Indian Images of the Gods of the Planets


These images are described in the book, Brhat Parashara Hora Sastra, in the chapter called Graha Shanti. One can meditate on, draw, or sculpt these images as part of the process of making peace with destiny and the planets.

Image of the Sun

“The day-maker is seated in a lotus, holding a lotus, lustrous as the leaf of a lotus, in a chariot drawn by seven horses. He has two arms.”

The seven horses represent seven planets that orbit the Sun. The powers of the seven planets are at the command of the Sun. The seventh planet in this case is Earth, which has the power to give birth.

Image of the Moon

“The rhythmic Moon is divinely white, dressed in white, in a chariot of ten white horses with white ornaments. He has two arms. One blesses and the other holds a club.”

The ten horses are the senses, all of which are at the command of the mind. The ten senses are in two groups of five. Five senses for input, and another five for output. The senses of input are hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. The senses of output are speech, dexterity (hands), motion (feet), reproduction, and evacuation.

Image of Mars

“Auspicious Mars wears red clothes and necklaces. He has four arms. One gives blessings, the others hold weapons: a spear, trident and club. He rides a ram.”

Many planets hold weapons – symbols of power. It is not unique to Mars. Besides the Sun and Moon, other planets ride on animals, not on chariots.

Image of Mercury

“Intelligent Mercury wears yellow clothes and necklaces. He is brilliantly white like a flower. Four armed; one gives blessings, the others hold weapons: a sword, shield and club. He rides a lion.”

The shield shows that Mercury is balanced.

Image of Jupiter and Venus

“Wise Jupiter dresses in yellow. Brilliant Venus dresses in crystalline white. Both are four-armed. One gives blessings; the others hold a staff, meditation beads, and water-pots.”

Jupiter and Venus do not hold weapons. They hold the paraphernalia of priests. They neither ride a chariot nor an animal.

Image of Saturn

“The Sun’s son, Saturn is lustrous like the finest sapphire. His four arms offer blessings and hold a trident, a bow and an arrow. He rides a vulture.”

Saturn’s clothing is not mentioned, but we infer that it is lustrously dark, like he himself is. He and Mars both hold fierce tridents. He holds a bow and arrow because he keeps his distance.

Image of Rahu

“Conceive of Rahu in darkness with a gaping mouth. His four arms offer blessings and hold a sword, shield and trident. He rides a lion.”

Rahu shares characteristics with Mercury – a sword and shield, and riding a lion, but also shares characteristics with Saturn – darkness, and a trident, which is also a weapon of Mars.

Image of Ketu

“Ketu is within the smoke. He is two-armed: giving blessings and holding a club. He is misshapen and rides a vulture.”