Shukra, the Sanskrit for “clear, pure” or “brightness, clearness”, is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas. He presides over Friday.
He is of white complexion, middle-aged and of agreeable countenance. he is described variously as mounted on a camel, horse or crocodile. he holds a stick, beads and a lotus and sometimes a bow and arrow.
Ushanas is the name of a Vedic rishi with the patronymic Kavya (descendant of Kavi, AVS 4.29.6), who was later identified as Ushanas Shukra. He is venerated as a seer in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna tells Arjun that among Kavis he is Ushanas.
Shukra is etymologically identical with Shukla “light”. ShukraVar is the name of the day of Friday in most Indian languages, and ShukaraGraha is Sanskrit name of the planet Venus in Indian Astrology. As a noun, it is also the name of a Marutavaata, of a son of Vasishtha, of the third Manu, of one of the saptarshi under Manu Bhautya, of a son of Bhava, of a son of Havirdhana. He was the guru of Daityas / Asuras, and so known as Shukracharya or Asuracharya.
Ushanas is also the name of the author of a Dharmashastra.
He was one of the sons of sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyati and thus the grandson of Lord Brahma. When they were young, Shukra and Brihaspati studied under the same guru, Sage Angirasa, who also happened to be Brihaspati’s own father. Shukra was known to be more knowledgeable than Brihaspati. Shukracharya became famous for his ability to resurruct people. He acquired this rare science from Lord Shiva himself, who was known as Conquerer of Death. The Devi-Bhagavata Purana refers to his mother as Kavyamata. The feminic nature Shukra is a Brahminical planet. He was born on Friday in the year Parthiva on Sraavana Suddha Ashtami when Svati Nakshatra is on the ascent. Hence, Friday is known as Shukravaaram in Indian languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, and Kannada. He went on to study the Vedas under the rishi Angirasa but he was disturbed by Angirasa’s favouritism for his son Brihaspati. He then went to study under rishi Gautama. He later performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the Sanjivani mantra. He married Priyavrata’s daughter Urjjasvati and they had four sons — Chanda, Amarka, Tvastr, Dharaatra and a daughter from his marriage to Indra’s daughter Jayanti by the name Devayani.
During this period, Brihaspati became the Guru of the Devas. Due to the hatred Sukracarya bore towards Vishnu for what he perceived as the murder of his mother as she had given shelter to some asura whom Vishnu was hunting, Shukracharya decided to become the Guru of Asuras. He helped them achieve victory over the Devas and used his knowledge to revive the dead and wounded among them.
In one story, Lord Vishnu is born as the Brahmin dwarf-sage Vamana. Vamana comes to take the three worlds as alms from the asura king Bali. Lord Vishnu wanted to deceive king Bali who was the grandson of the great king Prahlada, in order to help the Devas. The sage Shukracharya identifies him immediately and warns the King. The King is, however, a man of his word and offers the gift to Vamana. Shukracharya, annoyed with the pride of the king, shrinks himself with his powers and sits in the spout of the Kamandalu, from which water has to be poured to seal the promise to the deity in disguise. Then Vamana pierced his eye with a stick and thus got his gift, to obtain three looks from Bali.
Devayani was the daughter of Shukracharya. She married the legendary Somavanshi king Yayati. Brihaspati’s son, Kacha, was sent by the gods to learn the Sanjivani Mantra from Shukracharya himself. Kacha observed the oath of Brahmacharya and devotedly served his teacher for a thousand years. Shukracharya was pleased with his conduct and taught him much arcane lores. Eventually, due to circumstances, Shukracharya was forced to impart the science to Kacha to save their lives. Kacha became a great sage and taught that knowledge to the Devas, assuring victory to them.
In the time of the Mahabharata, Shukracharya is mentioned as one of the mentors of Bhishma, having taught him political science in his youth. Guru shukracharya is a demon teacher but very good in nature
Kacha: The son of Brihaspati, the rival of Shukracharya. Kacha won Shukracharya’s trust and ultimately succeeded in learning the art of resurrection from Shukracharya.
Vrishaparva: King of the Asuras and father of Sharmishtha, the ancestress of the Pandavas and the Kauravas
Prahlada: Devotee of Vishnu and the most powerful King of the Asuras
Bali: Grandson of Prahlada, King of Asuras and a devotee of Vishnu
Danda: The youngest and the most irresponsible son of King Ikshvaku of Ayodhya. Though he was obedient to Shukracharya, he was slain when he violated Shukra’s daughter against her will. Hence, his former kingdom turned into the Dandaka forests.
Prithu: The first consecrated King and the first true Kshatriya.
Bhishma: The son of King Shantanu. He studied all branches of knowledge and statecraft from Shukracharya.
In Vedic astrology, Shukra is considered a benefic and rules over the signs Taurus and Libra. It is exalted in Pisces, and in its fall in Virgo. The planets Mercury and Saturn are considered friendly to Shukra, the Sun, the Moon and Jupiter are hostile, and the rest are considered neutral. In astrology, Shukra represents love, romance and sexuality, artistic talents, the quality of the body and material life, wealth, the opposite sex, pleasure and reproduction, feminine qualities and the fine arts, such as music, dance, painting and sculpture. Those with Shukra strong in their charts are likely to appreciate nature and enjoy a harmonious relationship. However, an excessive influence can cause them to indulge too much in the pleasures of life without accomplishing much of real worth. Shukra is the lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions: Bharani, Purva Phalguni and Purva Ashadha.
Shukra and its significance
Venus is an indicator of spouse, love, marriage, comfort, luxury, beauty, prosperity, happiness, all conveyances, art, dance music, acting, passion and sex. Shukra blesses the people with the power to control their sense organs and enables to obtain name and fame. Afflictions to Venus can cause eye diseases, venereal complaints, indigestion, pimples, impotency, loss of appetite and rashes on the skin.
In Vedic astrology, there is a dasha or planetary period is known as Shukra Dasha which remains active in a person’s horoscope for 20 years. In addition, Shukra is an important benefic planet in the horoscope. Shukra is associated with a month in the Hindu calendar called Jyeshtha.
Shukra also has the following associations: His color is white, metal is silver, and gemstone is a diamond.
Above the moon by a distance of 200,000 yojanas are celestial objects, and beyond these is Sukra-graha, whose influence is always auspicious for the inhabitants of the entire universe. Some 1,600,000 miles above group of stars is the planet Venus, which moves at almost exactly the same pace as the sun according to swift, slow and moderate movements. Sometimes Venus moves behind the sun, sometimes in front of the sun and sometimes along with it. Venus nullifies the influence of planets that are obstacles to rainfall. Consequently, its presence causes rainfall, and it is therefore considered very favorable for all living beings within this universe. This has been accepted by learned scholars. On the upper chin of the sisumara is Agasti; on its lower chin, Yamaraja; on its mouth, Mars; on its genitals, Saturn; on the back of its neck, Jupiter; on its chest, the sun; and within the core of its heart, Narayan. Within its mind is the moon; on its navel, Venus; and on its breasts, the Asvini-kumaras. Within its life air, which is known as prarapana, is Mercury, on its neck is Rahu, all over its body are comets, and in its pores are the numerous stars.