Lunar Mansions - Nakshatras

According to mythology Nakshatras are the daughters of Daksha Prajapati. They were 27 in number and were married to Moon. The list of Nakshatras is available in Taittiriya Samhita (A.V 19.7) and also in the Shatapatha Brahmana. Each Nakshatra has one of the navagrahas as Lord and is totally governed by them. The order for the first 9 nakshatras are Ketu, Shukra(Venus), Surya(Sun), Chandra(Moon), Mangala(Mars), Rahu, Guru(Jupiter), Shani(Saturn) and Budha(Mercury). This cycle gets repeated two more times to cover all the 27 nakshatras. Based on this the Vimsottari Dasa System has been built. In Vedic Astrology the Zodiac comprises 360 degrees. By making a 30 degree division we get the 12 Rasis. By making a 13 degree 20 minutes division we get the 27 Nakshatras. In fact the first division was by means of Nakshatras only for which we find references in Rig-Veda also. Moon takes 27 days and 7¾ hours to make one round of the fixed Zodiac. Based on this the division of 130 20’ was made. Now we get a shortfall of 7¾ hour in the lunar transit which was made up of an extra Nakshatra called Abhijit. For the purpose of some special charts like Sarvobhadra Chakra etc we consider 28 Nakshatras and for all other purposes we take only 27 Nakshatras. The span from 2760 40’ to 2800 54’ 13” that is to say the last pada of Uttarashada is known as Abhijit. Details about each Nakshatra like, Symbol, Gotra, Gana, Lord, Deity, Type, Yoni, Guna, Goal, Sex, Body Part, Caste etc. etc. can be seen in any Standard beginner’s book. In most of the Panchanga’s also these details are given. I am not going into the details of these in this article. In the Gola Shastra we find a further sub-division of this arc of 13 degrees 20 minutes into 4 parts of 3 degrees 20 minutes each. These are called padas that is legs or feet. Why this was done? The arc of 13 degrees 20 minutes were found to be insufficient for the ancient astrologers and get a better and specific characteristic features of ruler-ship of the stars the further sub-division was made. Thus each Rasi was allotted 9 padas each in the running order of the Nakshatra. Nakshatras and their nature have volumes and volumes of information and it is not possible to present here all of them. Like-wise Nakshatras have deep relationships with various divisional charts, especially the Navamsa called as D-9 chart and Nakshatramsa Chart called as D-27 chart.

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