The Mystery of 7
We all know the power of the seven musical notes in creating all the music in the world. Indeed, the number ‘seven’ has, in itself, amazing powers. Just think about the mysterious nature of ‘seven’. There are seven main planets in the zodiac. There are seven continents in the world. There are seven wonders of the world. There are seven colors in the rainbow, seven days in a week, seven seas on the earth. There are seven petals in the lotus, the Sacred Seat of Lord Buddha, regarded as the most sacred flower by the people of the Eastern countries.
In Hinduism, the number seven is of great significance. ‘Sapta’ means seven. In the Hindu scriptures we have the seven sages—the Sapta-Rishis; the Sapta-Lokas — the seven worlds; the Sapta-Puras — the seven holy cities; the Sapta-Dvipas — the seven holy islands; the Sapta-Samudras — the seven holy seas; the Sapta-Parvatas — the seven holy mountains; the Sapta-Aranyas — the seven deserts; the Sapta-Vrikshas — the seven sacred trees; and so on.
Lord Venkateswara, regarded as the incarnation of God (Maha Vishnu), is known as the Lord of the Seven Hills, as He is situated on the seven hills near Tirupathi in the Andhra Pradesh state in the southern part of India. It is even said the true soul mates have a connection from seven lifetimes. Traditionally, during a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom have to go around the sacred fire seven times. Talking of marriages, in the west there is also something called the ‘seven year’ itch!
We often refer to bliss as being in ‘the seventh heaven’. In fact, in nearly all the religious systems we find seven heavens. Additionally, in the Christian scriptures references are made to the following: The seven heavens, the seven thrones, the seven seals and the seven churches. In Revelation, we come across seven spirits of God. Ezekiel speaks of “The seven angels of the Lord that go to and from through the whole earth.” It is also not without reason that there are seven generations from David to the birth of Lord Christ.
The Buddhists took from the Aryans of India, their idea of seven stages of progressive development of the disembodied soul, allegorized by the seven stories and umbrellas, gradually diminishing towards the top on their pagodas. The priests of many Oriental nations were subdivided into seven degrees; seven steps led to the altars and in the temples burnt candles in seven-branched candlesticks. Several of the Masonic Lodges have to this day seven and fourteen steps.
Medically, it is established that every seven years, biological changes take place in the chemistry of human beings, both male and female. The ancients divided the human frame into seven parts; the head, the chest, the stomach, two hands and two feet; and man’s life was divided into seven periods.
This, indeed, is the mystery and sacredness of the number seven. Again, one of God’s many mysteries that we humans may never be able to unfold!