Questions regarding Vedic sacrifices

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen tlk at MATH.KU.DK
Thu Aug 19 18:17:39 UTC 1999

Dear Indology members,

I have been studying the geometrical contents in the Sulbasutras
and in this connection I have a few questions which some of you
may shed some light on.

1*  Some of the fire-altars described in the Sulbasutras use bricks
which are not rectangular or simple division of rectangular bricks.
For example, the bricks for the altar shaped as a chariot wheel.
They can be bounded by arcs of a circle.  My question is: has any
such bricks been uncovered in archeological findings?  Subhash
Kak seems to imply that the answer is no in one article (Indian
Journal of History of Science, Vol. 32(4), 1997, pp. 307-314), but I
have no other references.  Does anyone know?  What about other
bricks used for fire-altars?  What has been recovered

2*  In one article (Indian Journal of the History of Science, Vol. 25(1-
4), 1990, pp. 4-19) A. K. Bag states that "the scholars were
ordered to maintain strict secrecy of the occurence of important
results from other schools." (p. 10)  Bag is here speaking of the
geometrical and mathematical constructions found in the
Sulbasutras of Baudhayana and Apastamba who belong to different
schools.  The similarity thus reflects, in Bag's opinion, that both
schools took from an older source as there were no exchange
between the schools.  Now, this is interesting.  Can anyone give
references to this "secrecy" between schools?  In particular the
schools of Baudhayana, Apastamba, Manava and Katyayana.  I
am trying to trace mathematical development in India and thus this
could be very significant.

Thank you very much.

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen
tlk at

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