Vedic Planetary Dieties

To start with, there is no surprise if we say that the power of Vedic astrology is held for countless ages throughout the world in such a way that, the s who personify the planets have been worshipped every day in order to propitiate them, thereby obtaining their benevolent grace. We, at Astroplanet9, will explicate their genesis and define their manifold nature for your better understanding.

Let us have a brief notice of the planets in Vedic astrology. Classical Vedic astrology uses the seven visible planets Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, along with the two lunar nodes, the north and south nodes, Rahu and Ketu. The Hindu astrology is based on an elaborate calculation of the positions of these planets at the time of one’s birth. Vedic astrology represents these planets as the forces of time which dictates all things. These planets are believed to hold a creative power through which the eternal order of karma and dharma is maintained.

So, let us refer to the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra(BPHS), a comprehensive foundational compilation of Indian astrology, which clearly notes “There are many incarnations of the unborn Supreme Self. To grant the results of karma for the souls of creatures, he takes the form of the planets. To reduce the strength of evil forces and to increase the strength of the Devas, to uphold dharma, He is born in many auspicious incarnations (avatars) from the planets” So, Planetary deities can help their devotees like any other forms of granting them well-being, grace and wisdom. The worship of planetary deities is a type of “cosmic communication” in the universal language of mantra, symbol, story and ritual – which is the language of the soul. Nowadays astrological worship remains an integral part of Hindu temple worship where there is a platform on which statues for the nine planetary deities are placed.

Planetary Deities associated with SUN

Surya which means the energiser, inspirer, enlivener and transformer is the deity (devata) associated with the SUN. It is he who sets all things in motion as the guiding force behind the universe, the executive cosmic intelligence and power. According to Parashara, the chief deity associated with the SUN is Agni, the of fire. Surya is also known as Divya-Agni, the celestial fire. Lord Surya is worshipped to get the energy and health, which resultantly leads us to Money and prosperity. Various festivals mark deity Surya and these vary regionally in India. Pongal or Makara Sankranti is the most widely celebrated Hindu festival dedicated to the SUN. Remembering and praising him in difficult or painful situations, and in the midst of wilderness or in times of danger, one does not sink in disheartenment. Surya Namaskar literally means sun salutation in yoga, is an example of this worship. The light form of Lord Shiva is also associated with the SUN. Shiva means the “auspicious” one. Both Shiva and Narayana in the form of “Suryanarayana” are the deities for Sun. Shiva is the yogi in meditation reflected by Surya, who represents the aatma, the soul.

Planetary Deities associated with MOON

The MOON in Vedic astrology is called Chandra. In Sanskrit Chandra means “bright and shining”. The MOON is also called SOMA, named after the intoxicating sacred drink used in Vedic sacrifice. Shakti / Parvati are considered the main female deities associated with the Moon. They are the consorts of Shiva. Parvati is said to remember her previous life as Shiva’s wife, Shakti. Parvati translates as, “she who dwells in the mountains”. Such a Goddess is an appropriate mate for SHIVA, who also likes to dwell in mountainous regions and the fringe of society. To get the ideal spouse, Goddess Parvati is worshipped on a large scale all around the country. Worshipping Parvati indicates that feminine should equally respect as same as male. Another name and deity associated with the MOON is Soma. Soma is the divine nectar, the sacrificial elixir of the gods. Soma is pictured as a priestly sage, a powerful who is a healer of all diseases and a bestower of riches. Parashara states that the main deity of the MOON is Varuna, of the cosmic waters.

Planetary Deities associated with MARS

In Vedic astrology MARS is known as Mangal, Angaraka and Kuja. These names in Sanskrit mean, “Auspicious, burning coal, and the fair one” The main deity is SUBRAHMANYA or SKANDA. He is the adolescent Kumara, the son of Pleiades (Kartikeya), lord of the armies, the spear-holder, the spiritual warrior. According to Parashara, Kartikeya is the chief deity associated with MARS and was Shiva and Parvarti’s second son. In yoga, SKANDA is the power of chastity and He is often depicted riding a peacock and carrying a spear. Rudra, the god of storms, is also mentioned as reflected the Mars, the warrior. Lord SUBRAHMANYA is worshiped for all problems related to MARS, especially Mangala dosha or Kuja dosha. He gives material and spiritual prosperity and success in every undertaking of His devotees, even if they show a little devotion to Him. He is worshipped with great devotion in South India. Lord SUBRAMANYA’S other names are Kumaresa, Kartikeya, Shanmukha, Guha, Muruga and Velayudhan. Agni is also the name of MARS who is fiery in nature.  Agni spreads divine wisdom, and enables devotees to acquire new skills and insights.

Planetary Deities associated with MERCURY

Budha is the Vedic name for Mercury reflecting divine intelligence that is buddhi which is beyond mind. According to Parashara, VISHNU is the main male deity associated with MERCURY. He is the god of cosmic intelligence, the preserver of the universe. Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and learning is the female deity reflecting mercurial powers. Saraswati means “the flowing one”. She is the Goddess of creative intelligence, a flowing stream of inspiration like the ancient Sarasvati River which she takes her name from. Saraswati is identified with thought and intellect. Thus, Saraswati is highly revered by students and teachers. Goddess Saraswati is the consort of God Brahma and is worshiped for wisdom and intellect. Goddess Saraswati provides her devotees power of speech, a learning mind and knowledge. Goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful, white -skinned Goddess, dressed in pure white often seated on a swan (carrier) or on a white lotus.

