What about thirty-seven? [why is it UNEQUAL to 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9] (Re: [INDOLOGY] eighteen

Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD jean-luc.chevillard at UNIV-PARIS-DIDEROT.FR
Tue Oct 19 16:05:22 UTC 2010

Since a number of people on this list seem ready to provide pieces of 
information concerning numbers, I wonder whether today might not be 
the right/auspicious occasion for finding an answer to a question 
which I have had for some time.

While going through the 2008 volume
(/Genesis and Development of Tantrism/)
edited by Shingo EINOO
my eye was caught by the first words inside
footnote 575
[which is on the page 247 of that volume]
inside the article by professor A. Sanderson,
because they are connected with a number (= "37")
in which I have been
interested for quite some time.

The footnote reads:

"Three thousand seven hundred goats and thirty seven buffalos were to
be sacrificed:
a hundred goats and one buffalo on the first day,
two hundred goats and two buffaloes on the second day,
three hundred goats and three buffaloes on the third day,
and so on, so that
nine hundred goats and nine buffaloes were sacrificed on the ninth day
(Mahānavamī). ..."

The problem is, however,
that 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9 = 45 (and not 37)

Could it be that this source is based on two contradictory sources,
which it tries to reconcile?
(this would explain why the calculation is incorrect)

I have been intrigued by number 37
ever since I read in the 1967 book, /The Interior Landscape/,
by A.K. Ramanujan,
commenting on the duration of the "three [Tamil] Sangams"
[namely 4,440, 3,700 and 1850 years]

** It has been pointed out that these numbers are suspiciously regular
multiples of 37;

the Jains had a passion for numbers.

Does anyone have an explanation for the discrepancy
which is found in the text reproduced inside Professor Sanderson's 
footnote? (and [as a QUESTION SUBSIDIAIRE] for the duration of the 
Tamil Sangams)

Best wishes

-- Jean-Luc Chevillard (Pondicherry)

P.S. A few people might find it suggestive
that according to page 41 inside a 1996 book
by  John H. Conway & Richard K. Guy
(/The book of numbers/, ISBN 0-387-97993-X),
the number 37 is the 4th "Hex Number".


On 19/10/2010 02:27, Herman Tull wrote:
> I apologize if this question is a terribly ignorant one, but I was 
> wondering if there is any scholarly literature or any discussion of the 
> significance of the Indic "18" (dominant in the Mahabharata--books, days 
> of war, etc., etc., and then reiterated in the Puranas in the so-called 
> "major" and "minor" books denotation). This has long seemed to me to be 
> some sort of convenient fiction used to tie up loose ends (not unlike 
> the twelve disciples of Jesus recalling the twelve tribes of Israel). 
> However, as I sat in an introductory Buddhism lecture today, and was 
> reminded about the famed 18 schools of the Mahasanghika(s), I started to 
> think, there might be a bit more (or, perhaps no more at all). Thanks.
> Herman Tull
> --------------------------------------------------

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