# BUDDHA Recites To Infinity. A Love Story!

- Posted by Jain 108
- Categories Mathematics
- Date May 27, 2021
- Comments 1 comment

**Buddha Recites From Memory The Hindu Large Numbers Up To Infinity!**

The Indians had a passion for large numbers. For example, in texts belonging to the Vedic literature, we find individual Sanskrit names for *each* of the powers of 10 up to a trillion and even 10^{62}. (Even today, the words ‘lakh‘ and ‘crore‘, referring to 100,000 and 10,000,000, respectively, are in common use among English-speaking Indians.) One of these Vedic texts, the *Yajur Veda*, even discusses the concept of numeric infinity (or *purna* “fullness”), stating that if you subtract *purna* from *purna*, you are still left with *purna*.

The *Lalitavistara Sutra* (a Mahayana Buddhist work) recounts a contest including writing, arithmetic, wrestling and archery, competing for the hand of the most beautiful woman Gupa, in which the Buddha was pitted against the great mathematician Arjuna and showed off his numerical skills by citing the names of the powers of ten up to 1 ‘tallakshana’, which equals 10^{53}, but then going on to explain that this is just one of a series of counting systems that can be expanded geometrically. The last number at which he arrived after going through nine successive counting systems was 10^{421}, that is, a 1 followed by 421 zeros.

A few large numbers used in India by about 5th century BC:

(*See Georges Ifrah: A Universal History of Numbers, pp 422–423*):

The name for ancient India is Bharat, so this is called the Bharatiya Number System:

· lakṣá (लक्ष) —10^{5 }or Ten Thousand = 10,000

· kōṭi or crore (कोटि) —10^{7 }or Ten Million = 10,000,000

· ayuta (अयुत) —10^{9 }or 1 Billion = 1,000,000,000

· niyuta (नियुत) —10^{13}

· pakoti (पकोटि) —10^{14}

· vivara (विवारा) —10^{15}

· kshobhya (क्षोभ्या) —10^{17}

· vivaha (विवाहा) —10^{19}

cont…

· kotippakoti (कोटिपकोटी) —10^{21}

· bahula (बहुल) —10^{23}

· nagabala (नागाबाला) —10^{25}

· nahuta (नाहूटा) —10^{28}

· titlambha (तीतलम्भा) —10^{29}

· vyavasthanapajnapati (व्यवस्थानापज्नापति) —10^{31}

· hetuhila (हेतुहीला) —10^{33}

· ninnahuta (निन्नाहुता) —10^{35}

· hetvindriya (हेत्विन्द्रिय) —10^{37}

· samaptalambha (समाप्तलम्भ) —10^{39}

· gananagati (गनानागती) —10^{41}

· akkhobini (अक्खोबिनि) —10^{42}

· niravadya (निरावाद्य) —10^{43}

· mudrabala (मुद्राबाला) —10^{45}

· sarvabala (सर्वबाला) —10^{47}

· bindu (बिंदु or बिन्दु) —10^{49}

· sarvajna (सर्वज्ञ) —10^{51}

· vibhutangama (विभुतन्गमा) —10^{53}

· abbuda (अब्बुद) —10^{56}

· nirabbuda (निर्बुद्ध) —10^{63}

· ahaha (अहाहा) —10^{70}

· ababa (अबाबा). —10^{77}

· atata (अटाटा) —10^{84}

· soganghika (सोगान्घीक) —10^{91}

· uppala (उप्पल) —10^{98}

· kumuda (कुमुद) —10^{105}

· pundarika (पुन्डरीक) —10^{112}

· paduma (पद्म) —10^{119}

· kathana (कथन) —10^{126}

· mahakathana (महाकथन) —10^{133}

· asaṃkhyeya (असंख्येय) —10^{140}

· dhvajagranishamani (ध्वजाग्रनिशमनी) —10^{421}

· bodhisattva (बोधिसत्व or बोधिसत्त) —10^{37218383881977644441306597687849648128}

