Theosophy and the Number Seven

A selection of articles relating to the esoteric

significance of the Number 7 in Theosophy


Septenary Division in

Different Indian Systems

An anonymous contribution to

the Theosophist Magazine


Number 7 Index



We give below in a tabular form the classifications, adopted byBuddhist and by Vedantic teachers, of the principles in man:--


Classification in           Vedantic                Classification in

Esoteric Buddhism    Classification         Taraka Raja Yoga


(1.) Sthula sarira      Annamaya kosa          Sthulopadhi


(2.) Prana

                                  Pranamaya kosa

(3.)The Vehicle

       of Prana


(4.) Kama rupa

   (a) Volitions            Manomaya kosa


(5.) Mind/& feelings &c.                              Sukshmopadhi

   (b) Vignanam         Vignanamayakosa


(6.) Spiritual Soul     Anandamayakosa      Karanopadhi


(7.) Atma                   Atma                           Atma


From the foregoing table it will be seen that the third principle in the Buddhist classification is not separately mentioned in the Vedanticdivision as it is merely the vehicle of prana.  It will also be seenthat the fourth principle is included in the third kosa (sheath), as thesaid principle is but the vehicle of will-power, which is but an energyof the mind.  It must also be noticed that the Vignanamayakosa isconsidered to be distinct from the Manomayakosa, as a division is madeafter death between the lower part of the mind, as it were, which has acloser affinity with the fourth principle than with the sixth and itshigher part, which attaches itself to the latter, and which is, in fact,

the basis for the higher spiritual individuality of man.


We may also here point out to our readers that the classification


mentioned in the last column is for all practical purposes connectedwith Raja Yoga, the best and simplest.  Though there are sevenprinciples in man, there are but three distinct Upadhis (bases), in eachof which his Atma may work independently of the rest.  These threeUpadhis can be separated by an adept without killing himself.  He cannotseparate the seven principles from each other without destroying hisconstitution.


Theosophical Society Member


Number 7 Index




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