Vedic Mathematics: A Comparison with Conventional Methods

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Vedic Mathematics Comparison with Conventional Methods

Vedic Mathematics Introduced

Efficient mathematical techniques are essential for quick problem-solving and mental agility. Vedic Mathematics, rooted in ancient Indian scriptures, offers a range of shortcuts that simplify complex calculations. This blog, part of HinduInfoPedia.org’s “Saturday – Education and Learning” series, compares three popular Vedic Mathematics shortcuts with conventional methods, highlighting their benefits and practical applications.

On this Saturday, 22 June 2024, we continue our exploration of effective learning techniques on HinduInfoPedia.org. Today’s focus is on the innovative and time-honored Vedic Mathematics. Known for its unique approach to arithmetic and algebra, Vedic Mathematics can transform your mathematical skills with ancient yet surprisingly modern methods that offer speed and simplicity. Join us as we delve deeper into these techniques that not only speed up calculations but also develop a sharper, more intuitive mathematical mind.

Vedic Mathematics: An Overview

Foundational Principles and Origins:

Vedic Mathematics, derived from ancient Indian scriptures, particularly the Vedas, is celebrated for transforming mathematical calculations into simpler and more manageable forms. Its methods, rooted in the 16 Sutras or aphoristic formulas, were primarily documented by Swami Bharati Krishna Tirthaji in the early 20th century, who sought to revive these ancient techniques. These Sutras are designed to address various mathematical operations, from basic arithmetic to complex algebraic problems, each encapsulating an efficient principle to streamline calculations.

Efficiency and Speed of Vedic Mathematics:

What sets Vedic Mathematics apart is its remarkable efficiency and speed, which make it appealing for academic and competitive settings. Each Sutra applies a strategic shortcut to standard calculations, dramatically reducing the steps involved. For instance, the ‘Ekadhikena Purvena’ sutra simplifies the squaring of numbers ending in 5, turning what can be a multi-step process into one of immediate resolution.

Emphasis on Mental Calculations:

Unlike conventional mathematical methods that often rely on lengthy procedural steps and can be dependent on electronic calculators, Vedic Mathematics encourages mental calculation. This practice not only speeds up the ability to handle numbers but also significantly enhances cognitive capabilities such as memory, focus, and numerical intuition.

Cognitive Benefits and Skill Enhancement:

The application of these Sutras extends beyond mere computation; it promotes an agile and adaptive mindset. Practitioners often report improvements in concentration and logical reasoning, skills that are beneficial across all areas of learning and professional activities. By training the mind to manipulate numbers and operations quickly and accurately, Vedic Mathematics fosters a deeper, more intuitive understanding of mathematics.

Comparison with Conventional Methods:

In contrast to the sometimes cumbersome traditional approaches, Vedic Mathematics offers a streamlined alternative that simplifies and demystifies complex arithmetic. This not only makes mathematical learning more accessible and less intimidating but also provides a valuable set of tools for tackling mathematical problems in innovative ways.

By understanding the foundational principles, efficiencies, and cognitive benefits of Vedic Mathematics, learners can appreciate not just the ‘how’ but also the ‘why’ behind these ancient techniques. This deeper insight can inspire both appreciation and practical application of Vedic methods in educational curricula and everyday problem-solving scenarios.

Historical and Philosophical Depth of Vedic Mathematics

Historical Roots and Evolution:

Vedic Mathematics, as we know it today, traces its origins to the Vedas, particularly the Atharva Veda, which is one of the four primary texts of ancient Hinduism. These scriptures are not only spiritual in nature but also contain a wealth of knowledge on various subjects, including mathematics. The term “Vedic Mathematics” was popularized in the early 20th century by Swami Bharati Krishna Tirthaji, who claimed to have reconstructed lost mathematical knowledge from the Vedas, primarily from a careful study of the Atharva Veda. His work presented 16 Sutras, or aphorisms, which he argued encapsulated profound mathematical knowledge that could simplify arithmetic and algebraic operations significantly.

Philosophical Underpinnings:

The philosophy of Vedic Mathematics extends beyond mere computational techniques. It is deeply intertwined with the broader Hindu philosophical context, emphasizing the unity and interconnectedness of all aspects of the universe. This philosophy views mathematics not just as a tool for calculation but as a discipline that mirrors the cosmic order and fundamental principles governing the universe. Each of the 16 Sutras expounded by Tirthaji is said to represent a universal principle that transcends mere numeric value, reflecting a holistic view of the world where mathematics is a way to understand the divine structure of existence.

Contemporary Applications and Educational Relevance:

To underline the contemporary relevance of Vedic Mathematics, include examples from educational settings where these techniques have led to measurable improvements in student performance. Discuss partnerships between educational institutions and organizations specializing in Vedic Mathematics that aim to integrate these methods into mainstream curricula. Highlight any ongoing or completed studies that provide empirical data on the effectiveness of these techniques in enhancing students’ mathematical abilities, particularly focusing on outcomes such as speed, accuracy, and the ability to solve complex problems more effectively.

