Grah Characters and Description

1. Maitreya: “O Mahārishi, you have affectionately explained about the incarnations of Grahas. Now kindly detail their characters and dispositions.

2-3. Paraśar: “O Brahmin, listen to the account of placement of the heavenly bodies. Out of the many luminous bodies sighted in the skies some are stars, yet some are Grahas. Those, that have no movements, are the Nakshatras (asterisms).

4-6. Those are called ‘Grahas’, that move through the Nakshatras (or stellar mansions) in the zodiac. The said zodiac comprises of 27 Nakshatras commencing from Ashvini. The same area is divided in 12 parts equal to 12 ‘Rāśis’ commencing from Mesh. The names of the Grahas commence from Sūrya. The Rāśi rising is known, as ‘Lagn’. Based on Lagn and the Grahas, joining and departing from each other, the native’s good and bad effects are deducted.

Addition from Santhanam till Sloka 7. The names of the 27 Nakshatras are Ashvini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigasira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Aslesha, Magha, Purvaphalguni, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishaka, Anuradha, Jyeshtha, Mula, Purvashadh, Uttarashadh, Shravana, Dhanishtha, Satabhisha, Purvabhadra, Uttarabhadra, Revati.

Lagn is a very important point in the horoscope. It is the Rāśi, that rises in the East, on the latitude of birth. The apparent rising of a Rāśi is due to the rotation of the earth on its own axis at a rate of motion, causing every degree of the zodiac seemingly ascend on the eastern horizon.

Approximately, two hours are required for a Rāśi to pass via the horizon, thereby every degree taking four minutes to ascend. This duration, however, is actually dependent on the concerned latitude.

Actually Sūrya has no motion. His motion is an apparent one, as viewed from the rotating earth. Other Grahas, including the nodes, have varied rates of motion. The average daily motions of the Grahas, which are not, however standard, are, as follows: Sūrya 1, Candr 13-15, Mangal 30-45’, Budh 65-100’, Śukr 62-82’, Guru 5-15’, Śani 2’, Rahu/Ketu 3’.

With such different motions, a Grah forms various Drishtis with others. These Drishtis through longitudinal distances have a great deal of utility in Jyotish. This is what Maharishi Parashar suggests to be considered.

7. Details (of astronomical nature) of stars have to be understood by general rules, while I narrate to you about the effects of Grahas and Rāśis.

8-9. The positions of the Grahas for a given time be taken, as per Drikganit. And with the help of Rāśi durations, applicable to the respective places, Lagn at birth should be known. Now, I tell you about the castes, descriptions and dispositions of the Grahas.

10. Names of Grahas. The names of the nine Grahas, respectively, are Sūrya, Candr, Mangal, Budh, Guru, Śukr, Śani, Rahu and Ketu.

11. Benefics and Malefics. Among these, Sūrya, Śani, Mangal, decreasing Candr, Rahu and Ketu (the ascending and the descending nodes of Candr) are malefics, while the rest are benefics. Budh, however, is a malefic, if he joins a malefic.

Addition from Santhanam till Sloka 12-13. When Candr is ahead of Sūrya, but within 120, she has medium strength. Between 120 to 240 she is very auspicious,( see ‘Atishubhapred’). From 240 to 0 she is bereft of strength. This is Yavanas’ view, vide P. 70 of my English Translation of Saravali. This view is, however, related to Candr’s strength, or otherwise, while waning Candr (Krishna Paksh, dark half) is a malefic and waxing Candr (Shukla Paksh, bright half) is a benefic. Should Candr be Yuti with a benefic, or receiving a Drishti from a benefic, she turns a benefic, even if in a waning state. As regards Budh, we have clear instructions from Maharishi Parashar, that he becomes a malefic, if he joins a malefic. If waning Candr and Budh are together, both are benefics.

12-13. Grah governances. Sūrya is the soul of all. Candr is the mind. Mangal is one’s strength. Budh is speech-giver, while Guru confers Knowledge and happiness. Śukr governs semen (potency), while Śani denotes grief.

14-15. Grah cabinet. Of royal status are Sūrya and Candr, while Mangal is the Army chief. Prince-apparent is Budh. The ministerial Grahas are Guru and Śukr. Śani is a servant. Rahu and Ketu form the Grah Army.

