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According to traditional astrology (jyotiṣa), the nine ‘planets’ consist of: Sūrya (Sun), Soma (Moon), Budha (Mercury), Śukra (Venus), Maṅgala (Mars), Bṛhaspati/Guru (Jupiter), Śani (Saturn), and the ascending (northern) and descending (southern) nodes, Rāhu and Ketu. Their potential influence over the lives of individuals is thought by many to require continuous monitoring through consultations with astrologers and the reading of horoscopes. Appropriate propitiation (particularly of Śani, Rāhu, and Ketu, which are thought to be inauspicious and dangerous) takes the form of food offerings made to their personifications in local shrines and temples. Some temples, particularly in southern India, have separate shrines dedicated to the navagrahas; alternatively, they may appear in sculpted relief above the door lintel, offering protection to the building and its worshippers.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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