For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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Mars & Mercury: Mercury, Chapter XIX, Part - 5


Dr. Shanker Adawal

Direction and Territory: Most experts say Mercury’s direction is in the North and I am inclined to agree. Its territory is from the Vindhya Range to the beginning of the river Ganga. Though Mantreshwara has said Mercury rules Magadh, now Northern Bihar, I do not agree.

Caste: Most astrologers say Mercury’s caste is Shudra, Vaishya or Brahman. These are contradictory. Since Mercury’s significant trait is knowledge I consider that its caste should be seen as Brahmin.

Traits: It has the characteristics of a ruler. In case Mercury is independent, this appears correct. But in conjunction with other planets, it assumes traits influenced by them. Punjaraj says it is malefic.

Gender: Most believe that it is emasculate or neutral. In my opinion, they are definitely wrong. Mercury may not be ruling the ability to have a son but it undoubtedly rules knowledge, wisdom and perseverance. These are not the traits of neutral planet. From a worldly point of view, it is the son who is the final mark of a man’s masculinity but it is equally possible for a man to father a son who dies later. The son if not destroyed could still be a wastrel who brings shame to the father. Hence, academically though it is the birth of a son, which dominates this trait, I disagree that Mercury is gender neutral. The late Apte of Maharashtra, Gokhale, Bhandarkar, Govind Agarkar, Nathmadhav, West Bengal’s noted poet Rabindranath Tagore and noted scientist Sir C V Raman were all famous. None of them acquired this fame for their ability to father a child.

Element: Earth. Though everyone lists this as Earth, I do not think this is correct. In my opinion, it is Saturn who rules earth and air that is ruled by Merecury.

Influence: Its influence is not straight in direction. It is crooked but there is no listed explanation for this.

Strength: It is constantly strong.

Temperament: Mercury is of mixed temperament and very royal in its influence.

Vanquisher: Mercury is usually vanquished by Venus.

Adverse influences: When Mercury is in the fourth place, it is believed to be adverse. It is not, however, clear whether this reference is to fourth place from the ascendant or the fourth place from the moon.

Kingdom: Kalyanavarma suggests that mercury is the Lord of Hell. Some others described Mercury as the ruler of the Kingdom below the Earth but I believe that Mercury is the ruler of the Kingdom that of the dead.

Veda: Most astrologers agree that Mercury rules the Atharva Veda. However, there is no explanation for the reasoning.

Time of day in relation to strength: It is generally believed to be strong in the morning hours. For two hours before sunset Mercury can be seen with the naked eye and hence I believe that is when it is strongest.

Guiding factor: It makes a man anxious. Under the influence of Mercury a man starts asking questions at the time of his daughter’s wedding which he would ordinarily be asking if his friend was on a deathbed.

Grain: All kinds of green lentils and chick-peas. There is no logic stated for this deduction by the ancient writers.

Ancient writers and Western astrologers do not appear to have taken into account the sun signs when describing the properties and features of Mercury and hence there are not only inconsistencies but also inaccuracies in their writings. One example is: one writer says Mercury rules the monsoons while another says it is winter while yet another says that if Mercury is in Gemini it is winter and if I is in Virgo it is monsoon. The western astrologers describe traits like dry, clear, playful and quick to angry which I believe are correct if Mercury is in Gemini. But in Virgo, Mercury can render the person cowardly, excitable and lusty. Mercury in Virgo is a sign of baser instincts while in Gemini it is pure and noble. In this manner, different signs influence plants differently and hence I believe this should also be given due importance while examining the traits of any planet.


Shanker Adawal

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