Navgraha is the nine heavenly bodies and deities that influence human life on Earth according to Hinduism and Hindu astrology. Ancient Indian scholars extensively studied the stars and other celestial bodies in the never-ending spatial sky? This thorough study of astronomy and astrology eventually created the Jyotish sastra, which explained how the Navagraha, literally meaning the nine planets, influenced the life of the earth dwellers. Although not all the members of the Navagraha are planets. The earth Uranus and Neptune are not included in the Navagraha.
1. Days of Week in Hindu Calendar as Navgraha
The seven days of the week in the Hindu calendar also correspond with the Navagraha and are named accordingly in various languages of the Indian subcontinent. Most temples in India have a designated place dedicated for Navagraha worship.
2. Surya the First Navagraha
Surya, the god of the Sun, is considered to be the leader of Navagraha. Rightly so, as the other members of the celestial group revolve around Surya, he is considered the creator of the universe and the source of all life. He is the supreme soul, who brings light and warmth to the world.
The god is often represented with four arms out, of which two hold lotuses one holds a staff and another one has a chakra. Each day he travels across the sky in his golden chariot pulled by the seven horses. The seven horses are named: Gayatri, Brihati, Ushni, Jagati, Trishtubha, Anushtubha, and Pankti.
3. The Chariot of Surya
This is a symbolic way of representing the splitting of the white Sunlight into seven colors of the VIBGYOR spectrum. The driver of this golden chariot is stated to be Aruna, a personification of dawn, who is seated. Surya first appears in literature in the Rigveda oldest of the Vedas sacred texts and was composed between 1500 and 1000 BCE.
The son of a sage Kashyap, and Devi Aditi is a prominent figure in Hinduism and is often considered on the same level as Indra in the hierarchy of the devas. The day designated for Surya is Sunday also called Ravivar in Hindi, which translated to Suns day. The color associated with the Sun god is orange and gold and to evoke the blessings of Surya, one is asked to pray to the god by offering water to the deity by pouring it from a vessel.
4. Surya: Life
Surya as a Navagraha embodies qualities such as leadership, ego, strength, authority, and vitality of a person. The birth of Surya begins with the creation of the universe through Brahma the creator, God Brahma began the creation process by first creating Daksha and his wife from the tips of his right and left thumbs respectively. One of the 13 daughters of Daksha and his wife was Aditi.
The mother of Surya, Aditi was married to a sage named Kashyap, with whom she gave birth to twelve sons. These sons were known as the twelve Adityas. Kashyap also had other wives to whom were born many other children, including the race of demons and also other species of animals and birds.
5. Aditi: The Mother of Sun God
A conflict arose between the asuras and the devas. When Brahma allowed the gods to have a share of what was received from the sacrificial offerings or the Yagya. This did not sit well, with the demons and as a result, a war ensued in which the devas found themselves losing and were forced to give up their place in the heaven and their portion of the Yagya. Seeing her sons tormented this way saddened Aditi greatly and she reached the Sun God, Vivasvan, and begged him for his help.
After several days of fasting and devotion, the Sun God was pleased and allowed Aditi to make a wish. Aditi requested that the Sun God be born as a son to her and a brother to her children so that he could defeat the powerful demons and restore her children to their rightful place in heaven. The Sun God Vivasvan accepted Aditi’s, request but said that he was far too powerful to be born to her in his fullness and therefore granted her a thousandth part of his essence to be born as a son.
6. Surya Killed Asuras and married Chaya Devi
So, this way the Sun god was born as an Ansh avatar to Aditi. Indra then declared a war against the asuras, and it was seen that Surya turned the asuras to ashes merely by looking at them. In the end, the devas regained their place in heaven and partook of the Yagyas once again.
Surya got married to Samugnya, with whom he had three children, Vaivasvata, who was one of the fourteen original men or Manu, Yama the god of death, and Yami, the goddess of the Yamuna River. Samagnya is often referred to as Sanjana in various scripts. Vishnu Purana tells the story that unable to bear Surya’s intense heat, Samugnya after giving birth to her three children retires to the forest to practice harsh austerities in the form of a mare leaving her shadow image Chaya behind. Chaya Devi is the Hindu personification or goddess of shadow Chaya Devi looked exactly like Samugnya and Surya could not make out that she was a shadow.
He lived with Chaya Devi and she gave birth to his two sons, Savarni Manu and Shani, and two daughters, Dhabadhi and Viyati. However, Chaya became partial to her children and ignored those of Samugnya. Yama suspected the behavior of who he thought was his mother and offended her. Chaya cast a curse on Yama, which revealed to Yama and Surya that Chaya was not the true Samugnya. After extracting the truth, from Chaya, Surya finds a Yagna and brings her back.