Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arithmatic - Science of Mathematics, a better side :)

Most of us are number-aversive. I know quite a few friends of mine who scored well in their 10th Grade and ended up opting Commerce stream without Mathematics, reason being - "I HATE MATHEMATICS!". I know, scoring well doesn't mean one needs to take up Science, however, since we work in the reverse, that is how it was NOT, when I had completed my 10th. It was in 2000, 9/11 was still in the planning phase perhaps and none in their worst dreams had foreseen a DOT COM decline. Hence, it was crystal clear - IT is in the boom-be an Engineer to get into IT-for that study Science-so take up Science-for that score well in 10th. Finally, atleast in my locality, it was a norm that you have to take up Science if you score well in 10th. Reverse Engineering, was the Mantra, not one's interest.

I ended up with Commerce, though I had an 80% and was enough to earn a seat in Science for my +2 course. However, my interest was towards Commerce and I convinced my parents to let me get into that stream - It took me a fortune to convince them, another point.

During my long 9 hour journey to Mangalore for a Diwali vacation, it struck to me that though most of us run away from numbers, we unknowingly are surrounded by it, entangled completely in it. Right from counting our age to counting the number of days remaining for Valentine's Day (if applicable) to estimating your EMI to finding out various ways to invest so that the tax outflow can be reduced - WE ARE ALL INTO NUMBER CRUNCHING, whether we like it or not, are aware or not. Numbers have significance in History/Mythology/Daily life. I just tried jotting them down with some relative significance. Hopefully, I should be able to do a good job. Here we go!

1. ONE
Ekai pawan, ek hi paani, ek jaati sansaara
Ek hi khaakh ghareh sab baandhe, ek hi sirjanhaara

It means "We all breath the same air (ONE), we all drink the same water (ONE), it is all ONE religion (humanity), we are all like pots made up of same soil (ONE) and we all have only ONE creator". This is a Doha from Sant Kabirdas, which later was used for a song on National Integrtiy in DD-1.

2. TWO
Some popular characters of Hindu Mythology have always come in pairs. For instance, Ram and Lakshman, Bharath and Shatrughan, Luv and Kush, Krishna and Balaram. Lord Krishna had TWO mothers, Yashodha and Devaki.

Sant Kabirdas was popular for his DOHA, meaning those with TWO Lines. So were Sant Rahim and Sant Tulasidas.

The important deities as per Hindu Mythology are THREE. Brahma (SrishThi or Creation), Vishnu (Sthithi or Maintanance) and Maheshwara (Laya or Destruction). Collectively these are known as TRIMURTI. The sources of Distraction or Maya are also THREE - HeNNu, Honnu and MaNNu (meaning Women, Wealth and Property - MahiLa Morcha, kindly excuse)

LAL-BAL-PAL (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal) were the Awesome-THREEsome figures of Indian Freedom struggle. Similarly, based on the nature of opposition, Indian freedom fighters were divided into THREE categories - Moderates, Revolutionaries and Extremists.

Lord Shiva had 3 eyes, one of which was vertically on the forehead and would always remained closed and open only when he is angry. Hence the name TRILOCHAN (Locahan = Eyes in Sanskrit)

There are 3 worlds or TRILOK - Bhoolok, Swargalok and Naraklok.

West Indies Cricket Team too has some connection with number THREE. They had a set of yesteryear Legends, namely, 3 S and 3 H.

3 S - Smith, Sobers and Solomon
3 H - Hunt, Hault and Hall

FOUR beautiful spouses of Lord Krishna. Rukmini, Sathybhama, Radha and Jambavati. The FOUR Vedas - Rigveda, Yejurveda, Saamaveda, and Atharvaveda. Similarly, tactics to get things done are in FOUR - Saama, Daana, DanDa, Bheda.

It is believed that there are FOUR Yuga - Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga.

The FOUR Aims of Human Life or Purushartha as per Hindu Mythology are Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha.

