The Sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The Moon rises and fades at a given time. It waxes. It wanes. There are innumerable stars and planets that set and rise. The day changes to night. It is dawn. It is dusk. Season after season comes and goes. There is summer. There is Winter, Spring and Monsoon. It rains only in time. A sudden earthquake shatters a Nation. Dry spell brings calamity to the people. Floods ravage cities and villages. A man dies at a particular time. A child is born next door at the same time. Every action takes place according to time. This is the role of the Navagrahas, manifested by God, to function as the time-keepers of the Universe, its people,an individual and every living being in the Universe.
To bestow benefits to the man and correct him by Penalties-each according to his past and present actions. Human beings come into existence, by the encasing of Jivas(life-factors) into different media, bodies according to the qualifications of each. These qualifications known Samskaras are acquired by the respective Jivas, depending upon their actions in the past, in accordance with or against the ordained way of life of the Dharma-sastras, moral code prescribed by the creator. The indelible impressions left on the Jiva therefrom is called Karma. The created human beings are expected to lead a life ordained by the Smritis and srutis, (the Vedas and Dharma sastras). Deviation from the ordained path results in pain and misery, to get relief from which propititation of the planets is suggested in the scriptures. Hence the practice of Navagraha Shanti, Puja, Homam, Japa, and the like, frequently resorted to.
Each of the Navagrahas has a manifested form and effect on the humans and cosmos, and derives its potency from Sun God. In our solar system the planets have movement and occupy different positions in the zodiac (called houses) at different times of the year, when different experiences are had not only by us in our day to day lives, but even nations.
The importance given to these Navagrahas can be seen from the fact that there are temples dedicated to each one of the Grahas in Thanjavur Dist.Tamil Nadu. These temples are said to be the Navagraha Khestras to Lord Mahalingeswara, at Madhyarjunam Tiruvidaimarudur. These temples are
7. Tirunallar-Satur n
There are Navagraha shrines in every temple, for the benefit of the devotees as also for the Nation. There are also other temples whose prime deity is considered as yajamana of a particular planet like
1. Moon -Tirupathi
2. Mars- Pazhani
3. Mercury- Madurai
4. Jupiter -Tiruchendur
5. Venus- Srirangam
6. Rahu-kethu Kalahasthi
He is the God-a living God-whom everyone can see, perceive and pray. Though he is visible, he also has been presented in a variety of forms. He is the life-giver, light-giver and time-giver.
In the six cults established by Adi Sankara, Souram is one devoted to Sun God. Even in other religious, Sun worship has a place.
In the zodiac, he occupies a prominent place-the Centre. This griha is the source of life and He is therefore described as the life-giver (Pranadhata). He helps one to gain his eyesight and Suryanamaskara (worship by prostration ) will strengthen the bones, cure illness, however severe it may be, cleanses the devotee from his sins and bestows on him progeny, wealth, good-health and long-life. He is the cause for rain-fall benefiting the world. The Vedas adore him as a witness for all actions(Sakthi). Worship of this devata on Sundays is supposed to bring in manifold benefits to the worshipper.
He is the Lord of Leo in the zodiac. He stays 1 month in each Rasi and takes 365 days or 12 monts to complete a round of the 12 Rasis.
Suryanarayana Temple-Tamil Nadu
Suryanarayana Temple, popularly known as Suryanar-koil, is about 3 kms from Aduturai railway station on the main line(Southern Railway) from Madras to Thanjavur. There are also temples to Sun at Konark in Orrisa and Modhera in Gujarat.
A lovable God-A loving God. Pleasing to children as well as elders. Universally appealing to everyone whatever may be the religion of the onlooker. Sages and devotees invoke the Goddess Mother in Chandra and mediate for hours.
This girha(Moon) causes nightfall, strengthen the mind, purifies the blood and is considered as the mother who radiates nectar(Amrut).