Planetary Deities associated with JUPITER

The planet JUPITER in Vedic astrology is known as GURU, BRIHASPATI, and DEVAGURA which means, “Teacher, God of light, and teacher to the s.”  The primary deity of JUPITER is BRIHASPATI, the teacher of the s, who is known for his divine intellect and speech. He has reached the stage of bliss that is beyond desire. BRIHASPATI, the god of asceticism and the God of speech is considered an incarnation of Brahma, the creator. There are many woes, unfulfilled desires, health disorders, poverty, and relationship problems in this materialistic world, which can be curtailed by worshipping God Brihaspati on Thursdays. Mythology says that performing the BRIHASPATHI puja and observing the fast perfectly would help someone to gain job, health, wealth, and happiness in life. GANAPATI or GANESHA is sometimes identified with the Great-God, BRIHASPATI. GANAPATI is also considered as a god of Learning and “remover of obstacles”. He is the God of categories (gana), the patron of letters and schools. GANESHA’S wives are Success (Siddhi) and Prosperity (Rddhi). Parashara also lists Indra as the presiding deity associated with Jupiter.

Planetary Deities associated with VENUS

The planet VENUS is known as SUKRA in Vedic astrology. SUKRA means “white”, or “bright” in Sanskrit. VENUS is a karaka, or indicator of spouse, love, marriage, comfort, luxury, beauty, prosperity, happiness, all conveyances, art, dance music, acting, passion and sex and healing.  Lakshmi is the main female deity associated with VENUS in Hindu mythology. She is often pictured as the devoted wife or consort of VISHNU. She is the earth, the creation, one with all females, abundance, luxury and pleasure that is healing and revitalizing. She is often depicted sitting on a lotus flower, flanked by two elephants, who are showering her with cosmic waters which represent fertilizing rains. When Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped with all the customs and rituals, she brings prosperity and happiness to the house of the devotee. To keep the flow of wealth in the house in a smooth way, you must worship Goddess Lakshmi as per all rituals. Parashara states that Indrani, God Indra’s consort, is the presiding deity of Venus.

Planetary Deities associated with SATURN

In Vedic astrology the planet SATURN is called SHANI. In Sanskrit SHANI comes from SANISCHARA, which means, “slow mover”. From SHANI we get the word “shun”, which means to ignore, or lose awareness of something. Thus, SATURN represents a loss of awareness, or ignorance. This loss of awareness can also mean the diminishing awareness of the material world of manifestation. The male deity is the dark side of SHIVA, the destroyer. He destroys Kama (desire) through the gaze of his eyes. The female deity associated with SATURN is KALI. Goddess KALI is known to eliminate the problems from your life. She makes you filled with enormous positivity and stamina. Goddess KALI is a kind of form of feminine when it comes in its anger mode. Though Goddess KALI looks very insensitive bur actually she holds a very kind heart for their devotees and never harms them. She is adorned with a necklace of skulls around her neck, which represents the heads of ignorance that she has removed. SHANI and KALI are often dressed in black or dark blue and are associated with spiritual discipline and asceticism. Parashara states that Brahma is the chief deity associated with SATURN. Yama is also associated with SATURN as a planetary deity sometimes.

Planetary Deities associated with RAHU

RAHU is considered the dragon’s head or north node of the MOON. RAHU is considered an anti- and a bitter enemy to the MOON (Chandra). It was SOMA, the MOON god that detected RAHU disguised as a receiving the ambrosia of immortality. RAHU’S head was severed by Vishnu, the preserver; but since it had drunk of the divine nectar it had everlasting life. As revenge, Rahu tries to devour the MOON when it is full. This is the tale of the eclipses and why they are vulnerable times on the planet. DURGA is considered the main female deity associated with RAHU. Worshipping Goddess DURGA fetches prosperity, positive waves, happiness, wealth and tranquillity of mind. She is a fierce warrior, battle queen and personal saviour of her devotees.

Planetary Deities associated with KETU

KETU is the dragon’s tail or south node of the MOON. The deity associated with KETU is RUDRA (an incarnation of God SHIVA), the God of the storms and the causer of tears. In this Pooja God SHIVA is worshipped in his RUDRA form, is hailed by all Vedic scriptures as one of the greatest Pooja’s to remove all evils, to attain all desires and for all round prosperity. The Astrology scriptures have repeatedly prescribed this as a remedy for several planetary doshas. GANESHA is sometimes associated with KETU as the bringer of enlightenment. KETU is called the moksha karaka planet, the chaya graha (shadow planet) of spiritual liberation. KETU is also considered a monster that gives birth to comets and meteors. It is also said to have a Mars-like quality, spiritual warrior quality.