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|Affiliation||Graha and Guru of Asuras, Daityas|
|Mantra||ॐ शुं शुक्राय नम: (Om Shun Shukray Namah)|
|Mount||Crocodile / chariot pulled
by seven horses
Shukra (शुक्र, ശുക്രൻ, ಶುಕ್ರ, சுக்ரன், IAST Śukra), the Sanskrit for "clear, pure" or "brightness, clearness", is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas (with honorific, शुक्राचार्य Shukracharya). He presides over Shukravar (Devanagari: शुक्रवार) or Friday.
He is of white complexion, middle-aged and of agreeable countenance. He is described variously as mounted on a camel, horse or crocodile. He holds a stick, beads and a lotus and sometimes a bow and arrow.
Shukra is etymologically identical with Shukla "white". As a noun, it is also the name of a Marutavaata, of a son of Vasishtha, of the third Manu, of one of the saptarshi under Manu Bhautya, of a son of Bhava, of a son of Havirdhana.
Ushanas is also the name of the author of a Dharmashastra.
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He was a Bhargava rishi of the Atharvan branch and a descendant of sage Kavi. The Devi-Bhagavata Purana refers to his mother as Kavyamata (Usana). The feminic natured Shukra is a Brahminical planet. He was born on Friday in the year Parthiva on Sraavana Suddha Ashtami when Svati Nakshatra is on the ascent. Hence, Friday is known as Shukravaaram in Indian languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, and Kannada. He went on to study the Vedas under the rishi Angirasa but he was disturbed by Angirasa's favouritism for his son Brihaspati. He then went to study under rishi Gautama. He later performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the Sanjivani mantra (a formula that revived the dead). He married Priyavrata's daughter Urjaswathi and they had four sons — Chanda, Amarka, Tvastr, Dharaatra and a daughter from his marriage to Indra's daughter Jayanti by the name Devayani.
During this period Brihaspati became the Guru (Preceptor) of the Devas. Due to the hatred Sukracarya bore towards Vishnu for what he perceived as the murder of his mother as she had given shelter to some asura whom Vishnu was hunting, Shukracharya decided to become the Guru of Asuras. He helped them achieve victory over the Devas and used his knowledge to revive the dead and wounded among them.
In one story, Lord Vishnu is born as the Brahmin dwarf-sage Vamana. Vamana comes to take the three worlds as alms from the asura king Bali. Lord Vishnu wanted to deceive the king Bali who was the grandson of the great king Prahlada, in order to help the Devas. The sage Shukracharya identifies him immediately and warns the King. The King is however a man of his word and offers the gift to Vamana. Shukracharya, annoyed with the pride of the king, shrinks himself with his powers and sits in the spout of the Kamandalu, from which water has to be poured to seal the promise to the deity in disguise. Lord Vishnu, in disguise of the dwarf, understands immediately, and picks a straw from the ground and directs it up the spout, poking out the left eye of Shukracharaya. Since this day on, the guru of the asuras has been known to be half blind.
In Vedic astrology Shukra (Venus) is considered a benefic and rules over the signs Vrishabha (Taurus) and Tula (Libra). It is exalted in Meena (Pisces), and in its fall in Kanya (Virgo). The planets Mercury and Saturn are considered friendly to Shukra, the Sun and Moon are hostile and Jupiter and the rest are considered neutral. In astrology Shukra represents love, romance and sexuality, artistic talents, the quality of the body and material life, wealth, the opposite sex, pleasure and reproduction, feminine qualities and the fine arts, such as music, dance, painting and sculpture. Those with Shukra strong in their charts are likely to appreciate nature and enjoy harmonious relationship. However, an excessive influence can cause them to indulge too much in the pleasures of life without accomplishing much of real worth. Shukra is the lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions: Bharani, Purva Phalguni and Purva Ashadha
Strong Houses: 2, 3, 7, 12
Weak Houses: 6, 8
Medium House: 1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11
Shukra and its significance
Venus is an indicator of spouse, love, marriage, comfort, luxury, beauty, prosperity, happiness, all conveyances, art, dance music, acting, passion and sex. Shukra blesses the people with power to control their sense organs (Indriyas) and enables to obtain name and fame. Afflictions to Venus can cause eye diseases, venereal complaints, indigestion, pimples, impotency, loss of appetite and rashes on the skin.
In Vedic astrology, there is a dasha or planetary period known as Shukra Dasha which remains active in a person's horoscope for 20 years, this is the longest dasha among all planets. This dasha is believed to give more wealth, fortune and luxury to a person's life if they have Shukra positioned well in their horoscope. In addition Shukra is an important benefic planet in the horoscope. Shukra is associated with a month in the Hindu calendar called JyeshTha ( May–June, personified as the guardian of Kubera's treasure).
Shukra also has the following associations. His color is white, metal is silver and gemstone is diamond. His direction is south-east, season is spring and element is water.
Above the moon by a distance of 200,000 yojanas are some stars, and above these stars is Śukra-graha (Venus), whose influence is always auspicious for the inhabitants of the entire universe. Some 1,600,000 miles above group of stars is the planet Venus, which moves at almost exactly the same pace as the sun according to swift, slow and moderate movements. Sometimes Venus moves behind the sun, sometimes in front of the sun and sometimes along with it. Venus nullifies the influence of planets that are obstacles to rainfall. Consequently its presence causes rainfall, and it is therefore considered very favorable for all living beings within this universe. This has been accepted by learned scholars. On the upper chin of the śiśumāra is Agasti; on its lower chin, Yamarāja; on its mouth, Mars; on its genitals, Saturn; on the back of its neck, Jupiter; on its chest, the sun; and within the core of its heart, Nārāyaṇa. Within its mind is the moon; on its navel, Venus; and on its breasts, the Aśvinī-kumāras. Within its life air, which is known as prāṇāpāna, is Mercury, on its neck is Rāhu, all over its body are comets, and in its pores are the numerous stars.