A new insight into Venus: A Brahman who turned into a Kshatriya!

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In this post, I discuss the special quality of Venus in astrology. I illustrate this by taking two examples of characters from Vedic mythology – Parashurama and Bhima.

Parashurama avatar of Venus

To understand Venus much better we have to first look into the Parashurama avatar of Vishnu as that avatar is connected to Venus in astrology. More information about the avatar can be found in this link on wikipedia.

Parashurama avatar:

Parashurama was the son of sage Jamadagni and his wife Renuka, living in a hut. They have a celestial cow called Surabhi which gives all they desire (such a cow is known as Kamadhenu. A king named Arjuna Kartavirya (not to be confused with Arjuna the Pandava)– learns about it and wants it. He asks Jamadagni to give it to him, but the sage refuses. While Parashurama is away from the hut, the king takes it by force. Parashurama learns about this crime, and is upset. With his axe in his hand, he challenges the king to battle. They fight, and Parushama kills the king, according to the Hindu mythology. The Kshatriya class challenges him, and he kills all his challengers by going 21 rounds around entire Bharatha Khanda and annihilating the entire race of Kshatriyas.

Vishnu incarnated for the sixth time (Venus rules the number 6) as Parshurama Avatar in Treta Yuga to exterminate kshatriyas kings who strayed from their path and had become a great burden to Bhoomidevi (Mother Earth) and her children. In Treta yuga there was a kshatriya king named Arjuna Kartavirya, who had thousand arms. He had appeased Lord Dattatreya and has secured boons from him which had made him invincible. But Arjuna misused his powers and became a merciless tyrant. To end his bad deeds and avenge all kshatriyas kings who had become evil and were troubling the brahmins, Lord Vishnu came to earth in Parashurama avatar. “Parashu” means axe and so his name means Rama-with-the-axe. Though a Brahmin’s son Parashurama had an inordinate love for weapons and had kshatriya (warrior) traits in him. He is also referred as ‘Brahma-Kshatriya’ -one who possesses both the qualities of Brahmins and kshatriyas (since his mother was a daughter of kshatriya and his father was a brahmin). This quality of Parashurama is the topic of discussion in this post.

The rest of the story is borrowed from the Puranas and is as follows: “Ashram of Sage Jamadagni was situated on the banks of the river Narmada where he educated his sons and his disciples. Parshurama’s parents were spiritual people, his mother Renuka had command over water elements and his father Jamadgani over fire. Once Sage Jamadagni was performing a yajna in his ashram. He asked his wife Renuka to fetch water from the river to offer an oblation to gods.

At that time a celestial singer named Chitraratha was making sport in the river with his wives. Out of curiosity Renuka stood there to see them and missed the time of oblation. Jamadagni was so angry that he ordered his sons, “Cut off her head as she has failed in her duty!” None of the sons came forward.

Parashurama obeyed his command and killed his mother. Rishi Jamadgani was so pleased with his son that he asked him to ask for a boon. Parashurama said,”Kindly bring our innocent mother to life again.” By now Jamadagni’s anger had subsided and with his divine powers, he brought back life of Renuka.

Sage Jamadgani and Renuka both were blessed not only for having Parshuram as their son but they also had the wish-fulfilling cow – Kamdhenu and her calf- a symbol of abundance. Once when Parashurama & his brothers were away, some Kshatriya warriors entered Jamadagni’s Ashrama. Renuka was alone at that time, she greeted them and offered them with delicious dishes and with tasty milk of their cow Kamadhenu and her calf.

Kamadhenu housing all the Vedic deities

Everyone was amused to see such a magical cow which produced whatever dish they asked for. They thought,”If Kamadhenu can feed so many people in such a short time then our king Arjuna must possess her.” They asked for that cow and Renuka refused.

After their meals they took rest for a while and at the time of departure Kshatriya warriors seized the cow & her calf & forcefully took them to their capital. Renuka loved Kamadhenu and her calf more than her life. When Parashurama returned to his ashram, he saw his mother Renuka crying. He inquired and she said, “My son, what a misery! Arjuna’s men has robbed us of Kamadhenu and her calf.”

