Āryabhaṭa

Studies in Indian history and culture have revealed that India had excelled not only in the spiritual sciences but also in the secular sciences. The names and works of several eminent scholars whose fields of work have embraced several disciplines like medicine, surgery, mathematics, astro-nomy, astrology, politics, economics, dramatics, dance, music, fine-arts, architecture, chemistry, alchemy, archery etc., have been mentioned in the ancient and medieval works.

Among these, Āryabhaṭa is one important name associated with mathematics and astronomy. Historians have discovered two Āryabhaṭas in their researches.

Āryabhaṭa I (5th cent. A. D.) was an astronomer and mathematician who lived in Kusumapura (Pāṭalīputra). His work called Āryasiddhānta (laghu) is a concise work in four chapters. The first chapter (Daśagītikā) comprises of ten verses in the gītikā metre and is introductory. The second (Gaṇitapāda) deals with several aspects of mathematics. The third (Kāla-kriyā) is concerned with the reckoning of time and the last (‘gola’) expatiates on astronomy.

Aryabhaṭa II lived in the 10th cent. A. D. The work Āryasiddhānta is attributed to him. It is in 18 chapters and deals with arithmetic and algebra as also astronomy. Mahābhāskarīya seems to be another title for the same treatise.