Hinduism and Numerology

Hindu numerology

by Jayaram V

Hindu numerology uses numbers to study and understand human behavior, destiny, temperament, intelligence, natural disposition, sexuality, spirituality, and so on. It suggests how to calculate the numbers that are hidden in the birth, destiny, and name of an individual and use them to make intelligent predictions about his behavior, life and destiny.

Hindu numerology has its roots in Vedic ritual symbolism and Samkhya philosophy. It has close correlation with the number of realities (tattvas) that are present in Nature, the construction of the human body, and the role and relative significance of various organs (deities) that are present in it. It considers the numbers that are hidden in the objects, realities and phenomena of the macrocosm, and relates them to their corresponding aspects in the microcosm of the human personality to understand how behavior and tendencies may manifest and how one can make intelligent predictions about future outcomes and possible destiny.

According to Hindu numerology each number from 1 - 9 has a corresponding planetary deity, which is also its presiding deity. They become embodied in humans as their birth number, name number, destiny number, or relationship number. These deities may work in harmony to create peace and happiness or work against each other to create conflict and suffering. Their influence remains constant upon the person they represent, with minor fluctuations in their potency and influence. The numbers that represent them can be calculated and identified with the help of numerology, using simple formulae. By knowing them, we can make reasonable conclusions about the characteristics and personality traits of an individual, what choices he may make, and how his life and destiny will be.

Numerology is not an exact science. However, it relies upon logical methods and rational and relational interpretations based upon the information available in the scriptures about the planetary bodies to discern predictable outcomes and possible scenarios. A good numerologist is not only a master of numbers and their significance but also an adept in human psychology, spirituality, and scriptural knowledge. He is expected to be a person of virtue and integrity, not greedy, and not to use his knowledge for money, name, fame, or power. He may help others to maximize their potentials and overcome the problems and obstacles they may face due to their past karmas. He is also expected to practice humility and keep an open mind, knowing well that life is not just a sum of numbers, patterns and configurations, but a complex phenomenon, which is shaped by multiple factors and influences.

Common principles of numerology

For a numerologist the world is made up of nine numbers from 1-9. All other numbers can be reduced into them. Zero is an exception because it is an abstract number with no value and adds nothing to a number. However, a numerologist may still speak about it, if he finds a zero in a person's date, month or year of birth (for example 10, 20, or 30) since it can have an adverse effect. He also knows that every number has a positive and negative potency and may influence a person's life and actions in combination with other factors and numbers. Hindu numerology is based upon the relationship between the nine single numbers and nine planetary deities. The following are a few important principles that are used in the practice of numerology.

1. Vedic numerology is different from Vedic astrology. In astrology you look at several factors such as planetary positions, planetary influences, the movement and location of the sun and the moon, etc. Its predictions are therefore more reliable and accurate. However, in case of numerology you solely depend upon numbers and disregard all other information about planetary positions and their influence. Hence, numerology is easier to learn and practice than astrology, but comparatively less reliable.

2. In numerology three numbers are very important, birth number, destiny number, and name number. By knowing them it is possible to determine a person's behavior, attitude, mental and physical health, common traits, relationships, competencies, suitable careers, talents, weaknesses, favorable dates, colors, objects, gems, names, mantras, etc.

3. With the help of numerology and based upon the numbers it possible to make some projections into future and determine which months or years may be favorable or auspicious for a person. For example, if a person's birth number is 2, all the years that can be reduced into 2 will be favorable to that person.

4. Numerology is also helpful both to minimize the impact of negative influences and maximize that of positive influences based upon a person's numerological numbers, by aligning him with objects, people, and situations that have compatible numbers.

Numbers and associated deities

The potency and influence of each number arise from the planet that is associated with it. Just as there are nine single whole numbers, there are nine planetary bodies, and each is associated with a particular number. The numbers, their associated deities, and general qualities that may manifest in humans because of them are listed below.

