Planetary Deities

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Deities of the nine planets

The Planets are among the foremost of the great Gods (Devas) or cosmic power behind this vast universe. As the planets represent the forces of time that govern all things, all the Gods can be said to work through the planets in one way or another. The planets are an integral part of the cosmic Lord's self-expression and creative power through which the eternal order of karma and dharma is maintained.

As the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, the main classic work on Vedic astrology clearly states: "There are many incarnations of the unborn Supreme Self. To grant the results of karma for the souls of creatures, he takes the form of the planets. To reduce the strength of evil forces and to increase the strength of the Devas, to uphold dharma, He is born in many auspicious incarnations (avatars) from the planets". Planetary can help their devotees like any other forms of God, granting them well-being, grace and wisdom. In addition God can take birth on Earth with the power of different planets. In Vedic thought, the Divine incarnations known as avatars carry such higher astrological forces.

The Gods represent the divine aspect of planetary energies, while humans and other creatures represent their karmic aspect.

The worship of planetary deities is a type of "cosmic communication" in the universal language of mantra, symbol, story and ritual - which is the language of the soul.

Кitual worship of the planets is common in Hindu temples today, particularly in South India, where there are special altars for the navagrahas or nine planetary deities. While circumambulating the main shrine of the temple, the worshipper performs a smaller circuit of a platform on which statues for the nine planetary deities are placed, which is located in a corner of the temple room. In this way astrological worship remains an integral part of Hindu temple worship.

In the Vedic system there are three levels of planetary deities:

  • First, each planet has its own deity (devata). This is the deity relating directly to the planet and expressed by its name. These planetary deities are mainly astrological in nature.
  • Second, the Vedic system recognizes deity that stands above the planetary ruler, a kind of overruler (adhidevata). This overruler represents general qualities and energies associated with and ruled by the planet.
  • Third, each planet has a supreme deity (pratyadhidevata) whose power lies behind the over two. This aspect of the God or the cosmic Lord (Ishvara) working through the planet. There is even a fourth level of planetary deities hidden in this third level. At this fourth level all the planets represent one or more aspects of the Godhead, Brahman, and the higher Self, Atman or Purusha, which is the highest light.

In the older Vedic period, the planets were generally referred to by their overrulers, rather than by their specific planetary deities.

Planet Deity Overruler Supreme Deity
Sun Surya Agni, Fire God Shiva, Supreme God
Moon Chandra Apas, Water Goddess Parvati, Supreme Goddess
Mars Kuja Bhumi, Earth Goddess Skanda, War God
Mercury Budha Vishnu, Maintainer Narayana, Cosmic Person
Jupiter Brihaspati Indra, King of the Gods Brahma, Law giver
Venus Shukra Indrani, Queen of the Gods Indra, King of the Gods
Saturn Shani Yama, God of the Death Prajapati, Creator
North Node Rahu Durga, Goddess of Power Sarpa, Serpent God
South Node Ketu Chitragupta, God of Karma Brahma, God of Knowledge

See also


This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.


Pages in category "Planetary Deities"

The following 10 pages are in this category, out of 10 total.