Mahabharata And The Number 18


Mahabharata, the great war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas has several interesting short tales and facts that have trickled down along with the heroics of the main characters. But one of the most interesting things about Mahabharata is the predominant presence of the number 18. In this post, we will look into the various aspects of Mahabharata where the number 18 comes into play.

1. The Mahabharata has a total of 18 Parvas (Volumes) | Aathiparvam, Sowmthigaparvam, Sabha parvam, Shreeparvam, Vanaparvam, Shanthiparvam, Viradaparvam, Anusasanaparvam, Udyogaparvam, Ashvamedaparvam, Bheshmaparvam, Aashramparvam, Droonaparvam, Mowsalaparvam, Karnaparvam, mahprasthanikaparvam, Saalyaparvam, swarkahoranaparvam

2. The Mahabharata war lasted for 18 days.

3. The original name given to the epic by Vyasa was Jaya and not Mahabharata. Jaya means victory and the numerical value of the Sanskrit word Jaya is 18.

4. During the war, Krishan recites the Bhagavat Gita to Arjuna. The Bhagavad Gita consists of 700 Sanskrit verses segregated into 18 chapters. Here Lord Krishna defines his concept of the ideal Man in 18 stanzas towards the end of the 2nd chapter and there are again 18 traits which go to constitute the ideal man.

5. The Pandavas and the Kauravas had 18 Akshauhinis of army units between them. The Pandavas had 7 and the Kauravas has 11.

  • The army division comprises of 4 divisions : elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers.
  • 1 Patti (Basic unit) = 1 chariot + 1 elephant + 3 horses + 5 foot soldiers
  • 3 Pattis = 1 Sena Mukha
  • 3 Sena Mukha = 1 Gulma
  • 3 Gulma = 1 Guna
  • 3 Gunas = 1 Vauhini
  • 3 Vauhini = 1 Pritana
  • 3 Pritana = 1 Chamu
  • 3 Chamu = 1 Anikini
  • 10 Anikini = 1 Akshauhini (218700 units : Digits add up to 18)
  • Pandavas: 7 Akshaunhini (1530900 units: Digits add up to 18)
  • Kauravas: 11 Akshaunhini (2405700 units: Digits add up to 18)


Inevitable Doom Of Pandavas Without God Krishna

How God Ganesha Was Tricked Into Authoring The Mahabharata

How The Strongest Warrior Was A Spectator During Mahabharata


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