The So-Called “Dust Computations” in the Līlāvatī

  • Takanori KusubaEmail author
Part of the Mathematics Education in the Digital Era book series (MEDE, volume 11)


The rules and examples in mathematical texts written in Sanskrit in medieval India are composed in verse form, so they are in a terse style. The texts are silent in terms of actually carrying out computations. In order to understand the rules, students solved problems given either by the author or the commentator. When students read the rules, they learned the procedure of calculation. When they read examples, they learned how to set down given numbers. The present chapter analyzes how those who read the Sanskrit mathematical works, in particular the Līlāvatī , performed computations.


Indian mathematics Bhāskara II (Bhāskarācārya) Līlāvatī Arithmetical operations Dust board 



Annotations to Japanese translation of the Līlāvatī by Hayashi Takao was useful to me.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History and Philosophy of ScienceOsaka University of EconomicsOsakaJapan

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