Post-Scriptum [=wishful thinking] (Re: 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 18:47:20 UTC 2010


Of course, since I personally find the idea that anyone might want to 
slaughter "Three thousand seven hundred goats" AND/OR "thirty seven 
buffaloes" UNBEARABLE, I have to make the assumption that MY HIDDEN 
INTENTION in making this post is to prove that the mistake in the 
addition (/id est/ the fact that 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9 and 37 are NOT 
EQUAL) definitely PROVES that such sacrifices never took place 
(otherwise they would have noticed that there was a mistake in the 

But unfortunately,
I know that this is just wishful thinking :-((

-- jlc

On Tue, 19 Oct 2010 19:44:41 +0200
  "Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD" <jean-luc.chevillard at> 
> 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>  wrote:

>> From: Dipak Bhattacharya<dbhattacharya200498 at>

>> 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

>> 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:

>> <QUOTE>
>> "Three thousand seven hundred goats and thirty seven buffalos were 
>> 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 
>> (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:

>> <QUOTE>
>> ** It has been pointed out that these numbers are suspiciously 
>> 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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