Three Popular Vedic Mathematics Shortcuts  Using Vedic Mathematics

Urdhva-Tiryagbhyam (Vertically and Crosswise):

Vedic Method:

The Urdhva-Tiryagbhyam Sutra, often translated as “Vertically and Crosswise,” is an effective method for simplifying multiplication. This technique is particularly useful for multi-digit multiplication, breaking down the process into simpler, more manageable parts. Here’s a clear example to demonstrate how to multiply 23 by 12 using this method:

  • Multiply the units digits: 3×2=63 \times 2 = 6×2=6
  • Multiply the crosswise pairs of tens and units and sum them: (2×2)+(1×3)=4+3=7(2 \times 2) + (1 \times 3) = 4 + 3 = 72×2)+(1×3)=4+3=7
  • Multiply the tens digits: 2×1=22 \times 1 = 2×1=2

The results are then combined to form the final product. Start from the right (units): the 6 remains as it is. Add the sum of the cross products to the next left slot, which is 7. Finally, place the result of the tens multiplication in the leftmost position, which gives us 276276.

Conventional Method:

In traditional long multiplication, each digit of one number is multiplied by each digit of the other number, and the results are layered and added. Multiplying 23 by 12 step-by-step:

  • Multiply the units of 23 by each digit of 12: 3×2=63 \times 2 = 6×2=6 and 3×1=33 \times 1 = 3×1=3
  • Multiply the tens of 23 by each digit of 12: 2×2=42 \times 2 = 4×2=4 and 2×1=22 \times 1 = 2×1=2

Align and add these products properly:

2 3
x 1 2
Line up the numbers:
6 (3×2)
+3 0 (3×1, shifted left)
+4 0 (2×2, shifted left)
+2 0 0 (2×1, shifted twice left)
Total =276


The Vedic method, Urdhva-Tiryagbhyam, reduces the steps involved in the multiplication process and minimizes the potential for computational errors. This method is not only efficient for manual calculations but also enhances mental arithmetic skills, allowing for faster and more accurate computations. This streamlined approach is particularly advantageous in competitive environments where speed and accuracy are paramount. Moreover, practicing this method can significantly improve one’s numerical agility and understanding of mathematical concepts.

Nikhilam Navatashcaramam Dashatah (All from 9 and the Last from 10)

Vedic Method:

The “Nikhilam Navatashcaramam Dashatah” Sutra, which means “all from 9 and the last from 10”, is a classic Vedic Mathematics technique designed to simplify subtraction. This method particularly shines when subtracting from bases such as 10, 100, 1000, etc., by using the principle of complements. For instance, to subtract 87 from 100, you don’t subtract directly but use complements:

  • Subtract each digit of 87 from 9, except the last digit, which is subtracted from 10.
  • For 87, the calculation would be 9−8=19 – 8 = 19−8=1 and 10−7=310 – 7 = 310−7=3, making the result 13. This method transforms complex subtraction into simpler mathematical steps, significantly reducing the mental effort needed, especially with larger numbers.

Conventional Method:

Traditional subtraction often involves borrowing, which can complicate calculations and increase the chance of errors. Taking the same example of subtracting 87 from 100:

  • You would need to borrow since the last digit of 100 (0) is less than 7.
  • Convert the 10 (tens place) to 0 and increase the units place to 10, then perform subtraction, resulting in 10−7=310 – 7 = 310−7=3 and 9−8=19 – 8 = 19−8=1, combining them to also get 13. This process, although straightforward, is procedurally heavier and prone to mistakes, particularly when dealing with multiple borrowings or larger numbers.


The Vedic method of “Nikhilam Navatashcaramam Dashatah” offers an efficient, less error-prone approach to subtraction. It simplifies the calculation process by reducing the need for borrowing and converting a traditionally subtractive operation into an additive one with complements. This is highly advantageous in scenarios that demand quick mental calculations, such as competitive exams or everyday financial dealings.

This technique not only speeds up the calculation process but also nurtures an intuitive understanding of numbers, encouraging the practitioner to view numerical operations as flexible and interconnected. The simplicity and effectiveness of this method make it superior for handling numbers close to base values, offering a clear cognitive advantage over traditional methods.

Ekadhikena Purvena (By One More than the Previous One)

  • Vedic Method: This Sutra is used for squaring numbers ending in 5. For example, to square 25, multiply 2 (the first digit) by 3 (one more than 2) and append 25, resulting in 625.
  • Conventional Method: Traditional squaring involves more steps and can be time-consuming.
  • Analysis: The Vedic method is straightforward and efficient, making it easy to perform mentally.

This concept has been explained in details in the blog as per given link. So we will not elaborate the principle here.