· lalitavistarautra (ललितातुलनातारासूत्र) —10^{200 }infinities

· matsya (मत्स्य) —10^{600 }infinities

· kurma (कूर्म) —10^{2000 }infinities

· varaha (वराह) —10^{3600 }infinities

· narasimha (नरसिम्हा) —10^{4800 }infinities

· vamana (वामन) —10^{5800 }infinities

· parashurama (परशुराम) —10^{6000 }infinities

· rama (राम) —10^{6800 }infinities

· kalki (कल्कि) —10^{8000 }infinities

cont…

· balarama (बलराम) —10^{9800 }infinities.

· dasavatara (दशावतार) —10^{10000 }infinities

· bhagavatapurana (भागवतपुराण) —10^{18000 }infinities

· avatamsakasutra (अवतांशकासूत्र) —10^{30000 }infinities

· mahadeva (महादेव) —10^{50000 }infinities

· prajapati (प्रजापति) —10^{60000 }infinities

· jyotiba (ज्योतिबा) —10^{80000 }infinities

· parvati (पार्वती) 10^{20000000000 }infinities

· paro (पॅरो) 10^{400000000000000000 }infinities

This chart, cited by Buddha from pure memory, is phenomenal, when we compare this to our ancestors in Europe several thousands of years ago who only had words like “Myriad” to capture the essence of vague large numbers.

You may ask why even bother with the naming of these large numbers, these preposterous Hindu infinities!

It is because we are recognizing that the ancient Jaina Mathematicians and Cosmologists were giants of metaphysical thinking in their days, that they could recite such a litany of number-names, suggests that their Minds were vast, their intelligence perhaps magical and incantatory. Perhaps the meanings of the Sanskrit names was poetry in itself, that gave deeper meanings into the Mystery of Ordered Structure and the subsequent Creation of the Decimal Place Value System that we use today that has led to high Technology.

We can thank the Arabian Al-Biruni who journeyed to India in the C10th and gave us these accounts and records of such brilliant mathematical calculations that stretched into billions of years of the Yugas or Aeons of Ages. Symbolically, it is about setting our destination towards an Infinity or to understanding the Stars, or if we go the other way, into decimal fractions, its direction is towards the Atoms of the Microcosm.

Such ancient Jaina Mega Numbers appeared in the Anuyogadvara Sutra where they calculated the number of human beings in the creation as being 2 to the power of 96 or 2^96.

Meanwhile, the Romans, who were less interested in theoretical issues, expressed 1,000,000 as *decies centena milia*, that is, ‘ten hundred thousand’.

It was only in the 13th century that the (originally French) word “million” was introduced.

Jain 108

(chart of Hindu Large Numbers from Wikipedia)

**ps**: The above Bodhisattva Number: (**10^37218383881977644441306597687849648128**) (that is 10 to the power of a number with 38 Digits) appears in the Mahavaipulya Buddhavatamsaka Sutra, aka Avatamsaka Sutra, an influential text of Mahayana Buddhism written in the third or fourth century AD. It is a treatment of very large numbers centered on the struggle to comprehend divinity. It appears to be the “incalculable” number divined to describe the innumerable names and forms of the principal deities Vishnu and Siva.

Another great number mentioned in these sutras, as charted above, is the Jyotiba Number (10^80000 infinities). The Jyotiba may not make much sense today, but it represents the early days of a centuries-old tradition that felt such numbers had to exist, **a tradition that acknowledged and included** **the upper-limits of human comprehension while on its quest to deciphering the true nature of ‘god’**.

Tag:Buddha, vedic mathematics

## 1 Comment

You Sir are always amazing me and outdoing yourself with each elegant presentation!!

The line is blurred between contributions of ancient Jain Acharya’s and mathematicians and Buddhist thinkers to this field of “mathematics of large numbers” and other abstract concepts…