In Hinduism, Shukra is another name for the planet Venus. The word "Shukra" actually denotes brightness, pureness, and clarity.
Shukra is personified as a fair and middle-aged person riding on a camel, horse, or crocodile. He is supposed to carry a lotus, stick, beads, and sometimes bow and arrow.
Shukra is the son of the great sage Bhrigu who was a famous astrologer. Bhrigu passed on all the knowledge and scriptures on astrology and science to his son.
As Brihaspati is the guru of Devas, Shukra is the guru of Asuras (demons). The story says that Shukra was one of the disciples of Angirasa. He was perturbed by the partial attitude shown by Angirasa towards Brihaspati. Hence Shukra went on to study from Gautama.
Shukra performed vigorous penance and attained a special mantra to bring the dead to life which is known as Sanjivani Mantra. Because of Shukra's hatred towards Vishnu and Brihaspati, he went on to become the guru of Asuras. He helped them gain victories over Devas many a times and used Sanjivani Mantra to bring back the dead asuras. He also helped asuras to keep in touch with their spiritual side.
His wife's name is Urjaswathi and has four sons – Chanda, Amarka, Tvastr, and Dharaatra. He also has a daughter by name Devayani who was rejected by Guru's son, Kacha for marriage. She later marries the founder of the Kuru dynasty, Yayati.
The great epic, Mahabharatha, mentions Shukra as one of the teachers of Bheeshma. According to Vedic astrology, there is a planetary phase called Shukra Dasha that remains active for twenty years. If Shukra is placed well in a horoscope, then this phase is supposed to bestow the person with lots of wealth, fortune, and luxury. Shukra rules over Vrishabha and Tula. He is at the highest point in Meena and is at the lowest point in Kanya. He is the head of Bharani, Purva Phalguni, and Purva Ashadha. If the presence of Shukra is strong, then the person will enjoy amazing relationships. But too much of a strong Shukra can actually propel the person to indulge in excessive pleasure.
If the position of Shukra is weak in one's horoscope, then it might indicate that a person may resort to unlawful ways to attain the pleasures and enjoyment in life. It could also denote weak reproductive organs.
Budha and Shani are friendly with Shukra where as Surya and Chandra are hostile towards Shukra.
Shukra constitutes love, marriage, comfort, happiness, luxury, beauty, prosperity, art, dance, music, acting, and passion. Shukra is said to give a person the power of self control and hence earn fame and name.
Astrologers have accepted the fact that the presence of Shukra induces rainfall and is hence beneficial to the whole universe.
The health points that can be influenced by Shukra are reproductive organs, urinary tract, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, and semen. Ayurveda classifies the constitution of Shukra as Kapha and Vata.
Friday is the day of Shukra. The gem stone associated with Shukra is Diamond and the metal is Silver.