1: King Parikshit’s Question to Suka Maharishi : 6.
It is an incomparable scripture. Its eighteen skandhas represent the eighteen processes of the evolution of the cosmos. In Indian culture, the word ‘eighteen’ has been regarded as very sacred. The Bhagavata contains eighteen skandhas, the Mahabharata contains eighteen parvas, the war took place for eighteen days, the Bhagavadgita has eighteen chapters; it is a great mystery. According to the traditional belief in the computational meaning of numbers, eighteen represents victory. According to a traditional calculation in India especially, the word ‘eight’ is represented by the word ‘ja’, and the word ‘ya’ is represented by the number ‘one’. In the the old system, letters are read from right to left, not from left to right as we do in the modern system. So ‘ja’ and ‘ya’ mean ‘jaya’ or victory. The Mahabharata book also is called Jaya by Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa.