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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Magic Number Seven

 Number Seven has significance in many traditions. I thought this has something to do with lunar cycles. In Vedic literature and Hinduism, there are several lists with seven items.

Seven rishis (sapta rishi mandala constellation is called Ursa Major in the west)

Seven rivers (Five rivers or Punjab and Saraswathi and Sindhu which is now called Indus)

Seven days of the week

Seven flames of Agni

Seven colors

Seven lokas (worlds) corresponding to Seven levels of existence (objects of senses, senses, mind, intelligence, ego, Purusa and a state beyond)

Seven chakras (muladhara, svdhishtana, manipura, anahata, vishuddi, aagna and sahsrara)

What I did not know was that there are seven Pranas. I thought they were only five. Apte’s dictionary define these five as  (prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana)  ह्रुदि प्राणौ गुदे अपानः समानो नाभिस्तिथे उदानः कण़ठेशस़थो व़यानो सर्वशरीरः Where are the other two pranas? They seem to be at the cosmic level. One is the unmanifest energy behind all creations. It is Pure Awareness. Some call it Purusha. The other is the manifest Prana from which the other five in the individual (Jiva) derive their energy.

In the west, we hear about the seven great sages of Greece in the 6th century BCE. They are Thales, Pittacus, Bias, Solon, Cleobulus, Periander and Chilon.

In the Akkadian and Babylonian systems, there are the seven demi-gods or Apkallus who were created by the god Enki and emerged from the waters. They are Uanna, Uannedugga, Enmedugga, Enmegalamma, Enmebulugga, An-Enlilda and Utuabzu.

The seven pillars of Islam (Shia) are Shahadah, Salah, Zakah, Taharah, Sawm, Haaj and Jihad.

Number Seven seems to hold the imagination of people of all traditions, faiths, and cultures.

PS: I forgot the seven notes of the music scale, as pointed out by one of the followers in the Comment section. 



1 comment:

Lilly said...

Seven musical notes too!