The FOUR stages of one's life or the FOUR Aashramas are - Brahmacharya (Bachelor/Spinster and attaining knowledge), Grihasthashrama (Family life), Vanaprsathashrama (Completed family duty and now sharing wisdom and knowledge) and Sanyaasashrama (In pursuit of Moksha)

Who else than the PANCH-PANDAVs could it be! Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Their wife Draupadi was also known as PAANCHALI. The PANCHA-BHOOT over which the origin of life is based on - Agni, Jal, Vaayu, Aakash and Prithvi. We have FIVE sense organs - Eyes, Ears, Nose, Skin and Tongue.

6. SIX
That fateful number which the Kauravas repeatedly won in the game of dice against the Pandavas who lost everything including their wife Draupadi.

There are SIX Obstacles to Moksha, mythic term being 'ArishaDvarga', namely - Kaama, Krodha, Mada, Lobha, Matsyar and Eersha.

SEVEN days in a week, SEVEN rounds taken during a Hindu wedding symbolizing SEVEN oaths, SEVEN Stars aka Saptharishi Mandal, SEVEN doors to the heaven, SEVEN 'Swar' of Music (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da and Ni), SEVEN colours that make the beautiful Rainbow (VIBGYOR), SEVEN Janam or Incarnation, SEVEN Wonders of the World, SEVEN Seas, SEVEN-ills as mentioned in the Christianity, SEVEN Hills in Tirupati over which the richest temple of Lord Venkatesh is located, Balarama was the SEVENTH son of Devaki.

Lord Krishna, ordained to kill Kansa, was the EIGHTH son of Devaki and Vasudeva. His birth was on the EIGHTH day (Ashtami) of the Hindu calender.

The Holy Days of Goddess of Victory is known as i, meaning, NINE Nights. NINE Gems in Sanskrit is better known as NAVARATNA. India has categorized a few of it's PSUs as NAVARATNA Companies. Similarly, there were a group of esteemed people in the court of Akbar and Vikramaditya and were known as NAVARATNA. Tansen, Todar Mal and Birbal were a few popular people in the NAVARATNA category in Akbar's court. Kalidas was a person in the NAVARATNA category at Vikramaditya's court.

NINE has also got a special significance in the Kurkshetra War. This War lasted for 18 days. 1+8=NINE. There are 18 chapters in the Bhagavdgita, again, 1+8 = NINE. It was on the NINTH day of the War that Lord Krishna himself violated the norms of the War and tried throwing a wheel at Bhishma (As per the War norms, a charioteer cannot attack anybody and Lord Krishna was the charioteer of Arjuna)

The War was also witnessed by the greatest Akshauhinis of all time. An Akshauhini too has a special significance here. One Akshauhini = 21,870 chariots+21,870 elephants +65,610 warriors on horse + 1,09,350 warriors on foot (A ratio of 1:1:3:5) Once again, the NINE factor comes into frame here.

21,870 chariots = 2+1+8+7+0 = 18 = 1+8 = NINE
65,610 warriors on horse = 6+5+6+1+0 = 18 = 1+8 = NINE
1,09,350 warriors on foot = 1+0+9+3+5+0 = 18 = 1+8 = NINE

Kauravas had 11 Akshauhini and the Pandavas had 7. So 11+7 = 18 = 1+8 = NINE. Or 1+1+7 = NINE.

Similarly, there are NINE Planets also better known as NAVAGRAHA in Hindu Mythology. Similarly, NINE kinds of grains or NAVADHAANYA, essential for human living. Similarly, NINE kinds of State-of-mind which is depicted on one's face are known as NAVARASA - Love, Laughter, Fury, Compassion, Aversion, Horror, Heroic, Wonder and Peace.

10. TEN
TEN Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, better known as DASHAVATARA, namely - Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.

Most of the above mentioned are related to us in some way or the other. Be it through religion or mythology or through our acts in daily life - It all can collectively be put in a numerical form. Hence, no running away from NUMBERS!

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