Seven Sages

Last Updated: May 23, 2016

Definition - What does Seven Sages mean?

The Seven Sages are the seven rishis who appear frequently in historic Hindu and Vedic texts. Indeed, they are regarded as being vital figures in Hinduism. Their role is as mystic "seers" across time: past, present and future. They are often depicted as the first yoga practitioners on Earth and are said to be great poets and possess wondrous yogic powers.

In Sanskrit, they are referred to as the Saptarishi (or Saptarsi). This term is derived from the root words, sapta, meaning “seven," and rishi, meaning "sage” and/or "seer."

Yogapedia explains Seven Sages

The names used for the Saptarishi change over time, depending upon the current yuga (era). Currently, they are Kashyapa, Atri, Vashista, Vishvamitra, Gautama Maharishi, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja.

A common belief in India is that the seven stars that make up the Big Dipper constellation represent the Seven Sages. These sages are said to bring down to Earth the knowledge and energy needed to guide people through periods of transition.

The Hindu god, Shiva, himself was said to have taught these great sages about yoga. They were then entrusted to pass on this knowledge and tradition to others.

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