Navagrahas - The responsibility centres


S. Ainavolu

4/9/2022 7 min read

Navagrahas - The responsibility centres


We often come across the shloka “Adityaya Somaya Mangalaya Budhayacha Guru Shukra Shanibhyascha Rahave Ketave Namaha” that offers respect to the nine energy hubs or centres called Navagrahas. Most won’t explore further. Navagrahas are the nine “planets” we traditionally consider to be influential on the life on the planet Earth. The combination of Grahas and correlation with macro-events on the planet Earth may unveil the influence. Our weekdays are named after the first seven Grahas viz. Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Each of these controls a specific portion of the day called Hora. The last two, Rahu and Ketu are understood as the head and remaining body of the dragon. The first seven of the Navagrahas are the part of the planetary system we are part of. The shadow/Chhaya grahas of Rahu and Ketu are inferred and calculated.

Karma theory

The Vedic Astrology called Jyotishya is based on the concept of Karma theory and its operationalization through the Navagrahas. The Karma theory proposes that what goes out, comes around. One’s actions, either good or bad always have a “reaction”, though there may be a time lag between the action and the reaction. Cumulatively the actions of the individual pile up as Sanchita Karma. The very act is not that important but the associated intent and the emotion. There may be a huge difference between the act of “intentionally hurting” someone versus causing the ”unintended hurt”. The nuancing is clear and the degree definitely matters.

We are taught that the Navagrahas are “in-charge” of disposing of the part of previously accumulated Karma (Sanchita) that has to be lived now called Prarabdha. The three aspects of Karma are - the huge accumulated pile called Sanchita, the portion of that which is “given for this life” to undergo is called Prarabdha, and thirdly the futuristic one is called Agami. The gist of the argument is, that one draws from the past pile and clears it partially during this life and at the same time creates more Karma for the future. It may be noted and remembered that Karma can be both positive and negative. In other words, our reactions to both good and bad deeds of ours in the present timeline shall come back as “fuits” in the future timelines, and the taste of these shall be similar to the one we invested in. We heard the adage that says “what one sows, one reaps”. It is true, the wise say.

Life is continuous

Now let’s apply the concept of “going concern” to life. The fundamental tenet in Astrology is “life is eternal”. Enough references are there including in Shri Bhagavadgita that one changes the form but the essence remains etc. The good/bad deeds one committed become part of the baggage of the “individual”. The individual chooses to clear a part of the accumulated baggage of Sanchita Karma. One is born with a small portion taken out of this huge pile. This small portion one has to undergo is our Prarabdha. One goes by the Samskaras (impressions) and discharges more actions/Karma and forms the future Karma, the Agami. If the notion of life is eternal is not there or is not acceptable, then the very theory of undergoing results of past actions and creating for the future can’t hold water. And, hence the fundamental tenet is Karma theory and the notion of interest is, life’s continuity.

The playing/paying back

If the account tracking is happening for all the deeds and misdeeds one committed, who is the controller of the blockchain mechanism of the Karmic life can be the question. Someone has to honestly record the transactions and maintain the database for “future use”. The wise say, it is one’s own conscience called ChitraGupt that records and plays it at the appropriate time so that justice is done. The grand plan of recording and playing back (or paying back!) is in place, we need actors that help in execution. In other words, we need the instruments/vehicles that can give the fruits or results of the actions we did earlier. Or these should inspire our current actions to “unleash the appropriate reactions for the past actions. It is not vengeance but balancing act in the interest of justice and fair play. One has to undergo the reaction and more importantly learn the lesson too! In this sense, the Navagrahas act like “responsibility centres” to inspire current actions and teach us the required lessons, all along taking note of past actions of ours.

The wise compare Navagrahas to the bank clerk, who accepts or pays money to customers based on the account balance and the transaction type. The clerk is only discharging the positional responsibility and has no affinity or ill-will towards any customer or group of customers. So, do Navagrahas. Here the account balance is one’s Prarabdha and transactions are one’s own good/bad deeds. If Shukra/Venus is said to be giving the luxuries of life, it is one’s own earlier deposited good deeds or actions whose results one is currently undergoing. If the going is hard or bad, then the results of the earlier rough actions are being played back!

