The Navagrahas in the Carnatic World


The Navagrahas worshipped in the Indian tradition are believed to affect our lives on earth in many different ways. The Navagrahas in general have a one on one mapping to the nine planets of our solar system. But then, the term ‘Graha’ doesn’t just  mean a planet. ‘Grihanthi ithi Graha’ is the Sanskrit word, which means Grahas are celestial bodies whose energies can influence  our emotional, verbal and physical perceptions. In a broader sense, this word includes all the celestial bodies like planets, sun, moon, stars, comets and many more, without contradiction.  Our ancestors have personified these Navagrahas by giving them a stature, colour, consort, vehicle, food, clothing, embellishment, god, and demi-god.  This personification has led to the rise of many an interesting literature and musical compositions on the Navagrahas.

The Carnatic world embraces the Navagrahas in the form of the Navagraha Krithis composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Apart from the traditional form of worship, history has it that these krithis have the same potential to influence the Grahas. Dikshitar’s very own disciple Sri. Thambiyappan is believed to have been cured of a stomach ailment after he rendered the krithi on the Graha “Guru”. All the ragas of these compositions are so penetrating, that they have a therapeutic effect on the mind,body and soul.

The amount of astrophysical details these krithis contain is spellbinding. They cover various areas of Science like Botany, Astro physics, human Physiology, Astronomy, Optics, Mathematics and Phenology. Illustrations made in these krithis are observed in modern day science mostly during the post-Industrial revolution era. Some of the descriptions of Grahas in the krithi, are still a mystery to modern-day science. Vedanta, Science and music merge in these krithis.

The Astronomy of the Navagrahas 

Our solar system has nine planets revolving around the sun which is central to the system There is evidence of life only on planet Earth. Indian Astronomy  on the contrary believes that this very life on earth(the human body, mind and soul) is central to the influence of all the other planets, the sun and the moon. The latter appear to occupy different positions at different intervals of time with varied influences on our lives. The solar spectrum and their effects on the seven chakras linked to our human body,mind and soul have very well been dealt with in these krithis.

The astronomical interpretations based on the Saahityam, and the science that lies hidden in these krithis will be presented as a nine part series on our blog in the coming weeks.

Stay Tuned…….

–  Archana Sirsi for Twaang

Picture Courtesy :: chennaicartravels


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