Auspicious Days And Times

This also explains why the worship of Navagrahas or the nine planets, is mandatory at all rituals such as births, marriages, deaths and housewarmings. Navagraha puja is also done after recovering from illness and during times of stress and calamity to overcome bad luck. The nine planets and nodes described beautifully in Sanskrit poetry are : Ravi, Shashi, Mangal, Budha, Guru, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu. These have great astrological significance and Indians believe that they influence not only people's lives but direct the course of the economic and political history of the world. Every person in public life consults his or her astrologer for auspicious muhurts to launch election campaigns and projects of importance, depending upon the position of the planets. Shani, Rahu and Ketu are thought to bring bad luck and are therefore constantly propitiated in many ways.

According to astrology, the movements of planets and their positioning at any given time have profound influence on human life and activity. Though this is a popular belief all over the world, for Indians it often determines the course of action or the manner in which future plans are made.

The Navagrahas have also been written about most graphically in Sanskrit poetry and are the subjects of many myths. It is very interesting to note how much the ancient astronomers knew regarding the specific characteristics of each of these planets. The sun, for instance, is aptly described as a blossoming red Hibiscus flower, the lord of great lustre, the enemy of darkness, and the destroyer of all sins. The moon is born of the cosmic ocean during its churning. Born of the earth, Mangal or Mars is seen as having a red complexion with the brilliance of lightening.

Budha or Mercury is as cloudy in colour as 'the buds of blue flowers'. He is considered incomparably beautiful, tender and endowed with gentle qualities. Guru or Jupiter in contrast is seen as the teacher of all the gods and Rishis. Gigantic in size and awesome in appearance, he has a golden complexion, vast intelligence and a store of unlimited knowledge. Shukra or Venus, on the other hand, is likened to a lotus born of snow. He is regarded as the teacher of all demons and furthermore possesses the secret of immortality. He is also the authority on all scriptures and is known as Bhargava.

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