num. card, eight, decl. like pl. of adj. in-a A. The number in objective significance, based on natural phenomena: see compounds ˚angula, ˚nakha, ˚pada, ˚pāda B. The number in subjective significance

  1. As mark of respectability and honour, based on the idea of the double square:
    1. in meaning “a couple” aṭṭha matakukkuṭe aṭṭha jīva-k. gahetvā (with 8 dead & 8 live cocks; eight instead of 2 because gift intended for a king) Dhp-a.i.213. sanghassa a salākabhattaṃ dāpesi Vv-a.75 = Dhp-a.iii.104. a. piṇḍapātāni adadaṃ Vv.34#8. a. vattha-yugāni (a double pair as offering) Pv-a.232, a therā Pv-a.32
      ■ The highest respectability is expressed by 8 × 8 = 64, and in this sense is freq. applied to gifts, where the giver gives a higher potency of a pair (23). Thus a “royal” gift goes under the name of sabb-aṭṭhakaṃ dānaṃ (8 elephants, 8 horses 8 slaves etc.) where each of 8 constituents is presented in 8 exemplars Dhp-a.ii.45, Dhp-a.ii.46, Dhp-a.ii.71. In the same sense aṭṭh’ aṭṭha kahāpaṇā (as gift) Dhp-a.ii.41; aṭṭh-aṭṭhakā dibbākaññā Vv.67#3 (= catusaṭṭhi Vv-a.290); aṭṭhaṭṭhaka Dpvs.vi.56. Quite conspicuous is the meaning of a “couple” in the phrase satt-aṭṭha 7 or 8 = a couple e.g. sattaṭṭha divasā, a weck or so Ja.i.86; Ja.ii.101; Vv-a.264 (saṃvaccharā years)
    2. used as definite measure of quantity & distance, where it also implies the respectability of the gift, 8 being the lowest unit of items that may be given decently. Thus freq. as aṭṭha kahāpaṇā Ja.i.483; Ja.iv.138; Vv-a.76; Mil.291
      ■ In distances: a karīsā Dhp-a.ii.80; Dhp-a.iv.217; Pv-a.258; a. usabhā Ja.iv.142.
    3. in combn. with 100 and 1000 it assumes the meaning of “a great many”, hundreds, thousands. Thus aṭṭha sataṃ 800, Snp.227. As denotation of wealt (cp. below under 18 and 80): a-˚sata-sahassa-vibhava Dhp-a.iv.7. But aṭṭhasata at SN.iv.232 means 108 (3 × 36), probably also at Ja.v.377
      aṭṭha sahassaṃ 8000; Ja.v.39 (nāgā). The same meaning applies to 80 as well as to its use as unit in combn. with any other decimal (18, 28, 38 etc.):
      1. 80 (asīti) a great many. Here belong the 80 smaller signs of a Mahāpurisa (see anuvyañjana), besides the 32 main signs (see dvattiṃsa) Vv-a.213 etc. Freq. as measure of riches, e.g. 80 waggon loads Pv.ii.7#5; asīti-koṭivibhava Dhp-a.iii.129; Pv-a.196; asīti hatth’ ubbedho rāsi (of gold Vv-a.66, etc. See further references under asīti
      2. The foll. are examples of 8 with other decimals:
        18 aṭṭhādasa (only MN.iii.239: manopavicārā) & aṭṭhārasa (this the later form) Vv-a.213 (avenika-buddhadhammā: Bhagavant’s qualities);
        ■ as measure Ja.vi.432 (18 hands high, of a fence);
        ■ of a great mass or multitude: aṭṭhārasa koṭiyo or ˚koṭi, 18 koṭis Ja.i.92 (of gold), Ja.i.227; Ja.iv.378 (˚dhana riches); Dhp-a.ii.43 (of people); Mil.20 (id.); a. akkhohini-sankhāsenā Ja.vi.395. a. vatthū Vin.ii.204
        ■ 28 aṭṭhavīsati nakkhattāni Mnd.382; paṭisallāṇaguṇā Mil.140
        ■ 38 aṭṭhatiṃsā Mil.359 (rājaparisā)
        ■ 48 aṭṭhacattārīsaṃ vassāni Snp.289
        ■ 68 aṭṭhasaṭṭhi Thag.1217 ˚sitā savitakkā, where id. p. at SN.i.187 however reads atha saṭṭhi-tasitā vitakkā); Ja.i.64 (turiya-satasahassāni)
        ■ 98 aṭṭhanavuti (cp. 98 the age of Eli, 1 Sam. iv.15); Snp.311 (rogā, a higher set than the original 3 diseases cp. navuti)
  2. As number of symmetry or of an intrinsic, harmonious, symmetrical set, aṭṭha denotes, like dasa (q.v.) a comprehensive unity. See esp. the cpds for this application. -aṃsa and -aṅgika. Closely related to nos. 2 and 4. aṭṭha is in the geometrical progression of 2–4–8–16–32, where each subsequent number shows a higher symmetry or involves a greater importance (cp.8 × 8 under 1 a) Ja.v.409 (a. mangalena samannāgata of Indra’s chariot: with the 8 lucky signs); Vv-a.193 (aṭṭhahi akkhaṇehi vajjitaṃ manussabhāvaṃ: the 8 unlucky signs). In progression: Ja.iv.3 (aṭṭha petiyo, following after 4, then foll. by 8, 16, 32); Pv-a.75 (a. kapparukkhā at each point of the compass, 32 in all). Further: 8 expressions of bad language Dhp-a.iv.3.
