Agni Mantra

Agni Mantra

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Arnavaadi Sankhya

In Sanskrit there are three types of number notations .
1) normal number systems
2) second is the katapayadi sankhya and
3) third is the arnvaadi sankhya .

In Jyotish texts like Brihat Parashara hora shastra, Jaataka Parijaata etc all three types of number systems are used. In Jaimini Updesha sutra Katapayaadi Sankhya is used.  Please refer other articles for Katapayaadi system

Arnavaadi is used by Parashara and other classical authors extensively. Arna means groups. There are certain items which are famous for their groups. For example when we say Veda, there is always four vedas, and hence Veda is synonym for number four. Similarly, when we say Rishi, there are primarily seven rishi and hence Rishi represents number 7.  Thus, there are intrinsic number value to certain words. The commentary Subramanya Sastri in translation of Jaataka Parijaata is worth reading in this topic.

Some such examples are given below.,

This post I would like to briefly list the ways numbers are denoted arnaavaadi sankhya.
0- kha(sky)
1-rupa(form),Indu(moon). Bhumi(earth).
2- paksha(phases), Ashwin (there are two Ashwin Kumar),Akshi(Eyes)
3- dahana(fire),Raama(There are 3 Raama,Raghu Raama, Bala raama, parashu raama), Guna(There are three gunas, satva, rajas and tamas).
4-Abda(water),Veda(There are 4 vedas),  Payo(Water, represents number 4), Kumara (There are 4 Kumara, Sanaka, Sanaathana, Sananda, sanata), Yuga(There 4 yugas or time period era)
5 - bhuta(there are 5 primary States of matter), Ishu(arrow), baana(arrow), Shara(arrows), Indriya( Senses There are 5 primary senses) ,Aksha (Dice)
6 -rasa(Taste),ritu(seasons, there are six of them), anga(body part, there are six body part of veda, called vedanga), tarka(logic)
7- Nagaa, Giri(mountains),, ashwa(horse), naga(moutain), shaila(mountain,There are 7 prime mountains), Rishi (There are 7 rishis called sapta rishi)
8- Bhuja (snakes), गजा, gaja(elephants, 8 prime types gaurding the planar directions)
9-anka(number, there are 9 denoted numbers),nanda(cow), go(cow)
10- dig(directions)
11-Isha(Lord Shiva), Rudra, (There are 11 rudras hence 11 represents rudra)
12-Arka(Sun), Aditya(Sun) (Number 12 indicates sun).
16- nripaala(king)
20-nakhaa(nails, there are 20 of them)
24- Siddha(Accomplished, mystic saints)
27-Bha, there are 27 primarily nakshatra.
30-Khara (Demon, Evil) and Number 30 indicates our evil self.
33- Deva(There are thirty three prime devatas.
49-Maruta(Wind gods, primarily 49)

Compound words, Some numbers can be represented by combinations, for examples parashare says
  • Khaveda amsa to denote 40th division, Kha=0 and Veda=4 , and numbers are represented in reverse weights by the rule Ankaanaam vamano gati, 04 becomes 40.
  • Aksha-vedamsa is used by parashara for 45th division, Aksha[5, VEda=4 ->5,4 = 54

Most of the above numbers are taken from Brihat Parasha hora shastra (Lessons containing years of dasa etc).I will keep addition to this list in future.