About Aryabhatta

Aryabhatta (476–550 CE) was the first of the major mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. His works include the Āryabhaṭīya (499 CE, when he was 23 years old)and the Arya-siddhanta.

Time and place of birth

Aryabhatta mentions in the Aryabhatiya that it was composed 3,600 years into the Kali Yuga, when he was 23 years old. This corresponds to 499 CE, and implies that he was born in 476.
Aryabhatta provides no information about his place of birth. The only information comes from Bhāskara I, who describes Aryabhatta as āśmakīya, "one belonging to the Aśmaka country." During the Buddha's time, a branch of the Aśmaka people settled in the region between the Narmada and Godavari rivers in central India; Aryabhatta is believed to have been born there.

Education

It is fairly certain that, at some point, he went to Kusumapura for advanced studies and lived there for some time. Both Hindu and Buddhist tradition, as well as Bhāskara I (CE 629), identify Kusumapura as Pāṭaliputra, modern Patna. A verse mentions that Aryabhatta was the head of an institution (kulapa) at Kusumapura, and, because the university of Nalanda was in Pataliputra at the time and had an astronomical observatory, it is speculated that Aryabhatta might have been the head of the Nalanda university as well.Aryabhatta is also reputed to have set up an observatory at the Sun temple in Taregana, Bihar

Works

Aryabhatta is the author of several treatises on mathematics and astronomy, some of which are lost. His major work, Aryabhatiya, a compendium of mathematics and astronomy, was extensively referred to in the Indian mathematical literature and has survived to modern times. The mathematical part of the Aryabhatiya covers arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry, and spherical trigonometry. It also contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums-of-power series, and a table of sines.

Highlights

  • Place value system and zero
  • Approximation of π
  • Trigonometry
  • Indeterminate equations
  • Algebra
  • Astronomy
  • Motions of the solar system
  • Eclipses
  • Sidereal periods
  • Heliocentrism
  • Legacy