(significance of the number 18)

Date Dec 7, 2023


Dear Devotees : Namaskara.

| Sri MannMoolaRamastu Mannmathe Moolamahasamsthhaana Mantralaya Sri Rayaramathe||

Mahabharata conceals a spiritual lesson on numerology, particularly focusing on the significance of the number 18, as elucidated in Mantralaya (1067).


Sri Raghavendra Swamiji has expounded that the Bhagavad Gita stands as a singular masterpiece. While it initially appears historical, upon delving beneath the surface, its profound layers reveal valuable psychological insights. Further peeling away reveals a spiritual interpretation, emphasizing the Gita's multifaceted depth and wisdom.

Within ourselves, the daily struggles we face can be likened to the battle of Kurukshetra. The Kauravas, symbolizing negative inclinations led by Duryodhana, often urge us toward unwholesome actions. Conversely, the Pandavas, representing virtuous tendencies, remind us of the importance of righteousness. Regrettably, in the internal conflict, the Kauravas often prevail. This outcome may be attributed to the fact that, in our chariot of life, we may not always have invited Lord Krishna to guide us as our charioteer. The presence of Lord Krishna as the charioteer is symbolic of divine guidance and wisdom, which can steer us toward the path of righteousness and virtuous living.

Sri Rayaru, a devoted follower, shares a poignant example that underscores the significance of having Lord Krishna's presence. Post the Mahabharata's Kurukshetra battle, as Sri Krishna was returning to the palace on his chariot, a noteworthy incident occurred. Upon reaching the destination, Sri Krishna instructed Arjuna to alight from the chariot first. Due to a momentary lapse in humility, Arjuna, driven by ego, initially believed himself to be the master and requested Sri Krishna to disembark first. Disregarding Arjuna's request, Sri Krishna insisted that Arjuna step down. As Arjuna complied and moved away, Sri Krishna descended from the chariot. Standing beside Arjuna with a smile, Sri Krishna's divine intervention became evident when the chariot exploded like a bomb blast. Arjuna, astonished, witnessed the burnt remnants flying and dispersing in the sky. Subsequently, Arjuna humbly approached Sri Krishna, questioning the inexplicable event. With a smile, Sri Krishna explained that he had been deflecting powerful energies unleashed during the 18-day battle of Astras (missiles) from Bhishma, Drona, Krupa, Ashwathama, and Karna. As long as Sri Krishna remained in the chariot, these energies remained dormant. However, upon his exit, they were released. Touched by this revelation, Arjuna sought forgiveness for his earlier egotistical thoughts by bowing to Sri Krishna. Sri Raghavendra Swamy, in his writings, reflects on this incident and fervently prays to Lord Sri Krishna, urging him to remain a constant presence in our souls, analogous to a chariot. Without such divine guidance, he implores the Lord to prevent our souls from meeting a fate akin to Arjuna's chariot.

Geeta encompasses both spiritual and numerological interpretations.

Geeta revolves around the significance of the numbers 7 and 18, with 7 characters embodying the 18 qualities. These distinguished characters include Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Lord Sri Krishna, and Goddess Draupadi.

The imprint of the number 18 is evident throughout the Mahabharata. It comprises 18 Puranas and 18 Shastras. The epic consists of 18 Parvas and unfolds across 18 chapters, depicting the 18-day war of Kurukshetra. Notably, there were a total of 18 Akshauhini military units involved in the conflict.

Let's explore the concept of the Akshauhini Military unit. Before delving into that, let's take a closer look at the definition of a military unit.

The smallest  Military unit is called Patti.
Patti = 1 Elephant, 1 Chariot, 3 Horse and 5 soldiers.
Next bigger unit would be , SenaMukha = 3 x Patti (3 elephants, 3 chariots, 9 Horse and 15 soldiers)
Gulma = 3 x SenaMukha
Gana = 3 x Gulma
Vahini = 3 x Gana
Prutana = 3 x Vahini
Chmu = 3 x Prutana
Anikini = 3 x Chmu
Akshauhini = 10 x Anikini

So One Akshauhini is 21870 Elephants, 21870 Chariot, 65610 = Horses,  109350 = Soldiers .
If you add each unit you will get 18.
One Akshauhini Elephants count = 21870 = 2+1+8+7+0 = 18
One Akshauhini Chariot count = 21870  = 2+1+8+7+0 = 18
One Akshauhini Horse count = 65610 = 6+5+6+1+0 = 18
One Akshauhini soldier count = 109350 = 1+0+9+3+5+0 = 18
There in in 18 Akshauhini military unit that participated in the war

The 18 qualities that one needs to understand and master are

Dharma, Bhakti, Gynana, Vairagya, Pragnya, Medha, Dhruti, Sthithi, Yoga, Prana, Bala, Shravana, Manana, Nedhidhyavasa, sheela, Vinaya, veda vaidhya, veda Vaidha

Dharma: Refers to one's duty, righteousness, or moral and ethical obligations.
Bhakti: The path of devotion, emphasizing love and devotion to a personal god or deity.
Jnana (Gyan): The path of knowledge, seeking to understand the true nature of reality through wisdom and discernment.
Vairagya: Renunciation or detachment from worldly desires and possessions.
Pragnya (Prajna): Transcendental wisdom, insight, or higher knowledge.
Medha: Intellectual strength or prowess.
Dhruti: Patience, perseverance, or mental steadfastness.
Sthiti: Stability or mental steadiness.
Yoga: A path to spiritual realization that involves physical postures, breath control, and meditation.
Prana: Life force or vital energy.
Bala: Strength, both physical and mental.
Shravana: Listening to spiritual teachings and scriptures.
Manana: Contemplation or reflection on the teachings.
Nididhyasana: Meditation or deep contemplation.
Sheela: Good conduct or moral character.
Vinaya: Humility, modesty, or discipline.
Veda Vaidya: Knowledgeable in the Vedas, the ancient sacred texts.
Veda Vaidha: One who practices rituals and ceremonies according to the Vedas.

Additionally, the number 18 holds profound spiritual meaning, signifying that the soul is intricately entwined within the confines of 15 elements. The 16th marks the soul, the 17th signifies the prakruti and the 18th symbolizes the attainment of the Divine. An upcoming article will delve into the details of these 15 forms.

The Bhagavad Gita is described as a vast, profound ocean of divine wisdom. According to the teachings of Sri Raghavendra Swamy, in one's lifetime, the opportunity to partake in its wisdom is akin to sipping just a single drop from this immense sweet ocean.

The devotion towards Sri Raghavendrateertharu is the ultimate truth and is the most simple and effective way to reach Sri Hari  - "NAMBI KETTAVARILLAVO EE GURUGALA"! “Those who have complete faith in this Guru will never be disappointed.”