9 Planets (Grahas) In Detail Discussion

The nine Grahas (planets) are called Surya (the Sun), Chandra (the Moon), Mangal (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (Northern lunar node), and Ketu (Southern lunar node). These names are listed in Sanskrit, to encourage you to become familiar with their original names.

The Sanskrit names/sounds are said to correspond more accurately to the actual properties of the Grahas. For example, when you consistently use the term "Shukra" your brain will be able to get to the true significance better than when you use "Venus".

Most texts on Jyotish use the word "planets" instead of Grahas. Since the Sun, the Moon, Rahu, and Ketu are technically not planets, it is more correct to call them Grahas. We have also used the word planet in most places because most of you search planet in google and not grahas.

The Grahas are divided into two groups, according to their general auspicious or inauspicious effects. The Sanskrit terms used to label these two groups are "Saumya" (benefic) and "Krura" (malefic).

Surya (the Sun), Shani (Saturn), Mangal (Mars), waning Chandra (the Moon), Rahu, and Ketu are all classified as malefics. The waxing Chandra (the Moon), Budha (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter) and Shukra (Venus) are classified as benefics.

When Mercury is in the same sign as another malefic, it is considered to be a malefic also.

Most Grahas are fixed in nature. Only Chandra (Moon) and Budha (Mercury) can be affected by their specific placement in the chart. The Moon is benefic when bright.

There is a basic set of significations for the Grahas that reveals their core relevance. These are the primary significations of the grahas, as stated in Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra. All the numerous secondary planetary significations can be derived from these essential meanings:

Surya (Sun) represents the soul. This can be read in the most flexible and general sense of the word. The word soul is used for the deepest and truest nature, for the ultimate sense of identity, inspiration, and aspiration. Surya signifies one's essential attributes - the sense of self, ego, self esteem, sense of purpose, and so on. Energies and conditions that arise from the Sun's placement in a horoscope, along with the influences that the Sun receives, will be experienced in life as deep, long-term trends and processes, that impact one's life as a whole.

Chandra (Moon) represents the mind. It signifies the thoughts and emotions, and the complex psychological faculty that takes input from the senses and tells the body how to respond. The Moon is the single most important planet in Jyotish because the state of mind is responsible for all the emotional responses to life, and therefore defines the subjective perception of life. Conditions affecting the Moon in the chart influence the thinking and feeling processes, mental skills and attitudes, and also responses to the world at large.

Mangal (Mars) represents energy, assertiveness, and the ability to take action. It represents the way one uses energy on many different levels. It manifests in the mind as the ability to analyze situations; it may also measure the force of ambition. It manifests in the body as physical energy and strength. In the social sphere, Mars represents those relationships that test one's strength, such as one's competitors and enemies. The condition of Mars in an individual horoscope will indicate the level of one's energy and ambition.

Budha (Mercury) represents speech. It, also, governs the logical and intellectual side of the mind, the thinking process that precedes speech and ability to communicate, as well as anything related to a language, use of symbols, logic, information processing, and connecting with people or things. The influences on Mercury in the chart will determine the clarity of one's intellect and speech, and the ability to communicate.

Guru (Jupiter) represents knowledge. Jupiter signifies higher education, wisdom embodied in spiritual traditions, and religion. As gaining knowledge is essential for evolution and spiritual growth, Jupiter also indicates the general principle of growth in life. Physically, Jupiter relates to the growth of the body; mentally, to the increase of happiness and sense of fullness; and socially, to the growth of the family in the form of progeny. Guru signifies prosperity and fortune in life.

Shukra (Venus) represents reproduction (literally semen). Venus indicates everything that is directly and indirectly related to human reproduction: marriage, sex, harmony, comforts, luxury, pleasures, and beauty. The condition of Venus in the horoscope will define one's ability to experience harmonious and romantic relationships, and the level on which one deals with sensory experiences.

Shani (Saturn) represents grief, although this rather harsh description must be understood in more depth, for Saturn is a very important and sometimes deeply spiritual influence in the horoscope. Saturn symbolizes everything that is deep, profound, thorough, long lasting, and serious in life. It is associated with all the aspects of life that teach one how to be more thoughtful and practical, as well as deep and profound. The condition of Saturn in the birth chart will indicate whether these values are put to good use by adding depth and a sense of meaning to life, or whether one refuses to "get serious" and therefore experiences the "grief" of being forced to comply with Saturn's demands.

