Number seven (7) is one of the most used numbers in Hinduism; recognized as a spiritual and sacred number. Known as Sapta (also spelled as Sapta) in Sanskrit; number seven is a symbolic representation of various divine concepts and philosophies of Hindu Sanatana dharma and Sanskruthi. It represents seven days in a week; seven colours of rainbow VIGBYOR; Sapta-Swaraas (Seven musical notes) Sa; Ri; Ga; Ma; Pa; Da; Ni; etc. Sapta means seven; Saptati means seventy; Saptaka means a group of seven and Saptaaha means a week long programme. Some of the terminologies and their significance associated with number seven (7) from a Hindu perspective are as follows
The seven chakras through which flows the kundalini energy are known as –
muladhara, which is located at the perineum, the space between the anal outlet and the genital organ;
swadhisthana, which is just above the genital organ;
manipuraka, which is just below the navel;
anahata, which is just beneath where the rib cage meets;
vishuddhi, which is at the pit of the throat;
ajna, which is between the eyebrows; and
sahasrara, also known asbrahmarandra, which is at the top of the head, where when a child is born, there is a soft spot.
Saptapuri (Seven holy cities)
Ayodhya; Mathura (U.P.); Kaasi (Vaaranaasi); Kanchi (Kaancheepuram); Avanthika (Ujjain); Dwaaraka (Dwaaraavati); Maayapuri (Haridwar); these seven places are said to be the most holy and revered places attached with great religious and spiritual significance.
Sapta-Dweepa (Seven great islands)
Jambuu Dweepa; Plaksha Dweepa; Saalmalii Dweepa; Kusa Dweepa; Krouncha Dweepa; Saaka Dweepa and Pushkara Dweepa. In Sankalpa sloka that we recite on any religious occasion, we call out name of Dweepa as geographical element. We are in Jambuu Dweepa.
Sapta Samudra (Seven holy seas)
Lavana Samudra; Ikshu Samudra; Sura Samudra; Sarpi (Ghrutha) Samudra; Dadhi Samudra; Ksheera Samudra; and Suddhodaka Samudra.
Sapta-Nadi (Seven holy rivers)
Ganga; Yamuna; Saraswathi; Godavari; Narmada; Sindhu; Kaaveri
Sapta Lokas (Seven holy worlds)
In the universe we have 14 worlds (Chaturdasa bhuvanas); seven above including earth and seven below the earth.
Earth and above (Uurdhva Lokas): Bhoo or Bhur loka (Earth); Bhuvar Loka; Svarloka; Maharloka; Jana Loka; Thapo Loka; Sathya Loka.
Below the Earth (Adho Lokas/Nether worlds): Athala; Vithala; Suthala; Rasaathala; Thalaathala; Mahaathala; and Paathaala.
Sapta Rushi (seven great sages)
Sapta Rushi is a status given to the great sages whose term will be for a period of one Manvanthara comprising of 71 Mahaayugas (Chaturyugas) that is 71 x 4320000 = 306.720 million human years. Sapta rushis’ played a significant role in transmitting the Vedic knowledge and contents of sacred texts to the earthly consciousness. Each Manvanthara will have set of seven sages called Sapta Rushis. In Swaayambhuva Manvanthara they were, Mareechi; Athri; Angeerasa; Pulastya; Pulaha; Krathu and Vasishta. They are called Brahma maanasa puthras. In the ongoing Vaivaswatha Manvanthara they are, Athri; Vasishta; Kaasyapa; Goutama; Bharadwaja; Viswaamithra; and Jamadagni.
Sapta Rushi mandala is a cluster of seven stars also known as Great Bear constellation (Ursa Major); clearly visible from earth in the northern direction and it resembles like that of a kite in the space. The individual stars are Mareechi; Athri; Angeerasa; Pulastya; Pulaha; Krathu and Vasishta. Very nearer and just below Vasishta; one can find a pale star called Arundhati, wife of sage Vasishta. In Hindu marriages there is a custom to watch Arundhati star by the bride on the marriage day night. It is because the sage couples Vasishta and Arundhati are revered as ideal couple worthy of emulation.
“Aswattaama; Bali; Vyaasah; Hanumanscha; Vibheeshanah;
Krupaah; Parasuraamascha; Saptayate Chiranjeevinamah”;
Aswattaama (son of Dronaachaarya); Bali Chakravarthi (Grand son of Bhakta Prahlada and son of Virochana); Vyaasa (Vedavyaasa – incarnation of Lord Vishnu); Hanuman (Lord Hanuman; Vaayu Puthra and great devotee of Lord Sri Rama); Parashuraama (son of Sage Jamadagni and incarnation of Lord Vishnu); Vibheeshana (devotee of Lord Sri Raama and brother of Raavanaasura); Krupaachaarya (preceptor of Kuru Vamsa) are the seven great personalities who are Chiranjeevis (live eternally).
Seven vital elements; elementary substances that forms the means of nourishment and growth of the body are Rasa (fluid); Raktha (blood); Maamsa (flesh); Meda (fat); Asthi (bones); Majja (marrow); Sukra (semen);
Seven metallic substances are Suvarna (gold); Rajatha (silver); Kaamsya (Bronze); Taamra (copper); Seesa/Naga (Lead); Vanga (Tin) and Loha (Iron)
Saptapadi (Seven sacred steps)
In the concept of Hindu marriage; Sanaathana Bharatheeya Sanskruthi; Saptapadi is a ritual held during the marriage wherein, the bride along with the bridegroom; walks seven steps in front of the sacred fire, making the marriage irrevocable. It is a sort of solemnization of marriage; a symbolic demonstration that they would walk together in life.
