It has often been quoted by the great saints of Hinduism that it is not a religion. Its perspective something broader than the limited periphery of a religion—Hinduism is a state of art; it is a way of life more than anything else. Always a patron of science and art, the sacred numbers of Hinduism are thought to be the bearers of cosmic powers and grandeur. And, since years immemorial, saints and priests have been meditating over them and seeking them variously to find out the hidden symbolical meaning behind it. Some of those pious numbers of Hindu numerology are as follows—
In Hindu Mythology, Zero or Shunya represents Nirguna Brahman who is sans any form or quality. He is an eternal mystery—perhaps he is that mystery that all the mortals seek for throughout their lives. According to the sages, it is neither physical nor wholly metaphysical, and essentially represents that bridge that lurks between the realms of the physical and the metaphysical. Multiply anything with zero and zero is the answer. Hence, there lies no other number or symbol that can define the Prime Being with such clarity and impeccability.
If Shunya represents the Nirguna Brahman, then Eka is the symbolic representation of Saguna Brahman—he who is the father of all Creation. The dynamic power, he is the creator of the Tridev and the rest of the Gods. Since, one remains hidden in all the numbers, it is also the number that symbolizes the concept of Aatmantoo, the Eternal One which resides in the heart of every living being alike.
As per Hindu beliefs, Eka represents the Eternal Being, the creation while dvi represents Prakriti or nature. And, together these two—which makes three or triah—manifests the whole Rtam, the rhythmic order and regularity that is the sole preserver of Creation itself. And, this is in turn regulated by the Holy Trinity of Hinduism, the Tridev—Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar.
The number three is also the symbolic representation of Om whose three curves represent the three states of consciousness of human beings, and is represented by 3 sounds—A-U-M.
Shaptam or Seven symbolically represents the earthly plane—the abode of the mortals. However, according to our Hindu scriptures, the earth is only one part of the several planes of existence. If thought scientifically, then seven becomes an important number since the earth lies just in the middle of the string of seven planets.
There are also seven worlds or chakras that govern our disposition and existence, and these chakras lay in our bodies. These are muladhara, svadhishtana, manipura, anahata, visuddha, ajna and sahasrara.
Ashtadash or 18 is yet another very important number in Hinduism. The great epic, Mahabharata itself is associated with this auspicious numbers in numerous different ways. Firstly, the epic is divided into 18 parvas or books while the sacred text, Bhagwat Gita is also divided into 18 chapters. According to the masters of Hinduism, it is said that Mahabharata’s original name was Jaya, which, according to the Sanskrit numerology, comes to 18. Apart from this, Shri Krishna’s caste, Yadava, also had 18 clans.
This is perhaps the most important number in Vedic numerology and cosmology. To start with, it is a divine number that denotes all the great sages, saints, yogis, gurus and preceptors of Hinduism. In fact, meditation without a rosary with 108 beads is considered as null and void by some of the greatest saints of Hinduism.
Number 108 is considered to the basis of all Creation, it is also a symbolical representation of the whole Universe, and hence our existence, birth and rebirth. It is a number that keeps resonating, along with the vedic chants and hymns, throughout the universe.
If we break the number, individually, each of the digits has a special meaning—
1, as already said, stands for Saguna Brahman.
0 stands for Nirguna Brahman
While the number 8 stands for eternity or infinity. (Simply inverse the digit by 900 and you shall have your answer).