Four – in Christianity number 4 is symbolically linked to the Cross and employed to signify what is solid and that which could be touched and felt. The symbolic meaning of number Four deals with stability and invokes the grounded nature of all things. Consider the four seasons, four directions, four elements all these amazingly powerful essences wrapped up in the nice square package of Four. Fours represent solidity, calmness, and home. A recurrence of Four in your life may signify the need to get back to your roots, center yourself, or even “plant” yourself. Fours also indicate a need for persistence and endurance.

Four also has many symbolic significance and meaning in Hinduism. Various things mentioned in the Puranas having some association with four are given below

  1. The aim of life (purusharthas) is four – dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and moksha (salvation).
  2. Four varnas as told by Krishna – Brahmin, Kshatriya, vaisya, sudra.
  3. Brahma has four faces and four hands.
  4. Four directions – north, east, west and south.
  5. Four ways of influencing and motivating others – being generous, uttering kind words, giving appropriate teachings and being consistent with words and actions.
  6. Four sights that affected Siddhartha deeply and made him realize the sufferings of all beings that compelled him to begin the spiritual journey – an old man, a sick man, a dead man and an ascetic.
  7. Most vehicles have 4 wheels.
  8. Four basic functions in mathematics – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  9. Four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter.
  10. Four yuga – satyayuga, dwaparayuga, tredhayuga and Kaliyuga.
  11. Four vedas – rig, yajur, sama and atharva
  12. Four types of relationships – spiritual, sensual, sensical and exemplary.
  13. Excess of these four destroys a person – hunting (shopping), drinking, womanizing and gambling.
  14. Four distances – In the case of an elephant one must keep a distance of 1000 meter, a horse 100 meter, horned animals 10 meter, evil people, unlimited number of meters.
  15. Four Adhikarins – Manda (the very ordinary)) Madhyama (medium standard), Uttama (best) and Uttamottama (the very best)
  16. Four Anubandhas. (Factors) – In philosophy there are four factors called Visaya (subject matter), Prayojana (purpose), Sambandha (relationship between factors) and Adhikarin (the deserving or eligible person).
  17. Four Antahkaranas (Internal organs] – Manas (mind) , Buddhi (intellect), Cittam (heart )and Ahankara (ego). Imagination is the function of the mind, decision that of Buddhi, to retain knowledge gained in orderly form is the function of Cittam and self-respect that of Ahankara.
  18. Four Anvavayas – Satyam(truthfulness), Dama (Self control), Arjavam (straightforwardness) and Anrsamsyam (not to be cruel).
  19. Anvavedas – Yajna (sacrifical offerings) , Dana (alms-giving, gifts), Adhyayana (learning) and Tapas (penance) .
  20. Four Apatrikaranas (Not suited to the particular station or place in life) – Brahmins are forbidden from receiving bribes, engaging in trades, service of Sudras and uttering lies.
  21. Abhinayas (Acting) – Angikam (where gestures and bodily actions are used to convey ideas), Sattvika, Subjective feelings expressed by perpiration etc. Aharyam (extraneous) and Vacikam (by words of mouth)
  22. Abhyasavisayas – (Subjects for practice and training) – Vinaya (humility), Damana (control of mind), Indriyanigraha (controlling the sense-organs) and Bhutadaya (kindness)
  23. Amritas (Nectar) – Good wife, talk of children, present from King and honorable food.
  24. Alankaras(Ornaments) – For the stars, Moon; for women, husband; for earth, King and for all, education (learning) .
  25. Alankarasadhanas – According to rhetorics, Atisaya (excellence), Samya (simile), Vastavam (matter of fact, as it is) and Slesa (one word with two meanings).
  26. Avasthas (States, conditions) – A. Saisavam (childhood), Kaumaram ( boyhood), Yauvanam (youth) and Vardhakyam (old age). B. Jagrat(wakefulness), Svapnam (dream ), Susupti (sleep) and Turiyam (being one with the supreme soul).
  27. Astraprayogalaksyas (Objects of shooting arrows) – Sthiram, Calam, Calacalam, Dvayacalam.  When the archer and the object of his shooting remain motionless the object is called Sthiram. When the object is moving but the archer is not, the object is called Calam. When the case is just the opposite of the above it is Calacalam. When both are moving it is called Dvayacalam.
  28. Akhyayikagunas (Factors of the novel )-  Kathabandha (plot or theme), Patraprakatanam (exposition of characters), Rasapusti (sentiment) and Gadyariti (prose style) .
  29. Abharanas (Ornaments) – For man, shape or form; for form, quality or merit; for quality, knowledge or wisdom and for wisdom, patience or forbearance.
  30. Ayudhas ( Weapons) – Mukta, Amukta, Muktamukta and Yantramukta.
  31. Avaranas(Covering, Protection) – For earth the sea, for house the compound wall, for country the King, for women chastity.
  32. Aharadis (Food etc.) – Ahara ( food) , Nihara (Evacuation), Maithuna (sexual act), Nidra (sleep).
  33. Aharavastus(edibles) – Khadyam (eaten by munching with teeth and chewing), Peyam (that which is drunk), Lehyam (licked with the tongue )and Bhojyam (that which is not included in the above three).
  34. Rnas (Obligations, debts) – Debts due to Devas, Rsis, Pitrs and Men. One pays back one’s debts to Devas by performing yajnas. By Svadhyaya (selfstudy) and tapas one pays the debt due to Rsis; by procreation of children and libation offerings that due to Pitrs and by truthfulness, hospitality etc. that due to people are repaid.
  35. Rtviks –  Adhvaryu, Udgata, Hota and Brahma. The first of the four should be an erudite scholar in Yajurveda, the second in Samaveda, the third in Atharvaveda and the fourth in all the four Vedas.
  36. Kavis (Poets)- He who boasts about himself in secret is called Udatta; he who cries down others and indulges in self-praise is known as Uddhata; he who proclaims others’ merits is called Praudha and he who shows humility is called Vinita.
  37. Kukkutagunas  (Traits of the Cock) – To rise early in the morning, to struggle for existence, to share whatever is got with relations and to work and earn one’s own food these are the qualities of the Cock.
  38. Grahyas (Acceptables) – A. Nectar even from poison, good advice even from boys, good action even from enemies and noble and chaste brides even from low families are to be welcomed. B. Literacy (learning of alphabets) should be accepted from brahmins, food from mother, pan from wife and bangles from King.
  39. Caturangas  – Elephant, Horse, Chariot and Infantry.
  40. Asramas –  Brahmacharya (student life), Garhasthya (married life), Vanaprastha (anchorite, forest-life) and Sannyasa (Renunciation).
  41. Yugas –  Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.
  42. Vargas –  Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa.
  43. Upayas  (Expedients).- Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda.
  44. Cikitsapddas (Four elements in the treatment of patients) – Vaidya (doctor), Rogin (patient), Ausadham (medicine) and Paricaraka (attendant).
  45. Jatis  (Castes’) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra.

49. Ashtanga Pranam – while prostrating in front of Guru or God, touching the ground with eight parts of our body. They are knees, belly, chest, hands, elbows, chin, nose, and temple. Not recommended for women.

50. Ashta Lakshmi – eight Lakshmi, are the secondary manifestations of Shri-Maha-Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, who preside over eight sources of wealth. They are

  • Adi Lakshm : an ancient form of Lakshmi and incarnation of Lakshmi as daughter of the sage Bhrigu.
  • Dhana Lakshmi: for money and gold
  • Dhanya Lakshmi  “Lakshmi as goddess of grain”: Giver of agricultural wealth.
  • Gaja Lakshm : Giver of animal wealth, like cattle and elephants
  • Santana Lakshmi : Bestower of offspring
  • Veera Lakshmi or Dhairya Lakshmi : Bestower of valour in battles and courage and strength for overcoming difficulties in life.
  • Vijaya Lakshmi or Jaya Lakshmi: Giver of victory, not only in battles but also in conquering hurdles in order to beget success.
  • Vidya Lakshmi: the bestower of knowledge of arts and sciences

51. Ashtanga hridayam – is an Ancient Ayurvedic text book written by Vaghbhata. There are eight branches of Ayurveda, hence the name Ashtanga Hridayam. They are

  • Kaya Chikitsa – General medicine
  • Bala Chikitsa – Paediatrics
  • Graha Chikitsa – Psychiatry
  • Urdhvanga Chikitsa – Diseases and treatment of Ear, Nose, Throat, Eyes and Head (neck and above region)
  • Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery
  • Damshrta Chikitsa – Toxicology
  • Jara Chikitsa – Geriatrics
  • Vrushya Chikitsa – Aphrodisiac therapy

52. Octagon – A polygon with eight sides is an octagon.

53. The atomic number of oxygen is eight.

54. All spiders, and more generally all arachnids, have eight legs.

55. The octopus and its cephalopod relatives in genus Argonauta have eight arms (tentacles).

56. Man – In human adult dentition there are eight teeth in each quadrant. The eighth tooth is the so-called wisdom tooth. There are eight cervical nerves on each side in man and most mammals.

