A highly significant research by University of Oxford has revealed that ancient Indian Bakhshali manuscript, dating to 3rd or 4th century, contained the world’s oldest recorded origin of the zero symbol that we use today.
The zero symbol that we use today reportedly evolved from a dot that was used in ancient India and can be seen throughout this seminal mathematical text held at University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, which contains hundreds of zeroes. In 628 CE, Indian astronomer/mathematician Brahmagupta wrote Brahmasphutasiddhanta, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended Oxford University for this remarkable revelation; and added that this proved that the concept of zero, which was of paramount importance to the world we live in today, was used by mathematicians in India as early as in third century.
It again affirmed the rich scientific and mathematical traditions of Hinduism and its role and contributions in the development of science and technology, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.
Rajan Zed urged other major universities of the world; including Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Yale, Columbia, Toronto, Tokyo, Melbourne, etc.; to undertake extensive research into ancient Hindu treatises, texts and manuscripts; thus sharing the wisdom and concepts of this oldest religion with the rest of the world.
Radiocarbon dating research was conducted at University of Oxford for this study on Bakhshali manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark.
Photograph: Courtesy of Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford