Venus and Human Values: Appreciation

Planet Venus as Hindu God

Gayatri Mantra for Venus

Om Aswadhwajaaya Vidmahe
Dhanur hastaaya dheemahi
Tanno Shukra prachodayaat

Translation: “Om, Let me meditate on him who has horse in his flag,
Oh, He who has a bow in his hand, give me higher intellect,
And let Shukra illuminate my mind.”

Venus is a graceful planet who takes delight in those artisan activities of humankind: the arts, song, dance, music, film-making, painting, poetry, gardening, theatre, walking and communing with nature. These are activities, events, wherein we both experience and express appreciation. Here, we look to appreciation as one of the human values.

The Planet Venus is known in Vedic Astrology as Lord Shukra, the celestial poet, son of Lord Bhrigu and is dispositor or karaka of artistic grace and beauty, refinement and contentment, and is concerned with harmonious relationships.

Venus shows our affection and sense of harmony in life. Among the planets, Venus is our appreciation of the beautiful and as such represents our aesthetic sense. Venus is significator of art, poetry, painting, music and dance. Venus is the muse in life, our sense of the beloved that draws out our creative expression. Venus indicates sensitivity, refinement and gentleness.

Human Values

The values we possess are guides to action we undertake. Values are our internal codes of conduct, the principles upon which we base 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. Values are tested in action and obtain greater dimensionality and effect when we interact with other people. These people can be role models, or they may be people we clash with. We are continually tested with our choices for action and inner reactions; Human values leave us with inner peace, not inner disturbance.

Human values give us a bedrock against which we may evaluate situations, propositions, events and experience. We have something to fall back on when we engage in the practice of living with human values. Human values form our character bank, that which we can fall back on when we face challenges.

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 sourced from our faith. We also obtain moral values from the society and culture we engage with. 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. If we do not know our inner self, then our lives will be spent in reaction to outer phenomena; we will be trapped in maya, illusion, and reacting to what the world presents to us.

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 progress. In our observation, when we reverse the order of perception, we can often work out what values are active and driving a situation or an event or a reaction (our own)(someone else’s) when we analyse the motives of either ourselves or others. We keep in mind that behaviour reveals choices – and that choices are based on our values. Our values guide our actions.

Dharma is the eternal order, the basis of the Universe, for everything in the universe follows its proper dharma, its order, its righteousness, its right action. It is the dharma of an orange to taste as an orange and give Vitamin C; it is not the dharma of oranges to taste like watermelons and give so many seeds. It is the dharma of rain to fall on everything alike and to provide moisture and water for growth. It is the dharma or right conduct of fire to radiate heat; it is not the dharma of fire to radiate moisture on its own account. An individual’s dharma must be fulfilled by adherence to the duties and obligations relating to each person’s inherent nature, profession, status and stage of life as laid down by the ancient lawgivers. Dharma sustains the world. Dharma protects those who uphold dharma. ‘dharmo rakshati rakshitaah’ – Dharma protects those who protect it.

Venus and Human Values

In planetary lore, Venus is a guru along with planet Jupiter. Venus disposes intelligence, for he is astute Brahmin, expert in the sastras and associated learning and is teacher of the asuras (lower demonic forces). To be teacher of the lower demonic forces places a seed within which enables aspiration and the seeking of divinity in all things. All men and women ever seek peace and a resting place from the trials of the world, and Venus can provide this. He also provides the means for such repose with sacred teachings about the body, and grounded spiritual experiences of the body. There are multiple intelligences-kinaesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence-which we apply to the domains of our life, the intellectual, personal, emotional, social and spiritual domains. Venus is the source of these multiple intelligences which reside within us as energy expressed as learning, skills, musical appreciation and poetic expressions of Truth, Goodness and Beauty. As a guide to action, Venus can lead one on to much graciousness and beauty in life.

Venus and Appreciation

Appreciation is a sub-value of Love. Love (one of the five human values) has sub-values of kindness, friendship, forgiveness, appreciation, compassion, tolerance and selflessness. A person who practices the human value of love is loving, kind, considerate of others, gentle and compassionate. Being generous, they have an understanding nature and are dedicated persons. They know how to generate and multiply their inner wellspring of love, joy and harmony. They are capable of managing their personal and social lives.

What is Appreciation?

Appreciation emerges from admiration of an object, a person, an experience. Appreciation experiences and understands the nature, the meaning, the quality and the impact of that which is experienced, appraised, evaluated. This the the fruit of evocation of satisfaction, pleasure, joy or gratitude with the object of our appreciation. Appreciation in the commercial sphere addresses the increase or rise in the price or value of an object, or a favourable judgement.

What does Appreciation look like?

Appreciation can be our personal interior experience, or our external appraisal of a person, an event, or an object. There are both subjective and objective dimensions of appreciation. For example, we can give an expression (in speech or writing) of one’s estimate of something: often implying a favourable estimate. We can see, recognise, take intelligent notice of a matter with certain delicate impressions or distinctions – such as the aesthetic experience of nature or art. Appreciation can also take the form of an adequate or high estimation, sympathetic recognition of excellence; we esteem a person, an object adequately or highly; we recognise this as valuable or excellent; and find worth or excellence therein.

What forms does Appreciation take?

* appreciation of the natural world
* appreciation of natural environments
* appreciation of art, music, and literature
* appreciation of human environments
* appreciation of the human body
* appreciation of almost every aspect of human life
* appreciation of theatrical performances
* the object of appreciation as the achievement of a designing intellect

What does Appreciation feel like?

Appreciation is a positive experience, feeling, event or value. We can feel gratitude, gladness and joy as elements of the experience of appreciation. We can have appreciation or gladness for that which grants us a positive feeling, a positive or longed-for outcome. There are times when appreciation is called for but gratitude is not. This is the exercise of discrimination. We can have “appreciation as liking” and we can have “appreciation as sizing up”, realising the intrinsic worth or value of an object. The feeling of appreciation is the high estimation of, the sympathetic recognition of excellence.

What Appreciation is not:

Appreciation depends on having some level of understanding of what one is experiencing; there is no appreciation without recognition, understanding, choice and reasons therefore. Appreciation is not depreciation; it is not a lowering of value, fall in estimation, discrete infatuation with the object of one’s admiration. It is not condescension, patronage, contempt or despite. There is no scorn in appreciation.

Appreciation as signified by Venus

Earlier we shared,

Venus shows our affection and sense of harmony in life. Among the planets, Venus is our appreciation of the beautiful and as such represents our aesthetic sense. Venus is significator of art, poetry, painting, music and dance. Venus is the muse in life, our sense of the beloved that draws out our creative expression. Venus indicates sensitivity, refinement and gentleness.

We may take up the energies of Venus when we engage in appreciation of what life gives to us: the entire environment of human life, the natural world around us, and how this is captured and presented to us in appreciation of art, music, and literature. When we give laud, glory and honour to those buildings, monuments and masterpieces of art and architecture, we are giving appreciation to others, to the achievements of humans, to life itself. We are taking up the gifts of the planet Venus and expressing same.


Venus as seen by NASA
Venus as seen by NASA

Image Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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