Now we’ve looked briefly at the significance of the planets in Vedic astrology. We’ve also looked role that the interpretation of planetary alignments plays in our lives. So it’s time to take a deeper look at each of the Navagraha in more detail.
The Navagraha and Working With the Planets in Vedic Astrology
The most common way of working with the Navagraha once their influence in a person’s life is understood, is through prayer or puja.
Puja is a formalised way of evoking, recognising experientially, and learning to let your body and mind resonate with a particular energy.
This concept is discussed at length in a recent series of blog posts on the Practice of Puja.
Surya - The Sun
The ruler of all of the other planets in Vedic astrology is the sun or Surya.
Surya is at the center of the solar system and as such has governance over all central points of the different areas of life. For instance, the person at the center of a project is represented by the sun.
He also represents the father, male, masculine roles in life as this is somewhat of the role that he plays in relation to the other navagrahas.
Further, the sun in Vedic astrology also represents the core of things. This could mean the core of our human person, our soul for example. As such, the sun represents who we feel that we are as a person, at a fundamental level.
Some key words related to the sun:
Father, heart, life force, courage, father, authority, power, king, glory, success, individuality, sovereignty, leader.
The sun is worshipped on Sundays (obviously). If you find yourself facing issues relating to power, strength, authority, longevity or any of the above keywords, try evoking the presence of Surya. As ruler of the planets and center of our solar system, this benefic planets is sure to help.
The Mantra of Surya
Surya can be worshipped with this simple mantra:
Om Hring Hraung Suryay Namah ||
Alternatively, with this longer mantra of Vedic origin
Om Aakrishnen Rajsaa Varttmaano Niveshyann Mrittam Mtarya Cha Hiranyen Savitaa Rathenaa Devo Yaati Bhuvnaani Pashyan Om Sooryaay Namah.
Chandra - The Moon
The moon is the closest planetary body to the earth (although she is not herself a planet, but a moon).
Consequently, Chandra represents that which is nearest and most intimate to us. Our inner realm of emotions and feelings for instance. Therefore we can say that way we receive the world is chandra’s domain. Also, the way our inner world orchestrates and organizes itself in relation to the world around us is governed by the moon.
Chandra also represents the feminine and the archetype of the mother, in contrast to Surya who represents the masuline and the father. In this regard the moon represents the expression of those femenine/mothering aspects in our life. To clarify, this can be both how they express themselves through our person, and regarding our relationship with the mothering presence in our lives.
Some keywords regarding the Moon:
Mother, cool (cold), emotion, sensitivity, receptivity, maternal lineage, inner well-being, sub-conscious mind, our sense of security, home, belonging.
Chandra is worshiped on Mondays. To evoke any of the blessings related to a positive relationship with the moon energy in your life, including but not limited to any of the keywords above, try evoking chandra.
The Mantra of Chandra
Evoke and honor Chandra with this simple mantra:
Om Aing Kling Somay Namah ||
You can also explore this long Vedic mantra.
OM Imam DevaSpat Na Gwwam Sudhvam Mahte Kshatraay Mahte Jyeshthaay MahteJaanRaajyaayendrasyaIndraay ImamMushya PutraMushyai PutraMasyai Vish Esh VomeeRaajaa SomoSmaakam Brahmanaanam Gwwam Raajaa Om Chandraay Nama
Mangala - Mars
Mars is well known in ancient cultures from around the world as the God or war.
Thus, Mangala represents your inner fire, strength, how you handle aggression, anger, power, assertiveness. Therefore, the placement of mars in a vedic birth chart shows how you move in life. Consequently, Mangala also indicates your responsiveness to life, how quick and easy you are to act when called upon to act, and how much stamina you have when it comes down to action.
Areas of life governed or influenced by the energies of Mangala include: sexuality, emergencies, wars, law and its enforcement, competition and sport.
Mars related keywords include:
Energy, vigor, stamina, power, strength, anger, motivation, responsiveness, masculinity, aggression, courage/fearlessness, arrogance, strong opinions, logic, impulsive or reckless behavior, spontaneity.
Mars is typically worshipped on Tuesdays and can be invoked incase of any difficulty with the limiting attributes listed above. Alternatively, try evoking him in case of needing an increase of Mars’s benefic aspects.
The Mantra of Mangala
Evoke Mangala with his Moola Mantra:
Om Hung Shring Bhaumay Namah ||
And with this longer Vedic mantra
Om AgniMurdhaadha Divah Kakupati Prithvya Ayam Apa Gwwam Retaa Gwwam Si Jinvati Om Bhaumaay Namah.