“How dare he commit such a sin, do not worry I shall deal with him?” shouted Parashurama. Parashurama stormed into Mahishmati, Arjuna’s capital carrying his axe and challenged him, “You have stolen our Kamadhenu. Return it if you love life.” Arjuna was alarmed at first but then he took Parashurama as a meek boy.

So he insolently said, “Kshatriyas have claim over the best things in this world. You and your father should practice penance only. Kamadhenu will live well in my palace.” Arjuna sent his powerful army to face Parashurama but they were all killed. Enraged at the destruction of his army, Arjuna himself rushed towards him with uprooted trees and rocks but in the air of arrogance, Arjuna had forgotten the curse. ***

(***THE CURSE – Arjuna had once burnt to ashes the Ashram of Muni Vashista while destroying a forest and Vashist had cursed him, “You’ll one day encounter with a mighty person who will cut off all your thousand arms.” )

Parashurama attacked him and cuts off his arms just like one cuts off the branches of a tree and then brought his axe down on the tyrant’s neck and killed him. When the king fell, his frightened soldiers began to run away for life. Parashurama then returned with Kamadhenu and her calf after killing Arjuna. At the ashrama, Renuka was eagerly waiting for them. Parashurama touched her feet and handed her the beloved Kamadhenu and calf. Jamadagni did not appreciate the adventure of his son. He retorted, “You have developed enmity between the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. You have to go on a pilgrimage to atone for this sin.” And Parashurama obeyed his father’s command.

Parashurama avatar of Venus

But on the other side, Arjuna’s sons were hankering for revenge. Once when Jamadagni and Renuka were alone in their Ashrama they invaded the Ashrama and killed Jamadagni. Renuka fainted after seeing this extreme sight. On returning, Parashurama saw this tragedy and asked her mother, ” Who did this?” But Renuka’s agony was so deep that she could not utter a word. He noticed 21 scars on his father’s body and full of grief and anger Parashurama swore to annihilate the entire Kshatriya race.

Outraged by King Arjuna’s sons, and with a terrible axe in his hand he headed straight for Kshatriya prince palace. He attacked and killed all the princes, catching them from their hiding places, and slicing them to death. He killed every male member of Kshatriya king Arjuna’s clan – his sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, even the elderly.

Knowing that people living around that place were all kshatriya, he went around the neighborhood and killed every Kshatriya he found. With a killing spree in his mind he moved in every direction and all over the country killing every kshatriya that confronted him and he made sure no male kshatriya was left. His axe was glimmering in red color.

In a mission to avenge his father’s death, Parashurama had filled five ponds with the blood of Kshatriyas and the place was later on known as Samant-panchaka. He took bath in that lake, washed his axe and performed rituals in honor of his father. The existence of the Kshatriyas was wiped out from the surface of the globe. Parasurama waged war after war for 21 years and destroyed the unrighteous Kshatriyas.

Not only did Lord Parashurama teach the Kshatriyas who were performing adharmic activities on earth an important lesson, he also protected the sacred cow Kamadhenu. In the Vedic scriptures, the cow is a symbol of dharma, prosperity, wealth and abundance. When the cow is attacked, it is direct attack on dharma. In fact, depending on whichever yuga or cycle of time is running the cow is believed to stand on certain feet. For example, in the Satya Yuga or the golden age of time truth and dharma will reign supreme and cow is believed to stand on four feet. In the Kali Yuga, it will stand only on one feet and so on.

  • In Puranas , its clearly mentioned that all the Important deities (such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Gouri, Pitrus etc.) resides in the cow.Devas inhabit in the hair of the cow and Dharma in the feet. Similarly, Lokas, Vedas, Agni and Yajna(Fire Worship)are present in the Cow. Hence, the Cows are considered as sacred and auspicious.
  • Panchamrit (made up of honey, Liquid Jaggery, milk , yogurt and ghee) or “nectar of the gods” is used as Prasad(part of the food offered to the god) and after drinking this the one is filled with the divine energy created during the Puja.
  • Panchagavya (milk, curds, ghee butter, urine and dung) of the cow are all used in Worship, Reparation and in after death Rituals.
  • Nourishing one cow is considered equivalent to 1000 Yajna (Sacrifice).

