Characteristics of 9 Planets in Vedic Astrology

Rasis represent situations that develop in one’s life and influences that enter one’s life. Planets in a chart represent human beings that play a role in one’s life.

This world contains two essences – jeevaamsa (living essence) and paramaatmaamsa (absolute and supreme essence). Planets are the manifestations of different aspects of these essences. Vishnu’s incarnations happened with these essences taken from various planets.

MarsNarsimha (half-man, half-lion)
JupiterVamana (learned dwarf)
SaturnKoorma (tortoise)
RahuVarah (boar)
KetuMatsya (Fish)

All these incarnations came into being with a significant percentage of paramaatmaamsa (supreme essence) than jeevaatmaamsa (living essence). Rama, Krishna, Narasimha and Varaha avataras had only paramaatmaamsa.

Other living beings are born with a significant percentage of jeevaamsa and a little of paramaatmaamsa from the planets.

(1) Jupiter and Venus are natural benefics (saumya grahas or subha grahas ). Mercury becomes a natural benefic when he is alone or with more natural benefics. Waxing Moon of Sukla paksha is a natural benefic.
(2) Sun, Mars, Rahu and Ketu are natural malefics (kroora grahas ). Mercury becomes a natural malefic when he is joined by more natural malefics.
Waning Moon of Krishna paksha is a natural malefic.

Paapa Grahas – Rahu, Ketu, Saturn and Mars

This information is important because the results given by planets are based on their inherent nature.

Decreasing Moon and increasing Moon due to the Motion of Moon with respect to the position of the Sun. When Moon is ahead of Sun till it reaches 180° apart, the Moon is increasing (called ‘Poornima Ka Chand’ or Shukla Paksha Moon or Waxing Moon).

Beyond 180° to 0° (when it joins Sun) is the motion of Moon approaching Sun is called decreasing Moon(called Krishna Paksha Moon or (Sheen Chandra) or ‘Amavasya Ka Chand’ or waning Moon).

0° to 120° medium, 120° to 240° auspicious (strong) and from 240° to 0° she (the Moon)is bereft of strength.

Moon is said to be full from the 10th day of the bright half of the lunar month to the 5th day of the dark half of the same month. From the 10th day of the dark half of the lunar month to the 5th day of the bright half of the lunar month, Moon is said to be week.

According to Sage Parashar Mercury becomes malefic if he joins a malefic. lf Waning Moon and Mercury are together, both are malefic.

According to Sages Mantreshwara, Kalyan Varma, Mahrishi Vashistha and Parashara, the Sun is not malefic (paapgraha) but a Krura graha (cruel, unkind, rigid). Being the soul of universe and Karaka for father can never be same like other malefics. He may be strict.

MercurySpeech (Vaaksidhhi)
JupiterWisdom, Knowledge and Happiness
VenusSemen (potency)
RahuAddiction (mada)

If Moon is strong in a horoscope, mind will be strong; if Sun is strong, soul will be strong. But if Saturn is strong, there will be less grief.

Sun shows blood-red color. Moon shows White color. Mars shows blood-red color. Mercury shows grass green color. Jupiter shows Yellow color (like molten Gold). Venus is variegated (multiple with brightness). Saturn shows black color, Rahu shows blue (some says black) color. Ketu shows color with Dark Red.

These colors can be useful, for example, when predicting the color of one’s car. For now, readers should just memorize these characteristics.

Sun and Moon are kings (Royal Status). Mars is the leader (army chief). Mercury is the prince.
Jupiter and Venus are the ministers. Saturn is the servant. Rahu and Ketu form the army.

Ruling deities of various planets are as given below: Agni (fire god) for Sun, Varuna (rain god) for Moon, Subrahmanya (army chief of gods) for Mars, Maha Vishnu (supreme sustaining force) for Mercury, Indra (ruler of gods) for Jupiter, Sachi Devi (Indra’s wife) for Venus, Brahma (Creator) for Saturn.

Sun, Mars, JupiterMale
Moon, VenusFemale

This information can be used for predicting the sex of children based on one’s chart. For example, if the house ruling the first child is influenced by Jupiter, Mars and Mercury, we may predict a son. If it is influenced by Moon and Mercury, we may predict a daughter.

Agni tattva (fiery element)Mars, Sun
Bhoo tattva (earthy element)Mercury
Vaayu tattva (airy element)Saturn
Aakaasa tattva (ethery element)Jupiter
Jala tattva (watery element)Venus, Moon

These rulerships throw light on the basic nature of planets. Being a fiery planet, Mars governs leadership, enterprise etc. Being an earthy planet, Mercury governs memory, logical abilities etc. Being an airy planet, Saturn governs wandering and free spirit.

