From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

The invention of the symbol zero and decimal system has brought about a great revolution in the field of mathematics having their origins in India.

Synonyms of Zero[edit]

Zero has been called by various names:

  1. Śunya
  2. Kha
  3. Ambara
  4. Gagana
  5. Abhra
  6. Ākāśa
  7. Bindu
  8. Purṇa

Works on Zero[edit]

Piṅgala’s work on metres[1] makes use of zero called śunya. From references in the Samhitās scholars opine that the decimal system goes back to thousands of years. It was introduced in Europe through the Arabs during the 12th century A.D.


  1. Chandah sutra 8.28-31
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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