Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon (Earth), Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; or, placing the Sun in the middle, thus: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon (Earth).
Explanation of the Order of the Days of the Week: Now let us start from the Sun, the centre of the system. The first day of the week is, accordingly, called after him, viz., Sunday.
As the cycle of the planetary system is said to be completed in twenty four hours, and each member has its ascendance for one hour only, the Sun will have its ascendance during the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd hours. During the 23rd hour Venus will be in ascendance; during the 24th Mercury; when the cycle will be completed. When the next cycle begins, the first hour will belong to the Moon; accordingly the second day is Moon-day or Monday.
As in the case of the Sun, the Moon will be in ascendance during the same hours, viz., 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd; then the 23rd will belong to Saturn; 24th to Jupiter, and the second cycle will be complete. When the third cycle commences, the first hour will belong to Mars; and so the third day is called after Mars, Tuesday.
Similarly, the first hour of the fourth cycle will belong to Mercury, and the fourth day of the week is called after him, Wednesday.
In the same manner the first hour of the fifth cycle belongs to Jupiter, after whom we have the fifth day of the week, Thursday.
The first hour of the sixth cycle belongs to Venus, after whom we have the sixth day of the week, Friday.
Finally, the first hour of the seventh cycle belongs to Saturn, and the seventh day of the week is Saturday, after that planet.
Saturn, in the seventh cycle, will be in ascendance during the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd hours; the 23rd will belong to Jupiter, and the 24th to Mars; and this will complete the seventh cycle. When the next new cycle begins, the first hour will belong to the Sun; and so the first day of the next week is Sunday. Thus we get the same order as before, the days of the week following one another in the manner indicated:
- Saturn 7/1
- Jupiter 5/1
- Mars 3/1
- SUN 1/1
- Venus 6/1
- Mercury 4/1
- Moon 2/1
Criticism of this Explanation: However ingenious this explanation might be, it is open to obvious criticism. The new arrangement of the planets is admittedly arbitrary, and does not agree with their observed distances from the Sun; for instance, Venus is farther away from the Sun than Mercury, whereas in this arrangement it is shown as nearer. Instead of being a correct explanation of the order of the days of the week, it appears as if the whole idea of the new arrangement of the planets, the cycle of twenty four hours, and the ascendance for one hour of each, has been deliberately conceived to explain the order of the week in relation to the heavenly bodies. Indeed, if we conceive the cycle of influence to be completed in twelve instead of twenty-four hours, we have only to re-arrange the planets in the following order to get the order of the days of the week:
Real Explanation: From Ellipse into Wave: The real explanation, therefore, must be found elsewhere; and if it is connected with the scheme of thought outlined in these pages, it will have a bearing on a great deal of what is vital in Hindu thought.
It has been observed that the Solar system is a picture of the Golden Egg, and its seven members correspond to the seven divisions of life of the latter, from Buddhi to the element "Earth", each to each. To illustrate this we have arranged the seven planets in one single ellipse, according to their distances from the Sun.
Now the energy of the Solar system is derived from the Sun, and of the Golden Egg from Buddhi symbolized by the Sun. According to modern science all energy issuing forth from the Sun has the form of a wave. Thus we get heat and light waves, electric waves, and magnetic waves; and sound too, propagated in Ether, has its own waves.
If we assume that the ancient Hindus understood the character of the energy of the Sun and the nature of the waves issuing from it, we shall have to conclude that when the energies of the Solar system or the Golden Egg become manifest under the effect of the Sun, the ellipse must be transformed into a wave. In order, therefore, to understand the manifestation of life, we have to rearrange the ellipse of the Solar system (or the Golden Egg) into the form of a wave. In doing so we have to bear in mind the following points:
- The original, unmanifest energy of all life, and so of the Solar system, is the energy of the Heart, which is electric or super-electric, having a positive (Purushic) and a negative (Prakrtic) aspect.
- We know that when a body is electrically charged, all its positive energy is found on one side, and negative on the other. Accordingly, when the Solar system or the Golden Egg is charged by the energy of the Heart to make it manifest, that is, when it is transformed into a wave, its positive or Purushic energies must all be on one side, and the negative or Prakrtic on the other.
- Further we know that an uncharged body is kept in a state of equilibrium by means of the attraction or juxtaposition of its positive and negative particles. That is to say, when the Golden Egg or the Solar system has not come under the electric or super-electric energy of the Heart, it is held in a state of equilibrium by the juxtaposition of its positive and negative parts.
- The energies of the Golden Egg are Buddhi, Mind, Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and the element "Earth". They are held in equilibrium by the attraction and juxtaposition of the positive and negative or Purushic and Prakrtic energies. Thus, if Buddhi be regarded as positive or Purushic, Mind must be negative or Prakrtic; then Ether would be Purushic and Air Prakrtic; Fire Purushic and Water Prakrtic; and the element "Earth" Purushic again.
