Nakshatras :: The Fixed Stars of Destiny

—Komilla Sutton

Nakshatras or lunar mansions have a very special place in Vedic astrology. They are the axis on which Vedic astrology revolves. Moon stays in one Nakshatra for one day. They are mentioned in the ancient Indian Texts- the Artharva and Yajur Veda which lists all 27 of them. Kalaprakashika is the standard ancient text which forms the base of the study of Nakshatras, In mythology the Nakshatras are considered to be the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajipat, the Cosmic Helper charged by the creator of the universe Brahma to help him in the evolution of the whole cosmos. These 27 daughter of Daksha married the Moon and became special repositories of astrological influences. Which is why the Nakshatra are feminine impulse which need the positive- male impulses of the planets to complete their polarity. In India, the lunar calender is decided by the nakshatras. The rising nakshatra at the time of the new moon decides the rulership of the lunar month. 12 nakshatras rule the lunar months. Naksha- means to approach and Tra means to guard. Each Nakshatras has a mythological god whose duty it to guard and guide the cosmic evolution. The location of the planets in specific nakshatras completely alters their signifcations. The zodiac comprises of 360 degrees. The twelve zodiac signs rule 30 degrees each. There are 27 Nakshatras, each Zodiac sign comprimising 2 1/2 Nakshatras. Though the Zodiac has been divided into 27 groups of Nakshtras. These are only the principle members of several groups of fixed stars. Beginning at 0' Aries, each Nakshatra compromises 13' 20" of the ecliptic.-the degrees covered by the Moon in a 24 hour Day. Each Nakshatra is further divided into four parts known as 'padas' or feet. The 27 nakshatras are divided in to 3 groups, known as paryaya which means cycle. The seven planets and the nodes of the moon have the rulership assigned to each Nakshatra. They repeat themselves in the same sequence. The start of each paryaya (one cycle of 9 nakshatras) is always ruled by Ketu the mystical south node. Planets positioned in Sandhi areas- the junction points of the paryaya, the last quarters (padas) of Pisces- Aries. Cancer- Leo. Scorpio- Sagittarius are specially powerful in giving Karmic effects. They are known as Gandanta. The belief is when life crystallises at a certain point then we journey towards the higher manifestation of the soul and the consciousness. We have to go through a particularly trying time to prepare our minds for the next step in the journey of our soul. Moon has a special relationship with the Nakshatras. The Nakshatras give 108 positions for the placement of the Moon. The Moon first comes under the influence of the zodiac sign where it is placed, then the influence of the nakshatra ruler and lastly it is influence by the lord of the pada. The triplicity of varying planetary influences alter the signification of the

These gunas are: 1. The ruler of the nakshatra at the time of our birth is the ruler of the first dasha of our life and ruler of the pada is the first antar dasha of our life. our consciousness is effected by three different qualities or gunas. They want to achieve. Nakshatras with their cosmic powers rule and direct life towards its karmic path. Marriages.choosing to eat what is provided by nature rather than killing to fulfil their appetites. generous and self. They are tranquil. That makes all the difference in finding how the Dasha will effect us. It is from the location of the Moon in a specific nakshatra that we can decided the start of our life cycles . Vegetarians are sattvic by nature. Sattva . These are very important in Yoga and in astrology it is important to understand the impulses (gunas) of the planets and their Nakshatras which give them their unique behaviour patterns. They want . Rajas .the Dasha system which is unique to the Vedic astrology. Their capacity of changing our life patterns is of prime importance in the Vedic astrology.controlled. In India. For predictive and election purposes the knowledge of the Nakshatras is very important. In India where timing of important functions in life are very important. all should be started on the correct day and the astrologers look to the fixed stars to find that auspicious time so that the best possible cosmic help is available in whatever you are starting. Water is pure Sattva. most Vedic astrologer will put the number of the Nakshatra by the planet on the chart. pure or good quality. one should look at the ruler of the dasha as well as the placement of the ruler of the Nakshatra of the Dasha ruler. farming. Truth. agriculture. That way they can see immediately what degree of the Zodiac the planet is placed. According to the ancient Vedic Philosophy. The power of Nakshatras should never be underestimated. 2. The cosmic energies that radiate around us give us the predominance of one of these gunas. Sattvics find it hard to hurt others. They are fearless. They are restless and insecure. the placement of the transiting Moon in specific Nakshatra is considered very auspicious.the quality of mobility or activity.the illuminating. starting new businesses etc. The Nakshatra position of the Moon plays an important part in Muhurtha. charitable and generally have an open mind. purity of purpose and self righteousness and the path towards eternal consciousness is important to Sattvic people. They have great inner thirst. education.election astrology. others planets change under the influence of Nakshatras. Although it is significant to know of the lunar placement in Nakshatra. subtly influencing to bring about changes in the psyche. travel. When studying the dashas.Moon. It is important for those trying to look into deeper meaning of life to look into the nakshatra placements of key planets and you will have a much better understanding of the inner motivations of planets in your chart. They are passionate and ambitious. house building.

