A Review of Vedic Mathematics – Inside Out by Chandrahas Halai

“The book ‘Vedic Mathematics – Inside Out' by Chandrahas Halai is a good addition to the books on the contribution by Bharat to the field of Mathematics. Chandrahas has a firm grip on the subject. I am sure this book will demystify Vedic Mathematics for many readers, as it has done for me. A movie can use the tricks presented and serious readers will enjoy the connection s of the Suras with algebra as established by the author.” - Dr. Vasant Barve, B. Tech (Civil) IIT Mumbai, M. Tech (Structural Engineering) IIT Mumbai, Ph. D. IIT Kharagpur, Retired Principal – Engineering Colleges.  

Chandrahas Halai, the author is a brilliant mathematics enthusiast. India is the land of Shulba sutras, the Bakshali manuscript, and mathematicians like Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya, Ramanujan, and many more. He is a consultant in the field of computer aided engineering, engineering optimisation, computer science, and operations research. He has written a number of papers. He is also into nature photography and painting. The author has dedicated the book to his grandmother, Lilavati Halai, who also happens to be his first math teacher. The foreword for this marvelous piece of work is from Balchandra Awadhoot Naik – Retired Senior Lecturer – Structural Engineering Department – VTTI – Mumbai. 

The foreword offers an excellent view of the book by Chandrahas. We get to learn that Vedic Math deals with solving mathematical problems with just the simple easy to remember 16 Sutras. Swami Shankaracharya Bharati Krishna Tirtha Maharaj (1884 to 1960) discovered these methods between 1911 and 1918. 

Chandrahas makes us understand that lover of Math can solve though problems easily with the help of these Sutras in a few simple steps. It's like magic. The author has revealed the logic behind each step in an appropriate manner. He has explored the concepts well and has given numerous examples. This book will turn out to serve as a pedagogic and research tool for everyone. The reader and learner is sure to be content after learning the subject with the aid of this book.  

Virin Mehta, the math teacher of Chandrahas would often state the following,  

“If you learn only the methods, you will get stock at some point. But if you learn the concepts, you can develop your own methods.” 

The book happens to be one for beginners. The author has covered methods connected with multiplication, division, squaring, and cubing. This book helps the reader to learn basic math along with an insight into some basic concepts of algebra. It is primarily meant for students of standard eight and above.  

It is a matter of pride to learn that several state and rational boards have included a chapter or two on Vedic Mathematics in their curriculum. Even the ICSE board has introduced one chapter on this subject.  

“Mathematics is the most refined way of thinking. It is one of the best mental exercises. For that reason, this book will also appeal to math lovers and the general public,” states the brilliant author.  

Let us now take a look at the contents of the book. The first section covers the various methods of multiplication given in Vedic Mathematics. While the first chapter explains some of the methods described in Baskaraacharya's Lilavati, the chapter II to V deal with methods of multiplication and squaring.  The second section covers methods on division and the third section looks into methods for squaring and cubing of numbers.  

It is best to use the book in the sequence of presentation. The author advises the aspirant to solve the problems without skipping any of them.  

The author acknowledges the people behind his effort. He has been open and the reader will surely appreciate his intellectual magnanimity. Harikiran Vadlamani, the energy behind INDICA has been helping the author to promote the book in different parts of the country.  

Chandrahas was born to Ila and Mahendra Halai. His trip to RVS College at Sulur in Coimbatore at the behest of INDICA gave a further insight into his skills. The program had been curated by Dr. Pramod of INDICA. It was amazing to see Chandrahas in action. He requested the audience to give a number below 31. Then he showed 5 slides with numbers. The audience answered his queries about the presence of the number on the slides with just a ‘yes' or ‘no'. He then answered them by stating the answer. Basically, Chandrahas Halai begins with simple methods and he helps people to unveil further in an easy manner. He has adopted the same method in his book. The approach of Chandrahas Halai is sure to make ‘Vedic Mathematics’ popular and useful. 

Through the book, ‘Vedic Mathematics – Inside Out', Chandrahas Halai has shown in clear and simple steps that Vedic Math is not rocket science. It is in fact, great fun. He has used simple algebraic expressions to explain the methods. The work is commendable and a must read. 

Chandrahas Halai has a vast personal library. He is a travel writer too. Many of his travels have been published in the Gujrati Magazine ‘Chitra Lekha'. Math plus journal by the University of Cambridge has published his work. 

The author has been writing a regular fortnightly column on places in India titled ‘Atulya Bharat' for Midday Gujarati Newspaper. His lectures and demonstrations at research institutes like BARC & TIFR, schools and colleges have made him all the more endearing. 

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