Jagadguru Swami Sri Bhārati Kŗşņa
Tīrthaji Mahāraja (Sanskrit: जगद्गुरु स्वामि श्री भारती
कृष्ण तीर्थजी महाराज; March, 1884 – February
2, 1960) was the Jagadguru (literally, teacher of the
world; assigned to heads of Hindu mathas)
of the Govardhana matha of Puri during
1925–1960. He was one of the most significant spiritual
figures in
Hinduism during the 20th
century. He is particularly known for his work on
Vedic mathematics.
Early life
Venkatraman Shastri was born in March, 1884 to P.
Narasimha Shastri,
originally a tehsildar at Tirunelveli in Madras
Presidency. Narasimha Shastri later became the Deputy
Collector of the Presidency. Venkatraman was born in a highly
illustrious family.
His uncle, Chandrasekhara Shastri was the
Principal of the Maharaja's
College in Vizianagaram, while his great-grandfather, Justice C.
Ranganath
Shastri was a judge in the Madras High
Court.
Educational career
Venkatraman Shastri started his educational career as a student of
the National College in
Trichanapalli.
After that
he moved to the Church Missionary Society College and eventually
the Hindu College, both in Tirunelveli. He was consistently first place in all
subjects in all of his classes. Shastri passed his
matriculation examination from the
Madras University in January, 1899, where
he also finished at the head of the class.
As a student Venkatraman was marked for his splendid brilliance,
superb retentive memory and an insatiable curiosity. By deluging
his teachers with piercing questions, making them uneasy, and
frequently forcing them to admit ignorance he was considered a
terribly mischievous student.
Although Venkatraman always scored high in subjects like
mathematics,
sciences
and
humanities, he was also proficient in
languages and particularly adept in
Sanskrit. According to his own
testimonials, Sanskrit and
oratory were his
favourite subjects. Such was his mastery over the language, that he
was awarded the title "
Saraswati" by the Madras Sanskrit
Association in July, 1899 at the age of 16. At about that time,
Venkatraman was profoundly influenced by his Sanskrit
guru Sri Vedam Venkatrai Shastri whom he remembered
with deepest love, reverence and gratitude, with tears in his
eyes.
Venkatraman won the highest place in the
graduation B.A.
examination in 1902. He then appeared for the
M.A. Examination for the American College of
Sciences, in Rochester, New
York from the Bombay centre in
1903. He passed the M.A. examination in seven subjects that
he had chosen -
Sanskrit,
philosophy,
English,
mathematics,
history,
science and another - simultaneously scoring
the highest honours in all, which was perhaps an all-time
world record at the time.
Venkatraman Saraswati, as he was called after receiving the title,
also contributed to
W. T. Stead's
Review of Reviews on
topics as diverse as religion and science. During his college days,
he also wrote extensively on history,
sociology, philosophy,
politics and
literature.
Reading of the latest scientific research and discoveries was his
hobby throughout his life.
Early public life
Venkatraman Saraswati worked under
Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1905 for the
National Education Movement and the
South
African Indian problems. However, his inclination towards
science and
Indic studies led him to study the
ancient Indian holy scriptures,
Adhyātma-Vidyā.
In 1908 he joined the Sringeri Matha in Mysore to study
under the Sringeri Shankaracharya Sri
Satchidānanda Sivābhinava Nrisimha Bhārati Swami. However,
his spiritual practise was interrupted when he was pressurized by
nationalist leaders to head the newly started National College at
Rajmahendri. Prof. Venkatraman Saraswati
taught at the college for three years. But in 1911, he suddenly
left the college to go back to Sri Satchidānanda Sivābhinava
Nrisimha Bhārati Swami at the Sringeri Math in his quest for
spiritual knowledge.
Spiritual path
Returning
to Sringeri, Venkatraman
spent his next eight years studying advanced Vedanta philosophy at the
feet of Shri Nrisimha Bhārati Swami. This cannot be true.
The then Sringeri Jagadguru until April 1912 was Sri Sachidananda
Shivabhinava Nrusimha Bharathi Swamigal. The Swamigal attained
Mahasamadhi during April 1912 and was immediately succeeded to the
Peeta, by his Disciple Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharathi
Swamigal. Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi was in the Peeta
until 1954.
Venkaraman Saraswathi could not have hence learnt for 8 years with
Sri Nrusimha Bharathi Mahaswamigal from 1911 at Sringeri. Also,
When Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Swamigal was in the
Peeta, there was no one else nominated as the Successor, until much
later when Jagadguru Srimad Abhinava Vidya Theerta Swamigal was
nominated as the Successor.
He also practised vigorous meditation,
Brahma-sadhana and
Yoga-sādhāna during those years in the
nearby forests. It is believed that he attained
spiritual self-realization during his years in
the Sringeri Math. He would leave the material world and practise
Yoga meditation in seclusion for many days. During those eight
years, he also taught
Sanskrit and
Philosophy to local schools and
ashrams.