Planet Number Resultant qualities
Sun 1 strong individuality, masculinity, likes to be in control, authoritative, bright, freedom loving, intelligent, able-bodied, prefers luxuries and comforts of a good life
Moon 2 peace loving, soft, gentle, emotional, supportive, fluctuating, good looking, intuitive, attractive
Jupiter 3 strongly built, healthy, energetic,   rational, ambitious, dutiful, spiritual, scholarly, enlightened, disciplined
Rahu 4 rebellious, unpredictable, stubborn, aggressive, moody, short tempered, secretive, impulsive, selfish
Mercury 5 child like, free spirited, flexible, progressive, logical, playful, adaptable, princely, shrewd, sensitive, bright
Venus 6 artistic, sensuous, romantic, creative, inventive, friendly, organized, tactful, manipulative, soft spoken, gentle
Ketu 7 indecisive, disruptive, social, artistic, Intuitive, mystical, religious, insightful, creative, dreamy, nature loving, romantic, sentimental
Saturn 8 introverted, lonely, thoughtful, wise, harmful, depressive, strong willed, caring, protective, radical, laborious, subservient, suffering, striving
Mars 9 warlike, egoistic, short tempered, violent, hard outside but soft inside,  dominating, aggressive, strong, rough, fighting, alienating, strong leadership

The qualities mentioned above that are associated with each planetary deity should not be taken literally because they are tendencies and influences, which may manifest in human beings in different degrees. Each human being is a unique person with a distinct karma and destiny. Therefore, a number of factors need to be considered to determine the predominant characteristics and possible destiny of each individual. In numerology the numbers alone are important. Other factors such as planetary positions, etc., are not as important as in case of astrology. It is more useful to understand a person's personality type rather than his future. Hence, it is easier to learn than numerology, and fun to practice.

For the purpose of knowing a person, three numbers are especially important,

  • The birth number or psychic number
  • The destiny number
  • The name number

Their relative importance in numerology is presented below.

Birth number or psychic number

Your birth number is calculated by using the date of your birth. If it is a compound number, which is greater than nine, you have to reduce it to a single whole number by totaling the two numbers. For example if you were born on Jan 28, your birth number would be 1 (2+8). In this regard month and year are not important. You have to look at only the date on which you were born. In the above example, a numerologist will value your birth number as one, but he may also pay attention to the relative influence of both 2 and 8 in drawing conclusions.

Your psychic number plays a significant role in shaping your behavior and personality, and the choices you make in life about food, profession, relationships, marriage, goals, etc. Since each number is presided over by a planetary deity, many qualities associated with the deity manifest in the person whose birth number matches with it.

Your birth number determines your individuality and personality. It is how you think about yourself and make important decisions about your life and actions. It is especially important in the formative period of your life, until you reach the age of 35. It is still important later also, although other numbers and factors come into play such as your destiny number, marriage, family, relationships, profession, education, etc.

Destiny number

It is the number, which influences the course of your life and destiny, in which past karma and latent impressions (samskaras) from past births play an important role. It is arrived at by compounding the whole date of birth, including the month and year to derive the simple whole number. For example, if your date of birth is Jan 23, 1975, your destiny number will be one (1+2+3+ 1+9+7+5= 28, 2+ 8=1) In this calculation the numbers 2 and 8 in 28 are equally important since they are higher than the resulting number (1), and each number has its own place and number value.

The destiny number becomes more important after the age of 35, and remains so until the age of 49. If the destiny number is not favorable, people may suffer despite their hard work and good intentions. Neurologists offer remedies to neutralize the ill effects of adverse destiny numbers, such as wearing gems, using harmonious colors, performing rituals, doing good karma, or changing one's name or its spelling if necessary.

Name number

This number is arrived at by adding the numerological value of each letter in a name and reducing the total into a single compound number. As you can see below, each letter in the alphabet has been assigned a value between 1 and 8 based upon Vedic mathematics and the pattern of numbers present in the Vedic Square. Number 9 is not considered in such calculations because adding 9 to any other number does not alter its value (for example, 9 + 1 = 10 = 1, 9 + 2 = 11 = 2). The standard numerological values given to various letters in the English alphabet are as shown below.

A I J Q Y = 1

B C K R = 2

G L S = 3

D M T = 3

N E = 5

U V W X = 6

O Z = 7

F H P = 8

Each name number is a combination of three separate numbers, the first name number, the last name number and the full name number. In addition, you may also use the numbers for aliases, nick names, popular names, etc. The importance of each of them depends upon in which context, and circumstances a person may use them. For example, if in your profession you are known by your first name, your first name number becomes an important consideration to determine its influence upon your professional life. If you use your full name to sign contracts and important government documents, you have to consider your full name number to know the implications. A numerologist must be familiar with all these facts to draw right conclusions and give sound advice.

Your name number does not exert any influence upon your destiny, but plays an important role in your life by influencing your birth number and your general behavior and attitude. It also plays an important role in your social life, relationships and marriage. In case of a married woman there can be significant changes if after marriage she added her husband's last name to her maiden name.

