Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes the planets (graha-bhaktiyoga) which is the sixteenth Chapter of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Chapter 16 - On the planets (graha-bhaktiyoga)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Summary: Countries, People and Things belonging to the domain of each planet.

1-5. The Sun presides over the people of the western half of the Narmadā, of the countries on both banks of the Soṇa, of Orissa, Bengal, Suhma, Kaliṅga, Bāhlīka, Śaka, Yavana, Magadha, Śabara and eastern parts of Jyotiṣapura, Cīna (China) and Kāmboja; over the people of Mekala, Kirāta, Viṭaka, the outer and inner mountains, Pulinda, the eastern half of Draviḍa and the east bank of the Yamunā; over the people of the Campā city, the Udumbaras, the citizens of Kauśāmbī, of Cedī, of Kaliṅga in the forest of the Vindhya mountains, of Puṇḍra, of Golāṅgula, of Śrīparvata and of the town of Vardhamān; and over the people living on the banks of the Ikṣumatī. He also presides over hill-men, quick-silver, deserts, shepherds, seeds, pod-grains, bitter flavour, trees, gold, fire, poison and persons successful in battle; over medicines, physicians, quadrupeds, farmers, kings, butchers, travellers, thieves, serpents, forests and renowned and cruel men.

6. The Moon presides over citadels fortified by hills or by water, over Kosala, Bharukaccha, the sea, the city of Roma, the country of Tuṣāra, dwellers in forests, the islands of Taṅgaṇa, Hala and Strīrājya in the big seas.

7. She presides over sweet juice, flowers, fruits, water, salt, gems, conch shells, pearls, creatures of water, paddy, barley, medicinal plants, wheat, Somayajis, kings attacked in the rear, and Brāhmaṇas.

8. She also presides over fine white horses, charming young women, commanders of armies, articles of food, clothes, horned animals, the Rākṣasas, farmers and Śrotiyas.[1]

9-11. Mars presides over the people residing in the west half of the countries on both banks of the Śoṇa, the Narmadā and the Beas; over those residing on the banks of the Nirvindhya, the Vetravatī, the Siprā, the Godāvarī, the Veṇa, the Gaṅgā, the Payoṣṇī, the Mahānadī, the Indus, the Mālatī and the Pārā; he also presides over the country of Uttarapāṇḍya, the Mahendra, the Vindhya, the Malaya mountains, Colādeśa, the Draviḍas, the Videhas, the Āndhras, the Aśmakas, the Bhāsapuras, the Kauṅkaṇas, the Mantriṣikās, the Kuntalas, the Keralas, the Daṇḍakas, the Kāntipuras, the Mlecchas and the mixed races.

12. He also presides over Nāsika Bhogavardhana, Virāṭa, the countries bordering on the Vindhya mountains and over the people living on the banks of the Tāpī and the Gomatī.

13-15. He presides over citizens, farmers, chemists, firemen, soldiers, forest-men, citadels, chief towns, butchers, sinners, haughty men, kings, children, elephants, fops, infanticides, shepherds, red fruits, red flowers, corals, commanders of armies, jaggery, wine, cruel men, storehouses, Agnihotrins, metal mines, the Śākyas in red robes, the Buddhists, thieves, rogues, vindictive and gluttonous persons.

16-20. Mercury presides over the western half of the Lohitya river, the Indus, the Sarayū, the Gāmbhīrika, the Ratha,[2] the Ganges and its tributary the Kauśi. He also presides over the countries of Videha, Kāmboja; the eastern half of Mathurā, the Himālayas, the Gomanta, the Citrakūṭa mountains, Saurāṣṭra; people living on table lands, on the surface of water, in valleys and in mountains; over persons possessing a knowledge of the laws of drink, of mechanics, of music, of writing, of gems, of colour and of perfumes; he also presides over painters, grammarians, mathematicians, physicians, sculptors, spies, jugglers, infants, poets, rogues, tale-bearers, black-magicians, messengers, eunuchs, buffoons, sorcerers and conjurers; over sentinels, dancers and dancing masters; over ghee, gingelly and other oils; over seeds, over bitter flavour, over observers of religious ceremonies, over chemists and mules.

