Person: Somayaji, Nilakantha
Nilakantha was a mathematician and astronomer from South India who wrote texts on both astronomy and infinite series.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Nilakantha studied astronomy and Vedanta, one of the six orthodox systems of Indian Hindu philosophy, under the teacher Ravi.
- This led Nilakantha also to become a follower of Paramesvara.
- A number of texts on mathematical astronomy written by Nilakantha have survived.
- The Tantrasamgraha Ⓣ(Strategy collection) is very important in terms of the mathematics Nilakantha uses.
- However, Nilakantha does not just use Madhava's results, he extends them and improves them.
- An anonymous commentary entitled Tantrasamgraha-vakhya Ⓣ(Interpretation of the Tantrasamgraha) appeared and, somewhat later in about 1550, Jyesthadeva published a commentary entitled Yuktibhasa Ⓣ(Logic) that contained proofs of the earlier results by Madhava and Nilakantha.
- The Tantrasamgraha Ⓣ(Strategy collection) is not the only work of Nilakantha of which we have the text.
- The head of the Nambudiri caste in Nilakantha's time was Netranarayana and he became Nilakantha's patron for another of his major works, namely the Aryabhatiyabhasya Ⓣ(Commentary on Aryabhata's work) which is a commentary on the Aryabhatiya Ⓣ(The work of Aryabhata) of Aryabhata I.
- In this work Nilakantha refers to two eclipses which he observed, the first on 6 March 1467 and the second on 28 July 1501 at Anantaksetra.
- Nilakantha also refers in the Aryabhatiyabhasya Ⓣ(Commentary on Aryabhata's work) to other works which he wrote such as the Grahanirnaya Ⓣ(Adjudication) on eclipses which have not survived.
Born 14 June 1444, Trikkantiyur (near Tirur), Kerala, India. Died 1544, India.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Indian, Astronomy, Origin India
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive