Number 17 in Buddhism?

Gregory Goode goode at DPW.COM
Wed Mar 11 09:14:14 CST 1998

Hari OM!

Thanks for taking time to think about this.  I'd known about the 18's in
our scriptures and in the creation stories (but didn't kow about the 18
steps in the Ayyappa temples). I will pass your thoughts on to my colleague.


At 08:25 AM 3/11/98 -0500, sadananda wrote:
>> Pardon this Buddhist-themed posting here.  (Doing it for a friend, and
>>I'm not on any Buddhist lists).  Does anyone know the significance of 17
>>in Buddhism?  A friend took a trip to the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau
>>Island, one of the islands comprising Hong Kong.  There are 17 sets of 17
>>steps leading up to the statue of the Buddha which is the largest statue
>>of Buddha ever built.  Also, the same friend told me that there is a large
>>statue of the Buddha at the monastery in Carmel, New York (where the Dalai
>>Lama visited last year) and it sits on a 17-foot-high pedestal.  Any
>>ideas?  Sorry, and thanks.  --Greg Goode
>Greg - I donot know - but here is my make-up.
>Seventeen leads to Budhaa - Seventeen leads to eighteen.  Eighteen is
>called jaya - the victory.  So one has to climb the seventeen steps towards
>the eighteen - ones victory over the lower.   For that reason Mahabharata
>is also called Jaya - Hence it contains - 18 parvas or chapters - it
>signifies the victory over lower (kouravaas - tamasic and rajasic) by the
>satwic (Pandavaas with the help of the divine intelligence). There are
>eighteen chapters in Bhagavad geeta and the war also took place for 18
>days.  Hence the nama Jaya for mahabhaarat.
>I figure seventeen should have similar significance since it takes one, by
>ones own effort towards Bhudda. By the by, in Ayyappa temples in south
>(kerala) there are 18 steps one has to climb to go the temple, and at each
>step one performs a ritual - symbolically to get rid of ones attachments to
>the lower.
>Seventeen can also add up many other way - 9 + 8 - the nine stands for the
>boutika shareera - bag with nine holes!
>Eight is frequently used in our scriptures - it can be five
>senses(faculties) + mind + intelect + ahankaara ( constituting the
>suukshama shareera aspect) - total the Jeeva. Suukshama shareera + bouticka
>shareera (8+9) - 17, is the indiviudal - has to be transended to reach the
>abode of Bhudda.
>There may be better explanations for the seventeen.
>Hari Om!
>K. Sadananda
>Code 6323
>Naval Research Laboratory
>Washington D.C. 20375
>Voice (202)767-2117

  Greg Goode (e-mail: goode)
  Computer Support    4-5723

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