Random Thoughts-27: "Number Thirteen"

Thirteen is considered to be an unlucky number by many. In US, many hotels do not have a 13th floor; after 12th floor, you get to the 14th floor! Likewise, there is no Room No.13. People do not want to commence or take up anything of importance on the 13th day of the month. Whatever you take up may fail or there may be worse misfortunes. People seem to be damn afraid of that number. This superstition seems to be universal breaking borders.

I have a special connection to number thirteen. My official date of birth is 13. My real one is something different. Those days schools won’t admit children below six . When I was 5, I was admitted in school; probably somebody added a year to my age, which is all right with me; but they changed the date and month. At random they might have chosen the numbers. I had my share of troubles and misfortunes in my sixty-year old life, whether due to it or otherwise.

This fear associated with number thirteen makes me think. For me, Swami Vivekananda is the embodiment of fearlessness, courage and manliness. He says that if there is one word that keeps recurring in the Upanishads, it is fearlessness. The Bhagavad Gita also puts fearlessness in the first place when it starts listing out divine wealth or divine values. So it is a virtue or value one must cultivate. Analysing our fears one by one threadbare may help. Facing your fears head on may be a way. If you are spiritual like me, japa (repetition of the holy name), meditation and prayer also should help to some extent.If there are other ways, I shall be glad to learn.

On looking up ‘Thirteen’ in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, I found a lot of interesting facts:

* There were thirteen disciples of Jesus in the Last Supper and Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth.

* In the Sikh holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, the word ‘Waheguru’ appears 13 times.

* 13 is the age at which a boy becomes Bar Mitzwah in Judaism.

* 13 is the sixth prime number.

* The morbid fear of 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia.

* Thirteen is the age when one becomes a teenager.

* The unsuccessful mission to moon by the US is Apollo 13.(An oxygen tank exploded in Apollo 13 on April 13(!), 1970 leading to failure of the mission).

The surprising news is that there are people to whom 13 is a luck number. If you look up Wikipedia, you will find more details about them. For example, in Italy, 13 is considered to be a lucky number. So also at the Colgate University. But then considering a number lucky or unlucky, is not the same, I mean, superstition?

The world is full of superstitions, some of them very interesting though. One day I should sit up and collect the details; maybe I would write an article for my blog about superstitions.

Grateful thanks to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


One Response to “Random Thoughts-27: "Number Thirteen"”

  1. Nellaiappan Says:

    Good article Suri!
    என் வெற்றி தோல்விகள்
    எண் சம்பந்தப் பட்டவையல்ல-
    என் சம்பந்தப் பட்டவை.

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