The Saptarishi or Seven Seers

The Saptarishi or Seven Seers

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The Rig Veda, the oldest existent text, is composed primarily of the cognitions of a small group of rishis or seers. 10 families of rishis account for 95% of the verses in the 10 mandalas or books.
There are 7 key rishis known as the Saptarishi, said to incarnate after the universe is reborn to restore the cognitions in consciousness and thus awaken that knowledge in the collective. They are Brahmarishi – knowers of Brahman. Ancient India named the 7 stars of the Big Dipper constellation after them.

However, some understanding about them seems lost. For example, I’ve noticed that after their human birth and the cognitions, they live outside our universe in the Chittamaya kosha, managing the affairs of our universe in consciousness.
The roles of the Saptarishi are alternated. While the rishis sit together, other beings apprentice for a role through a series of lifetimes. When their training is complete, they replace a rishi who then has some choice in a new role. This may be one reason the names of the rishis vary in various texts.
There are a series of correlations that suggest a relationship between the Saptarishi and the chakras. Perhaps that level and kosha is their specialty. This part is speculative but the correlations appear high.

There is 7 primary chakras, 7 Saptarishi, and 7 koshas. Most of the 7 rishis are the primary cognizers of the “family” Mandalas of the Rig Vedas: 2-8. Those mandalas correspond to the Prakriti and elements that have a correspondence with the chakras and koshas.

For example, Vishvamitra of the Bharata family is the primary cognizer of the 3rd Mandala, including the Gayatri mantra. The third mandala is associated with the water element, the prana kosha (our energy/ emotional body), and the sex chakra.

Here are the correspondences in table form. The alignment isn’t perfect but is surprisingly aligned, suggesting some detail is off here. Curiously both discrepancies are at the 2 ends.

Mandala Chakra Sage (family) Prakriti nature Kosha
1 various older Prakriti
2 1 Root Gritsamada* Earth mass Physical
3 2 Sex -Vishvamitra (Bharata) Water energy, prana Energy/ Emotional
4 3 Gut -Gautama (Angiras) Fire field Mental/ senses
5 4 Heart -Atri Air geometry Intellect/ Intuition
6 5 Throat -Bharadvaja (Angiras) Space vibration Bliss/Causal
7 6 Head -Vasishtha (Ishvaku) C. Mind Chitta/ flow Creation/ Gap
8 7 Crown Kanva (Angiras) C. Intellect \/
9 – [soma] -Kashyapa* Cosmic Ego Atman Consciousness
10 -Bhrigu Brahman    

“-” indicates  a Saptarishi
*For the root chakra, the sage of the second mandala is Gritsamada yet the Saptarishi is likely Jamadagni (Angiras/Bhrigu). For the crown, Kanva is not one of the 7. Kashyapa is but is associated with the 9th soma mandala. Soma enters us through a gland between the crown and forehead chakras. It wouldn’t surprise me if the crown manages that.

The picture isn’t completely clear but there is some potential insight into the Vedas here.

Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by Davidya

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  1. Tim Owens

    “For example, I’ve noticed that after their human birth and the cognitions, they live outside our universe in the Chittamaya kosha, managing the affairs of our universe in consciousness.” I’m curious about your source for this. Is this your experience or is this written of somewhere?

    1. Hi TO
      This is experience. The first paragraph is standard. The second paragraph is mostly standard but is enhanced by Maharishi and the experience here.

      The next 2 paragraphs are from experience. Then it’s a mixture of experience and conceptual exploration.

      It may be simplistic to suggest this rishi is responsible for that level just as it oversimplifies to say this chakra is about that level. There’s a lot of overlap and interplay. The physical contains all of it and manifests some of that, like the senses for example.

      The alignments do suggest a lot of correlation though.

  2. Jim

    Hi David,

    I also found your comments about the Chittamaya kosha interesting from a perspective of my personal devotion to Guru Dev, and my sense of where He rules from, His location in my awareness. Although I cannot be more clear than to say He has inhabited the same place since I have surrendered to Him so many years ago.

    Does this correlate at all with the Saptarishi, or are we talking about two different things entirely? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jim
      A couple of sages from the Ramayana are in the 7 but the later sages of the Holy Tradition are not – they came later. I’ve run into several and all are in a similar place. But they have somewhat different roles than the Sapta. Guru Dev is more about spiritual evolution, for example.

      There are other such beings more oriented towards the Divine than the world. They basically celebrate. And then there are various Devas there.

      And to think some people call this the “gap”. (laughs)

  3. Jim

    Hi David

    Thank you – very helpful!! Yes, the “gap” – much more a doorway isn’t it? After passing through and looking back, this place emanates from the “gap”, so where is the gap??


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