Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Seventh heaven and The Power of Seven

I recently watched a movie called 7th day. I happened to think about the lines from The Bible, the book of Genesis, where god rested on the 7th day. I happened to talk in length about the power of the number 7 with my friend Anil George too. I kept thinking and when Anand called me today, I came again to the same topic of power of 7. 

After thinking a lot about the amazingly powerful number 7 I came across many people who thought along the same lines. I came to know that David Eastis wrote a book on the magical power of 7. He went in details in listing out the power of seven in pop culture, Sports, religion, Language, Seven spans of the globe, Seven in Art and seven sells and wrote only seven chapters about it. Dean Seddon wrote a book on the 7 words, 7 actions and 7 days to success. There are innumerable examples of mathematics problems solved using 7. Devdutt Patnaik has written a book on the seven secrets of Indian art: 

  • Ganesha’s secret – Different people see God differently
  • Narayana’s secret – What dies is always reborn
  • Ardhanari’s secret – God is within, Goddess without
  • Shiva’s secret – Withdrawal leads to destruction
  • Devi’s secret – Desire and destiny create life
  • Vishnu’s secret – Detached engagement brings order
  • Brahma’s secret – Human life is an opportunity(less)

Warning :This blog contains interesting facts, but lengthy. Read if you enjoy !!!

I stopped thinking and thought of putting it down as a blog dedicated to seven. I continued my research, as a result of which, and let me list down the power of seven in simple words for you to think about:

In Numerology

  • No. 7 has the same numerology meanings of Divinity in many of the different cultures and civilizations. It is believed that seven is its measure, defining life's realities, like Sound, Time, and the Significance of Planets. 

In Day to day Life

  • Seven Days in a week dedicated to seven celestial bodies - Sunday to sun, Monday to moon, Tuesday to Mars, Wednesday to Mercury, Thursday to Jupiter, Friday to Venus and Saturday to Saturn.
  • Seven colours in a rainbow or visible light spectrum- Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red
  • Seven notes in music - so, re, me, fa, so la, te do in the western diatonic scale or the sapthaswara of Indian tradition being sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni
  • Seven tastes in the world - sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, pungency, astringency (chavarppu in Malayalam) and umami.
  • The sum of any two opposite sides on a standard six-sided die is seven (6+1, 5+2, and 4+3)
  • Snow white met seven dwarfs as per the fairy tale.

In Geography

  • Seven Seas - Even in the Mesopotamian civilization there are references to the seven seas. The term "Seven Seas" appears as early as 2300 BC in Hymn 8 of the Sumerian Enheduanna to the goddess Inanna. In the modern day classification of the waters of the world we have Arctic, Antarctic, North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans
  • Seven Continents - From the single Pangaea the seven continents were formed and they are Asia, Antarctica, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia

In History

  • Seven Wonders of the world - Each period had only seven wonders and we still follow the tradition. The seven wonders of the ancient world are
    • The Great Pyramid of Giza 
    • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
    • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
    • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
    • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
    • The Colossus of Rhodes and 
    • The Lighthouse of Alexandria are 
  • Rome is believed to have been built on Seven Hills of Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquilline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal.

In Astronomy

  • Seven stars in the Big Dipper constellation or the saptarishis in Hindu mythology - These Seven Rishis are the great seers, caretakers, mind born sons of Brahma. The most accepted Seven Rishis are Atri, Vashishta, Kashyapa, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja and Gautama. In a similar way, Greeks too had seven wise men namely Cleobulos, Periandros, Bias, Pittacos, Chilon, Solon and Thales which shows that mythologies around the globe do have parallel connections though it will take another hundred years for researchers to prove it.
In Mathematics

  • Seven is a prime number
  • Seven is the only number less than 15 that cannot be represented as the sum of the squares of three integers
  • Seven is the smallest happy number, except for the trivial example of 1
  • 7 is the only dimension, besides the familiar 3, in which a vector cross product can be defined
  • 999,999 divided by 7 is exactly 142,857. Therefore, when a vulgar fraction with 7 in the denominator is converted to a decimal expansion, the result has the same six-digit repeating sequence after the decimal point, but the sequence can start with any of those six digits. For example, 1/7 = 0.142 857 142… and 2/7 = 0.285 714 285…
  • A seven-sided shape is a heptagon. The regular polygons (n-gons) for n = 6 can be constructed by compass and straightedge alone, but the regular heptagon cannot. 

