Difference between revisions of "Manava"
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Revision as of 16:16, 3 May 2013
By J J O'Connor and E F Robertson
Manava was a mathematician who lived in what is now modernIndia circa 750 BC. Very little is known about him except that he was the author of the Manava Sulbasutra which postdates the Baudhayana sulbasutra.
The mathematics given in the Sulbasutra enables accurate construction of altars needed for sacrifices and implies that he was both a priest and a skilled craftsman.
Manava's Sulbasutra, like all the Sulbasutras, contained approximate constructions of circles from rectangles, and squares from circles, which can be thought of as giving approximate values of π (pi). There appear therefore different values of π throughout the Sulbasutra, essentially every construction involving circles leads to a different such approximation. E.g., 11.14 and 11.15 of Manava's work give π = 25/8 = 3.125.
References
 R C Gupta, New Indian values of p from the Manava sulba sutra, Centaurus 31 (2) (1988), 114125.
 R P Kulkarni, The value of π known to Sulbasutrakaras, Indian J. Hist. Sci. 13 (1) (1978), 3241.