India which is the land of the origin of four of the seven world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism and has the most efficacious and numerous sadhanas (spiritual practices), has also given to the world the yoga system which is popular all over the world. Very few astrologers know that Hindu astrology is the most developed spiritual astrology which is somehow, till now, kept as a great secret with the saints of India.
Yet in some books of astrology, which is a different branch of astrology than the one being discussed here, there are many more hints about the spiritual side of human personality.
Yet rarely people in India go to astrologer to ask questions about their spiritual life for a very excellent reason. The people of India have the supreme advantage of learning their spiritual lessons, first at home from the elders in childhood, later they seek the guidance of some spiritual person, saints, yogis, gurus and other holy persons. Then they have the supreme advantage of reading such rare spiritual literatures, in the Ramayan, the Mahabharata and the Puranas that they get most of the answers to their spiritual questions from these books.
In U.S.A. and with people from the west coming to consult in India has been that they seek answers which are sometimes quite ticklish because they have got interested in spiritual practices and, have rarely been in so advantageous position as Indianhas of getting spiritual guidance form so many sources and so many persons.
To fulfill that need in discussing the nature of planets it becomes necessary to start with the spiritual qualities of planets. What is being listed below is not exhaustive but is sound enough for practical use by astrologer and lovers of astrology. An exhaustive list has been added to the book at the end.
What spiritual qualities each planet (the nine we are using) represents is being given briefly.
The Sun, lord of our solar system, has been identified in some Sanskrit stotras as Lord Vishnu but generally, it is with Lord Shiva that he is identified. It does not matter which of the Trinity he represents. The important point to remember is that he awakens the thirst for spiritual life, blesses one with divine knowledge, described as Gyana, which is why he has been described as Atmakaraka also (not Jaimini astrology where a planet with the highest degree becomes the Atmakaraka). Therefore, Sun is associated with philanthropic tendencies and has a Sattwick nature.
If the Sun is the atma (soul), the Moon is the Manas or the mind.Mental qualities are represented by the Moon. It is the mind that creates the feeling of happiness or unhappiness. A mind that is under control is a mind that develops powers of concentration and meditation. A Moon afflicted by Saturn and Mars creates strong feelings of detachment or vairagya. In the horoscopes of great yogis and saints this combination is generally seen. I have referred to many such horoscopes in my books, particularly, in the Yogis, Destiny and the Wheel of Time.
Pure spiritual tendencies, love to go to sacred places, worshipping Goddess, kindness, soft and tender feelings born of Sattwick nature are associated with the Moon. It is for this reason that a strong, exalted or vargottama Moon has always been praised.
"Bhoomi-suto", is a well-known synomym for Mars meaning the child of the earth. Also known as the commander in chief, Mars represents the determination to do sadhana, if such promises exist in any horoscope. He represents Lord Vishnu and his various forms. Among the Vedas he has been identified with the Sama Veda.
It is my experience that in the case of any guru, where he (Mars) influences the 4th or the 10th houses, he builds ashrams. In the 5th house, Mars gives the drive to become the builder of religious institution. Builders, estate agents have to have a prominent Mars influencing their 4th or 10th houses or their lords. Extend it to men in religious and spiritual line and you will see builders of ashrams, temples, mosques, churches, synagogues and religious institutions, with a strong desire to acquire land and building .
Maharshi Parashara prescribes recitation of the Vishnu Sahastranaama in the periods of Mercury. The identification of Mercury with Lord Vishnu being so clear, a strong and well-placed Mercury, (in the spiritual houses, like 4, 8,12 or the Dharma houses like 1, 5, 9 gives a deep yearning for the study of scriptures and also astrology which is a divine science, being the most prominent Vedanga.
Mercury generally causes the undertaking of pilgrimages but not for a long stay. To build temples of Lord Vishnu is a well-known quality of Mercury. The manifestations of Lord Vishnu in all forms being the identity of Mercury, he is a Vaishnava par excellence. Mercury promotes a strong tendency to acquire self-control. Mercury being a ritualist, attraction for mantras and Yantras is a well known tendency released by Mercury. He represents Atharva Veda
In astrology, if Jupiter and Mercury are not good, one will be a poor predictor. The house of speech, the second house, getting associated with Jupiter through position or aspect shows gifts of prophecy, unless the second house or the second lord are bad otherwise. It also makes one a good preacher. A preacher has to have knowledge of scriptures suppoted by personal spiritual experience.
Jupiter represents the quintessence of dharma. The finer aspects of divine knowledge and spiritual practices like penances, worship of god, doing of charity are commonly associated with Jupiter. Varahamihira has praised the position of Jupiter in the 10th house. Being a strict moralist, Jupiter motivates one to be ethical in conduct. Since Jupiter represents Lord Shiva, a Jupiter-dominated person does not mind making sacrifices for true religious and spiritual causes.
Traditionally, the Guru of Asuras, Venus is a learned religious person. Venusian traits can be showy. One may develop the tendency to turn his religious zeal into piety. I have seen hundreds of horoscopes of men and women with Venus in the 10th house becoming more showy than sincere in spiritual pursuits. Perhaps, distractions in their lives, caused by Venus are many. Among Vedas, Venus represent Yajur-Veda. The likeable and admirable side of Venus is love for religious songs, love to decorate religious places and compose music for, particularly female goddesses.
Saturn described as the planet of misery is a totally fallacious statement. Without a favourable Saturn in the birth horoscope and in transit one can never develop deep detachment. Saturn represents self-abnegation, tyaga. It is tyaga and Gyana that become real strong foundation for spiritual life. A weak Saturn has been seen to attract a sadhak, if there is also afflicted Moon, attraction towards inferior deities.
Rahu has been praised by Ramanujacharya for dips in the Ganga Moon If the Sun is the atma (soul), the Moon is the Manas or the mind. and going to pilgrimages because he is an extrovert, unlike Ketu, who makes one an introvert. Rahu impels one to take to religious and spiritual practices many times in a rather unconventional way and, can cause attraction for non-conventional religious approach.