Budha - Mercury
Mercury is the famed messenger of the Gods, he is also the son of Chandra and Tara (the wife of Jupiter who was seduced by the moon).
In a person’s Vedic astrology chart, the position of mercury indicates a person’s style and skill in communication, diplomacy etc. Budha also indicates a person’s learning style and aptitude for the acquisition of knowledge. Budha governs the nervous system.
It naturally follows then that a well placed Mercury in the Vedic natal chart suggests a profession related to speaking or writing, thinking, diplomacy etc. It can also indicate a person who has the potential to develop high skill levels in his or her chosen domain.
Some keywords that resonate with the energy of Budha:
Intellect, speech, intelligence, negotiation, analysis, argument, education, rational, flexible/open-minded, and communication.
Mercury or Budha is best honoured on Wednesdays. It is especially helpful to evoke the presence of Budha when there is an aspiration to increase the energies and powers of the mind and communication skills or when a problem in related areas of life is holding you back from success.
The Mantra of Budha
Evoke Budha with this simple Moola Mantra:
Om Aing Shring Shring Budhay Namah ||
Or use the full version of the mantra:
Om UdBudhaySwaagne Prati JagrahitavMishtaaPoorte Sa Gwwam Srije Thaamyam Cha, AsminTadhasthe AdhuttarAsmin Vishwedeva Yajmaanashch Seedat Om Budhaay Namah.
Brihaspathi - Jupiter
Jupiter is the biggest of all the planets, if the sun is king, Brihaspathi is the Guru, the teacher. If Mercury is the intellect and rational mind for instance, then Jupiter is the higher mind, the quest for truth, knowledge, wisdom. Learning in the non-rational sense.
Brihaspathi governs and influences the realms of higher learning in our world, from seeking spiritual knowledge, the high work of religious organisations, and higher education. Additionally he represents the ‘long-term’ and the ‘big picture’.
Indeed, Jupiter’s effect is almost always beneficial, bringing expansion, joy and good luck anywhere he appears in a Vedic astrology chart. Since offspring are the expansion of life, Brihaspathi also rules over children.
Some relevant keywords for Brihaspathi include:
Philosophy, law, wisdom, grace, beauty (the honouring of), truth, spirituality, teaching (any kind, especially spiritual), generosity, luck, fortune, joy, expansion, freedom, religion, higher guidance.
Pray to Brihaspathi on Thursdays, especially when there is a will to increase the positive effects of his presence, or when there is an obstacle best overcome through joyful expansion and wisdom.
The Mantra of Brihaspathi
You can evoke Jupiters energy with the mantra:
Om Hring Cling hung Brihsptye Namah ||
Use this longer version if you prefer:
Om Brihaspate AtiYadaryo Arhaad DumDwiBhaati KritMajNeishu YadDeedYachhwas RitPraJaat TadasMaasu Dravin Dhehi Chitram Om BrihasPatye Namah.
Shukra - Venus
If Jupiter is the teacher of the Gods, Shukra, (due to animosity between them) agreed to become the teacher of the asuras, or demons. In Vedic astrology, the planet Venus rules over desire, love, beauty and the arts.
Certainly from the Vedic perspective, fascination with the material and relative things in life is considered a limitation. Hence we may find that a person whose attention is oriented towards materiality has a strong Venus in their birth chart. The world’s modern culture finds this favorable as it will likely bring wealth and material abundance.
However from the Vedic perspective it is necessary that you renounce attachment to materiality in order to progress spiritually. Therefore a well placed Venus may be seen as a limitation to spiritual growth.
Thus we see the apparent opposition between the two. On the one hand, Shukra, whose council typically relates to self serving strategies and ways of relating to the world. On the other hand, Brihaspathi, who offers higher guidance, the abandonment of self and the embrace of universal principles.
Keywords with the flavour of Shukra include:
Sexuality, sensuality, materiality, pleasure, satisfaction, grace, beauty, abundance, wealth, luxury, refined, charming, material comfort, the femenine, playfulness, charisma.
Venus should be honoured on Fridays to increase these qualities or to overcome blockages related to the same.
The Mantra of Shukra
His short mantra is:
Om Hring Shring Shukray Namah ||
Later, you may like to try his longer mantra:
Om Annaat PriSruto Rasam Brahmanaa Vyapivat Kshatram Payah Somam Prajaapati Riten Satyam Indriyam Pivaanam Gwwam ShukraMandhasIndrasyaIndriyaMidam PayoMritamMadhu Om Shukraay Namah.
