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What is the difference between a presiding deity and a governing planet(graha)?As far as I know,each of the navgrahas has their own governing Lord.

For example take the case of Krittika nakshatra. Its governing planet is the sun,Lord of the planet is Surya Dev, while its presiding deity is Karttikeya and Agni Dev(God of Fire) .Who has more domination on the nature of the nakshatra,the presiding deity or the governing planet?

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To answer your title question:

It is because each Nakshtra is ruled by a Graha and each Graha is again ruled by a deity. Which Graha rules which Nakshatras is something already mentioned in this answer.

And, each Graha being ruled by (or presided by) a particular deity is again mentioned in the Matsya Purana for example.

And Graha does not only have a ruling Deity (Adhi Devata), but it also has a Pratyadhi Devata associated with it.

From this Matsya Purana chapter, we find which those deities are:

A Vedi (platform) is to be prepared with white rice grains with Surya Deva the Center, Mangal in the South, Brihaspati in the North, North East with Budha, East as Shukra, South East as Chandra, West as Shani, South West as Rahu, and North West as Ketu. The Adhi Devatas to each of the Planets are as follows: Shiva for Surya, Parvati for Chandra, Skanda for Mangal, Vishnu for Budha, Brahma for Brihaspati, Indra for Shukra, Yama for Shanaischara, Kaala Devata forRahu and Chitragupta for Ketu. The Pratyabhidevatas respectively are Agni, Varuna, Prithvi, Vishnu, Indra, Aindri, Prajapati, Sarpa and Brahma. Besides, Vinayaka, Durga, Vayu, Aakasha, and Ashvini Kumars and these are also to be invoked by individual names. While visualising the various Grahas, one has to visualise Mangala and Surya as of red colour, Chandra and Shukra as of white colour, Budha and Brihaspati as yellow, Shani and Rahu as black and Ketu as grey. The Kartha who is to perform the worship the Grahas should try to secure these coloured Vastras (clothing) and flowers as also apply Gandha (Sandalwood paste), offer Dhupa, Dipa and fruits.

Also, from this page, which describes the various possible remedies, for afflicted Grahas, you will find, that directly worshiping the ruling Deity is also a solution, just like propitiating the particular Graha is.

So, in conclusion, we can say that the ruling deities are more dominant, simply because they own ruler-ship of the planets.

Therefore, by propitiating the ruling deity and the over ruling one, we can propitiate the planet itself with more success.

In other words, suppose, Chandra or Moon is problematic in a chart, directly worshiping Goddess Gauri, who over rules moon, is supposedly a better option, than worshiping moon itself, although that is also an option.


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You can check from here the meaning of Adhi Devata, which is "presiding deity, tutelary deity or the supreme deity".

So, Adhi Devatas obviously hold more dominance, as they are, in a way, controller of the respective planets.

  • Hello,I've done some research and found out that each planet has 3 main levels: (1) Graha Devta(physical), (2) Adhi Devta(mental), (3) Pratyadi Devta (soul).I have understood that the ruling deity of the graha(Pratyadi Devta) is the most dominant and that praying the pratyadi devta is most beneficial.This answers part of my question.I still have some doubts that needs to be cleared. – Elfin forest Jan 26 '18 at 17:55
  • Firstly,for a planet,is the graha devta a physical manifestation of the planet or does the graha devta live on the planet alongside the Adhi devta and Prtyadi Devta? Secondly,if the graha devta is the planet,does that mean that the pratyadi devta own the Graha Devta? Thirdly,if the Graha Devta is the planet,does that make the planet a living entity? And finally,what is the logic behind having these three levels of devtas to represent a graha? – Elfin forest Jan 26 '18 at 17:56
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    When we worship the Grahas we say " Adhi Devata Pratyadhi Sahita Adityaya (just as an example) Namaha" So, all of these deities are important as far as pacifying the Grahas are concerned.. Not own, they preside over or rules.. so they are like controllers.. Also, normally the Adhi Devata is considered the most important.. i have never seen someone worshiping Pratyadhis to pacify the Grahas..@Elfinforest – Rickross Jan 27 '18 at 6:42
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Image taken from here:

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Adhi Deveta defines the nature of the graha and Pratyadi Deveta defines the functions and importance of the graha.

For sun,the Adhi deveta being Agni demonstrates the nature of Sun as Fire and light. The Pratyadi devata being Shiva shows that Sun is the Lord of the Grahas.

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