The cow is equal to mother earth in the vedic scriptures. So the story of Lord Parashurama is very relevant to modern times where in the name of technology and innovation and industrialization mother earth is robbed of her resources leading to severe impact on climate everywhere. Parashurama protecting the cow is a metaphor for Lord Vishnu protecting the earth and re-establishing Dharma.

Further, Karthvirya Arjuna is a metaphor for the “obligation of duty” that every human being feels entitled to. In the story, Karthavirya Arjuna felt he was entitled to have the cow because he is King. However, Vishnu in the Parashurama avatar had to destroy him because the message was nobody is entitled to anything on this earth. We get everything based on the Karmic merit and just because one is King doesn’t necessarily give him a free pass to pleasures and beauties. The rule of Venus as a planet is that to get something we have to give something in return. Everything has a price or value and if it is worth the price you pay for it or just leave it as it is. Here Karthavirya Arjuna was thought this lesson because his “desire” to have Kamadhenu was he had to pay the price of his Life. Not only did Karthavirya kill Parashurama’s father to make a point and get the holy cow, he took something that did not belong to him. So he rightly was killed by Lord Vishnu to restore Dharma.

Now, when Parashurama revenge was complete, he turned to penance believing that he had made the Brahmins absolutely free from the fears of Kshatriyas. In vedic mythology, Parashurama is one among the Sapta ‘Chiranjeevi or seven immortal and is said to rule until ‘Maha Pralaya’ or the end of the world. More information on this can be found in another post. “

The above story is about Venus’s Vishnu avatar. Next, we have to examine Venus and understand him through his element which is “Vayu” or Air element among of the panchamahabhutas (5 elements which create everything in the world). In the chakras in the body venus rules the anhata chakra or the heart chakra. In the great Indian epic Mahabharatha, the Pancha Pandavas are equated to the 5 elements. Among the 5 Pandavas, Bhima is considered to be the incarnation of the wind element. Similarly, in the Ramayana Lord Hanuman who is considered as the elder Brother of Bhima is considered to be the incarnation of the wind element. An interesting fact is that both Bhima and Lord Hanuman for them the weapon of choice is the mace. There is a very important connection here between Venus and Air element and his quality to reanimate (mrita sanjeevani vidya). But before we get into that we have to understand Venus from the context of Bhima’s character in Mahabharatha. The connection of Lord Hanuman to Air element and the connection can be found in this post. Most often people think that Shukra (Venus) is the planet of love, beauty and harmony and for this reason he is also considered a saumya graha in many astrological texts. However, as I mentioned in the beginning of the post there is a Brahma-Kshatriya nature to Venus. He is neither completely gentle nor is he is completely violent. He is a planet that when the situation demands would make the transformation from saumya to Krura or gentle to violent and vice-versa. This can be best understood by looking at the natural zodiac and taking some examples.

Venus rules the natural Maraka houses 2 and 7 of death and destruction in the zodiac. He is the opposite polarity of Mars. Venus can be as brutal and ruthless as mars if the situation wants it to be.  The 7th house here is important because it is the house of journey. Here it is that of the final journey towards the loka of pitris. Venus also rules Bharani nakshatra related to Yama, who is the God of death.

Venus rules vehicles and in terms of chakras he is connected to the air element. Air can displace things, so do vehicles. The soul is using the body as a vehicle in the present lifetime but when the body dies, soul still makes a journey into the loka of pitris in a temporary form. This is the reason he is the most malefic and deadly when it comes to death. Venus can rejuvenate the person by supplying them with Prana (air) at the same time he can remove the prana from the body and cause death. Prana is called Sanjeevani and Venus has mastery of Mrita Sanjeevani vidya . Hanuman and Bhima are equated to the wind element and they are nothing but Prana. They are incarnations of Vayu, the wind God himself. That in itself should give people hints that any form of regeneration or rejuvenation of the body and cells in the body happens because of Prana or vital life force. Prana is more important than food. A person can live without food for several days but without oxygen and breath, the body will die in an instant. So Prana is the only saving grace for any disease in the body – emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.

