Mars and Fortitude

Human Values and Astrology
Value: Peace Sub-value: Fortitude
Planet: Mars (Kuja, Mangal)

Deity Mars - Kuja

Angaraka stotram
(Prayer to planet Mars)

Angaraka shakthidaro lohithango darasutha,
Kumaro mangalo bhoumo maha kayo dana pradha.

He who is like an ember, who holds a shakti,
He who has red limbs, He who is the son of Earth,
He who is young, he who does good,
He who has a gross body, He who gives wealth,

Runahartha drushti kartha roga kruth roga nasana,
Vidhyuth prabho vrunakara kamadho dana hruth kuja.

He who removes debts, he who looks at you,
He who causes disease, He who destroys diseases,
He who is as powerful as a current, He who causes wounds,
He who fulfils desires, He who gives money and is Kuja,

Samagana priyo raktha vasthrorakthayathekshana,
Lohitho raktha varnamcha sarva karmava bodhaka.

He who likes to hear Sama, he who wears red clothes,
He who has blood red eyes, he who is reddish,
He who is of the colour of blood,
He who teaches us all duties,

Rakthamalyadaro hemakundali gruha nayaka,
Namanyethani bhoumasya ya padeth sathatham nara.

He who wears a red garland, he who wears golden ear studs,
He who is the lord of the planets,
For him who reads all these names of the son of Earth,

Runam thasya cha dourbhagyam daridryam cha vinasyathi,
Danam prapnothi vipulam sthriyam chaiva manoramam.

Would get rid of all his debts, bad luck, poverty,
Would get wealth, get many wives who are pretty,

Vamsodhyothakaram puthram labhathe nathra samsaya,

And without any doubt beget sons,
Who would improve the stature of the family.

Yea archyedahni bhoumasya Mangalam bahu pushpakai,
Sarva nasyathi peeda cha thasya gruhakrutha druvam.

To those who worship with great many flowers,
Mars the do-gooder and the son of Goddess Earth,
All problems created by that planet will surely vanish.

The planet Mars in Vedic astrology is son of the goddess earth (Bhudevi). He was born of the three drops of sweat of Lord Shiva which fell on the Earth. The earth goddess was requested to raise him and thus became his mother. Hence, he is called bhumi putra, Son of the Earth-Mother.

Mars is the first of the outer planets and fourth in order of distance from the Sun (the others being Mercury, Venus and Earth). Its orbit is highly elliptical (compared to near circular orbit of the Earth) so that its closest position to the Earth may be only a mere 56,000,000 kilometres from the Earth, while at its furthest, it may reach 100 million kilometres.

Planet Mars

An accomplished speaker, Mars is a warrior, of the Kshatriya caste; as a warrior he sometimes causes conflagration and injury. He has a pita constitution (fire); blood-red is his colour, overflowing with power and strength, he wears red clothes. He rules muscles and bone marrow, and the menstrual cycle in women. Mars is karaka for accidents, injuries, burns and surgical operations. Physical fitness and vitality are auspiced by Mars. His day is Tuesday, and of the signs he is ruler of Aries and Scorpio. His metal is copper and his gem is coral. He is called Disease-Eater, Wound-Causer, the Twisted, the Auspicious, Born-from-Earth, Cruel-eyed and Red-limbed One.

Mars is the planet of energy; Mars rules our capacity to project emotion; Mars is emotional excitability which may turn to violence on occasion. Mars is the planet of power, strength, courage and aggression. A strong Mars provides us with the energy, independence, will and self-confidence to carry out our endeavours.

In the Vimshottari dasa of Mars we may (when favourable) we may expect a rise in status, benefits of lands, gains of wealth, royal (or government) favours, acquisitions of vehicles or clothes. When Mars is adverse or malefic, we may experience loss of face, dominance by opponents, illness and being accident prone.

Mars is the secret flame hidden in matter. This secret energy demands manifestation in material form. Mars can also bring out negativity and the dark side of Earth’s energy, the primordial powers, the abyss of tsunami, earthquake, typhoon; the return of prakriti (nature) to raw chaos.


Mars - interior

 NASA scientists just peeked into the ultimate depths of Mars for the first time, according to a presentation at the virtual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference this week reported in the journal Nature. The agency’s InSight spacecraft – which was placed on the Red Planet’s surface to peer into the inner-workings of the planet, detected a seismic energy wave ringing through the Martian interior.

And this seismic wave revealed the physical size of Mars’ core.