In Chemistry

  • 7 is the neutral pH value between acidity and alkalinity, which denotes pure water, which is neither acidic nor basic.
  • The element nitrogen, the chief constituent of the Earth's atmosphere and a vital element in all known forms of life, is the element with atomic number 7
  • There are 7 periods, or horizontal rows of elements, in the Modern or Mendeleev's periodic table

In Human body

  • Seven is the number of external holes in the human head: Two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth, and two ears
  • There are seven bones in the neck of a mammal, which supports a heavy skull with the brain and other organs seated in the head (There are a few exceptions :) ).

In Electronics

  • There are seven logic gates: NOT, AND, OR, NAND, XOR, NOR, XNOR
  • The seven-segment display is an electronic device that uses seven individual segments to create one digit. It is used in display devices like digital clocks and some basic calculator screens, amongst others

In Christianity and The Bible 

  • There are references to The Seven Heavens, The Seven Thrones, The Seven Seals, and The Seven Churches. Seven denotes originality, superior knowledge, all pervasiveness, aloofness, self Contented Nature, and Reformation.
  • The Seven churches of Asia to which the "Book of Revelation" is addressed
  • The Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary
  • The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary
  • The Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy
  • The Seven Spiritual Acts of Mercy
  • The Seven last words (or seven last sayings) of Jesus on the cross
  • In the genealogy in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is 77th in a direct line
  • In the New Testament Gospel of Matthew 18:21, Jesus says to Peter to forgive seventy times seven times
  • There are seven suicides mentioned in the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament)
  • The Seven virtues - chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.
  • The Seven deadly sins (sapthavasana) - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride
  • The seven terraces of Mount Purgatory

In Islam

  • The number of heavens in Islamic tradition
  • The number of Earths in Islamic tradition
  • The number of circumnavigations (Tawaf) that are made around the Holy Kaaba
  • The number of walks {Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) that is traveling back and forth seven times during the ritual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah
  • The number of fires in hell; that is, the 7 fires of hell
  • The number of doors to heaven and hell is also seven
  • The total number of Prophets sent by God are 124000. The sum of 1+2+4=7.
  • The number of followers to fight alongside Jesus Christ and Imam Mehdi against the anti-Christ/dajjal is 313. the sum 0f 3+1+3=7.
  • The number 786, which in Islam is also used to denote "in the Name of Allah," sums 7+8+6=21 divisible by 7

In Indian Traditions
  • Seven vows or the saath phere each circumnavigation of the fire denoting a vow in a Hindu marriage -
    • 1. prayers to God for plenty of nourishing and pure food. They pray to God to let them walk together so that they will get food.
    • 2. prayers to God for a healthy and prosperous life. They ask for the physical, spiritual and mental health from God.
    • 3. prayers to God for wealth. They ask God for the strength for both of them so that they can share the happiness and pain together. Also, they pray so that they can walk together to get wealth.
    • 4. prayers to God for the increase in love and respect for each other and their respective families.
    • 5. prayers for the beautiful, heroic and noble children from God in the fifth step.
    • 6. prayers for the peaceful long life with each other.
    • 7. prayers to god for companionship, togetherness, loyalty and understanding between themselves. They ask God to make them friends and give the maturity to carry out the friendship for lifetime. 
  • The husband says to his new wife that now they have become friends after the Seven Vows/Sat Phere and they will not break their friendship in life for seven lives.
  • Seven phases of time - pathah sandhya and sayam sandhya (two twilights), prabhatham (morning), madhyanam (noon) and rathri (night) with ardharathri (midnight) form the ezhu neram or the seven phases of time.
  • The royal courts in India had the Sabhasapthangas - kavi (Poet), gayak (singer), sangeethak (Musician), vaadak (Instrumentalist), vichaarak (Historian), Sycophant and Vidhooshak (Comedian).
  • Seven chakras in transcendental meditation - 
    • Root Chakra (Mooladhara), 
    • Sacral Chakra(Swadhisthana), 
    • Solar Plexus Chakra(Manipura), 
    • Heart Chakra(Anahata), 
    • Throat Chakra(Vishuddhi), 
    • Third Eye(Agnja), Crown Chakra (Sahasrara). 
    • Each one is represented by a different colour and a different symbol, thus making a special set of seven colours, seven symbols and the seven chakras.
In Hindu Mythology
  • Indian tradition splits the worlds as eerazhu pathinaalu lokam, which means two sets of 7 worlds - 
    • The seven higher worlds are bhu, bhuvas, svar, mahas, janas, tapas, and satya named the saptha bhuvanas; and 
    • The seven lower worlds or underworlds are atala, vitala, sutala, rasaataala, talatala, mahaatala, paatala called the saptha adholoka.
  • Each avatar had the significance of seven in the dasavatar
    • Matsyavatar the saving of seven sages or the saptarishi
    • Kurmavatar - 14 precious things evolved during the samudra manthan namely
      • Sura, goddess and creator of wine 
      • Apsaras, various divine nymphs like Rambha, Menaka 
      • Kaustubha, the most valuable jewel in the world 
      • Uchhaishravas, the divine 7-headed horse 
      • Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree 
      • Kamadhenu, the first cow and mother of all other cows 
      • Airavata, the elephant which is the steed of Indra 
      • Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth 
      • Parijat vriksh (tree) 
      • Kaalkut poison 
      • Chandra, the moon and Dhanvantari with Amrita
  • Exiles mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharatha are multiples of Seven years, as the 14 years of exile for Lord Rama as per Ramayana
  • Krishna was the seventh son of Devaki 
  • Seven immortals or Chiranjeevis as per Hindu mythology
    • The Puranas, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata describe seven long lived personalities. Each represents a different attribute of man, which as long as they live, will exist amongst humanity.
"Ashwatthama Balir Vyaso Hanumanash cha 
Vibhishana Krupacharya cha Parashuramam 
Saptaita Chiranjeevanam" - 

