So finally, we are about to kick-start the series on Nakshatras. This series will give us some basic information about various Nakshatras and how to interpret them? After this series, we may be able to look at every planet through different nakshatra which should be a very long series in itself. This article will give us preliminary information necessary to understand Nakshatras. So, let’s break this article in following points –
Meaning of the word Nakshatra
Total number of Nakshatra
Mythology & Nakshatra
Lords of Nakshatra
Padas of Nakshatra.
Nakshatras within Signs
Nakshatras come in an order
How to interpret a Planet in a Nakshatra?
Let’s cover all points one after the other –
Meaning of the word Nakshatra – Nakshatra is commonly translated as Star, Tara or Constellation. These translations are right as nakshatras are nothing but stars or a group of stars in sky. But in addition to that, if we look closely then word Nakshatra has another word within it, i.e. Akshat. Akshat means immortal or something/someone that cannot be killed. That’s why, Nakshatras are considered as the base/foundation of Astrology as foundation should be something which is permanent. That’s why, we can have different systems of Astrology in different cultures and people can have their ego-battles as to which system is more accurate or correct but at the base of every system, you are dealing with same stars or constellation. We can find its traces even in different Religions or Mythological stories, where ancient Astrologers used to climb on high towers to look at the stars to make predictions. This is how birth of Zoroaster was predicted and this is what they meant when in Bible they said – “3 wise men followed the stars and reached the barn”. Those 3 wise men could be Astrologers who predicted Jesus birth after looking at stars. So in every system of Astrology, Stars/Constellations/Nakshatras are at base but that doesn’t mean that zodiac signs have no value.
Total number of Nakshatra – Total number of Nakshatras are 28 but normally only 27 are taken into consideration. 28th Nakshatra is Abhijeet Nakshatra which falls within 6-40 degree to 10-53 degree of Capricorn. This is considered as invisible nakshatra, hence not taken in consideration while making predictions by many but if anyone wants to take into consideration then there is no harm. So, the names of all nakshatras in an order are as follows –
Ashwini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigashira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, Purva-Phalguni, Uttar-Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishakha, Moola, Purva-Ashadha, Uttar-Ashadha, Abhijeet, Dhanishtha, Shatabhisha, Purva-Bhadrapada, Uttara-Bhadrapada and Revati.
Mythology & Nakshatra – As per mythology, all these 27 nakshatras were 27 sisters who got married to Moon. Moon is supposed to spend 1 day with 1 wife, that’s why Moon remains in 1 nakshatra for 1 day. Like that, Moon travels through all 27 nakshatras in 27 days and completes the circle of Zodiac Signs in 27 days. Now, this is where we get an indication as to why Abhijeet Nakshatra is normally not considered in predictions? It is because out of all the nakshatra names, Abhijeet is a male name. It is not a female’s name. All other names can be considered as female names. So, Abhijeet may not be one of the sisters who got married to Moon, hence it is not part of visible nakshatras chain. Also, Abhijeet means Invincible, which is very much a masculine quality based on physical strength, bravery and courage. This is one of the reason I see behind not considering Abhijeet as a regular nakshatra.
Lords of Nakshatra – Now, every nakshatra is ruled by a planet which is considered as Nakshatra Lord. In Bhrigu Nadi Jyotish or KP Astrology, they go up to sub-lord level of nakshatra to make the predictions more precise. So, as per KP Astrology, a planet will have nakshatra lord based on the nakshatra it is placed in and then it will have a nakshatra sub-lord based on the degree of planet. As far as I am concerned, I am comfortable using Nakshatra Lord for my predictions. Every planet rules over 3 nakshatras which are as follows –
Ketu – Ashwini, Magha, Moola.
Venus – Bharani, Purva-Phalguni, Purva-Ashadha.
Sun – Krittika, Uttara-Phalguni, Uttara-Ashadha.
Moon – Rohini, Hasta, Sravana.
Mars – Mrigashira, Chitra, Dhanishtha.
Rahu – Ardra, Swati, Shatabhisha.
Jupiter – Punarvasu, Vishakha, Purva-Bhadrapada.
Saturn – Pushya, Anuradha, Uttara-Bhadrapada.
Mercury – Ashlesha, Jyeshtha, Revati.
You can see sub-lords of nakshatras as per degrees here - http://krishnamurtipadhdhati.blogspot.in/2008/12/kp-star-and-sub-lord-table.html.
