04 November 2007

The Number 432,000

In Hindu mythology, 432,000 is the length of the age in which the early writers placed themselves.

In Babylonian mythology, the flood story (similar to the Genesis version) tells of 10 kings who ruled during the period before the flood: a period of 432,000 years.

In Germanic tradition (pre-Christian), they talk about 800 men at each of the 540 gates of Wodan's palace = 432,000. In the doomsday scenario of the Vikings, 800 divine warriors emerge from each of the 540 gates of Valhalla. Icelandic mythology says that 800 warriors will emerge from the 540 doors of Odin's palace.

The Greek mathematician Ptolemy used 432,000 as the totality of the "Great Circle" of musical frequencies.

The Rig Veda has, according to certain sources, 432,000 syllables.

432,000 is the number of veterans who served in both Vietnam and the Korean War.

After a thorough study, it was found that golf balls travel farthest with 432 dimples.

Now, what does this all mean...I have no idea. I have only put a few of the oddities with the number up here. Apparently the number 432 and any number gotten from adding zeros (or dividing/adding/etc.) is rather important in our history. Then again, I have to wonder if all numbers are important if we look hard enough.

Food for thought anyway...


  1. Have you read "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco? I didn't see it in your LibraryThing. There's a lot in there about connections in history and numerology and the lesson kind of ends up being, "O, that way madness lies." I'm inclined to agree, but I feel I should still tell you about by Holy Haircut.
    I paid 13.50 Euros for it. 1+3+5=9, just as 4+3+2=9. And if you multiply that 9 by the number of days since my previous haircut (48) you get 432! Now all we have to do is find out what my hair has to do with Icelandic, Germanic, and Hindu mythology ...
    Okay, I'm making fun now. I do find the repetition of the number interesting, as you do. The fun part for me is finding out how the repetitions came to be. How did the certain cultures influence one another? What mathematical or natural laws brought about similar conclusions in each culture? Discuss in groups and write a paragraph on each possibility.

  2. Don't worry about making fun. I make fun too. You can make any number relate to any other number mathematically. I find the connections fascinating, and the conspiracy theorist part of me gets all googly over the whole thing, but when it comes down to it, it's just a brain exercise. :)

    For instance, I am 27. 2 * 7 = 14 = 1+4 = 5. 5 is the number of s'mores I find to be just enough to make me a little bit sick to my stomach yet still tasty while eating. What is the significance?

  3. Oh man you're missing the best bits of this!

    First of all, 86400 seconds in a day = 43200 times 2. I suspect the reason it's half is that you essentially have the duality of day and night as you will see in a minute.

    The Genesis flood is 1656 years. The number of 7 day weeks in this time is approximately 86400 . This numerology is used to describe how everything is cyclical, on both a small scale and a large one (I have trouble finding the words to explain that concept, ask if you need clarification).

    This occurs in so many cultures at opposite sides of the world. In the Hindu mythology, the creation myth is that Vishnu is lying down and there's a lotus coming from his navel, on which there sits Brahma. Every time the Brahma closes his eyes to blink he dreams up the universe which is the universe we live in, and when he opens his eyes it ends until he blinks again. Here is the concept of the great cycles again, and each aeon lasts 432,000 years. I'm not sure why it's multiplied by 10, but here you have the connection with the number of seconds in the day and the great cycles.

    Check out Joseph Campbell btw :)

  4. One more thing! You may wonder why all of these seem to measure seconds in the same why and I think I figured it out. There were no clocks back then, so what was the most practical way to measure the passing of time? Your heartbeat, which at rest is approximately 60 bpm average. I suspect this is why the connection is so universal.

    Interesting stuff eh? :)

  5. I've heard that for whatever reason, "they" have chosen to tune the note "A" to 44000Hz and to tune other notes based off of that. But I have also heard that we should be tuning "A" to 43200Hz, and that the resultant array of frequencies is much more satisfying and even more healthy for people.

    But there I was, minding my own business, Doing My Thing, when I remembered that the Kali Yuga is supposed to be 432,000 years.

    4,800 divine years (= 1,728,000 human years) = 1 Satya Yuga
    3,600 divine years (= 1,296,000 human years) = 1 Tretā Yuga
    2,400 divine years (= 864,000 human years) = 1 Dvāpara Yuga
    1,200 divine years (= 432,000 human years) = 1 Kali Yuga

    Interesting synchronicity.

  6. Just now reading "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyer. On page 94 Campbell mentions how the eighth and ninth century Icelandic settlers would space their townships 432,000 Roman feet apart. In this way, to their minds, they sanctified the land in order to make it their land.


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