57. The Noble Eightfold Path – is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena (or reality) and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion. They are 1. Right view 2. Right intention 3. Right speech  4. Right action  5. Right livelihood  6. Right effort  7. Right mindfulness  8. Right concentration

58. The Dharmacakra, a Buddhist symbol, has eight spokes.

59. In Mahayana Buddhism, the branches of the Eightfold Path are embodied by the Eight Great Bodhisattvas: (Manjusri, Vajrapani, Avalokiteśvara, Maitreya, Ksitigarbha, Nivaranavishkambhi, Akasagarbha, and Samantabhadra).

60. In the 2008 Games of the XXIX Olympiad, the official opening was on 08/08/08 at 8:08:08 p.m. local time in Beijing, China.

61. In computer language A byte is eight bits.

62. Eight is symbolic for lesbian sexual relations.

63. Eight babies delivered in one birth are called octuplets. The first set of eight surviving babies, the Chukwu octuplets, were born in 1998.

64. “88” is the abbreviated terminology used by the Aryan Brotherhood for the Nazi salute, “Heil Hitler” – “H” being the eighth letter of the alphabet, twice.

65. There are eight types of marriages described in ancient Hindu texts.  They are Rite of Brahmana (Brahma) – where the father of the bride invites a man learned in the Vedas and a good conduct, and gives his daughter in marriage to him after decking her with jewels and costly garments, Rite of the Gods (Daiva) – where the daughter is groomed with ornaments and given to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice during the course of its performance of this rite, Rite of the Rishis (Arsha) – when the father gives away his daughter after receiving a cow and a bull from the brightgroom, Rite of the Prajapati – (Prajapatya) where the father gives away his daughter after blessing the couple with the text “May both of you perform together your duties”, Rite of the Asura (Demons) – when the bridegroom receives a maiden after bestowing wealth to the kinsmen and to the bride according to his own will, Rite of the Gandharva – the voluntary union of a maiden and her lover, which arises from desire and sexual intercourse for its purpose, Rite of the Rakshasa – forcible abduction of a maiden from her home after her kinsmen have been slain or wounded and their houses broken open, Rite of the Pisaka – when a man by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping or intoxicated or is mentally imbalanced or handicapped.

66. There are eight types of intelligence. They are Linguistic Intelligence :the gift of words, Linguistically intelligent people best understand the world through the spoken and written word, Visual/Spatial Intelligence :the gift of pictures, visually intelligent people best understand the world through visualization and spatial orientation, Musical :The gift of music, musically intelligent people best understand the world through rhythm and melody, Bodily Kinaesthetic Intelligence :the gift of body, physically intelligent people best understand the world through physicality, Logical/Mathematical :the gift of logic and number, mathematically and Logically intelligent people best understand the world through cause and effect, Interpersonal Intelligence :the gift of people, socially intelligent people best understand the world through the eyes of others, Intrapersonal :the gift of self, Intra-personally intelligent people best understand the world from their unique point of view, Naturalist Intelligence :the gift of nature, environmentally intelligent people best understand the world through their own environment.

67. There are eight types of waste as described by lean manufacturing. Waste can be viewed as the single hurdle that can limit a business over time, unless they are identified and systematically eliminated. They are Overproduction: Making more than is required by the next process, Waiting: Any idle time created when waiting, Transportation: Any movement of materials or people around a plant that does not add value to the product or service, Non-Value-Added processing: Any effort that adds no value to the product or service, Inventory: Any supply in excess of a one-piece flow through the manufacturing process, Under Utilizing People: The waste of not using people to the best of their unique abilities, Defects: Inspection and repair of materials in inventory, Motion: Any movement of people or machines that does not add value to the product or service.

68. The prayer of saint Francis of Assisi on the peace contains eight requests to the Lord: Lord, make me an instrument of peace.

 

1. Where is the hatred, let me put love.

2. Where is the offense, let me put forgiveness.

3. Where is the discord, let me put union.

4. Where is the error, let me put truth.

5. Where is the doubt, let me put faith.

6. Where is the despair, let me put hope.

7. Where are darkness, let me put light.

8. Where is the sadness, let me put the joy.

69. Fun Fact.

9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

70.  The amount of clouds in the sky is measured in oktas (from 0 to 8).

71. Most umbrellas have eight sides.

72. It takes eight minutes for the sun’s light to reach the earth

73. Millennium Goals – There are eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. These goals were agreed on by 192 United Nations member states.

Goal 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

Goal 2 – Achieve universal primary education.

Goal 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women.

Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality.

Goal 5 – Improve maternal health.

Goal 6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Goal 7 – Ensure environmental sustainability.

Goal 8 – Develop a global partnership for development.

74.  Austria – Austria borders to eight different counties: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungry, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

75. Krishna is considered to be the eighth avatar of Vishnu.  Krishna was the eighth son of princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva.  Krishna had eight primary wives.

76. Chinese life is ruled by eight: at eight months a child has milk teeth; at eight years he loses them; at twice eight he reaches maturity and at 64 (8 x 8) he loses the power of procreation.

77. Eight Principles of Acupuncture – Acupuncture theory holds that a human being is a microcosm. Within a human being are contained the same elements as those of the world: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. If these elements are working in harmony then the body is balanced and can repel disease. If there is lack of harmony, illness is the result. This is the first law of acupuncture and is known as The Law of the Five Elements.

1. Hot 2.Cold.  3.Wet  4. Dry 5. Excess. 6. Deficient.  7. Yin. 8. Yang

78. The Eight Elements of Music – Music has eight elements that composers and performers manipulate to create pieces that stir hearts and minds. The elements – rhythm, dynamics, melody, harmony, tone color, texture, form and text – form the “language of music” and influence our interpretations of what we hear.

79. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says: “Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Spirit, Intelligence and Ego are my 8 separated energies.”  

80. The eight favorable qualities of birth that are most conducive to success are:  Having a long lifespan, a handsome healthy body, in a reputable family, with wealth and friends, with credibility of speech, with influence, as a male, and with a powerful body and mind.

81. Ashta Vianayaka – As per puranas it is said that Lord Ganesh got manifested in several forms out of which, eight are considered to be most important referred to as His incarnations. These incarnations that have occurred in different cosmic ages are; Vakratunda; Ekadantha; Mahodara; Gajavaktra (Gajaanana); Lambodara; Vikata; Vighnaraja and Dhoomravarna.

82. Ashta Vasus – They are a class of Vedic deities; eight in number called Ashta Vasus; the elemental gods who are associated with Indra, the Lord of Heaven. They represent the basic aspects of nature; cosmic natural phenomenon viz; the earth, fire, water, wind, sky, sun; moon and stars. Names of Ashta Vasus are as follows; Dhara; Dhruva; Soma; Ahas; Anila; Anala; Pratyuusha; and Prabhasa;

83. Hindu Astrology – Ashtama Bhaava; 8th house in an astrological chart signifies a very important aspect viz; the longevity and death; apart from several other things like obstacles, accidents, disgrace, degradation, sudden aberrations, windfall, unearned wealth, chronic diseases etc. It is one of the Dusthanas (bad house) in a birth chart.

84. Ashtamukhi Rudraaksha – In the concept of Rudraaksha, Ashtamukhi (eight faced) is known to represent Lord Ganapathi (Vinayaka) and its ruling planet is Rahu.  It is believed to remove all obstacles and aberrations and bring success in all the endeavors.

