Navagrahas
 

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For thousands of years, people all over the world have believed in the influence of the planets on human life and history. Logically speaking, the creation of the planets
precedes that of the living beings. Hence, some sort of cause and effect relation must subsist between these two. This seems to be the basis for this belief.
The Navagrahas or the nine planets are regarded by the Hindus as of the greatest astrological significance and are believed to influence the life of the individual as also the course of history.
As per the traditional list, the nine planets are Ravi or Sarya (sun), Soma or Candra (moon), Mangala, Kuja or Angaraka (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Brhaspati or Guru (Jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu and Ketu. The seven days of the week have derived their names from the first seven planets. Rahu and Ketu are not planets but ascending and descending nodes of the moon. Sometimes Ketu is depicted as the personification of comets and meteors.
Sani, Rahu and Ketu are considered inauspicious, even positively maleficent, and responsible for children's diseases. Hence they need to be propitiated.
 
 
Surya   Soma (Chandra)   Mangala (Angaraka, Kuja)
   
The imag~ of Surya must always be placed in the
centre of the planets, facing east, with the other Grahas
. fixed round him, each in a specified dir~ction. He has two hands, holding a lotus in each. His chariot has one wheel, is drawn by seven horses and has Arul?a (deity of the dawn) as the charioteer.
  Soma or Candra has only a face and two hands but no body. He is shown holding white lotuses in his two hands. He rides on a two or three wheeled chariot drawn by ten horses.   Mary gala or Kuja has four hands, carrying the weapons mace and javelin in two, showing the Varada and Abhaya Mudras with the other two. He rides on a ram.

 

         
Budha   Guru (Bruhaspati)   Shukra
   
Budha also has four hands, three of them wielding the weapons sword, shield and mace. The last hand shows the Varadamudra. He rides on a lion or a chariot drawn by four horses.   Brhaspati, being the Guru, is shown holding a book and a rosary in his two hands. His chariot is golden and is driven by eight horses.   Sukra is also seated in a golden chariot drawn by eight horses or in a silver one drawn by ten horses. He has two hands holding a Nidhi (=treasure) and a book. SomeČtimes he is shown with four hands holding the staff, rosary and waterpot, the fourth exhibiting the Varadamudra.
         
Shani   Rahu   Ketu
   
Sani rides in an iron chariot drawn by eight horses. He is more often shown as ridIng on a vulture. A buffalo also may be his mount. He holds the arrow, bow and javelin in three of his hands, the last hand being in the Varada Mudra.   Rahu is usually described as having only a face and Ketu is depicted like a serpent's tail. Iconographical works, however, describe them differently.
Rahu may be shown riding a black lion or as seated on a Sirhhasana (throne) or in a silver chariot drawn by eight horses. He may have two hands, the right hand carrying a woollen blanket and a book, the left hand being shown empty. If four hands are shown, they can carry sword, shield and lance, the fourth one being in Varada-mudra.
 
  Ketu has an ugly face and rides on a vulture. In his
two arms he exhibits a mace and the Varadamudra or Abhayamudra.
         
         
 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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