Thirteen ways of arranging long and short syllables in a cadence of length six. Five end with a long syllable and eight end with a short syllable.
The Fibonacci sequence appears in Indian mathematics in connection with Sanskrit prosody, as pointed out by Parmanand Singh in 1985. In the Sanskrit poetic tradition, there was interest in enumerating all patterns of long (L) syllables of 2 units duration, juxtaposed with short (S) syllables of 1 unit duration. Counting the different patterns of successive L and S with a given total duration results in the Fibonacci numbers: the number of patterns of duration m units is Fm + 1.
Knowledge of the Fibonacci sequence was expressed as early as Pingala (c. 450 BC–200 BC). Singh cites Pingala's cryptic formula misrau cha ("the two are mixed") and scholars who interpret it in context as saying that the number of patterns for m beats (Fm+1) is obtained by adding one [S] to the Fm cases and one [L] to the Fm−1 cases. 
Bharata Muni also expresses knowledge of the sequence in the Natya Shastra (c. 100 BC–c. 350 AD).
However, the clearest exposition of the sequence arises in the work of Virahanka (c. 700 AD), whose own work is lost, but is available in a quotation by Gopala (c. 1135):
Variations of two earlier meters [is the variation]... For example, for [a meter of length] four, variations of meters of two [and] three being mixed, five happens. [works out examples 8, 13, 21]... In this way, the process should be followed in all mātrā-vṛttas [prosodic combinations].[a]
Hemachandra (c. 1150) is credited with knowledge of the sequence as well, writing that "the sum of the last and the one before the last is the number ... of the next mātrā-vṛtta."
The number of rabbit pairs form the Fibonacci sequence
Outside India, the Fibonacci sequence first appears in the book Liber Abaci (1202) by Fibonacci. using it to calculate the growth of rabbit populations. Fibonacci considers the growth of a hypothetical, idealized (biologically unrealistic) rabbit population, assuming that: a newly born pair of rabbits, one male, one female, are put in a field; rabbits are able to mate at the age of one month so that at the end of its second month a female can produce another pair of rabbits; rabbits never die and a mating pair always produces one new pair (one male, one female) every month from the second month on. Fibonacci posed the puzzle: how many pairs will there be in one year?
- At the end of the first month, they mate, but there is still only 1 pair.
- At the end of the second month the female produces a new pair, so now there are 2 pairs of rabbits in the field.
- At the end of the third month, the original female produces a second pair, making 3 pairs in all in the field.
- At the end of the fourth month, the original female has produced yet another new pair, and the female born two months ago also produces her first pair, making 5 pairs.
At the end of the nth month, the number of pairs of rabbits is equal to the number of new pairs (that is, the number of pairs in month n − 2) plus the number of pairs alive last month (that is, n − 1). This is the nth Fibonacci number.
The name "Fibonacci sequence" was first used by the 19th-century number theorist Édouard Lucas.