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World Pi Day

By Nepali Patro (Sudan Bhattarai Upadhyaya) in International Days .
March 13, 2021

Introduction to World Pi Day

World Pi Day. On the occasion of World Pi Day, a very warm greeting to all of our Nepali Patro users. Warm Greetings to all of our users engaged in reading News, Horoscopes, articles, and different features available within its different sections of the N.P application. Celebration of World Pi Day in which Pi is represented by a Greek letter “π” and PI in English calligraphy is held every year on the 14th of March. As per the Greek alphabets, it is written as “π” being the small letter and “Π” being its capital form. Normally there is a general practice of writing Pi as  “ㄫ” from Greek calligraphy. World Pi Day is the day to pay tribute to the most famous constant used in mathematics as well as physics. 

When we divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter we get the number known as Pi. As Pi can be seen in many formulas being used in Mathematics and Physics with its value normally rendered as 3.14. 

Therefore, today’s celebration is derived from the 14th day of the third month of the year which actually is an approximation for the above-mentioned celebration. 

Invention of Pi and its History 

Although Pi is ancient and has been around in this world for a long time. But, it was not called Pi until the 18th century. And, the numerical relationship between a circle’s diameter and its circumference has been pondered for a very long long time indeed. 

The Babylonians during the second millennium B.C. did start using 25/8 for pi which is equivalent to 3.125. In the meanwhile, the Egyptians were believed to have used 256/81 with its equivalent to 3.160.

As we are speaking of Babylonians and Egyptians, let us also inform here the mention of Pi in the Bible too. In a pair of passages in the Bible, chapter 1 Kings, of 7:23 as well as 2 in the chronicles 4:2. It is said that the altar in King Solomon’s temple was said to be “10 cubits from brim to brim.” While “30 cubits did compass it round about” these mentioned dimensions seem to point the place the value of Pi, which is 3.

We can very well note that the importance of Pi was recognized at least 4,000 years ago. A very well-known book called, “A History of Pi” tells that by the year 2000 B.C., “the Babylonians and the Egyptians were already aware of the existence as well the significance of this constant which we know today as Pi or in symbol “ㄫ”.” 

Both of these civilizations had already recognized at that time that “Every circle has the same ratio of circumference to diameter”. Both of them, “the Babylonians and Egyptians had rough numerical approximations to the value of Pi”. 

Later on in ancient Greece, various mathematicians improved on these approximations. But, the most known and noted approximation was that of a Mathematician whose name was Archimedes. He used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and came to the conclusion that the value of Pi was approximately 22/7.  

At the beginning of the 20th century, about 500 digits of pi were already known. And nowadays, we must give a big Thanks to computers as well because with the computation advances, we are now with the knowledge of roughly more than the first six billion digits of the constant Pi.

In the year 1706 A.D, the Welsh mathematician, known as William Jones first used this letter or a symbol “ㄫ” so as to denote the circumference to the diameter ratio. But, it only became more famous and caught the world’s eye when Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler adopted it and started its use in or around 1733. Actually, in the beginning, ‘P’ was chosen for ‘perimeter’ of the circle, and thus,“ㄫ/π” became popular when it was adopted by Leonard Euler.  

Rig Veda’s Value of Pi / up to 32 decimals Explained

When we talk about knowledge with elder people, men especially of the older generation who have seen, experienced, observed a lot generally will say “All the knowledge is there in the Vedas, Look into them”. But, we should always remember that any sloka or mantras in the ancient Hindu manuscripts have more than just one meaning. 

Even one Sanskrit word’s meaning can be countless depending on the context it has been used. Thus, these ancient mines of knowledge as Vedas can not and should not be ignored. But, they should and must be interpreted, pondered on, and investigated as much as possible which surely will give a lot for this world, for its development, and for our survival as a human being in this third stone from the sun.

A Sloka which is interpreted below is taken from the 10th book of Rig Veda which is written with the purpose of praising Lord Indra and Lord Shiva respectively. Rigveda, (Sanskrit: “The Knowledge of Verses”) also spelled Ṛgveda, is the oldest of the sacred books of Hinduism, composed in an ancient form of Sanskrit about 1500 BCE.

When the technical translation of that Sloka is done it gives the value of Pi up to 28 digits accurately. Let us all be reminded that, western mathematicians were able to get this value up to 16 digits accurately only after the invention of modern computers.

Below we are going to test and try to prove how a sloka can be used to calculate the value of Pi but without any help from any computers. 

First of all, let us get used to or understand the Numerical Codes that are in Vedic usage. In Sanskrit, the following Vedic Numerical code was used in many slokas but we are investigating just one of them. 

How numerical codes are derived in Vedas.

i) “Kaadi nava”  =                     कादी नव 

ii) “Taadi nava” =                     टादी नव

iii) “Paadi panchaka” =           पादी पञ्चक

iv) “Yadyashtaka” =                   यध्यश्टक

v) “Kshah sunyam”                     क्ष शुन्यम्

Meaning:

i) Kaadi Nava Starting from “ka”, the sequence of 9 letters represents numerical values as 1,2,3, ….9 respectively. 

ii) Similarly in the second one, Taadi Nava, starts from “ta” 

iii) Paadi panchaka with the numerical value of 1-5, starts from “pa”

iv) Yadyashtaka with 1-8 starting from “ya” and 

v) ksha represents “O”

Now, to understand this In detail, let us have a look through Vedic numerical codes:-

  • ka (क)= 1, kha (ख)=2, ga (ग )=3, gha (घ )=4, gna (ङ)=5, cha (च)=6, cha (छ)=7, ja (ज)=8, jha (झ)=9, 

  • ta (ट)=1, tha (ठ)=2, da (ड)=3, dha ( ढ)=4, ~na (ण)=5, ta (त)=6, tha (थ)=7, da (द)=8, Dha (ध)=9

  • Pa (प)=1, pha (फ)=2, ba (ब)=3, bha (भ)=4, ma (म)=5

  • Ya (य)=1, ra (र)=2, la (ल)=3, va/wa (व)=4, sa (श)=5, sha (ष)=6, sa (स)=7, ha (ह)=8, kshah (क्ष)=0

Based on these above-mentioned codes for every alphabet, there are many Slokas/ Mantras in Vedas which can be used Mathematically for performing many things.    

