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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Why Vedic Mathematics

I. Why Vedic Mathematics?
     
Many Indian Secondary School students consider Mathematics a very difficult subject. Some students encounter difficulty with basic arithmetical operations. Some students feel it difficult to manipulate symbols and balance equations. In other words, abstract and logical reasoning is their hurdle.

Many such difficulties in learning Mathematics enter into a long list if prepared by an experienced teacher of Mathematics. Volumes have been written on the diagnosis of 'learning difficulties' related to Mathematics and remedial techniques. Learning Mathematics is an unpleasant experience to some students mainly because it involves mental exercise.

Of late, a few teachers and scholars have revived interest in Vedic Mathematics which was developed, as a system derived from Vedic principles, by Swami Bharati Krishna Tirthaji in the early decades of the 20th century.

Dr. Narinder Puri of the Roorke University prepared teaching materials based on Vedic Mathematics during 1986 - 89. A few of his opinions are stated hereunder:

i) Mathematics, derived from the Veda, provides one line, mental and super- fast methods along with quick cross checking systems.

ii) Vedic Mathematics converts a tedious subject into a playful and blissful one which students learn with smiles.

iii) Vedic Mathematics offers a new and entirely different approach to the study of Mathematics based on pattern recognition. It allows for constant expression of a student's creativity, and is found to be easier to learn.

iv) In this system, for any problem, there is always one general technique applicable to all cases and also a number of special pattern problems. The element of choice and flexibility at each stage keeps the mind lively and alert to develop clarity of thought and intuition, and thereby a holistic development of the human brain automatically takes place.

v) Vedic Mathematics with its special features has the inbuilt potential to solve the psychological problem of Mathematics - anxiety.

J.T.Glover (London, 1995) says that the experience of teaching Vedic Mathematics' methods to children has shown that a high degree of mathematical ability can be attained from an early stage while the subject is enjoyed for its own merits.

A.P. Nicholas (1984) puts the Vedic Mathematics system as 'one of the most delightful chapters of the 20th century mathematical history'.

Prof. R.C. Gupta (1994) says 'the system has great educational value because the Sutras contain techniques for performing some elementary mathematical operations in simple ways, and results are obtained quickly'.

Prof. J.N. Kapur says 'Vedic Mathematics can be used to remove math-phobia, and can be taught to (school) children as enrichment material along with other high speed methods'.

Dr. Michael Weinless, Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at the M.I.U, Iowa says thus: 'Vedic Mathematics is easier to learn, faster to use and less prone to error than conventional methods. Furthermore, the techniques of Vedic Mathematics not only enable the students to solve specific mathematical problems; they also develop creativity, logical thinking and intuition.'

Keeping the above observations in view, let us enter Vedic Mathematics as given by Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji (1884 - 1960), Sankaracharya of Govardhana Math, Puri. Entering into the methods and procedures, one can realize the importance and applicability of the different formulae (Sutras) and methods. 
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