Number 7: Rig Vedic link to Indus Valley Culture !

sapta mata - IVC
Sapta Mata (Seven Mothers ) seal from Indus Valley

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1427; Dated 21st November 2014.

Number seven is used in Indus valley civilisation seals more than any other number. Number seven is the most important number in the Vedas. Does it show a connection between the Rig Veda and Indus culture?

Before going any further let me list my earlier posts on Numbers:
Mystic No.7 in Music! (posted on 13th April 2013)
Numbers in the Rig Veda (posted on 3rd September2014)
Hindus’ Magic Numbers 18,108,1008! (posted on 26th November 2011)
Most Hated Numbers 666 and 13 (posted on 29th July 2012)
King and 8 Ministries in Vedic Period (posted on 28th May 2013)
Four Stages and Seven Ages of Man (posted on 21st March 2013)
Tamil Articles:

Thamizarkalin En Jothidam (posted on 16th April 2012)
Neengal Naalum Therinthavaraa? (Tamil Quiz)

Indus script with seven strokes

Mysterious Number 7
Number Seven is a mysterious number and most sacred number in Hindusim. When we see number seven and number 3 on Indus seals, its connection with Hinduism is 100 percent confirmed. I will go one step further to say that its connection with the Vedic culture is confirmed one hundred percent. But I have been cautioning in my 20 plus articles on Indus Valley Civilization that it is not a homogenous culture. Probably it was like today’s Hinduism where we have from the highest Advaita to the lowest buffalo sacrifice (in Bengal). It was like a melting pot of culture like Mesopotamia where we had 3000 different Gods and umpteen languages (Please read my earlier post 3000 Gods in Mesopotamia! Similar to Hindus! Posted 18th Sept.2014)

The comb has seven strokes

Sapta Mata Seal
The Saptamata seal from the Indus valley is interpreted in various ways. Some people see Seven Matas (seven mothers) as in Hindu scriptures and others see Seven Demons as described in Babylonian clay tablets. But Hindus have only good connotation for Number Seven.
Brahmins do Sandhyavandanam thrice a day where Sapta Rishis are worshipped along with Seven Vedic Meters and Seven Vedic Gods. Orthodox Hindus are very familiar with the sanctity of number seven. This is nothing new. We see such a trend from the oldest book in the world, The Rig Veda.

babylon demons
Babylonian demons/devils

Rig Veda mentions:
Sapta Rishis (Seven ages; also in the sky as Ursa Major constellation)
Sapta Sindhu (Seven Rivers in Punjab)
Seven horses of sun
Seven mouths of Brihaspati
Seven priests at the sacrifice
Seven holy places
Seven castles of the aerial demons destroyed by indra
Seven holy singers
Seven rays of sun
Seven tongues/ flames of Agni (Fire)
Seven male children
Seven elements
Seven Adityas
Seven foundations of the sea
Seven races of men
Seven heads, 7 hands, 7 tongues
Seven threads
Seven germs within the seed
Seven meters
Seven tones
Sapta Vadhri

(This list is taken from The Rig Veda – A Historical Analysis by Shrikant G Talageri)
If we take references from other Vedic scriptures then it will be the longest list regarding number 7.There cannot be any better emphasize on this sacred number anywhere else. If we study the Indus seals with seven strokes or number 7 with this background we may be able to decipher it.

Seven Rishis recited by Brahmins everyday:
Atri, Bhrigu, Kutsa, Vasistha, Gautama, Kasyapa, Angirasa
Seven Poetic Meters recited by Brahmins everyday:
Gayathri, Ushnik, Anushtup, Bhrigathi, Pankti, Thrustup, Jagati
Seven Vedic Gods recited by Brahmins everyday:
Agni (Fire God), Vayu, Arka (sun), Vageesa (Brihaspati) Varuna, Indra,Vishvedevas.
Brahmins recite three of the seven upper worlds
Bhur, Bhuvas, Suvar , Maha, Jana, Tapo, Satya Loka:

demon indus
Devil or Demon from Indus Valley

They have divided the important mountains, rivers, holy places, continents, seas etc into seven. Hindu fictional stories will have phrases like “ beyond seven seas, seven mountains and seven caves” etc. Even Lord Rama was asked by Sugreeva to show his bow power by piercing through seven trees with one arrow. Vibheesana gave Rama a memento of Seven Golden Plamyrah Trees while saying god bye to Rama. Hundreds of episodes like this are available in Hindu culture. Above all it is a living tradition here where we see seven is used in their culture in all the ceremonies.

I will narrate one or two interesting things about the references given above:
Sapta vadhri (RV 5-78-5; 8-73-9, 10-39-9 AV 4-29-4) –
Sapta vadhri is a pupil of the Asvins. He was rescued by the Asvins. The story goes that his brothers locked him in a chest during night time to prevent him from having sexual pleasure. At the end Asvins rescued him.
Mr A Kalyanaraman (in his book Aryatarangini) adds some interesting details about Saptavadhri: the name means seven eunuchs. In Lydia there were castrated priests serving the temple of Mahedeus (Mahadeva). The myth obviously allegorises the debilitated winter sun being freed by the rosy sun. strangely enough Lydians were worshippers of sinahdevas (phallic symbol)

Seven demons from Bronze Bell

Sapta –gu is the reputed author of a RV hymn in a verse of which he is mentioned (RV 10-47-6)
Sapta sindhavah (RV 8-24-27) the seven rivers occur in the Veda.
Sapta suryah : seven suns (Av 13-3-10)
Sapta manusa (RV 8-39-8)– it is used as an epithet of Agni, belonging to the seven tribes. Hopkins thinks that it refers to the seven family mandalas of RV.
Sapti : a swift steed

Hindus even had an era called Saptarishi era with a 2700 year cycle. It was used in Kashmir. Pole star moves from one star to another star every 100 years.
(I have explained the significance of Seven in my earlier post “34 names of Agni” and Seven mountains in my earlier post Vedic Lion around the World).
Sapta Mata in Hindu temples are: Vaishnavi, Kaumari, Maheswari, Brahmani, Chamunda, Varahi, Aindri (Indrani).

babylon demon
Babylon demon: face similar to Indus valley tiger god or demon

Seven Devils from Babylonia
Babylonians believed in seven demons which is in the religion of Babaylonia. It will be interesting to compare them with the Indus seals where we see ghosts, devils and mysterious tiger gods/devils and goat headed Yaksha (gomuka yaksha).

SEVEN DEMONS (Translated by RC Thompson, 1903, London)
Raging storms, evil gods are they
Ruthless demons, who in heaven’s vault were created, are they,
Workers of evil are they,
They lift up the head to evil, every day to evil
Destruction to work.
Of these seven the first is the South wind…
The second is a dragon, whose mouth is opened…
That none can measure.
The third is a grim leopard, which carries off the young …
The fourth is a terrible Shibbu …
The fifth is a furious Wolf, who knoweth not to flee,
The sixth is a rampant … which marches against god and king.
The seventh is a storm, an evil wind, which takes vengeance,
Seven are they, messengers to King Anu are they,
From city to city darkness work they ……………………….
Seven demons of Babylon

Seven gods of the wide heavens,
Seven gods of the broad earth,
Seven robber-gods are they.
Seven gods of universal sway,
Seven evil gods,
Seven evil demons,
Seven evil and violent demons,
Seven in heaven, seven on earth.

Gods from Indus 5

Ghosts or Gods with seven stroke combs