Prajapati (Devanāgarī: प्रजापति prajāpati) is a Sanskrit word that means "lord of creatures", a creator or progenitor. In Hinduism he is the deity presiding over procreation, and protector of life. The term is variously applied to Brahmā, Hiraṇyagarbha, Manu Svāyambhuva, Vishvakarman, and other deities.
The name is also commonly applied to the mind-born sons (mānasaputras) of Brahmā, from whom mankind has descended. There are mentions to 7, 10, 14, or 21 Prajapatis in different sacred texts.
When regarded as the ten sages, they are Marichi, Atri, Angiras, and Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasishtha, Prachetas or Daksha, Bhrigu, and Narada. According to some authorities the Prajapatis are only seven in number, being identical with the seven great Rishis, which have been described as follows:
Wise men, created from the brain of Brahma. They are listed as Atri, Bharadwaja, Gotama, Jamad-agni, Kashyapa, Vashishtha and Vishwamitra. Vishnu, in his sixth avatar as Parasurama, delivered the world into their hands and they now appear in the sky as the seven stars of the Plough constellation. Another list gives Agastya, Angiras, Atri, Bhrigu, Kashyapa, Vashishtha and Vishvamitra while another lists Angiras, Brighu, Daksha, Kashyapa, Narada, Vashishtha and Vishvamitra.
H. P. Blavatsky comments on the Hindu teachings about Prajapati as follows:
Thus, in the Rig Veda, wherein Brahmâ is not even named, Cosmogony is preluded with the Hiranyagharba, "the Golden Egg", and Prajâpati (Brahmâ later on), from whom emanate all the hierarchies of "Creators".
The Brahmâ-Prajâpati, once he became separated from, yet identical with Vâch, caused the seven Rishis, the seven Manus or Prajâpatis to issue from that crown. In Exotericism one will always find 10 and 7, of either Sephiroth or Prajâpati; in Esoteric rendering always 3 and 7, which yield also 10.
Sometimes she talked about two classes of Prajāpatis, relating them to the Solar and Lunar Pitris:
In the esoteric teaching, they [the Kumaras] are the progenitors of the true spiritual SELF in the physical man—the higher Prajâpati, while the Pitris, or lower Prajâpati, are no more than the fathers of the model, or type of his physical form, made “in their image.”
From the effulgency of light — the ray of the ever-darkness — sprung in space the re-awakened energies; the one from the egg, the six, and the five.
Mme. Blavatsky explains that these numbers represent the Prajapatis:
"The One from the Egg, the Six and the Five", give the number 1065, the value of the first-born (later on the male and female Brahmâ-Prajâpati), who answers to the numbers 7, and 14, and 21 respectively. The Prajapati are, like the Sephiroth, only seven, including the synthetic Sephira of the triad from which they spring. Thus from Hiranyagarbha or Prajâpati, the triune (primeval Vedic Trimurti, Agni, Vayu, and Surya), emanate the other seven, or again ten, if we separate the first three which exist in one, and one in three, all, moreover, being comprehended within that one “supreme” Parama, called Guhya or “secret,” and Sarvâtma, the “Super-Soul.” “The seven Lords of Being lie concealed in Sarvâtma like thoughts in one brain.” So are the Sephiroth. It is either seven when counting from the upper Triad headed by Kether, or ten—exoterically. In the Mahabhârata the Prajâpati are 21 in number, or ten, six, and five (1065), thrice seven.
- John Dowson, A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1968), 239
- Seven Rishis at Mythology Dictionary
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 426.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 433.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 457.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 89.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 89-90.