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The Rishi who was the Last Mathematician of the Vedic Period

Kātyāyana was considered to be an ancient Sanskrit author, grammatician, Vedic priest, and the last mathematician of the Vedic period. Also known as ‘Katyayana’ (कात ् यायन) was one of the major disciples of the Gautam Buddha. Katyayana was the leading one amongst the disciples while explaining the discussions about Buddha.

“Katyayana the Great ” was the rhythm he was famous for; he was the one who lived in the period of Panini. In the Pali texts it has been mentioned that he was born in Ujjayini (Ujjain) in a Brahmin family and during his childhood, he received the knowledge of classical education in Brahmanical studying about Vedas.

It is also said that Katyayana was a brilliant child with a lot of talent and outstanding memory. Only by hearing a play once in the theaters, he used to recite it fully to his mother. Katyayana is also listed as Gautam Buddha’s one of the ten principal disciples.

While we talk about his works in Indian mythology Katyayana is recognized for his two major works which were ‘Varttika’ and ‘Sulbasutras’.

  • Varttika is the most important book for grammar and vyakarana and this book is based on Panini’s grammar’s explanation. For the upcoming twelve centuries, it is the necessary education for Brahmin students as the text consists of one of the six Vedangas.
  • Katyana has also written one of the texts of the Sulba Sutras. What are Sulbasutras? They are based on nine texts of the geometry which are of altar construction and it consists of triangles, rectangles, rhombus, right-sided triangles, and many more. The text composed by Katyayana is about the analysis of grammar and is very easy.
  • Like the Greek philosopher, Plato Katyayana too believed that the word-meaning relationship wasn’t the result of human convention and rather for him it meant ‘Siddha’ more of an ‘eternal’. It was believed by him that however the object a word has been referred to is non-eternal but the particular substances of its meaning are therefore permanent. Like a whole lump of gold used for making different ornaments go on undestroyed.

In Kalika Purana, the texts have mentioned how Katyayana worshiped Mother Goddess to be born as his daughter and in consequence, his daughter was known as “Katyayani” on the sixth day of Navratri festival ‘daughter of Katyayana’ is also worshiped. Manava the Hindu author of Sulbasutaras

Katyayana was not a pure mathematician but he was a learned man. He was into mathematics but not for his own sake but rather for religious reasons.

Undoubtedly he wrote one of the texts of the Sulbasutras so that he can provide people with the religious rules and spread, improve and expand on the rules which had been left by his predecessors. And this also adds to why hundreds of years after Apastamba the text of Sulbasutra of Katyayana adds importance to it.

Concluding by saying that being a mathematician Katyayana was also a priest who instructed people in how they can conduct religious rites and what all rules they had to follow. Rishi Vishvamitra – The great Sage

And this was all about Rishi Katyayana and his works, much information wasn’t available as nothing is known about Katyayana.

I hope all this information about Rishi Katyayana would be useful for you all. If you have any query let us know in the comment box. Thank you!

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