In Vedic Astrology, it is believed that all the events in a person’s life are governed by the planets. These celestial objects shape the personality as well as the destiny of all the people. Each of us derives our attributes and characteristic based on the position of the planets at the time of our birth. To know ourselves and make our future better, it is important to know about the planets in Vedic astrology. Vedic astrology takes a geocentric view of the solar system and considers the earth to be at the center of all activity. All other planets and the sun and the moon go around the earth, thereby having their impact on life on earth. Unlike in modern-day astronomy where the sun is a star and the moon is the only natural satellite of earth, Vedic astrology holds that the sun and the moon are planets and have a great influence on our lives. Vedic astrology considers 7 planets (Grah) and 2 shadow planets (Chhaya Grah) to make astrological predictions. For convenience, these comprise the 9 planets or the Nava Grah. The seven planets include Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, while the 2 shadow planets are Rahu and Ketu. Rahu and Ketu are also regarded as the 2 poles of the moon- The north pole and the South pole respectively. These are considered as the head and the tail of the Demon. All the planets take different times to travel through the 12 rasis or the houses in the horoscope. Whenever a planet is in a given house, it starts impacting the house and the qualities associated in several ways, and the interaction between the planets placed together in one house produces different results. The combined effect of these planets and their position is the determining feature of one’s destiny. The different planets in Vedic astrology have multiple characteristics and effects. Some planets always have a positive impact on the house that they aspect, and as such, they are benefic planets. The benefic planets include Guru or Jupiter (Fortuna major) and Shukra or Venus (Fortuna minor). Some other planets are malefic, and bring in misfortune and bad luck with them. Under their influence, a person may face obstructions, financial difficulties, as well as deterioration in one’s health. The malefic planets in Vedic astrology include Shani or Saturn (unfortunate major) and Mangal or Mars (unfortunate minor). There are other planets whose effects are not defined in watertight compartments and rather behave differently in different houses and with different planets. Such planets include the Sun or Surya, the Moon or Chandra, and Mercury or Budh. Planets are also grouped as being planets of the day like the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn, as well as planets of the night like the Moon, Mars, and Venus. Mercury is a peculiar planet that is a planet of both the day as well as the night. A planet is also regarded as a male or a female in Vedic astrology. The planets like Sun, Jupiter, and Mars are male planets, while Moon and Venus are female planets. Mercury again has the attributes of the male and the female planets. THE SUN (SURYA) The sun in astrology governs the self, ego, personality, and spirit of the individual. It is considered as the King of the planets and represents the father and any other figure of authority in our lives, including our superiors at workplaces and government functionaries. Sun is the ruler of the 5th house and the Singh Rashi or Leo. It spends 30 days in each rashi and takes 1 year to complete the cycle of 12 rashi. Since the sun is the representative of the ruler, people in positions of authority are said to have a strong sun. It bestows leadership qualities like strength, courage, and determination. It is also said to make a person creative and gives the power to overcome the difficulties that one might face in their daily life. THE MOON (CHANDRA) The moon in astrology governs the conscious and thinking mind. It is said to be in control of the emotions and feelings of an individual. Moon is also the Queen among the planets and on earth, represents our mother and any other caregiving feminine figure. Moon rules the 4th house of astrology and the sign of Cancer or the Kark Rashi, and is exalted in Taurus. Moon takes 27 nights to complete a full cycle of the 12 rashis, and is placed for a little more than 2 days in each of the 12 houses. The 27 nights are the 27 constellations- the 27 wives of Moon who spend 1 night in the palace of each wife. With Lord Shiva’s blessings, it got the power to wane and wax alternately, and thus adorns Shiva’s head as the celestial jewel. The nature of the moon is kapha- it governs everything watery. It is said to control the mind and beauty and pleasures in an individual’s life. Moon is friendly with Sun and Mercury and maintains neutrality with Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. MERCURY (BUDH) Mercury planet in Vedic astrology represents education, knowledge, logic, and calculative ability. People with strong mercury make excellent mathematicians and even astrologers. Mercury is the heir- the prince among the planets and on earth, it is representative of our siblings. Mercury is believed to transit 1 house in approximately 1 month. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, and is exalted in Virgo- the only planet to be exalted in its own sign. Mercury is the significator of speech and communicative ability and is also regarded as the messenger of God. It is symbolic also of devotion, especially the worship of Vishnu. Mercury is of Vaishya varna and has Rajsik Guna. Its color is green and represents 1 Ritu or a season of 2 months each. It is friendly with Sun and Venus and has enmity with Moon. Mercury has a neutral stance concerning Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. VENUS (SHUKRA) Venus is the princess of the planets in astrology and has feminine qualities. It presides over love and romance, and marriage and pleasure of life. It also represents fertility and a good Venus is auspicious for one’s love life. Venus is the ruler of Taurus- Vrishabh Rashi, as well as Libra- Tula Rashi. it is exalted in Pisces. Venus represents water among the 5 elements. It indicates wife in a man’s life and is often considered as the form of Maha Laxmi- the wife of Lord Vishnu. A good Venus also depicts an expert nature with arts and musical instruments. Venus is friendly with Mercury and Saturn and has enmity with Sun, Moon, and Mars while maintaining neutrality with Jupiter. MARS (MANGAL) Planet Mars indicates aggression and thus is the commander in astrology. It is associated with qualities like aggression, quick thinking, valor, strength, and courage. Mars rules the Mesha Rashi or Aries, as well as Vrishchik Rashi or Scorpio. Mars is of the Kshatriya varna and has tamsik guna. It is masculine and is full of energy and strength. It is very active and quick, and often picks up fights easily. People with strong Mars are often very fickle-minded and too eager to respond to any situation, especially that of threat. Mars is friendly with Sun, Moon, and Jupiter, and has enmity with Mercury. With Venus and Saturn, Mars is neutral. JUPITER (GURU OR BRIHASPATI) In an astrological sense, the Planet Jupiter is regarded as the most important minister- the King’s minister. In mythology, Brishaspati is the Guru of the Devas, the Dev Guru. Jupiter rules over the signs of Pisces or Meen Rashi and Sagittarius or Dhanu Rashi. It is exalted in the sign of Cancer. Jupiter is regarded as Fortuna major and is thus the planet that is benign and benefic. Many afflictions in a person’s life can be alleviated by Jupiter’s influence. It is said to shower a person with immense wealth and general fortune, and if this planet is adversely placed in the birth chart, one may also remain deprived of wealth and general luck. Being the Dev Guru, Jupiter is representative of the figure of the teacher, mentor, or guide in one’s life. In the life of a woman, Jupiter can also come to signify the husband. Jupiter is the planet that governs knowledge and learning and makes one a wise man and is also the source behind happiness. Jupiter is friendly with Sun, Moon, and Mars, and has a neutral relationship with Saturn. Jupiter has enmity with Venus and Mercury, even though they do not reciprocate the enmity. SATURN (SHANI) Saturn is the ruler of the Capricorn or Makar Rashi and Aquarius or Kumbha Rashi. It is exalted in Libra. Saturn is said to bring in difficulties and obstructions in any task and those who have an adversely placed Saturn find it very difficult to succeed in any endeavor easily. It is believed that Saturn got the boon from Goddess Parvati that without Saturn’s wish, no big or important task can be completed. Saturn moves at a very slow pace and is said to be representative of a person’s patience. Saturn represents ill health, diseases, and difficulties. Under Saturn’s influence, there is obstruction, sorrow, and even death. When under difficult circumstances, if a person has the aspect of Saturn, it might also lead to early death for the person. Saturn is said to give results to a person according to his karma or deeds. Despite having many negative connotations associated, Saturn has a key role in spiritual upliftment, and many saints have a good Saturn. Saturn is friendly with Mercury and Venus, while shares an enmity with Sun, Moon, and Mars. Saturn is neutrally placed with Jupiter. RAHU Unlike the other planets in astrology that are ‘grah’, Rahu is a ‘chhaya grah’. Rahu, along with Ketu are mathematical points that cause a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse. Rahu is exalted in Taurus/ Gemini. Rahu is very similar in characteristics to Saturn, and is said to be devilish as it is the head of the Demon. Rahu does not have any distinctive feature and takes up the qualities of the planets and houses it is placed with and in. Thus, the effects of Rahu may vary vastly, depending on other factors. Rahu in human beings signifies irrationality, falsehood, faulty logic, and other associated negative connotations. Rahu is the planet in astrology that seeks out wealth and material comfort and is very greedy. However, often as an impact of Rahu, a person may witness a lot of wealth and material success in his life. Thus, Rahu is the significator of material and worldly comforts. Rahu is friendly with Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus, and is enemy with Sun and Moon. It has a neutral relationship with Mercury. KETU Along with Rahu, Ketu is another mathematical point, a node, which causes the solar and lunar eclipse. It is the body or tail of the demon. But unlike Rahu, Ketu is not seen as devilish and is rather regarded as the ‘moksha karaka’ or the force or power that liberates. It causes great spiritual upliftment and can take a person beyond the cycle of life and death. Ketu acquired great knowledge in the scriptures and is thus the significator of great penance and knowledge and also the final moksha. It seeks liberation from worldly desires and pleasures and seeks enlightenment. Since it is a chhaya grah, its impact is largely influenced by the planets it is within a particular house. Ketu is exalted in Scorpio/ Sagittarius. It is friendly with Mars, Venus, and Saturn, while enemy with Sun and Moon. It is neutral with Mercury and Jupiter.