Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lilavati, the beautiful definitions of different units

Lilavati: Definitions 

In Lilavati, the beautiful definitions of different units demonostrates the advanced arithmetics of the Vedic-era.
Having bowed to [Ganesha] who causes the joy of those who worship him, who, when thought of, removes obstacles, the elephant-headed one whose feet are honored by multitudes of gods, I state the arithmetical rules of true computation, the beautiful Lilavati, clear and providing enjoyment to the wise by its concise, charming and pure quarter-verses.
Two times ten varatakas [cowrie] are a kakini [shell], and four of those are a pana [copper coin]. Sixteen of those are considered here [to be] a dramma [coin, "drachma"], and so sixteen drammas are a niska [gold coin].
Two yavas [barley grain (a weight measure)] are here considered equal to a gunja [berry]; three gunjas are a valla [wheat grain] and eight of those are a dharana [rice grain]. Two of those are a gadyanaka, so a ghataka is defined [to be] equal to fourteen vallas.
Those who understand weights call half of ten gunjas a masa [bean], and sixteen of [the weights] called masa a karsa, and four karsas a pala. A karsa of gold is known as a suvarna [lit. "gold"].
An angula [digit] is eight yavodaras [thick part of a barley grain]; a hasta [hand] is four times six angulas. Here, a danda [rod] is four hastas, and a krosa [cry] is two thousand of those.
A yojana is four krosas. Likewise, ten karas [hand, hasta] are a vamsa [bamboo]; a nivartana is a field bounded by four sides of twenty vamsas [each].
A twelve-edged [solid] with width, length, and height measured by one hasta is called a cubic hasta. In the case of grain and so forth, a measure [equal to] a cubic hasta is called in treatises a "Magadha kharika".
And a drona [bucket] is a sixteenth part of a khari; an adhaka is a fourth part of a drona. Here, a prastha is a fourth part of an adhaka; by earlier [authorities], a kudava is defined [as] one-fourth of a prastha.

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