Period458 CE

The Lokavibhāga is a Jain cosmological text originally composed in Prakrit by a Digambara monk, Sarvanandi,[1] surviving in a later Sanskrit translation by one Siṃhasūri.[2] It the oldest known Indian source to use zero as number.[3] Surviving manuscripts of the Lokavibhāga are listed in v.26 of the New Catalogus Catalogorum.[4] Parts of the Bakhshali Manuscript on arithmetic, which does use a physically written symbol for zero, have been carbon-dated, but the results of this dating are puzzling and are still being debated.[5]

The printed edition of the Lokavibhāga states that the original Prakrit work was composed by Sarvanandin at Patalika in the Banarastra on a certain day the astronomical details of which are given. These correspond to 458 CE. The surviving text is a Sanskrit translation of Sarvanandin's work by one Simhasūri, made "some considerable time" after that date of Sarvanandin.[6]


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia of Jainism By Nagendra Kr Singh, Indo-European Jain Research Foundation, Published by Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2001
  2. ^ Digital Library Of India. Lok Vibhag (1962) Ac 6785.
  3. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000). The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. Wiley. p. 416. ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
  4. ^ Dash, Siniruddha (2013). New catalogus catalogorum: an alphabetical register of Sanskrit and allied works and authors Vol. 26 Vol. 26. Madras: Univ. of Madras. OCLC 931470378.
  5. ^ Plofker, Kim; Keller, Agathe; Hayashi, Takao; Montelle, Clemency; Wujastyk, Dominik (6 October 2017). "The Bakhshālī Manuscript: A Response to the Bodleian Library's Radiocarbon Dating". History of Science in South Asia. 5 (1): 134–150. doi:10.18732/h2xt07. ISSN 2369-775X.
  6. ^ Aiyangar, S. Krishnaswami (1923). Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture.