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).


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