Being a watery planet, Venus governs imaginative and creative work. Being an ethery planet, Jupiter governs wisdom, intelligence and perceiving knowledge.

Jupiter and VenusBrahmanas (learned)
Sun and MarsKshatriyas (warriors)
Moon and MercuryVaisyas (traders)
SaturnSudra (worker)

Learning and intelligence is the forte of the learned class. Bravery is the forte of the warrior class. Getting along with others well is the forte of the trader class. Hard work is the forte of the working class. In this manner, we should understand varnas to show one’s basic nature rather than the caste of one’s family.

It should be noted that Moon, who was earlier classified in the planetary cabinet as a king, is said here to be of Vaisya varna. Sun is a king who is also a warrior. He is a brave king, who asserts himself. But Moon is a king who gets along well with everyone.

Sun, Moon and JupiterSaattwik
Mercury and VenusRaajasik
Mars and SaturnTaamasik

Saatwik planets produce mildness, love of truth, charitable, righteous, god-fearing and loving and fond of helping their fellow creatures.

Raajsik planets make menof taste, loving, romantic, well informed in the different branches of knowledge, fond of women, courageous in battle and luxurious.

Taamsik planets are cheats, tale bearers, quarrelsome, stubborn, lazy, cruel, vindictive, fond of sleep, mean pleasures, and worthless women.

NOTE: There is a misconception today that sattwa guna means patience and not hurting others. An aggressive response to an offender is often thought to be raajasik.However, sattwa simply means “the state of being true”. Pleasing others with artificial goodness is not sattwa guna. Punishing a person for his mistakes is not necessarily rajo guna. If there is some passion and impurity in one’s energetic response, then it shows rajo guna. But, if a warrior fights a sinning person with no passion or ego, it can still be a saattvic act. Lord Sri Rama and Sun are examples for this. Sun is a king of the warrior class and yet he is saattwik. Lord Rama, who was born with his amsa, is a saattwik person despite killing Ravana and other demons.

Sattva guna simply means purity and truthfulness in one’s thoughts and action. Rajo guna shows some passion, energy and impurity in thoughts and actions. Tamo guna shows a dark, mean and depraved spirit in thoughts and actions.

SunPlace of Worship like Temple, Mosque, Church etc.
MoonWatery Place like tanks. wells and water reservoirs, Bathroom
MarsPlace of Fire like Kitchen, armory and weaponry
MercurySports Ground and Place of entertainment
JupiterTreasure House – places where money and jewellery are kept like Bank
VenusDrawing Room, Bedroom, place of sexual intercourse
SaturnHospitals and Health Clinic, Filthy and dirty area
Rahu & KetuPlaces where serpents and poisonous reptiles reside

This description should give one an idea of the nature of planets.

Sapta dhaatus or 7 matters make up human body.

MarsBone Marrow
VenusSemen (materials related to the reproductive system)
SaturnMuscles, Nerves

If Sun is afflicted, it can show some problems related to bones. Weakness of Moon may give blood related problems. And so on.

Sun rules an ayana. Moon rules a minute. Mars rules a week. Mercury rules a ritu. Jupiter rules a month. Venus rules a fortnight. Saturn rules a year.
These periods are very useful in prasna or horary astrology.

There are 2 ayanas in a year. During Sun’s transit from Cp to Ge, we have Uttara (north) ayana. During Sun’s transit from Cn to Sg, we have Dakshina (south) ayana.

Ritu roughly means a “season”. There are 6 ritus in a year. They are – vasanta (spring), greeshma (summer), varsha (rain), hemanta (dew), seeta (winter), sisira (fall). Each ritu consists of 2 months.

Sun governs the hot and pungent taste (e.g. onion, ginger, pepper). Moon governs the saline taste (e.g. sea salt, rock salt). Mars governs the bitter taste (e.g. karela/bitter melon, dandelion root, rhubarb root, neem leaves). Mercury governs a mixed taste (all taste). Jupiter governs sweetness (e.g. sugar, dates). Venus governs the sour taste (e.g. lemon, tamarind). Saturn governs the astringent taste (e.g. plantain, pomegranate).

