Back to the basics is a great start because you cannot build without
a foundation. Navgraha, the nine planets in our solar system, are not a new topic, but we will look at it from a FRESH perspective. So, let’s begin with understanding NAVGRAHA.
The word ‘graha’ is derived from ‘Grahana’ or eclipse because every graha or planet in NAVGRAHA has the power to eclipse our mind by messing with our thoughts and actions and perpetuating the cycle of karma.
How does an eclipse work? You see a beautiful thing or a person and get obsessed with it. You think of something, like money, power or fame and get obsessed with having it. That’s when one of the NAVGRAHAs is eclipsing your mind. For example, Venus makes you senselessly crave things in life, and Mars provokes you to take aggression to extreme lengths.
Mangal/Mars can raise your aggression to crazy levels: ‘How dare he say that to me?
Saturn/Shani can create deep dissatisfaction: “Oh, how I was humiliated.’
Rahu can amplify your ego endlessly: ‘He did that to me? I will break his head.’
Conversely, every planet in NAVGRAHA can also remove the eclipse (ignorance/darkness) from your mind if it is well placed.
Grahana works at the highest Rajas level to also push you to achieve. For example, a company launches a phone that becomes the planet’s most desired object. It’s the grahana on the public, eclipsing their mind to the exclusion of all else but buying the phone. But for the company, it is a windfall!
The Navgraha or planet with the highest degree in your birth chart is Atmakaraka; it shows the highest unfulfilled karma. Without an Atmakaraka, we are not born.
A graha or planet’s natural strength in the chart, its mahadasha, dasha and remedies play decisive roles.
A graha can get dictatorial based on its avastha. The stronger the planet, the stronger its impact. If a graha is calling the shots in your chart, it better be a benefic planet!
A Rajayoga formed by a malefic planet can be very karmic, and a lifetime of karma can accumulate.
Whenever you have an evil thought, think: ‘do I want to go through this grind of life again’?
Can a graha grant moksha? Yes. For example, Ketu in the 12th House is highly favourable to bail out of the cycle of rebirths.
BIG FACT: All nine planets are considered Vishnu avatars.
SURYA/SUN: THE KING
The ignition key for all Raja yogas. Natural lord of the 5th zodiac House Leo.
Vishnu Avatar: Shri Ram.
Drishti/Aspects: 7th House from its position.
The Sun is Agni (Fire)-dominated. It is exalted in Aries, the natural 1st House and let’s get this straight: Aries is the only royal sign in the Zodiac, not Leo. Why? Because Aries has Mars as its Commander-in-Chief.
Sun is the Karaka for Lagna or Ist House/Ascendant, which is Self, thus promoting longevity and health. The Naisargik atmakaraka or the natural atmakaraka also tells you in which direction your soul will find its true meaning.
THE SUN’S PRINCIPLES: A strong Sun/Surya endows you with work ethic and helps you prosper.
The Sun triggers Raja yogas, and the Moon sustains them. Only with the blessings of the Sun and Moon, the Father and Mother of the King and the Queen, can you succeed.
Remember how some individuals became Prime Minister for only 13 days? Their Rajayoga was initiated by the Sun but could not be sustained.
Sun plays an essential role in promoting spirituality, and its strength and position can tell if you are an Instagram spiritualist or a true seeker. Obversely, it stokes your ego to unrealistic proportions; many ego-heavy people have a dominant Sun in their charts.
This mighty planet is debilitated in Tula/Libra, owned by Venus. Why? Because Venus makes the King lose focus thanks to emotions. When the King falls in love, he blunts his ability to govern. King is in love; he loses focus. So, the royal vision falters in Venus.
Remember what Chanakya said? ‘If you want the kingdom to fall, corrupt the King.” The corruption can be of power, love, or lust.
To strengthen Sun:
MOON/CHANDRA: THE QUEEN
Sustainer of Raja Yogas. Natural lord of Cancer, 4th Zodiac House.
Vishnu Avatar: Sri Krishna
Drishti/Aspects: 7th House from its position.
The Moon is Jala (water) dominated and denotes emotions, and all states of the mind are influenced by emotions. It is debilitated in Scorpio, the natural 8th House, or the Marana Karaka House. The Moon is the most important planet to determine longevity, and when it is in Scorpio, it feels unhappy on that account.
THE CURSE ON CHANDRA
According to legend, the Moon kidnapped his Guru Brihaspati’s (Jupiter) wife, Maa Tara, on Krishna Chaturdashi (the 14th day of the waning Moon). It incensed Lord Shiva because cheating a Guru is a despicable act. Lord Shiva is the protector of lineage and an upholder of knowledge (Parmeshti Guru), and this violation by the Moon was unforgivable. This was not all. On Amavasya, the Moon forced himself on Maa Tara, and Mahadev (Lord Shiva) cursed it, because of which the Moon lost its light. Condemned to darkness, the Moon repented for its sins on Pratipadā (the first day after Amavasya) and returned Maa Tara to Brihaspati.
Due to the violation of Maa Tara on Amavasya, Maa Kali the Protector also cursed the Moon and people born on this Tithi.
