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Dear Professor,

 

There is a proposal to publish a collection of contributed articles in the form of a book entitled ‘Ancient Indian Leaps in the Advent of Mathematics’. The aims and objectives of the publication are outlined in the attached sheet. I hope you will appreciate the proposal and agree to contribute an article for the book as per the guidelines. As the whole project is planned to be completed within a year’s time, the authors are expected to submit their articles by the end August 2004.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you and with best regards,

Sincerely,

B S YADAV

Formerly Head of the Dept. of Mathematics and Dean, Faculty of Mathematical Sciences Univ. of Delhi TU-67, Vishakha Enclave Pitampura, Delhi 110 088Telephone: 27343878E-mail:bsyadav@indianshm.com

Ancient Indian Leaps in the Advent of Mathematics

(A Collection of Contributed Articles)

THE PROPOSAL

There is a proposal to publish a collection of contributed articles in the form of a book entitled ‘Ancient Indian Leaps in the Advent of Mathematics’. The aim is to highlight significant, positive and concrete contributions made by ancient Indian mathematicians in the initial advancement of mathematics and possibly relate them with the developments elsewhere in the world in those days, particularly with those in Greece, Middle East countries, China and Japan. The author of an article to be included in the book is expected to take care of the following:

GUIDELINES FOR THE AUTHORS

1.      The article should not contain any vacuous, pompous or pretentious statements and at no stage indulge in verbosity.

2.      Statements like ‘Vedas contain all ancient knowledge’ and   ‘there exists no knowledge outside Vedas’ should be considered out of place.

3.      The article should not directly or indirectly be based on the contributions or spirit of the book ‘Vedic Mathematics’ by Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krisna Tirathji Maharaj, for the simple reason that contents of that book are neither Vedic nor ancient Indian.

4.      Unnecessary praise for ancient Indian mathematics or any part thereof has to be avoided.

5.      Then article need not be a research article on ancient Indian mathematics (mathematicians) and could very well be a ‘revisitation’ of the subject, but the exposition has to be very well defined and concrete.

6.      A literary style of the exposition is welcome.

7.      Articles describing concrete illustrations of the influence or connections of ancient Indian mathematics on Greek and middle-east-countries will be preferred.

8.      The article should appear as one unit of the world history of mathematics rather than belonging to one sector or civilization having nothing to do with the rest of the world.

9.      Lastly and most importantly: Unfortunately it is customary among most of Indian scholars to exaggerate the achievements of a particular Indian mathematician to claim that  he was better than the greatest of his time, without bothering in the least about the existence of others during that period. As many of such claims are not actually true and it is almost impossible to prove them, their efforts in aggrandizing his real achievements ultimately results in belittling his work in the overall context of the world history of mathematics.

Again, even more unfortunately, there has been a consistent tendency on the part of Western historians of mathematics to ignore, let alone undermine, the mathematical achievements of ancient India. Their belief that except the discovery of the concept of zero and the decimal representation of numbers, which, of course, is now universally accepted, everything else great in mathematics was done outside India is really untenable. The reason for such thinking is, in fact, not far to seek: The whole of Europe learnt mathematics only through Greeks.

The book aims to concentrate on emphasizing to expel this notion and to project in a proper prospective the significant achievements of ancient India in the world history of mathematics.

A NOBLE CAUSE

The royalty accrued from the publication of the work will go the Indian Society for History of Mathematics to help overcome its financial infirmities.