The 2nd house shows one’s preference in food. The planets influencing it may decide one’s favorite taste. In addition, one should avoid the tastes of the planets who are likely bring disease. Suppose one is running a dasa or antardasa of a sign containing Moon as per Shoola dasa (a dasa that shows suffering). Then some suffering related to Moon is possible. Moon can give problems related to blood pressure as he govern blood. So eating too much salty food during such a period may result in high blood pressure. Similarly, one should cut down on sweets during a period in which Jupiter related troubles are indicated. Or, one may develop too much fat (Jupiter) or get other Jupiter related diseases.

Mercury and Jupiter are strong in the eastern direction (lagna). Sun and Mars are strong in the southern direction (meridian – 10th house). Moon and Venus are strong in the northern direction (nadir – 4th house). Saturn is strong in the west (7th house).

These are the digbalas (strengths associated with direction) of planets. These show the direction taken by one in one’s life, as we will see later.

Moon, Mars and Saturn are strong in the night time. Sun, Jupiter and Venus are strong in the daytime. Mercury is always strong.

Natural malefics are strong in Krishna paksha. Natural benefics are strong in Sukla paksha.

Natural malefics are strong in Dakshina ayana. Natural benefics are strong in Uttara ayana.

Rahu and KetuSouth-West
SunAayaan – Uttarayyana / Dakishnayyana (6 months)
MoonMuhurata (48 minutes)
MarsDay-Night (24 hrs.)
MerSeason (2 months)
JupiterMonth (30 days)
Venus15 days (Paksha)
Saturn, Rahu1 year

These periods of time also apply to the rasis which they rule. This information will be useful in horary astrology for predicting the time of occurrence of events.

Ritu / SeasonApprox. PeriodMonthPlanetary Lord of Ritu
Vasant (Spring)Mar 21May 20Chaitra - VaishakhaVenus
Grishma (Summer)May 21Jul 20Jyeshta - AshadhaMars and Sun
Varsha (Rainy)Jul 21Sep 21Sravana - BhadrapadaMoon
Sharad / Seeta (Winter)NovDecMargashirsha - PaushaJupiter
Hemanta (Dew)SepOctAshwin - KartikaMercury
Shishira (Fall)Jan 21Mar 20Magha - PhalgunaSaturn

A planet in lagna or the lord Drekkana indicates the season at the time of birth.

(1) Rahu, Mars, Saturn and Moon rule over dhaatus (metals and materials).
(2) Sun and Venus rule over moolas (roots and vegetables).
(3) Mercury, Jupiter and Ketu rule over jeevas (living beings).

PlanetVaata / Pitta / Kapha
Sun & MarsPitta
MoonVaata and Kapha
MercuryVaata, Pitta, Kapha (Sannipaata )
VenusVaata and Kapha

It is believed that the worship of deities who represent the planets will mitigate the ill-effects caused by the ill-placed planets during their periods.

SaniNeelam (Sapphire)
RahuGomedhaka (Agate)
KetuLapis Lazuli or Turquoise
ChandraPearls and Corals
GuruCat’s eye
SukraSilver, Pearls and Diamond
SaniIron and Mercury
KetuDark red

The metals and minerals associated with planets would be useful in the administration of medicine. For example, diseases caused by a powerful Ravi in his period may require medicines containing copper or its compounds; diseases caused by a malefic Chandra in his period may be cured by oxides of pearls or corals: those caused by Kuja may need iron and gold compounds; those due to Sukra may respond to medicines containing oxides of silver, pearl or mercury; those caused by Sani may be cured by compounds of Iron or Mercury. Rahu is similar to Sani and Ketu to Kuja with regard to diseases and medicines required for them.

Ravi and Venus are of normal height.
Chandra, Mars and Sani are short.
Budha, Guru and Rahu are tall.

Sani presides over the sense of Touch (Twak)

Budha rules over touch and Taste (Twak and Jivha)

Mars governs touch, taste and sight (Twak, Jihva and Chakshu)
Venus rules over touch, taste, sight and Smell (Ghrana)

Guru governs touch, taste, sight, smell and Hearing (Srothra)

According to this hierarchy, Sani rules over planets which have only the sense of touch.

Budha rules over lower forms of life like oysters and snails which have only two senses. those of touch and taste.

Kuja rules over slightly more evolved organisms like the insects which have three senses, those of touch, taste and sight.

Sukra governs living beings having four senses. those of touch, taste. sight and smell.

Guru rules over higher beings who are fully evolved like the mammals which includes the human species, who have all the live senses.

Chandra presides over the Mind and Ravi is the Soul.

