• # Was there no zero before Aryabhata?

We know that Aryabhata discovered zero, however, does that imply zero was did not exist in India before Aryabhata?

Various types of calculations have been carried out in India for thousands of years. Were all those calculations done without zero? If it was so, on what basis is it referred to in our scriptures that Ravana had ten heads?
• It is difficult to tell when and who discovered or invented the concept of zero but whenever it was done it was a great asset to the mathematics subject. It facilitated the end of the number sequence in the sense that for example in the decimal system after 0, 1, 2, 3 ... 8, 9 there was no new symbol, and thereafter a combination of earlier symbols starting as 1 0, 11, ... created the subsequent number. Similarly in the octal system, we have only 0, 1, 2, ... 5, 6, and 7 and the next number is 10 whose value is 8 in the decimal system.
So any sequence of numbers is possible and the next number will be a combination starting with 10.
In binary, we have only two symbols 0 and 1 and the next numbers are 10, 11, 100, 101, and so on.
That is the importance of 0 and many stories and theories are there for taking credit for discovering it.

Knowledge is power.

• The concept of zero was not discovered by Aryabhatt. The origin of the concept of zero can be traced back to ancient civilizations in different parts of the world, including the Mayans, Babylonians, and ancient Indian mathematicians. However, Aryabhatta, an Indian mathematician and astronomer who lived in the 5th century CE, made significant contributions to the development and understanding of zero as a number.
As for Ravana, a character from the Indian epic Ramayana, the mention of him having ten heads is not meant to be interpreted literally. Ravana is depicted as a powerful demon king who possesses immense knowledge and is considered a symbol of great intellectual prowess. The ten heads of Ravana are often seen as a metaphorical representation of his extraordinary intelligence and multifaceted nature. It is not a literal description of his physical appearance.

Service to mankind is service to God.

• Zero is not a discovery of recent times. In our Vedas itself, there is mention of zeros. If we recite Rudra Namakam, we will understand this concept. In one particular stanza of Namakam, there is mention of crores and more. Without knowing Zero, how this is possible?

In Mahabharata Pandavas and Kauravas had a big fight. In that war, some crores of people participated and many died. All the numbers were mentioned in this epic. so many participated in this war. Here we come across a word known as Akshauhini. It is described as a battle formation consisting of 21,870 chariots; 21,870 elephants; 65,610 horses and 109,350 infantry. This is a clear indication that our earlier generation knows much well about zero. Probably the importance of zero is not understood by the other people till Aryabhat explained this. As far as my understanding goes, it is not correct to say that Aryabhat discovered zero. In my opinion, it was popularised by him. But his contribution is also very significant.

drrao
always confident

• @DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao, I am very much satisfied with your answer, There were many such events where it is mentioned. Even in Vedas and other ancient Indian philosophical traditions, the philosophical and metaphysical concepts of "nothingness" or "void" can be found.

• Thank you, Sharma. In Telugu, Zero is Sunna. In Sanskrit it is Soonya. This is very well described in many epics. Unfortunately, many of us don't know what is there in these epics. But Aryabhat studied all these epics and Vedas I feel and he brought popularity to this ZERO. Many other countries are understanding the value of these epics and they are learning Sanskrit to read and understand all these. We also should see that our next generation of people will learn Sanaskrit and use it for the unveiling of the treasures of knowledge available in these ancient epics.
drrao
always confident

• It may be treated as good question but it is very difficult to say as no one can tell or otherwise will be considered as bluffing. However it is equal to a question raised as when the clock is discovered by seeing which they would fix the time in the first clock?

• @ Ramachandran Pattabiraman.
It seems from your response that you believe you intentionally want to say such things. There are many things that establish that the concept of zero was first used in India. Please read all the responses in this thread, and you will get some idea.