16-17. Complexions of Grahas. Sūrya is blood-red. Candr is tawny. Mangal, who is not very tall is blood-red, while Budh’s hue is akin to that of green grass. Tawny, variegated and dark are Guru, Śukr and Śani in their order.

18. Deities of Grahas. Fire (Agni) (?), Water (Varuna), Subrahmanya (Lord Shiva’s son, following Ganesh), Maha Vishnu, Indra, Shachi Devi (the consort of Lord Indra) and Brahma (?) are the presiding deities of the 7 Grahas in their order.

19. Gender of the Grahas. Budh and Śani are neuters. Candr and Śukr are females, while Sūrya, Mangal and Guru are males.

20. Primordial compounds. The Panchabhutas, space, air, fire, water and earth, are, respectively, governed by Guru, Śani, Mangal, Śukr and Budh.

21. Castes of Grahas. Guru and Śukr are Brahmins. Sūrya is a royal Grah, while Candr and Budh belong to commercial community. Śani rules the Sudras (4th caste).

22. Sattvic Grahas are the luminaries and Guru, Śukr and Budh are Rajasik, while Mangal and Śani are Tamasic.

23. Description of Sūrya. Sūrya’s eyes are honey-coloured. He has a square body. He is of clean habits, bilious, intelligent and has limited hair (on his head).

24. Description of Candr. Candr is very windy and phlegmatic. She is learned and has a round body. She has auspicious looks and sweet speech, is fickle-minded and very lustful.

25. Description of Mangal. Mangal has blood-red eyes, is fickle-minded, liberal, bilious, given to anger and has thin waist and thin physique.

26. Description of Budh. Budh is endowed with an attractive physique and the capacity to use words with many meanings. He is fond of jokes. He has a mix of all the three humours.

27. Description of Guru. Guru has a big body, tawny hair and tawny eyes, is phlegmatic, intelligent and learned in Shastras.

28. Description of Śukr. Śukr is charming, has a splendourous physique, is excellent, or great in disposition, has charming eyes, is a poet, is phlegmatic and windy and has curly hair.

29. Description of Śani. Śani has an emaciated and long physique, has tawny eyes, is windy in temperament, has big teeth, is indolent and lame and has coarse hair.

30. Description of Rahu and Ketu. Rahu has smoky appearance with a blue mix physique. He resides in forests and is horrible. He is windy in temperament and is intelligent. Ketu is akin to Rahu.

31. Primary ingredients (or Sapth Dhatus). Bones, blood, marrow, skin, fat, semen and muscles are, respectively, denoted by the Grahas: Sūrya, Candr, Mangal, Budh, Guru, Śukr and Śani.

32. Abodes of the Grahas. Temple, watery place, place of fire, sport-ground, treasure-house, bed-room and filthy ground: these are, respectively, the abodes for the seven Grahas from Sūrya onward.

33. Grah periods. Ayan, Muhurta, a day (consisting day and night), Ritu, month, fortnight and year: these are the periods allotted to the Grahas from Sūrya to Śani.

34. Tastes of the Grahas. Pungent, saline, bitter, mixed, sweet, acidulous and astringent are, respectively, tastes lorded by Sūrya, Candr, Mangal, Budh, Guru, Śukr and Śani.

35-38. Strengths of Grahas. Strong in the East are Budh and Guru. Sūrya and Mangal are so in the South, while Śani is the only Grah, that derives strength in the West. Candr and Śukr are endowed with vigour, when in the North. Again, strong during night are Candr, Mangal and Śani, while Budh is strong during day and night. The rest (i.e. Guru, Sūrya and Śukr) are strong only in daytime. During the dark half malefics are strong. Benefics acquire strength in the bright half of the month. Malefics and benefics are, respectively, strong in Dakshinayan and Uttarayan. The Lords of the year, month, day and Hora (hour of Grah) are stronger than the other in ascending order. Again, stronger than the other in the ascending are Śani, Mangal, Budh, Guru, Śukr, Candr and Sūrya.

39-40. Related to trees. Sūrya rules strong trees (i.e. trees with stout trunks), Śani useless trees, Candr milky trees (and rubber yielding plants), Mangal bitter ones (like lemon plants), Śukr floral plants, Guru fruitful ones and Budh fruitless ones.