There is also a simple way to look at it. Judge a person by his friends, same can be applied to planets as well. So see that venus is a friend of saturn and they are mutual friends to each other. This is one other reason. Saturn is the planet of death and venus being his friend, he assists him. Saturn being a malefic planet, Venus also has malefic nature. Many systems of astrology treat Venus as a malefic too. It is only the western system that considers him to be sensual and caring and loving etc. In my personal opinion and based on research, in terms of benefics there are only two – Jupiter and Mercury. Mercury can also pick malefic qualities depending on his associations in the chart as he is also a neutral planet. So that means there is only Jupiter who is the greatest benefic in the chart. Now you can see why the vedic astrology system gives high priority to Jupiter in the chart. So much so that in nadi astrology they treat Jupiter as the native or jiva himself.

Parashurama was the teacher of martial arts to Bhishma and Karna in the Mahabharatha. The same can be applied to Venus in the natal chart. I have seen time after time that fighters and boxers in UFC and wrestling have Venus as aatmakarka or soul planet. It did not make sense to me back then, but when you see the natural zodiac we can clearly relate to it. Also, for UFC or wrestling, Mars has to be connected to the lagna, 10th house and be a career planet. Mercury has to also be connected to these houses because he rules games. Moreover, Venus is the planet of entertainment and in the modern world you will see that UFC or boxing is also like an entertainment sport

Bhima of Mahbharatha:

Venus is equated to Bhima and Hanuman in the Mahabharatha and Srimad Ramayana respectively. Bhima was one of the ruthless on the battlefield at the same time he was the most honorable and loving person in his role of husband (More on Bhima’s Character here). You only have to read about Bhima in the MahaBharatha to understand the ruthlessness and brutality he shows on the battlefield to understand Venus on a new level.

Dushasana’s violent death:

Though Dushasana’s death is very much well known, still there might be some fact which may not be known by many people.

Bhima killed Dushasana by tearing up his chest. He then drank his blood and rejoiced. Then he took some blood from his heart for Draupadi who washed her hair with the blood. Until then Draupadi had made a vow that she would not tie her hair. So after the death of Dushasana, she tied it with his blood.

Some versions of Mahabharatha like KumaraVyasa Bharatha mention that he broke the jaw of Dushasana and used his teeth as comb to set Draupadi’s hair. He broke his spinal chord and made an ornament for Draupadi. Bhima also pulled out the intestines of Dushasana and used it as a garland.

When Bhima gave Dushasana the most brutal death in Mahabharat war, he made it a spectacle. The rathis (warrior), maharathis (great warrior), atirathis (warlord) from Pandava side rejoiced on the death of Dushasana. Similarly, rathis, maharathis, atirathis from Kaurava side were utterly devastated. However, the ordinary warriors like foot soldiers, infantry, cavalry, etc found this act blood curdling and highly sickening.

So the scenes shown in modern TV series like Game of thrones etc, this had manifested like 5000-6000 years in the writing of the great personages like Brahmarisi Veda Vyasa.

The other fact is Bhima invited every single one of the people on the battlefield (from both the kaurava and pandava) camp to come and save Dushasana. He even invited Lord Sri Krishna and his own brother’s from the Pandava side to come and save Dushasana by taunting them. Everyone just did not even have any courage to look at the sight, forget even attempting to face Bhima. Arjuna in a bit of excitement takes the challenge and goes down the chariot to attempt it as he felt insulted (Arjuna considered himself as the greatest warrior/archer that existed). Sri Krishna looks at Arjuna and says, look at what is happening there on the battlefield – who do you think is on the battlefield now? It is RUDRA (the most destructive form of Shiva who has the potential to annihilate anything in the COSMOS) himself that is sitting there and wrecking havoc and destruction. Sri Krishna was referring to BHIMA as RUDRA. When Shiva is performing his Rudra Tandava on the battlefield, people are just spectators and witness. So when Sri Krishna himself was just watching, he brought some sense back to Arjuna by pointing at that. Later, Arjuna also admitted it. He also became a spectator. Mind you this is the same Arjuna who had fought Shiva himself and acquired the Pashupathastra. But in this form of Shiva that was flowing through Bhima, even Arjuna could not do anything.

