Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Ancient India had recognised importance of the concept of infinity whereas other civilisations frowned upon it, Frits Staal, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, said on Monday.

Noting that Yajur Veda had used very large numbers, Prof. Staal, regarded as an authority on linguistics and the study of Vedic ritual and mantras, said there were many references to infinity in the Vedas and Upanishads. Large numbers were extrapolated from the number of bricks used for the construction of altars. Prof. Staal, a scholar of Greek and Indian logic and philosophy and Sanskrit grammar, was delivering a talk at the Institute of Mathematical Science here on language and method in Indian science.