By Swami Harshananda
Effects of Planets in Human Life
Various planets circling round the sun in our solar system have an effect on the lives of the living beings. It is a belief shared by many peoples of this earth, throughout the history of mankind. A holistic approach, engendered by holistic sciences is also lending credence to such beliefs.
The scriptures have recognized this factor since the most ancient times. When a particular planet is unfavorably placed, as indicated by the horoscope of the person, certain religious rites known as ‘śāntis’ have to be performed to offset or at least minimize these effects. Out of these, the Navagrahaśānti, also called ‘Navagraha-makha’, is also the one. It has been considered as a prakṛti or a model for other types of śāntis.
The Navagrahaśānti can be performed at the beginning of all auspicious or important occasions like the sañskāras, going on a pilgrimage, before a battle and so on.
Sometimes the Navagrahaśānti is said to be of three types:
- Ayutahoma - oblations into the duly consecrated fire are ten thousand.
- Lakṣahoma - oblations into the duly consecrated fire are one lakh.
- Koṭihoma - oblations into the duly consecrated fire are one crore.
The Navagrahaśānti should be offered to the image of the nine planets made out of nine different kinds of materials like copper, crystal, red sandalwood etc. It can also be offered to the pictures of the nine planets drawn with sandalwood paste on a piece of cloth. The mantras used in the rites are usually from the Vedas.
Homa to each planet is done with samidh anointed with honey or ghee, the number being 108, or 28. The brāhmaṇa priests performing the śānti must be suitably rewarded. Special gifts are to be made when any planet is unfavorably placed.
- It means sacraments.
- Rgveda 1.35.2
- Vājasaneyī Samhitā 9.40
- Taittirīya Samhitā 22.214.171.124
- It means fuel sticks.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore