graha ग्रह

Definition: (‘Seizing ’) is a term applied to the sun in the śata­patha Brāhmana, most probably not in the later sense of ‘ planet,’ but to denote a power exercising magical influence. The sense of ‘ planet ’ seems first to occur in the later literature, as in the Maitrāyanī Upanisad. The question whether the planets were known to the Vedic Indians is involved in obscurity. Oldenberg recognizes them in the Adityas, whose number is, he believes, seven : sun, moon, and the five planets. But this view, though it cannot be said to be impossible or even unlikely, is not susceptible of proof, and has been rejected by Hillebrandt, Pischel, von Schroeder,Macdonell, and Bloom­field, among others. Hillebrandt sees the planets in the five Adhvaryus mentioned in the Rigveda, but this is a mere con­jecture. The five bulls (uksānah) in another passage of the Rigveda have received a similar interpretation with equal uncertainty, and Durga, in his commentary on the Nirukta, even explains the term bhūmija, ‘ earth-born,’ which is only men­tioned by Yāska, as meaning the planet Mars.Thibaut, who is generally sceptical as to the mention of planets in the Veda, thinks that Brhaspati there refers to Jupiter; but this is extremely improbable, though in the Taittirīya Samhitā Brhaspati is made the regent of Tisya. A reference to the planets is much more probable in the seven suns (sapta sūryāh) of the late Taittirīya Áranyaka. On the other hand, Ludwig’s efforts to find the five planets with the sun, the moon, and the twenty-seven Naksatras (lunar mansions) in the Rigveda, as corresponding to the number thirty-four used in connexion with light19 (jyotis) and the ribs of the sacrificial horse, is far¬fetched. See also Sukra, Manthin, Vena.


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