Aryabhhata, or, as written by the Arabs, ARJABAHR, a celebrated Hindu mathematician, and the earliest known author on Algebra, is now generally believed to have lived about the beginning of our era. Nothing, however, has yet appeared that can give us the slightest information as to the place of his birth, or the time when he lived; nor is there, as far as we know, any tradition or record extent from which we can collect any of the circumstances of his life; even his period is still a matter of dispute. We must, therefore, content ourselves with whatever notices we find of Aryabhatta and his system in the various writers on astronomy and other mathematical sciences whose authority is established and cannot be called into doubt. Aryabhatta is the first writer on astronomy to whom the Hindus do not allow the honour of a divine inspiration. Writers on mathematical science distinctly state that he was the earliest uninspired and a merely human writer on astronomy. This is a notice which sufficiently proves his being an historical character.

The astronomical sects, of which Arabhatta is the reputed founder, were distinguished by the name of Audayakas, from Udaya, " rising;" implying that they fixed the beginning of the planetary motions on the meridian of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) at sun-rise, in opposition to the Arddharatrikas, who began the great astronomical cycle at midnight. Aryabhatta is the author of the " Aryasht'- as'ata" (eight hundred couplets in the Arya metre) and the "Das'agitika" (ten stanzas). The "Laghwarya-Siddhanta" is also ascribed to him: but, unfortunately, none of these works have yet been discovered; and we know them only through the numerous quotations from them, with which the works of subsequent writers abound. For an exposition of his numerical system and algebraic doctrine we refer to the article by another renowned scientist called BHASKARA.

 
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