Shani - Saturn
By reputation, Saturn is often one of the most formidable and intimidating presences of the celestial sphere. Kronos, the father of time and the very reflection of our deepest fears and limitations.
The placement of Shani shows us where we have to work the hardest. He also indicates where we will struggle the most. However, these areas happen to be where we will excel, once the hard work is put in and the lessons learned.
Saturn represents boundaries, the edge of the known, the seemingly insurmountable or impossible task. Before the work has begun, Saturns presence is oppressive, inspires fear and shuts down or restricts the area of life within which he appears (the areas of the Vedic horoscope in which he appears).
However the immense pressure created by Shanis foreboding presence eventually blossoms into an equally immense momentum. The sheer will and determination, coupled with the wisdom brewed in facing the difficulty.
Thus Saturn is the teacher, not of high philosophy, but of hard, real, hands on, life lessons.
Some resonant keywords:
Endurance, hard work, discipline, order depression, contraction, fear, limitation, will power, momentum, defying disbelief, structure, potential, success hard earned, the father, tough love, perseverance.
Saturday is the day of Shani’s favour. Worship him to overcome the most stringent limitations and when you need strength and will that exceed what is apparently human.
The Mantra of Shani
Chant the mantra below to evoke Shani’s grace and to see true grace in the midst of defeat and limitation:
Om Aing Hring Shring Shanaishchray Namah||
Also try this longer version:
Om Shanno DevirBhishtya Aapo Bhavatu Peetye ShanyoRabhistraVantu Nah Om ShanaiChraay Namah.
Rahu - Lunar North Node
Rahu and Ketu are ‘demon planets’. Unlike the other planets in Vedic Astrology, they are not planets at all but nodes of the moon. They are the points where the orbits of the Sun and the moon cross. The northern node, Rahu, where the moon ascends the Sun’s path and Ketu where the moon descends.
The ‘Demon planet’ shows the place of focus in life. In a way this is what you are growing into, the direction your life will move.
Rahu is hidden (the related issues are buried in your subconscious), therefore it can be very tricky to see clearly in these areas (astrologers, teachers and honest friends are very helpful here). It indicates where we may obsessively focus our energy in order to succeed but also where we may deceive, manipulate and express dishonesty in order to do so, fooling even ourselves into thinking that we are being true and in integrity.
Rahu related keywords:
Benefic: Originality, Independence, Insight, Inspiration & Imagination.
Malefic: Confusion, Deception, Illusion, Addiction & Neurosis.
Evoke the presence of Rahu on Saturdays to work with any of these issues.
The Mantra of Rahu
Om Aing Hring Rahave Namah ||
Instead try Rahu’s Vedic mantra:
Om KyaanshChitra AaBhuvDwati Sada Vridh Sakha Kyaa ShChinshThyaa Vrita Om Raahve Namah.
Ketu - Lunar South Node
Lunar south node Ketu was once the body of Rahu, whose head was chopped off by Vishnu for deceiving the Gods. Without a head Ketu represents the capacity to transcend and liberate oneself from bondage.
Where Ketu appears in the Vedic birth chart will indicate areas with a feeling of lack, that suck energy, that are ‘comfortable’ in a limiting and disempowering way. Basically the limitations and wounds that are so familiar that we take them to be home. Despite how unpleasant it may sound, Ketu, of all the planets in Vedic astrology, appears only to bring transformation.
The good news is that Ketu, while causing huge blockages and pain, actually inspires and encourages us to transcend our limitations. Ketu causes a need to look into the subconscious in order to understand the challenges and patterns that limit us. This looking inspires and teaches us to transmute limitation into spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Some keywords that represent aspect of ketu include:
Benefic: Idealism, Self-sacrifice, Spirituality, Intuition & Compassion.
Malefic: Fanaticism, Eccentricity, Violence, Amorality & Impulsiveness.
Work with Ketu on Tuesdays when facing or working with any of these issues.
The Mantra of Ketu
Chant the following mantra to evoke Ketu’s presence.
Om Hring Aing Ketave Namah ||
You can use the longer Vedic mantra for Ketu:
Om Ketum KrinVann Ketve Pesho Maryaa ApeshSe SamushdBhirjaa Yathaa Om Ketve Namah.
Understand How the Planets in Vedic Astrology Influence Your Life
Of course intellectual understanding is helpful, but real wisdom and art is developed through personal experience. So, you can begin your exploration of the archetypes represented by the Navagraha by getting your first Nadi leaf reading. Book no and find out how these energies play out in your own life.
All videos on the planets in Vedic astrology gratefully borrowed from The Hindu Saga.