Abacus was the earliest calculation tool that originated in European countries. However, abacus became popular in China and is used for daily calculations. Primarily used as a computational tool, it has a frame that consists of wires attached to the frame and beads that slide along those wires. Each bead represents a unit.

The abacus is mainly used for addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. It is suggested that learning the abacus at a very young age is useful for activating a child’s brain. When a child works on the abacus, he/she moves the beads with both hands simultaneously. The right hand drives the left hemisphere and the left hand drives the right hemisphere, helping both sides of the brain develop in a balanced way. This promotes rapid and balanced development of the child’s entire brain. It is also recommended to start abacus from early childhood, as young as 4 years old. Eventually, the child will memorize the position of the beads and the associated symbols.

If you start abacus math at a later age, it can create some obstacles.

• The abacus, while particularly useful, has many drawbacks because children may be overconfident in math and children may bypass routine functions such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

• Abacus is mostly about cramming. It creates monotony in a way that takes more than two years to master, which can lead to boredom in kids.

• Advanced mathematical concepts such as calculus, algebra and geometry cannot be solved using the abacus, which is only basic and elementary compared to Vedic mathematics.

The Vedic math system is based on 16 Vedas. Originally written in Sanskrit, these sixteen sutras are easy to recite, and various calculations can be performed with these. Vedic Math enables people to quickly solve long-standing math problems. It was established in 1911 and originated from Atharva Veda. Vedic math can be completely memorized, no paperwork required. Vedic mathematics starts with basic numbers and progresses to simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Some of the advantages of using Vedic Math are −

• Vedic mathematics is not just about solving basic calculations, as Vedic mathematics can also solve complex geometric theorems, calculus and algebra problems.

• Vedic mathematics can also be started in later years without any difficulty.

• It’s also very useful for competitive exams, especially when solving multiple-choice questions for time problems!

The rules of calculation are very simple; it focuses more on learning and understanding of the basic concepts of mathematics through logic, rather than rote memorization and repetition like an abacus. These formulas describe the way the brain works naturally and are therefore of great help in guiding students towards appropriate solutions.

So basically what a child does in Vedic Math is he/she will use the concepts of Vedic Math to come up with answers and then compare the final answers they get through the regular math process which will help the child better understand mathematics.

One of the best aspects of learning and using Vedic Math is that it does not become an extra burden for students, teachers and parents. It complements existing math syllabuses and makes math more fun and enjoyable for all. The only downside of Vedic math is that it is not recommended for kindergarten and elementary school students, and children cannot understand its concepts until a certain age; say after the age of 9 or 10. However, the advantages and applications of Vedic mathematics are so widespread that its minor shortcomings can be ignored and should be preferred over abacus.