|27-Seven in Ved|
Unity in Diversity based on the Vaidik Concept of Seven
Apart from divine, spiritual and material knowledge contained in Ved, there are many concepts like difference between good and pleasure, trinity, Tri-varg (three kinds of values), welfare/meta-economics (Arth) based on matter with unsuspected vitality etc. To bring unity in diversity there are concepts like "Three bodies in one (Tri-ani-pad)", "Seven means of getting knowledge", "108 beads in Vaijayantee Maalaa of Vishnu" (based on distance between Earth, Moon and Sun in the ratio of 108 (since proved in laboratory) as mentioned in the book Glimpses of Vedic Metaphysics.
The concept of "Seven" has some sanctity in the Ved as these "Shruti" prescribe "Seven" types of knowledge based on functioning of Divine Nature and gross Universe. Vaidik seers and sages seemed to have found the concept of seven in many spiritual and divine activities.
--The Soul (Aatmaa) has seven means to get outside knowledge of the phenomenal world
i.e. five senses, mind and intellect (Rig Ved 1-58-7).
From this concept of Seven, Ved tell us that out of various diversities in the Nature (Divine Prakriti) human beings can achieve harmony, cooperation and unity. In fact unity of soul, spirit, body and matter is also an important subject of the Ved. In all animate and inanimate life spirit and matter go together as due to spirit in "Shoonya" (void) even inanimate things have unsuspected vitality.
Atharv Ved mentions that there were many religions at that time in harmony with each other. If God wanted He could have made us part of one religion, one community but He desired differently. God desired that all religions should compete with each other based on Rit eternal Laws of Nature for the welfare of mankind and other animate/inanimate life/things. This holy injunction is clearly meant to create unity in diversity by providing divine sanctity to the noble concept.
This concept of "Seven" in the Nature and universe was applied by the then metaphysicist (Rishi of yore) in the Vaidik education system and symbolically assigned this attribute of Prakriti to Saraswatee Devee (Being of light with no form). She is the over all in-charge of seven streams of knowledge and presides over education. She is also one of the 33 formless Devtaa and Devee of Prakriti and also presides over Music with seven notes in harmony. Thus Vaidik "Paraa Gyaan" - higher harmonized knowledge of divinity, spirit and matter is based on Vaidik "Rit" (cosmic Laws of necessity) relating to Seven. Only when seven streams of knowledge are known, one can understand the Supreme Reality in all its forms and aspects. They named this supreme reality as Brahm and the student who acquires His knowledge was described as Brahmanchaaree. To acquire complete knowledge of seven streams of "Vidyaa", the education system stretches till the age of 48 years of the student, when the degree of "Aaditya" is awarded. "Aditya" in the Ved is akin to Devtaa (the nearest English translation of Devtaa is demi-god).
These seven streams of knowledge cover complete "Gyaan, Vi-Gyaan and A-Gyaan". Gyaan is divine knowledge, Vi-Gyaan is scientific spiritual knowledge and A-Gyaan is only material knowledge of inert matter. Material knowledge bereft of Gyaan and Vi-Gyaan is A-Vidyaa or ignorance but when in harmony with these it is Vidyaa (perfect knowledge). These seven streams of knowledge cover ten sciences, military science, social sciences and 16 kinds of arts, philosophy and metaphysics. Based on the functioning of Nature, concepts of seven and Rit, Vaidik education aims at creating unity in diversity while harmonizing spirit and matter, body and soul, "a-priori and a-posteriori" knowledge.
With a view to emphasize the divinity in the concept of seven, Vaidik seers and sages provided Mother hymn Gaayatree Mantra, seven times in Ved. In this mother hymn there is a prayer to God that during our three stages of being awake, asleep and even in our dreams, also referred to as gross, subtle and causal states, we should be blessed with complete knowledge of the Supreme Reality. We spread the same in society and shine like Savitar Dev - the Sun.
The religious mythology refers to seven streams of water emerging from the hair locks of Shiv and then converging into one big stream named as Gangaa - the river Ganges. In the Ved word "Gangaa" also appears but with no mythology. The seven streams of knowledge when merge and constitute Vaidik Vidyaa, Paraa Gyaan" or higher knowledge that stage is referred as Gangaa - the river of perfect knowledge. Rig Ved 1-174-2 says, "after acquiring the knowledge of seven streams, even seven fortifications of the wicked persons following non-divine activities and professions, get destroyed and enemies become friends." Thus Aaditya who are akin to Devtaa and gods, when they spread knowledge as preceptors (Gurus), even wicked persons start becoming virtuous and friendly.
For more details in regard to concepts like Three, Seven, 108 and many others the seekers of Vedic knowledge may like to read Glimpses of Vaidik Metaphysics for on line reading and even taking print at no cost on the Internet. Website http://www.sabhlokcity.com/metaphysics . Also the book can be accessed through google.com, yahoo.com, lulu.com.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/20/13