41-44. Other matters. Rahu rules the outcaste, while Ketu governs mixed caste. Śani and the nodes indicate ant-hills. Rahu denotes multi-coloured clothes and Ketu rags. Lead and blue gem belong to Rahu and Ketu. Sūrya, Candr, Mangal, Budh, Guru, Śukr and Śani in their order govern red silken, white silken, red, black silken, saffron, silken and multi-coloured robes.

45-46. Seasons of Grahas. Vasanta, Greeshma, Varsh, Sarad, Hemanta and Sisir are the six Ritus (or seasons), respectively, governed by Śukr, Mangal, Candr, Budh, Guru and Śani. Rahu and Ketu denote 8 months and 3 months, respectively.

47. Dhatu, Mool and Jiva Divisions. Dhatu Grahas are Rahu, Mangal, Śani and Candr, while Sūrya and Śukr are Mula Grahas. Budh, Guru and Ketu rule Jivas.

48. Age. Out of all the Grahas Śani is the eldest. He bestows maximum number of years in Naisargik Dasha.

49-50. Exaltation and Debilitation. For the seven Grahas, from Sūrya on, the exaltation Rāśis are, respectively, Mesh, Vrishabh, Makar, Kanya, Kark, Meen and Tula. The deepest exaltation degrees are, respectively, 10, 3, 28, 15, 5, 27 and 20 in those Rāśis. And in the seventh Rāśi from the said exaltation Rāśi each Grah has its own debilitation. The same degrees of deep exaltation apply to deep fall.

51-54. Additional Dignities. In Simh the first 20 degrees are Sūrya’s Mooltrikon, while the rest is his own Bhava. After the first 3 degrees of exaltation portion in Vrishabh, for Candr, the rest is her Mooltrikon. Mangal has the first 12 degrees in Mesh, as Mooltrikon with the rest therein becoming simply his own Bhava. For Budh, in Kanya the first 15 degrees are exaltation zone, the next 5 degrees Mooltrikon and the last 10 degrees are own Bhava. The first one third of Dhanu is the Mooltrikon of Guru, while the remaining part thereof is his own Bhava. Śukr divides Tula into two halves keeping the first, as Mooltrikon and the second, as own Bhava. Śani’s arrangements are same in Kumbh, as Sūrya has in Simh.

55. Natural Relationships. Note the Rāśis, which are the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 12th from the Mooltrikon of a Grah. The Grahas ruling such Rāśis are its friends, apart from the Lord of its exaltation Rāśi. Lords other than these are its enemies. If a Grah becomes its friend as well, as its enemy (on account of the said two computations), then it is neutral, or equal.

56. Temporary Relationships. The Grah, posited in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, or the 12th from another, becomes a mutual friend. There is enmity otherwise. (This applies to a given Janm Kundali)

57-58. Compound Relationship. Should two Grahas be naturally and temporarily friendly, they become extremely friendly. Friendship on one count and neutrality on another count make them friendly. Enmity on one count combined with affinity on the other turns into equality. Enmity and neutralship cause only enmity. Should there be enmity in both manners, extreme enmity is obtained. The Jyotishi should consider these and declare horoscopic effects accordingly.

59-60. Ratio of Effects. A Grah in exaltation gives fully good effects, while in Mooltrikon it is bereft of its auspicious effects by one fourth. It is half beneficial in its own Bhava. Its beneficence is one fourth in a friendly Rāśi. In an equal’s Rāśi one eighth of auspicious disposition is useful. The good effects are nil in debilitation, or enemy’s camp. Inauspicious effects are quite reverse with reference to what is stated.

61-64. Non-luminous UpaGrahas (Sub-Grahas). Add 4 Rāśis 13 degrees and 20 minutes of arc to Sūrya’s longitude at a given moment to get the exact position of the all inauspicious Dhoom. Reduce Dhoom from 12 Rāśis to arrive at Vyatipat. Vyatipat is also inauspicious. Add six Rāśis to Vyatipat to know the position of Parivesh. He is extremely inauspicious. Deduct Parivesh from 12 Rāśis to arrive at the position of Chap (Indra Dhanus), who is also inauspicious. Add 16 degrees 40 minutes to Chap, which will give Ketu (UpaKetu), who is a malefic. By adding a Rāśi to UpaKetu, you get the original longitude of Sūrya. These are the Grahas, devoid of splendour, which are malefics by nature and cause affliction.

