Statue of Aryabhata on the grounds of IUCAA, Pune. As there is no known information regarding his appearance, any image of Aryabhata originates from an artist's conception. Aryabhata (IAST: Āryabhaṭa; Sanskrit: आर्यभटः) (476–550 CE) was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. His most famous works are the Aryabhatiya (499 CE, when he was 23 years old) and the Arya-siddhanta.
|Contents | |[hide] | |1 Biography | |1.1 Name | |1.2 Birth | |1.3 Work | |1.4 Kerala hypothesis | |2 Works | |2.1 Aryabhatiya | |3 Mathematics | |3.1 Place value system and zero | |3.2 Pi as irrational | |3.3 Mensuration and trigonometry | |3.4 Indeterminate equations | |3.5 Algebra | |4 Astronomy | |4.1 Motions of the solar system | |4.2 Eclipses | |4.3 Sidereal periods | |4.4 Heliocentrism | |5 Legacy |
While there is a tendency to misspell his name as "Aryabhatta" by analogy with other names having the "bhatta" suffix, his name is properly spelled Aryabhata: every astronomical text spells his name thus, including Brahmagupta's references to him "in more than a hundred places by name". Furthermore, in most instances "Aryabhatta" does not fit the metre either.
Aryabhata 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 CE. Aryabhata provides no information about his place of birth. The only information comes from Bhāskara I, who describes Aryabhata as āśmakīya, "one belonging to the aśmaka country." While aśmaka was originally situated in the northwest of India, it is widely attested that, during the Buddha's time, a branch of the Aśmaka people settled in the region between the Narmada and Godavari rivers, in the South Gujarat–North Maharashtra region of central India. Aryabhata is believed to have been born there. However, early Buddhist texts describe Ashmaka as being further south, in dakshinapath or the Deccan, while other texts describe the Ashmakas as having fought Alexander, which would put them further north.
It is fairly certain that, at some point, he went to Kusumapura for advanced studies and that he 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 Aryabhata 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 Aryabhata might have been the head of the Nalanda university as well. Aryabhata is also reputed to have set up an observatory at the...