- These seven energies of the Golden Egg are represented by the seven members of the Solar system: Buddhi by the Sun, Mind by Moon, Ether by Mars, Air by Mercury, Fire by Jupiter, Water by Venus, and the element "Earth" by Saturn. Thus, when the Solar system is electrically charged by the energy of the Heart, and transformed into a wave, we must have the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn on one side and Moon (including our planet Earth), Mercury and Venus on the other. Or, if the Sun be regarded as fixed, the first three will be on one side of him, and the last three on the other.
- Again, we know from observation that the Moon reflects the light of the Sun. Accordingly, the Moon must face the Sun in this arrangement of the wave, and no other body must intervene between the Sun and the Moon, for that would prevent the Moon from reflecting the light of the Sun. That is to say, the wave must be so formed that we have the Moon, Mercury and Venus on one side of the Sun; but while the distance of the Moon from the Sun is 10 units, of Mercury 4, and Venus 7 only, the last two must not be placed in such a position as to intervene between the Sun and the Moon. From this it follows that, if we measure positions by angles, the Moon must make slightly less than a Right angle with the position of the Sun, and Mercury and Venus as small an angle as possible.
- Our planet Earth, as has already been explained, is identified with the Moon, so far as distance is concerned. Our Earth is not the same thing as the element of that name, which is represented by Saturn; but is conceived as consisting of all the five elements, and partaking of the energy of the Sun and the Moon.
Bearing all these points in view, we shall find that if we arrange the Golden Egg or the Solar system in the form of a wave, it will be as follows:
- Venus (Friday) 5
- Mercury (Wednesday) 3
- Moon (Monday) 1
- S (SUN)
- Mars (Tuesday) 2
- Jupiter (Thursday) 4
- Saturn (Saturday) 6
S stands for the Sun. The position of the remaining planets is shown according to their distances from the Sun, along the wave; and the Moon and the Earth are identified in respect of their distance from the Sun. The Moon, Mercury and Venus are on one side of the Sun; and Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn on the other.
Order of the Days of the Week: In the transformation of the ellipse into a wave all points noted in this connection have been satisfied. The Purushic energies are all on one side, and Prakrtic on the other; the Moon faces the Sun, making with it slightly less than a Right angle; and the units of distance of the planets from the Sun have been retained along the path of the wave. Thus, the curve line of Mercury is 4 units from the Sun; of Venus 7; of the Moon (Earth) 10; of Mars 15; of Jupiter 52; and of Saturn 95, as in the original ellipse. After arranging the planets in the form of a wave, if we draw straight lines from them to the Sun, we find that their relative positions have changed. It is found that the Moon is nearest to the Sun; then comes Mars; then Mercury; then Jupiter; then Venus; and Saturn comes last. This gives us the order of the days of the week.
Form of the Wave: the Serpent: The result of the transformation of the ellipse into a wave is important from many points of view.
- If we examine the form of the wave, we find that it corresponds to that of a Serpent, specially a Cobra. From this we get the origin of Snake worship as well as Snake hostility in the ancient systems of thought.
- The change of the ellipse into a Serpent-wave is analogous to the birth of a Snake from an Egg. It may be of interest to note in this connection, that the process of development of the vertebral column of the embryo is one of the earliest to take place, commencing about the end of the first or the beginning of the second month of foetal life. This column constitutes the axis of support for the head and the trunk, and displays certain curves in an antero-posterior direction, corresponding to a wave.
- It has already been pointed out that the Golden Egg may be regarded as purely Purushic, or else the meeting place of Purusha and Prakrti, usually the latter. Accordingly the Serpent is the first development of Brahmanda or the Golden Egg, and represents the manifestation of the Universe. Hence the Serpent is associated with all the great Hindu divinities, Vishnu, Krshna, Siva, Buddha, etc. This will explain the "story" of the Mahabharata as narrated at the Sacrifice of the Snake for a "sacrifice" is conceived as an act of creation, and the Snake represents the manifest universe. The great "epic" is, accordingly, a picture or an account of the universe, creatively conceived.
- But the Golden Egg may also be regarded as purely Prakrtic, in which case the Serpent becomes the first manifest form of Prakrti creating without Purusha. Inasmuch as this idea is opposed to the Purushic or Purushic-Prakrtic conception of the creation of life, the Serpent, the first development of Prakrti as sole creator, is to be "killed" by all those who believe in the existence of the Supreme Purusha as creator. This will explain, as will be shown in detail subsequently, why Vrtra, the Serpent, is killed by all the principal gods of the Vedas; and, if the ideas of the ancients were the common legacy of mankind in the past, this will also explain why, in pre-Christian mythology, Satan is conceived as a Serpent. In both cases the Serpent represents Prakrti as the sole creator of life, to the exclusion of Purusha.
- It has been said that the Golden Egg is situated in the Ether of the Heart; it has also been pointed out that the first development in the process of manifestation is from Heart-energy to Buddhi; thence to the Mind, and thence to the five elements. Now we have seen that the first development of the Golden Egg is into a Serpent. Accordingly the Serpent is associated with Buddhi. Again, Buddhi is symbolized by the Sun; and so the Serpent is associated with Buddhi or the Sun. Further, the Serpent form gives the order of the days of the week, and hence is associated with Time: Accordingly the Sun or Buddhi is associated with Time. All these observations will hold good whether we regard Purusha, or Prakrti, or the two together as the creative energy or energies of life; for, in the sole Prakrti theory of creation also the first manifest energy of life is Buddhi.
