The mythological story of Uttara-Ashadha Nakshatra () is another unusual story which can be interpreted in different ways and it all depends on the interpreter and his ability as to what meaning he wants to take out of any story or text.
So here, I will try to my little understanding and interpretations of this story of Uttara-Ashadha Nakshatra.
Mythological Story of Uttara-Ashadha Nakshatra – Story of birth of Lord Ganesh is directly connected with this nakshatra due to Ganesh being presiding deity and its representation of elephant's tusk. This is story where Goddess Parvati had a mind born son Ganesh and instructed him to stand-guard as she takes bath. As Lord Shiva happened to arrive and Lord Shiva & Lord Ganesh were unknown to each other, Lord Ganesh stopped Lord Shiva from entering the place. This started a battle between them and with the help of Vishnu & other Gods, Lord Shiva finally removed the head of Lord Ganesh. Parvati was furious to know about it and as Shiv-Shakti represents the balance of masculine-feminine energy, this balance was disturbed. In the end, Vishnu promised Parvati to bring Ganesh back to life and by attaching an Elephant's head to Ganesh's body, Vishnu fulfilled his promise.
Interpretation – Now, here is my interpretation of this story -
- As per my understanding, Uttara-Ashadha represents High Authority. This is why; it is represented by Elephant’s Tusk (Elephant being a huge animal represents huge authority).
- Now, what comes with Authority? It is Ego. For majority of us, it is the case that the moment we get authority, we get high on ego. Or we can also say that we want to get authority, so that it can satisfy our ego.
- Head is representation of that Ego. Just pay attention that whenever we feel a little high on ego in comparison with others, our spine becomes straight and our head goes high.
- This is why, in almost every religion or faith, there is this tradition of bowing down head in front of God or any representation of God. It is nothing but indication that we must let-go of our ego.
- Even when we take dips in Holy Rivers or we bow down in front of a Guru, the message is to let-go of ego.
- So, if we have taken the dips in Holy Rivers, bowed down to Guru or any place of worship and if Ego is still standing high then those dips or bowing down is not of much use. Actually, many a times, these rituals backfires and we become egoistic of the number of times, we have bowed down to Guru or God.
- Now, coming back to the main topic of Uttara-Ashadha nakshatra, this Nakshatra starts in Sagittarius and ends in Capricorn. Sagittarius is sign of knowledge, higher education and belief system. Capricorn in itself is sign of Authority and Recognition.
- Out of many different ways, these are two main ways by which we can become egoistic. We can be egoistic of our knowledge or belief system or we can be egoistic about the authority or recognition/fame in this world.
- I agree that there can be innumerous ways of being egoistic as ego can take any shape but these two can be termed as main.
- Now, if we see this story then we can see that Lord Ganesha got little bit of authority as He was standing guard. When Lord Shiva removes the Head of Lord Ganesha, I would interpret it that message is about destruction of Ego. It is more relevant as Lord Shiva is the destroyer among trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
- And who is sustainer? Lord Vishnu!! Hence, Lord Vishnu intervened in the matter and sustained the life.
- As I see, main message of this story is that we should not develop any ego no matter how high authority or recognition or fame we get. We must realize that authority or recognition we are getting is just a blessing of divine energy.
- And if we keep any ego around this, then the same divine energy can also take back the authority and recognition given and can destroy the ego.
- But if we are ready to surrender our ego to divine and function as instrument or tool of divine then same divine energy can bring even the higher authority and recognition (Lord Vishnu placing the Elephant’s head in place of Human head).
- So, as I understood, the main message is to let-go of ego no matter where we stand in life.
Swami Premanand Bharti