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SHUKRA

The radiant celestial guru of the demons Shukracharya was born to Bhrigu Maharshi and Ushana, also known as Usha. A detailed account of Shukra is available in the Mahabharatha, Matsya Purana, Devi Bhaagavatha, Kaashi Khanda and other Bhaagavatha puranas.

Bhrigu Maharshi married Usha, the daughter of Hiranya Kashipa. Shukracharya was born out of this wedlock. He married Priyavratha's daughter Urjaswathi and gave birth to four sons –Chanda, Amarka, Twaashtra, Dharaatra and a daughter by name Devayaani.

According to Kashi Khanda, Shukra, along with Brihaspathi studied under Angirasa. But Shukra to his dismay, notices Angirasa's undue fovouritism towards his son Brihaspathi. Shukra leaves to enrole himself with Gauthama Maharshi.

On Gouthama Maharshi's advice he sets off on a penance on the banks of river Gautami to appease Lord Shiva and obtains 'Mritasanjeevani," (the technique of reviving the deceased back to life). Sukra thus presides over as a teacher to the demons and in the battles between the gods and demons, he breathes life in to the slain demons.

The gods were upset on not being able to kill any of the demons including Andhakaasura. Hence they appealed to Lord Shiva, who in turn swallows Shukra and enables the gods to kill Andhakasura. Later Sukra is rejected out as semen from Shiva’s body.

Mahabharata also traces his origin, but with a slight variation. Sukra is said to have deceived Kubera into losing money and the latter lodges a complaint with Shiva. Shiva then swallows Shukra only to release later. As he happened to come out of Shiva's body, he is considered to be cosmic couple's son and they bless him to look brilliant.

Devi Bhagavatha relates how Sukra was angered by his demon-disciples. The story goes on to state how

Shukracharya gained Mrithasanjeevani from Shiva and used it to the demon’s advantage. To distract Shukra from the revival spree Indra deputes his daughter Jayanti to win him over with her charm. Jayanti succeeds in winning over Shukracharya and they begin to spend their time together in a remote heaven.

Meanwhile, as the demons started searching for him, Brihaspathi disguises himself as Shukracharya to harm the demons. Later Shukracharya comes back only to find a fake Shukaracharya in the demon-fold. An argument takes place between them but the demons continue to believe the fake Shukracharya. Then angered with their attitude, he curses the demons to get defeated in the hands of gods.

Another story about Shukra in Mahabharatha gives a vivid account of his paternal love. Shukra loves his

daughter Devayani and she falls in love with Kacha, Brihaspathi’s son, who comes to Shukacharya as a disciple. Though demons kill him, Shukracharya brings him back to life with "Mrithasanjeevani. Later once again the demons kill Kacha, burn him to ashes, mix it in liquor and makes Shukra to consume it. At the request of Devayani Shukra brings back life to Kacha who was in his stomach and teaches him the art of Mritasanjeevani. Kacha comes out of the stomach of Shukra and brings back life to Shukra.

Bhaagavatha Purana narrates another incident, which speaks of his boundless paternal love. His daughter Devayani was humiliated by Sarmishta, the daughter of king Vrishaparva. Sukra takes his

daughter's insult to heart and refuses to budge till the king sentences Sarmishta to be the slave of Devayani

for life. Devayani, later marries Yayaati But Yayaathi attracts Sukracharya's wrath as the latter finds Yayaati secretly married to Sarmishta. Thus Sukracharya curses Yayaati to become old.

Again, when, Vaamana arrives in Bali's kingdom and asks for three steps as alms. Sukra is quick to understand the implication of such a request and warns Bali in advance. As he stands between the alms given and the Vaamana to block a possible catastrophe, Vaamana pierces Sukra’s eye and henceforth he becomes an one-eyed guru.

Sukra's nature: The fair-coloured Sukra adorns a crown and positions himself on a white lotus. The four-handed Sukra holds baton, rosary, a vessel and a gesture of assurance. He favours demons and presides over the material and metaphysical wealth - Blessed by Brahma, he attains planetary position and showers bounty every where. Indraani is his adhidewata and Indra is the Pratyadhidevata. The eight horses driven chariot of Sukra sports many flags.

The feminic natured Sukra was born into a Bhargava gotra and is a Brahminical planet. He was born on Friday in the year Paarthiva on Sraavana Suddha Ashtami when Swathi Nakshatra is on the ascent.

Sukra in astrology: He positions eastward opposite to the sun. He is the Chief of the Kambhoja kingdom, and lords over Tula and Vrishabha raashis. Meena raasi is his best place and Kanya raasi is malignant. For some months he is sighted before the Sunrise and after the sunset. In conjugation with sun, he creates "Sukra Moudhya". In a horoscope Sukra dasa lasts for 20 years. He gives good results in 1,2,4,5,8,9 and 11 positions.

If the Beejaakshara "Om Draam, Dreem, Droum, Saha Shukraaya Namaha" is chanted for 20,000 times, it is said to issue out good results. Diamond is to be worn to appease Sukra. Silver, gold, rice, ghee, white cloths, sandal wood, white horse, curds, sugar and lands are to be given away to please him.

Sukra stands for pleasures, love, marriage, beauty, jewellery, fine arts, and all types of prosperity is the result of Sukra's consideration and blessing. A broken marriage, ill-repute, excess expenditure, kidney problem, diabetics, throat infection are the result of Sukra being in a malignant position. Among stars, Poorva Phalguni, Poorvaashaada and Bharani belong to him. If Sukra happens to be in a said muhurtha, when a well is dug, it holds abundant water.

According to science: Westerners refer to Sukra as shooting star. Greeks worship his as the angel of beauty and peace and also as a great poet. His proximity to sun gives him brilliance. Like Moon, he too has phases. Sukra is two fold more brilliant than the earth and in distanced from earth by 420 486 yojanaas. He resides in each raasi (sign) for a period of 30 days.
          

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