Worship of this girha is said to be beneficial for relief from all sorrows, helps in curing mental afflictions, T.B.etc. His cool rays radiate happiness alround. He adores the head of Lord Siva.
Worshipping Chandra on Mondays is said to be very effective in getting one’s prayers answered.
In the Zodiac, he is the lord of Cancer. He stays 2 ¼ days in each Rasi, completing a round of the 12 Rasis in 27 days.
In the Zodiac, he is regarded as a God of martial character, red in evey aspect. Even the Romans held him as their Guru.
A prayer to this planet frees one from debts, poverty and illeness afflicting the skin. The devotee will get a noble lady as his consort and a son who will bring name and fame to the family. This girha bestows property and conveyance (Locomotion). Loss of eyesight can be restored by a prayer to Angaraka.
Tuesdays are intended for the worship of Angaraka, who loves the chanting of Sama Veda.
In the zodiac, He is the Lord of Mesha and Vrischika. He stays 1 ½ months in each Rasi, taking 18 months to complete the cycle.
Considered as the greatest among the wise, this Devata bestows wisdom and wealth etc. on his devotees. He removes evil thoughts from their minds. He is the chief among Gnanis (Realised souls). He is considered Vishnu Rupi, because of his beauty and resemblance.
A prayer to Him, especially on Wednesdays brings in manifold benefits like removal of all obstacles, helps one to get a progeny, possession of fertile lands etc.
In the Zodiac this devata is the Lord of Mithuna and Kanya. He stays like the Sun one month in each Rasi, completes the cycle in 12 months, more or less closely in the footsteps of the sun.
Worship of this Devata results in a cure from ailments affecting the stomach and helps one to ward off his sins, helps him in gaining strength, valour, longevity etc. He grants the boon of father-hood to the childless, good education(Vidya). He is revered as the Guru of Devas, protector of the world and is a Sreshta among the wise. Kind-hearted, he is considered the Loka Guru and dispenser of justice and can be known only by a proper study of the Vedas.
Thursdays are considered to be the best days for the worship of Jupiter.
In the zodiac, He is the Lord of Dhanus and Meena. Guru stays for one year in each. Rasi, taking 12 years to complete the cycle.
Sukra is the bestower of long life, wealth, happiness, children, property and good education. He is the Guru of Asuras. Well learned in Neeti Sastras follower of such sastras and one who dispenses justice, Sukra is considered a beneficial devata. He blesses the devotees with power to control one’s Indriyas(Sense organs) and enables the devotee to obtain fame and name. Fridays are considered to be effective for the worship of Sukra.
In the zodiac, he is the Lord of Tula. Sukra takes one year to complete the Zodiac cycle living one month in each Rasi.
This girha, also known as Manda, is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies different positions in one’s horoscope like Saade Sati (71/2 years) Ashtama Sani(Saturn in the 8th house-21/2 years) etc. A prayer to this Devata, especially on Saturdays, is said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these periods.
Presentation(Daana) of Til seed, Iron-utensil and block cloth, and the repetition of Sanischara stothram a number of times will help the devotee in warding off the effect arising out of the affliction by this planet.
Sanischara is considered equally a bestower of all benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him.
He is the Lord of Makaram and Kumbam. He is the slowest moving plane taking 21/2 years in each Rasi, completing one cycle every 30 years.
Exclusive Temples exist for Sanischara at Thirunallar in Tamil Nadu. And also at Naydongri in Maharashtra.
The Skanda Purana says that Rahu is instrumental in strengthening one’s power and converting even an enemy into a friend. The effect of snake bite is removed by his grace. The lunar and solar eclipses are attributed to Rahu and Kethu.
Rahu and Ketu stay 11/2 years in each girha.
Kethu brings prosperity to the devotee’s family, removes the effect of snakebite and illness arising out of poisonous matter entering one’s body. He grants good health, wealth, cattle and all-round prosperity.
Lunar and Solar eclipses are said to occur because of Rahu and Kethu.