The Nakshatras are the fixed stars, asterisms or ‘lunar mansions’ in the zodiac. While the Rashis subdivide the Zodiac into 30-degree sections, the Nakshatras divide it into 13 degree and 20-minute sections. They are assigned many different characteristics that include ruling planets, gender, temperament, symbols, deities, animal symbols and also syllables. Each of these characteristics of the Nakshatra finds use in many applications of Vedic astrology from chart interpretation, name selection for a baby as well as Panchang and Muhurta selection.
Janma Nakshatra: The Most Important Nakshatra
In Vedic astrology, much importance is given to the Nakshatra where the Moon is placed. This is the Janma Nakshatra. It is easy enough to find this by using an online Nakshatra finder. It is the ruling planet of this Nakshatra that defines the first Dasha in the Vimshottari Dasha system and the sequence of Dashas thereafter. Traditional name selection for a child is also done to match the syllables that are assigned to the Nakshatra. Matching of birth charts such as Ashtakoot or Gun Milan is between the Moon Nakshatras of the couple. It is only when this condition is satisfied that the next step of matchmaking proceeds.
In Panchang, the Nakshatra of the day is also very important. It is the combination of the Nakshatra with the Tithi and other aspects of the day that makes it suitable for certain actions as well as occasions. On a personal level, the Nakshatra today compared to the Janma Nakshatra defines Tarabal or Tarabalam for the person.
The Nakshatras: Planetary Rulers And Their Degrees
The Nakshatras each span 13 degrees and 20 minutes of the Zodiac. This makes 27 Nakshatras across Rashi borders. The Nakshatras also have planetary rulers that are assigned as per the Vimshottari Dasha sequence. Systems of astrology that use the rulers of Nakshatras and also give great importance to the Nakshatra where each planet is placed.
|1||Ashwini||Ketu||0° – 13°20′ Mesha|
|2||Bharani||Venus||13° 20′ – 26°40′ Mesha|
|3||Krittika||Sun||26°40′ Mesha – 10° Rishaba|
|4||Rohini||Moon||10° – 23°20′ Rishaba|
|5||Mrigashirsha||Mars||23° 20′ Rishaba – 6° 40′ Mithuna|
|6||Ardra||Rahu||6° 40′ – 20° Mithuna|
|7||Punarvasu||Jupiter||20° Mithuna – 3°20′ Karka|
|8||Pushya||Saturn||3°20′ -16°40′ Karka|
|9||Ashlesha||Mercury||10°26′ – 30° Karka|
|10||Magha||Ketu||0° – 13°20′ Simha|
|11||Purva Phalguni||Venus||13°20′ – 26°40′ Simha|
|12||Uttara Phalguni||Sun||26°40′ Simha- 10° Kanya|
|13||Hasta||Moon||10° – 23°20′ Kanya|
|14||Chitra||Mars||23°20′ Kanya – 6°40′ Tula|
|15||Swati||Rahu||6°40′ – 20° Tula|
|16||Vishakha||Jupiter||20° Tula – 3°20′ Vrishchik|
|17||Anuradha||Saturn||3°20′ – 16°40′ Vrishchik|
|18||Jyeshta||Mercury||16°40′ – 30° Vrishchik|
|19||Mula||Ketu||0° – 13°20′ Dhanush|
|20||Purvashadha||Venus||13°20′ – 26°40′ Dhanush|
|21||Uttarashadha||Sun||26°40′ Dhanush – 10° Makara|
|22||Shravana||Moon||10° – 23°20′ Makara|
|23||Dhanistha||Mars||23°20′ Makara – 6°40′ Kumbha|
|24||Shatabhishak||Rahu||6°40′ – 20° Kumbha|
|25||Purvabhadrapada||Jupiter||20° Kumbha – 3°20′ Meena|
|26||Uttarabhadrapada||Saturn||3°20′ – 16°40′ Meena|
|27||Revati||Mercury||16°40′ – 30° Meena|
The temperament of the Nakshatra defines the temperament of the person. The selection of Muhurta is also done in line with the temperament of the Nakshatra.