That is the other side of Venus that many are not aware of. On many occasions, Bhima also shows his loving, nurturing and caring side in the Mahabharatha. He was the best among the cooks, so he was capable of serving many nice meals like a good Venus and nurturing people he loved. But on the battlefield he was Bhayankara Rudra, that form of Shiva that induced bone-chilling fear.

Many translators just go by the book and that works but there is much beyond the book which is the scriptures and vedanta . We have to accumulate knowledge from everything. Brihat parashara hora shastra and Mahrisis Jaimini astrology are bibles of astrology, there is no doubt about that. But to get to Jyothish, one has to know vedanta and other scriptures as well. All of it is interconnected like a web. So the western audience just reads one book and comes to conclusions about the planets or Jyothish. That is unfortunately only addressing Jyothish at surface level. The depths are hidden in the other literature and works. So to make it simple for you, the Jyothish knowledge of today is less than 50% explored as people don’t have knowledge of other vedanta and literature both in India and west.   Yes Venus is a Saumya graha but at the same time ask the translators why they gave venus the parashurama avatar? If a person can kill that brutally, especially like how Parashurama did, he went 21 rounds around the Bharatha Khanda and entirely wiped out the Kshatriya race. So that is brutal act. It doesn’t matter that he did it on account of his devotion to his father etc. He was a Brahmin and took the path of Kshatriya. So this transformation is the one that makes Venus a planet of tough “love”. Just apply the same rules to relationships which are ruled by Venus and see if it makes sense or not? In relationships many situations demand some tough love so that both parties benefit from the relationship.

In Jaimini astrology, if Venus was a benefic , he would be given more power than Mercury Or at least the same power as Mercury. Yet, Venus lacks manifesting strength. He can only make things smooth and harmonious if he is well situated, but when Venus goes on the rampage mode, he can be brutal. See that his sign of Taurus is not the one to mess with as it can attack head-on.   A simplistic interpretation of Venus is desires. When someone desires something it will surely cause violence if they don’t get it. See the classic example in Srimad Ramayana, Sita is the main reason for the war. She desired the golden deer and Rama had to leave her and go after her, Lakshmana had to also leave Sita because of Maricha’s tricks…then came Ravana and kidnapped her. If she had not desired the golden deer in the first place, none of that would have happened. So that is venus bringing in trouble and war on account of his desire.   Take one more example from Mahabharatha. If the great Yuddhistira did not have the desire to gamble, it would not have caused the loss of his kingdom nor loss of his brothers and wife. In the end, it would not have caused the Mahabharatha war itself. So he is the main culprit in the story or must I say his desire and sensual pleasures.Yes the intention was gentle or saumya to have sense organs gratification by gambling, but the end result of venus’s pleasures was horror!

Venus will eventually lead to Mars. Same for Jupiter, he will also lead to mars eventually. See what happens when people ask Justice in the world (that is Jupiter), it will end in violence. Even the Indian freedom which is the supposed to be the most peaceful, thanks to Gandhi, had the flavor of violence.   It is interesting how both the Gurus (Jupiter and Venus), make Mars clean and do their dirty jobs! By Bhavat-Bhavam Mars is the 3rd planet while Jupiter is the 5th planet (3rd from the 3rd). Venus rules number 6 while Skanda who is the deity of Mars is the presiding deity of number 6 and shasti thithi. There are many connections of Mars to Jupiter and Venus in this manner.

Application of Brahmana-Kshatriya quality to the horoscope:

The above qualities of Venus can be used in understanding the psychology of the person based on his placement. Wherever, Venus is placed in the chart and whichever houses he rules in the chart, to make that house work for the native, they may be put in situations of life where they have to make the transformation from saumya to Krura or gentle to cruel and vice versa. I have particularly found Venus’s placement in the chart in that particular house to bring this quality more to the surface. For example, if Venus is in the 4th house in the chart, then instead of the person looking for external gratification of senses and desires (Kshatriya), they have to seek internal fulfillment like a Brahmin and so on.

In terms of predicting death of the native, Venus/Rahu, Venus/Saturn, Saturn/Venus, Saturn/Saturn, Rahu/Venus and even Venus/Venus himself can be significant times to deliver death. Also if there is a maha dasa of a planet that is running and death has not occurred, and venus bhukti is yet to run, it has a high propensity to deliver death.