9 Sacred Secrets of Ganesha
The invocation of the planetary deities, like that of any Hindu Gods and Goddesses, begins with the worship of Ganesha, the Elephant-headed God who grants skill and wisdom and removes any obstacles to the worship. As Ganesha is the lord of time, karma and calculation, he is also invoked as the main deity for Vedic astrology. Vedic astrologers should seek his blessings before beginning their work.
Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the first son of Shiva and Parvati, is the main deity of Vedic astrology. He is the lord of time and karma as well as the deity governing all the occult sciences, including the usage of mantras. He holds the powers of all mantras within himself and can make them all work effectively. Ganesha is usually propitiated at the beginning of any activity for protection and removal of obstacles. He is worshipped before any other deities, whether for external rituals or for internal yoga practices. For honoring Ganesha, one can use the following simple name mantra. Alternatively one can use the seed mantra GLAUM ('au' pronounced like 'ou' in 'sound') for Ganesha. It is good to do this mantra of Ganesha before the planetary mantras. om Gam Ganeshaya Namah
Remedial measures are a cornerstone of Vedic astrology. The very first words of the most widely recognized classical work on Indian astrology, Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, are an invocation to Lord Ganesha, the deity for removal of obstacles. This places upaya at the focal point of the Vedic astrology tradition. Scattered through the text, and indeed the texts of most of the classical works of Jyotish, are verses giving methods for relieving the obstructions and suffering caused by various astrological combinations.
A good astrologer should work with mantra as part of their personal spiritual practice, building up their mantra shakti in a consistent manner. A Vedic astrologer should practice Vedic planetary mantras on a regular basis, preferably every day before seeing clients or studying charts. Planetary mantras stimulate the right perception and intuition required to learn the secrets of Vedic astrology. Planetary mantras should be done along with other spiritual and yogic mantras, like those to Ganesha, ones guru or the form of God one worships.
Our karmic code is the ultimate secret code that we must learn to decipher. Ketu is the main planetary force which helps us do that. Chitragupta is sometimes regarded as a form of Ganesha who is the lord of time and karma on a cosmic level. Ketu's ability to grant higher perception and meditational powers is clear from these verses.
Brihaspati in the Vedas is also called Brahmanaspati, or the lord of Brahman, the universal creative power and lord of the ritual order of the cosmos. In this regard he has connections both with the later God, Brahma, the creator among the Hindu trinity, and Ganesha, the lord of time and karma. Jupiter also relates to Ganesha or Ganapati, the Elephant God, the first son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha, like Jupiter, is the great god of wisdom through whom we overcome all obstacles. He grants knowledge of Yoga, Astrology, Vastu, science and mathematics. He is the Divine teacher and guide and represents the cosmic intelligence working behind the world. The first and most famous Vedic Ganapati mantras are part of hymns to Brihaspati.43
Ketu is also connected to Ganesha who is Dhumaketu or smoky Ketu. Ganesha, like Ketu, has his head cut off but replaced with that of en elephant (who has a serpent-like trunk). Ganesha, like Ketu, rules over both karma and spiritual knowledge and is also the main deity of Vedic astrology, which is the science of karma. Sometimes it is the skinny or thin Ganesha that relates to Ketu, while the fat Ganesha relates more to Jupiter.
Usually however the supreme deity of Mars is said to be Skanda, the second son of Shiva and Kali (born after Ganesha) who, like the Greek god Mars, is the war god and the leader of the Divine army. Skanda represents the Divine will in manifestation through which truth conquers falsehood. Anger and violence are distortions of this energy on the physical plane. Skanda holds all spiritual powers but we must undergo purification (tapas) in order to receive them. He is also called Karttikeya, the one born of the Pleiades or Krittika Nakshatra, and Subrahmanya, the good priest. He is Kumara or the Divine child
The second verse is to the God Indra, the King of the Gods, along with his army of Maruts, wind and storm Gods. He is the overruling deity of Jupiter as the head of the heavenly army. This head of the hosts energizes the higher rishi or seer powers and puts us in touch with them. While the solitary form of Indra is associated with Venus, Indra as the group leader is connected with Jupiter. Later on this function of head of the group of the Gods was taken over by Ganesha.