New EJVS, 12-3: SSN Murthy: numbers in Rgveda

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sun Sep 25 13:27:10 UTC 2005

This is to announce a new issue of EJVS, vol.12-3:

Number Symbolism in the Vedas
by S. S. N. Murthy

It is availabe as pdf on our web site:

Brief intro:
... in the Vedas, one finds numbers such as 1, 3,  7 and 10 as the most 
used numbers... The symbolism associated with  the single digit 
numerals was very well established in virtually all cultures, since 
counting began  on the ten fingers...  The Vedic Rsis also used large 
compound numbers like 21, 33, 34, 99, and 100 etc.  very frequently ... 
but  no serious attempt has been made far to see whether there is any 
hidden symbolism in these  numbers...

I have tabulated almost all the compound numbers  mentioned in RV ...  
Keeping in mind that the Vedic Rsis followed the decimal system and 
were acquainted with some basic arithmetic  operations like additions 
and multiplications etc. of smaller numbers (at least!), the first 
thing  that strikes our mind ... is that there is a pattern or method 
in the use  of numbers ...

Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138
1-617-495 3295           Fax: 496 8571
direct line:       496 2990

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