Your name number may also have a special significance to you if you use it as a business name or a brand name in your business or profession. The influence of your name number continues even after your death, as people may still remember your name in your memory and refer to you in their conversations and rituals.

Residential number

Mention may also be made of the residential number, which is often used to determine the influence of a house or a residential property upon its owners, and to decide whether to buy, rent, build or sell it. The residence number is calculated by combining the house number with the street number, village or town number, and the country number by totaling the numerical values of the letters involved. If the number is not compatible with the destiny number, they may have to consider alternatives as suggested by a numerologist to reduce its adverse influence.

Number compatibility

All the three numbers are important to evaluate a person's behavior, dominant characteristics, personality type, life, and destiny. The birth number is more important in the early stages of life. However, the other two numbers gain significance, as a person advances into middle age and begin to manifest his or her destiny. It is good if the three numbers are compatible, since it denotes harmony and stronger planetary influence. Having non-compatible numbers means lack of harmony, conflict and confusion. Especially, it is desirable to have compatible name and destiny numbers.

If the numbers are not compatible, you may fully or partially remedy the situation with compensatory methods such as changing the spelling of the first or last name, adding a title or an alias, using mantras, wearing favorable colors or precious stones, reciting prayers, etc. You should also think about the implications of numerology when you give names to your children or your pets, since name numbers can influence their lives. In Hindu tradition it is customary to determine the first name based upon the first letter of the child's moon sign, since it creates harmony in the person between his personality and his destiny.

Limitations of the principles and methods of numerology

As stated before, numerology is not an exact science. Since it is an ancient system, it is difficult to apply some of its methods and principles to our current social and family practices. Vedic numerology originally relied upon Sanskrit names, Vedic almanacs, traditional divisions of time, and ancient alphabets, which are no more used in today's world. Besides, we do not know the changes that might have happened in our knowledge and understanding of our ancient texts. Therefore, the possibility of errors in both calculations and interpretation of the results cannot be ruled out. In this regard the following points are worth considering.

1. Many changes have happened since the Vedic times in our knowledge and understanding of the Vedic scriptures, and the number symbolism. Our current knowledge of the Vedic mathematics and number patterns is also not completely reliable. So is the case with our knowledge of the planetary deities and their influence upon human beings. Hence, we do not know how accurate our interpretations and conclusions are based upon our current understanding of numerology.

2. Your personality and behavior are shaped by many numbers, not just by your birth number or destiny number. To draw right conclusions, you must know how to quantify their exact influence, which is not always easy. Besides, you do not live in isolation. Your family, country, the world and numerous other objects and extraneous factors influence your life and destiny. They complicate the work of a numerologist and interfere with his intuition and analysis.

3. In numerology as we have seen before compound numbers (from 10 to 31) are also important. Each number in a compound number has its own significance. It value and location in the compound number are both important. Compound numbers provide extra information about a person and widen the perspective of a numerologist. However, at the same time, it also complicates his calculations and conclusions.

4. The compatibility of the birth, destiny and name numbers, and their combined influence also adds complexity to the work of a numerologist. Some numbers exert positive influence as birth numbers but may not work so well as name numbers or destiny numbers. Some numbers are mutually compatible, while some are not. A numerologist must be fully aware of such subtle nuances and carefully consider all factors before arriving at any conclusions.

5. Since time is location specific and the daytime is seasonally adjusted in some countries according to the sunrise and sunset, problems can arise in determining the birth number of individuals who are born in the transition time between two days or before the sunrise. A numerologist must know how to offset such exceptions to ascertain correct numbers.


It is important to remember that any conclusions that you may draw based upon numerological calculations are possibilities but not certainties. Your life is not just a sum of numbers. There are many factors and influences that are at work. Each planetary deity has its own destiny and passes through numerous states and conditions of positive and negative influences through each time cycle and epoch (yuga) from creation to dissolution. Most of it is unknown to us.

God works in his own mysterious ways. We cannot always foresee the direction of life, or what major events may happen. Our lives are intricately interconnected with numerous other lives, and the actions and decisions of one person many have ripple effects upon numerous other people. Each number also has both positive and negative potencies and may not exert the same influence throughout the life of an individual.

One should therefore keep an open mind about the application and importance of numerology in understanding human nature, but should not excessively depend upon it or succumb to superstition or delusion.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Disclaimer: The information provided in this essay is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as an alternative to expert knowledge. Hinduwebsite does not accept any responsibility for any errors, omissions and commission in the presentation or interpretation of the information. You should be aware that numerology is not an exact science and no one can predict human behavior or destiny with 100% guarantee or accuracy.

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