Image from Moor. Image by permission.
Basic Description: The Nine Planets consist of: Surya (the sun), Brahmanaspati (Jupiter), Ketu (Dragon's tail), Rahu (Dragon's head), Budhan (Mercury), Mangal (Mars), Chandra (the moon), Shanee (Saturn), and Shukra (Venus).
Alternate Names: Navagraha
History/Practices: The nine planets play an important role in Hindu religion. Their locations in the sky have a significant impact upon the fortune of individuals. Each of the planets is said to benefit humans in a particular way. Vedic Astrology studies the planets and their affects upon humans. Vedic astrology traditionaly uses the sun, moon, the five visible planets, and two lunar nodes to comprise the nine planets. The position of the stars and the date of one's birth are said to have a large influence on the history of one's life. To placate any undesirable constellations, often a Shanti propitiation ceremony is given. When created in temples, statues of the nine planets stand in a square. Surya, the sun-god, stands in the middle, always facing east. The other statues are situated looking in one of the four directions such that they do not view each other. Seven of the planets also give rise to the Vedic names for the days of the week.
Consort: Surya's consort is Ushas; Budhan's consort is Menu; Chandra's consort is Rohini, he also loved Tara (the consort of Brahmanaspati) and kidnapped her, it is also said that he married 27 of Daksha's daughters; Brahmanaspati's consort is Tara
Dallapiccola, Anna L. Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2002.
Moor, Edward. The Hindu Pantheon. Los Angeles: Philosophical research society, 1976.
Thomas, P. Epics, Myths and Legends of India. Bombay, India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons & Co. Private Ltd, 1961.