He delivered a series of sixteen lectures on Shankaracharya's
philosophy at Shankar Institute of Philosophy, Amalner [Khandesh].
During
that time, he also lectured as a guest professor at various
institutions in Mumbai, Pune and Khandesh.
Initiation into Sanyasa order
After
Venkatraman's eight-year period of spiritual practice and study of
the Vedanta and Vedic philosophy, he was initiated into the holy
order of Samnyasa at Benaras by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Trivikram Tirthaji
Maharaj of Shāradāpeeth on July 4, 1919 and on this occasion he was given the title of
Swami and the new name, "Swami
Bhārāti Kŗşņa Tīrtha".
Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetha
Swami Bhārāti Kŗşņa Tīrtha was installed as
Shankaracharya of
Sharada Peetha in 1921 after just
two years of
Sanyasa. After assuming the pontificate
ShriJagadguruji, he was given another title,
Jagadguru, as
is the tradition.
The Swami then toured India from corner
to corner giving lectures on Sanātana Dharma, Vedic philosophy and Vedanta. By his scintillating intellectual
brilliance, powerful oratory, magnetic personality, sincerity of
purpose, indomitable will, purity of thought, and loftiness of
character he took the entire intellectual and religious class by
storm.
Shankaracharya of Govardhan Math
Around the time the Swami became Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetha,
the Shankaracharya of
Govardhan Math
Puri, Jagadguru Śankarācārya Sri Madhusudhan Tirtha, was in
failing health and was greatly impressed by Bharati Krishna Tirtha.
Madhusudan Tirtha requested Bharati to succeed him at the Govardhan
Math, however the Swami respectfully declined the offer. However,
in 1925, Śankarācārya Sri Madhusudhan Tirtha's health took a
serious turn and Swami Bhārāti Kŗşņa Tirtha had to accept the
Govardhan Math's
Gadi.
In 1925, Swami Bhārāti Kŗşņa Tirtha assumed
the pontificate of Shankaracharya of Govardhan Math, Puri and
relinquished the pontificate of Sharadapeeth Gadi of
Sringeri. He installed Sri Swarupanandji as the new
Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetha.
Jagadguru
After becoming the Shankaracharya of Govardhan Math, Swami Bharati
toured all over the world for 35 years to spread the values of
peace,
harmony and
brotherhood and to spread the message of
the
Sanātana Dharma. He took
upon himself the colossal task of the renaissance of Indian
culture.
While being a pontiff, he wrote a large number of treatises and
books on
religion,
sciences,
mathematics,
world peace and
social issues. In 1953, at Nagpur, he founded an
organization called "
Sri Vishwa Punarnirmana Sangha"
(World Reconstruction Association). Initially, the administrative
board consisted of Jagadguruji's disciples, devotees and admirers
of his spiritual ideals for humanitarian service, but later many
distinguished people started to contribute to the mission.
The
Chief Justice of India, Justice
B.P. Sinha served as its President. Dr. C. D.
Deshmukh, the
ex-Finance Minister of India and
ex-Chairman of the University Grants Commission served as its
Vice-President.
In February 1958 he went on a trans-oceanic tour to America to
speak on world peace and Vedanta, staying three months in Los
Angeles, California traveling via the United Kingdom. This was the
first tour outside India by a Shankaracharya in the history of the
order. The tour was sponsored by Self Realization Fellowship of Los
Angeles, the Vedantic Society founded by
Paramhansa Yogananda in America.
He attended many national and international religious conferences
and many other
yoga workshops. He believed in the Vedantic
ideal of "
Pūrnatva" which literally translated means,
"all-round
perfection and harmony". He
remained the Shankaracharya of the Govardhan Matha until his death
in 1960.
In 1965 a Chair of Vedic Studies was founded at Banares Hindu
University by Shri Arvind N. Mafatlala, a generous Mumbai business
magnate and math devotee of the late Swami Sankaracarya.
Mathematics
Jagadguru Swami Sri Bhārāti Kŗşņa Tirthaji Maharaja's book
"
Vedic Mathematics" opened the
floodgates of similar literature, often derived from the Swami's 16
Sūtras themselves. His treatise on this field of mathematics is a
fundamental work on speed and accuracy in basic mathematics. The
Vedic Math ideal is a mental calculation and one-line
notation.
The foundations of Vedic Mathematics were mentioned in the
Vedas themselves and even in the
Vedanta scriptures. These had lain unused for many
millennia, till the Swami rediscovered them.
His book,
Vedic Mathematics, comprises many algorithms. He
revealed his source in the ancient Hindu Vedas. Some are
intuitively reconstructed from the
Atharva Veda and from
Parisistas (appendix) of the
Atharva Veda. "The Upaveda of
Sthapatya (engineering) comprises all kinds of architectural and
structural human endeavor and all visual arts (and mathematics)."
