Vedic Numeral System

Vedic Numeral System

Vedic Numeral System is one of the most evolved numeral systems in the whole of the human civilization.  Vedic Numeral System has a specific name/value for each decimal place.  For instance, 10is one billion in Western Numeral System, whereas it is called as Vrinda in Vedic Numeral System.  And 1010 is 10 billion in Western Numeral System whereas it has a specific name in Vedic Numeral System, known as Kharva.  Further, 1011 is 100 billion in Western Numeral System whereas this too has a specific term in Vedic Numeral System – Nikharva.

It is mentioned in the Vedic scriptures that when Lord Krishna was tending calves along with His cowherd boys, no one could count the actual number of either the calves or cowherd boys.  All the cowherd boys who were companions of Lord Krishna had many calves to take care of.  Each of the cowherd boys were tending upto ten million, hundred million, one trillion and ten trillion calves.

Srila Prabhupada says, “According to Vedic mathematical calculations, the following enumeration system is used: units, tens (dasha), hundreds (shata), thousands (sahasra), ten thousands (ayuta) and hundred thousands (laksha). Ten times laksha is niyuta. Ten times niyuta is koti. Ten times koti is arbuda. Ten times arbuda is vrinda. Ten times vrinda is kharva. Ten times kharva is nikharva. Ten times nikharva is sankha. Ten times sankha is padma, and ten times padma is sagara. Ten times sagara is antya, and ten times antya is madhya, and ten times madhya is parardha. Each item is ten times greater than the previous one”. (Quoted from Chaitanya Charitamrta 2.21.20 purport).

In the following table, let us see the comparative values of the modern and vedic enumeration systems:

Number Value in Modern Numeral System Value in Vedic Numeral System
10 Ten Dasha
102 One Hundred Shata
103 One Thousand Sahasra
104 Ten Thousand Ayuta
105 One Hundred Thousand Laksha
106 One Million Niyuta
107 Ten Million Koti
108 One Hundred Million Arbuda
109 One Billion Vrinda
1010 Ten Billion Kharva
1011 One Hundred Billion Nikharva
1012 One Trillion Shankha
1013 Ten Trillion Padma
1014 One Hundred Trillion Sagara
1015 One Quadrillion Antya
1016 Ten Quadrillion Madhya
1017 One Hundred Quadrillion Parardha