mathematics , mysticism......

silk at silk at
Tue May 27 14:59:12 UTC 1997

>Dominique wrote:
>        P.S. 1: I don't believe human gestation has anything to do with 9:
>273 (statistical duration) : 29.5 (lunar month) = 9.25 and this 0.25 is too
>great (birth's moon and conception's mood are not the same!). More: I don't
>know how Indians counted the durations before Indian mathematicians, but in
>ancient Greece where the Olympic Games were 'pentaeterikoi' (each 'five'
>years), human gestation was 10 months.

I confess that I am entirely ignorant of mathematics, and I don't
understand the first half of this paragraph, but: there is considerable
information available about old Indian ideas of embryology and gestation.
One interesting fact -- I think it is a fact, and I plan to write about it
in the context of a study of the Buddhist text Garbaavakraanti-suutra -- is
that discussion of gestation in terms of *weeks* in this text, which almost
certainly comes from the Northwest, and probably belongs to the
Muulasarvaastivaadins, appears to show Greek influence.  Unfortunately this
text is not extant in Skt, only Chinese and Tibetan, but probably the word
for week is saptaka.  The progress through the various embryonic stages is
denoted by weeks, and the total gestational period is, if memory serves (I
don't have the text at hand) 38 weeks.

--- but given my ignorance of the discussion of this thread, perhaps this
is all entirely irrelevant!

Jonathan Silk

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