Nine Planets - ग्रह & Astrological Significance
An observation of the sky would reflect that the stars are basically grouped together moving from horizon to horizon. However, there are some that keep shifting from one group to another over the year. The shifting stars are actually much closer objects than the grouped stars and are identified as planets of our solar system.
There are five such planets which can be seen with our naked eyes in clear sky viz. Mercury (बुध), Venus (शुक्र), Mars (मंगल), Jupiter (गुरु) and Saturn (शनि). Astrology recognises the Sun and the Moon as also the other planets. In addition, the north and south lunar nodes are also considered as of significant importance and are given an equal place alongside the seven classical planets. The north node is Rahu (राहु) and South node is Ketu (केतु). Thus there are a total of nine astrological planets, forming a group called navagraha (नवग्रह).
These nine planets are supposed to determine the course of affair on the earth. To astrologers, the planets represent their direct influence upon human affairs. The total sky is divided in twelve parts of 30 degree each and is named as 12 zodiac (राशि). These planets keep shifting from one Rashi to another and reflect different character in each zodiac. They also have individual relationship with one another. The relations planets with zodiac and amongst one another puts impact on individual human life depending on the strength and nature of the planets during the course of its journey in the sky and their particular relation web.
There are clear differences of opinion on the way these tiny looking planets influence each individual differently. While one group believes that the gravitational and radiation factors of these planets directly put influence, the other group believes that they are just the indicators of situation one is likely to face while the actual influence is because of some unknown Devine forces.
But it is unequivocally accepted by all astrologers that the location of these planets at one’s birth time and their current position via subsequent path is vital for prediction of course of affair for each individual.
A brief detail of each of the nine planets (नवग्रह) is provided below:
The Sun (सूर्य)
The Sun is the ruling planet of Leo and is exalted in Aries and the primary native ruler of the fifth house. The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system and the actual and ultimate known source of energy for all. Because of elliptical orbit of Earth around Sun, it appears to swing slightly during the year creating a difference in day and night timing. The Sun travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac on its annual journey, spending about a month in each. The Sun's position at the time of a person's birth determines his zodiac (Sun) sign.
The Sun being a very close and most visibly emphatic astrological planet, influences ones affairs the most. It represent ego, expression, pride, qualities to lead, creativity, spontaneity, health, vitality etc. Sun influences the heart of a man. It also rules over stomach, bones and eyes.
The Moon (चन्द्र)
The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus is the primary native ruler of the fourth house. The Moon is the closest astronomical planet, large enough for its gravity to affect the Earth. Because of the equal rotation and revolution speed of Moon, only one face of the Moon is visible to the earth every time.
The Moon is associated with a person's emotions, habits, rhythms, memories, moods and their ability to react and adapt to those around them. It is further associated with one’s mother, early experiences and childhood.
The Moon is associated with the digestive system, stomach, breasts, the ovaries and menstrual cycle of women. It is also seen to effects the pancreas.
Mars is the ruling planet of Scorpio and Aries, exalted in Capricorn is the native ruler of the first house. Both the soil of Mars and the haemoglobin of human blood are rich in iron and because of this they share its distinct deep red colour. Mars takes 687 days to orbits the Sun. It remains 57.25 days in each of the zodiac. It is the first planet that orbits outside of Earth's orbit and hence does not set along with the Sun.
Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition and impulsiveness. Mars governs sports, competitions and physical activities in general. Mars primarily rules over the genitals and the muscular system. It is associated with fever, accidents, trauma, pain and surgery. Mars controls the qualities like passion, action, masculinity, discipline, will-power. stamina confidence and ego.
Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini and Virgo and is exalted in Virgo is the ruler of the third and sixth house. Mercury is the messenger of the gods and it circles the Sun with the fastest orbit speed taking only 88 days to orbit the Sun, spending about 7.33 days in each sign of the zodiac. Mercury is so close to the Sun that it is seen for only a brief period after the Sunset. Mercury represents the talking skill, mentality, thinking patterns, rationality and reasoning, adaptability and variability. It influences schooling, education and physical dexterity. It also affects the people nearby such as the neighbours, friends, siblings and cousins. In medicine, Mercury is associated with the nervous system, the brain, the respiratory system, the thyroid and the sense organs.
Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer is the ruler of the ninth and twelfth house. Jupiter is the largest of all the planets. It takes 11.9 years to orbit the Sun, spending almost an earth year (361 days) in each sign of the zodiac. Jupiter is associated with growth, expansion, prosperity, and fortune. It affects foreign travel, higher education, religion and the law. It is also associated with the urge for freedom and exploration, humanitarian and protecting roles, and with gambling and merry making. In medicine, Jupiter is associated with the liver, pituitary gland, and the disposition of fats.
Venus is the ruling planet of Libra and Taurus and is exalted in Pisces, is the ruler of the second and seventh houses. Venus orbits the Sun in 225 days, spending about 18.75 days in each sign of the zodiac. Venus is the most bright object in the sky during night amongst the stars. Venus is associated with beauty, affections, harmony, love, solidarity and such qualities. It is rules over the desire for pleasure, comfort and ease. It governs romantic relations, marriage and business partnerships. The Venus influences the veins, throat and kidneys.
Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is exalted in Libra being the ruler of the first and eighth houses. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the Sun, spending about 2.46 years in each sign of the zodiac. Saturn is associated with precision, ethics, career, achievements, dedication, stability, values, destiny, and karma. It concerns a person's sense of duty, discipline, responsibility, including their physical and emotional endurance during hardships. Saturn is also considered to represent the part of a person concerned with long-term planning or foresight.
Rahu is a shadow planet (छाया ग्रह) and is neither exalted nor debilitated in any rashi. It is considered as a severed head of an asura called Svarbhānu, that swallows the sun causing eclipses. Rahu is one of the nine planets (नवग्रह) in Vedic astrology and is paired with Ketu. The period under influence of Rahu may be inauspicious. Astronomically, Rahu and Ketu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the north and the south lunar nodes. The eclipses occur when the Sun and the Moon are at one of these points. Rahu is associated with the world of material manifestation and worldly desire, as well as random, uncontrolled growth. Sudden changes in luck and fame are also linked to Rahu. Rahu is considered instrumental in strengthening one's power and converting, even an enemy into a friend.
Ketu is the descending lunar node in Vedic, or Hindu astrology. It is also a "shadow" planet as Rahu and is neither exalted nor debilitated in any rashi.. After the head of Svarbhānu, an Asura, was cut off by God Vishnu, his head and body joined with a snake to form 'Ketu', representing the body without a head, and Rahu, representing the head without a body. It influences name and fame of an individual. Ketu represents karmic collections both good and bad, spirituality and supernatural influences. It enhances spiritual feelings. It also influences intelligence, wisdom, fantasy, insight, and psychic abilities. Ketu is responsible for moksha (मोक्ष), sanyasa (सन्यास), knowledge (ज्ञान) etc.