Rahu is a very unsteady and erratic force ruled by obsessive passions and unconcerned with ethical notions of right and wrong. Because of this, Rahu can bring great material progress, though any success gained under its influence is likely to be short-lived. Rahu is tricky and sneaky, and creates illusions of all kinds. It especially manifests in one's compulsions or uncontrollable passions.

Ketu is also an unsteady and sometimes treacherous force, but its qualities are more of an abstract, inward nature, in contrast to Rahu who is more concerned with outward, worldly matters. Ketu can bring hindrance and obstacles in the physical realm of life, but indicates sparks of intelligence and brilliance of the mind. The above significations are extremely important to know by heart. You should memorize them, and use them often to remind yourself of the essential nature of the Grahas.

There are two ways to use these planetary portfolios, as an object or as a quality. As object, the Grahas represent some part of life, and their position in the chart will reveal how that part of life is unique. For example, Chandra represents the person's mindset, and the influences on Chandra in the chart will show the particular kind of mindset the person has. Mercury represents speech, and the influences on Mercury will reveal the particular way one speaks.

The other way of using the planetary significations is as qualities. For example, if Chandra is prominently placed in the chart, the person will have overall qualities of being mindfull and emotional. An influence from Budha (Mercury) will make the person talkative.

The Grahas are also classified by gender. Chandra and Shukra are female. Surya, Mangal, and Guru are male. Budha and Shani are neuter.

The gender of the Graha can be used in almost all types of predictions where gender is involved. An obvious example is the gender of a child or a sibling.

If a man has male planets predominant in his chart, he will look very masculine. If he has female Grahas predominant, he will look more refined and feminine. If a woman has female Grahas predominant, she will look very feminine. If she has male Grahas predominant, she will look less refined, and more masculine.

The predominance of neuter planets in a male chart makes the man less masculine, and in case of a female she will be less feminine. In both cases, the person will be rather boyish (if it is Budha) or without a dominant gender (if it is Shani).

Exaltation & Debilitation Chart

Exalt. (Ucch) Rashi Deb. (Neech) Rahsi Own (Swah) Rashi Mool Trikon Rashi
Sun (सूर्य ग्रह) Aries (Mesha) Libra (Tula) Rashi Leo (Simha) Rashi Leo (Simha) Rashi
Moon (चंद्र ग्रह) Taurus (Vrishabha) Rashi Scorpio (Vrischika) Rashi Cancer (Karka) Rashi Cancer (Karka) Rashi
Mars (मंगल ग्रह) Capricorn (Makara) Cancer (Karka) Rashi Aries (Mesha), Scorpio (Vrischika) Rashi Aries (Mesha)
Mercury (बुध ग्रह) Virgo (Kanya) Rashi Pisces (Meena) Gemini (Mithuna) Rashi , Virgo (Kanya) Rashi Virgo (Kanya) Rashi
Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह) Cancer (Karka) Rashi Capricorn (Makara) Sagittarius (Dhanu), Pisces (Meena) Sagittarius (Dhanu)
Venus (शुक्र ग्रह) Pisces (Meena) Virgo (Kanya) Rashi Taurus (Vrishabha) Rashi , Libra (Tula) Rashi Libra (Tula) Rashi
Saturn (शनि ग्रह) Libra (Tula) Rashi Aries (Mesha) Capricorn (Makara) , Aquarius (Kumbha) Aquarius (Kumbha)
Rahu (राहु) Taurus (Vrishabha) Rashi , Gemini (Mithuna) Rashi Scorpio (Vrischika) Rashi, Sagittarius (Dhanu) Aquarius (Kumbha) Virgo (Kanya) Rashi
Ketu (केतु) Scorpio (Vrischika) Rashi, Sagittarius (Dhanu) Taurus (Vrishabha) Rashi , Gemini (Mithuna) Rashi Scorpio (Vrischika) Rashi Pisces (Meena)