Ravi looks above
Chandra and Guru look straight
Kuja looks sideways
Budha and Sukra look down
Sani and Rahu look obliquely

RAVI, KUJA and SANI are prishtodaya planets that rise first with their feet. They are powerful during the night.

GURU, SUKRA and RAHU are shirodaya planets which rise with their head. They are strong during the day.

BUDHA, CHANDRA and KETU are Ubhayodaya planets that are powerful during both day and night.

Ravi, Kuja, Guru and Sukra are walking planets.
Chandra and Rahu are creeping planets.
Budha is a flying planet.
Sani is a limping planet.

Ravi – Garments made of thick thread
Chandra – Fine and new clothes
Kuja – Rough and partly burnt or singed
Budha – Wet clothes
Guru – Ordinary and somewhat used
Sukra – Clothes made of strong texture
Sani – Torn clothes
Rahu and Ketu – Rags

Ravi – Thatched hut
Chandra and Sukra – Terraced building
Kuja and Ketu – House built with mud and bricks
Budha – Artistic house
Guru – Wooden house
Sani and Rahu – Houses built with stones

Ravi – Trees growing on mountains, chilies, radish, pepper etc.

Chandra — Coconut palm, cold substances, tender fruits and vegetables

Kuja — Thorny trees, ginger, grains. pulses and ground-nuts

Budha – Plantain trees, wetcrops, brinjals, lady’s fingers etc.

Guru – Plantain trees, wet crops, roots and bulbs

Sukra – Fruit trees, flowering trees, climbers and creepers, exotic vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower etc.

Sani — Palmyra trees, thorny, poisonous trees and plants, bitter vegetables, astringents, tobacco etc.

Rahu and Ketu – Same trees as Sani rules, snake gourd, spices, garlic etc.

Ravi – Wheat
Chandra – Rice
Kuja – Toor dhal
Budha – Green gram
Guru – Bengal gram
Sukra – Cow gram
Sani – Sesamum
Rahu – Black gram
Ketu – Horse gram

Ravi, Mars and Sani govern quadrupeds
Chandra and Rahu rule centipedes
Budha, Jupiter and Venus govern bipeds

Ravi and Mercury indicate 8 yojanas (A yojana may be equivalent to 8 miles / 12 Km)
Chandra – 1 yojana
Kuja – 7 yojanas
Guru – 9 yojanas
Sukra – 16 yojanas
Sani – 20 yojanas
Rahu – 20 yojanas

The distances of rasis is the same as that of their lords. The distances given above will be useful in determining the distances to which a person is likely to travel, or to predict how far a thief has gone.

Ravi – Rectangle

Chandra – Small circle

Kuja – Small drum (damaru)

Mercury – Triangle

Guru – Elliptical

Sukra – Octogonal

Sani – Shape of a window

Rahu – A line

This would be useful in preparing lockets, amulets, rings or pendants to represent the planets.

Ravi – Head, heart, spinal column, bones, man’s right eye, woman’s left eye.

Chandra – Face, breasts, blood, man’s left eye and woman’s right eye, uterus, ovaries, fertility.

Kuja – Head, chest, bone-marrow, external sex organs, left ear, muscular system, uterus, pelvis and prostate

Budha – Hips, skin, lungs and nervous system

Guru – Brain, thighs, stomach, liver, circulation of blood, fat content in the body

Sukra – Semen, kidneys, eyes, generative system, throat, chin, cheeks

Sani – Bones, teeth, muscular and nervous systems, hair and ears

Ravi represents heat, light and physical evolution
Chandra represents mental evolution
Kuja denotes physical force and bodily energy
Budha signifies mental vigour and abstract thinking
Guru represents intellectual evolution and aesthetic appreciation
Sukra is related to feelings and emotions and personal charm or magnetism
Sani represents the time and life principles
Rahu and Ketu denote destructive forces or principles of disintegration and dissolution leading to emancipation

Ravi represents vedic learning, medicine and alchemy
Chandra is connected with aesthetic pursuits, line arts and textiles
Kuja is concerned with culinary sciences, war or defense services, history and engineering.
Budha is related to pure mathematics, astronomy, accounts and drawing.
Guru is associated with philosophy, psychology, yoga, spiritual knowledge and wisdom.
Sukra is connected with naval sciences, (marine engineering), law, literature, poetry, music, foreign languages, logic, grammar etc.
Rahu and Ketu are related to drama, magic, buffoonery (behavior that is ridiculous but amusing) etc.


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