65. Effects of Sub-Grahas. If one of these afflicts Sūrya, the native’s dynasty will decline, while Candr and Lagn, respectively, associated with one of these, will destroy the longevity and wisdom. So declared Lord Brahma, the Lotus-Born.

66-69. Calculations of Gulik etc. The portions of Sūrya etc. up to Śani denote the periods of Gulik and others. Divide the day duration (of any week day) into eight equal parts. The eighth portion is Lord-less. The seven portions are distributed to the seven Grahas commencing from the Lord of the week day. Whichever portion is ruled by Śani, will be the portion of Gulik. Similarly make the night duration into eight equal parts and distribute these, commencing from the Lord of the 5th (by) week. Here again, the eighth portion is Lord-less, while Śani’s portion is Gulik. Sūrya’s portion is Kaal, Mangal’s portion is Mrityu, Guru’s portion is Yamaghantak and Budh’s portion is Ardhaprahar. These durations differently apply to different places (commensurate with variable day and night durations).

70. Gulik’s Position. The degree, ascending at the time of start of Gulik’s portion (as above), will be the longitude of Gulik at a given place. Based on this longitude only, Gulik’s effects for a particular nativity be estimated.

71-74. Calculation of Pranapad. Convert the given time into Vighatis and divide the same by 15. The resultant Rāśi, degrees etc. be added to Sūrya, if he is in a Movable Rāśi, which will yield Pranapad. If Sūrya is in a Fixed Rāśi, add 240 degrees additionally and, if in a Dual Rāśi, add 120 degrees in furtherance to get Pranapad. The birth will be auspicious, if Pranapad falls in the 2nd, 5th, 9th, 4th, 10th, or 11th from the natal Lagn. In other Bhavas Pranapad indicates an inauspicious birth.

Notes. Ardhaprahar, Yamaghantak, Mrityu, Kaal and Gulik are the 5 Kaal Velas, suggested by Maharishi Parashar. The day duration, according to altitude, is divided into eight equal parts. The eighth portion is unlorded. The first portion is allotted to the weekday Lord. Other portions follow in the order of weekday Lords. We consider 5 portions of Grahas, ignoring that of Candr and Śukr. The portions of Sūrya, Mangal, Budh, Guru and Śani are, respectively, called Kaal, Mrityu, Ardhaprahar, Yamaghantak and Gulik.

In the case of night the durations, or 1/8th parts are allotted in a different order. The first portion goes to the Grah, ruling the 5th weekday Lord, counted from the day in question. The others follow in the usual order. Here again, the 8th part is Lord-less. The portions of Grahas from Kaal to Gulik are the same in nomenclature in the night also.

Keeranuru NataRaja of Jatakalankaram (Tamil version) gives Rāśis of dignities for these UpaGrahas and Gulik etc. (UpaGrah & Gulik etc.: Exaltation, Debilitation, Swakshetra (own Rāśi)) Dhoom: Simh, Kumbh, Makar; Vyatipat: Vrischik, Vrishabh, Mithun; Parivesh: Mithun, Dhanu, Dhanu; Indrachap: Dhanu, Mithun, Kark; UpaKetu: Kumbh, Simh, Kark; Gulik: -, -, Kumbh; Yamaghantak: -, -, Dhanu; Ardhaprahar: -, -, Mithun; Kaal: -, -, Makar; Mrityu: -, -, Vrischik.

From Sūrya to Śani no one is exalted in the above-mentioned exaltation Rāśis, nor debilitated in the above-mentioned debilitation Rāśis.

Out of the 5 Kaal Velas, viz. Gulik etc., four except Kaal (related to Sūrya) have their own Rāśi system in the respective Rāśis, ruled by their fathers. Gulik, son of Śani, has Kumbh, as his own Bhava. Guru’s son, Yamaghantak, has it in Dhanu. Ardhaprahar, Budh’s son, is in own Rāśi, if in Mithun. Mrityu, son of Mangal, has Vrischik, as own Bhava. It is not known, why Kaal, a son of Sūrya shifted to Makar, a Rāśi of his brother (Śani), leaving his father’s Simh. Obviously, Śani has given his Mooltrikon to his son Gulik, while he gave Makar (a secondary Rāśi) to his ‘brother’ Kaal.

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