"Vedic Mathematics" is a book by Bharati Krishna Tirthaji, who served as the Shankaracharya of Sringeri Mutt from 1921-1925, and as the Shankaracharya of Govardhana Mutt from 1925 until his death in 1960. It was during his time in the latter position that he gave a series of lectures in which he claimed to have discovered a set of 16 Sutras in the Parishishta (appendix) of the Atharvana Veda which describe advanced mathematical techniques. He then wrote a book on the same subject, known as "Vedic Mathematics", which was published posthumously in 1965.

But most scholars don't accept the authenticity of the book, for reasons described in journal paper. For one thing, published editions of the Parishishta of the Atharvana Veda do not contain these 16 Sutras. Also, the mathematical techniques that Bharati Krishna Tirthaji describes are reminiscent of European arithmetic tricks. (See here for the real mathematics of the Vedic period.). But my question is, what does Govardhana Mutt believe about the authenticity of the book, given that Bharati Krishna Tirthaji was one of their Shankaracharyas? I would ask about Sringeri Mutt as well, except that Bharati Krishna Tirthaji lectured on this subject while he was the Shankaracharya of Govardhana Mutt.

Bharati Krishna Tirthaji's shishya Manjula Tirvedi says this in her introduction to the "Vedic Mathematics" book:

Obviously these formulas are not to be found in the present recessions of Atharvaveda; they were actually reconstructed, on the basis of intuitive revelation, from materials scattered here are there in the Atharvaveda.

But have any Shankaracharyas of Govardhana Mutt who came after Bharati Krishna Tirthaji's time discussed the book?

  • The Mutt need not have a reaction to the work. It is not about religion or philosophy or bhakti or atma vidya. This Q is misleading and is not about Hinduism.
    – user1195
    Jun 16, 2017 at 1:03
  • @moonstar2001 It's about Sutras that are claimed to be from the Parishishta of the Atharvana Veda. That seems like a perfectly appropriate topic for Shankaracharyas to opine about. Jun 16, 2017 at 1:59
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    That doesn't mean it is a philosophical/dharmic work. So Sankaracharyas need not have an opinion, just as they need not opine on Bhaskaracarya's Leelavati.
    – user1195
    Jun 16, 2017 at 2:30
  • This Q is not about Hinduism as stated previously (the OP/mod conveniently removed the stated objections for their benefit). Additionally, it serves to raise unnecessary and harmful civil-war like questions about and within the Muth. My vote to close needs to be reinstated or my right to vote again needs to be revived.
    – user1195
    Jul 1, 2017 at 6:38
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    @moonstar2001 No Mod was involved in this. Three reviewers chose "Leave Open" . Check here, For questions with views less than 100, if three reviewers choose "leave open", close vote will be aged away. Check this meta post.
    – The Destroyer
    Jul 1, 2017 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


Not Govardhan Mutt in particular, but Kanchi Peeth and others also had acquaintance of these, most probably Baudhayana's Sulbasutras for accurately computing among other computational requirements diagonals of square shape enclosures for sacrificial Homas etc. Authenticity of Vedic maths exists in all the Maths. I suppose they were all expected to know these mathematics as part of ancient Vedic ritual knowledge and training. Sulvasuthras are mentioned in the cited article also.

In a short email exchange with Cornell University NY Mathematics professor D.W.Henderson informed me about his visit to India. The linked article grew out of researches which were started during his January 1990 visit to the Sankaracharya Mutt in Kanchipuram Tamil Nadu, India where he was given access to the Mutt's library.


The above is about the mental calculations and ability to do so known widely as a matters of known fact from earlier times.

Wiki Govardhan Mutt version of VM

The Sankaracharya may have in his meditative and metal states (as did also Ramanujan) just filled up the blanks and established connections to state the 16 techniques with clarity.The point of contention here seems to be that the Sankaracharya had no authority to state them using other words to convey identity of process content that was to his mind quite obviously the same as what was implied from Atharvana Veda!

The Indian or Hindu philosophy values the content over format, values the what? over the how?. When the content is same, it is no more "another version" (The Trachtenberg techniques form a subset).

To my mind he did not at all plagiarize nor outstep his authority nor taken any part of the Vedic Law in this respect into his own hands.

However it is to be not viewed as blasphemous to respectfully question any figure of authority.

Prof Henderson Visit to Kanchi Kama Koti Peetham

  • Unfortunately this doesn't answer my question. My question isn't about what the Shankaracharya Mathams believe about the mathematics of the Vedic period, as contained in Shulba Sutras and the like. Certainly everyone accepts that the Shulba Sutras contain mathematics. But my question is about how Govardhana Matham feels about Bharati Krishna Tirthaji's "Vedic Mathematics" book, and its claim to be based on the Parisishta of the Atharvana Veda. Jul 1, 2017 at 22:31
  • "My question isn't about what the Shankaracharya Mathams believe about the mathematics of the Vedic period" "my question is about how Govardhana Matham feels about Bharati Krishna Tirthaji's "Vedic Mathematics" book, and its claim to be based on the Parisishta of the Atharvana Veda " - If this is not covertly instigating a civil war, what is? @KeshavSrinivasan
    – user1195
    Jul 2, 2017 at 3:42
  • @moonstar2001 I'm not trying to instigate a civil war at all, I'm just wondering whether Govardhana Matham still recognizes those 16 Sutras or not. Jul 2, 2017 at 4:26
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    @KeshavSrinivasan Why won't they recognize those 16 Sutras? It's like saying Sri Vaishnav followers not believing Sri Ramanuja's teachings.
    – Pinakin
    Jul 2, 2017 at 5:23
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    Trying to find facts is scientific pursuit of Indian or Hindu mathematics and the question is imho a good one.
    – Narasimham
    Jul 2, 2017 at 17:59

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