As a Westerner, when I first was exposed to Vedic astrology and was told there were “9 planets”, I felt confused as the Sun is a star, the Moon is a satellite of the Earth, and Rahu and Ketu do not have physical form. How can someone say 9 planets, when clearly 4 of them are not true planets?


However, when I understood the word used in Sanskrit to describe this collection of energies is “grahas”, I had more appreciation.


In Sanskrit the planetary archetypes are called “grahas” which conveys the idea “to seize.” They can seize hold of our consciousness and affect us inwardly and outwardly. The light being of each graha has a job to do to assist in evolution of our consciousness. We can develop personal relationships with all of them and make friends with them.


In my lifetime, some Sanskrit words have become used more commonly in the West, such as yoga, karma and dharma.


Hopefully some of the Sanskrit terms from Vedic astrology will begin to find acceptance as well, such as graha, rasi and bhava.


In the picture below, the grahas are from viewer’s left to right:
  • top row: Mercury, Venus, Moon
  • middle row: Jupiter, Sun, Mars
  • bottom row: Ketu, Saturn, Rahu

9 Vedic Planets ~ 9 Grahas


Written by Valli Wells

Valli is available for ½-hour and 1-hour Live Astrologer Consultations (LAC) at AstroVed (USD global version only). She encourages people to create a free account at AstroVed and run free reports about their own Birth Chart, Birth Star, Moon Sign, and Planetary Influences. This is a simple way to begin to make friends with astrology. She invites everyone interested to learn more about Vedic astrology to join a newly formed Facebook group for Astrology Club – AstroVed.

Reminder: All the planets like it when we help others in need. Please consider making a donation to Dr. Pillai’s non-profit charity Tripura Foundation.