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Navagraha - Nine Celestial bodies of the Universe

The Navagraha comprises of 7 planets from our solar system and 2 lunar nodes. In Hindu philosophy we worship the Navagraha as they are considered as ruling deities who rule over the particular celestial body. The deities and their position during one’s birth has a direct impact on his destiny. The idol of these deities is found in most of the Indian temples and a devotee worships them first before worshipping the principal deity of that temple. Let us now understand each of these Navagraha deities in detail.

Sun (Surya) – The Sun God is the 1st and chief among the Navagraha. He is the central deity shown riding a chariot of 7 horses which represents the 7 colors of a rainbow and the 7 chakra centers in the human body. He is the son of sage Kashyap and Aditi and has two wives, Usha and Chaya. He is the father of Lord Yama (God of Death), Lord Shani (Saturn), and Manu (First Man of Earth). Surya represents aspects of career and courage in one’s life. It also governs the aspects of self-esteem,spirituality, and life energy in general. Surya placed positively in the birth chart ensures a good satisfying career and a good life in general. The day of Sunday is dedicated to Sun God

Moon (Chandra) – The Moon is the 2nd among the Navagraha. Being the closest to Earth, Moon has the greatest impact on one’s life. He is known as Chandra and is the son of sage Atri and Anusuya. Though he has multiple wives, his favorite is Amrita and Rohini. The movement of the Moon has a direct impact on the water bodies of Earth. For humans the Moon governs the mind and mental abilities. It also governs the aspect of emotions and fertility in women A positively paced Moon will ensure a sound mind and a positive calm attitude towards life in general. A negatively placed Moon causes mental problems like negativity, depression, and even suicidal tendencies. The day of Monday is dedicated to the Moon.

Mars (Mangla) – The planet of Mars is the 3rd among Navagraha and is known for its fiery nature. He is the son of planet Earth and Lord Vishnu. He governs the aspects of courage and confidence, youth, dynamism initiation, etc. The negative influence of Mars causes anger, stubbornness, recklessness, and selfish behavior. The presence of Mars in certain specific houses can lead to a dosha called Manglik dosha. A person born with Mangik dosha should ensure that he or she marries a person with Manglik dosha as well because a person with Manglik dosha marrying a non-Manglik person can have some serious bad effects and can lead to the untimely death of the non-Manglik as well. The day of Tuesday is dedicated to Lord Mangla.

Mercury (Buddha) – The planet of Mercury is the closest to the Sun and is known as Budh. It displays dual characteristics and some even consider it to be genderless as Budh was cursed by the Lord of Jupiter (Guru/Brihaspati) at the onset of its birth. The legend says that Mercury was born out of wedlock when Moon (Chandra) had an illicit affair with Tara (wife of Jupiter). Due to this he was cursed to be born genderless. He went on to marry Ila (Transgender child of Manu). Mercury represents intellect and wit in one’s life. It also governs the aspect of communication. Positively placed Mercury makes one intelligent and witty and also a confident communicator.

Jupiter (Brihaspati/Guru) – The planet of Jupiter is the biggest among all the Navagraha and is considered as the chief teacher or Guru for all the Gods. He is an embodiment of knowledge and spiritual wisdom. He is the son of sage Angira and married to Tara (the goddess who personifies stars in the sky). He is considered to be the most auspicious among all the planets and has been immensely praised in Hindu scriptures. Brihaspati also has a great impact on one’s marital life. The day of Thursday is dedicated to his worship. Positively placed Guru can make one spiritually inclined and full of knowledge.

Venus (Shukra) – The planet of Venus, also known as Shukracharya is one among the Navagraha. He is the son of sage Bhrigu and the chief teacher to all Asuras (Demons). He is a devotee of Lord Shiva and gained the knowledge of Sanjeevni Vidya (to bring one back from death) from him. He was married to Jayanti (daughter of Indra). He governs the aspect of beauty, physical appearance, sexuality, wealth, and luxury in one’s life. The day of Friday is dedicated to his worship.

Saturn (Shani) –The planet of Saturn or Lord Shani is the most feared deities among the other gods. He is the ultimate judge and the bookkeeper of one’s karma. He punishes and blesses one according to his or her deeds. He is the son of Sun God and goddess Chaya. He is the brother of Lord Yama (God of Death) He is known for his malefic effects which can cause troubles for a lifetime. The day of Saturday is dedicated to his worship.

Rahu and Ketu – These are the last two among Navagraha and are not exactly physical planets. These are shadow planets that can reflect light. These are the points in space where the eclipse can occur. Originally Rahu and Ketu were one and considered as a demon. However during Sagar Manthan he was cut into two halves by Lord Vishnu as a punishment of a misdeed. Henceforth Rahu became the head and Ketu became the body. Rahu is considered as a reflection of Saturn and Ketu is related to Mars. Rahu deals with materialistic pursuits like wealth fame etc. A positively placed Rahu will make one reach his materialistic goals come what may. However a negative Rahu can have ill effects such as making someone greedy enough to commit serious crimes to achieve one’s goal. One might even go to the extent of killing someone to fulfill his greed.

Ketu on the other hand governs aspects of spirituality and isolation. It displays one’s interest in subjects like Moksha, liberation, astrology, occult, etc. It is opposite to Rahu and its presence in a particular house makes one content with those aspects ,the house deals with. For eg., If Ketu is present in the 2nd house of birth chart one may not have the desire to earn wealth and be content with whatever they possess.

There are many Navagraha temples however the state of Tamil Nadu has exclusive temples dedicated to each of the Deity. Based upon one’s birth chart the devotees worship Planets having an ill effect on their lives. They can be pleased through worship and penance.

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