Book:Bhaskara II Acharya/Lilavati

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Bhaskara II Acharya: Lilavati

Published $\text {c. $1150$}$
In English:

The Beautiful

Subject Matter


  • The role of zero as a number in its own right

Joy and happiness is indeed ever increasing in this world for those who have Lilavati clasped to their throats,
decorated as the members are with neat reduction of fractions, multiplication and involution,
pure and perfect as are the solutions,
and tasteful as is the speech which is exemplified.

Also known as

Some sources give this as Lilivati, but this may be a mistake.

Translations and Editions

Historical Note

According to Faizi, Lilavati was the name of Bhaskara's daughter.

Bhaskara cast Lilavati's horoscope in order to determine the most auspicious time for her wedding.

In order to make the forecast more dramatic, he constructed a water clock by putting a cup with a small hole in it into a bowl of water.

The idea was that it would sink at the propitious moment.

But Lilavati, with the typical impatience of a teenage girl, leaned over the bowl to watch it, and a pearl from her clothing fell into the cup and blocked the hole.

Thus the cup did not sink and the wedding did not happen.

To cheer her up, Bhaskara wrote a mathematics textbook for her.

As Ian Stewart puts it:

The legend does not record what she thought of this.