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Graha is a “cosmic marker of influence” on the living being of mother earth (Bhumidevi or Prithvi). In Hindu Vedic Astrology, the Navgraha (Navagraha – Nine planets or nine realms) are some of the major markers that point out the karmic influence on the behavior of the living beings.
The Navgraha (Navagraha), personified as celestial beings, are:
- Surya (Sun): Its considered as Male with Sattvik guna and represents soul, king, highly placed persons, father.
- Chandra (Moon): Its considered as Female with Sattvik guna and represents Mind, queen, mother.
- Mangala (Mars): Its considered as Male with Tamas or Tamsik guna and represents energetic action, confidence and ego.
- Budha (Mercury): Its of Neutral gender with Rajas or Rajsi guna and represents communication.
- Brihaspati (Jupiter): Its of Male gender with Sattva or Sattvik guna and represents the great teacher.
- Shukra (Venus): Its of Female gender with Rajas or Rajsi guna and represents wealth, pleasure and reproduction.
- Shani (Saturn): Its of Female gender with Tamas or Tamsik guna and represents learning (the hard way), Career and Longevity.
- Rahu (Head of Demon Snake – Ascending/North Lunar Node): Its of Female gender with Tamas or Tamsik guna and represents an Asura who does his best to plunge any area of one’s life he controls into chaos.
- Ketu (Tail of Demon Snake – Descending/South Lunar Node): Its considered of Male gender having Tamas or Tamsik guna and represents supernatural influences.
“Nav” or “Nava” means “nine”. Graha is sometimes translated as “planet”, but the Sun, Moon, and Rahu and Ketu are not “planets” according to modern astronomy. “Graha” is sometimes translated as “celestial body”, but Rahu and Ketu are not celestial bodies either. A third translation is celestial god or demi-god, but again, Rahu and Ketu are Asuras not Devas. Rahu and Ketu are further believed to be only positions in the planetary paths. A fact common to all navagrahas is that they have relative movement with respect to the backgound of fixed stars in the zodiac belt.
There is also a stotra in the praise of the Navgrahas (Navagrahas).
“Namah Sooryaya, Chandraya, Mangalaya, Budhaya cha, Guruhu, Shukra, Shanibhihi cha Rahuve, Ketuve Namaha”
Some people believe that by chanting this stotra, man is relieved from all his sins and bad effects that may occur due to these grahas on him.
A general mantra for Navgrahadevataaya (Navagrahadevataaya) :
“Aum, brahmaamuraaris-tripuraantakaari, bhaanuh-shashi, bhoomi sutau buddhashca, gurooshca-shukrah shani-raahu-ketavah, kurvantu sarve grahaah shaanti-karaa bhavantu”.
This mantra is associated with Brahmaa and the nine planets (grahas). Brahmaa is the Lord who controls the nine planets. This mantra calls for him and the nine planets to relieve the ill effects of the nine planets in general. You can chant this mantra for at least 7 times a day.