Most of us have played snake and ladder during our childhood… may be continuing to play with our kids.
‘Snake and Ladder’ is simple race based on lucky number that you obtain from throwing a dice. Historically, it was created to teach morality lessons to kids through this interesting game. “Ladders” consider as good deed or virtues or “snake” consider as bad deed or action.
In ancient India, When Saint Gyandev created this children’s game, he named it as Moksha Patam. He also named each snake (bad action) in the game that eventually explained the bad behavior or action. This is how good morality lessons were inculcated in kids in India at early age.
However, Britishers commercialized it and renamed as Snakes and Ladders instead of the original Moksha Patam. A commercial version with different morality lessons, Chutes and Ladders, is published by Milton Bradley was also introduced.
Ruma Chakravarti, a famous blogger, explains, “In the original one hundred square game board, the 12th square was faith, the 51st square was reliability, the 57th square was generosity, the 76th square was knowledge, and the 78th square was asceticism. These were the squares where the ladders were found and one could move ahead faster. The 41st square was for disobedience, the 44th square for arrogance, the 49th square for vulgarity, the 52nd square for theft, the 58th square for lying, the 62nd square for drunkenness, the 69th square for debt, the 84th square for anger, the 92nd square for greed, the 95th square for pride, the 73rd square for murder and the 99th square for lust. These were the squares where the snake waited with its mouth open. The 100th square represented Nirvana or Moksha.The tops of each ladder depict a God, or one of the various heavens (kailasa, vaikuntha, brahmaloka) and so on. As the game progressed various actions were supposed to take you up and down the board as in life… Amazing, isn’t it?”
(picture source: wikipedia)