A respectable Vedic Astrologer contacted me to disagree with my presentation of Mercury as an extremely beautiful planet. She said that it may be my opinion or my preference, but it is not classical Vedic Astrology. Here is my reply showing doubtlessly that classical Vedic Astrology strongly and surely connects Mercury to beauty.
Brhat Parashara Hora may be of questionable authenticity, but I think it is pretty safe to call it a “classic.” There is a chapter in that book titled, “Nature and Forms of the Graha.” This chapter is actually the source material behind the “party” chapter in my book. Here is the description of Mercury:
वपुःश्रेष्ठः These are the first words of the sloka describing Mercury (the 23rd shloka of the chapter). Romanized, it reads: vapuh-shreShTha. The meaning of this is vapuh – the body, shreShTha – the very best. The meaning is that Mercury has the very finest physical form of any Graha. His/her body is the best of all the planets. His “form” is most “excellent” among the planets as some translations put it.
You search the shlokas in this chapter describing the nature and form of the rest of the planets and you will not find this complimentary terminology for any other planet, except – and this is really important – except Venus!
Venus’ description (the 28th shloka of the chapter) is: सुखी कान्तवपुःश्रेष्ठः – “sukhee, kaanta, vapuh shreShTha”. In Mercury’s description the term “vapuh shreshtha” (lovely body) was the very first thing Parashara said about him/her. In Venus’ description “lovely body” is the third thing said – indicating to some extent that the beautiful features are even more prominent and important to Mercury than to Venus. Primary to Venus is that she is sukhee & kaanta – that she brings happiness and love, then we are told that she has a beautiful body.
So, most certainly classical Vedic astrology promotes the idea that Mercury is a primary source of beauty. Both Mercury and Venus possess, and thus can grant, extraordinary beauty. Other planets do not have this distinction in the fundamental descriptions of classical Vedic texts.
– Vic DiCara