There is no better medium than mathematics to put the whole universe on paper, and it is necessary to see mathematics from the point of view of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
Maths subject and solving life’s questions would have become more accessible if we had understood the Maths happening in the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan and other mathematicians. Today we will focus on solving life problems with mathematics because today is the birth anniversary of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22 December 1887. He believed every mathematics equation is insignificant, not connecting with the divine element. This sentence of Shri Ramanujan is also the essence of the entire Indian knowledge tradition.
Mathematics, which we see as a separate subject, is a medium of expression. Just as language expresses our feelings, mathematics is a written medium for expressing cosmic concepts. There is no better medium than mathematics to put the whole universe on paper, and it is necessary to see mathematics from the point of view of Srinivasa Ramanujan. When we study a subject, its depth directly connects us with our life. If, even after learning a topic for a long time, that subject cannot connect with our life, then it means either there is a problem with our study method, or that subject is useless.
The philosophical side of mathematics also allows the development of a similar vision. Mathematical operations can be helpful in the construction of bridges, buildings, and architecture, and this is the external view of mathematics. Apart from this, mathematics also provides insight, which is very important for a mathematician to understand. Many such vital topics are hidden in small operations, explaining the relationship between life and the theory of cosmic bodies. Because of the practical application of mathematics, we have gone so far from the philosophical dimension of mathematics that it is tough to return to that dimension. To understand the philosophical nature of mathematics, we have to have a broad view. Considering a circle or a triangle as only a figure, we have to rise above the calculation of its area, perimeter etc.
To understand the expression that wants to express these figures in a broader form. For example, a triangle is a figure, but the concept shows the way from multiplicity to unity and unity to plurality. The practical seed of unity in plurality and harmony can be sown with the study materials and teaching methods. The cosmic puzzle can also be solved if mathematics students include these broad concepts in their studies. Continental expansion collapsed after thawing, the Himalayan Mountains in place of Tethys Sea, high mountains of Aravalli today turning into plains and changing into trench or rift valleys in the future. From this point of view, it is essential to analyze mathematical figures or operations. When the vision of mathematics is so broad, the formulas applied to these concepts will open the secret of cosmic principles. A person who does not believe in God or the soul can understand the nature of a force through mathematics.
Mathematics talks about every concept that we experience in our daily lives. Our experience is that the world is changeable. The circle tells us the direction of change. The ever-changing force, which remains unchanged even at the root of every shift, is the ratio of circumference and diameter, which we know as pi. Our ancient Rishis have used many experiments to describe the manifestation of the Universal truth hidden at the root of every change. Similarly, no matter how much the sides of the triangle keep changing, due to the evolution of these sides, there is no difference in the sum of the interior angles of the triangle; it always remains 180°. These examples, given through triangles and circles, apply to every operation in mathematics.
An Indian knowledge tradition is also a mature form of vast practical knowledge. No established knowledge comes in its mature form of experimentation and errors. Talking about the Indian mathematical practice also had its development path. The science or engineering used in constructing bridges, buildings, and schools from the Vedic period to today’s bridges, buildings, and schools. Its path starts from Brahman texts, through the Shulvasutras and works of Indian mathematicians in modern engineering. Extensive evidence is available because the effort started through ropes, and nails are found in writing in the Shulvasutras. Evidence of how the area of any geometric structure, the volume of three-dimensional figures, curved surface, etc., were calculated.
In the early period, its evidence is present in the Shulvasutras. In Apastambha Shulvasutra, the square of the same area as the circle, the rectangle of the same size as the court and the measurement of changes in other figures without formula only with the help of rope are available as proof of these facts. It is worth mentioning that the purpose of these texts is not to explain mathematics as a subject but as a process of Yagya Vedi’s (Alter) construction. The altars made in different figures of the equal area represent mathematics as a formula. The expansion of mathematical techniques is also found in the motion’s calculation of bodies, etc. Indian mathematicians never favor concepts like monopoly or patent, and the principle of universal welfare nourished their knowledge. They may not have been fond of naming his propounded theories like Pythagoras or Leibnitz for their characteristic display. Ancient mathematicians’ experimental written evidence confirms that process discovery has occurred in India since the Vedic period. No constant can be established without many experiments. It is impossible to obtain knowledge of the constant between the circumference and the circle’s diameter until many processes are structured and analyzed.
The Indian Shulvasutra tradition contains these examples, whereas no such procedural text is found in the Greek civilization. Even if it is located around the 16th century, much later than the Vedic tradition. India’s theory of place value is more efficient and helpful than the theory of Babylonia, which is being accepted by the world today. Now the question arises here when the experiments are mentioned in India: How suddenly does the concept of Pi originate in the West? It is worth mentioning here that the name pi later indicated the circle’s circumference and diameter ratio. Still, the question is that when there is no mention of the use, then to what extent it is appropriate to accept the concept of the West by merely naming the Greek letter?
Suppose anyone uses his life to accomplish that experiment and does not publicize it. After some time, the experiment’s conclusion is rectified by another person. It propagates that it is a constant ‘x’, and due to its naming in English letters, it cannot be a contribution of India.
Something similar happened with the experiments of Indian mathematics. Greek letters like alpha, beta, gamma, theta and pi named the constants and coefficients. Today our one mistake, and we cry repeatedly and say that pi was discovered in India. That claim is wrong, and pi is only a vocabulary; in fact, the circumference and diameter of a circle are constant, which was discovered in India. This constant was presented by modern Greek mathematicians wearing the cloak of the alphabet. There is a need to remove that makeup and recognize its proper form. The world’s mathematicians have contributed significantly to the naming and formulating of these experiments. Trigonometry, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Dynamics, Situational, and many branches of mathematics became prevalent.
Construction engineering was widely promoted using various geometric shapes. Later on, in Bihar, the mathematical tradition reached its modern height with the joint efforts of the beautiful works of mathematicians like Shri Vashishtha Narayan Singh. The foundation of this supreme tradition lies in Vedas and Vedangas.
Srinivasa Ramanujan must have interviewed this mathematical knowledge contained in Vedas and Vedangas in this form, which must have been the reason for the mathematics of both the book and life of Srinivasa Ramanujan was systematic.
(The writer is an Assistant Professor at T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur)