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 17:44:41 UTC 2010

Dear Professor Dipak Bhattacharya,

It is true that 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8 = 36
and that 36+1 = 37.

A historical shift (from 8 to 9) might indeed be an explanation.

Of course it is explaining obscure things by making use of obscure 
things, but such is life for indologists ;-)

There are domains in which pretty much everything is obscure.

Just in case a few of the members on this list are not terrified by 
arithmetics (I am not! :-)) and since this list now allows 
attachments, please find attached to this message an image which is 
scanned from a page inside /The Book of Numbers/ [1996](by Conway and 
Guy) which I mentioned earlier).

Best wishes to all

-- Jean-Luc Chevillard (Pondicherry)

On 19/10/2010 22:11, Dipak Bhattacharya wrote:
> --- On Tue, 19/10/10, Dipak Bhattacharya<dbhattacharya200498 at yahoo.com>  wrote:

> From: Dipak Bhattacharya<dbhattacharya200498 at yahoo.com>

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

> To: "Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD"<jean-luc.chevillard at UNIV-PARIS-DIDEROT.FR>

> Date: Tuesday, 19 October, 2010, 4:40 PM
> The origin of mythological numbers may lie in the same urge to aver completeness/fullness but post-substratum ramifications may be caused by various and apparently unrelated causes. One possibility might lie in the addition of 1 (Gonda Triads) by way of adding greater weight. 36 is the original number conceived somewhere and sometime as a basic number of completeness got by increasing by 1 from 1 up to 8. 37 is just greater.  The cakras are 7 in the Śākta tantras but are termed Ṣaṭcakra - the original appellation in the Buddhist tantras where they are actually six in number (D.Bh.1979) to which 1 is added in the Śākta tantras. The retained appellation shows the origin.

> Best

> DB

> --- On Tue, 19/10/10, Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD<jean-luc.chevillard at UNIV-PARIS-DIDEROT.FR>  wrote:

> From: Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD<jean-luc.chevillard at UNIV-PARIS-DIDEROT.FR>

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

> To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk

> Date: Tuesday, 19 October, 2010, 4:05 PM

> 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). ..."
> </QUOTE>

> 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]
> that:

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

> the Jains had a passion for numbers.
> </QUOTE>

> 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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