Planetary Relationships

Friend Planets (Mitra) Neutral Planets (Sam) Enemy Planets (Shatru)
Sun (सूर्य ग्रह) Moon (चंद्र ग्रह), Mars (मंगल ग्रह), Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह) Mercury (बुध ग्रह) Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह), Rahu (राहु)
Moon (चंद्र ग्रह) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Mercury (बुध ग्रह) Mars (मंगल ग्रह), Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह), Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह) Rahu (राहु), Ketu (केतु)
Mars (मंगल ग्रह) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Moon (चंद्र ग्रह), Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह) Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह) Mercury (बुध ग्रह), Rahu (राहु), Ketu (केतु)
Mercury (बुध ग्रह) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Rahu (राहु) Mars (मंगल ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह), Ketu (केतु) Moon (चंद्र ग्रह), Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह)
Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Moon (चंद्र ग्रह), Mars (मंगल ग्रह) Saturn (शनि ग्रह), Rahu (राहु), Ketu (केतु) Mercury (बुध ग्रह), Venus (शुक्र ग्रह)
Venus (शुक्र ग्रह) Mercury (बुध ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह), Rahu (राहु) Mars (मंगल ग्रह), Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह), Ketu (केतु) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Moon (चंद्र ग्रह)
Saturn (शनि ग्रह) Mercury (बुध ग्रह), Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Rahu (राहु) Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह), Ketu (केतु) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Moon (चंद्र ग्रह), Mars (मंगल ग्रह)
Rahu (राहु) Mercury (बुध ग्रह), Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह) Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह), Ketu (केतु) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Moon (चंद्र ग्रह), Mars (मंगल ग्रह)
Ketu (केतु) Mars (मंगल ग्रह), Venus (शुक्र ग्रह), Saturn (शनि ग्रह) Mercury (बुध ग्रह), Jupiter (गुरू / बृहसपति ग्रह) Sun (सूर्य ग्रह), Moon (चंद्र ग्रह)

Parashara describes the Sun as having "Sweet brown colored eys(madhupingala) and a square figure, his constitution is Pitta, he is intelligent(dhiman), masculine and tends towards baldness(alpakacha)" - Brihat Parashara Hora Shashtra, Graha Guna Svarupa Adhyaya, V.23

Gender: Male

Disha Bal : 10th house (Midday)

Element : Fire

Rank : King

Varna : Kshatriya

Prakriti : Pitta

Char/Sthir : Sthir (Fixed)

Numbers : 1

Direction : East (note: sun is most powerful in 10th house or midday or south but it represents east direction)

Vegetation : Trees useful in making houses and furnitures

Colors : Red+Brown

Stone : Ruby (Manek)

Metal : Gold

The Sun Gives light energy for all things to prosper and grow. All energy comes from the sun.

Sun is a symbol of spirit or soul, the light inside that guides our lives and energizes our being. if soul is not happy body grows sick and dies. It is...

Parashara Describes the moon as being "very vata-kapha constitution with a large wide body, She is wise, has good intution, sweet speech, is changeable, fickle minded, and is hopeless romantic.

The moon is the mother and nurturing and caring, providing support to live. Moon is friendly towards all the planets. As father instills dharma, the mother instills the psychological nature and emotional health in a child.

The average distance between Earth and Moon is 3,84,400 kms. Because of elliptical shape of the orbits of Sun and Moon, minimum and maximum distance between Earth and Moon is 3,63,000 kms. and 4,06,000 kms respectively. The radius of moon is approx 1738 kms. (0.2725 times the radius of earth) and mass of moon is 1/81.3 of the earth’s mass. In fact moon is a satellite of earth but in astrology it is considered as a planet because of its size and proximity to earth. The moon can be observed to cross any particular celestial meridian, every 27.32166 days, which...

Parashara describes Mars as being "Cruel, inconsiderate, and tending to have blood shot eyes, enjoys meat and his wife, has pitta constitution, is easily angered, and has a thin waist".

Mars has a soldier mentality and likes to fight. Mars has great leadership abilities, but as a tamas planet he doesnot think, he just follow orders. His job is to protect as a Guardian, Police or a Soldier. The police do not make the Laws, they just enforce them, a soldier doesnot choose when and with whom to fight, they just follow order and fight.

Gender : Male
Element : Fire
Rank : Commander
Varna : Kshatriya
Prakriti : Pitta
Sthirta : Moveable (Char)
Numbers : 9
Direction : South
Vegetation : Trees with bitter juice
Color : Red
Stone : Coral
Metal : Copper

Mars is a red planet. It moves around the Sun at a mean distance approximately 1.52 times that of earth from Sun. It completes its orbit in 686.9804 mean...

Parashara describes mercury as being "The handsome, The Best, uses words with double meanings, has a sense of humor, make jokes, is interesting and charming, and has mix of all three doshas"

Understanding and Remembering the raw Qualities & Attributes of Planets and what energies they exchange in between each other would have been almost impossible to comprehend and remember. So ancient & intelligent sages of India Personified them, Gave them character with likes, dislikes, doshas, Just like human beings. This way it became very intuitive and easy to comprehend and remember their qualities.