85. Ashtadiggaja – Sri Krishna Devaraaya the great emperor of Vijayanagara dynasty had in his court eight great poets who were known as Ashtadiggajas. They were: Allasani Peddana; Nandi Thimmana; Maadayaagari Mallana; Dhoorjati; Pingali Soorana; Ramaraja Bhooshana; Ayyalaraju Raamabhadrudu; and Tenali Ramakrishna.

29. ASTANGAYOGA(S). Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dharana and Samadhi.

(1)Yama – That which prevents the yogis from doing prohibited things –  Ahirhsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacarya and Aparigraha are yamas.

(2)Niyama – Actions leading to Moksa. They are: (1) SAUCA – Cleanliness of the mind cleaning it of such bad qualities like jealousy. (2) TAPAS – Indifference (Samatvabhava) to the pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain, heat and cold etc. (3) Svadhyaya – pursuit of the science of salvation chanting of OM. (4) SANTOSA – remaining happy and contented. (5) ISVARA-PRANIDHANA – surrendering all actions to God.

(3) Asana. Postures of sitting firmly and comfortably. Of the many asanas the very prominent ones are : Svastikasana, Virasana, Padmasana, Siddhasana, Vastrasana, Vyaghracarmasana, Valkalasana, Kusasana, Krsnasana, Vistarasani, Mayurasana and Kurmasana. Of these Siddhasana is considered to be the best of the lot. This asana strengthens the 72,000 nerves of the human system and all the yogis prefer this to any other.

4) Pranayama – Control of Prana (Prana is the life giving breath and ayama is the checking of it) – Select an airy place and be seated in an ordinary asana facing north or east after taking your early morning bath. Sit erect with your breast slightly pushed forward and your head slightly drawn back. Then complete one Pranayama doing Puraka, Kumbhaka and Recaka.

Closing the right nostril by the thumb of the right hand and inhaling air inside through the left nostril taking 16 seconds is called Puraka. Closing the nostrils by the thumb and ring-finger arid keeping the breath for 64 seconds is called Kumbhaka. Closing the left nostril well and then exhaling through the right nostril taking 32 seconds is called Recaka. Purakas should be done through the same nostril through which you have done Recaka. (You must do at least ten Pranayamas at a time) .

5) Pratyahara – Withdrawing the mind from worldly objects and sensuous pleasures.

6) Dhyana – Keeping your mind fixed on the tip of your nose. (Meditation)

7) Dharana – Steadily thinking of things you should know (Concentration.)

8) Samadhi – The union of mind with God. This is a blissful superconscious state in which one perceives the identity of the individualised soul and cosmic spirit. (Yogabhyasa).

30. ASTAPRAMANAS – Eight means of getting correct knowledge. Pratyaksa, Anumana, Upamana, Sabda (Agama), Arthapatti, Anupalabdhi (Abhava) Sambhava, Aitihya.

31. ASTARAGAS – Raga, Dvesa, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya. Raga – Desire for sensuous pleasures. Dvesa – Desire to seek vengeance on those who have offended you. Kama – Desire for worldly possessions. Krodha – Anger, Lobha – Miserliness. Moha – Delusion. Mada – Pride. Matsarya – Jealousy.

32. ASTAKARANA(S) – Manas (mind), Buddhi (intelligence), Citta (thought), Ahankara (egotism), Sankalpa in the mind (imagination) , determination, pride from egotism and Avadharana in Citta.

33. ASTAKASTA(S) –  Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (arrogance), Matsarya (rivalry), Dambha (pride) and Asuya (jealousy).

34. ASTAKOPAVYASANA (S) . (1) Paisunya (2) Sahasa (3) Droha (5) Irsya (5) Asuya (6) Arthadusana (7) Vagdanda and (8) Parusya.

35. ASTAKUMBHA(S) – Suryabheda, Ujjayi, Silkkari, Sitali, Bhastika, Bhramari, Murccha and Plavini. All these have to be practised by students of Yoga.

36. Ashtangas – Eight parts of a court – the law, the judge, assessors, scribe, astrologer, gold, fire and water.

37 – Ashtangargya – an offering of eight articles – water, milk, kusa grass, curd, ghee, rice, barley and mustard.

38. Ashtakshari mantra – Om Namo Narayana is the main ashtakshari mantra.

39. Astapasas – Eight bonds which obstructs our spiritual progress. They are pity, bashfulness, fear, doubt, aversion, family conduct and birth(caste).

40. Astasiddhis – Supernatural power that accrues to a person who practices yoga. They are anima(power to assume minute forms), mahima(power to expand to huge proportions, garima (power to grow heavy, laghima(power to become weightless), prapti(capacity to obtain even the most difficult things), prakamya(having irresistible will), isitrtva(perfect mastery over body, senses and capacity to create or destroy outside objects) and vasitva(full control over the movement of physical objects).

41.Ashtachoornam – an ayurvedic medicine prepared using eight ingradients. They are zingiber officinale (sunti), piper nigrum (maricha), piper longum (pippali),carum roxburghianum (ajamoda), cuminum cyminum (jeeraka), carom bulbocastanum (krishna jeeraka), Rock salt, ferula asafoetida (hingu).

42. Ashtadravyam –  eight sacred puja items that are offered to Lord Ganesha during the special puja known as Ashta Dravya Mahaganapathy Homam. The eight sacred things that are part of the Ashtadravya are: Coconuts, Molasses, Sesame Oil, Sugarcane, Lemon, Rice flakes Banana Rice. In some places Ashta Dravya are Dried coconut, puffed rice, jaggery, banana (kadali plantain), honey, sesame, sugarcane and fried paddy of rice. For some communities Ashtadravya are Coconut, Banana, Honey, Sugarcane, Ghee, Modhaka, Jaggery, Puffed rice.

43. The Ashta-Nayika – is a collective name for eight types of nayikas or heroines as classified by Bharata in Natya Shastra. The eight nayikas represent eight different states (avastha) in relationship to her hero or nayaka. The eight nayikas are: 1.Vasakasajja Nayika- “one dressed up for union” 2.Virahotkanthita Nayika – “one distressed by separation” 3.Svadhinabhartruka Nayika – “one having her husband in subjection” 4.Kalahantarita Nayika – “one separated by quarrel” 5.Khandita Nayika – “one enraged with her lover” 6.Vipralabdha Nayika – “one deceived by her lover” 7.Proshitabhartruka Nayika – “one with a sojourning husband” 8.Abhisarika Nayika – “one going to meet her lover”

44. Ashtapushpam – There are eight flowers renowned as Ashtapushpam much preferred for the worship of the Lord. They are arugu, chanbakam, punnakam, nandhiyavattai, padhiri, brugati, arali  and thumbai. Philosophically speaking there are 8 Flowers that is ideal for GOD worship. They are Ahimsa prathamam pushpam (Non-violence is the First Flower), Pushpam Indriya Nigraham (Control of the senses is the Second Flower) Sarva Bhootha Daya Pushpam (Being Kind towards all the living beings is the Third Flower) Kshama Pushpam Visheshataha (Forgiving is the real special Flower – the Fourth Offering), Shanthi Pushpam (Peace is the Fifth Flower), Tapah Pushpam (Penance is the Sixth Flower), Dhyanah Pushpam (Meditation is the Seventh Flower) and Sathyam Ashta Vidha Pushpam (Truth is the Eighth Flower)

45. Ashta-bharya(s) – Eight principal wives of Lord Krishna: Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra and Lakshmana.

46. Ashtabhogani – One can have eight types of enjoyment from land ownership. They are (1) nidhi – treasure troves, (2) nikshepa – deposits or accumulation of the soil, (3) jala – fishing rights in the waters, (4) pashana – quarrying rights in the hills, (5) akshini – actual income, (6) agami – future income, (7) siddha – income from land already under cultivation, (8) sadhya – land that may be bought under cultivation in future.

47. Ashtamangala Gruta –  An ayurvedic medicine prepared using these eight ingradients. 1.Patola (Tricosanthes dioica) 2, Sariva (Hemidesmus  indicus) 3. Mustha   (Cyperus rotundus) 4. Madhuka (Glycerrhiza glabra) 5. Katukarohini (Pichrorhiza  kurroa) 6. Usira(Vetivera zizanoides) 7. Chandana (Santalum album ) 8. Pippali (Piper longum). All these items are prepared in cow’s ghee and water.

48. Ashtarasa – Bharata Muni classifies the Rasa under eight categories (ashtarasa) and gives the corresponding Bhava which gives rise to the rasa. These are known as Sthayi Bhava or pervading stable emotion. They are rati(love), hasa(mirth), shoka(grief), krodha(anger), utsaha(heroism), bhaya(fear), jugupsa(disgust), and vismaya(wonder). The corresponding eight Rasa are sringara(amorous), hasya(humorous), karuna(pathetic), raudra(furious), vira(valorous), bhayanaka(horrific), bibhatsa(repugnant), and adbhuta(wondrous).

Eight – Every number has a certain power which is expressed both by its symbol to denote its representation and by its connection to universal principles. Numbers have relationships with all things in nature, thus making them supremely powerful symbolic expressions.

Eight represents eternity and infinity. In fact in mathematics the symbol for infinity is the number 8 laid down. Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture because it sounds like the word meaning to generate wealth. So is in Hindu culture as Goddess Lakshmi has eight forms.

In Numerology the symbolism backing number Eight deals largely with business, success, and wealth. This is due to the fact that eight represents continuation, repetition, and cycles. Such elements are seen in arenas where success is obtained simply because of dogged determination and repetition. Also, matters of business and wealth largely depend on cycles to fulfill their manifestation. It’s like the snowball analogy: As it continues to roll, in gets bigger and bigger with each revolution. Eight represents that kind of momentum.

  1. ASTABANDHA. A kind of plaster used for fixing idols in temples. The following eight things are mixed and ground consecutively for forty-one days and made ready to be put in the cavity around the idol when it is fixed there finally, (1) conch-powder (2) powdered myrobalam (3) resin (4) Kolipparal (a kind of rock) (5) river sand (6) powder of emblic myrobalam (7) lac and (8) cotton.
  2. ASTABHARYA – The eight wives of Sri Krishna. (1) Rukmini (2) Jambavati (3) Satyabhama (4)kalindi (5) Mitravinda (6) Satya (7) Bhadra and (8) Laksana.
  3. ASTABUDDHIGUNA – Eight qualities of the intellect. Susrusa, Sravana, Grahana, Dharana, Uha, Apoha, Arthavijnana, and Tattvajnana.
  4. ASTACURNA – A mixture of eight powders. The eight things are : Cukku (dry ginger), Mulaku (chilli), Tippali (long pepper), Ayamodaka (celery seed), Jiraka (baraway seed) Karimjiraka (black caraway seed) Intuppu (sodium chloride) and Kayam (asafoetida).
  5. ASTADHARMAMARGA – Eight ways of attaining  moksa  – Yaga, Vedabhyasa, Dana, Tapas, Satya, Ksama, Daya, lack of desire.
  6. ASTADHATU – Eight minerals : gold, silver, copper, tin, zinc, black lead, iron and mercury.
  7. ASTADIGGAJAS and ASTADIKKARlNlS – There are eight male and eight female elephants standing guard over the eight zones. They are :

Zone                           Male                                     Female

East                           Airavata                                 Abhramu

South-east                 Pundarika                               Kapila

South                          Vamana                              Pirigala

South-west                 Kumuda                              Anupama

West                             Anjana                          Tamrakarm

North-west                    Puspadanta                    Subhradanti

North                          Sarvabhauma                     Angana

North-east                   Supratika                       Anjanavati

Besides these, there are four dig-gajas (elephants of the universe) who bear the earth standing below in the nether world. It is stated that the sons of Sagara who went into the nether land in search of the lost horse of his father saw these elephants. As they went to the east they saw the huge elephant Virupaksa, holding the earth on its head. It is said an earthquake occurs when for a change it shakes its head. Going to the left of it they saw the elephant Mahapadmasama holding the earth on its head on the south. Going again to the left of it they saw Saumanasa holding the earth on its head on the west and going to the left of it on the north they saw Bhadra holding the earth on its head.

  1. ASTADIK – (Eight zones) – East, South-east, South, South-west, West, North-west, North and North-east.
  2. ASTADIKPALAKA – Situated in the eight different zones of the Brahmaloka are eight big cities of the eight guardians of these zones each covering an area of 2500 yojanas. All these are on the top of Mahameru and Brahma sits in the center in his city called Manovatl. Around his city are the others as follows :

(1) On the east is AmaravatI, city of Indra.

(2) On South-east is TejovatI, city of Agni.

(3) On the South is Samyamani, city of Yama.

(4) On the South-west is Krsnanjana, city of Nirrti.

(5) On the West is Sraddhavati, city of Varuna.

(6) On the North-west is Gandhavati, city of Vayu.

(7) On the North is Mahodaya, city of Kubera.

(8) On the North-east is Yasovatl, city of Siva.

11. ASTADRAVYA – Eight substances of great medicinal value –  (1) Arayal, (Asvattha Fig tree) (2) Atti (Udumbara Keg tree) (3) Plasu (Palasa Downy branch butea) (4) Peral (Vata-Banyan tree) (5) Camata (6) Ellu (Sesame) (7) Vayasa (Krsnaguru) cedar tree (8) Ghee.

12. ASTADUTAGUNA – The eight qualities of a good messenger. (1) He should not stand perplexed when he is being given the message to carry. (2) He must be smart and enthusiastic. (3) He must have compassion for those in distress. (4) He must run his errand quickly. (5) He must be mild. (6) He should not be duped by the cunning words of others. (7) He must be healthy. (8) He must be able to talk convincingly.

13. ASTAGANDHA – Akil (Eaglewood), Candana (Sandal), Guggulu (Indian Bdellium), Manci (JatamamsI-Spikenard) Kuiikuma (saffron) , Kotta(Kustta-bostus root), Ramacca (Usiram-Sweet rush), Iruveli (Valaka).

14. ASTAGUNA – (1) Bhutadaya, Ksama, Anasuya, Gaurava, Anayasa, Mangala, Akarpanya and Asprha.

(2) Buddhibala, Kulasuddhi, Sama, Learning, Parakrama, Mitabhasana, Dana and Krtajnata.

(3) Absence of Jealousy, Rjutva, Sucitva, Santosa, Bhasanabharigi, Sama, Satya, Sthairya.

15. ASTAKARANA – Manas (mind), Buddhi (intelligence), Citta (thought), Ahankara (egotism ), Sankalpa in the mind (imagination) , determination, pride from egotism and Avadharana in Citta.

17. ASTAKASTA – Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (arrogance), Matsarya (rivalry), Dambha (pride) and Asuya (jealousy).

18.ASTAKOPAVYASANA – (1) Paisunya (2) Sahasa (3) Droha (5) Irsya (5) Asuya (6) Arthadusana (7) Vagdanda and (8) Parusya.

19. ASTAKUMBHA – Suryabheda, Ujjayi, Silkkari, Sitali, Bhastika, Bhramari, Murccha and Plavinl. All these have to be practiced by students of Yoga.

20. ASTALOHA  – Eight metals. 1. Suvarnam – Gold. 2. Rajatam – Silver. 3. Tamram – Copper. 4. Sisakam – Lead,  5. Kantikam – Mercury, 6. Vamsam – Vamgam, TIU,  7. Lauham – Iron,

8. Tiksnalauham – Steel.

21. ASTAMANGALA – (A) Brahmins, bow, Fire, gold, ghee, Sun, water arid King. (B) Lion, bull, elephant, pitcher, camara, flag, trumpet and lamp.

22. ASTAMANGALYA. – 1.Kurava (2) Darpana (3)Dipa (4) Kalasa (5) Vastra (6) Aksatam (7) Angana (8) Svarna.

23. ASTAMANOGUNA – (1) Paratva (2) Aparatva (3) Samkhya (4) Parimana (5) Prthakta (6) Sam-yoga (7) Vibhaga (8) Vega.’

26. ASTAMCRTI(S) – Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether, Hota, Sun and Moon.

27. ASTANAGA(S) – Eight snakes. Vasuki; Taksa, Karkotaka, Sarhkha, Gulika, Padma, Mahapadma and Ananta.

28. ASTANGAHRDAYA. The medical science which deals in eight separate division the treatment of the human body. (1) Sarlra (2) Bala (3) Graha (4) Urddhvanga (5) Salya (6) Darhsfra (7) Jara and (8) Vrsa. Bala – Body which has not attained maturity; Graha – External elements which damage the health of infants; Salya – extraneous substance lodged in the body; Vrsa – The seminal fluid.

 

Symbolism in Numbers – 5 ( Contd..)

  • Panca prasada – a temple with 4 pinnacles and a steeple.
  • Panca bala – the 5 forces or strengths – faith, energy, recollection, self-concentration and reason.
  • Pancavadi – places where these 5 trees are present – Aswatha, Bilva, Vata, Dhatri and Asoka.
  • Panca valkala – a collection of the bark of 5 kinds of trees – Nyagrodha, Udumbara, Aswatha, Plaksha and Vetasa.
  • Pancamruta – In Hindu temples, the deities are offered food made of five sweet items called ‘panchamruta’ Viz Milk, Yogurt, Butter, Honey and Sugar.
  • Pancamlum – the aggregate of 5 acid plants – the jujube, pomegranate, sorrel, spondias and citron.
  • Panca vriksha – 5 divine trees found in heaven – Mandara, Parijata, Samtana, Kalpavriksha and Haricandana.
  • Panca Pitta – the gall or bile of 5 animals – boar, goat, buffalo, fish and peacock.
  • Panca loham – An alloy containing 5 metals – copper, brass, tin, gold and silver.
  • Panca kolam – 5 spices used to cook delicacies – long pepper, its root, piper chaba, plumbago and dry ginger.
  • Panca gavyam – 5 products of cow – milk, coagulated or sour milk, butter, urine and dung.
  • Panca devata – the 5 main Gods of Hinduism – Vishnu, Siva, Devi, Ganapati and Sun.
  • Punjab – place where 5 rivers flow – Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum.
  • Panca Neerajanam – special prayer using these 5 things to ward off evil spirits – lamp, lotus, cloth, mango and betel leaves.
  • Christianity – There are traditionally Five Wounds of Jesus Christ in Christianity: the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns, the wounds in Christ’s hands, the wounds in Christ’s feet, and the Side Wound of Christ.
  • The book of Psalms is arranged into five books, paralleling the Five Books of Moses.
  • The Five Pillars of Islam – are five basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. They are summarized in the famous hadith of Gabriel. They make up Muslim life, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification and the pilgrimage. They are:
    • Shahadah: declaring there is no god except God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger
    • Salat: ritual prayer five times a day
    • Sawm: fasting and self-control during the blessed month of Ramadan
    • Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy
    • Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if he/she is able to do
  • The Khamsa – an ancient symbol shaped like a hand with five fingers, is used as a protective amulet by Jews; that same symbol is also very popular in Arabic culture, known to protect from envy and the evil eye.
  • The Torah contains five books—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—which are collectively called the Five Books of Moses, the Pentateuch (Greek for “five containers,” referring to the scroll cases in which the books were kept), or Humash ( Hebrew for “fifth”).
  • Panj Kakar – The five sacred Sikh symbols prescribed by Guru Gobind Singh are commonly known as Panj Kakars or the ‘Five Ks’ because they start with letter K representing Kakka in the Punjabi language/Gurmukhi Script. They are: Kesh (unshorn hair), Kangha (the comb), Kara (the steel bracelet), Kachhehra (the soldiers shorts), and Kirpan (the sword) [in Gurmukhi. Also, there are five deadly evils: Kam (lust), Krodh (anger), Moh (attachment), Lobh (greed), and Ankhar (ego).
  • Hanuman – According to scriptures Anjaneya has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and ten weapons. The five faces are that of Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva, and Lord Garuda.
  • In Kamba Ramayanam (in Tamil), the significance of number five is beautifully narrated as follows: The son of one of the five (son of wind – that is Pavana Thanaya), crossed one of the five (water – the ocean), through one of the five (sky), met daughter of one of the five (daughter of the earth – Sita Devi), burnt down Lanka by one of the five (fire). Here five means the five elements.
  • The five commandments of Buddha Gautama: You will not kill; you will not steal; you will not be impudic; you will not lie; you will not drink intoxicating liquors. Buddhism distinguishes also five great evils: the ignorance, the anger, the desire, the malevolence and the envy.
  • The five commandments of the Church: to sanctify the feast-days, to assist the mass on Sunday and the feast-days, to confess his sins at least once a year, to receive the communion at least during Easter, and to pay the tithe to the Church – instead of that, others versions speak about the respect of the obligatory fast-days. The Church recommends also five acts to believers before the Communion: the act of faith, love, humility, desire and hope.
  • The visions of the saints are classified according to five categories: beatific or intuitive vision, “abstract” vision, intellectual vision, imaginary vision and the corporal vision.
  • The Greeks philosophers admitted five principles in the man: body, animal soul, psyche, intelligence and divine spirit.
  • The five oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic) with the five parts of the geographical world: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Oceania.
  • In numerology there are five core numbers:
  • Olympic symbol – The Olympic Games have five interlocked rings as their symbol, representing the number of inhabited continents represented by the Olympians (counting North America and South America as one continent).
  • Cars – 5 is the most common number of gears for automobiles with manual transmission.
  • Radio – In radio communication, the term “Five by five” is used to indicate perfect signal strength and clarity.
  • Quintuplets – Five babies born at one time are quintuplets.
  • United Nations – The number of permanent members with veto power on the United Nations Security Council.
  • Basketball – The number of players of a basketball team on the court at a given time. The number 5 is used to represent the position of center.
  • Telephone – the 5 on a telephone keypad is usually distinguished by raised dots on or around it to aid in navigating the thumb when dialing.           
  • Tarot cards – In the Tarot, the fifth card is the Heirophant, the Priest.  Many interpret the Heirophant as Chiron, the Wounded Healer.  Chiron is “an image of that part of us which reaches upward toward the spirit in order to understand what is required of us by God. Heirophant is a priest who establishes a link between the world and the understanding of God’s laws. 
  • There are five arms on a regular starfish.
  • An earthworm has five hearts (aortic arch).

 

Every number has a certain power which is expressed both by its symbol to denote its representation and by its connection to universal principles. Numbers have relationships with all things in nature, thus making them supremely powerful symbolic expressions.

  • Muslims pray 5 times in a day.
  • Five major disasters – war, epidemics, famine, pollution and poverty.
  • Five Yamas (code of conduct as per Patanjali) – Ahimsa (nonviolence), Brahmacharya (abstain from sexual intercourse), Asteya (non – stealing), Satya (truth in words and thoughts) and Aparagraha (absence of avarice).
  • Five sacred symbols of Sikh religion as prescribed by Guru Gobind Singh known as Panj Karas or five ‘k’s are – Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (comb), Kara   (steel bracelet), kachha (soldiers shorts) and kirpan (sword).
  • Five basic tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savouriness.
  • Panchopachara – five ways of offering daily prayer to the God – Gandha- The worshipper offers sandal paste to the deity, Pushpa – The worshipper offers flowers to the deity, Dhupa – Lighting of incense sticks and placing them in front of the deity. Deepa – Lighting a lamp and Naivedya – Offering of food to the deity.
  • Panchabhuta – Prthvi (earth), Ap (water), Tejas (fire), Vayu (air) and Akasa (ether) are the Pancabhutas (five elements) .
  • Panchabrahmasana – This is a divine cot with Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Isvara as its four legs and Sadasiva as the couch. Devi rests on this cot always.
  • Pancadevis – Durga, Radha, Laksmi, Sarasvati and Savitri are the Pancadevls.
  • Panchaksharamahatmya – . Namas’sivaya composed of five letters (Na-mah si va ya) is called the mantra of Pancaksara.
  • Pancamahayagya – For a Grhasthasraml (householder) the following five apparatuses are unavoidable : A sifter, a grinding stone, a broom, a wooden mortar and a water-pot. It is believed that a sin is committed when each of these is used and to remove the sins thus committed the ancient sages have prescribed five yajnas and these five yajnas are called the Pancamahayajnas. They are the Brahmayajna, Pitryajna, Devayajna, Bhutayajna and the Manusayajna. Reciting of Vedas is Brahmayajna. Pleasing the manes by offering rice or libations of water is called Pitryajna. Giving offerings to the demi-gods in the sacrificial fire is called Devayajna and religious offerings of rice to the crows are called Bhutayajna. Giving food for the guests is Manusayajna. One who does not do the Pancamahayajnas is no better than dead. Some scholars have classified the Pancamahayajnas as Huta, Prahuta, Brahmyahuta, Prasita and Ahuta.
  • Pancapranas-The five pranas (life breaths) of any living being are Prana, Apana, Vyana, Samana and Udana.
  • Panca mutra – urine of 5 female animals viz. cow, goat, buffalo, sheep and ass.
  • Panca ratna – a collection of 5 jewels or precious things viz gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby and pearl.
  • Panca lavana – 5 different kinds of salt viz kaca, saindhava, samudra, vida and sauvarcala.
  • Panca sugandhaka – a collection of 5 kinds of aromatics vegetable substances viz cloves, nutmeg, camphor, aloe wood and kakkola.
  • Panca suna – 5 things in a house by which animal life may be accidentally destroyed viz the fire place, slab for grinding condiments, broom, pestle & mortar and water pot.
  • Pancanga – 5 members or parts of a body.
  • 5 parts of a tree Viz root, bark, leaf, flower and fruit.
  • 5 modes of devotion – silent prayer, oblations, libations, bathing idols and feeding Brahmins.
  • A calendar of almanac treating 5 things – solar days, lunar days, nakshatras, yogas and karanas.
  • Panca pranama – obeisance made with arms, knees, head, voice and look.
  • Panca tantra – well known collection of moral stories and fables divided into 5 sections.
    • Mitrabheda – breaking the friendship – benefits of divide and rule policy between our enemies.
    • Mitralabha – acquisition of friends. Advantage of selecting your friends judiciously.
    • Kakolukiya – tales of crows and owls – this brings out the dangers of friendship between those who are natural enemies.
    • Labdapranasa –loss of what has been acquired – shows how certain weakness lead to loss of one’s own possessions.
    • Apariksitakaritam – results of inconsiderable actions – illustrates the general principle of haste makes waste.
  • Panca karma – 5 kinds of Ayurveda treatment viz. giving emetics, purgative medicines, sternutatories and enemas of two kinds: oily and not oily.
  • Panca kashaya – decoction made from the fruits of 5 plants – the jambu, salmali, vatyala, bakula and badara.
  • Panca gupta – protected or covered in a fivefold manner – like a tortoise drawing its feet and head.
  • Panca chaksu – 5 eyes of Buddha – Mamsa Chakshu (the carnal eye), dharma chakshu (the religious eye), prajna chakshu (the eye of intellect), divya chakshu (the divine eye) and Buddha chakshu (the eye of Buddha).
  • Pancajana – 5 classes of beings – gods, men, gandharvas & apsaras, serpents and pitrs.
  • Panchagni – the 5 fires to which an ascetic who practices self-mortification exposes himself Viz one fire towards each of the four quarters and the sun overhead.  
  • Panca tikta – 5 bitter things Viz nimba, amrita, vrisha, patola and nidigdhika.
  • Panca tirthi – 5 principal places of Hindu pilgrimage – Visrauti, Saukara, Naimisha, Prayaga and Pushkara.

Every number has a certain power which is expressed both by its symbol to denote its representation and by its connection to universal principles. Numbers have relationships with all things in nature, thus making them supremely powerful symbolic expressions.

 

Five is the symbol of human microcosm. No. 5 represents the human forms – the pentagon when arms and legs are out stretched. The pentagon is endless-sharing the symbolism of perfection and power of the circle. Five is a circular number as it produces itself in its last digit when raised to its own power.

Five is the number of balance. Five symbolizes man, health and love. It combines the female number two with the male number three. Five is the number of marriage. The Pythagoreans thought of five as “hieros gamos”, the marriage between heaven and earth.

  • Five – It is a symbol for man. On a figure of man, a line joining head to outstretched arms and legs forms a pentagram. It also represents Earth.
  • The number 5 is the fifth Fibonacci number, being 2 plus 3. 5 is also a Pell number and a Markov number, appearing in solutions to the Markov Diophantine equation.
  • Pentagon – A polygon with five sides is a pentagon.
  • Boron – The atomic number of boron is five.
  • The number of appendages on most starfish, which exhibit pentamerism.
  • Hurricanes – The most destructive known hurricanes rate as Category 5 on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.
  • The most destructive known tornadoes rate an F-5 on the Fujita scale.
  • Fingers – Almost all amphibians, reptiles, and mammals which have fingers or toes have five of them on each extremity
  • Human body has five jnanedriyas(sense organs) and five karmedriyas (functional organs)
  • Five sense organs are ear, eye, nose, tongue and skin representing hearing, vision, smelling, tasting and touching.
  • Five karmedriyas are Hand, legs, mouth, genital and anus and does the functions of grasping, walking, speaking, procreation and excretion.
  • The Hindu calendar is called Panchang because it has five parts. They are Thithi (date), vara (day of the week), nakshatra (star), karana (half a thithi) and yoga(auspicious moments).
  • In Kamba Ramayanam (in Tamil), the significance of number five is beautifully narrated as follows: The son of one of the five (son of wind – that is Pavana Thanaya), crossed one of the five (water – the ocean), through one of the five (sky), met daughter of one of the five (daughter of the earth – Sita Devi), burnt down Lanka by one of the five (fire). Here five means the five elements. Therefore, it is considered auspicious to go around His idol 5 times.
  • Five tantric substances are called ‘panchamakara’. They are matsya(fish), mamsa(meat), madira(wine), maithuna(sexual intercourse) and mudra(parched cereals).
  • Panca Kanya – Five ideal wives as per Hindu scriptures are – Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara and Mandodhari.
  • Five Great sins (Panchamahapataka) as per scriptures are – Brahma hatya (killing of a brahman), Shishu Hatya (killing of an infant), Sura Pana (drinking alcohol), Swarna steya (stealing of Gold) and Guru Talpa Gamana (having sex with Guru’s wife).
  • Pancabana – Manmatha, the God of Love or lust is said to discharge five kinds of arrows of different flowers from his bow made of sugarcane stalk towards his victims to make them lovelorn.
  • Pancabhutalinga – The Sivalingas in the following famous Siva temples represent the 5 elements of nature – space, air, fire, water and earth.
    • Prithvilinga – Kanchipuram
    • Ablinga – Jambukesvara
    • Tejolinga – Arunachala
    • Vayulinga – Kalahasti
    • Akasalinga – Chidambaram.
  • Pancakosha – According to Yogic philosophy, the nature of human being encompasses physical and psychological aspects that function as one holistic system. The Kosha system refers to these different aspects as layers of subjective experience. Layers range from the dense physical body to the more subtle levels of emotions, mind and spirit
    • 1.Annamaya kosha, appearance due foodstuffs-sheath (Anna)
    • 2.Pranamaya kosha, appearance due energies-sheath (Prana/apana)
    • 3.Manomaya kosha appearance due mind-stuff-sheath (Manas)
    • 4.Vijnanamaya kosha, appearance due wisdom-sheath (Vijnana)
    • 5.Anandamaya kosha, appearance due bliss-sheath (Ananda)

Noble Thoughts

Excerpts of discussions between two sages in Mahabharata. While reading, please consider the fact that this was written 3000 years ago and how relevant it is even today!

What are the sorrows of human beings?

There are many instances of misery that are seen among men in this world! Life with persons that are disagreeable, separation from those that are agreeable and beloved, companionship with the wicked, these are the evils which human beings have to bear. The death of sons and wives, of kinsmen and friends, and the pain of dependence on others, are some of the greatest of evils. There is no more pitiable sight in the world than that of poor men being insulted by others. The acquisitions of family dignity by those that do not have it, the loss of family dignity by those that have it, are noticeable by all. How they who have no family dignity but have prosperity try to get what they want with their wealth.  What can be more pitiable than the calamities and reverses sustained by the gods! Good families suffer due to the actions of ill-born and the poor are insulted by the rich. What can be more pitiable than these? Innumerable examples of such contradictory dispensations are seen in the world. The foolish and the ignorant are cheerful and happy while the learned and the wise suffer misery!