A head of horse. Saturn. Saturn and Jupiter.ruled by Venus. Elephant. 0'00" to 13'20" (0'00" to 13'20" Aries). financial matters and the practicalities of life.Dharma . 4.Ashwini Kumars. The Motivation is Artha. SymbolYoni ( female sexual organ). Dosha. The four quarters are ruled by Mars.Kapha. They are materialistic in nature. The Nakshatras radiate these qualities on primary. Female.everything. They find themselves clinging to pleasant tasks but avoiding the difficult situations. 26'40" to 40'00 (26'40" Aries to 10'00" Taurus). The motivation is Dharma. Each Nakshatra radiates its own quality. nakshatra and finally the pada or quarter. Horse. Female. Diety Agni. Venus.Yama. Tamasic people have to try very hard to get out of the ignorance that surrounds them. Venus and Mars. Vedic philosophers considered 4 basic motivations which guide us. Artha relates to wealth . want recognition and respect but are never satisfied. Sheep. Moksha . Kama . They are active.Vata 2. enhance and fine tune the cosmic energies that effect us. Deity. The duty towards ourselves and others to do the right thing. 13'20" to 26'40"( 13'20" to 26'402 Aries) The quarters are ruled by Sun. They are generally sensuous. These alter.righteous action. Symbol.the need for spiritual salvation. has its own motivation and the planets placed in them have a triplicy of influences. It helps to find out on what sub-conscious level we react to this world. Tamas .Ashwini . Dosha -Pitta 3.by the rulers of the Zodiac sign. They are: 1. easily distracted and unsteady. The quarters are ruled by Jupiter.meaningful action. Artha . Mercury. Krittika . Maya -the illusionary world of self gratification and sensual living ties them to their desires. Deity.the dark restraining quality. The 27 Nakshatras are: 1.ruled by Sun. causes and living. Symbol.ruled by Ketu -the South Node. They can be fickle. Mercury and Moon. Dosha. The need to find the highest truths and move towards self realisation. Yoga and meditation is required to strengthen their inner being if they want to move towards higher consciousness. 2. Each of the Nakshatra has its own motivation. Kama is about passion for people. in love with all the good things in life which restrain them from higher learning and knowledge. 3. The motivation is Kama. Moksha means Nirvana. Dharma is the purpose of our life.a razor. . secondary and tertiary levels. They are held down by their own needs. Bharani . 3.passionate behaviour. Male.