Padas of Nakshatra – And this is where Divisional Charts get their importance. Planetary placements in a particular pada or degrees decide where they are going to be placed in D-9 or other divisional charts. All it does is to give a precise direction to same planet from D-1 to D-9 or D-1 to D-10 and likewise. Like, if a planet is at 6.10 degrees at Aries in D-1, it will go in Taurus in D-9 and Gemini in D-10. So, it shows that this planet would work in Aries way in overall life (D-1), in Taurus way in finding right life path (D-9) and in Gemini way in matters of Career (D-10). As we go through each nakshatra in detail, we will come to know the importance of Padas which makes divisional charts important. For now, let’s understand that every nakshatra is divided in to 4 Padas. These 4 Padas are actually 4 Purusharth (objectives to achieve) of human life, i.e. Dharm (Righteousness), Arth (Purpose), Kama (Desire) & Moksha (Liberation). A planet will sitting in a particular pada will help person to achieve the objective related with that Pada. Like, Mars in 3rd pada will make person take desire (3rd pada of Kama) oriented actions (Mars). Again, we will deal with these concepts in detail as we go through each nakshatra.
Nakshatras within Signs – Then an important factor in interpreting nakshatra is under which sign it is falling. That sign will be the basic theme behind all the nakshatras placed within it. It is like 2-3 people are sharing a room and living under 1 roof. So, they have to abide by the rules of the room owner. Another way of looking at it is that every sign has some qualities, traits & representations, and the nakshatra placed therein will always have similar representations. Another thing I heard and I liked is that consider a planet as a plant, a sign as a pot and a nakshatra as the soil. Now, a plant can grow only when pot is strong and soil is fertile. So, if a person does things related to nakshatra and sign involved then automatically the planet will grow/improve and give good results. So, we can’t say that only signs are important or only nakshatras are important. Also, it becomes tricky to interpret a nakshatra when it spreads into two signs. Like, Vishakha starts in Libra and has its 3 padas there but its last pada is in Scorpio where it ends. So, when we are trying to interpret a planet in Vishakha Nakshatra, we have to keep an eye whether it is in Libra sign or Scorpio sign. Hence, we can’t totally overrule the importance of zodiac signs. Astrology is all inclusive.
Nakshatras in an order – Then as I understood nakshatras so far while studying and reading charts, I felt that every nakshatra comes in an order. Like, every nakshatra tells us about itself but it also tells us something about the preceding and succeeding nakshatras. It is like a story going on in different parts. Like, Moola is about Research and getting all possible information. Purva-Ashadha is about segregating useful information from non-useful one and then Uttar-Ashadha is about utilizing useful information in gaining authority and recognition. So, if we know the series in which nakshatras are coming then it will be easy for us to understand the significance or indications of that nakshatra.
How to interpret a Planet in a Nakshatra? – Now, how to interpret a planet in a nakshatra? There can be many ways and you can develop your own way. I can tell you here the way I follow to interpret a nakshatra –
- First of all, the literal translation of the name of nakshatra speaks a lot about nakshatra. It can’t be a coincidence that majority of people with Chitra as ascendant nakshatra were involved in works related with Architecture, Graphic Designing, X-Ray or anything related with Picture as Chitra literally means Picture. So 1st of all, we should know the meaning of the name of nakshatra.
- Then every nakshatra has a picture or symbol of itself. That picture or symbol gives an indication about the nature of Nakshatra. Like, I said Purva-Ashadha is about segregating useful information from non-useful one and its symbol is winnowing basket which is commonly use to separate grain from chaff.
- Sometimes the name itself speaks a lot about the nature of nakshatra. Like, Krittika has the same root as Critic and it represents someone who can be very critical of things or who can analyse or seek perfection. So, many a times name or the word itself gives an indication.
- Then every nakshatra has a mythological story attached to it. If we know the story then within the story we can find all the traits and characteristics of that nakshatra. So, it is important to know the stories of every nakshatra.
- Then at last, see the nature & dignity of planet sitting in a particular nakshatra, position & dignity of nakshatra lord and if you are fond of D-9 then check the position of same planet in D-9.
This is what I follow in reading nakshatras and it works for me. This is also the way I will explain each nakshatra in coming articles.
Conclusion – So, this is a brief introduction of nakshatras and how we should understand them. They are important in any detailed reading or consultation. My own opinion is that if we are sure about interpreting nakshatra, we will be far more confident in our readings
Hope this helps. Please post any comment or query you may have.
Vishal S Saxena – Astrologer