The hidden values in the game of 'snake and ladder'

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Published on: 28 March 2016 2:47 PM GMT
The hidden values in the game of snake and ladder
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Lucknow: Smartphones and video games have pushed the old board games out of our lives. It is depressing to know that the next-generation might play all the indoor games on iPads and iPhones. Let’s talk about snake and ladder, one of the most popular games for more than a century that could be easily played by anyone of any age group.

newztrack.com is happy to bring you some incredible facts about the forgotten-game and its origin:

There is no clarity about when the game was invented. While some claim that it was invented in the second century BC, others say that it was created by the poet saint Gyandev in the 13th century. Others believe that it was a 19th century product.

Also known as Mokshpat, Moksha Patamu, Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam, the game holds a very deep meaning which many are unaware of. The Ladders in the game represent Hindu virtues like generosity, faith and humility, while the Snakes represent our vices like lust, anger, murder and theft. The moral of this game was to attain nirvana by practising good deeds and overcoming evils one step at a time. Landing on a snake along this journey would take one all the way down representing death and reincarnation in lower forms of life.

Each number has a hidden meaning:

  • 12 for faith(ladder)
  • 51 for reliability(ladder)
  • 57 for generosity(ladder)
  • 76 for knowledge(ladder)
  • 78 for Asceticism(ladder)
  • 41 for for disobedience (snake)
  • 44 for arrogance (snake)
  • 49 for vulgarity (snake)
  • 52 for theft (snake)
  • 58 for lies (snake)
  • 62 for drunkenness (snake)
  • 69 for debt (snake)
  • 84 for anger (snake)
  • 92 for greed (snake)
  • 95 for pride (snake)
  • 73 for murder (snake)
  • 99 for lust (snake)

Additional facts:

  • The game of snake & ladder indicates that the world is full of evil and the path of virtue is often hard to tread.
  • Anybody who reaches the destination of nobility without being lured by the evil is believed to have attained nirvana or ‘Moksha’.
  • The Britishers loved the concept of the game so much that they took it to England in 1892, making changes according to the Victorian values.

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