What the joys of good people?

Earned by his own efforts, without having to depend upon any one, he who eats even fruits and vegetables in his own house is entitled to respect. He who eats in another’s house the food given to him in contempt, even if that food be rich and sweet is despicable. If after treating guests and servants and offering food to the forefathers a good person eats what remains, there can be nothing happier than that.

Man of Virtue

Men’s minds are at first bent on the acquisition of knowledge. That acquired, they indulge in their passions and desires, and for that end, they labour and set about tasks of great magnitude. Once success achieved they indulge in much-desired pleasures of beauty, flavour, etc. That is followed by fondness, envy, avarice and then extinction of all spiritual light. And when men are thus influenced by avarice, and overcome by envy and fondness, their intellect ceases to be guided by righteousness and they practice the very mockery of virtue. Practicing virtue with hypocrisy, they are content to acquire wealth by dishonourable means. With the wealth thus acquired they are filled with a desire to commit sins. And when their friends and men of wisdom remonstrate with them, they are ready with specious answers, which are neither sound nor convincing. They commit sin in thought, in word, as also in action. From their being addicted to evil ways, they are guilty of a threefold sin. They being addicted to wicked ways, all their good qualities die out, and these men of wicked deeds cultivate the friendship of men of similar character, and consequently they suffer misery in this world as well as in the next.

Practicing self-discipline is important for peaceful life and attaining spiritual wisdom. And this self-discipline can only be acquired by subduing the senses as heaven and hell are both dependent on our senses. When subdued, they lead to heaven; when indulged in, they lead to perdition. Our senses are at the root cause of our spiritual advancement as also at the root of our spiritual degradation. By indulging in them, a person undoubtedly contracts vices, and by subduing these, he attains salvation. The self-restrained person, who acquires mastery over the six senses inherent in our nature, is never tainted with sin, and consequently evil has no power over him. Man’s physical self has been compared to a chariot, his soul to a charioteer and his senses to horses. A dexterous man drives about without confusion, like a quiet charioteer with well-disciplined horses. That man is an excellent driver who knows how to patiently wield the reins of those wild horses – the six senses inherent in our nature. When our senses become ungovernable like horses on the high road, we must patiently rein them in; for with patience, we are sure to get the better of them. When a man’s mind is overpowered by any one of these senses running wild, he loses his reason, and becomes like a ship tossed by storms upon the high ocean.

Avarice and anger must be subdued by all means, failing which people can get into untold miseries in life. A man must preserve his righteousness from being overcome by the evil consequences of anger, his virtues from the effects of pride, his learning from the effects of vanity, and his own spirit from illusion. Leniency is the best of virtues, and forbearance is the best of powers, the knowledge of our spiritual nature is the best of all knowledge, and truthfulness is the best of all obligations. The telling of truth is good, and the knowledge of truth may also be good, but God realisation is the highest truth. Self-abnegation, peace of mind, renunciation of hope, and equanimity,–these are the ways by which spiritual enlightenment can always be secured; and the knowledge of self (one’s own spiritual nature) is the best of all knowledge.

 

(10) Krimibhojanam (Food for worms) – Depraved Brahmans who take their food without worshipping gods and honoring guests, are thrown into this “Krimibhojana” Naraka which is one lakh yojanas in extent. Worms, insects and serpents sting them and eat them up. Once their bodies are completely eaten up by these creatures, they are provided with new bodies, which are also eaten up in the above manner. They have to continue there in this manner, till the end of their term of punishment.

(11) Taptamurti – Those who plunder or steal other people’s gold, jewels, ornaments or money are cast into the furnaces of this Naraka, which is built of iron and always remains red hot with blazing fire.

(12) Salmali – This Naraka is intended for men and women who have committed adultery. A figure made of iron, heated red-hot is placed there. The victim is urged to embrace it. Yama’s servants flog the victim from behind.

(13) Vajrakantakasali – This Naraka is for the punishment of those who have unnatural intercourse with cows and other animals. Here, the guilty people are made to embrace iron images full of diamond needles.

(14) Vaitarani – This is the Naraka for Kings who have violated all ordinances of Sastras and for adulterers. It is the most terrible place of punishment. Vaitarani is a river filled with human excreta, urine, blood, hair, bones, nails, flesh, fat and all kinds of dirty substances. There are various kinds of ferocious beasts in it. Those who are cast into it are attacked and mauled by these creatures from all sides. The sinners have to spend the term of their punishment, feeding upon the contents of this river.

(15) Puyodakam – This is a well, filled with excreta, urine, blood, phlegm etc. Brahmans and others who have intercourse with women of low caste against customs, ordinances etc. vagabonds who wander about irresponsibly like animals and birds and other such sinners are cast into this Naraka.

(16) Pranarodham – This Naraka is for the punishment of Brahmans who keep dogs, asses and other mean animals and constantly hunt and kill animals for food. Here the servants of Yama gather round the sinners and cut them limb by limb with their arrows and subject them to constant insult.

(17) Visasanam – This Naraka is for the torture of those who perform Yagya by killing cows to display their wealth and splendor. They will have to remain there during the whole term of their punishment under the constant flogging of Yama’s servants.

(18) Lalabhaksam – This is the Naraka for lustful people. The lascivious fellow, who makes his wife swallow semen, is cast into this hell. Lalabhaksam is a sea of semen. The sinner lies in it feeding upon semen alone.

(19) Sarameyasanam – Those guilty of unsocial acts like incendiarism, poisoning food, mass slaughter, ruining the country, etc. are cast into the Naraka called Sarameyasana. There, nothing but the flesh of dogs is available for food. There are 700 dogs in that Naraka and all of them are as ferocious as leopards. They attack the sinners who come there from all sides and tear their flesh from their bodies with their teeth.

(20) Avici – This Naraka is for those guilty of bearing false witness, false swearing or assuming false names. They are hurled into Avici from a mountain which is 100 yojanas in height. The whole region of Avici is always shaken like an ocean with turbulent waves. As soon as the sinners fall into it they are utterly smashed into dust. They are again restored to life and the punishment is repeated.

(21) Ayahpanam – Those who belong to the first three castes viz. Brahmans, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas who indulge in drinking Soma, Sura etc. are bound and thrown into this hell. They are forced to drink melted iron in liquid form.

(22) Ksharakardamam – Braggarts and those who insult people of noble birth are cast into this hell. Here, Yama’s servants keep the sinners upside down and torture them in various ways.

(23) Raksobhaksam – This Naraka is for the punishment of meat-eaters. There are separate compartments in this hell for those who perform human sacrifice, eat human flesh or the flesh of other creatures. All the living beings they had killed before would have arrived here in advance. They would all join together in attacking, biting and mauling these sinners. Their shrieks and complaints would be of no avail there.

(24) Sulaprotam – People who take the life of others who have done no harm to them, by deceiving them or by treachery, with weapons like the trident, are thrown into the “Sulaprotam” hell. Yama’s servants fix each of the sinners of the above class, on the top of a trident. They are forced to spend the whole term of their punishment in that position, suffering intense thirst and hunger, enduring all the tortures inflicted on them by Yama’s servants.

(25) Dandasukam – Sinners who persecute fellow creatures like venomous serpents are cast into this Naraka. There are many wild beasts and many hooded serpents here. They eat alive, the sinners who fall into this hell.

(26) Vatarodham – This hell is for those who persecute the creatures living on mountain-peaks, dense forests, hollow trunks of trees, etc. It resembles mountains, caves, forests etc. After throwing them into this hell the sinners are tortured with fire, snake, poison and weapons, just as they had tortured other creatures, while on earth.

(27) Paryavartanakam – One who denies food to a person, who happens to come at meal- time and abuses him, is thrown into this Naraka. The moment he falls into it, his eyes are put out by being pierced with the beaks of cruel birds like the crow, eagle etc. It is the most painful experience for them.

