The names 'Bhaskaracarya' and 'Lilavati' are well-known. If a student displays outstanding talent in Mathematics, the school teacher lovingly calls the student ñSecond Bhaskaracaryaî. Many legends about Lilavati are in vogue. It is but natural that Indians have a special interest in Bhaskaracarya and his works, especially the Lilavati. Professor N.H. Phadke has taken great pains in the preparation of the present work A New Light on Lilavati, thus filling a void.
In the Lilavati, Arithmetic is presented as an enjoyable playful activity. Professor Phadke has
admirably succeeded in preserving this spirit in the A New Light on Lilavati. Since Professor Phadke studied many books in Sanskrit, Hindi, English and Marathi, he could have easily given
scholarly notes and references all over. But the author has resisted that temptation and has
given the relevant supplementary information in six appendices. So the book is easy to read and the readers enjoy the playful atmosphere.
The Lilavati is a book on Arithmetic written in the twelfth century. Techniques for the solution of problems are simple and easy to use and, moreover, there is a lot of interesting information in the problems presented therein.
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, a comprehensive exposition of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, number theory and related topics. Lilavati has been used as a standard textbook for about 800 years. This lucid, scholarly and literary presentation has been translated into several languages of the world.
Bhaskaracarya himself never gave any derivations of his formulae. N.H. Phadke (1902-1973) worked hard to construct proofs of several mathematical methods and formulae given in original Lilavati. The present work is an enlargement of his Marathi work and attempts a thorough mathematical explanation of definitions, formulae, short cuts and methodology as intended by Bhaskara. Stitches are followed by literal translations so that the reader can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of accurate and musical presentation in Lilavati. The book is useful to school going children, sophomores, teachers, scholars, historians and those working for cause of mathematics.
"The book is bound to be useful to school-going children, teachers, scholars, historians and those working for the cause of mathematics".
About the Author(s)
Professor Krishnaji S. Patwardhan born in 1911 at Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) taught for thirty years at Sheth Anandilal Podar High School. He has written several textbooks on Mathematics and has translated a book on Lobschevskian geometry from English into Marathi. He died in 1986.