God of Underworld
God and Personification of the planet Mercury
|Mantra||Om Vudhaya Namaha|
|Mount||Lion or chariot hauled by eight horses of deep yellow colour|
Budha (Sanskrit: बुध) or Saumya (Sanskrit: सौम्य, lit. son of Moon) is the Hindu god of merchandise and the protector of merchants. In Hindu mythology, Budha is also the name and personification of the planet Mercury. Budha is said to be the son of lunar god Chandra and Tara (the goddess of felicity and the divine consort of Hindu god Brihaspati). His consort is the female form of Hindu androgyne god Ila.
Budha is represented as being mild, eloquent, and having a greenish complexion. He is also 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 of Brihaspati, the Teacher of devas. Tara was the wife of Brihaspati. Chandra one captured Tara and forcefully married her. 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 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
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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 Gemini and Virgo, is exalted in Virgo and in his fall in Pisces. Budha is friendly with Saturn and Venus, hostile to Mars and Jupiter, and neutral towards the other planets. 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.
- Mythology of the Hindus by Charles Coleman p.133