Vedic AstrologyNature and Characteristics of the Navagraha Planets

February 19, 2020by Divinity World0

Right at the outset, what needs to be clarified is, though the terms Graha and Planets are normally used interchangeably and are considered to be one and the same, they are in fact completely different. Planets are the celestial bodies in the solar system while Grahas represents the entity that has the power to – seize, or capture, or grab… In Vedic Astrology, the Grahas, therefore, go way beyond what the term Planet represents and describes the ability of celestial bodies to either influence or predict occurrences in an individual’s life or world events.

We all know that our Solar system comprises of 9 planets, which is the basis followed by Western Astrology as well. Similarly, even Vedic Astrology has 9 planets, they are not the same as the ones as per Astronomy that circle the Sun. In fact, to be precise they are not considered as Planets but Grahas. Let’s briefly discuss the differences between Western and Vedic systems:

  • The solar system considers the Sun to be a Star and the Moon to be a Satellite and the 9 planets revolving around the Sun in elliptical orbits
  • In Western Astrology, the 9 planets comprise of:
    • Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
  • In Vedic Astrology, there are 7 Full Stature Planets and 2 Shadow Planets, known as Grahas:
    • These include the Sun and the Moon and are accompanied by Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn
    • Rahu and Ketu, are the north and the south lunar nodes or poles of the Moon, respectively, and do not possess real physical existence
    • They are shadow planets which do not traverse the paths travelled by Moon and other planets
    • While rising, the point where Moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic becomes Rahu
    • In the reverse motion, the point where Moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic becomes Ketu
    • In spite of lacking real physical existence, Rahu and Ketu have great significance in the science of astrology and destiny

Summarized below are key details around the inherent nature and the characteristics of each of the Grahas:

PlanetNumberDayGenderElementInherent Nature
Sun1SundayMaleFire / AgniMalefic
Moon2MondayFemaleWater / JaalBenefic
(Waxing Moon of Sukla Paksh)
(Waning Moon of Krishna Paksh)
Mars9TuesdayMaleFire / AgniMalefic
Mercury5WednesdayNeuterEarth / BhooBenefic
Jupiter3ThursdayMaleEther / AakaasaBenefic
Venus6FridayFemaleWater / JaalBenefic
Saturn8SaturdayNeuterAir / VaayuMalefic
Rahu4SaturdayFemaleAir / VaayuMalefic
Ketu7TuesdayNeuterFire / AgniMalefic


PlanetGuna TypeGuna MeaningPlanetary CabinetGoverns
SunSattwikPurity and truthfulness in one’s thoughts and actionKingSoul
MoonSattwikPurity and truthfulness in one’s thoughts and actionQueenMind
MarsTaamasikDark, mean and depraved spirit in thoughts and actionsCommander in ChiefStrength and Courage
MercuryRaajasikPassion, energy and impurity in thoughts and actionsCrown PrinceSpeech
JupiterSattwikPurity and truthfulness in one’s thoughts and actionChief Advisor / GuruKnowledge and Happiness
VenusRaajasikPassion, energy and impurity in thoughts and actionsMinisterPassion and Desire
SaturnTaamasikDark, mean and depraved spirit in thoughts and actionsServantGrief
RahuTaamasikDark, mean and depraved spirit in thoughts and actionsArmy SoldiersWorldly Illusions
KetuTaamasikDark, mean and depraved spirit in thoughts and actionsArmy SoldiersMoksha or Final Liberation


PlanetKey Characteristics
SunSun is the karaka planet of soul. It has red or saffron orange colour. Its temperament is stable, assertive, domineering, self-centered. It has anger but it is momentary. Its place is in temples and represents the season of summer. The direction of Sun is East. The element of Sun is gold and its gem is Ruby or Red Garnet.
MoonMoon is the karaka of mind, and its colour is pale white or cream. Its temperament is variable, empathetic, humane. It is a planet related to water and thus, its season is monsoon. Its direction is North-West. Lunar planet has moral properties. It controls the sense of taste. Silver is the element of Moon. White Pearl is the prescribed gemstone.
MarsMars is the karaka of strength and courage power, achievement and anger. Its colour is yellowish red. Its temperament is aggressive, spontaneous, purposeful. It represents first place, summer season, south direction, vengeance, bitter taste. Its element is bronze. The gems prescribed are Red Coral and Pink Coral.
MercuryMercury is the karaka of voice. Mercury represents green colour. Its temperament is moving, changing, multi-faceted. The season of Mercury is autumn. North is the direction of this planet. It is administrative in nature. The sense of smell is given to mercury. The element of mercury is Kansya. The gemstone is Green Emerald.
JupiterJupiter is the karaka of education. A person can not get an education without its support. Its temperament is kind-hearted, fair, generous. Yellow or yellowish-orange is the colour of Jupiter. It represents autumn season and North-East direction. It represents the sense of speech. The compatible gemstone for Jupiter is Yellow Sapphire and Yellow Topaz.
VenusVenus is the karaka of lust and its colour is pure white. Its temperament is sociable, benevolent, seductive. Bedroom is its place and South -East is its direction. It is a planet of administrative nature and represents sour taste. Silver is the element. While the primary gemstone is Diamond, White Zircon and Quartz are also recommended.
SaturnSaturn planet gives a feeling of sadness and is the karaka of Grief. Blue/Black are the colours of Saturn. Its temperament is bleak, cold, dictatorial, surly and represents bad places. Winter is the season of Saturn and west is the direction. It is vengeful in nature. It is the karaka of sensory organs. Iron is the element of Saturn. The compatible gemstone is Blue Sapphire which must be worn with caution due to the fiery nature of this planet.
RahuThe Dragon Head and is separate from the senses causing delusions and starves for the body. Its temperament is aggressive, eccentric, impulsive. Rahu drives temptation to indulge in worldly luxuries and pleasures through greed, cheating and excessive craving for fulfilment of materialistic desires. South West is the direction of this planet. Its colour is Dark Blue. Gomed (Hessonite Garnet) is the recommended gemstone for this planet.
KetuThe Dragon Tail is akin to a robot or zombie, starving for completeness and enlightenment as it is disjointed from the head and brain. Its temperament is aggressive, eccentric, impulsive. Ketu shows us the path to liberation from worldly desires and attaining the higher purpose in life of spiritual enlightenment. South West is the direction of this planet. Its colour is Grey and the recommended gemstone is Cat’s Eye.

We at Divinity World are happy to help you gain an even deeper understanding of the prominent planets in your chart and the influence they have in your life. Please reach out to Your Personal Guide for a Detailed Reading.

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