What's your number? - Sanskrit Sankhya

2021, Aug 03

One day in school, we were learning the history of "zero". The invention of zero dated to 7th Century AD. Naturally, I started day dreaming. If zero was found only in the seventh century, how did they count Ravana's ten heads? How did they make stories about the hundred Kauravas? That day I went home and asked my mother. She told me that even though they did not have the annotion for zero, they had names for everything. Ten was Dasha and thousand was Sahasra. She reminded me that I was already familiar with Saharsra Naama such as Vishnu Sahasranaama and Lalitha Sahasranaama. The tubelight in my brain lit up 😹

We use Dasha, Shata and Sahasra in everyday language. That is all I knew until recently. I learnt the names for multiples of ten in the Sanskrit class I attend regularly. You can find the lesson on Youtube. I am fascinated by this shloka I learnt in this class. It is something I want to remember.

एकं दश शतं चैव सहस्रमयुतं तथा
लक्षं च नियुतं चैव कोटिरर्बुदमेव च​
व्रृन्दं खर्वो निखर्वश्च सागर​:
अन्त्यं मध्यं परार्धं च दशवृद्ध्या यथाक्रमम्

You can find the sanskrit numbers in multiple sites online such as this and this. So, let us use these resources to learn and practice here.