Just as in mathematics, there are basic operators – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division – so too, there are operators within the structure of Consciousness. They are called the Nine Planets (Navagrahas). They can be identified in every point, system, and dynamic within nature.
On the physical level, the Navagrahas manifest as the mechanics within our solar system… the nine planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu (north lunar node), Ketu (south lunar node). While the planets themselves are superficial expressions of the Navagrahas, these Navagrahas permeate everything.
Each of those expressions can be found in concentrated form within different structures. The emerald is Mercury (Budha), the diamond is Venus (Shukra), etc. It is no coincidence that the crystalline structure of gemstones parallels the crystalline structures found within the geometry (yantras) of the underlying basis of existence. Abstract algebra is the mathematical basis of these crystalline structures.
Viewing the self-interacting dynamic of pure Consciousness one way, it is the dance around the nine, the nine planets (Navagrahas). It accounts for everything and can be followed as those Navagrahas well up through the different levels of existence. The Navagraha system is appealing because it easily maps onto (corresponds to) something that exists in the physical – planets in the solar system. Jyotish (Vedic astrology) is the study of the quantum mechanical realm and its mapping onto the planets in a mathematically rigorous way. It is a tool to analyze an individual’s place in the multidimensional derivative of existence based upon a point in space time. The structure of the planets maps onto the universe. The ongoing question is how well someone can read that mapping.
The motion of planets in the solar system is a mapping, simply monitoring the pulse of the unified field as it wells up through existence. To fully know who it is and what it is you truly are, you must understand your place in the multidimensional universe. Each person is an inseparable, integral part of the totality of this universe. Jyotish gives expression to the interface of one’s Transcendental being, one’s prana, with the karmic scheme of things.
In order to mitigate the negative effects of karma (shown as planet debilitation or difficult transits in the birthchart) or to provide more potency to one’s good karma (shown as a planet that is in an exalted state or well-placed, or beneficial transits in the birthchart), devotees make pilgrimages to Navagraha temples. When things are out of harmony with Nature (karma), the Navagrahas can be an efficient means to affect healing and restore Natural harmony. Therefore, we relate to the Navagrahas to avert mishaps, and help bring health, peace, and harmony to our lives.
As per the ancient scriptures, at temples, the Navagrahas are usually placed in a square, with the sun (Surya) in the center, and the other planets surrounding it. None face each other. At Sri Somesvara Temple, we have used the planet installation arrangement of Vaidika Prathishta which is the most powerful for worshippers.
This Puja is a short Navagraha Puja in which mantras are chanted that address the nine planets as a whole. If you are interested in a puja that addresses the nine planets individually, please see the Navagraha Shanti Puja in the Personal Pujas section.