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Chamakam & its numbers

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  • Chamakam & its numbers




    Vedas mention of "Ritagam Satyam Parabrahma" meaning universal orderliness (rita) and Truth (satyam) are Parabrahma (Paramaatman or Supreme Principle). Chamakam found in Srirudram of Rigveda presents a grand vision of Universal and Eternal orderliness which is maintained by all the Vedic Gods indicated somewhat by what we call in arithmetic as Progression in Chamakam. Human being's duty is to observe and reflect that order in his or her own life. Closely related to and mostly identical with rita was Satyam (Truth). Satyam was declared as Sun (soorya or Savitar) in early upanishadic thoughts whose very nature is this Satya. Satya in later period got mixed up with rita as creation progressed and was identified not only with Brahman (supreme Principle) also called Paramaatman but also with the person of body-mind-complex referred as Jeevaatman or individual Self. It is therefore no wonder that even and odd numbers are presented to us as Mantras (Vedic text or hymn) in strange orderly fashion with no explanation abounding in mystery of life and its yearning for liberation. This order also ended abruptly with 33 in odd series and 48 in steps of four in the even series.



    We find references to numbers ranging from Soonya (0) to Infinity all over in our Srutis (Vedas and Upanishads) and Puranaas. This indicates that our rishis (Vedic sages) had very sound knowledge of mathematics which has been at length described in the discourse "Early and Medieval Hindus Contribution to Science and Technology" (Hindu Reflections-September 2011). Chamakam further indicates how these numbers could be arranged in some sort of sequential order as well as used to reflect divine thoughts. We have in the past discussed about these in the discourses "What do Even and Odd Numbers in Chamakam signify" (Hindu Reflections--January 2012) and "Visualizing Divinity in Numbers" (Hindu Reflections--September 2012). Chamakam mentions of paying obeisance to numbers in odd series starting with 1 and ending abruptly with 33. It also mentions of even numbers in steps of four starting with 4 and ending with 48 for that purpose. This abounds in divine mystery which may have several explanations.

    0 in mathematics is indispensable. Nirguna Brahman is indispensable and is inner controller of all beings. If we remove 0 from 0 what remains is also 0. There is the other spiritual meaning: That which lies beyond is Plenum, (full and undiminished). That which appears as this here (i.e., as the universal) is also Plenum, equally full and undiminished. Out of Plenum, Plenum arises. Plenum having been taken away out of Plenum, what remains is still the same (undiminished) Plenum.

    Why should the normal and regular odd series in Chamakam end abruptly with 33? Why should the even numbers start with 4 and end abruptly end with 48? Why not the regular series of even numbers 2, 4, 6….etc. is not seen as in the even series in the same mantra? The sole purpose of Chamakam is intended for intense meditation which would be clear if we go through the message conveyed in the last Anuvaka (segment) of Chamakam, the text and meaning of which can be found in the Appendix. Evidently Rishi of this Chamakam wants to convey to us the divine purpose behind these numbers and their arrangement? A mantra has three stipulations to distinguish it from a normal hymn--it has a Rishi as its author, a Chhandas, meter or prosody and a deity to contemplate upon.

    To our Rishis Supreme Brahman was Nirguna Brahaman complete in all respects as Poornam, symbolically Soonyam represenrted by "0". Then Saguna Brahman is represented by "1", which Nasadeeya sookta mentions as Tadekam (that One). It will not be wrong to conclude then "01" will be full representation of Brahman as Nirguna and Saguna standing side by side. Square root of 01 is 1. With this base we could arrive at a progressive picture for all numbers up to 33 as seen in the chart below as well as corresponding square roots in a divine orderly pattern which Vedas call as ritam. Surprisingly odd number 33 ends with the square root 17 in this representation; the same is illustrated as follows in a tabular format:

    Odd Number arrangement corresponding Square root

    (1) (2) (3) (4)

