Photo: Blackforest Designs

Indic Philosophy of Shunyata and Shunya – concepts led to invention of the ZERO. The Sanskrit word for zero, “shunya”, is meant void or empty and derived from the word for growth, combined with the early definition found in the Rig-veda of “lack” or “deficiency.” The derivative of the two definitions is Śūnyata, a Buddhist doctrine of “emptiness,” or emptying one’s mind from impressions and thoughts. Thus Shunyata an important philosophical concept that explain the concept of creation from nothing to something and back to nothing – as nothing is permanent in life! From this philosophy, we think that a numeral to use in mathematical equations developed.

The invention of zero was a hugely significant mathematical development, one that is fundamental to physics, engineering and modern technology. It was as early as the middle of the fifth century AD that mathematicians in India planted the seed of the idea that would later become so fundamental to the modern world.

Zero and its operation are first defined by [Hindu astronomer and mathematician] Brahmagupta in 628. An inscription on a temple wall in Gwalior, India, dates back to the ninth century, and has been considered the oldest recorded example of a zero, according to the University of Oxford. Another example is an ancient Indian scroll called the Bhakshali manuscript. Discovered in a field in 1881, carbon dating has revealed that it was probably written in the third or fourth century, which pushes the earliest recorded use of zero back 500 years.

The walls of Chaturbhuj temple are carved with two early instances of the ‘zero’.
Photo:  National Geographic Society

Our SHUNYA COLLECTION is created in honour and memory of India’s greatest gift to the World! Designers and artisans of India, have come together to create various manifestations of the ZERO, in the form of many decorative and utility objects. We have ZERO concept inspired products like posters, lightening pieces, desk clock, jewelry, mirror, shot glass, t-shirts, number translator, books and many more.