Mercury is in the news once again. The Messenger photographs featuring the spider-like wrinkle-pattern on a possible crater have excited NASA scientists and Academic planet watchers alike, and confirmation of earlier assumptions about the ageing, shrinking status of the planet do the rounds along with questions about the basis of comparing it with the moon.

I am not an astonomer and will

leave astronomers to deal with the status of mercury. I want to look at one of our concepts about Budha/Soumya. 

Budha, the Mercury-grahadhipati  is called Soumya, because he is the son of Soma, the grahadhipati of the Moon. Just as Angaraka, the Devata of Mars is known also as Bhouma, because he is the son of Bhumi Devi, Mother Earth.

The filial relationship between the various Devatas is not in question, but is there also a symbolism involved, relating to faraway pangs of the birth of Mars, Mercury and the Moon?

There have been genuine earlier speculations about the Earth and Mars having separated as one planet from the solar rim first. Then when Mars separated from the earth,  the rope like formation in between severed itself, and was believed to have shaped itself eventually into a sphere that is now the Moon.

Is it possible that this hypothesis can still hold water in the light of the most recent thinking on the birth of Mars? If it can, I would like to fantasize a little more and suggest that this sphere which appeared during the severing of Earth and Mars was not just the Moon precursor but the precursor of a Moon-Mercury-composite, which split further immediately therafter. The fraction nearer the earth got into the earth orbit while the one a little further away was fortuitously just beyond the earth’s pull and stayed as a solar satellite, a planet. Its actual range of distances from the earth is not out of line with this speculation.

Speculations based on the Messenger photographs will be both fanciful and scientific. But my speculation is entirely fanciful, based on who is the father or mother of whom among the orbs in our little solar family.

One of you can easily confront me and ask me, how among all the navagrahadevatas , only the Devata of saturn namely Sani is called Suryaputra. Perhaps he was chronologically the seniormost!

Just as an aside, not related to the contents of this blog, there is evidence from a deep study of portions of Parasara Samhita by Dr. R N Iyengar, Raja Ramanna Fellow, Dept of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, that our ancient astronomers who had always been fascinated by the Zodiac constellations, had paid a lot more attention to periodic appearances of comets, than to looking only at planetary movements, before the so called Siddhantic period. His paper presented on Dec 14,2007 at th Iserve conference at Hyderabad throws light on his work.  To me it is interesting that some devatas have got names even from comets, and almost certainly Ketu, the author of eclipses!

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