Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The mythical number 12

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 12, 2015

12 months of the year, 12 hours of daytime, 12 hours of night time…..

Human Odyssey

The number 12 plays a significant role in the Human Odyssey. Many of the myths and ancient philosophies revolve around this mysterious cipher; for example, there were:

12 Apostles of Christ
12 Constellations of the Zodiac
12 Pillars of light in Hinduism
12 Ordeals of Gilgamesh
12 Argonauts who followed Jason
12 Tribes of Israel
12 Knights of the round Table
12 Halls of Valhalla
12 Gates of Egyptian Heaven
12 Labors of Hercules
12 Olympians
12 Titans

In my short stories I’ll reveal the secrets behind this sacred code. You’ll learn why our ancestors associated it so closely with myth, divinity and the destiny of mankind.

12 in Hinduism:
12 is important after 108 in Hindu Dharma.

1) Important of twelve by Ashtavakra:

(i) Mahabharata, Vana Parva (Book 3), Chapter 134, Verse 18:

Ashtavakra said, Twelve months compose the year; twelve letters go to the composition of a foot of the metre called Jagati; twelve are the minor sacrifices; and twelve, according to the learned, is the number of the Adityas.’

Twelve Adityas from Vishnu Purana are:

Amsa, Aryaman, Bhaga, Dhuti, Mitra, Pusan, Sakra, Savitr, Tvastr, Varuna, Visnu and Vivasvat

(ii) Other features of 12 in Hinduism:

Twelve Rasis based on Solar Months

There are twenty-four hours in a day in all, with twelve hours for a half a day.

Furthermore, the basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve. Tamil years are numbered 60, a multiple of 12.

Twelve Jyotirlingas are mentioned in Shiva Purana, Satarudra Samhita, Chapter 42, Verses 2 to 4.

Twelve most important deities (Brahma, Vishna, Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh, Skanda and Surya

Guru (jupiter) takes 12 years time to go around sun. So it takes 12 years to complete 12 twelve zodiac signs.

Maha (great) Kumbha Mela is celebrated at Prayag once in 12 years.

When Jupiter transits in Simha and Makha star occurring in the month when Sun is in Kumbha as per Nirayana System, “Mamangam” is celebrated. This comes once in 12 years. (Kumbakonam and Thirukoshtiyur etc.).

Dwadasa Nama of Lord Vishnu are Keshava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Vishnu, Madhusudhana, Trivikrama, Vamana, Sridhara, Hrishikesha, Padmanabha and Damodhara),

Dwadasa Nama of Goddess Lakshmi are Sriyee, Amruthotbhavaye, Kamalaye, Chandra sodharye, Vishnu patniye, Vaishnavye, Vararohaye, Hari vallabhaye, Saranghaye, Deva devikaye, Sura sundarye, Sri MahaLakshmiye

Vaisnavite wear 12 pundam. After putting Dvadasa Oordhva pundram (Thiruaman) one should chant 12 names of Perumal (Maha Vishnu) and 12 names of Thayar (Maha Lakshmi)

There are 12 Alwars (Vaisnavite saints) who sang Divya Prabandham.

Pandavas had exile for 12 years and unrecognised exile for 12 months!

Both Hindustani and Carnatic music use 12 Swarasthanas in an octave. (sa, ri, Ri, ga, Ga, ma, Ma, pa, dha, Dha, ni and Ni)

2) 12 in other religions:

The number 12 is very important in many religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and also found in some older religions and belief systems.

Ancient Greek religion, the Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon. The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons. Several sets of twelve cities are identified in history as a dodecapolis, the most familiar being the Etruscan League. In the King Arthur Legend, Arthur is said to have subdued 12 rebel princes and to have won 12 great battles against Saxon invaders.

The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The biblical Jacob had 12 sons, who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, while the New Testament describes twelve apostles of Jesus; when Judas Iscariot was disgraced, a meeting was held (Acts) to add Matthias to complete the number twelve once more. (Today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.)

The Book of Revelation contains much numerical symbolism, and a lot of the numbers mentioned have 12 as a divisor. 12:1 mentions a woman — interpreted as the people of Israel, the Church or the Virgin Mary — wearing a crown of twelve stars (representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel). Furthermore, there are 12,000 people sealed from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, making a total of 144,000 (which is the square of 12 multiplied by a thousand).

There are 12 days of Christmas. The song Twelve Days of Christmas came from the traditional practice of extending Yuletide celebrations over the twelve days from Christmas day to the eve of Epiphany; the period of thirteen days including Epiphany is sometimes known as Christmastide. Thus Twelfth Night is another name for the twelfth day of Christmas or January 5 (the eve of Epiphany). Similarly, Eastern Orthodoxy observes 12 Great Feasts.

In Shiah Islam, there are twelve Imams, legitimate successors of the prophet Muhammad. These twelve early leaders of Islam are—Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and nine of Husayn’s descendants.

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