Mangal (Mars), the second smallest and fourth closest graha to Surya (Sun), known as the most violent, aggressive and hottest graha in the world of jyotish (astrology). Even modern astronomers call it the red planet due to its appearance. Red stands for heat, violence and danger. Mangal is a Sanskrit term with two meanings. One is “auspicious” and the other is “pale or dull coloured”. It's an auspicious graha with a pale red appearance. It's a malefic graha but also an auspicious one. You need Mangal's quality to survive and to cherish life. Its presence is emphasized everywhere in the vedic tradition. For example, Mangal sutra, the thread used in Indian marriages represents the same. Thus the name Mangal sutra, the rule/formula of Mars.
Even the kumkum hindus apply on their forehead represents protection and strength.
Lord Mangal is the creator God of this graha. Mangal is considered the most protective as well as defensive and violent one. His actions are faster than his words. Mangal is the son of Bhumi Devi aka Bhu Devi, the Goddess of Earth. Bhumi means Earth and Devi means goddess. She’s the deity of planet Earth. She is a beautiful, benevolent, kind, protective but an opportunistic as well as aggressive Goddess. You can see the presence of her different qualities everywhere across the Earth. She’s also a dutiful and committed one who takes care of her world (with humans and rest of the species) through the help of all other grahas.
This is the image of Lord Mangal riding a goat.
So Mangal, being the son of the Bhumi Devi, inherited some of her qualities. This literally means that the planet Mars was created out of Earth (science hasn't proved it yet we can't deny what shastras say). Now it's easy to understand why Mars has similar conditions like Earth and life on Mars is a big dream to modern scientists.
Mangal’s presiding deity is Lord Kartikeya aka Murugan. Kartikeya is a spear wielding protective warrior God who was created by Lord Shiva to destroy the asuras and re-establish dharma on Earth. Mangal represents the same qualities as its Adhi Devata.
Mars represents the fire within us, the burning desire to achieve something. Mangal represents masculinity, younger siblings (esp. male), male friends, protector, defence forces (like police, military etc.), engineers, technicians, sportsmen etc. as tangible significations. Intangible significations are physical energy, male sex drive, intense passion, patriotism, competitiveness, tradition, blood, bone marrow, muscles, kumkum, sharp objects, cuts and bruises, machineries, physics, electricals and electronics, technology, anger, hatred, physical education, physical actions etc.
A strong Mangal person can be protective and territorial of his surroundings. He’ll be physically active as well as mentally but his actions will be louder than his words. His perspective may always have a technical touch. He’ll be quite opposite to the views of Guru. He’ll thrive and shine through challenges and competition. If you look carefully you might realise that these are the qualities of a young adult, thus Mangal, the warrior, the young blood. Mars is about here and now, much like the qualities of Mercury.
Mangal is a masculine graha and matures at 28th year of age. It’s when the Mangal within you settles, as in you’ll be able to realise when and where to use your energy wisely. Mars is strong especially at young ages due to its signification of physical energy. Number 9 and 21 are more important.
1. Tamassic graha
2. Exalted in Capricorn and debilitated in Cancer
3. Rules the signs Aries and Scorpio
4. Gets directional strength in the South (10th house)
5. Favourable direction is South
8. Loves physical activities, technical tasks, challenges and competitions
9. Associated colours are red and pale red
10. Ruling deity is Lord Kartikeya
11. Mangal represents Earth (land) and the body part is nose
Exaltation and Debilitation of Mangal
Mangal attains exaltation in the sign of Capricorn, the place where Mars is at its height of power.
To better understand this phenomena you have to imagine Mangal as a living entity (of course planets are living entities but i’m asking you to imagine it as a human being) and think of his requirements to become powerful:
"Mangal aka Mars is physically charged anytime of anyday. He thrives through physical activities, as in he doesn't like to sit still and work all day. He wants to go out, find new objectives, finish it with great fervour and move on to the next. His zeal towards accomplishing his task/objective is so strong that he’ll not stop for anything or anyone. He likes challenges and competition (esp. physical), in fact he welcomes it with great passion. He’s a fast learner esp. in acquiring physical skills like making tools, fixing a machine, bodybuilding, martial arts etc. Unboxing the latest weapons, tools, technological advancements in the future are all what he dreams of in his sleep (he doesn’t dream much by the way, he gets the best sleep). He’s patriotic and territorial. He’s a fixer, good at fixing things. He's an independent, strong individual and also loves to be in a partnership. If he’s committed to something then he’ll even give his life to protect and nourish it."
All these qualities are enough to say that Capricorn is Mars’s powerful domain. Capricorn rules the most powerful body part, the knee. So it's where he can be fully active. He can master many skills (3rd house Pisces because Pisces is the universe). He’s strong and independent at heart (4th house Aries). His enthusiasm towards adversities (6th house Gemini) shows his cockiness. He’ll give his life for his commitments (10th house Libra).
On the other hand, Cancer is the debilitation sign of Mars. Cancer makes him slow. It's like telling James Bond to sit and listen to his enemy (which never works). This frustrates Mars. He’ll get to learn only a limited skills (3rd house Virgo). He’s forced to give importance to others’ opinions (4th house Libra). He has to fight dharma (6th house Sagittarius) because Mangal at his purest form fights to establish dharma not the other way.
So this is how Cancer deprives Mangal of his requirements and makes him weak.
Note: i’ve written this exaltation/debilitation concept after years of observational research and contemplation.
Why Mangal is a malefic graha?
Mangal is revered as the most auspicious. The name itself denotes the meaning but its also a strong malefic. Its because Mangal is the knife that can be used for cooking and saving people's lives or can be used for hurting and ending people's lives. The duality that resides everywhere in the universe. Let me tell you a story of its deity Lord Kartikeya to explain you why its considered a malefic. Once Narada muni, a celestial sage went to Kailasha to meet Lord Kartikeya and Ganesha with a beneficial fruit.
Narada muni: I have a beneficial fruit to offer either one of you.
Ganesha: Welcome muni, can't we each have half of the fruit?
Narada: No, only one can have it.
Kartikeya: Alright, lets play a game and whoever wins it will have it.
Narada: Okay, here's the rule. Whoever revolves around the world 3 times first shall have the fruit.
Kartikeya sits on peacock and leaves right away. But Ganesha cannot do the same since his vaahan (vehicle) is a rat which is too slow to win the race. So, he thinks for a second and questions the muni.
Ganesha: What do you mean by world?
Narada: World is a union of everything such as day and light, happy and sad, good and bad, surplus and drought so on and so forth.
Ganesha: Wherever you get all these can also be considered as world right?
Ganesha: To me, my parents are everything, they're my world. So, can i circumambulate them thrice to finish the challenge?
Narada: Yes you may
Lord Ganesha finishes the challenge first by circumambulate his parents, God Shiva and Parvati and wins the fruit. Lord Kartikeya reached there to witness this and got angry. Kartikeya is revered as Guru by God Shiva himself yet he was not thinking about what would Ganesha do. This story is mentioned in the Skanda Purana to teach us that we shouldn't underestimate anyone and jump into action without thinking. Mangal, being the warrior graha jumps into action before thinking which may end up in a disaster at times, destroying the self and the surroundings. Thus its considered a strong malefic.
"It’s the most talked about and feared dosha of all time."
Mangal is the one responsible for our survival instincts. But the man’s survival instincts can sometimes turn him into a greedy animal, hunting and gathering more than necessary. This is the core nature of Mangal. It has to be in a limited strength to keep a man a man always. If it exceeds its limitation it becomes a defect in their psyche, so they called it Mangal dosha. Dosha means defect in sanskrit, the excessive energy of Mangal. Mangal dosha is present when it is placed in 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th or 12th from the Lagna or Moon. But the intensity differs based on the factors like houses, signs, sign lords, aspects (benefic & malefic), nakshatra and more. For ex., Mars in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th are the most intense, it can be bring troubles in the family esp. with the spouse, even with friends and co-workers. You shouldn't get scared of this, instead you must start using the same Martian energy to fix it (remember what i said above) after reading this. But first, lets understand a bit more about this theory.
In general, you can see all the primal instincts of a man come and go easily with this dosha. Primal instincts such as anger, aggression, hatred, greed, lust, eccentricity and more. Man is a tamed species with culture and tradition. But with this dosha he may lose his control, thus the fear. These people can be hard to adjust, accustom and to control (esp. when its strong). Thus they're advised to marry a person with Mangal dosha because they both can think alike and do alike so their life can be normal. The resulting effects of this dosha can be many based on its intensity. For ex., some people can get sudden burst of anger, some may get freq. injuries and accidents, some can be hyperactive in one thing (not active at all in other) and in rare cases some can be extremely violent (i'll use charts to explain this later), some can even be deep thinkers (esp. with Mars in 8th or 12th house) and so on and so forth. You can understand its intensity even without analysing your chart. Just self reflect yourself, whether you lose control and go to your primal instinctive mode quite often. If you don’t then it's not strong. It's as simple as that. On the other hand some people with this dosha may feel like they're the victim and they're facing aggressive people all the time. This occurs when a strong Mangal dosha is with a weak Mangal for ex., Mangal in the 2nd house in Cancer. They may have a strict family with easily irritated parents. So there are many things to look for to determine the resulting effects and its intensities.
You cannot eradicate the entire dosha, its like replacing Mangal from its natal placement which isn't possible but its effects can be reduced, controlled and tamed with certain remedies. I usually suggest my clients to perform some classical remedies along with other modern remedies (based on their natal placements) such as focusing on physical workouts & activities, helping & safeguarding others (esp. family), deep meditation, watching investigative series/movies and more.