Significance of Number 24 in Two Religions (Post No.3834)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 20 APRIL 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 20-34


Post No. 3834


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.




“Many striking similarities have been pointed out by various scholars between Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. It is trite to observe that the sisterhood of Veda and Zend Avesta stands already established; and the present-day Parsi and Hindu manners exhibit an incontestable affinity on the occasions of birth, marriage and death, which are the chief performances held holy and dear as ceremonials among the two sister communities”, says S S Mehta in an article published in 1930, in Dr Modi Memorial Volume.


Following is a summary of his article:

“The third stanza of the 30th Yasna and also the fourth give us a clue to suppose that the age of the Brahmanic literature in India corresponds to the age of Zoroaster.

“Now the two primal spirits who revealed themselves in vision as Twins, are what is Better and what is Bad in thought, word and action. And between these two, the wise ones chose aright; the foolish not so.


And when these twain spirits came together in the beginning, they established Life and Not-Life, and at the last worst existence shall be to the liars, but the Best Thought to him that follows the Right (asaone)”


The two primal spirits correspond to the Purussha and Parkruthi of the Sankhya philosophy. Prakruti is dull-dead i.e Not Life and Purusha is Life. Good and evil were co-eternal in the past, or they arose together in the beginning


Ancient Iranians presented sacrifice to the moon, the stars, the winds and the mother elements – the symbols or rather embodiments of Good- of Life. He brought out the Number 24 as also did the follower of  the Samkhya philosophy out of the Two Primal Spirits, from which these became naturally evolved.


After the Indo-Iranian split, Semitic culture predominated Iran; and still earlier Western Aryans developed cultural traits that differed greatly from the Eastern Aryans. The Parsi lays stress upon the worship of one God Ahura (Asura) Varuna of the Vedas; manifested in two forms the so called Twin Spirits – Purusha and Prakruti; or Brahma and Maya; whose life- interplay brings out all manifested forms. These manifested forms of the objective world are guided by the great Law of Action and Re-action i.e. the great Law of Karma; and the same is based upon the religious scriptures that propounds the various aspects of Duty, or in other words, service not to humanity alone but to the universe. These constitute the essence of Hinduism as well as Zoroastrianism.


Zoroastrianism has many common points with Hinduism. Some critics brand both equally as having favoured the idea of pluralistic godhead.  Edward ( of Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics) favours the idea of progressive monotheism which is naturally based on the notion of evolution from a state of savageness to one of civilization. In a sense, moreover, plurality may be regarded as inseparable from Divinity.

24 Gods in Zoroastrianism


Zoroastrianism gives the precise number of gods as four and twenty. Well known Sankhya philosophy has promulgated the idea of Divinity as based upon 24 Tattvas. They are Prakruti (Nature) from which are produced the following 23 i.e. the intellect, the consciousness, the five subtle elements, the five grosser elements, the five senses of perception, the five organs of action and mind; thus, the whole total reaches 24.


The number 24 is identified with the constellation and stars that are regarded as symbols of Divinity. Prof. Cumont takes these gods to be the 24 stars outside the zodiac- 12 in the northern and 12 in the southern hemispheres. Zimmern tries to take the 24 constellations that revolve around the polar star as the 24 Spiritual Kings of the Book of Revelation.


The very word Ahura Mazda in the singular number denotes the One Omniscient God and in the plural form it signifies the sense of 24 most glorious Siddhas – as will be evident from Yasna 28-9, which says,

“With these bounties, O Ahura, may we never provoke your wrath, O Mazda and Right and Best Thought  … Ye are they that are mightiest to advance desires and Dominion of Blessings.


24 In The Bible

Now in the Christian Bible God is described by John as one seated on the throne from which proceed thunder and lightnings and which is surrounded by four and twenty seats, on which sit the 24 Elders, all robed in white and wearing crowns of gold. The same idea occurs also in the Jain philosophy – the idea of the One in the 24 and 24 in the one.


( My comments: There were 24 Jain Tirtankaras; there are 24 syllables in the Gayatri Metre and Mantra- the most sacred mantra found in all the Hindu Vedas).


Please read my article posted yesterday: India- Iran Vedic Connection( Post No.3831)