When I travel in India with Arvind Singh as our guide, I am amazed at how he can rattle off mind boggling numbers. With complete confidence and not a moment’s hesitation, he could say, “There are 10-15 million Sadhus ‘Holy Men’ in India.”
So I thought about some figures that I would like to know, numbers I would like to confidently toss your way when we are engaged in a conversation. Here are some figures I thought I should like to commit to memory:
- US Population: 314,135,437 (don’t you wonder about the accuracy of any census?)
- World Population: Over 7 Billion (in my own lifetime I may see this number reach 9 Billion. 9 Billion is the projected world population figure for 2043)
- Circumference of the Earth: 24,901 miles (40,075 km)
- Number of Miles from the US Coast to Coast: 3050 miles
- Number of words in the English language: over a Million! (So then I think, well, how many adjectives are there and what small % of these words do I use?)
- Number of Yoga Postures (Asanas): I had fun looking this one up. The shastras tell us the number of asanas is 84 lakhs. One lakh is 100,000 so we are talking 8,400,000 asanas. A more conservative number is 908 asanas as has been cataloged and photographed in a Master Yoga Chart. I guess the idea is that the asanas are forever evolving and there are numerous modifications and variations to make the number seem almost infinite.
- The average lifespan of a yogi/yogini: As I looked on line, I came across some very interesting answers! One source said, “Yogis never die!” Ha! Another spoke of Devraha Baba who lived to be 250 years old. That sounds like a claim from the Bible! Remember how, according to the Bible, Abraham lived to be 175 years old? My guess is that the average lifespan of a yogi/yogini is similar to the average life expectancy one sees in the charts for all people (according to gender, year born, country). I believe the one big difference is a better quality of life for the yoga practitioners where one experiences more peace, less conflict, more days being joyful, and fewer days complaining of ill health.
- Number of vegetarians in the USA: 3.2% of the population
- Number of vegetarians in India: 40% of the population