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Manava Sulbasutras

The First Vedic Priest who Find the Value of π in Sulba Sutras

Manava Sulbasutras was considered to be the Indian Hindu author of one of the geometric texts of “Sulbasutras”. There is a lot of mathematics given in the Sulbasutras and it is mentioned to enable the exact structure of altars which are needed for sacrifices. From the writings done by Manava, it is true that while he was a priest he must have the qualities and skills of the craftsman as well.

As mentioned above that Manava Sulbasutras wrote one of the texts of Sulbasutras and it’s not the oldest text the one written by Budhayayana is the oldest and the text written by Manava isn’t considered that important and the other three texts of Sulbasutras are considered more important and informative.

There isn’t any accurate date when Manava Sulbasutra was born but historians have said that he was born in or around 750 BC but again a lot of historians disagree on this. It is believed by them that it is more after a hundred years that Sulbasutras became famous.

It is said that Manava didn’t have an interest in mathematics or what math is today he couldn’t understand it now. Manava Sulbasutras wasn’t even someone who would simply copy out documents or manuscripts like Ahem. He was a man with certainty who used to have that enthusiasm for learning but didn’t really like mathematics and he would never use it for religious purposes.

It’s certain that he wrote the text of Sulbasutras which showed the rules and regulations for religious rites and after this text of his, he started to be known as a “Vedic priest” of Hindu religion.

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What all was included in the text of Sulbasutras which was written by Manava? It is said that long ago when Greek mathematicians tried to square the circle Manava Sulbasutras like all the texts of Sulbasutaras wrote one of the texts which included constructions of circles from rectangles which were approximate and squares from circles which also were approximate. This concept can be taken as the approximate value of Pi (π).

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Therefore there are a lot of different values of π in all the texts of Sulbasutras as eventually every construction of the circle would have led to different approximate values of π. The papers have considered different values, some of which were 11.14, 11.15, 11.17, and so on. And the value Manava’s work gave of π was 25/8 = 3.125 which is quite closer to the value of π which we now know of.

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So, this was all about Manava Sulbasutras, and all his works of one of the texts of Sulbasutras, quite small but worth his contribution as he never had much interest in mathematics but still, he worked and found a very close approximate value of π.

This was all in this article. I hope this was a helpful article to all of you and if you have any questions put them in the comment box. Thank you!

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