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Mahāvīra or Mahaviracharya was a 9th-century Jain mathematician born near to Mysore, in southern India. He was born in the year 815 AD. He was one of the first few mathematicians in India who contributed significantly to the field of mathematics. He worked as a teacher and was a member of a school of mathematics. He used to work with Rashtrakuta king Amoghavarsha and applied his mathematical skills to do something good for society. He died in 875 AD.


Mahavira Expertise

Mahavira was expert in:

  • Algebra.
  • Calculus and analysis.
  • Geometry and topology.
  • Combinatorics.
  • Logic.
  • Number theory.
  • Dynamical systems and differential equations.

Mahavira Life History

List of few significant events of Mahavira’s life is mentioned below:

  1. He was born in 815 AD.
  2. He used to work in Royal Court of Rastrakuta King.
  3. He has written a book called “Ganita Sara Sangraha” in 850 AD.
  4. He has written more than 1100 Slokas on different topics of Mathematics.
  5. He died in the year 875 AD.

Mahāvīra Books

Mahavira is the author of two Mathematical books:

Gaṇitasārasan̄graha and Ganita Sara Sangraha. He wrote these books in 850 CE. In these books, he mentions everything about triangle, rhombus, circle, and semicircle. He also proves many of the theories of Aryabhata and Brahmagupta’s works. In these books, he shows many of his works. These books have been translated to English by M. Ran̄gācārya.

Gaṇitasārasan̄graha has the following chapters:

  1. Arithmetical operations.                         
  2. Miscellaneous operations.                    
  3. Mixed operations.                    
  4. Operations involving fractions.                    
  5. Operations involving the rule of three.                   
  6. Operations relating to excavations.                 
  7. Operations relating to shadows.                  
  8. Operations relating to the calculations of areas.

Ganita Sara Sangraha has nine chapters of about 1100 slokas. These slokas are from arithmetic, mensuration, geometry, and algebra.   

Contributions of Mahāvīra in Mathematics

He has made some great contributions to Mathematics. Few of his contributions are:

  1. He worked on the same subjects on which Aryabhata and Brahmagupta worked, and he expanded the subject.
  2. He separated astrology from mathematics. 
  3. He coined the terms equilateral and isosceles triangle, rhombus, circle, and semicircle.
  4. He said that it is not possible to have a square root for negative integer.
  5. He devised a formula that calculated the area and perimeters of ellipses.
  6. He found methods to calculate the square of a number and cube roots of a number.
  7. He derived the algebraic identities like a3 = a (a + b) (a − b) + b2 (a − b) + b3.
  8. He derived the formula for nCr as [n (n − 1) (n − 2) … (n − r + 1)] / [r (r − 1) (r − 2) … 2 * 1].

Interesting facts about Mahāvīra

Few of the Interesting facts:

  1. He is the first Jain Mathematician.
  2. He was amongst the early Indian Mathematicians.
  3. He worked on the works of Aryabhatta and refined it.

Awards and Rewards under the name of Mahāvīra

Mahavira Award:

This award is awarded to those who do exceptional work in the field of Algebra.

Mahavira Model School: 

This school has been set up in Delhi under the name of one of the greatest Indian Mathematician.

Mathematicians like Mahavira

There are Many great Indian Mathematicians Like Aryabhata, Shakuntala Devi, Srinivas Ramanujan, Mādhava of Sangamagrama Who has enlighten the world with their mathematical skills. Their works and there books not only gives insights about the History Of Indian Mathematics but also a lot about Vedic Maths.

Quotes by Mahāvīra

One of the most famous Quote:

“With the help of the accomplished holy sages, who are worthy of being worshipped by the lords of the world … I glean from the great ocean of the knowledge of numbers a little of its essence, in the manner in which gems are picked from the sea, gold from the stony rock and the pearl from the oyster shell; and I give out according to the power of my intelligence, the Sara Samgraha, a small work on arithmetic, which is however not small in importance.”

FAQ About Mahavira

Why is Mathematician Mahavira Famous?

Mahavira was one of the most brilliant mathematicians from the Vedic era. He was one of the first few mathematicians in India. His contributions have helped other mathematicians too.

Does Mathematician Mahavira know Astrology?

Yes, Mahavira Knew Astrology. Before the era of 800 AD, Maths and Astrology were considered as a single thing. But later on, he studied both astrology and mathematics and separated both into two different subjects.

What did Mahavira get the name of Mahaviracharya?

Mahavira was a great mathematical teacher. He was even a member of the school of mathematics. He taught many people mathematics.

What was the religious belief of Mahavira, and how did it affect mathematics?

Mahavira was a Jain. He even respected Hindu. He closely worked with both culture and religion.


For More details, about this Jain Mathematician Visit the official University of Texas Website.

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