MATHEMATICS IN CHAMAKAM
Mathematics is a part of our daily life in several ways. Hence, it is no wonder that it has come to occupy an important place in religious rituals also. This is what we find particularly in the Hindu way of life or the Hindu religion.
Worshippers of Lord Siva recite Rudram with 11 sections followed by Chamakam with 11 sections as a routine prayer every day. This is called the daily nyasam or mode of worship. In the Rudram part, the devotee pays repeated obeisance to Lord Siva and prays for his blessings for human well being. But on special occasions, the number of times the recitation is done is increased.
In Rudra Ekadasi, Rudram is recited 11 times and Chamakam is recited once. After Rudram is recited once, one section or anuvaka of Chamakam is recited in order.
In Laghurudram, Rudra Ekadasi is done 11 times, that is, Rudram is recited 112 or 121 times and Chamakam is recited 11 times.
In Maharudram, 11 Laghurudrams are recited; that is, Rudram is recited 113 = 1331 times and Chamakam 112 = 121 times.
In Atirudram, 11 Maharudrams are recited; that is, Rudram is recited 114 = 14641 times and Chamakam is recited 113 = 1331 times.
The Chamakam mentions completely the ideal of human happiness and defines in the highest degree the desires to be fulfilled without delimiting those to be asked for or to be granted.
In the Chamakam, in anuvakas or sections 1 to10, the devotee prays for almost everything needed for human happiness and specifies each item. But in the 11th anuvaka or 11th section of Chamakam, the devotee prays for the desired things not specifically but in terms of numbers, first in terms of odd numbers from 1 to 33 and later in multiples of 4 from 4 to 48, as follows:
“Eka cha me, thisrascha may, pancha cha may, sapta cha may, Ekadasa cha may, trayodasa cha may, panchadasa cha may, saptadasa cha may, Navadasa cha may, ek trimshatis cha may, trayovimshatis cha may, Panchavimshatis cha may, saptavimshatis cha may, navavimshatis cha may, Ekatrimshatis cha may, trayatrimshatis cha may, panchatrimshatis cha may, Chatasras cha may, ashtou cha may, dwadasa cha may, shodasa cha may, Vimsatis cha may, chaturvimshatis cha may, ashtavimshatis cha may, Dwathrimashatis cha may, shatstrimshas cha may, chatvarimshas cha may, Chatuschatvarimshas cha may, ashtachatvarimshas cha may”
“Let these be granted to me. One, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, seventeen, nineteen, twenty one, twenty three, twenty five, twenty seven, twenty nine, thirty one and thirty three as also four, eight, twelve, sixteen, twenty, twenty four, twenty eight, thirty two, thirty six, forty, forty four and forty eight”.
Traditional scholars and pandits explain the significance of these numbers as follows:
1 = Nature or Prakriti
3 = The three gunas, namely sattwa, rajas and tamas
5 = The five mahabhutas, or the five basic elements, that is, prithvi, ap, tejas, vayu and akasha, (earth, water, energy or agni or fire, wind and space).
7 = The five sensory organs and the mind and intellect
9 = The nine openings in the human body, called the navadwaras.
11 = The ten pranas and the Sushumna nadi
13 = Thirteen Devas
15 = The nadis or nerve centres in the human body
17 = The limbs of the human body
19 = Medicinal herbs
21 = Important vulnerable parts of the body
23 = Devas controlling serious diseases
25 = Apsaras in heaven
27 = Gandharvas
29 = Vidyut Devas
31 = Worlds
33 = Devas
MULTIPLES OF FOUR:
4 = The four ideals of human life, namely dharma, artha, kama and moksha,
(righteous way of life, wealth, desire, and salvation)
8 = The four Vedas and the four upavedas
12 = Six vedangas and six shastras.
16 = Knowledge to be obtained from God
20 = The Mahabhutas
24 = The number of letters in the Gayatri metre
28 = The number of letters in the Ushnik metre
32 = The number of letters in the Anushtup metre
36 = The number of letters in the Brihati metre
40 = The number of letters in the Pankti metre
44 = The number of letters in the Trushtup metre
48 = The number of letters in the Jagati metre
According to Dr Sasidharan, these numbers represent a polymer chain of molecules that form apa or water that enables evolution of life and intelligence, and apa is nothing but the nitrogenous base pairs of the DNA. The numbers 1 to 33 represent the 33000 base pairs of mitochondrial base pairs of DNA. The numbers 4 to 48 represent the 48 million nuclear bases of DNA. The two sets of DNA bases combine to provide sustenance of human wellbeing and onward evolution of human life. When the devotee prays for the blessing of these numbers, actually he is praying for bestowing on him all these DNA bases which conduce to sustenance of human wellbeing and happiness.