THE discovery of Zero by the Vedic Rishis as early as the Vedic times some 10,000 years ago, enabled the humankind to have the decimal system of counting and the binary system of One and Zero, the Ekam and the Purna, to comprehend this complex world of being and the multitude of its creation, the manifestation of Purna.
The basic issue of referring Zero as Sunya, is primarily a misunderstanding of the context as well as the power of zero by the Arabs who received the numerals including zero from Indians and handed over to the Europeans by distorting Zero as Cipher, the Sunya. The primary misinterpretation of Zero as sunyathus originated from this misconception of zero as ‘cipher’ and not as Purna, the whole as it originally was in India from the Vedic times.
Robert Kaplan in his famous book “The Nothing that is: A Natural History of Zero” published by Oxford University Press in 1999, is on record to state that “If you look at Zero you see nothing; but look through it and you will see the world”. Here also the Zero is not sunya but in fact, the whole world, if you see through it as Robert Kaplan mentioned in his opening remarks on Zero.
We need to thus correct this misconception to give India’s Sanatan Vedic heritage, its due for discovering both the numerals one to nine, as well as the Zero that to the Sanatan Vedic scientists, the Vedic Rishis were the numerals to comprehend and decipher the vast diversity of creation and the underlying oneness of its creation through its emphasis on Zero as Purna and not as Sunya, the Cipher as has been grossly misrepresented by the Arabs of the medieval times and later literally adopted by the Europeans.
In the new digital age in which we are today, the binary, one and zero have a much bigger significance, both for AI as well as for the augmented reality. As we move forward into a world of AI empowered humanity, the pride position of Zero as Purna be reinstated and its importance as a game-changer in science of numbers and the science of mathematics be reestablished.
Let the global scientific community recognise that mathematics is the “mother of all sciences” and the numerals one to nine and zero, the whole are the instruments to comprehend and describe the magnificent world with clarity and objectivity. The time to restore the pride position of Zero as Purna, the whole has come now that the power of Zero and the importance of the binary is of great value to the humanity at large as well as for the Interface of human mind with the smart and intelligent machines of tomorrow.