In the Chamakam, in anuvakas or sections 1 to10, the devotee prays for almost everything needed for human happiness and specifies each item. But in the 11th anuvaka or 11th section of Chamakam, the devotee prays for the desired things not specifically but in terms of numbers, first in terms of odd numbers from 1 to 33 and later in multiples of 4 from 4 to 48, as follows:
“Eka cha me, thisrascha may, pancha cha may, sapta cha may, Ekadasa cha may, trayodasa cha may …etc. till ashtachatvarimshas cha may”
“Let these be granted to me. One, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, seventeen, nineteen, twenty one, twenty three, twenty five, twenty seven, twenty nine, thirty one and thirty three as also four, eight, twelve, sixteen, twenty, twenty four, twenty eight, thirty two, thirty six, forty, forty four and forty eight”.
Traditional scholars and pandits explain the significance of these numbers as follows:
1 = Nature or Prakriti
3 = The three gunas, namely sattwa, rajas and tamas
5 = The five mahabhutas, or the five basic elements, that is, prithvi, ap, tejas, vayu and akasha, (earth, water, energy or agni or fire, wind and space).
7 = The five sensory organs and the mind and intellect
9 = The nine openings in the human body, called the navadwaras.
11 = The ten pranas and the Sushumna nadi
13 = Thirteen Devas
15 = The nadis or nerve centres in the human body
17 = The limbs of the human body
19 = Medicinal herbs
21 = Important vulnerable parts of the body
23 = Devas controlling serious diseases
25 = Apsaras in heaven
27 = Gandharvas
29 = Vidyut Devas
31 = Worlds
33 = Devas
MULTIPLES OF FOUR:
4 = The four ideals of human life, namely dharma, artha, kama and moksha,
(righteous way of life, wealth, desire, and salvation)
8 = The four Vedas and the four upavedas
12 = Six vedangas and six shastras.
16 = Knowledge to be obtained from God
20 = The Mahabhutas
24 = The number of letters in the Gayatri mantra.
28 = The number of letters in the Ushnik mantra.
32 = The number of letters in the Anushtup mantra.
36 = The number of letters in the Brihati mantra.
40 = The number of letters in the Pankti mantra.
44 = The number of letters in the Trushtup mantra
48 = The number of letters in the Jagati mantra