'Ashwathama, King Mahabali, Ved Vyasa, Hanuman, 
Vibheeshana, Kripacharya and Parashurama 
are the seven death-defying or imperishable personalities '.

  • Hindu scripture contains the above mantra about the seven immortals, in which their names are recited for luck and longevity
  • Seven seas as per Hindu Mythology:
    • kara, ksheera, sura, ghrita, rusa, dahi and jala
  • Surya, the sun god rides on a chariot yoked by seven horses each corresponding to a particular color, energy and day in the week
  • The Mundaka Upanishad refers seven tongues (sapta jivhas) or seven flames of Agni, which are kali (black), karali (fierce), manojava (swift as mind), sulohita (red as iron), sudhumravarna (smoke-colored), visharuch-devi (universally pleasing) and sphulingini (cracking). They are depicted as the seven hands in the iconography of Agni and probably correspond to the seven dhatus (saptadhatus) of the human body and seven energies that awaken during our spiritual practice.
  • Lord Venkitachalapathy is referred to as Ezhumalayan, which means lord of seven hills. The saptagiri's are Srigiri, Vrishabhadri or Vrishabhachalam, Seshadri or Seshasailam, Narayanadri, Natavrishadri, Garudachalam or Garudadri, Venkatadri. A set of Seven Sacred Hills which is now the abode of His Lotus Feet, Sri Venkateswara Swamy. 
  • Sapthamathrukas or the seven mothers are also mentioned in Hindu mythology - Indrani, Kaumari, Chamundi, Brahmi, Maheswari, Vaaraahi and Vaishnavi. And Lord Skanda, son of Shiva and Parvati, but was suckled and raised by the seven goddess mothers or Sapta Matrikas.

Also there are references of 

  • Sapta-puris or seven holy cities: kashipuri, kanchipuruam, mayapuri, ayodhyapuri, dwarakapuri, mathurapuri, and avantikapuri
  • Sapta-nadis or seven sacred rives: Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswathi, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri and
  • Sapta-kshetras or seven battle fields: Kurukshetra, Hariharakshetra, Prabhakshetra, Ramkshetra, Bhungakshetra, Purushottamakshetra and Sukarkshetra.

In Literature

  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a book by Stephen Covey also lays down the importance of the number seven other than 
  • Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom, by T. E. Lawrence. 
  • Even there are a number of references to seven in Harry Potter: There are a total of seven books in the series; Ginny Weasley is the seventh child and only daughter; Harry Potter was born in July, the seventh month of the year; Wizarding students must complete seven years of school at Hogwarts; Lord Voldemort splits his soul into seven parts which he believes ensures his immortality. Seven is also the number on the back of Harry Potter's Quidditch robes. In Quidditch each team consists of seven players. Chapter four of Book 7 is titled "The Seven Potters."
  • As per Arthashashthra by Kautilya, he recognizes seven elements of the state as Sapthanga. These elements he compares to the different organs of the human body. These seven elements are the angas, which should be active and healthy for the smooth functioning of the body politics. Kautilya considered all these elements as being interdependent. These seven elements are: 
    • 1.Swamin (King) 
    • 2. Amatya (Ministers and Advisors)
    • 3. Janapada (Population and Territory)
    • 4. Durga (Fort)
    • 5. Kosha (Treasury)
    • 6. Bala (Army)
    • 7. Mitra (Friend)
  • Thiruvalluvar scribed only seven words in every verse of Thirukkural and the total number of kurals 1330 which totals to 7

Last but not the least .... Remember you have read details under 14 headings (multiple of seven) written in 2014, which adds up to seven...


  1. Wow! this is a wonderful research too, wonderful as 7 wonders!!! :-) Keep blogging, dear Kris...