Domain specialization

Sun/Aditya/Surya/Ravi gives the tejas and represents the life force in a person called the soul. Moon/Soma/Chandra refers to the softer aspect called the manas, the feeling part. Mars/Mangal/Kuja drives the actions and is the energy planet. Mercury/Budha/Sowmya controls calculating and thinking. Jupiter/Guru/Brihaspati is the planet of gravitas and represents the wisdom that is beyond all information and knowledge. Venus/Shukra is in charge of art and culture. Saturn/Shani/Manda is the heavy karmic planet, making one work and learn the lessons. Rahu gives desires and often bordering greed. Ketu provides detachment and makes one turn towards spirituality. Navagrahas are also said to be the reasons/propellors of certain aspects of life. This quality is called Karaka (the trigger or causing agent). Surya is the karaka of the father and the moon that of the mother. Kuja/Mangala decides the siblings and related aspects. Saturn indicates the workers/servants. Guru, the Jupiter talks of one’s mentors. Venus/Shukra help us out with wife-related aspects.

Navagrahas also indicate and control certain dimensions of one’s life. Surya/Ravi indicates the “power” aspects. It is true in the case of the quest for administrative or political power. Moon/Chandra provides or deprives one the peace of mind. Kuja/Mangal gives or deprives one of the energy/enthusiasm. Mercury/Budha is the giver of business thoughts and intelligence in general. Wisdom or quest for higher learning is in the control of Brihaspati / Jupiter / Guru. Shukra, the Venus in addition to giving luxury-related controls the aptitude towards arts and fine arts. If one is a connoisseur of anything, it is because of the influence of Venus/Shukra. The hard way is Saturn / Shani, many might say. But it is also a great teacher. Rahu gives a desire that is very consuming. It also causes imaginary fears. Ketu the saintly detacher offers the same to the seekers.

Heads-up through Medical astrology

Parts of the body are mapped to one or the other Navagrahas. Moving from head to toe, we move in the order broadly. Head and “hard heart” portions are referred to as Sun/Surya. Heart and the softer aspects as we learned are the domain of Soma, the moon. Soma if etymologically explained to us, stands as “Sa+Uma”, meaning along with Uma or Parvati. Indeed softer aspect is taken care as the mother is around. Mars / Mangal is the “ruler” of blood and related aspects. Blood rushes are how we describe a charging situation. High/low blood pressure or RBC issues are referred to Mars. Sports the domain where we need lots of adrenalin, and is the “playfield” of Mars, the Mangal. Naturally, Mangal may be the triggering one behind angry responses, loud cheers, and verbal duels.

Budha, the Mercury is also called Sowmya the smooth one is the lord of the nervous system. Afflictions or pains associated with these, from migraines to spasms are referred to here. Mercury is also lord of the Communications. Stammering/stuttering or other issues possibly can be referred to Sowmya Dev. So also skin ailments. Jupiter controls liver and related issues like swelling, tardy action etc. One frequently suffers from jaundice or related, we now know who might have triggered this. Venus, the Shukra refers to the comfort zone and associated issues are naturally marked to the bright planet. Saturn, the Manda (slow-moving) is the one controlling bones and joints. Old age issues around these and other aspects have to be directly referred here. Rahu gives undiagnosed diseases and long circuits around multiple referred doctors. No second or third “opinion” shall help us get the convergence. One may lose the patience but not the disease. Ketu is the quick-acting planet. In combination with others, it may give the worst disease too, and without any preparatory time for coping.

Closing thoughts

For knowing the reasons, the causing planets, and the combinations, one may need to look into one’s own chart/chakra. Based on the position of nine grahas at the time of birth of a person, the chakra/chart is cast. The birth time-based chart is almost “cast in stone”, fixed for life. The transitory nature of planets results in “gochar” or the chart based on the current transit’s snapshot. Dashas/antar-dashas indicate broad tendencies. It used to take full two days of calculations to come up with rashi chakra and navamsha during earlier times. Calculation intensive. Computing devices made life easier. Currently in a minute or less, one can have all sixteen (shodasha) charts. But interpretation matters, and this needs wisdom.

Wise says that the chart is only indicative and through free-will, one can change the direction and/or moderate the pace of happenings. We often come across the stories of achievers who overcame all the adversities and made it to the positions they currently are. So no need to lose hope, even if things are not looking encouraging and the chart reading is not helping. It greatly helps us to accept that we are passing through the current context as a result of our own earlier actions and through present Karma/actions, we can re-calibrate and re-cast the future happenings. As long as there is a tomorrow there is hope, as we can still try and work it out. Future is in one’s hands and it is present as the “action”. This powerful insight holds the potential of shifting the seeker from a “victim mindset” to the “warrior mindset”. Rest shall be history.