Buddhist Numerology?

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thebuddhajourney
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:02 am

Buddhist Numerology?

Post by thebuddhajourney » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:34 am

I'm trying to find any resources on Buddhist Numerology, specifically Pháp Số. There's literally zero helpful information that I can find and the google translated pages for Pháp Số are really of no help. Anyone know a good book or resource?

humble.student
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Buddhist Numerology?

Post by humble.student » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:30 am

thebuddhajourney wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:34 am
I'm trying to find any resources on Buddhist Numerology, specifically Pháp Số. There's literally zero helpful information that I can find and the google translated pages for Pháp Số are really of no help. Anyone know a good book or resource?
It might be helpful if you were to provide the Chinese characters (I'm assuming the Vietnamese is a transcription), or at least a brief description of what is involved here.

Sentient Light
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Pacifica, California

Re: Buddhist Numerology?

Post by Sentient Light » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:52 pm

I don't htink Chinese characters is going to help here. The term is literally "Dharma Numbers" or "Numbers of the Law". Just some quick googling--I've never heard of this before, btw... I do have numerologists in my family, but they come from Catholic/Taoist backgrounds, so this is quite interesting...

It looks like this style of numerology was first taught at Linh Thu Mountain in Dai Tuyet Phong province in Vietnam, where... huh.. it says, according to legend "Phat Dang Co" would favor this mountain for his rains retreat, like Sakyamuni had done with Vulture's Peak.. "Dang Co" means "Light-holder", so I think that's Dipankara... yes, confirmed as Dipankara Buddha. Interesting.

This is from a Vietnamese->English Buddhist dictionary:
Pháp Số: Phạm trù hay số của các pháp môn như tam giới, ngũ uẩn, ngũ vị, tứ đế, lục đạo, mười hai nhân duyên, ba mươi bảy phẩm trợ đạo, vân vân—The categories of Buddhism such as the three realms, five skandhas, five regions, four dogmas, six paths, twelve nidanas, and thirty-seven Aids to Enlightenment, etc.
I don't think this is so much a numerological text, in the way that the I Ching and trigram practices are numerology, this sounds a lot more like a Pali Abhidhamma-style list of numbered concepts.

Judging from the descriptions, it was probably developed as a study guide, and the Dipankara story was added to give it extra legitimacy.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

humble.student
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Buddhist Numerology?

Post by humble.student » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:53 am

There are a number of "Buddhist" numerological methods extant in China and the Chinese-speaking world. One of them, "Bodhidharma's Fistful of Gold" was used to check whether a candidate for ordination was to be accepted or not. This was based on the Heavenly Stems/Earthly Branches numerological system of Chinese cosmology, and of course had nothing to do with Bodhidharma.

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