Unbiased god Shiva, Bholenath, Rudra is worshipped by Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, all the devtas, daityas, rakshas, preta, gandharva, vaital, bhoot, pishachas and all terrifying astral beings equally. He takes care of all who pray to him without discrimination. If invoked with faith and devotion, he never lets you down, a personal experience.
Let’s see how…
We are all born with Prarabdh and Sanchit karmas as our old baggage which reflects in our horoscopes and planetary postings. This can be good or bad and ensures our journey in this life. No one is born with a perfect planetary position but can improve and strengthen their karmic balance through positive deeds and prayers.
This can also help in reducing the malefic effect of planets too. Different deities are connected to different planets and so invoking them gives us positive results relating to those planets but Lord Shiva as mentioned earlier has the power to mitigate the ill influences of all planets as even Rahu and Ketu were blessed by him.
He is the guru to Saturn and he cured Mars of leprosy. All the planets prayed to him in Kashi or Varanasi, a place synonymous with Lord Shiva.
Mantras and offerings made to Lord Shiva and their connection to the nine planets of Vedic astrology….
1. Sun — Rudrabhishek on a Sunday.
Wear Ekmukhi Rudraksha or twelve mukhi Rudraksha.
The white Aak plant or the ‘shwetark‘ which is offered to Lord Shiva represents the planet Sun. It is different from the regular aak plant. The leaf of this plant is thick and they turn yellow when they become ripe. The flowers are small and appear in bunches.
The flowers are white in colour with lines on them and are very soft in texture. The fruits resemble a mango fruit in shape. When broken, the branches give out a white sap. The plant is poisonous to human beings. The root of this plant represents Lord Ganesha.
2. Moon — Chandrashekhar Ashtakam sung by Markande rishi
Wear two mukhi Rudraksha.
Milk, water and rice that are offered to Lord Shiva represent the planet Moon.
3. Mars — Rudrabhishek and chanting the Shiva maha. mantra- Om Namah Shivaya! Praying to Lord Kartikeya, Lord Shiva’s older son.
Wear three mukhi Rudraksha.
Sugar is offered to Lord Shiva and it represents the planet Mars.
4. Mercury — Shiva Manas puja and the Shiva Panchakshar stotra.
Wear a ten mukhi Rudraksha
Belva patra and Durva are offered to Lord Shiva and they represent the planet Mercury. Belva patra is a favourite of the Lord and it destroys and dissolves our sins. It ensures prosperity sins. It ensures prosperity and the blessings of goddess Laxmi. Durva with its three leaflets represents the Shiva, Shakti and Ganapathi tatva. It ensures growth in wealth, lineage and intellect.
5. Jupiter — Rudrabhishek and chanting the Rudram.
Wear a five mukhi Rudraksha.
Ghee represents the planet Jupiter and is offered to Lord Shiva.
6. Venus — Chanting the Uma Maheshwar stotra.
Wear a six mukhi Rudraksha.
Curd, Attra or any perfume and sandalwood offered to Bholenath all represent Venus. Sandalwood is especially offered on the Shiva linga as it has a cooling effect on him.
7. Saturn — Rudrabhishek and chanting the Rudri or Rudram.
Wear a seven mukhi Rudraksha.
Offering the Dhatura plant to Lord Shiva, we pray to him to remove the toxins like jealousy and envy from our body and soul. It also helps remove thorns which represent obstacles from our path as this fruit has thorns on it. This fruit represents the energy of the planet Saturn. The flowers, leaves and the seeds of this plant when consumed can cause hallucination, insanity and can even lead to death.
Sometimes to reduce the ill effects of Saturn, Mustard oil is offered to the Shiva linga on Saturday.
8. Rahu — Chanting the Kaal Bhairav Ashtakam and the Rudra Ashtakam.
Wear a eight mukhi Rudraksha.
Bhang represents both Rahu and Mercury and is one of the favourite things offered to Lord Shiva. Sometimes it is mixed in cold milk and offered. Unfortunately, people mislead Lord Shiva by picturizing him as a smoking pot. The question is why is he related to it?
Cannabis or Bhang is one of the most sacred plants, and it is written in the fourth Veda that it relieves anxiety. During the ‘Samundra Manthan’, a lethal poison named ‘Halahal’ was released, which was so poisonous that it could end the universe. To avoid this destruction, Lord Shiva consumed the poison.
Consuming Bhang (cannabis) by Shiva signifies that he has the power to take in any negativity and not get effected. This is the learning we need to take away from this offering to be able to live in this world untouched and not effected by the negativity. Offering Bhang to Bholenath also ensures victory on every front in life as the shloka suggests.
9. Ketu — Chant the Shiva Panchakshari stotram. Worship Lord Ganesha.
Wear a nine mukhi Rudraksha.
Coconut and the Aak plant leaves offered to Lord Shiva represent Ketu.
Temples of Shiva in Kashi dedicated to each planet…
Shiva lingams established by the planets are there in Varanasi or Kashi. Kashi is not only the most holy place in India but is also synonymous with Shiva. It is a belief that if cremated in Varanasi on the Ganga ghat near the Shiva temple one receives moksha or liberation from the cycle of life and birth. Therefore it’s not surprising that all the nine planets chose this place to pay to the devon ke dev, Mahadeva.
1. Surya or Sun — Keshawadityeshwar Shiva linga Lord Surya dev worshipped Lord Shiva here.
2. Chandra or Moon — Someshwar Shiva linga is where planet Moon prayed to Shiva to get rid of his curse and achieve eternal health. He was cursed by his father in law Daksh Prajapathi for favouring one of his daughters more than the others. The twenty- seven nakshastras are Daksh Prajapati’s daughters and the wife of Moon.
Rohini nakshastra in Taurus rashi where Moon feels at home gets strength, is the wife he favoured the most. This made other wives jealous on whose complaint the father cursed Moon that it would diminish.
The diminishing Moon prayed to Shiva who agreed to wear the crescent shaped Moon on his forehead to make sure that he was accepted by all. He then blessed Moon and gave it the power to grow back to its full size.
3. Mangal or Mars — Angarakeshwar Shiva linga was where Mars prayed to Bholenath. He prayed for so long that his body became angarak like the sun and started glowing. Lord Shiva gave him the status of being a planet and loved him as his putra or son.
4. Budh or Mercury — Budheshwar Shiva linga as the name suggests was established and worshipped by Mercury. Lord Shiva pleased him and granted him the deva and graha pad.
5. Brihaspati or Jupiter — Brahaspateshwar Shiva linga was the linga that Jupiter worshipped in Kashi. It is here that he did tapa and in return was made the guru of the devtas and granted the graha pad by Rudra himself.
6. Shukra or Venus — Shukrashreshwar Shiva linga worshipped Shiva here. He did rigorous tapa and penance for many years to appease Bholenath. Pleased by him Shiva blessed him with the knowledge of Mrit Sanjeevani vidhya and made him a grah or planet.
7. Shani or Saturn, the most dreaded planet — Shaneshchareshwar Shiva linga was established by Shani dev and he did penance or taps here to please Lord Shiva. He was disliked and ignored by his father the Sun god and took refuge under Lord Shiva who parted eternal knowledge to Saturn and became his Sadguru. With his worship he granted him the place of a planet that was the judge or dharamrakshak, protector of law, order and righteousness.
8. Rahu — Rahueshwar Shiva linga was the linga that was established and worshipped by the chaya planet Rahu. He was blessed with the status of being a planet.
9. Ketu — Ketveeshwar Shiva linga was prayed to by the planet Ketu and the compassionate Bholenath generously granted him the status of a planet.