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Chapter CI - Propitiation of malignant Planets

Yajnavalkya said:—It is incumbent on a person, cast under the malignant influences of hostile planets, to celebrate a religious sacrifice for their propitiation, which is called a Grahayajna, and which a man, in quest of earthly prosperity and peace in life, shall do well to perform. The learned have designated the planets as the Sun, the Moon, the Mars, the Mercury, the Jupiter, the Venus, the Saturn, and the Nodes, both ascending and descending (Rahu and Ketu); and their respective malignant influences entail the wearing of copper, Indian bell metal, crystal, red sandalwood, gold, silver, iron, lead and Indian bell metal, by persons struck with them, on their bodies.

Now hear me, O holy sages, describe the respective colours of the aforesaid planets. The Sun is red; the Moon; white, the Mars, red; the Mercury and the Jupiter, yellowish; and the Venus, white; all the rest being black.

A person struck by the malignant influence of any of the planets, should be bathed with water containing bits of the metal, specifically held sacred to it, and libations of clarified butter surcharged with its particles should be likewise cast in the sacrificial fire in honour of its tutelary god. Offerings of gold, cloth and flowers, should be made to the antagonistic planet, and the worship should be conducted with flowers, perfumes, edibles and burning incense-sticks made of aromatic gum resin. The tutelary gods of the planets, as well as their subordinates, should be worshipped by reciting the Mantras respectively held sacred to them. The Rik running as “Akrishnnaa Rajasa,” should be chanted during the worship of the Sun-God, the one beginning with “Imam Deva,” etc., should be recited in worshipping the Moon-God. The Mars should be invoked by reciting the Vedic verse, running as “Agnimurdha,” etc., while the Mercury should be addressed with the one beginning with “Udbudhyasva,” etc. The Rik running as “Vrihaspati,” etc., shall be chanted on the occasion of a worship of the Jupiter, and the Mantra of “Anyat,” etc., on that of the worship of the Venus. The Saturn should be invoked by reciting the Rik running as “Shannodevi,” etc., while the Nodes should be respectively addressed with the verses running as “Kayayana” etc., and “Kranvana etc.” The twigs of such sacrificial trees or plants such as the Arka, the Palasha, the Khadira, the Apamarga, the Pippala, the Audumvara, the Shami, and Durva and Kusha blades, soaked with curd, honey and clarified butter, should be respectively cast in the sacrificial fire, in Homa ceremonies celebrated for the propitiation of the planets, such as the Sun etc., “Treacle and boiled rice, Payasa, Havishyannam (sun-dried rice cooked with any sacred vegetables and soaked with butter), boiled rice mixed with milk condensed and sweetened by boiling, curd with boild rice, clarified butter, cakes, cooked meat and Vichitrannam (some thing like our modern Pilaos) should be respectively dedicated as offerings to the planets beginning with the Sun. A cow, a conchshell, an ox, gold, a cloth, a horse, a black cow, iron and a goat, are the Dakshinas (honorarium), which should be paid to the Brahmanas officiating at the ceremonies respectively celebrated for the propitiation of the Sun, the Moon, the Mars, the Mercury, the Jupiter, the Venus, the Saturn and the Nodes. Even a king may derive many benefits from worshipping the planets.

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