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Magha The Throne: Nakshatra of Bhim, Karna and Duryodhana

Nakshatras are the fixed stars in the zodiac. They each have their own definitions, characteristics and mythology. Magha is a Nakshatra in the Rashi of Leo (Simha) that is linked to the Pitris or ancestors. Studying notable personalities who are all born under the same Nakshatra is a good way to understand how the same Nakshatra can manifest its traits differently. 

Magha is mapped to a group of six stars of which the brightest is the star Regulus. It literally means power or wealth. Magha is a regal and royal star. It gives might, status, respect and authority to the native. Each Nakshatra has a Deva that rules it. Magha, however, is ruled by the Pitris or ancestors. It is also ruled by Daksha who is the leader of the Prajapatis. The Prajapatis are the original ancestors of all of mankind. So, Magha is very strongly influenced by the past deeds, traditions and beliefs of the ancestors. 

Magha Nakshatra Symbol: The Throne
Magha Nakshatra Symbol: The Throne
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The degrees of Magha span 0:00 to 13:20 degrees of the Magha Nakshatra Rashi Leo (Simha) in the Sidereal zodiac. In line with the themes of authority and respect, the symbol of Magha is the throne or palanquin. It is also symbolised by the eagle. This shows the Nakshatras ability to be very watchful and swoop down and grab victory.  Every Nakshatra has a special power. The special ability of the Magha Nakshatra is Tyage Kshepani Shakti or renunciation. It means to renounce the body or to let go of something. Ketu is the planet that is the Magha Nakshatra lord. However, the main motivation of the Nakshatra is material prosperity. Magha is an Ugra or Krura Nakshatra that can be fierce and sharp. 

Strengths And Weaknesses

The powerful Magha Nakshatra makes people who are natural leaders. They are courageous, brave and very ambitious. Wealth and power come easily to this Nakshatra. They are very generous and loyal to the people that they love. The power and leadership qualities when manifest negatively can also make a person egotistical and proud. Magha may also cause a person to feel that their power or greatness is constantly under threat. This results in an inferiority complex when the drive to constantly be the best causes the Magha person to keep comparing himself/herself with others. They can become too attached to materialism at the cost of spirituality. 

Magha Nakshatra Symbol: The Eagle
Magha Nakshatra Symbol: The Eagle
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Magha And The Mahabharata

Three individuals Bheema, Karna and Duryodhan in the epic Mahabharata have their Moons in Magha. It is very interesting to see how clearly the traits of the Nakshatra manifest in different ways in these three personalities. 

Karna And Magha

Karna was actually the eldest brother to the Pandavas which was a fact that he did not reveal. However, he was a devoted friend and ally to their enemy Duryodhan. If he had revealed his lineage and taken the side of his brothers he would have been crowned the king. The Magha characteristic of loyalty and pride however kept him true to Duryodhana. He felt that he owed it to Duryodhan who gave him respect and position despite his doubtful birth.

Despite his foster parents being of a lower caste Karna overcame class and caste barriers to become a powerful and fearsome warrior. This is also a Magha characteristic. He was both a powerful warrior and a devoted and loyal friend. The dilemmas of Dharma where he had to weigh the ethics and morality of which side of the battle he should fight on shows the constant struggle between materialism and spirituality of this Nakshatra. 

Magha Generosity: Karna Giving Away His Kavach
Magha Generosity: Karna Giving Away His Kavach
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Bheem The Mighty One

Bheem is another Magha personality in the epic who displays the spectrum of strengths and weaknesses of the Magha Nakshatra. He is described as very fiercely protective of his family. In the epic, he even carries them on his shoulders when they are tired and defeats many threats to their safety. The loyalty and protectiveness of Magha combined with great fierceness are well exemplified in Bheem. He was the second in line to the throne after Yudhistir. The throne is also a symbol of the Nakshatra. 

Bheem was also a fearsome warrior. He took a vow to drink the blood of his cousin Dushasan to avenge his part in the disrobing of Draupadi. Dushashan was the one who dragged Draupadi into the assembly where she was humiliated. Bheem tore out the arm by which Dushasan dragged her. He then literally kept his vow and tore his cousin’s chest and drank his blood before beheading him. This is one of the most gruesome deaths in the epic. It shows the Ugra and Rakshas nature of the Nakshatra. Bheem also went on to kill many of his cousins and was fierce and merciless in battle. He had the eagle’s ability to watch the enemy and pounce to vanquish them at the right time. 

Fierce Magha Bheem Drinks Dushasan's Blood
Fierce Magha Bheem Drinks Dushasan’s Blood
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Power Hungry Magha Duryodhana

Duryodhana is another great Magha example. He is greatly loved by his brothers and family and is like the eagle amongst them. However, he is also exceptionally power-hungry with no thought as to right and wrong. His sole purpose in life was to obtain the throne by fair means or foul. His ambition was so great that it blinded him to the right thing to do. 

Illustration Of Dushasan Dragging Draupadi From Her Chambers
Illustration Of Dushasan Dragging Draupadi On Duryodhan’s Orders
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Duryodhan also shows the cruel and Rakshas side of Magha. He desired his own cousin’s wife and humiliated her before the entire assembly. He did not hesitate to use any underhand methods and plots to kill his own kin. Duryodhan was willing to fight a war against his own cousins to gain power. He was willing to stoop to any level to win the throne. His ego and lustfulness blinded him to the allegiance he owed to his own blood and to Dharma. He is the perfect example of the shadow side of Magha. 

So, with these three examples of three individuals from the Mahabharata we get the essence of the good as well as the shadow side of the Magha Nakshatra. It has great potential for loyalty and generosity with the danger of becoming too prideful and power-hungry.