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17 Jan 2021, Edition - 2014, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Numbers can crack hidden messages in ancient literature

Covai Post Network

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Mathematics holds the key to unlocking hidden messages of immense value in classical Indian literature.

Acclaimed Tamil literary works like Thirukkural and Adi Shankara’s Bhaja Govindam – a song in praise of Lord Krishna, and the epic Hindi poem Ramcharitmanas handed down for generations in their present forms, are just a small part of a storehouse of cryptic messages that can be encoded with the help of numbers, said researcher and Computer Engineer Dr Muthukumaran.

Each of the 1,330 couplets of Thirukkural, which lays down every day virtues for individuals, has exactly seven words distributed in two lines, with the top line consisting of four words and the bottom line, three words.

This Sangam literature with a universal appeal has more wisdom to offer than what the world sees in it today.

“For instance, we can follow a pattern and pick out the first letter of a certain number of couplets and put them together to arrive at new interpretations,” said Dr Muthukumaran.

The numerical values of letters represent syllables with certain frequencies, which when combined produce words – the mechanism to find multiple meanings.

Have we ever wondered why these works are arranged in a mode that follow a consistent numerical order, he asks.

The same applies to mantras, which are not magic, but mathematics. When uttered with the prescribed intonation one can attain well-being, we are told.

Mathematical precision and mantras go hand in hand, and when uttered with the right modulation, strength and rhythm, activates thousands of microscopic nerve endings that set off a flow of energy that taps intellect, wisdom and self-awareness, said Dr Muthukumaran.

“This is exactly the purpose of mantras, and the reason why mantras are taught orally,” he said.

To elucidate, the Gayatri Mantra has 24 syllables in total, which represent the 24 essential elements of creation – the five organs of the body, the five sense organs, the five senses of the body, the five elements of nature, adding up to 20, with the rest of the four being ‘ahamkara’ (ego), ‘buddhi’ (intellect), ‘manas’ (mind) and ‘chitta’ (consciousness).

The Bhagwat Gita and Mahabharatha are examples of epic Sanskrit scriptures, which when invoked, provide answers to many problems, Dr Muthukumaran said.

Numbers play a role in other important texts like the Ten Commandments, he said.

Dr Muthukumaran, who is holds degrees in physics and computer science and a doctorate in computer science, said that the research to decode ancient Indian literature is an ongoing process with a wide scope for development that may reveal findings of great worth, and even potent solutions to problems.

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