His work seems to be a whole Parisistas (appendix) itself.
The ancient
Sanskrit writers did not use
numerals when writing big numbers but preferred to use the letters
of the Sanskrit
Devanāgarī
alphabet. In the Vedic Sūtras the key word steps to solving many
problems are given in a terse, decimal code of certain sets of
rhyming syllables, within the verses of the Sūtra. The fact that
the alphabetic code is in the natural order and can be immediately
interpreted, is clear proof that the code language was resorted not
for concealment but for greater ease in verification.
The Swami had written sixteen volumes on the Vedic Mathematics
field explaining all the topics of
mathematical study. Alas, many advanced formula
were promised but not given in his first and only book. After his
1956 life's work manuscript on Vedic mathematics was lost in a fire
at the home of a disciple, though he was going blind from
cataracts, he re-wrote the manuscript in 1957 in
six weeks! It was to be proofread and published in the USA but was
send back to India in 1960 after his death. In 1965, this
manuscript was published by Motilal Banarsidass, Varanasi, India
and reprinted four times in the 1970s.
His book,
Vedic Mathematics, included sixteen terse
formulas for mental mathematics. For arithmetic, we are given
several algorithms for whole number multiplication and division,
(flag or straight) division, fraction conversion to repeating
decimal numbers, calculations with measures of mixed units,
summation of a series, squares and square roots (duplex method),
cubes and cube roots (with expressions for a digit schedule), and
divisibility (by osculation).
He gives a poem in Anusub metre, couched in the alphabetic
Code-Language that has three meanings, a hymn to Lord Srī Kṛṣṇa, a
hymn in praise of the Lord Shri Shankara, and the third the value
of pi/10 to 32 decimal places, pi/10 =
0.31415926535897932384626433832792... with a "self-contained
master-key" for extending the evaluation to any number of decimal
places!
Several tests and techniques for factoring and solving certain
algebraic equations with integer roots for quadratic, cubic,
biquadratic, pentic equations, systems of linear equations, and
systems of quadratic equations are demonstrated. For fractional
expressions, a separation algorithm and fraction merger algorithms
are given. Other techniques handle certain patterns of some special
case algebraic equations. Just an introduction to differential and
integral calculus is given.
Geometric applications are reviewed for linear equations, analytic
conics, the equation for the asymptotes, and the equation to the
conjugate-hyperbola. Five simple geometric proofs for the
Pythagorean theorem are given. A 5-line
proof of
Apollonius' theorem is
given.
Advanced topics promised included the integral calculus (the center
of gravity of hemispheres, conics),
Trigonometry,
Astronomy (spherical triangles, earth's daily
rotation, earth's annual rotation about the sun and eclipses), and
Engineering (dynamics, statics,
hydrostatics, pneumatics, applied mechanics).
In his final comments he asserted that the names for "Arabic
numerals," "Pythagoras' Theorem," and "Cartesian" co-ordinates are
historical misnomers.
See also
References
- page i, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication of Vedic
Mathematics by Smti. Manjula Trivedi
- Page i, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication to Vedic
Mathematics
- Page ii, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication to Vedic
Mathematics
- Pages i-ii, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication to Vedic
Mathematics
- Page iii, My Beloved Gurudeva, by Smti. Manjuja Trivedi,
dedication to Vedic Mathematics
- page iii, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication of Vedic
Mathematics by Smti. Manjula Trivedi
- page iv, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication of Vedic
Mathematics by Smti. Manjula Trivedi
- pages v-vi, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication of Vedic
Mathematics by Smti. Manjula Trivedi
- page vi, My Beloved Gurudeva, the dedication of Vedic
Mathematics by Smti. Manjula Trivedi
- Publication announcement by N.H. Bhagwati, Vice-Chancellor,
Banaras Hindu University, March 27, 1965, after title page,
Vedic Mathematics
- Pages 194-195, 209-210, 362, Vedic Mathematics
- Page 194, Vedic Mathematics
- Page x, My Beloved Gurudeva by Smti. Manjula Trivedi, the
dedication to Vedic Mathematics
- Table of Contents,Vedic Mathematics
- pages 294-195, 209-210
- Pages 362-363, Vedic Mathematics
- Table of Contents,Vedic Mathematics
- Pages 354-360, Vedic Mathematics
- Pages 350-351, Vedic Mathematics
- Page 352, Vedic Mathematics
- Pages 361-362, Vedic Mathematics
- Page 353, Vedic Mathematics
- Trivedi, Manjula - My Beloved
Gurudeva, Sri Vishwa Punarnirmana Sangha, Nagpur.
(1965)
- Sri
Bhārāti Kŗşņa Tīrtha - Vedic Mathematics, Motilal
Banarassidas Publications, Delhi, (1992) ISBN
81-208-0164-4
External links