  • -aṃsa with eight edges, octagonal, octahedral, implying perfect or divine symmetry (see above B. 2), of a diamond DN.i.76 = MN.iii.121 (maṇi veḷuriyo a.); Mil.282 (maṇiratanaṃ subhaṃ jātimantaṃ a.) of the pillars of a heavenly palace (Vimāna) Ja.vi.127 = Ja.vi.173 = Vv.78#2 (a. sukatā thambhā); Vv.84#15 (āyataṃsa = āyatā hutvā aṭṭha-soḷasadvattiṃsādi-aṃsavanto Vv-a.339). Of a ball of string Pv.iv.3#28 (gulaparimaṇḍala, cp. Pv-a.254). Of geometrical figures in general Dhs.617.
  • -aṅga (of) eight parts, eightfold, consisting of eight ingredients or constituents (see also next and above B 2 on significance of aṭṭha in this connection), in compn. with ˚upeta characterised by the eight parts (i.e. the observance of the first eight of the commandments or vows, see sīla & cp. anga 2), of; uposatha the fast-day AN.i.215; Snp.402 (Snp-a.378 explains ekam pi divasaṃ apariccajanto aṭṭhangupetaṃ uposathaṃ upavassa) cp. aṭṭhanguposathin (adj.) Mhvs.36, Mhvs.84. In BSk. always in phrase aṣṭānga-samanvāgata upavāsa, e.g. Divy.398 Sp. Avs.i.338, Avs.i.399; also vrata Avs.i.170. In the same sense aṭṭhangupeta pāṭihāriyapakkha (q.v.) Snp.402, where Vv.15#6 has ˚susamāgata (expld. at Vv-a.72 by pānāṭipātā veramaṇī-ādīhi aṭṭhah’ angehi samannāgata). ˚samannāgata endowed with the eight qualities (see anga 3), of rājā, a king DN.i.137 sq., of brahmassara, the supreme or most excellent voice (of the Buddha) DN.ii.211; Ja.i.95; Vv-a.217. Also in Buddh. Sk. aṣṭāngopeta svara of the voice of the Buddha, e.g. Sp. Avs.i.149.
  • -aṅgika having eight constituents, being made up of eight (intrinsic) parts embracing eight items (see above B 2); of the uposatha (as in prec. aṭṭhang’ uposatha) Snp.401; of the “Eightfold Noble Path” (ariyo a. maggo). (Also in BSk. as aṣṭāngika mārga, e.g. Lal.540, cp. aṣṭāngamārgadeśika of the Buddha, Divy.124, Divy.265); DN.i.156, DN.i.157 DN.i.165; MN.i.118; Iti.18; Snp.1130 (magga uttama); Dhp.191 Dhp.273; Thig.158, Thig.171; Kp iv.; Vin.i.10; Cnd.485; DN-a.i.313; Dhp-a.iii.402.
  • -aṅgula eight finger-breadths thick eight inches thick, i.e. very thick, of double thickness Ja.ii.91 (in contrast to caturangula); Mhvs.29, Mhvs.11 (with sattangula).
  • -aḍḍha (variant reading aḍḍhaṭṭha) half of eight, i.e. four (˚pāda) Ja.vi.354, see also aḍḍha1.
  • -nakha having eight nails or claws Ja.vi.354 (: ekekasmiṃ pāde dvinnaṃ dvinnaṃ khurānaṃ vasena C.).
  • -nava eight or nine Dhp-a.iii.179.
  • -pada 1 a chequered board for gambling or playing drafts etc., lit. having eight squares, i.e. on each side (DN-a.i.85: ekekāya pantiyā aṭṭha aṭṭha padāni assā ti), cp. dasapada DN.i.6. 2 eightfold, folded or plaited in eight, cross-plaited (of hair) Thag.772 (aṭṭhāpada-katā kesā); Ja.ii.5 (˚ṭṭhapana = cross-plaiting).
  • -padaka a small square (1/8), i.e. a patch Vin.i.297; Vin.ii.150.
  • -pāda an octopod, a kind of (fabulous) spider (or deer?) Ja.v.377 Ja.vi.538; cp. Sk. aṣṭapāda = śarabha a fabulous eight-legged animal.
  • -maṅgala having eight auspicious signs Ja.v.409 (expld. here to mean a horse with white hair on the face, tail, mane, and breast, and above each of the four hoofs).
  • -vaṅka with eight facets, lit. eight-crooked i.e. polished on eight sides, of a jewel Ja.vi.388.
  • -vidha eightfold Dhs.219.

Vedic aṣṭau, old dual, Idg. *octou, pointing to a system of counting by tetrads (see also nava); Av. ašta Gr. ὀκτώ, Lat. octo, Goth. ahtau = Ohg. ahto, Ger. acht E. eight


see attha.