Moon is the karaka for the natural 4th House, which denotes the home environment, and the heart.
A weak or debilitated Moon makes the home environment become a conflict or an uneasy zone.
Overly emotional people get upset or turn morose at the slightest thing and have a weak or afflicted Moon, making them mentally fragile, indecisive, and unfocused. Suppose the Moon is debilitated or forms negative yogas with malefic planets such as Saturn, Rahu, or Ketu. In that case, it can lead the native to suicidal thoughts or disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia or chronic depression. For example, Saturn’s influence on the Moon can lead to depression.
The Moon’s water tattva can trigger lustful behaviour and lack of discrimination.
It is critical to study conjunctions and aspects to analyse their impact on the mind, happiness, and longevity.
On the other hand, a strong Moon with benefics such as Jupiter and Venus can bestow fame, wealth, focus, compassion, and discernment and give you all the gifts to help you enjoy a great life.
It makes the native compassionate, sensitive, caring, and happy-minded, adept at networking and unique friendships. A benefic Moon fosters people-related professions, such as HR, communications, etc.
Make Chandra happy and control a wavering mind.
TIP: If you have a weak Moon, sing a song, especially in the morning. Singing has a direct connection to the Moon, and it activates specific chakras, and the Manas, or Mind, is directly controlled by the Moon.
The Commander in Chief. Owns Aries, the royal sign. Lord of natural 3rd and 8th Houses.
Vishnu Avatar: Narsimha.
Drishti/Aspects: 4th, 7th,8th Houses from its position.
Mars’ origins vary; in most texts, he is the son of Bhumi, the Earth Goddess and Vishnu, born when he raised her from the ocean depths in the Varaha avatar. Other sources say Mangal was born of a drop of sweat from Lord Shiva.
Contrary to the cliche, Mars is not necessarily malefic. Because it is a Bhumi karaka, it rules lands, army, engineering, and energy industries, and it gives creates the greatest warriors, sportspeople, fighters, soldiers, and army generals.
The planet endows tenacity and makes a person go from setback to comeback. A strong Mars promotes vitality, power, endurance, willpower, insight and discrimination.
Mangal denotes entrepreneurial skills; entrepreneurs need a strong Mars in their birth chart to succeed. Rules Bhu Loka and your experience here. The first planet I analyse in a birth chart is Mangal; if it is strong, your bhu loka experience is superb. It mitigates insecurity and gives you mental and physical courage to overcome challenges.
Mars has a love-hate relationship with the Sun, and it is the only one who can topple the King. We see this in countries where leaders are ousted and the army steps in.
It also rules death or death-like situations.
A weak or debilitated Mars causes violence, poor control of faculties, injury, accident, anger, war, delayed marriages, relationship problems, etc.
MERCURY/BUDDHA, THE PRINCE/ HEIR APPARENT. Natural lord of the 6th House.
Vishnu Avatar: Vamana
Drishti/Aspects: 7th House from its position.
The youngest planet, Mercury, is a prince in waiting. It’s like a child, impatient and mercurial, always looking for a pay-off. “If I do my homework, will you give me a chocolate?” A Rajas graha, is curious to know the payoff, which makes it a good student, always eager to learn.
Mercury promotes speech and communication. Many brilliant speakers you hear have a strong Mercury. It speeds up communication and creates lightning interactions and creativity. Mercury-dominated people are never short of communication skills; they can complete your sentences. It also endows you with a vast vocabulary, language and writing skills, and a great sense of humour.
If there are planets in Mercury’s second house, it positively impacts your speech because the 2nd house is about feeding. It’s a Karaka for the 10th House of work and gets its Digbala (Positional Strength) in Lagna, a preferred placement to encourage lifelong learning.
JUPITER, THE GURU/PRIEST/CHIEF ADVISOR TO THE KING (SUN). Also known as Dev Guru. Lord of the natural 9th and 12th Houses.
✱ Guna: Sattva.
✱ Tattva: Space/Akash.
✱ Exaltation: Cancer.
✱ Debilitation: Capricorn.
✱ Vishnu Avatar: Vamana.
Drishti/Aspects: 5th, 7th & 9th Houses from its position.
When Guru decides to give wisdom, it makes life easy. It is the benefactor for the ultimate wealth, knowledge, intelligence, and Vedanga.
If you have Jupiter in Lagna, respect it and ensure you do the right deeds to get Guru in your next lifetime. Guru in Lagna makes you yearn for knowledge, so use its blessings well.
It is the largest planet in our solar system and the controller of our life. Jupiter is the karaka or doer of the 2nd, 5th, 9th, and 11th Houses. In other words, it signifies and promotes the qualities of these Houses. And it is the secondary karaka of the 10th House. As you can see, half of the horoscope is under its influence!
It is also Dhana Karaka, creating wealth, literal and metaphoric. What is ultimate wealth? Knowledge? Money? Kids? Peace of mind? With knowledge, you can get wisdom, and you make your future secure. Money is essential for self-reliance. Children are a huge emotional asset, and peace of mind is the ultimate blessing. Jupiter grants all these advantages if it’s strong in the birth chart.
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