navagraha worshipped as deities

Richard Salomon rsalomon at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu Apr 9 18:25:25 UTC 1998

I believe that Steven Markel of the Los Angeles Museum has worked
extensively  on the iconography of the
navagrahas, and has published or will shortly publish a book on the
subject.  My recollection is that it is being published by Brill, but I'm
not sure of this.

R. Salomon

On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Marianna Kropf wrote:

> Dear members of Indology group
> In the process of my actual work about the ritual worship of the nine
> planetary deities referred to as 'navagraha', I came across several
> 'white spots' in the material I have collected till now.
> I mainly focussed on the worship/ ritual propitiation of one or all of
> the grahas, as I saw it in Shaiva temples of Tamil Nadu: Aims and
> contexts of the graha worship, the ritual guidelines followed by the
> priests (including mantras, stotras, namavalis and indications for
> different types of rituals adressing the grahas), ikonographical
> appearance of the grahas, backgrounds of worship given by priests and
> devotees, historical data on the temples.
> Beside temples that are well known and selected by devotees for the
> worship of all the grahas, there exist elsewhere circles of nine
> different temples each one especially associated with one of the grahas
> (as it is the case for nine temples situated around Kumbakonam). The
> grahas may be depicted as a collection of their respective nine murtis
> arranged on one and the same platform or one or the other of the
> planetary deities is given its own shrine within the temple compound. I
> am very clear about the very fact of a close relation between astrology
> and navagraha worship, a detailed study of the former is not part of my
> investigation, wherease I want to stress the later aspect.
> In this context I need help concerning textual references:
> [to point it out very clearly: I am not looking for jyotis.a sources]
> Who knows of passages out of the Veda Samhitas, which adress the
> navagraha (being at that time only seven) as deities?  Who can provide
> me with references to graha worship given in the puranas? In the agamic
> canons? Are there early S_ilpa texts that describe ikonographical
> details and material to be used for navagraha murtis?
> - One question I wish to answer: how far can we find references to a
> kind of worship of navagraha in the ancient textual sources as it is
> practiced nowadays? Do these references allow to say something on the
> beginning of a tradition where the planetary deities are referred to as
> (secondary) deities?
> Any hints are welcome.
> Who can provide me with information on further temples especially
> connected with navagraha and their ritual worship? As far a I know,
> there are in Andhra Pradesh, there seem to be at least one in Benares
> (which one?!), ...
> - it seems to me interesting to see whether or not shrines for the
> grahas or at least graha-murtis placed in temples to be worshipped by
> devotees and daily cared for by priests are a rather southern phenomen.
> Thank your for your time and cooperation
> yours
> Marianna

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