Mathematics has been the foundational stone of civilizational development. Most of the things in our daily life are connected with mathematics. It is so because there is a relation between mathematics and reason. The nature of relation has been of musical nature. As music consists of nodes, structure, rhythm, harmony, texture, melody, expression, etc., mathematics has also a structural basis that exists in harmony. For example, mathematics also gives happiness while solving similar to the experience of listening to music.
In this process, Indian mathematician, Aryabhatt discovered zero. It has a structural as well as functional basis similar to music. For example, the counting system of digits is not possible without the value of zero. Today, it has become the reason to use it in software development. Computer systems understand binary language that exists either 0 or 1. Whenever we give a command to the computer, it converts human language into binary form. After processing, it reconverts, binary language to human language. Thus, it functions in a Rhythmic structure similar to music.
However, the relationship between mathematics and reason has not been new. Through the exploration of historical developments, the beauty of mathematical concepts showcases Rythemic texture. In this series, Hindu scripture, Vedas in ancient history demonstrate the fusion of mathematical and philosophical reasoning. It contains numerical and geometric concepts used in ritualistic practices as well as astronomical developments. It means it is also used to understand the harmony and order of the universe.
Therefore, rituals have a basis in reason that uses mathematics for explanation. For example, number 108 demonstrates the wholeness of existence. It also connects the relationship among the Sun, Moon, and Earth. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of Earth. The distance from the Sun to Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The distance from the Earth to the Moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon. That’s why number 108 is sacred in Hinduism.
Subsequently, we can see the music of mathematics in the medieval period as well. It gets its reflection from culture to architecture. For example, Arabesque and Tessellation in Indo-Islamic architecture are some of the substantive features in the artistic and cultural history of India. A tessellation is the covering of a surface, using one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps. In mathematics, tessellation can be generalized to higher dimensions and a variety of geometries.
Along with this, during the Tughlaq period, mathematical techniques are used to provide strength to the buildings. For example, there was the use of a ‘batter system’ or sloping walls. The prime purpose of this technique was to give the effect of strength and solidity to the building. Similarly, arc and dome structure is one of the significant aspects of Indo-Islamic architecture. The role of geometry was very important in it. Thus, things made out of mathematics had a pattern, rhythm, and expression similar to music.
Down the line, some significant scientific discoveries happened in the modern world. For example, Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity. It had mathematical relation i.e., E = MC^2. In short, according to the general theory of relativity, matter interacts with spacetime by curving it and the effect is what we experience as gravity. It was based on the reason that truth is not completely universal. It depends upon time and space. For example, for some vegetarianism is truth and for others non-vegetarianism is truth. Mathematics validated this with the help of science since it has a pattern similar to music.
Similarly, in the contemporary world from the individual sphere to the national level, mathematics connects most of the things because there is a structure and string designed in a definite pattern similar to music. In music, there is a system that creates flow and logical coherence. Similarly, while making designs for the building, the role of mathematics is very crucial. For instance, there is a proper place for ventilation, windows and doors, etc. Also, the dimensions of the hall and kitchen are weaved in a definite pattern to produce elegance similar to music.
Along with this, mathematics has a symmetry and order that pleases the eyes and ears. For example, musical instruments are made in definite shapes and sizes to get output. In other disturbed patterns, it may not produce the desired results. Similarly, holes in the flute should be in the proper place to get melodious sounds. Mathematics decorates a flute with circular holes in the proper place. These mathematical calculations provide logic and rationale behind such placement similar to musical expression.
On the same line, it has aesthetic values where people used to make rangoli during festive seasons. Mathematical geometry provides reasons to give an elegant look to the rangolis. Apart from this, mathematical aspects used in the field of automotive also provide some sense and logic. For example, the body of the vehicle is curved so that if accidents happen, it causes less injury to the man at the pedestrian. Similarly, all gears are engaged in such a beautiful pattern that while driving on a curved road inner wheel rotates slower than the outer wheel without skidding. Such a beautiful structural arrangement is not lesser than musical nodes.
Apart from this, at the national level, the government uses mathematical formulae to calculate the taxes of millions of people. The government allocates financial resources to provincial and local governments in a different pattern. There is also a provision to offset financial disabilities faced by hilly states. In the same line, nowadays, people are talking about the power of demography. All these things based on mathematical equations have a basis in reasoning similar to musical rhythm and melody.
However, it doesn’t mean that the non-mathematical aspect has no or less role in reasoning. In fact, various non-mathematical aspects of philosophy make the reason more profound. For example, the Greek philosopher, Plato gave the theory of soul. He put forth that the soul was the source of both the mind and life. Similarly, Buddha tried to understand the sufferings of human beings and provided an ‘eightfold path’ to solve suffering that was largely philosophical in nature.
Similarly, decision-making is a normative value. Critiques argue that normative values play a more important role than mathematics. For instance, mathematics may make some geometric designs. Some people may like the geometric pattern and at the same time, some may dislike it as well. Such variations are so because of diversity in thought processes and different tastes of the persons. It also means that there is so much absolute truth in mathematics.
Also, mathematics alone is insufficient to bring certainty to reason. It is so because reasons have no boundaries. Mathematics extends beyond quantitative analysis and logical deduction. It has a mix of both quantitative and qualitative aspects. For example, good economic growth can’t ensure good human development. Today, India is 5th largest economy from nominal GDP point of view. But, as per the RBI report, nearly 23% of the Indian population lives under BPL status. It means they are not able to earn Rs 23 per day in villages and Rs 32 per day in cities. Thus, it won’t always provide a direct relation with reason.
Then, what could be done to get the best value of mathematics in making reasoning strong? – For this, one can invest in skill development and capacity building. It can help in getting the best value for mathematics. Macro planning at the national level as well as individual level can use mathematical rhythm. There is a need to establish harmony with the help of mathematics. For instance, using mathematics, we can find the ecological cost of a project. But after all, there will be a need for moral values and integrity to get fruit out of mathematical music.
In conclusion, I would like to quote Socrates who said – ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. Mathematics can provide a way to examine life. In fact, some industries are using psychometric tests to test the integrity of the employee that is based on the musical pattern of mathematics. Therefore, its prospects are strong enough to help in succeeding civilizational journey.
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