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Book Review - Lilavati of Bhaskaracarya: A Treatise of Mathematics of Vedic Tradition
The book "Lilavati of Bhaskaracarya: A Treatise of Mathematics of Vedic Tradition "is a book with difference since it not mere a translation of ancient Lilavati but has the explanations and logic behind the quick calculation methods and short-cuts provided by mathematician. The translation in English has been done by Krishnaji Shankara Patwardhan, S. A. Naimpally and Shyam Lal Singh from the work of N.H. Phadke in Marathi on Lilavati.

According to the book, in 1150 AD, Bhaskaracarya (b. 1114 AD), renowned mathematician and astronomer of Vedic tradition composed Lilavati as the first part of his larger work called Siddhanta Siromani. Now, Lilavati has been translated into few Indian languages as well as English like this book. The book is the English translation of the earlier book in Marathi. However, the main distinguishing feature of the book is that it gives the rationale of the various rules and principles of propounded by Bhaskaracarya with logic and rationale in terms of modern mathematics.

Lilavati has been claimed as an outstanding exposition of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, number theory, etc. which was in use even in 800 years by mathematicians. Though Bhaskaracarya himself never gave any derivations of his formulae, but the authors of this book have worked hard to construct proofs of several mathematical methods and formulae given in original Lilavati to add value to the publication. Thus, the book has spread over two hundred odd pages.

Another commendable aspect the book published by Motilal Banarsidass Publishers is the incorporation of mathematical explanation of definitions, formulae, rules, short cuts and methodology as intended by Bhaskara.  At some places to add interest in even reading the book musical presentations of Lilavati have been tried in a new language. 

Since, the year was 2014 was celebrated as the 900th birth anniversary yea of Bhaskaracarya, the book was found useful for conducting workshops and many mathematics teachers, educators, schools, scholars, historians and those working for cause of popularizing mathematics and India's contribution to mathematics. The quick ways of calculations have been appreciated by serious students of mathematics which can be even faster than that done by the computer.

The additional explanations and proofs given in book make it valuable along with highlighting the rich treasure of Indian mathematics of olden times. During this year, a mathematics educator Sudhakar Agarkar has conducted 51 workshops on Lilavati to celebrate the 900th birth anniversary of Bhaskaracharya. 

Starting from January 25, he went around the country to organise the workshops up to December 24, 2014. The first one was held at Akola in Maharashtra while the last one was held at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Also, at birth anniversary celebrations of Bhaskaracarya during the International Children's Science and Mathematics Festival hosted by Sri Prakash Vidya Niketan, the contribution of Bhaskaracarya to the world of mathematics was highlighted.



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