a Supersutra.
We could take this further because plotting a point may be part of a greater activity: maybe we are constructing a complex shape requiring many plotted points. We may wish to combine two or more Supersutras together. Could we also call this a Supersutra or do we need another name for a combination of Supersutras?
Just as the dancer or acrobat can combine a sequence of actions that form a pleasing whole, starting and ending in rest, so the mind can combine basic mental actions to perform more intricate ones.
And in chemistry we have the basic elements which combine and create more complex structures called molecules and those molecules themselves can combine. So in mathematics we have sixteen operational elements which can combine to create more elaborate operational structures.
Perhaps, by starting with a combination of two or more Sutras a new mathematical technique could be discovered, or even a new or hitherto unrecognized mental process.

Kenneth Williams
Newsletter Editor

End of article.

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Editor: Kenneth Williams

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7th August 2014


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