The Grahas or Planets

Vedic astrology or Jyotish takes into account 9 planets or Grahas. As with many words in Sanskrit, there are no parallels in the English language. This is primarily because of the vast, divine and enriching nature of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the language of the divine and if you chant any of the mantras, you will know that that means.

Jyotish is based on the fundamental interactions of 9 grahas and their influences on the human life at various levels of consciousness. Western astrology, in contrast, is less analytical and considers the 9 planets, the sun, the moon and the nodes as the basis for the predictions. A few of the western astrologers consider the satellites of the Jupiter and Saturn in their calculations as well. It is quite possible, in my opinion, that students of western astrology will continue to include more physical objects in their calculations to explain and describe the phenomena that their current tools don’t allow and will never allow. In many instances, the western theories have corrupted and contaminated the tools of Jyotish as well. As you read further and become a student of this wonderful art, it will become increasingly clear why the Vedic Maharishis considered the 9 grahas as mentioned in the beginning. To draw an analogy, what can be described in say 10 words should not be described in 100. In addition, Vedic life has always been in pursuit of moksha through spirituality and not mere mundane material benefits. Next time you read the predictions based on the western astrology, try looking up to the sky and finding the locations of the planets or the star in the constellations.

The 9 grahas are:

  1. Sun or Surya
  2. Moon or Chandra
  3. Mercury or Buddha (don’t read it as “old”)
  4. Venus or Shukra
  5. Mars or Mangal
  6. Jupiter or Guru
  7. Saturn or Shani
  8. Rahu
  9. Ketu



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