It's important to understand Purusha Energy (Male/Husband) and Shakti Energy (Female/Wife) in Indian Mythology.

PURUSHA is consciousness, the masculine principle.
SHAKTI is the feminine principle, the activating power and energy.

Whenever a power becomes active, and wherever energy exists, Shakti is working. Other terms for these primal principles are...

Parashara Describes Guru as having "a large body", has tawny hair and eyes, kapha constitution, intelligence and is skilled in all the scriptures. Jupiter relates to the Space Element and is found everywhere in every thing. Jupiter is a Peaceful and Harmonious planet. Jupiter do not believe in Fight of Ego it believes in winning by Love and non-violence.

The Jupiter is most massive of all the planets. It is larger than all other planets put together. Its distance from the Sun is 76, 97, 73, 940 kms, sidereal period 11.86 earth years. The max radius of Jupiter is 71350 kms (11.2 times that of earth) and min. radius is 66600 kms (10.4 times that of earth). It is 317.8 times heavier than earth. It rotates on its own axis in 9 hours 55 minutes. Jupiter has 12 satellites. The four main satellites are known as Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. It is next to Sun in size and orb and in brightness next to the Venus.

Jupiter is a planet of expansion. It is also called Deva...

Venus revolves around the Sun in nearly a circular orbit. It’s mean distance from the Sun is 10.75 x 107 kms. The mean orbital velocity of Venus is approx 35 km. per second; its mass is 0.81 times that of earth, its diameter is 12100 kms, and density 5.1gm/ cm3. Its sidereal period is 224.7 earth days and its synodic period is 583.921 earth days. Venus sets after Sunset and rises before Sun rises. Venus is the brightest planet, which is due to the reflecting power of its atmosphere. For the observers on earth, Venus can never be more than 480 away from Sun. When Venus is 480 away from Sun and is the evening star, it can be seen in the sky for about 3 hours 12 minutes after sunset.

While Jupiter is Deva Guru, Venus is considered as Asura Guru. Venus is considered a Goddess of love, marriage, beauty and comforts. It is called Mahalakshmi, wife of lord Vishnu. Venus is one – eyed. Since it rules all kinds of beauty, pleasure, passion etc, it is called by the Greeks Aphrodite....

Saturn’s mean distance from earth is 14.11 x 10 8. The nearest distance of Saturn from Sun is 13.29x108 kms and farthest distance from Sun is 14.93x108 kms. It completes a revolution around the Sun in 29.46 years. The mass of Saturn is 95.14 times that of earth, volume 743.7 times that of earth and its density is only 0.7 times that of water. Saturn has 10 satellites. The Titan and Lapetus are massive satellites of Saturn. Titan is about the same size as the planet Mercury. Its dia is 4777 kms. The dia of Lapetus is 1752 kms. Three concentric rings surround Saturn. These rings are separate and there is only black empty space in between any two rings, Saturn appears like a blue ball with 3 yellow rings.

Saturn is called Yama because it is the chief governor of longevity. Saturn is the father of Gulika and Mandi. It is also called Neelan and lord Shiva. Saturn is son of Sun. Some people say that Saturn represents ‘Brahma’. Saturn is the counterfeit of Jupiter as former...

There are different names given to Rahu and Ketu like Nodes, Shadows, Head and Tail, Caput, Cauda etc. The Moon is a satellite of the earth revolving around it in an orbit inclined to that of the earth round the Sun at an angle of approximately 50. The Moon completes its orbit round the earth in about a month crossing the orbit of earth twice in the same period, once when it goes from south to north and at another time while traveling from north to south. The ascending point is called ‘Rahu’ and descending point ‘Ketu’. These have retrograde motion in the zodiac at the rate of 19020' per year.

There is a fundamental difference between Rahu and Ketu and the other planets. The other planets are bodies of physical mass having form, shape, color, gravity, atmosphere, motion etc. On the other hand Rahu and Ketu are two imaginary points in the heavens without mass, shape or form. They are the points of intersection of the apparent path of the Sun with the path of Moon. It has been...

Parashara Says that the serpents created from Svarbhanu are similar in appearance. Ketu is more like a naga (higher vibration snake) while Rahu is sarpa (lower vibration snake).

Just like Mars, Ketu is also a fiery planet. Ketu is like Mars in many ways, with heat and energy.

Mars is the earth. It was from the mud of the earth that the goddess parvathi created Ganesha, the deity related to Ketu.

Ketu is beneficial for spiritual endeavours. Ketu shows path of spirituality, Yoga and Detachment.