[Fwd: Sabda - Bhartrihari]

ken knight hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jul 22 13:59:52 CDT 2002

--- Swarna Venkateswara Swamy
<truthseeker123x at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
 Can a similar
> connection be established between Siva and numbers?

--- Swarna Venkateswara Swamy
<truthseeker123x at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

> this, somehow caught my attention. Can a similar
> connection be established between Siva and numbers?

Namaste Swamy,
This is similar to a question that I asked myself some
years ago.  I was teaching a class of ten year olds
when the boy who was the least able numerically became
very persistent one day. I was teaching fractions when
he asked, "Where does that number come from?"
Thinking that he was asking about the factors of a
number that had suddenly caused these magical changes
I went over factors again. However he was persistent
in his demands:'Where does that number come from?'
Suddenly I realised that he was asking about the very
nature of number itself so we changed topics for a
couple of weeks and explored number. We found that
there is only one number: 1. The others are merely
shorthand for writing sets of 1 or ratios. We had fun
trying to convince everyone that 1+1=1 and other such
truths.  However we were left with real questions as
to the inner meaning of numbers.
There are mystical numerological traditions in
Egyptian, Greek and Jewish traditions but personally I
have been unable to connect with that which I have
read. I believe that for Pythagoras 1 is the Absolute,
2 is feminine and 3 masculine and 4 justice. These
then sum up to the Divine Tetractys (10).
I did purchase a copy of BhAskarAcArya's 'LIlAvatI'but
as it is all in Sanskrit it takes me ages to

Although the list of letters (phonemes) may be finite
the way they can combine is infinite which is the same
with number.
The only other offering that I can give is the
eneagram in which the numbers are placed on a circle
(ie. a point, bindu, in expansion) and each given a
step in consciousness:
1   brahman
2 avyaktaprakriti unmanifest nature
3 yaktaprakriti    manifest nature
4 mahatattva       I am
5 akASha           ether
6 vAyu             air
7 agni             fire
8 jala             water
9 prithivi         earth

One interesting point on this is that when you take it
as a reflection so that brahman appears at 9 then
akAsha still appears at 5 giving it an immoveable,
stable quality as we experience in true listening.

So if we take numbers as a denary system then we could
explore this eneagram a little further but maybe a
binary (0,1) system makes more sense in terms of
advaita, although I am sure that the Babylonians might
have been able to tell us the meaning of their system
based on 60.

Final point is that if there is a hierarchy to the
VedA~ngas thene ShikshA,Chhanda, vyAkaraNa, Nirukta,
Jyotisha and Kalpa would be the order.

Final final point as I struggle to remember something
from Shankara's writing. He refers to the story of the
ten men crossing the river and suddenly being awoken
to the whereabouts of the missing tenth man.
In that story we have the the  manifestation of the
nine points on the eneagram and One observing and
doing the counting.  Together they make 10, one with

I would like to hear from those with more insight in
advaitin terms to reply to the above question,

Ken Knight

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