Hindu Astronomy has a branch called Navagrahas which plays a major part in the Hindu astronomical sphere. It is said that the Hindu astronomy’s origin dates back to the time of Vedas. It is concerned with the nine planets of the milky way galaxy, its placement and their influence on the individual and on the world. According to the Hindu astrology, it is said, that the position of the planets when a person is born determines his potential in life.
These nine planets and their influence collectively are called Navagrahas. Hindus worship these planets to overcome any hindrance, obstacle or bad luck that they face in their life. Alongside being present in the universe, these nine plates are found in all the temples in the form of idols and faithful believers of these planets pray to the Navagrahas before they pray to any other deity.
Out of these nine planets in the Navagrahas, seven of them are named after the planets of the Solar System and the remaining two are demons who by tricks managed their way into this group of nine holy, influential planets. These demons are- Rahu and Ketu. Now, these demons have taken a very strong position and their movements have a great influence on people’s lives. Depending upon Rahu and Ketu’s location in the planetary system, they are deemed either auspicious or inauspicious to humans or to the world. These Navagrahas are found in every temple and there are some temples which are solely dedicated to these planet-gods. If you want to tour these temples, let Sumeru Holidays plan it for you with their Navagraha Yatra with Swami Pranavanand Ji.
We know these Navagraha’s exists but what made them come into being?
Legends say, that once Sage Kalava was suffering from some serious ailment’s dues to his disease, leprosy, and prayed to the Navagrahas for healing. Listening to his prayers, all the nine celestial planets were pleased and cured the sage of his suffering. This act angered the God of Creation, Lord Brahma, as he felt that the Navagrahas are not that strong and do not have the power to provide boon and relief to human beings. Lord Brahma due to his anger, spelt a cursed that the nine planets would suffer from leprosy and were sent to earth in the white wildflower jungle, Vellurukku Vanam.
To that, the Navagrahas prayed to Lord Shiva to help them relieve them from Lord Brahma’s curse. To their prayers, Lord Shiva said that Vellurukku Vanam belonged to them and that the planets now will have to grace the devotees who worship them from that place now. Due to this, each temple of these nine celestial bodies are situated in different villages and are considered the abode of the Navagrahas. Most of the temples out of the group is dedicated to Lord Shiva as their primary deity.
Effects of Navagrahas – Vedic Astrology
In Hindu Astrology, Navagrahas influences an individual’s achievements, happiness, and all-round flourishing. The bad and good, positive and negative impacts of every one of these nine planets are consequences of elements like the particular area of the planets on the birth diagram. Planets having Sattva nature are Jupiter, Sun and Moon. Planets bearing rajas are Venus and Mercury while planets with Tamas nature are Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu.
These nine planets in hindu astrology are treated as divinities with explicit forces, nature and trademark characteristics relying upon what every one of these offers – constructive or pessimistic to individuals.
Elements of Navagraha
|Elements – Tatva||Navagraha|
|Air||Saturn and Rahu|
|Fire||Sun, mars ketu|
|Water||Moon and Venus|
Navagraha Nature: Benefic / Malefic
|Benefic / Malefic||Navagraha|
|General Benefic||Moon and mercury|
|Greater malefic||Saturn and Rahu|
|Lesser malefic||Mars and Ketu|
List of Navagraha Temples
There is a group of Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu near Kumbakonam that was built during the reign of the Chola dynasty. Let’s know them in detail.
- Surya Navagrahastalam — Sooriyanar Kovil
- Chandra Navagrahastalam — Kailasanathar Temple, Thingaloor
- Angaarakan Navagrahastalam — Vaitheeswaran Kovil
- Budha Navagrahastalam — Thiruvenkadu
- Guru Navagrahastalam — Alangudi
- Sukra Navagrahastalam — Agniswarar Temple, Kanjanur
- Shani Navagrahastalam — Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple
- Raahu Navagrahastalam — Sri Naganathaswamy Temple, Thirunageswaram
- Ketu Navagrahastalam — Keezhperumpallam Temple
1. Suriyanar Koil
This ancient Hindu temple was built during 1100 A.D. by Chola king Kulothunga I and is dedicated to Lord Suriyan or the Sun god. The architecture of this temple is in Dravidian style and has 5-tiered rajagopuram, a gateway tower and a granite wall that encloses all the shrines of the temple. The Navagraha Yatra by Sumeru Holidays includes a visit to Suriyanar Koil Temple.
2. Thingalur Kailasanthar Temple
This temple is located in the Thingalur region which is around 18 km. from Kumbakonam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Chandra, the Moon God. This temple also has a striking feature, Shiva Sthalam and Lord Kailasanthar (Shiva) and his consort Goddess Periyanakiamman are the primary deities worshipped here. It is believed that by offering prayers here, those who have Chandra Dosha can get relief from their sufferings.
3. Vaitheeswaran Koil
This temple is also synonymous to Pullirukkuvelur Temple and is dedicated to the planet Mars or the Angaraka. Like the other two temples mentioned, the main deity here is Lord Shiva as Vaidyanathaswamy and Goddess Parvati as Thaiyalnaayaki. The temple of Mars also has a bronze image of Angaraka or Mangal (Planet Mars) which is worshipped with great devotion.
4. Swetharanyeswarar Temple
This is the 4th Navagraha temple in Tamil Nadu and is the house of Lord Budhan or planet Mercury. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva as Swetharanyeswarar and Goddess Parvati as Brahma Vidya Nayaki Ambal. The temple has a striking feature, the celebration of the most special occasions, the chariot festival.
5. Apatsahayesvarar Temple
The temple is also known as the Guru Sthalam or Tiru Irum Poolai and is dedicated to lord Brihaspati, or the planet Jupiter/ Guru. Lord Shiva resides here in the form of Aranyeswara or Apatsahayesvarar and is accompanied by his consort, Umai Ammai.
6. Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Sukran or planet Venus. It is said that Lord Sukran resolves all the problems related to love, marriage, comforts and beauty. This temple is highly worshipped by men for the wellbeing of their wives. Beautiful inscriptions from Chola period and stone images of Sivakami and Natarajar are placed here.
7. Darbaranyeswarar Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shani or planet Saturn and is located in Pondicherry. Lord Shani or Saniswarar is also worshipped here and is treated as the door keeper of the temple.
8. Sri Naganathaswamy Temple
This Navagraha temple is associated with Lord Rahu. In the temple, Lord Naganathaswamy (Lord Shiva) and his consort Giri Gujambika are the main deities of worship. One unique feature of this temple is that Lord Rahu is seen with a human face, while in other temples, he is worshipped with a serpent face. You can see this idol in the Navagraha Yatra by Sumeru Holidays.
9. Naganatha Swamy Temple
This temple is located in the Keezhperumpalam village in Tamil Nadu and is dedicated to lord Ketu which is known as the shadow planet, and therefore, is also known as Ketu Sthalam. The main idol of worship is Naganatha Swamy (Lord Shiva). In this temple, Lord Ketu is seen with the head of a snake and body of an asura.
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