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Navagraha

Navagraha, meaning "nine celestial bodies of universe " in Sanskrit, are divinities symbolising the astronomical bodies known to the Khmers.

They are:

  • Surya (or Ravi): the Sun
  • Chandra (or Soma): the Moon
  • Mangala (or Mangal): Mars
  • Budha (or Budh): Mercury
  • Dev Guru (or Brihaspati): Jupiter
  • Shukra: Venus
  • Shani: Saturn
  • Rahu: Ascending (or north) Lunar node
  • Ketu: Descending (or south) Lunar node

Rahu and Ketu swallow the Sun or the Moon, causing the eclipses.

In Angkor, the divinities are often represented on a single horizontal stone, facing the viewer.  These so-called ‘Nine Planets’ stones were often found in the ‘libraries’, which led some scholars to believe that the buildings were associated with this cult.

See also Surya and Chandra.



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