Navagrahas - Solar System
In Hindu religion and mythology, the nine planets occupy an
important role. The planet deities are referred to as the
NAVAGRAHA and they have a significant impact on the lives of
individual and therefore a Hindu adorns these planets as deities,
so that they may bring peace and harmony in their life and to
avert any mishap. NAVA means nine. GRAHA means planet.
After the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Siva) the Navagrahas have
the maximum importance in Hindu Rituals. They are considered to
play a major role in deciding the destiny of man. All the nine
grahams (planets) viz Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus,
Saturn, Rahu (Snake's head) and Ketu (Snake's tail) give
us pleasure and serenity and remove obstacles from our way. In
astrology, great importance is placed on the positions of the
various planets in the twelve constellations of the zodiac, the
belt around the sky in which the movements of Sun, Moon and
planets are confined. All astrology is totally based on the
planetary movements and its effect on human beings.
The planets influence the outcomes of historical events of
entire nations and the Earth. Each planet has its own mode of
circumambulation - clockwise or anti-clockwise. Each planet faces
a different direction. In religious rites, beetle nuts represent
the planets and the priest invites each planet to be present
there and witness and bless the puja.
Navagrahas the planet deities of which the first seven are
Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn give names to
the days of the week: Sunday to Saturday respectively. The other
two Rahu (Ascending node) and Ketu (Descending node) are also
fabled as planets, the former as a planet with a head and no body
and the latter as a planet with a body and no head.
In addition to the nine planets, twenty seven nakshatras
(constellations) through which the moon passes and twelve signs
of zodiac of the sun, regarded as deities, are consulted at
births, marriages and on al occasions of family rejoicing,
distress or calamity. Shanti (Peace) propitiation ceremony is
held to appease any unfavorable constellations.
Navagraha - the nine planets could be complimentary or
inimical to an individual. The navagraha could give harmony or
misery to the individual as per its movements. One has to do
Shanthis or Parikaras (propitiatory actions to counter the ill
effects) for the particular planet (s) and its/their Lords
(Gods); such direct appeals to the concerned planets and their
Lords will give quick and timely results. The Navagraha
Sthothram, given below, is so powerful, it appeals to all the
planets and safeguards the reciter from any planetary ill
Surya or Sun is the most powerful living God - whom everyone
can see, perceive and pray. Though he is visible, he also has
been presented in a variety of forms. Lord of this planet is God
Chandra or Moon is a lovable God - Pleasing to the children as
well as elders, universally appealing to everyone whatever may be
the religion. Goddess Parvathi rules the planet.
Angaraka or Mars is regarded as a God of martial character,
red in every aspect. Even the Romans held him as their Guru. He
is the Son of Earth and is ruled by Lord Subramanya.
Budha or Mercury is considered as the greatest among the wise.
This Devata bestows wisdom and wealth on his devotees. He is
ruled by Lord Maha Vishnu.
Brihaspati is the Guru (Jupiter). He results in a cure from
ailments and helps one to ward off his/her sins and gives
strength, valour, longevity, etc. He grants the boon of
fatherhood to the childless, good education (Vidya). He is ruled
by Lord Dakshinamurthy.
Sukra or Venus is the bestower of long life, wealth,
happiness, children, property and good education. He is ruled by
Saniswara or Saturn, is generally known to affect one
adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in
one's horoscope. A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays, is
said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these
periods. Saniswara is considered equally a bestower of all
benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him. He is ruled
by Lord Yama.
Rahu is instrumental in strengthening one's power and
converting even an enemy into a friend. He is ruled by Goddess
Ketu brings prosperity to the devotee's family. He grants
good health, wealth, cattle and all around prosperity. He is
ruled by Lord Ganesha and Indra.
Navagraha Shanthi or Parikaras
In all important Siva temples of South India, the navagrahas
(nine planets) are placed in a separate mandapa with a pediment
of about three feet in height.Performing Navagraha Homam is very
auspicious. Offerings like sesame seeds, rice or any of the
"nine grains" that may be appropriate are also made.
Lighting lamps with sesame oil or seeds on Saturdays is important
to Sani. Thil rice and Paayasam are offered to Navagraha.
The planets which are inimical to an individual will give bad
results during their Main Dasas (periods) or Antharas
(sub-periods) or during their transits (Gochara). The aspects of
life which generally receive such bad effects will be
(1) those for which they are Karakas (governed by the
(2) the aspects represented by the Bhavas which are owned by
the planets, and
(3) those represented by the Rasis (signs) which are resided
in or aspected by them.
The planets also cause miseries or problems according to their
Gochara (movements ) results. Depending on which specific aspects
of life are affected, one has to do Shanthis or Parikaras
(propitiatory actions to counter the ill effects) for the
particular planet(s) and its/their Lords.(Gods); this way of
direct appeal to the concerned planets and their Lords will give
quick and timely results.