# Insufficient reasons

*gematria*, the number refers to a Roman emperor disliked by the first Christians who called him “the Beast”. Emperor or “Caesar” seems to be the meaning of the component 60, this being the numerical value of the Greek letter Ksi, shorthand for its Greek rendering

*Kaisar*. This probably doesn’t refer to Nero, as has been assumed for long, but to “Divus Claudius”, the 6th emperor, who came after Julius Caesar, Octavian August, Tiberius, Germanicus (who received the

*imperium maius*but was murdered; his caesarian status is shown by the fact that the succession devolved to his son:), Caligula. Even Claudius’ mother considered Claudius ugly like a beast, and his initials DC were read in Latin as the number 500 + 100 = 600. So, probably 666 means “the 6

^{th}Caesar/60, named D.C./600”.

*after*the number 108 gained its aura of sacredness.

*Bhârata Natyam*dancing, the number of

*gopî*-s (cowgirls) enamoured of Krishna, the number of sacred sites in the tradition of Vishnu worship, the number of Buddhist

*arhat*-s (realized saints), and many other sacred sets are all conventionally counted as 108. Likewise with derived numbers, e.g. the Rg-Vedic verses are conventionally counted as very approximately 10800, the

*Purâna*-s as 18, the

*Bhagavad-Gîtâ*has 18 chapters, and many Hindu monks carry titles like

*“Swâmi 1008 Padmânanda”*.

*explain*anything. The number 108 has been chosen in these instances, and often forced upon rather unwilling sets as their cardinal number, because it was already a sacred number to begin with. We need something more objective as a basis for the special status of this number.

*Yuga*, a world age, which happens to be equal to the number of guardians of the Germanic

*Walhalla*or heaven (viz. 800 for every one of its 540 gates), can be analysed as 108 x 4000. Or as 18 x 24000, for that matter. This is true, but is it important? Many numbers are related to other numbers. Is it relevant to anything?

# Solar and lunar distances

*Mysteries of the Sacred Universe*, Govardhan Hill Publ. 2000, p.16, p.76), the medieval

*Sûrya-Siddhânta*gives an unrealistically small estimate for the distance earth-sun, but the estimate for the distance earth-moon and the lunar diameter differs less than 10% from the modern value. The ratio between distance and diameter of the moon is implicitly given there as 107.5, admittedly a very good approximation.

*Sulekha.com*, 27 Nov. 2001) Also, in some respects the Vedic-age astronomers were more advanced than their medieval successors, who had jettisoned part of their own tradition in favour of Hellenistic import.

**Big 1, little 8**

*Swastika*, yet another lucky symbol in Hindu-Buddhist culture.

*Navagraha Agnihotra*(nine-planet fire ceremony), with the sun in the middle and the 8 others around it: moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,

*Râhu*(northward intersection of lunar orbit and ecliptic, “Dragon’s head”) and

*Ketu*(southward intersection, “Dragon’s tail”). So, 18 or 108 may add some detail to the symbolism of 9 as representing the planets. This is, however, of lesser importance than the magic square because the number of planets is contingent and changeable whereas mathematical properties are intrinsic and forever.

**The Golden Section and 108°**

**Sacred 9 times sacred 12**

*Navamsha*horoscope, a horoscope which Hindu astrologers always calculate along with the basic horoscope, and in which all original positions expressed in angular distance from the beginning point of the Zodiac are multiplied by 9. This implies, for example, that a planet at 8° Aries is projected to 72°, meaning 12° Gemini. In effect, the whole sector between 6°40’ and 10° Aries is projected onto Gemini (i.e. between 60° and 90°) and given a Gemini colouring, just as the sector between 10° and 13°20 Aries is

*navamsha*-projected onto Cancer, etc. This way, every one of the 12 signs is subdivided into 9 sectors, or 108 in total. But of course, this doesn’t explain the status of 108, as the idea of subdividing the Zodiac this way apparently results from the awe in which 108 or 9 x 12 was already held.

*Why Twelve?*, where we have focused on its unconditional properties, both arithmetical and geometrical. We may add that, conditional upon the choice of the decimal system, 12 is structured as 1 tenfold plus 2 units: 1 big, 2 small. Which to a freely-associating symbolist mind can mean: 1 precedes 2 (as indeed it does, in fact it is the most elementary observation to be made in the number series, e.g. long preceding the realization that there must be a zero), unity is superior to division, oneness precedes and underlies polarity, the odd/

*yang*dominates the even/

*yin*. Note however that for all their inequality, the numbers 1 and 2 and all that they symbolize are at any rate

*united*and synthesized in the number 12 and in whatever the latter symbolizes. Meanwhile, this conditional arithmetical property of 12 must remain inferior to the unconditional properties of 12, especially those of 12 conceived geometrically as the regular dodecagon, e.g. the fact that its construction uniquely flows automatically from the construction of the circle, keeping the same compass width; and the fact that it bridges the gap between straight/radius and round/circumference by dividing both rationally in a single move (the radius into 2, the quarter-circumference into 3).

*Allahu Akbar*, God is greater!

*trisection*of a known angle (120°, itself easily constructed though not by trisecting the “angle” of 360°), an impossible operation with ruler and compass. Likewise, according to poets, the Absolute cannot be caught in a conceptual net but can only be approximated, hinted at, spoken of in parables and metaphors.

**Square times cube**