Astrology as science works on certain archetypal forces that control and influences the entire universe. These archetypal forces are planets and aspects. Planets are called Graha in Sanskrit. The word Graha means “something that takes over”, eats up or overpowers you. And that’s exactly what planets do. They influence our minds and environment. They have the power to practically eat up our lives. Vedic astrology considers 7 major planets and 2 shadow planets. The 7 major planets are visible, but the shadow planets are more conceptual in nature. However, they are extremely important because, as the light of the planets influences us so can their shadow!

Planets 

  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Mars
  • Mercury
  • Jupiter,
  • Venus
  • Saturn 

Shadow planets 

  • Rahu
  • Ketu

Vedic astrology has various denotations for the planets. This denotation helps us to understand their role and interrelationship, and influence on our lives.

All these planets have a deep interrelationship that helps them to produce a strong synergistic effect on our lives. According to the Vedic philosophy, the particle reflects all the qualities of the universe (“yatha pinde, tatha brahmande”). Therefore, planets also reflect all the dimensions of life and that’s why they can affect us in multiple ways!

Here are some positions conferred to the planets. These positions give us an idea about the strength and the way that they can affect our lives. 

The Planetary Elements

All planets have a dominant element, just the way our bodies have a dominant dosha (vata, pitta, or kapha). 

PlanetElements
SunFire
MoonWater
MarsFire
MercuryEarth
JupiterSpace
VenusWater
SaturnAir
RahuAir
KetuAir

With the help of astrology, we can verify the Prakriti or the body type of person through his ascendant and its relationship with the lord of the first house in the horoscope.

PlanetDosha
SunPitta
MoonVata and kapha
MarsPitta
MercuryVata-Pitta-Kapha
JupiterKapha
VenusKapha
SaturnVata
Rahu –
Ketu –

This chart is the link between Vedic astrology (Jyotish) and Ayurveda. It is the source of Vedic medical astrology!

The Planetary Body 

PlanetManifestation 
SunSoul
MoonMind
MarsEgo
MercuryIntellect
JupiterWisdom
VenusDesires
SaturnLabour
Rahu –
Ketu –

The Planetary Family 

Planets also influence our relationship with our close family. The following chart shows the inter-relationship of planets as a family. According to this table, the sun affects your relationship with your father!

PlanetFamily Member
SunFather
MoonMother
MarsBrother
MercuryBrother
JupiterTeacher/Mentor
VenusWife
SaturnServant
RahuPaternal Grandfather
KetuMaternal Grandfather

The Planetary Kingdom

In a wider perspective, the planets affect our relationship with the state or the dominant social or political forces. The following chart reflects how you may get affected by the dominant forces in your society. 

PlanetManifestation 
SunKing
MoonQueen
MarsArmy Chief
MercuryPrince
JupiterMentor
VenusMinister
SaturnServant 
Rahu –
Ketu –

Vedic astrology defines multiple other aspects of the planets, some of the important ones are –

Planets and Guna

Planets can be benevolent or malevolent according to their guna. 

Planets and Character

The planets also have a distinct character and they confer the same to the person under their domination. For example, the sun is generally kroor or cruel planet, whereas Jupiter is always benefic. 

Planets and Sex (Male/Female)

For example, the sun is male and the moon is female. This relationship may decide whether you are a boyish girl or a girlish boy and so on!

Planet and Body Part 

Vedic astrology also delegates certain body organs to each planet, for example, the sun dominates bones, pitta dosha, and brain!

Planets and Height

Dominant planets may decide the height of an individual. For example, the sun confers medium height, however, a person may achieve abnormal height under the influence of Saturn.

Planets and Directions

Each planet dominates a particular direction, for example, Mercury lords over the North. 

Planets and Time of the Day

Planets become powerful during their favorite time of the day, for example, Jupiter is the most powerful during early morning hours. 

Planets and Seasons

Vedic astrology says that planets dominate over different seasons, for example – Mercury dominates over sharad (early Winter), whereas sun, Mars, and Rahu have a joint influence on Summer!

These are only a few of the dimensions in which the planets influence us. They can affect our mind, body, family, society, and country. They can swallow everything we are and we have! 

I hope the meaning of “graha” or the one who eats up is more clear to you!

References  Yajurveda Graha and Bhava – B V Raman 

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