    01+00=01 1

    03+01=04 2

    05+04=09 3

    07+09=016 4

    09+016=025 5

    011+025=036 6

    013+036=049 7

    015+049=064 8

    017+064=081 9

    019+081=100 10

    021+0100=0121 11

    023+0 121=0144 12

    025+0144=0169 13

    027+0169=0196 14

    029+0196=0225 15

    031+0225=0256 16

    033+0256=0289 17

    [In the sequence above column 1 shows odd number series beginning with 1. Column 2 shows the total of previous line total of 1 and 2. Column 3 shows the total of column 1 and 2. Column 4 shows the square root of column 3. Thus there is an orderliness shown in this pattern, call it ritam or arithmetical progression or by any other name that may be given to it; I would like to call it divine progression.]

    First column of numbers ends in 33. We all know that there are 33 divine guards described in Vedas who are responsible for the orderliness of the Universe. These are 11 Rudras, 12 Aaadityas, 8 Vasus, Indra and Prajaapati. Hindu Theology mentions them as 33 Vedic deities. There is also 0 in front of every number. 0 represents Nirguna Brahman who watches over everything without actively participating and being invisible. Supreme Being watches over all activities without involvement. This column therefore represents the domain of Brahman. Fourth column ends in 17. We learn from Upanishads that human being is intellect-mind-sense-vital force-complex called Jeevatman. Jeevaatman constitutes 5 motor organs (Karmendriyas) +5 sense organs (Jnanendriyas) +5 vital forces (Pancha Praanas) +mind (Manas) + Intellect (Buddhi). Brahman Assembly of 33 of column 1 keeps watch on 17 faculties of Jeevaatman represented by column 4. This is what Svetaavataara Upanishad describes as follows: "Dvaa suparnaa sayujaa sakhaayaa samaanam vriksham parishasvajaate | tayor-anyah pippalam svaadvatti anasna-annayoe abhichaakaseeti || Two birdsa (Jeevaatman and Paramaatman) of similar qualities which are inseparable from each other are perched on the same tree. Of these two, one (Jeevaatman) tastes the sweet pippala fruit (eats the fruit of the Karma) and the other (Paramaatman) is witnessing without eating (shines even without eating). Higher value numbers found in column 1 compared to less numbers in column 4 shows the Superiority of Paramaatman over Jeevatman as the over-lord. Jeevaatman is the spark of Paramaatman clouded by Maaya (ignorance). Therefore Chamakam conveys the message to Jeevaatman to meditate upon Paramaatman for its Sreyas (Eternal Bliss) towards Liberation called Moksha in this prayer. It is therefore no surprise why Chamakam abruptly ends in 33 to convey this powerful message. It simply says silently in a hidden voice to Jeevaatman (derived square roots) to pay obeisance to Paramaatman (the odd numbers) to get relieved of its clouded Maaya or Avidya (illusion) without any explanation.

    Let us now turn our thoughts on even numbers prayed upon in Chamakam. This series begins with 4 and ends with 48 with steps of four in the Arithmetic series of Even numbers. This needs a little bit deeper understanding of Upanishads. Upanishads include Vishnu Gaaytree Mantra as follows: "Naaraayanaaya vidmahe, vaasudeevaaya dheemahi tannoe vishnuh prachoedayaat". Let us know Naaraayana. For that may we meditate on Vaasudeva! May Lord Vishnu invigorate us towards the same! "Svetaavataara Upanishad says Naaraayana is Paramaatman or Supreme Being which has been adopted by the followers of Vishishtaadwaita of Ramanuja and Dwaita of Madhva. Among the eulogized in Rig veda, Vishnu is prominent one and is popular to-day amongst Vishitaadvaita, Dvaita, Gaudiya, Smaarta, Bhaagavata and other Traditions of Hinduism. Some of these are referred as cult by many Hindu authors as well as Westerners. The Vishnu of Rigveda is celebrated for his three feet encompassing the entire Universe for the welfare of worlds. In the popular Vishnu Expositions the four aspects of Vishnu known as Vyoohas and the resulting twenty-four forms of Vishnu forms the theme besides the popular ten incarnations. All these are even numbers, even number of multiples of four dominating. The order of four (4) weapons (conch, discus, mace and lotus) held in 4 hands of Vishnu varies giving rise to twenty-four (24) forms in modern iconography employed in Moorti Upaasana. The identification of parts of the devotee's body with the names of Vishnu results in twelve forms (dwaadasa Moortis in standing stance seen in modern iconography).

