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Gurmukhi Number Eight in Gurbani Illustrated

Atth - Significance of Gurmukhi Numeral Eight in Sikh Scripture


Atth is the numeral eight of the Gurmukhi script.
Gurmukhi Number Eight - Atth

Gurmukhi Number Eight - Atth

Photo © [S Khalsa]
Atth the most simple common phonetic Romanized spelling of numeral eight of the Gurmukhi script. Atth sounds like ought and is pronounced so that the a sounds like u in cut and when tth is spoken the tongue curls to touch just behind the ridge of the roof of the mouth.

Atthvan, pronounce Ought-won, is the word for eighth. Guru Har Krishan is the eight guru of the Sikhs.

In Gurbani, the Sikh scripture of Guru Granth Sahib, the term pahar represents a watch, or unit of three hours, so atth pahar represents a twenty four hour period of time:

"Atthee peharee atth khandd naavaa khandd sareer ||
During the eight watches, destroy the eight (three qualities plus five evils) and the ninth, mortality (egoism) is conquered." SGGS||146

In the Sikh scripture asatt is also used in conjunction with the number eight and usually references sidhic, or yogic powers:

"Sagal padaarath asatt sidh naam mehaa ras maahe ||
All wealth and the eight miraculous powers are contained in the sublime essence of the supreme name." SGGS||203

According to Manmohan Singh in the appendix of his eight volume Steek, or translation of Sikh scripture, the asatt sidh, or eight supernatural powers are:

  • Shape shift into the appearance of another.
  • Increase or shrink body size.
  • Make the body microscopic.
  • Increase in heaviness.
  • Be all persuasive.
  • Read the minds of others.
  • Ability to fulfill desires.
  • Produce or obtain a desired object.
Other references to the significance of number eight include but are not limited to:
  • Asatt saaj saaj puraan - eight chapters of the Puranas (Vedic scripture).
  • Asatt dhaath - eight metals.
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