Practical Applications of Vedic Mathematics

Widespread Utility in Educational and Professional Spheres:

Vedic Mathematics is not just an academic curiosity but a powerful tool with practical applications in various high-stakes environments. Its techniques are particularly beneficial in competitive exams where time is crucial, such as standardized tests, entrance exams for engineering and business schools, and other professional certification exams. By enabling quicker calculations, Vedic techniques allow test-takers to complete mathematical sections more efficiently, potentially improving their overall scores.

Business and Financial Analysis:

In the business world, Vedic Mathematics can be a game-changer for professionals who need to perform rapid calculations during meetings, financial analyses, or while making projections and assessments that require on-the-fly adjustments. For instance, the ability to quickly calculate compound interest, depreciation, or profit margins without relying solely on calculators can enhance efficiency and accuracy, leading to better decision-making.

Data Science and Information Technology:

In fields that handle large volumes of data, such as data science and information technology, Vedic Mathematics can help simplify complex algorithmic processes. It can speed up data manipulation tasks, optimize software coding algorithms, and enhance problem-solving strategies, making it an invaluable skill for professionals in these industries.

Enhancing Cognitive Skills and Educational Development:

Beyond its application in exams and professional tasks, Vedic Mathematics is also used as an educational tool to enhance cognitive abilities such as memory, concentration, and mental agility. Teachers and educators advocate for its use to foster a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and to develop a more intuitive sense of numbers and operations.

Reducing Math Anxiety:

Another significant application of Vedic Mathematics lies in its potential to reduce math anxiety, a common barrier to learning mathematics. By simplifying the calculation process and making math less intimidating, these techniques can help students feel more confident and less stressed about math, leading to a more positive learning experience.

Innovation in Computational Approaches:

The simplicity and efficiency of Vedic methods also inspire innovation in computational approaches, encouraging both students and professionals to think outside the traditional frameworks of arithmetic and algebra. This innovative mindset is crucial in a rapidly evolving technological landscape, where new solutions to old problems are highly valued.

By leveraging the unique capabilities of Vedic Mathematics, individuals and organizations can achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, and innovation in their respective fields. This makes Vedic Mathematics not only a tool for education but also a significant asset in the professional world.

Statistical Evidence and Effectiveness:

Statistical Evidence and Case Studies on Vedic Mathematics’ Efficacy: The efficacy of Vedic Mathematics in improving computation speed and cognitive skills is often celebrated through anecdotes rather than comprehensive empirical studies. While such narratives provide a compelling introduction to its potential benefits, rigorous scientific evidence is sparse. Critics might argue that without robust statistical analysis and case studies, the effectiveness of Vedic Mathematics could be viewed with skepticism, especially in academic settings that rely heavily on validated educational methods.

Instances like the remarkable mathematical abilities of Shakuntala Devi, known as the “human computer,” illustrate the practical application of these techniques, inspiring interest in Vedic Mathematics. However, these examples alone do not constitute rigorous scientific proof but rather highlight individual achievements that could inspire more formal study.

Moreover, the significant presence of Indian-origin engineers and IT professionals in the United States, who excel in analytics and complex problem-solving and often share a background in Vedic Mathematics, suggests a potential advantage in logical and speedy processing skills. This observation, while suggestive, calls for structured research to validate whether early exposure to Vedic Mathematics can consistently enhance mathematical and cognitive abilities across broader populations.

In a global context, where the efficacy of educational techniques is often gauged through quantitative research and controlled trials, the Vedic approach’s reliance on open and transparent knowledge sharing stands in contrast to more commercially driven research methodologies prevalent in the West. This cultural difference in approach towards intellectual property, such as the commercialization of traditional knowledge like Ayurvedic principles, reflects divergent values in knowledge dissemination and utilization.

To build a convincing case for the widespread adoption of Vedic Mathematics, future research could benefit from collaborative studies that not only measure immediate skill enhancement but also track long-term retention and application of these skills in diverse professional and academic settings. Such studies would provide the needed empirical support to substantiate the claims of Vedic Mathematics’ benefits, paving the way for its integration into mainstream educational systems.

Reflections on Vedic Mahematics

As we’ve seen, Vedic Mathematics isn’t just about learning faster calculation methods; it’s a gateway to a more intuitive understanding of mathematics and its principles. This ancient system, enriched with the wisdom of the Vedas, offers not only speed but a profound cognitive advantage by enhancing memory, focus, and analytical skills. Its relevance in today’s fast-paced academic and professional spheres is undeniable. As we continue to explore these transformative techniques on HinduInfoPedia.org, let’s embrace the potential of Vedic Mathematics to revolutionize our approach to mathematical challenges, making them more accessible and less daunting. Dive deeper into this fascinating topic and discover how you can integrate these techniques into your daily life to enhance problem-solving capabilities and reduce math anxiety.

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