Interest: 1 definition


Interest means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Ganitashastra (Mathematics and Algebra)

Source: Hindu Mathematics

Interest in Ancient India.—The custom of taking interest is a very old one. In India it can be definitely traced back to the time of Pāṇini (c. 700 B.C.) who in his Grammar lays down rules validating the use of the suffix ka to number names in case of “an interest, a rent, a profit, a tax or a bribe given”. The interest became due every month and the rate of interest was generally given per hundred, although this was not always the case. The rate of interest varied in different localities and amongst different classes of people, but an interest of fifteen per cent per year seems to have been considered just.

According to Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra (fourth century B.C): “An interest of a paṇa and a quarter per month per cent is just. Five paṇa per month per cent is commercial interest. Ten paṇa per month per cent prevails in forests. Twenty paṇa per month per cent prevails among sea traders”.

Interest in Gaṇita-śāstra (Indian mathematics).—The ordinary problems relating to the finding out of interest, principal or time etc., the other quantities being given, occur in the section dealing with the Rule of Five. The Hindu works generally contain a section called miśraka-vyavahāra (“calculations relating to mixed quantities”) in which occur miscellaneous problems on interest. The contents of this section vary in different works, according to their size and scope. Thus the Āryabhaṭīya contains only one rule relating to a problem on interest, whilst the Gaṇitasāra-saṃgraha has a large number of such rules and problems.

Ganitashastra book cover
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Ganitashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, gaṇitaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mathematics, algebra, number theory, arithmetic, etc. Closely allied with astronomy, both were commonly taught and studied in universities, even since the 1st millennium BCE. Ganita-shastra also includes ritualistic math-books such as the Shulba-sutras.

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