Snakes & Ladders

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Snakes & Ladders

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:27 am

I just discovered that Snakes and ladders originated in india!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakes_and_ladders

Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on morality called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation).[3] This game made its way to England, and was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.[3]
Vaikuntapali

The game was played widely in ancient India by the name of Moksha Patamu, the earliest known Jain version Gyanbazi dating back to 16th century. The game was called "Leela" - and reflected the Hinduism consciousness around everyday life. Impressed by the ideals behind the game, a newer version was introduced in Victorian England in 1892, possibly by John Jacques of Jacques of London.

Moksha Patamu was perhaps invented by Hindu spiritual teachers to teach children about the effects of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. The ladders represented virtues such as generosity, faith, humility, etc., and the snakes represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, theft, etc. The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins. Presumably the number "100" represented Moksha (Salvation). In Andhra Pradesh, snakes and ladders is played in the name of Vaikuntapali

The squares of virtue on the original game are Faith (12), Reliability (51), Generosity (57), Knowledge (76), Asceticism (78); the squares of evil are Disobedience (41), Vanity (44), Vulgarity (49), Theft (52), Lying (58), Drunkenness (62), Debt (69), Rage (84), Greed (92), Pride (95), Murder (73) and Lust (99)[4].
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby zavk » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:08 am

Cool... I wonder if the old version of the game can be found anywhere?
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:39 am

It was on games britania last night on TV in the UK, moments before I posted this!
I was looking for a Buddhist Version, but no luck! the only two versions I could see are a Hindu and Jain but didn't look for a set!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:41 am

For just a sec Manapa I read your last sentence, " but didnt look for a self ! "
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:02 am

Sanghamitta wrote:For just a sec Manapa I read your last sentence, " but didnt look for a self ! "

:jumping:
I stopped looking for one of those, found it to be futile, besides I have enough clinging to the self I think I don't have.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:12 am

I'm afraid that I still cling to the thought that I cling to the self that thinks it thinks.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:42 am

Sanghamitta wrote:I'm afraid that I still cling to the thought that I cling to the self that thinks it thinks.


Suppose the saying 'I think therefore I am' & The alternative 'I think, I think therefore I am' are both forms of I am!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:46 am

Manapa wrote:Suppose the saying 'I think therefore I am' & The alternative 'I think, I think therefore I am' are both forms of I am!

I think what you think is, 'I think, therefore I think I am,' but maybe it is, 'I think I think, therefore I think I am.'
There are, of course, other possibilities.
:focus:
All such constructions are, of course, snakes.

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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:50 am

I think, therefore thought is.
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:03 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Manapa wrote:Suppose the saying 'I think therefore I am' & The alternative 'I think, I think therefore I am' are both forms of I am!

I think what you think is, 'I think, therefore I think I am,' but maybe it is, 'I think I think, therefore I think I am.'
There are, of course, other possibilities.
:focus:
All such constructions are, of course, snakes.

Kim


no, I did put what I think
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:38 pm

Manapa wrote:I just discovered that Snakes and ladders originated in india!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakes_and_ladders

Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on morality called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation).[3] This game made its way to England, and was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.[3]
Vaikuntapali

The game was played widely in ancient India by the name of Moksha Patamu, the earliest known Jain version Gyanbazi dating back to 16th century. The game was called "Leela" - and reflected the Hinduism consciousness around everyday life. Impressed by the ideals behind the game, a newer version was introduced in Victorian England in 1892, possibly by John Jacques of Jacques of London.

Moksha Patamu was perhaps invented by Hindu spiritual teachers to teach children about the effects of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. The ladders represented virtues such as generosity, faith, humility, etc., and the snakes represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, theft, etc. The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins. Presumably the number "100" represented Moksha (Salvation). In Andhra Pradesh, snakes and ladders is played in the name of Vaikuntapali

The squares of virtue on the original game are Faith (12), Reliability (51), Generosity (57), Knowledge (76), Asceticism (78); the squares of evil are Disobedience (41), Vanity (44), Vulgarity (49), Theft (52), Lying (58), Drunkenness (62), Debt (69), Rage (84), Greed (92), Pride (95), Murder (73) and Lust (99)[4].


Well, well, well. That is interesting.

It is especially interesting in the light of a conversation I had a couple of months ago with a group of monks from China. We were talking about Sangha education, and the topic of young novice monks came up. A few of them mentioned what can only be described as a Chinese Buddhist version of snakes and ladders that was used to entertain (if that is the right word) the little novices in the monastery. A couple of the monks in our conversation had been young novices a few decades ago. It uses dice, but the squares that one lands on are all Buddhist concepts. eg. do some bad deed and slide down the snake, do some good deed and climb up the ladder. I can't recall if the end of the game was nirvana, or maybe rebirth in Amitabha's Pureland.

I wondered, but didn't have the time then to inquire, whereabouts this had entered China from. I assumed it was a modern thing, perhaps from the Western notion of Snakes and Ladders. But now I am wondering if it entered from India a long time ago, and has been lurking around the monks' quarters for a few centuries!

I shall make a few inquiries tomorrow...

Very interesting indeed.
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Re: Snakes & Ladders

Postby kayy » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:19 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Manapa wrote:I just discovered that Snakes and ladders originated in india!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakes_and_ladders

Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on morality called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation).[3] This game made its way to England, and was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.[3]
Vaikuntapali

The game was played widely in ancient India by the name of Moksha Patamu, the earliest known Jain version Gyanbazi dating back to 16th century. The game was called "Leela" - and reflected the Hinduism consciousness around everyday life. Impressed by the ideals behind the game, a newer version was introduced in Victorian England in 1892, possibly by John Jacques of Jacques of London.

Moksha Patamu was perhaps invented by Hindu spiritual teachers to teach children about the effects of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. The ladders represented virtues such as generosity, faith, humility, etc., and the snakes represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, theft, etc. The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins. Presumably the number "100" represented Moksha (Salvation). In Andhra Pradesh, snakes and ladders is played in the name of Vaikuntapali

The squares of virtue on the original game are Faith (12), Reliability (51), Generosity (57), Knowledge (76), Asceticism (78); the squares of evil are Disobedience (41), Vanity (44), Vulgarity (49), Theft (52), Lying (58), Drunkenness (62), Debt (69), Rage (84), Greed (92), Pride (95), Murder (73) and Lust (99)[4].


Well, well, well. That is interesting.

It is especially interesting in the light of a conversation I had a couple of months ago with a group of monks from China. We were talking about Sangha education, and the topic of young novice monks came up. A few of them mentioned what can only be described as a Chinese Buddhist version of snakes and ladders that was used to entertain (if that is the right word) the little novices in the monastery. A couple of the monks in our conversation had been young novices a few decades ago. It uses dice, but the squares that one lands on are all Buddhist concepts. eg. do some bad deed and slide down the snake, do some good deed and climb up the ladder. I can't recall if the end of the game was nirvana, or maybe rebirth in Amitabha's Pureland.

I wondered, but didn't have the time then to inquire, whereabouts this had entered China from. I assumed it was a modern thing, perhaps from the Western notion of Snakes and Ladders. But now I am wondering if it entered from India a long time ago, and has been lurking around the monks' quarters for a few centuries!

I shall make a few inquiries tomorrow...

Very interesting indeed.



That's really interesting! It's nice, too. I liked snakes and ladders when I was a child. :clap:
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