The motivation is Kama. Mercury. Chitra . 40'00" to 53'20"(10'00" to 23'20" Taurus). The motivation is Artha.Nagas. Venus. Uttara Phalguni . Venus and Mars. 12. The motivation is Dharma.4.ruled by Mars.ruled by Mercury.Tvashtar. The motivation is Moksha.Vata. The motivation is Kama. Mercury and Moon. Cat.the North Node.ruled by Ketu.Aditi. The motivation is Dharma.Rudra. Dosha. The motivation is Artha.A couch. Pushya . Rohini -ruled by Moon. platform or fireplace.A bow or a house. Symbol. The quarters are ruled by Sun. Deities. Symbol.Soma. Hasta . 6. Venus. Saturn and Jupiter. .Brahaspati. Dosha. Saturn and Jupiter. The quarters are ruled by Mars. Male.ruled by Sun. Male. Mercury and Moon. 66'40" to 80'00" (6'40" to 20'00" Gemini) The quarters are ruled by Jupiter. Deity.Pitta. Deity. The motivation is Moksha. circle or an arrow.Pitta. Venus.Vata. Male.The head of a deer. Serpent. Cat.a small bed. 53'20" to 66'40" (23'20 Taurus to 6'40" Gemini).Pitris. 5. Female.ruled by Venus. The quarters are ruled by Mars. Deity.Pearl.ruled by Jupiter. Symbol. 14. Magha . Mercury and Moon.ruled by Rahu. 80'00 to 93'20 (20'00" Gemini to 3'20" Cancer).ruled by Moon. Rat. Dosha. Dosha.Savita. Deity. Deity. Symbol. Saturn. 8. 1st to 9th Nakshatra operates on the Rajasic Guna on the primary level 10. Serpent.a flower. Female. Female. Deity.The palm. Dosha. Rat.Kapha. Mercury. Dosha.Pitta. Venus and Mars. Symbolhouse or a palaquin. Saturn. Female. Dosha-Kapha. Buffalo. Deity. The quarters are ruled by Mars. Dosha. Cow. Tiger.Pitta. Symbol. Deity .Vata. Ardra .Bhaga. 120'00" to 132'20" (0'00" to 13'20" Leo). Female. Symbol. 93'20" to 106'40" (3'20" to16'20" Cancer).Precious stone or a human head. Male.Vata.Aryaman. Saturn. Symbol. Dosha. Mercury. 7. The quarters are ruled by Sun. The quarters are ruled by Mars. The motivation is Kama. The motivation is Moksha. 13.Brahma. Venus and Mars. 11. Symbol. Ashlesha .Kapha. Venus and Mars. Purva Phalguni . Mrigshira -ruled by Mars. Punarvasu . Symbol-A chariot. Dog.The quarters are ruled by Sun. 132'20 to 146'40" (13'20 to 26'40" Leo). Venus. Dosha. Male. The quarters are ruled by Sun. 160'00" to 173'20" (10'00" to 23'20" Virgo). 106'40" to 120'00" (16'40 Cancer to 0'00 Leo) The quarters are ruled by Jupiter. Deity. Mercury and Moon. Female. Mercury.ruled by Saturn. Deity. Symbol. Saturn and Jupiter. 146'40" to 160'00" (26'40 Leo to 10'00" Virgo) The quarters are ruled by Jupiter.a serpent. Dosha. 173'20" to 186'40" (23'20 Virgo to 6'40" Libra). 9. Sheep. The motivation is Moksha.

16. SymbolCoral.ruled by Saturn.ruled by Rahu. Deities.Vayu. Swati . Dosha. The motivation is Artha. Buffalo. Male. Venus. Anuradha . Vishakha .A potter's wheel or an archway. Saturn and Jupiter.Indra and Agni. 200'00" to 213'20"(20'00"Libra to 3'20" Scorpio).ruled by Jupiter.Kapha. Deity.Kapha.213'20" to 226'40" (3'20" to 16'40"Scorpio . 17. Symbol. Tiger. Mercury and Moon. Dosha.186'40" to 200'00" (6'40" to 20'00 Libra). Saturn. The motivation is Dharma.15. The quarters are ruled by Jupiter. The quarters are ruled by Mars. Male.