Now, let us implement the mathematical codes as given above in the sloka given below to look for the value of Pi: 

गोपीभाग्य मधुव्रात: श्रुंगशोदधि संधिग: |

खलजीवितखाताब गलहाला रसंधर: ||  

Changing the sloka into roman calligraphy for the purpose of implementing Vedic numerical systems, it will be like the one below:

Gopeebhaagya maDhuvraathaH shruMgashodhaDhi saMDhigah:|  

khalajeevithakhaathaava galahaalaa rasaMDharaH:||

Now for the sake of not complicating the issue of deriving the result let us give the numerical value of each sound used in the above sloka. Which will be as follows:

ga=3, pa=1, bha=4, ya=1, ma=5, Dhu-9, ra-2, tha 6, shru-5, ga 3, sho-5, dha-8, Dhi -9, sa=7, Dha=9, ga=3, kha-2, la-3, jee-8, vi/wi-4, ga-3, la-3 ha-8, la 3, ra-2, sa-7, Dha-9, ra-2 

In this way by interpreting the sound of the Sloka and giving the numerical code to the corresponding sounds, we have been able to derive the value given below. Which is the value of Pi which we know today.

                                       3.1415926535897932384626433832792…

From this a bit simple yet complex coding system we here have derived the value of Pi from one sloka that is dedicated in favor of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna. Imagine if we can interpret all of the slokas of Vedas in the same order as above what will we derive or till where shall we reach. 

Actually, if we go through tons of ancient books, it is seen that there were many inventions in the field of science and technology in ancient Bharat Barsa, i.e present time South Asia which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, North-west Tibet, including Nepal and Bangladesh to name a few. We and the new generations just need to rummage and sift through the sands of time to find those amazing knowledge.

World Pi Day and Birthdays

World Pi Day, ㄫ Day celebration is not only a celebration of March 14th (3.14) but also corresponds to birthday celebrations of some of the famous names in the history of Maths and Physics. Famous physicist Albert Einstein’s birthday along with Stephen Hawking, considered by some of the people as Einstein’s intellectual successor also is celebrated today. Surprisingly enough Stephen Hawking’s death also occurred on the 14th of March, 2018 that is “World Pi day.”

.Other birthdays on this day include famous Austrian composer Johann Strauss, one of the principal composers of Viennese waltzes, actors Michael Caine and Billy Crystal. One of the famous music producer Quincy Jones as well as the astronaut Frank Borman of Apollo 8 were also born on this day. 

Celebration

The first official and large-scale celebration on the occasion of PI day occurred at the San Francisco Exploratorium on the year 1988. March 14th, representing the PI / day was organized as a fun day by Physicist Larry Shaw. During the first celebration of the day, participants marched around a circle and consumed fruit pie.  After many years of Pi day celebration as a normal day in history, it has already started gaining popularity over many countries. Therefore, the U.S House of Representatives recognized this day as an important day for celebration on the 12th of March, 2009 by recognizing 14 March as Pi Day.

On this day various celebrations occur worldwide with several activities to mark Pi day. Universities, Schools, Campuses, Museums, and Science Centres mark today, i.e. Pi Day with numerous programs as the day’s celebration. Various programs along with mathematical educational programs, music competitions, or simply a concert, are some celebrations on the occasion of ㄫ day. 

Memorization challenges of the ㄫ/pi’s value, walking through a circle while enjoying a slice of delicious pie are other aspects of the celebration in some places or countries. 

This day as part of the Pi day celebration numerical fun is accompanied by delicious food items like a pizza pie, fruit pie, chocolate pie, and so on. As celebration occurs worldwide, some even organize activity like people reciting Pi or memorizing its value, etc to name a few. 

In the End 

Several ancient civilizations, from the Egyptians to Babylonians, Greeks to Indians all of their mathematicians or physicists were calculating the approximation of pie since ancient times. All of them worked very hard as it required very accurate approximations of ㄫ/π/Pi for practical computations in every field. 

Around 250 BC, Archimedes, the Greek mathematician created an algorithm to approximate with arbitrary accuracy. The Chinese and Indian mathematicians, both using geometrical techniques approximated to seven digits during the 5th century A.D. 

A millennium later, in the 14th century, the Madhava–Leibniz series was discovered in Indian mathematics which is considered the first exact formula for , based on infinite series. 

During the 20th and 21st centuries, mathematicians and computer scientists are pursuing new approaches every day. The primary motivation behind these computations is a test case to develop efficient algorithms to calculate numeric series. 

The extensive calculations involved in these activities are also being used to test supercomputers and high-precision multiplication algorithms, which of course also includes the quest to break records that had been kept by earlier pioneers. 

Nowadays, ㄫ/ pie is not only used in formulas in Physics, Engineering, and so on but it is even used to describe periodic phenomena as the motion of pendulum or vibration of musical instrument’s string and so forth. Not to forget, it is also being used in altering electric currents. 

Last but not the least, in present times, it is not important who discovered or stumbled upon Pi first as long as we all are using it for various uses in various areas in this futuristic digital age. But, what is more, important is, the good things, the discoveries and new innovations we can get for the overall development of the human race using the constant . Greetings of Pi Day to everyone! Namaste.   

 


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