- Buddhi is associated with Time. Now, Time is associated with Air or Breath, and the ancient Hindus calculated all Time by basing it on the winking of the eye and the latter is connected with Breath or Air. Accordingly Breath or Prana is associated with Buddhi, and so with the Serpent. Now, Buddhi is centred in the Head. Accordingly Breath or Prana, commonly believed to be centred in the Heart, is also associated with the Head.
- In the order of creation the higher in the scale controls the lower. Accordingly Buddhi controls the Mind. But Buddhi is associated with Breath: therefore Breath controls the Mind. Or, if Breath be associated with Heart-energy, which is superior to Buddhi, Prana or Breath controls both Buddhi and Mind. This constitutes the basis of the science of Breath-control or Pranayama of the Hindus.
- It has been pointed out that the first development of the Heart-energy is into Buddhi or Buddhi-snake. The next development is from Buddhi into Mind, or from the Sun to the Moon, or from Heat to Electricity. As electricity also has the form of a wave, we may say that the Buddhi-snake is transformed into the Mind-snake.
- The next development is from Mind into Ether, and all things situated in Ether assume physical form like an ellipse or egg. Corresponding to this the Mind-snake is transformed into the physical egg.
- Thus we see that from the unmanifest to the manifest we have to pass through four stages, of which the first three are unmanifest and the last manifest; the former being (1) Heart-energy, (2) Buddhi, (3) Mind; and the latter, (4) Ether. Corresponding to this, we have the Golden Egg, situated in the Ether of the Heart, Buddhi-snake, Mind-snake, and the physical Egg.
In this connection it may be of interest to note that there are several references to the number four in the sacred works of the Hindus, which can be explained in the light of the four stages of life-development. The four stages in cell-development have already been explained, and the idea appears to have a universal applicability. Accordingly, we are told in the Rig Veda that the Supreme Creator creates the universe out of only one-fourth of himself, the remaining three quarters being in heaven the explanation being that manifestation takes place only in the fourth stage of development, the first three being "in heaven", or unmanifest.
From Ellipse to a Wave: Thus we see that the idea of the Golden Egg and its development into a Serpent-wave is very important in understanding the problem of the creation of life, and has been made the basis of all ancient Hindu thought as embodied in Science, Philosophy, and Religion. Indeed, it has no less a bearing on modern science and thought; for the whole of modern Astronomy is based on the theory of the elliptical motion of the heavenly bodies; the months and seasons of the year, the signs of the Zodiac, the motions and paths of the heavenly bodies and all phenomena connected with them, depend on the conception of the Ellipse or the Golden Egg. Again, the waves of light, heat, electricity, magnetism, and sound would all be found to partake of the properties of an ellipse; and a circle is but a form of an ellipse, and a straight line a modification of a circle. The atom, which is nothing but matter situated in the element Ether, describes an elliptical path in its state of perpetual motion. Indeed, there is nothing in the world that cannot be connected with the idea of an ellipse; and it is hardly an exaggeration to state that the ancient Hindus understood its significance, for all their conceptions of life-manifestation are based on the idea of Brahmanda or the Golden Ellipse (Egg) and its transformation into the form of a Serpent-wave.
Pairs of Opposites: Likes and Unlikes: It has already been pointed out that there are two categories of energies, Purushic and Prakrtic, of which Buddhi, Ether, Fire, and the element "Earth" are Purushic; and Mind, Air, and Water are Prakrtic. Corresponding to this, in the Solar system the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are Purushic, and the Moon, Mercury and Venus are Prakrtic. These may be regarded as "Pairs of Opposites" or Likes and Unlikes.
Again, it has been shown that the equilibrium of all bodies in manifest life is maintained by the attraction and juxtaposition of their positive and negative particles or energies side by side. Further, we know that in electricity and magnetism the "likes" repel, and the "unlikes" attract. Accordingly the Purushic energies, or their corresponding planets, would repel one another; and so would the Prakrtic energies and planets; but Purushic energies and planets would attract Prakrtic energies and planets, and vice versa. This is important to remember, and has a great bearing on the Hindu theory of Astrology and Medicine, as will be explained in due course.
Energies of the Serpent-Wave: It has already been shown that, inasmuch as the Golden Egg is charged by the super-electric energy of the Heart when it is transformed into a Serpent-wave, we must have the Purushic energies on one side, and Prakrtic on the other; and it has been explained that the Purushic energies are the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, while the Moon, Mercury, and Venus are Prakrtic. Now from the figure of the Serpent-wave we find that the former are towards the tail, and the latter towards the head of the "Serpent". Accordingly we may say that the head of the "Serpent" is Prakrtic, and the tail Purushic.