Planets, Signs and Houses: Vedic Astrology Myths and Facts, Chapter I, Part - 12


Dr. Shanker Adawal

Indra called Kamadeva, the god of love, for his support. Kamadeva agreed and when he shot his arrow at Shiva, Shiva immediately saw it, became angry and opened his third eye from which fire came forth. Before the gods could intercede, Kamadeva was burnt to ashes. Having learned the purpose, Shiva restored his life in due course.

Jupiter or Brihaspati

There are two kinds of knowledge, one which relates to the world of appearances and the other to knowledge of the Self. The lineage represented by Jupiter is concerned with the dissemination of the higher wisdom. The Jupiter impact aims at providing the direct experience of material involvement. The wisdom inculcated by Jupiter reveals that the cope of the knowledge gained through the outgoing mind, by its inherently limited nature, must be illusory. Realizing the illusory nature of knowledge of name and form, one is led to the higher knowledge, the knowledge of consciousness itself.

The special responsibility of Jupiter is to teach and gently lead his students on the path of truth. This is apparent from the names given to him. He is known as Animishacharya, unblinking preceptor; light of the eye, teacher of the sacred wisdom; Ijya, teacher of the gods; and one who has subjugated his sense organs. Jupiter is also referred as Guru, which means a preceptor and teacher as well as one who initiates the student into the secret wisdom of the Vedas, One who has established perfect control over his own impulses and does not permit his desires to cloud his perception is a real teacher. The “light of the eye” is a suggestive epithet for Jupiter. The function of the eye is to perceive. Being a teacher, Brihaspati leads one from the known to the unknown, from the periphery to the centre, from the exoteric to the esoteric. With great patience and understanding this god of wisdom guards over the welfare of all beings. He is concerned with the harmony, sustenance, growth and expression of the inherent potentials of every form of creation.

Brihaspati is said to be born of the sage Angiras, and to be yellow in colour. He sits on a water-lily and has four arms. One arm holds a garland of Rudraksha beads, another carries a begging bowl, the third holds a mace, and the fourth bestows blessings. As the regent of the planet Jupiter, he rides a chariot called Nitighosha drawn by eight pale horses. Yellow is a colour of intellect, auspicious for rituals and devotional activities. Red symbolizes valour and courage, depending on its hue. Deep or blood red represents fight, conflict and war, whereas crimson or rosy indicates affection, love and union. Saffron suggests renunciation and saintliness.

Jupiter’s yellow complexion suggests his connection with auspicious performances, rituals and householders worship. The impact of Jupiter wisdom does not lead to renunciation and the path of withdrawal; it teaches the individual right performance of duties, and involves him in actions to fulfil the higher powers.

Saturn or Shani

The wisdom gained under Saturn impulse depends upon the power of our struggle in life. For obtaining enduring results, it is necessary that there is no hurry or immediacy of purpose. Keeping these goals in view, we can appreciate why Saturn grinds slowly, surely, producing long-term enduring results. The arc under the cross of the Saturn symbol indicates the result obtained under the Saturn impulse, while the appellation Sanishcharacharya refers to the mode of obtaining the result.

In Hindu mythology, Saturn is the son of the Sun. The daughter of the celestial architect is married to the Sun but finds his effulgence too oppressive for her. She returns to her father for relief from her arduous duties to her overly bright husband. For the period of her absence, she keeps her shadow Chhaya, whose name literally means shadow, to take care of the Sun to prevent him from learning of her-absence. Saturn is born of this union between the Sun and Chhaya. This allegory suggests that Saturn is the projection of solar radiance through the veil of matter, which alone is capable of casting a shadow. The casting of a shadow denotes that the pure radiance of the Sun has been obstructed by matter. Saturn is also named Asit, Suryaputra and Manda. Asit means black and dark blue, and a black serpent. Surya-putra means the son of the Sun. Manda means slow or dull.


Shanker Adawal

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