Yativrsabha


Quick Info

Born
about 500
India
Died
about 570
India

Summary
Yativrsabha was a Jaina mathematician who gave a description of the universe which is of historical importance in understanding Jaina science and mathematics.

Biography

Yativrsabha (or Jadivasaha) was a Jaina mathematician who studied under Arya Manksu and Nagahastin. We know nothing of Yativrsabha's dates except for a reference which he makes to the end of the Gupta dynasty which he says was after 231 years of ruling. This ended in 551 so we must assume that 551 AD is a date which occured during Yativrsabha's lifetime. This fits with the only other information regarding his dates which are that his work is referenced by Jinabhadra Ksamasramana in 609 and that Yativrsabha himself refers to a work written by Sarvanandin in 458.

Yativrsabha's work Tiloyapannatti gives various units for measuring distances and time and also describes the system of infinite time measures. It is a work which describes Jaina cosmology and gives a description of the universe which is of historical importance in understanding Jaina science and mathematics. The Jaina belief was in an infinite world, both infinite in space and in time. This led the Jainas to devise ways of measuring larger and larger distances and longer and longer intervals of time. It led them to consider different measures of infinity, and in this respect the Jaina mathematicians would appear to be the only ones before the time when Cantor developed the theory of infinite cardinals to envisage different magnitudes of infinity.


References (show)

  1. D Pingree, Biography in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York 1970-1990). See THIS LINK.
  2. L C Jain and A Jain, Philosopher mathematicians : Yativrsabhacarya, Virasenacarya and Nemicandracarya (Meerut, 1985).
  3. L C Jain, Basic mathematics : Exact Sciences from Jaina Sources 1 (New Delhi, 1982).
  4. L C Jain, Aryabhata I and Yativrsabha - a study in Kalpa and Meru, Indian J. Hist. Sci. 12 (2) (1977), 137-146.

Additional Resources (show)

Other websites about Yativrsabha:

  1. Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Cross-references (show)


Written by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson
Last Update November 2000