Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hemachandra (1089- 1173): Indian scholar

Hemachandra was born to Chachig Sresthi and Pahini in Dhandhuka, Gujarat. He was a Sanskrit scholar who published works on science, languages and philosophy.

Though born of Hindu parents he was covered Jainism when he was merely a child of five years by Jain monk named Devendra Suri. He was taken to various places of pilgrimage and lastly to Karnavati.

He was taken to a Jain temple where he became a monk and changed his name to Somacandra. Hemachandra studied under him and soon became close disciple of his teacher. He was instructed in religion, Indian philosophy, the sacred scriptures, logic and grammar.

Hemachandra received royal patronage of kings Jayasimha Siddharaja and Kumarapala his successor. King Kumarapala was proud ot consider himself his humble and obedient disciple. By the advice of Hemachandra, Kumarapala encourage Jainism, and ordered his subjects to abstain from the destruction of animal life and from the use of meat as food.

Hemachandra also convinced the King to make the Jain religion the official religion of Gujarat.

His contribution to the Fibonacci numbers was made fifty years before Fibonacci wrote Liber Abaci with its famous rabbit problem. Hemachandra not only independently studied the Fibonacci sequence but also introduced a generalization of Fibonacci sequence known as the Gopala-Hemachandra Sequence.

In the field of political science, he also authored a book entitled Laghu-arthaniti which is supposed to be an abbreviation of another larger work of the author written in Prakrit. It deals with war, punishment law and penance.
Hemachandra (1089- 1173): Indian scholar

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