Names of the Planets

He began by telling the names of the 9 planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Of course these are translations of the names he gave. Since names are names after all, translations are not always terribly appropriate. So let’s look at the Sanskrit names the master actual gave for the planets.

The Sun he named Ravi which could literally translate as “Firebird.” The Sun is the great flame flying in the sky.

The Moon he named Chandra, “Lustrous.” The Moon is beautifully bright, without the flaming heat of the Sun.

Mars he named Mangala, which means “Luck.” Mars is a bold, competitive planet who relies on luck, and seems to master it in his ability to win in any contest.

Mercury he named Budha, meaning “The Intelligent.”

Jupiter he named Guru, “The Guide.”

Venus he named Shukra, “Bright.” Venus is the brightest of any light in the sky besides the Moon and Sun.

Saturn he named Shani, “Slow.” Saturn is the slowest moving of the nine planets.

The two remaining planets don’t really have popular English names, so we will keep their Sanskrit names.

Rahu we sometimes call the northern / ascending node or, more creatively Dragon’s Head. The name literally means “The Seizer,” referring mainly to Rahu’s ability to grab hold of the powerful Sun and Moon, causing eclipses.
Ketu is the southern / descending node or Dragon’s Tail. The sanskrit name literally means “flag.” We place flags on territory we have already conquered and controlled, which is will become meaningful the more you learn about Ketu.

– Vic DiCara
© 2010 Vic DiCara, All Rights Reserved


  1. holy007lotus says:

    thanks for the useful info


  2. sOma says:

    Your posts are simple and perfectly to the point Vic. I appreciate this. I am doing the same with my podcast. A definite challenge.

    Thank you.



  3. manu says:

    Mangal is more closer to Auspicious when translated in English


    1. vicdicara says:

      English thesaurus for “Auspicious”… note the word “LUCKY”

      thanks for joining us on this auspicious occasion: favorable, propitious, promising, rosy, good, encouraging; opportune, timely, lucky, fortunate, providential, felicitous, advantageous.


  4. carlos says:

    What´s the meaning of Seizer?

    The meaning abou Ketu as “the flag” is interesting 😉


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