21-25. Jupiter presides over the eastern part of the Indus, the western half of Mathurā, the countries of Bharata and Sauvīra; the town of Srughna, the province of Udīcya, the Vipāśā and the Śatadru rivers; the countries of Ramaṭha, Śālvā; Traigarta, Paurava, Ambaṣṭa, Pārata, Vāṭadhāna, Yaudheya, Sārasvata, Arjunāyana, one half of Matsya; over elephants, horses, priests, rulers, ministers, marriages and health; over mercy, truthfulness, cleanliness, religious observances; over learning, gifts and charity; over citizens, richmen, grammarians, Vedic students, sorcerers, lawyers, the ensigns of royalty—the umbrella, the flag-staff, the Cāmara and the like; over Śaileyaka,[3] Mānsī,[4] Tagara,[5] Kuṣṭha,[6] quicksilver, salt, beans, sweet flavour, wax and Coraka.[7]

26-29. Venus presides over the town of Takṣaśīlā, the countries of Mārttīkāvata, Bahugiri, Gāndhāra, Puṣkalāvataka, Prasthala, Mālvā, Kaikaya, Dāśārṇa, Uśīnara and Śibi; over the people living on the banks of the Vitastā, the Irāvatī and the Candrabhāgā; over chariots, silver mines, elephants, horses, elephant drivers and rich men; over perfumes, flowers, perfumed paste, gems, diamonds, ornaments, lotus or conch shells, beds, bridegrooms, young men, young women, objects tending to provoke lustful desires and persons that eat good and sweet meals; over gardens, waters, voluptuaries and lewed men; over fame, comfort, generosity, beauty, and learning, over ministers, merchants, potters, birds and triphala.[8]

30. Venus also presides over simple silk, coloured silk, wollen cloth, white silk, Rodhra[9], Patra,[10] Coca,[11] nutmeg, Agaru,[12] Vacā,[13] Pippalī[14] and sandal.

31-32. Saturn presides over the countries of Ānarta, Arbuda, Puṣkara, Saurāṣṭra, Abhīra, Śūdra, Raivataka, countries through which the river Sarasvatī passes as an underground stream and the western countries; over the natives of Kurukṣetra, the town of Somanātha, and persons born on the banks of the Vidiśā, the Vedasmṛti and the Mahī; over wicked men, uncleanly men and men of the lowest class; over oil-mongers, weak men and persons not possessing virility.

33. Saturn also presides over binders, bird hunters, impure men, boatmen or fishermen, ugly men and old men; over dealers in hogs, chiefs of tribes, men of weak resolution, hill men, harbarous mountain tribes and over poor men.

34. He also presides over pungent flavour and bitter flavour; over chemistry; over widows, serpents, thieves, buffaloes, asses, camels, beans, leguminous seeds and Niṣpāva.[15]

35. Rāhu presides over hill men, mountain peaks, outer and inner caves, the Mlecchas, the Śūdras, persons subsisting on dogs and jackals, spear men, the countries of Vokkaṇa and Aśvamukha and persons physically deformed.

36. He also presides over the most wicked in the family, over torturers, ungrateful men, thieves, persons who are untruthful, uncleanly and ungenerous; over ass-riders, duelists, persons of easily irritable temperament, infants in the womb and Cāṇḍālas.

37. He also presides over notorious sinners, fops, Rākṣasas, excessive sleepers, all sentient beings and wicked persons; over black gram and gingelly seed.

38. Ketu presides over mountains, fortified cities, the countries of Pahlava, Śveta, Hūṇa; Colā, Avagāṇa, Maru, Cīna (China) and the land of the Mlecchas; over rich men, men of note, men of industry and valour; over men coveting the wives of others, men prying into the secrets of other men, haughty men, ignorant men, sinners and persons fond of victory.

40. If at the time of reappearance, a planet should appear bright, of large disc and in his natural condition, not crossed by thunderbolts, meteoric falls or dust-storms and not suffer in conjunction with other planets or if he should be in his house or in his Uccakṣetra or if he should be within sight of a benefic planet, he will bring prosperity to the persons and objects presided over by him.

41. If on the other hand he should appear otherwise than as described above, the same persons and objects will suffer miseries and people will also suffer from wars and from diseases and kings will be afflicted with sorrow.

42. Though free from enemies, princes will suffer from the intrigues of their sons or ministers. Their subjects, suffering from drought, will quit their native cities and resort to new towns and mountains.

Footnotes and references:


Śrotiya: a person skilled in the knowledge of the rules relating to sacrificial rites.


Ratha is the Guṇḍaka, according to Kāśyapa.


Śaileyaka: bensoin or stonax.


Mānsī: otherwise known as Jaṭāmānsī, a medicinal grass.


Tagara: the plant Casia tera.


Kuṣṭha: a medicinal plant used as a remedy for the disease called Takman—Costus.


Coraka: the husk of cardamom.


Triphala: the three fruits—the three myrobalans, the fruits Terminalia chebulla, Terminalia bellerica and Phyllanthus emblica, or the three sweet fruits of grape, pomegranate and date.


Rodhra: the tree Symplocos rocemosa haying yellow leaves.


Patra: the leaves of Cinnamon.


Coca: the bark of Cinnamon.


Agaru: Agallochum, amyris Agallocha.


Vacā: a kind of aromatic root (according to some orris root).


Pippalī: long pepper—Piper longum.


Niṣapāva: a species of pulse—Phaseolus raditus.

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