Sunday, 4 March 2012

....About Snakes and Ladders.

I started watching a webseries called: Crash Course ( Every week there's a new episode, in which they alternate bettween history and biology (a history episode one week, a biology one the next). The humour is almost a little too cheesy, which is odd considering I'm saying it, but it is very imformative and pack a lot of information in to the 12mins it runs for. It has been especially useful to me since I could never wrap my head around biology, they explain it rather simply and I at least have a better understanging of it now. They also have a catchy theme song to boot.

At one point in the episode Buddha and Ashoka, the presenter went on a bit of a rant about Snakes and Ladders. He was pissed because his 2 year old son beat him at it the first time they played together. It never occured to me until then that the game is solely based on luck. Anyone can will Which explains why children find it so appealing. The origin of the game has it's roots in ancient India. It symbolizes the path to Nirvana or Moksha (roughly meaning 'salvation'). The ladders represent virtues while they snakes are vices. There are more snakes than ladders on a traditional board. Reason being in order to reach salvation you have to avoid more vices/sins and the quicker way to the top is by using your virtues.

That's what I learned today.



  1. I remember a book of fairytales as a kid, that explained the origin of chess. A Persian queen had two sons by different fathers, and had to choose which one would be king but couldn't. They grew up and went to war but every time one's army would surround a wannabe-king they were under orders not to hurt him but call 'watch out!' coz the brothers still loved eachother. eventually one got completely cornered and realising he'd lost, keeled over from heart failure. the queen couldnt understand why one of her sons had to lose so the king had a board brought in with pieces representing the battle, like elephants and horses and camels and the queen would play it everyday to see if she could work out a way to save both sons, but she couldnt. i think the real story is probably due to some people being really bored before tv was invented but dont you think this is cooler Tim? love the new blog!

    1. Thanks LR. This is another thing I learned today.