Human Values

Our values are our principles, our guides to action. Values are our internal codes of conduct, the principles upon which we steer our lives and make our decisions. Our values are first given to us by our parents. These values develop, expand and are tested in experience. Other people impress their values upon us. We may take on the values of people we admire, such as our peers, our teachers, or elders in the community. Our moral values are often gleaned from our faith system that we follow. The practice of human values also includes self-knowledge. This points to an important principle – that of self-inquiry. Up to 70% of our time should be spent in self-inquiry. Without knowing our inner self, one cannot reach the goal of life.

Our values often include universal principles such as truthfulness, peace, love, right conduct and non-violence. These principles are often essential for our personal and social survival. In our observation, when we reverse the order of perception, we can often work out what values are active and guiding a situation or an event or a reaction (our own – or – someone else’s) when we analyse motives of either ourselves or others. We keep in mind that behaviour reveals choices – choices are based on our values. Our values guide our actions.

Everyone desires and seeks Peace. Lasting Peace cannot be found in the material world. Peace requires the capacity for introspection and self-awareness. Self-awareness enables one to become mindful of his or her thoughts, words and deeds. When self-awareness becomes a habit the individual begins to monitor and modify the habitual patterns of thought that obstruct peace within. True peace requires inculcating equanimity and fortitude, regardless of loss or gain, success or failure, pain or pleasure.

Peace must be manifested in feeling, word, posture, deed and temperament in the same uniform equal measure. Absence of mere anger cannot be taken as peace. The winning of a desired object and the satisfaction one gets then, should not be confused with Peace. The peace that has pervaded the heart must not be shaken subsequently for any reason. Transcendental peace has no ups and downs; it cannot be partial in adversity and complete in prosperity. It cannot be one thing today and another tomorrow.

Without peace, there can be no happiness. Peace is the very nature of the soul. It co-exists only with a pure heart; it is never associated with a greedy heart full of desires. Genuine peace is won by the control of the senses only. Calming the mental agitation that surges like waves levelling the swirls and whirls of likes, dislikes, love, hate, sorrow, joy, hope, despair, peace is earned and maintained, without disturbance. This peace is of the nature of the soul.

Mars and Fortitude

Mars is an active planet that presents the capacity for peace through fortitude. Being goal oriented, fortitude is exhibited as strength, courage and firmness of mind. Fortitude produces a mental disposition for inner self control, above all, mind control. Mars can be single pointed in achieving outcomes, filled with confidence in following through, and strong minded, all the while. There is firmness of purpose and steadiness throughout the attitude, action, temperament.

Fortitude is an indication of inner mind control, inner management, mastery of the vagaries of the mind. The mind is the servant, not the master of the human. Hence, fortitude looks like prudence, temperance, patience and peacefulness. Mars enables withstanding of difficulties, and withstanding of fear. Mars in dignity is courageous, venturesome, strong, energetic, active, fearless, constructive and single pointed in achieving goals set. Mars can be independent in nature, and show force of character. Where these qualities are balanced in a benefic and dignified location of Mars, we can say that Mars is agent of Peace and fortitude.

Where Mars is afflicted, the bad side of Mars is exhibited. Then we see qualities inimical to Peace and fortitude emerge: anger, rashness, impulsive actions, thoughtless behaviour, irritation and violence. In the practice of sadhana – spiritual effort – we are taught to start early, drive carefully and arrive safely. This applies to our management of the Mars qualities within us. We can engage in mind management, we can practice being the witness to situations and events, we can practice restraint and self control. When one engages in Bhakti, Jnana and Yoga (Faith, Understanding and SELF CONTROL) we can achieve the goals of life. Karma is not simply physical: it is mental, verbal and manual.

While we withstand fear, fortitude is not foolhardiness, recklessness, nor rashness. Fortitude is NOT

  • vainglory;
  • conceit
  • boastfulness
  • extremes of self confidence
  • presumptuousness
  • intellectual superiority
  • hypocrisy

By way of expressing what something is not, we can know that fortitude is not ahamkara, the tyranny of I, Me, Mine! Fortitude is not attainment of desires, Rather, it is interior management of impulses; it is not bending the mind before grief or loss, anger or hatred or selfishness or fickleness. All of these qualities are the enemies of Peace. Fortitude – sub-value of Peace – helps one to journey through life with courage, strength of mind, mental disposition and peace. This is what Mars in dignity and strength has to offer: Mars can have charity and humility in its positive expression. This is the meaning of fortitude.


Vessel fortitude



Image Credits: JPL / NASA


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