mathematics , mysticism......

S Krishna mahadevasiva at
Mon May 19 21:58:23 UTC 1997

Messrs Thillaud and Fosse write: 

>From: "Dominique.Thillaud" <thillaud at>
>To: Members of the list <indology at>
>Subject: mathematics ?
>At 11:46 +0200 19/05/97, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
>>Nice to see some mathematics on this channel! Actually, I think that your
>>observation is well worth looking into. The number 3 is sacred, and the                                            
>>ancient Indians had a thing about mystique.

Two things:
1. If the number 3 is sacred i.e. concept of Trinity, Shiva is three     eyed 
,etc,it must be remembered that in conventional Indian folk      wisdom, the    
number  3 also has negative connotations i.e. the      vanavaasa of Rama, 
Lakshmana and Seeta become so complicated       because there were three of them 
involved  or  the family of    Ravana, Vibhisana and Soorphanaka came to grief 
because there were    they were three of    them . This is also reflected in the 
Hindi    saying "Teen Tigaada,Kaam Bigaada" i.e. Anything with three people    
involved in it is going to be unsucessful. According to Vaastu       Shastra, a 
house that is built on a triangular shaped plot of land
  (Trikon~a) brings the occupants nothing but grief.  In other words,
   if there is a sacred interpretation, there exists an evil aspect/
   interpretation to the number three.

2.  I get the impression that Dr Lars Martin Fosse implies that there
   is something special ONLY about the number three. IF this is what
    he intended, I would like to say that the ancient Hindus seemed to
    have had a mystical interpretation for every postive integer i.e.
    1 represents God, 2 represents any God and his/her consort i.e.
    Parvatiparameshvarau, Seetaramau, Lakshminarayanau , 3 represents
    the Trinity, 4 represents the 4 Yugas, 5 represents the     Panchabhootas, 6 
represents the Shadrtu( 6 seasons) and the
    worship of 6 dieties( according to Shankaracarya), 7 represents
    the Saptarshi( 7 sages) infinitum. The point I am        trying 
to make is that any postive integer can be interpreted
    mystically/linked to a fact of nature. The mathematician Srinivasa
    Ramanujan is supposed to lectured once on the mystical     significance  of 
the number series 2**n -1, where n is a positive
    integer. His claim was that one can derive all important aspects
    of Bhuloka from this number series.  

>	Mathematics in India are represented by many very good scholars, as
>RAghavan NarasiMhan from Bombay, laureat of the Fields Medal (the eqivalent
>of the Nobel for the mathematicians).
  Isn't Dr M.S.Narasimhan of the TIFR also into the same kind of thing?  Dr M.S. 
Narasimhan, from what I remember, also got the
Fields MEdal and the Padma Bhushan a few years ago.

  Some other poster said something about the no 7 not being 
  mystically important....Well on the auspicious side, you have
  the Saptarshi and the Sapta Samudra... I don't think that
  there is any negative aspect attached to this number, excepting
  in Andhra Pradesh where the number 7 ( pronounced as "Edu")
   sounds pretty much like the verb Edu( to weep). I was told that
  this is a reason for some people going out of their way to avoid   using the 
word "seven" during a Subhakaaryam( i.e. auspicious   occasion).

  With all this talk about mathematics, what is a single word for     
"Unmathematical" ( i.e. adj) in Skt?...probably desribes me,
  I guess:-)


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