In the yogic tradition (yoga meaning "union" or "non dualistic") there is mention of "seven" principles;
- Raja Yoga = implies personification of the "universal truth"
- Bhakthi Yoga = Faith & discipline
- Karma Yoga = Action & discipline
- Hatha Yoga = Willfullness & discipline
- Gjnyaana Yoga = Knowledge & mindfulness (dhyaan)
- Tantra Yoga (also includes Mantra Yoga) = Technique (could also include "yantras" tools)
- Kundalini Yoga = Energy (creative, procreative, primal & universal)
The "saptharishi" era according to some dates back to 8576 BC. "Saptha" means "seven" and "rishi" usually means "learned, wise or enlightened one" and are usually "male" representations in Vedic tradition.
Athri, Brigu, Kutsa, Vasishta, Goutama, Kashyapa, Ãngeerasa are the Saptharishis according to some and JAMADAGNI is another rishi who is also supposed to be part of the "saptharishi mandala". As I understand it, the conflict in accomodating only seven rishis has to do with the symbolic representations of the "seven wonders of the ancient world" and Buddhism, since it's documented existence dates back to approximately 2500BC or roughly about 50 years after "Alexander the Great" invaded central India. The timing in terms of the arrival of the "great teacher" is what interests me the most, in terms of how we have "evolved or not evolved" as a species.
So the most rational accomodation would need to be "Jamadagni" instead of "Gautama the Buddha", although this may not mean that Buddhist contributions from the ruler of the "Sakya clan" is of any less importance than the commonly accepted seven. It might be relevant to point out here that ancient Hinduism over time was steeped in "class centric" dessimination of education (the "gurukula" system, where "guru" means "teacher & "kula" means "clan or tribe") and Buddhism provided an alternative, in terms of spreading the word of "soul consciousness & spiritual knowledge" vide the common man's language being Pali and not Sanskrit. Sanskrit is and was considered the language of the elite and knowledgeable and modern day "Hindi, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Urdu etc." are diluted forms of the same with variations which depend on geography, ethnicity and social standing, generally speaking.
Sanskrit is not only considered Aryan in it's origins but also one of the only "two phonetic languages" in the world the other being "Old Deutsche" or traditional German.
"Modern Hinduism" is based on the principles of the "trinity", the representations being;
- "the creator" = Brahma
- "the protector" = Vishnu
- "the destroyer" = Eeswara or Shiva
It's pertinent to note here that the "energy pathways" for individuals, are termed "ida", "pingala" & "shushumna" (proton, electron & neutron, scientifically speaking) and most symbolic representations of "these three" are quite similar to "Freudian snakes" although contextually speaking the eastern school of thought lacks the over emphasis on sexuality (rather tend to have esoteric viewpoints on the matter) & the representative social psychosis often found in contemporary societies both eastern & western, due to an over-indulgence in the "senses" & rather insufficient grounding in the "pragmatics" of the "nature of our being".
The "god principle" (generator, operator, destroyer of "egos" principle)in "Ancient Hinduism" however is based in "AGNI" ("fire" to represent "truth & destruction of falsity" as in, egos or most "creative cognitive constructs" which cannot stand the test of time and evolved consciousness) or according to some "SURYA" meaning the "sun" .
The recognition of the principles of "dualism" obviously existed during "Rig-vedic" times as in, with the chanting of verses during daybreak with the arising of the sun, but "darkness" was not revered until much later with symbolic representations of "Shani" (Satan), Kali and so on. Adherents of the "Judaistic faiths" might find this concept difficult to grasp, because of the clear divide between "good & evil" in Judaism, Christianity & Islam. The eastern viewpoint, on this matter is fairly matter-of-fact, in that, it states that the propensity for both "good & evil" exists in us all & a person "cannot be good" unless he or she "understands evil". In fact, Hinduism acknowledges and reveres "Shani or Satan" as the greatest teacher this "known world" has ever known...
How can "fear or hatred of evil" profess "good", is a fair question to ask in all of this soul searching, is'nt it ?