    Paancharaatra texts declare that four Vyoohas are in fact four aspects of the same god-head. These are four emanatory forms in the context of creation—Vaasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. These names are celebrated as heroes in Bhaagavata. Four hands of Vishnu represent Srishti (emergence, Sthiti (maintenance), Samhaara (dissolution) and Mukti (emancipation). These four forms are also ritualistically named as Paramahamsa (Purusha or manifest), Vyoema (Satya or Truth), Naada (Achyuta) and Hamsa (Naaraayana). They are also said to represent the four great time intervals (Yugas)—Krita, Treta, Dvaapara and Kali.

    According to Paancharatra doctrine each of the four vyoohas (primary emanatory forms of Vishnu) bring forth three other forms called Vyoohantakas. 1) From Vaasudeva emanate Kesava, Naaraayana and Maadhava; 2) from Sankarshana emanate Govinda Vishnu and Madhusoodana; 3) from Pradyumna emanate Trivikrama, Vaamana and Sreedhara; 4) from Aniruddha emanate Hrisheekesa, Padmanaabha and Daamoedara. These secondary emanations are known as Dvaadasamoortee (12 images). From these twelve secondary emanations arise eight other forms which are but further manifestations of the four primary Vyoohas. These are: Purushoettama, Adhoekshaja; Naarasimha; Achyuta, Janaardhana, Upendra, Hari and Krishna. Thus the four primary Vyooha forms, the twelve Moortyaantara forms and the eight further emanatory forms together constitute twenty four (24) forms known as Chaturvimsati moorti (24 images form). Gaayatri Saara Sangraha identifies the twenty-four syllable/letters of the Gaayatree mantra with the 24 deities mentioned above as presiding deities over the letters (Abhimaana Devata) and 24 names of Vishnu. While performing the daily ritual of Sandhyaavandana it is customary to recite these twenty four names of Vishnu and consecrate the twenty-four (24) parts of our body. The same is arranged in a tabular form below for easy reference:

    No. Gaayatree letter Abhimana Devata Names of Vishnu

    (Chosen deity)

    1. ta Agni Kesava

    2. tsa Prajaapati Narayana

    3. vi Soma Maadhava

    4. tu Easaana Govinda

    5. va Savitar Vishnu

    6. re Brihaspati Madhusoodana

    7. ni Paitru-deva Trivikrama

    8. yam Bhaga Vaamana

    9. bha Aaryama Sreedhara

    10. rgoe Saavitri Hrisheekesa

    11. dey Tvashtr Padmanaabha

    12. va Pooshan Daamodara

    13. sya Indra Sankarshana

    14. dhee Agni Vaasudeva

    15. ma Vaayu Pradyumna

    16. hi Mitra-varuna Aniruddha

    17. dhi Bhraatrideva Purushoettama

    18. yoe Visvedeva Adhoekshaja

    19. yoe Vishnu Naarasimha

    20. nah Vaasava Achyuta

    21. pra Tushtaba Janaardana

    22. choe Kubera Upendra

    23. da Dasra Hari

    24. yaat Brahma Sree Krishna

    [Gayatree-tantra insists that each letter should be contemplated upon: "Varnaanaam chintanam dhyaanam samyak paapapranaasanam- meditation on Gaayatree letters is the complete path for eradicating sins]

    Source:kn ramesh
    Last edited by soundararajan50; 09-05-14, 08:13.