Graha (Planets)

Ordinarily the bodies of gross matter those go round the Sun in the solar sphere are called Planets (grahah). In theoretical (mathematical) astrology (Jyotisa sastra) the number of planets (grahas) has been counted to be nine and they are said to be: Sun (Surya), Moon (Soma or Chandra), Mars (Mangala), Mercury { Budha), Jupiter (Bruhaspati), Venus (Sukra), Saturn (Sani) – all these seven are indicated by and correspond to the days of the week, respectively to Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday — and into them are added Rahu and Ketu – the immortal head and trunk of the demon who stealthily partook nector brought out from the ocean through a joint churning by the gods and demons, before being beheaded for the offense as per the reference to Puranic ‘ Chumning of the ocean ‘ (Samudra Manthana) – the two points which too move in the Solar Sphere and are taken to cause eclipses of the Moon and the Sun; they are distinguished from the other planets by giving them the joint name as shadowy planets (Chaya Graha). Besides determining their number astronomy (Ganita Jyotisa) also calculates the times of arising and setting of the Grahas along with speed and frequency etc. of their movements as also their role in causing flood-tide and ebb-tide in the oceans and production of visible as well as invisible phenomena (like those of infra-red and ultraviolet rays and various other kinds of electromagnetic radiations) besides gravitational pulls and pressures.

The view is upheld by practical astrology (Phalita-jyotisa) that the movement (gati), the relative position i.e. location or occupation of a ‘ house ‘ during the movement (dasa) and direction and inclination (Disa and Drsti) of the planets (grahah) have a fairly good correlation with the good or bad movement, position and direction of human beings and welfare or ill-fare of all the living beings on earth. The positions of the Grahas at the time of birth of a being i.e. the birthchart (janmapatri) enables the astrologers to predict the future of the persons. A very large number of Indians having belief in Sanatana dharma do propitiate or worship the 9 Graha(s) at every religious ceremony conducted at the auspicious occasions along with the various gods.

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