(28) Sucimukham – Proud and miserly people who refuse to spend money even for the bare necessities of life, find their place in this hell. Those who do not repay the money they have borrowed will also be cast into this hell. Here, their bodies will be continually pricked and pierced with needles.

It is time for all of us to sit back and review our own life and see in which ‘Naraka’ we will be falling after death. Depending upon the crime(s) may be we have to spend time in multiple Narakas before our term is over. Isn’t it frightening?

It is interesting to compare Islamic penal code and Hindu Narakas for its severity of punishment. The only difference is that in Islamic code, one is punished while alive in this world and in Hindu code; it is after death and before your next birth. Well, we can decide which is harsh and severe to bear.

Islamic Penal Code of Iran

1.The penalty for adultery in the following cases shall be death, regardless of the age or marital status of the culprit: (1) Adultery with one’s consanguineous relatives (close blood relatives forbidden to each other by religious law); (2) Adultery with one’s stepmother in which the adulterer’s punishment shall be death; (3) Adultery between a non-Muslim man and a Muslim woman, in which case the adulterer (non-Muslim man) shall receive the death penalty; (4) Forcible rape, in which case the rapist shall receive the death penalty.

2. Adultery in the following cases shall be punishable by stoning: (1) Adultery by a married man who is wedded to a permanent wife with whom he has had intercourse and may have intercourse when he so desires; (2) Adultery of a married woman with an adult man provided the woman is permanently married and has had intercourse with her husband and is able to do so again.

3. Adultery of a married woman with a minor is punishable by flogging.

4. Defloration of a virgin by insertion of a finger that results in incontinence shall entitle the victim to her full blood money plus a sum equal to her potential dowry.

5. Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing.

6. The punishment for intoxication is 80 lashes for both men and women.

7. Insulting, such as swearing or using profane language should be punished by flogging up to 74 lashes or a fine of 50,000 to 1,000,000 Ryal.

8. Any man and woman who are not married and who commit a crime against public morality, excluding adultery, should be sentenced to flogging (99 lashes). If one of them did not consent to the crime, then only the one who initiated the crime should be punished.

Ancient India represented a distinct tradition of law, and had a historically independent school of legal theory and practice. The Arthashastra, dating from 400 BC and the Manusmriti, from 100 AD, were influential treatises in India, texts that were considered authoritative legal guidance. Manu’s central philosophy was tolerance and pluralism, and was cited across Southeast Asia. With the advent of the British raj, there was a break in tradition, and Hindu and Islamic laws were abolished in favor of British common law. As a result, the present judicial system of the country derives largely from the British system and has few, if any, connections to Indian legal institutions of the pre-British era.

The constitutional and legislative provisions in India not only grants equality and protection to women, but also empower the state to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favor of women. The government of India has enacted several women-specific legislations to uphold the constitutional mandate and to protect women against social discrimination, violence and atrocities and also to prevent social evils like child marriages, dowry, rape, practice of sati etc.

In accordance with the ‘Rastramimamsa’ (political philosophy) of Ancient India, crimes were divided into two types. They were called Upapatakas (minor crimes) and Patakas (major crimes).

Sins (papas) – There are ten papas (sins). (1) Murder (2) Theft (3) Adultery (4) Calumny (5) Harshness (6) Deceit (7) Nonsensical utterances (8) Inflicting pain on others (9) Desire for another’s property (10) Atheism.

UPAPATAKA (UPAPAPA) (Minor sins). – Cow-slaughter; sacrificing by one who is unworthy to perform it; seducing another man’s wife; forsaking one’s father, mother and teacher; forsaking self-study, agni (fire) and son; becoming Parivetta (one who gets married before one’s elder brother is married), Younger brother finishing education before the elder; giving an unmarried girl to Parivitti or Parivetta; performing sacrifice by a parivitti or a parivetta; slandering an unmarried girl; Living on the interest of money that is lent; violating one’s vow; selling pond, garden, wife or son; becoming an outcaste; forsaking relatives; Teaching the Vedas after receiving remuneration; selling things which should not be sold, destroying medicinal herbs; living by women; to impede rites; cut down fresh trees (not dried) for fire-wood; kidnapping women; mingling with slanderers of women; selfish activities; eating forbidden rice; not keeping Sacrificial fire ; theft; not repaying loan ; learning forbidden sciences; doing things which are bad and will cause grief to others ; stealing of base metals, grains and cows; contact with drunken women; killing women, etc.

The five greatest Sins are Brahma hatya (killing a Brahmana), Suraa paana (indulging in intoxicants), Asteya (Stealing Gold), Guru Patni Gamana and last one is who commend the earlier sins.

After death, messengers of Yama called Yamadutas bring all beings to the court of Yama, where he weighs the virtues and the vices of the being and passes a judgment, sending the virtuous to Swarga (heaven) and the sinners to one of the hells. The stay in Swarga or Naraka is generally described as temporary. After the quantum of punishment is over, the souls are reborn as lower or higher beings as per their merits.

Naraka (Hell). There is a world called Pitrloka in the middle of the three worlds, on their southern side below the earth and above the Atala loka. Yama is the ruler of pitrloka. Since he is scrupulous in imparting justice, Yama is also called Yamadharma. He administers justice with an even hand to all living beings brought there by his agents, according to their virtues and vices during their earthly lives. He has power to assess the virtues and vices of people and to assign suitable punishments to them, but not to alter the laws or methods of punishment. Sinners are sent to the different Narakas by Yamadharma according to the nature and seriousness of their sins. The Puranas refer to twenty-eight Narakas in all. They are:

(1) Tamisram – Those who rob others of their wealth, wives, children etc., are bound with ropes by Yama’s servants and cast into the Naraka known as Tamisram. There, they are given sound beating until they faint. After they recover their senses, the beating is repeated and those who try to escape are bound hand and foot and pushed again into this hell. This is repeated as long as Fate has ordained.

(2) Andhatamasram – This hell is intended for the wife who takes food after deceiving the husband or the husband who takes food after deceiving his wife. The punishment there is the same as that of Tamisram except the beating. But the excruciating pain suffered by the victims on being tied fast with Yama’s rope by his servants, makes them fall down senseless.

(3) Rauravam – This is the hell into which those who have persecuted other living beings are cast. Those who seize and enjoy another man’s property or resources, also come under ‘Persecution’. When such people are thrown into this hell, those whom they had persecuted or cheated while on earth, assume the shape of “ruru” and torment them severely. “Ruru” is a kind of dreadful serpent. This hell is known as “Rauravam” because of the abundance of rurus there.

(4) Maharauravam – Here also there are ruru serpents. Only they are of a fiercer type. Those who deny the legitimate heirs, their inheritance and possess and enjoy others’ property are squeezed to death by these terrible serpents coiling round them.

(5) Kumbhipakam – This is the hell for the punishment of those who kill and eat birds and animals. Here, oil is kept boiled in huge vessels. Yama’s servants plunge sinners into this oil. The period of their torture extends to as many years as there were hairs on the bodies of the birds or animals which they killed and ate.

(6) Kalasutram (Yamasutra) – This hell is terribly hot. It is here that those who do not respect their father, mother, elders, etc. are cast. They rush about in the unbearable heat of this hell and drop down exhausted, from time to time.

(7) Asi(ta) patram – This is the hell in which those sinners who abandon svadharma (one’s own duty) and accept Paradharma (others’ duty) are flogged by Yama’s servants with whips made of asipatra (sharp-edged sword-shaped leaves). When they run about under the flogging they trip over stones and thorns and fall on their faces. Then they are stabbed with knives made of asipatra. They drop down unconscious and when they recover their senses, the same process is repeated.

(8) Sukaramukham – Kings who neglect their duties and oppress their subjects by misrule, are punished in this hell. They are crushed to a pulp by beating until they fall down unconscious and when they recover, they are again subjected to the same treatment.

(9) Andhakupam – This is the hell for punishing those who oppress Brahmans, gods and the poor. In this Kupa (well) there are wild beasts like tiger, bear etc. carnivorous birds like eagle, kite etc. venomous creatures like snakes and scorpions and insects like bugs, mosquitoes, etc. The sinners have to endure the constant attacks of these creatures, until the expiry of the period of their punishment.