Personification of the planet Mercury
|Mantra||Om Vudhaya Namaha|
|Mount||Lion or chariot hauled by eight horses of deep yellow colour|
In Hindu mythology, Budha (Sanskrit: बुध) or Saumya is the name for the planet Mercury, the son of Chandra (the Moon.) His mother is said to be Taraka (or Tara.) He is the god of merchandise and protector of merchants.
He is represented as being mild, eloquent, and having a greenish complexion. He is represented holding a scimitar, a club and a shield, riding a winged lion in Bhudhan Temple. In other illustrations, he holds a sceptre and lotus and rides a carpet or an eagle or a chariot drawn by lions.
Budha presides over midweek 'Budhavara' or Wednesday. In modern Hindi, Oriya, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Urdu, Kannada and Gujarati, Wednesday is called Budhavara; Tamil: Budhan kizhamai; Malayalam: Budhanazhcha; Thai: Wan Phut (วันพุธ).
Birth of Budha
Budha, a beautiful child, was born to Tara. Chandra claimed to be the father of Budha, but Tara kept silent. Budha himself got angry over this tussle and asked his mother to tell the truth. Tara said that Chandra was the father of Budha.
Chandra was a student with Brihaspati, the Teacher of devas. Tara was the wife of Brihaspati. Tara fell in love with the beauty of Chandra(chandr). Brihaspati became angry and eventually a war started between Chandra and Brihaspati. Shukracharya, the teacher of the Asuras, joined Chandra in the battle, while The devas joined Brihaspati. As the battle was due to desire (kama) for Tara, it was known as Tarakaamayam. Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, feared the war might abolish the world. Hence, he came down and stopped the war. He convinced Tara, took her away from Chandra, and gave her back to Brihaspati.
Growth of Budha
Chandra gives the child Budha to Rohini and Krittika, two of his wives, to raise. Budha grows up under supervision of Rohini and Krittika. As he grows up, he feels angry and ashamed about his birth. He wants to rectify the sin of his birth and hence goes to Saravanavana in the Himalayas to do Tapas. Vishnu, pleased with the tapas, shows up to Budha. By Vishnu's blessings Budha learns all the Vedas and arts. However according to another version, Budha was raised by Brihaspati and is thus called his son.
Temples of Budha
In Vedic astrology Budha is considered a benefic, unless he is joined with a malefic planet, in which case he becomes malefic also. Mercury rules over Mithuna (Gemini) and Kanya (Virgo), is exalted in Kanya and in his fall in Meena (Pisces). Budha is friendly with Saturn and Venus, hostile to the Moon, Mars and Jupiter, and neutral towards the other planets. Budha represents intelligence, intellect, communication, analysis, the senses (especially the skin), science, mathematics, business, education and research. The written word and journeys of all types fall within his domain. Budha is lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions: Ashlesha, Jyeshtha, and Revati (nakshatra). Budha has the following associations: the color green, the metal brass and gemstone emerald. The direction associated with Budha is north, the season is autumn and the element is earth.
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- Mythology of the Hindus by Charles Coleman p.133