As per hinduism there are nine graha (planets) and Earth is not included in this list. Here are following nine graha

  1. Surya (Sun)
  2. Chandra (Moon)
  3. Mangala (Mars)
  4. Budha (Mercury)
  5. Guru (Jupiter), the Guru (Master/Teacher) of the Devas(Gods)
  6. Shukra (Venus), the Guru of the Asura(demons)
  7. Shani (Saturn)
  8. Raahu (North Node/Ascending Node)
  9. Ketu (South Node/Descending Node)

Question is, all graha and earth looks same. If we see images of planets and Earth (taken by ISRO, NASA etc) then they looks same. Shape of them are same. So it's clear that appearance is not the reason of difference between Earth (loka) and graha (planets). So What's difference between graha and loka? what's the reason Earth is considered as loka, not as graha?

  • 1
    Graha does not in the least have any meaning to the English word "planet" even in the farthest extent. Since, English does not have any word for "Graha", so we just take it conventionally that Graha means planet.
    – user9392
    Oct 25, 2017 at 14:33
  • @anuragsingh Okay, nice point. But even if planet is different term than graha, still I was talking about pics. And those pics of graha and lokas. So appearance are same is the only thing I was trying to tell by using word "planet". But no issue, we can skip word planet.
    – Vishvam
    Oct 26, 2017 at 4:44
  • Graha's are perceptible wandering bodies or points(Rahu/Ketu) as seen from earth. Since we cannot perceive the earth in the same manner as we are stationed here it is not a Graha.
    – Rama27
    Oct 26, 2017 at 10:49
  • I think a Loka is in a certain dimension in the universe based on a certain level. Probably a Galaxy which comprises of Planets (Grahas).
    – RKh
    Oct 26, 2017 at 12:00

1 Answer 1



The Sanskrit word "Graha" is often taken as the equivalent of the English word planet. This is a very simplistic translation which hides the deeper meaning of this word. "Graha" refers to an entity that has the power to "seize, lay hold of, or grasp". Therefore, Graha means “to grasp” meaning the planets possess, or take hold of us. This meaning is intimately related to the meaning of the nakshatras (also called lunar mansions, or a 27-fold division of the zodiac), which are described in similar terms. Graha therefore goes beyond the word planet and describes the ability of celestial events to either influence or predict occurrences on earth.


Loka is a Sanskrit term meaning "world" or "a particular division of the universe." The most frequent division of the universe in Hinduism is the tri-loka: Earth, heaven and atmosphere. Some sources consider there to be 14 worlds. These are the seven higher worlds, found above the Earth; and the seven lower worlds, found beneath the Earth.

Now the 14 Lokas include seven higher worlds and seven lower. The earth is considered to be the lowest among the seven higher worlds. These 7 higher worlds are the 7 Vyahrtis and 7 Patalas.

The 7 Vyarthis

  • Satya-loka:Satya-loka is also known as the Brahma loka and this loka is the topmost loka in the material universe. This is the abode of truth where atmans are released from the need of rebirth.
  • Tapa-loka: This is the abode of tapas or of other Gods and Goddesses.
  • Jana-loka: This is the house of the sons of Lord Brahma.
  • Mahar-loka: This is the dwelling of great sages and laissez-faire beings like Markendeya and other rishis.
  • Svar-loka: This expanse is between the sun and the polar star. This is the heaven of Lord Indra. Indra, other Gods, Rishis, Gandharvas and Apsaras live here. This place is full of heavenly ecstasy where all the 330 million Hindu Gods (Devatas) live in along with the king of Gods, Indra.
  • Bhuvar-loka or Pitri Loka: This is the place of the Sun, planets, stars and the space between earth and the Sun. It is an actual region, the atmosphere, the place of soul and essence.
  • Bhur-loka:This is the place where the Earth dwells. According to the Vishnu Purana the earth is simply one of thousands of billions of occupied worlds like itself located in the Universe.

The 7 Patalas

  • Atala-loka: This loka is ruled by Bala – son of Maya – who enjoys supernatural powers. By one yawn, Bala created three types of women – Svairinis – the self willed women who marry men from their own group; Kaminis – lustfull women who marry men from any group; and finally Pumscalis – those women who gave themselves fully and continue changing their partner.
  • Vitala-loka: This Loka is ruled by the God Hara-Bhava – an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The residents of this dominion are decorated with gold from this region.
  • Sutala-loka: Sutala is the kingdom of the virtuous demon king Mahabali.
  • Talatala-loka: This loka is the kingdom of the demon-architect Maya, who is well-versed in necromancy.
  • Mahatala-loka: Mahātala is the abode of many-hooded Nagas – the sons of Kadru – lead by Krodhavasha band of Kuhaka, Taksshaka, Kaliya and Sushena.
  • Rasatala-loka: This is the home of the Danavas and Daityas, who are the everlasting foes of Devatas.
  • Patala-loka: The lowest territory of the materialistic universe is called Patala or Nagaloka. Vasuki is the rular of this Naga region. Here live quite a lot of Nagas whose hoods are decorated with a jewel and thus enlighten this realm with the lights reflected from the jewels.

If we consider the scientific approach, as you can read here and here The Earth is not a planet for the same reasons that Pluto is no longer considered as one. Strange but True: Earth Is Not Round

Reference 1 and 2

  • Seize, lay hold of or grasp is only with reference to Rahu/Ketu where the words Chadra Grahan or Surya Grahan come up. The key definition of graha is "perceive" or "understand from where you stand" and the word NavaGraha connects with these 9 grahas above. If one goes to Mars, Mars will become Loka and Earth will become a Graha as perceived from Mars. Graha cannot influence or be of any use in prediction if the earth was not spinning on its axis.
    – Rama27
    Oct 26, 2017 at 12:58
  • @Rama27 Well there are certain properties coz of which life exists on earth hence analysis is in reference to earth, if it was existing on Mars then we would have compared in some other way.
    – Just_Do_It
    Oct 26, 2017 at 13:00
  • @Rama27 "If one goes to Mars, Mars will become Loka and Earth will become a Graha" As per understanding from Just_do_it's answer, If people goes to Mars then Mars might be considered as loka but still Earth won't be considered as graha, even when there is no life left on Earth. Because definition of Graha (told in asnwer) is not that an empty world is called Graha. But instead Graha is the one who effects our life(future). Nava Graha's movement on space decides our future will be good or bad. Our luck is dependent on grah's movement pattern. Only navgrah's movement effects us, not Earth's.
    – Vishvam
    Oct 26, 2017 at 15:55
  • All the Lokas which you mention cannot be perceived by humans. But we see earth which also you call a Loka. Earth can be a Loka for the beings in other Lokas but not for us.We perceive that the Sun rotates around us though the facts are otherwise. We only perceive Rahu and Ketu during a eclipse or we cannot perceive them also. In a world full of perception roles keep reversing depending on your location. For us earth is real and happenning @justdoit.
    – Rama27
    Oct 26, 2017 at 15:56
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    @Rishab The day everyone realizes that all the Lokas and Grahas are within us and not outside, perceptions will vanish and Krita Yuga will set in. All the best!
    – Rama27
    Oct 26, 2017 at 16:11

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