Mysterious Number 17 in the Vedas! (Post No.3916)

Research article Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 17 May 2017


Time uploaded in London: 19-46


Post No. 3916


Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, google and Wikipedia; thanks.





Vedas are full of mysteries. So-called foreign translators and scholars have bluffed their way through the Vedas for over 250 years. Every book written by a foreigner on the Vedas is a big joke book.  If you look at another foreigner’s book for the meaning or an interpretation for the same word or mantra you will have a big laugh. I have been enjoying such jokes every day.


Number symbolism is in the Vedas from the very beginning. This shows that the Vedic seers are very great intellectuals. They were the inventors of decimal system. No foreigner or an Indian scholar can give a reasonable explanation for such numbers. Though Appar alias Tirunavukkarasar used number symbolism to some extent in the seventh century and later Tirumular and Sivvakkiyar, to name a few, we are not able to get the full meaning of the verses. No wonder Vedas are beyond our reach.


That is why great saints like Kanchi Paramacharya (1894-1994) advised us not to look at the meaning and follow it blindly. A great intellectual like Adi Shankara would appear one day and guide us. Kanchi Paramacharya rightly used an analogy: a blind person holding a lamp was laughed at by the people and he told them that though he was blind he did not want them to stumble upon him when it was dark. We are blind with the Vedic interpretations but if we take the lamp (Vedas) with us it would help others.

Here is the mystery of Number Seventeen in the Soma Yagas and other Yajnas (Fire ceremonies):


Agni with one syllable won speech

The Asvins with two syllables won expiration and inspiration

Visnu with three syllables Three worlds

Soma with four syllables the four- footed cattle

Pusan with five syllables the Pankti

Prajapati with SEVENTEEN syllables, the  SEVENTEEN fold Stoma

–Taittiriya Samhita, Yajur Veda


There are four priests in sacrificial rites: (Hotr, Udgaatr, Adhvaryu, Brahman). They have four assistants. It increased to SEVENTEEN later, with each one allocated different work. Why 17? It is a mystery!

At a Soma sacrifice, in the midday pressing of Soma plants (for juice), a Kshatriya shoots SEVENTEEN arrows to measure out a racing space; then three of the sacrificer’s horses are yoked to his chariot while four horses are yoked to each of his four other chariots. A ritual race takes place to the beating of SEVENTEEN drums and the sacrifice comes out victorious.


The sacrificers drew water from Sarasvati, Sindhu rivers, streams, tanks and stored rain water; altogether SEVENTEEN kinds of water were used in the fire sacrifices. Why 17? It is a mystery.

So many rituals like this are unexplainable. When William Jones pointed out the similarities between European languages and Sanskrit these people said Aryans migrated into India from outside.

Thousands of customs and rituals in the Vedas and Hindu epics are found nowhere outside India. If at all some traces are found, there the Hindu influence is very visible. This shows Hindus went outside several thousand years ago from India to different places on earth and slowly they lost their customs or changed or adapted them to suit the local needs. Number SEVENTEEN is one of them.

Rare coincidence! This article is written on SEVENTEENTH of May 2017