It is a hymn of praise containing 700 verses extolling greatness of Goddess Devi that we come across the form of Devi Saptasathi; Chandi Saptasathi; or Durga Saptasathi.
Seven manifestations or forms of Goddess Durga are; Braahmi (Brahmani); Maaheswari; Kaumaari; Vaishnavi; Vaaraahi; Aindree (Indraani); and Chaamundi; These Sapta Matrukas are the seven divine mothers representing the divine energies of key deities in Hindu philosophy.
In the concept of Rudraaksha; Saptamukhi (seven faced) is known to represent Goddess Maha Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth. It is believed to be worn by those suffering from miseries pertaining to body, finance, and mental setup. Its ruling planet is Saturn. It brings happiness to the wearer and is generally worn along with Ashtamukhi.
Festivals associated with Sapta (7)
Ratha Saptami also known as Surya Jayanthi is a big festival associated with Sapta that occurs on the seventh day of Maagha maasam dedicated to Sun God Sri Suryanaaraayana. On this day it is believed that Sun God ride on his chariot drawn by seven horses (Saptaaswa-rathama-aroodam) and move toward north east direction bringing the entry of spring season. These seven horses believed to represent seven days in the week and seven colours of light (VIGBYOR).
Vaisaakha sukla Saptami; seventh day in Vaisakha maasam is celebrated as Gangotpatti; the day Ganga the Ganges came out of Sage Jahnu’s ear; thenceforth came to be known as Jaahnavi.
It has been prescribed and practiced by our ancestors to perform Pithru Sraaddha in seven forms known as Saptaanna prakarana. Seven types are; Vaiswadeva Homa (Agni Kaarya); Vipra Bhojana; Pinda Pradhaana; Thila Tharpana (Vikiraakya Anna); Uchhishta Pinda; Bhoori Bhojana (Anna Daana); and Bhoori Dakshine.
Sapta Vyasanas (Seven Addictions)
Womanizing (Sthree Vyasana); Gambling (Dyuutam); Hunting (Mrugayaa); Drinking Liquor (Madyapaanam); Harsh talking (Vaakkpaarushyam); Punishing more than crime (Ugradandanam); Spendthrift/defiling (Artha Sandooshana)
Sapta & Hindu Panchaanga (almanac)
In Hindu calendar number seven is associated with Saturday the 7th day of the week whose lord is Saturn (Shani Mahatma) and seventh lunar day is Saptami whose lord is Surya the Sun God. Saptami is an auspicious thithi; it is known as Bhadra thithi. Associated with Sunday it is known as Bhaanu Saptami. In Bahula Paksha (dark fortnight) of Bhaadrapada; Maargasira; Pushya; Maagha and Phalguna months Saptami day is known as Poorvedyu that is sacred for giving Thila tharpana to forefathers under the concept of Shannavathi sraaddha.
Sapta & Hindu astrology
Saptama Bhaava; 7th house in Hindu astrology is a very important house; a quadrant that mainly refers to the marital front known as Kalathra sthaana pertaining to marriage; wife; husband; marital happiness. In natural zodiac Libra (Thula raasi) is 7th house and Venus is lord of Libra. Venus is known as Kalathra-kaaraka; one who signifies marital related matters. Saturn gets exalted in Libra and Sun gets debilitated. Saptaamsa is known as Division # 7 that helps in making predictions related to progeny. We have seven planets in solar systems – Sun; Moon; Mars; Mercury; Jupiter; Venus and Saturn. Rahu and Kethu are shadowy planets. Though Sun is a star and Moon is a satellite; they are referred to as planets in Hindu astrology.
Astro-Numerology & 7 (Sapta)
Number seven is known as a spiritual number ruled by Kethu. Those born with #7 as their birth number are generally known to be compassionate in nature; help the less fortunate in their own ways. They have faith and are inclined towards their religion; more towards occultism. They are emotional; liberal; suspicious; critical of everything; spendthrift and are independent in their approach. They should avoid unnecessary discussions and getting entangled in unwanted relationships. Generally they will be in the field of science, engineering, medicine, computers, religion, philosophy, occult science, legal, travel and tourism, and fine arts. They come across many uncertainties and changes in their lives.
Saptagiri (Seven sacred hills)
Giri; Achala; Adri; Parvatha means hill. Tirumala kshethra the sacred abode of Lord Sri Venkateswara is located in the midst of a group of seven sacred hills called Saptagiri. Popularly they are, Seshaachala (Seshaadri) named after the 1000 headed divine serpent God Aadisesha. Garudaachala (Garudaadri) named after the divine king of birds Garuda (Garuttmantha); Venkataachala (Venkataadri); Ve~m means sins; Kata means to burn down; Venkata means the one that burns down the sins; has power to destroy the sins. Venkata also means the one that is a treasure of divine knowledge (moksha jnaana); bestows moksha (salvation). Naaraayanaachala (Naaraayanaadri) named after great devotee of Lord Venkateswara; by name Naaraayana. Vrushabhaachala (Vrushabhaadri) named after a Raakshasa by name Vrushabhaasura who got slained at the hands of Lord Venkateswara. Anjanaachala (Anjanaadri) named after Anjanaadevi the divine mother of Lord Hanuman who (she) performed great penance at this place. Vrushaachala (Vrushaadri) named after Yamadharmaraaja; lord of Dharma who did penance at this place.
Tirumala kshethra is also known by other names while Tirumala is a popular name of this kshethra. Tiru means Sri (Goddess Lakshmi) and Mala means a hill. Tirumala means the hill that is the abode of Lakshmipathi (consort of Goddess Lakshmidevi) Lord Srinivaasa. In Telugu, Tirumala seven hills is known as Edukondalu and the Lord is devotionally called as Edukondala Swamy or Edukondalavaada.