The different temperaments assigned are
- Sthira Or Fixed/Constant: Uttara Phalguni, Uttarashada, Uttarabhadrapada and also Rohini. These fixed Nakshatras are good for any activity that is meant to last long such as laying the foundation for a house, digging a well or any other such activity.
- Chara/Chala Or Movable: Swati, Punarvasu, Dhanishta as well as Satabishak. These stars are good for activities that require speed and also movement. Some examples are buying automobiles, starting a journey, starting machinery or factory as well as starting to drive a vehicle.
- Ugra/Krura Or Fierce/Cruel: Purva Phalguni, Purvashadha, Purvabhadrapada, Bharani as well as Magha are fierce Nakshatras. They are good for sharp, cruel, destructive and also volatile acts. These include acts of demolishing, breaking up, facing the enemy, imprisonment and any other work that is destructive and requires force.
- Kshipra/Laghu Or Swift/Short/Dynamic: Ashwini, Pushya as well as Hasta are good for acts of business, raising or settling loans, travel, admission for education, singing, acting, beauty therapies, wearing ornaments, sexual union and selling something.
- Mridu/Maitri Or Tender/Gentle/Friendly: Mrigashirsha, Chitra, Anuradha and also Revati are gentle nakshatras. The gentle Nakshatras are also good for entertainment, recreation, arts, auspicious ceremonies and meetings. They are also suitable for all the acts that one does in fixed Nakshatras.
- Tikshna/Daruna Or Sharp/Ferocious/Bitter: Ardra, Aslesha, Jyeshta and Moola are good for harmful and violent acts such as black magic, Tantra, sacrifices or other harmful, aggressive and deadly acts.
- Misra/Sadharan Or Mixed/Ordinary: Vishaka and Krittika are good for any activity that uses fire such as welding, boilers, furnaces, making medicines etc.
Nakshatra Sight Directions
Nakshatras are also given directions that they ‘look’ at. This makes them suitable or unsuitable for certain acts.
- Adhomukha (Facing Downward): Moola, Aslesha, Vishaka, Krittika, Purvaphalguni, Purvashada, Purvabhadrapada, Bharani as well as Magha. These Nakshatras are good for digging foundations, wells, mining and also other downward-facing acts.
- Urdhavamukha (Facing Upward): Ardra, Pushya, Shravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarashada, Uttarabhadrapada as well as Rohini. These stars are good for auspicious acts, construction, laying of foundation, worship, planting as well as other things that have to grow upwards.
- Triyangamukha (Facing Forward): Revati, Chitra, Mrigashirsha, Anuradha, Hasta, Swati, Punarvasu, Ashwini and Jyeshta are good for journeys, visiting friends and also other forward-facing acts.
Other Nakshatra Characteristics
|1||Ashwini||Ashwini Kumar||Male Horse||Horse Head||Chu, Che, Cho, La|
|2||Bharani||Yama||Female Elephant||Yoni||Lee, Lu, Lay, Lo|
|3||Krittika||Agni||Female Goat||Razor||Aa, Ee, Oo, Ay|
|4||Rohini||Brahma||Male Snake||Chariot||O, Va, Vi, Vu|
|5||Mrigashirsha||Chandra||Female Snake||Deer Head||Ve, Vo, Ka, Kee|
|6||Ardra||Rudra||Female Dog||Tear Drop||Ku, Ghaa, Kha, Cha|
|7||Punarvasu||Aditi||Male Cat||Quiver||Kay, Ko, Ha, Hee|
|8||Pushya||Brihaspati||Male Goat||Udder||Hoo, He, Ho, Dah|
|9||Ashlesha||Nagas||Female Cat||Serpent||Dee, Doo, Day, Doh|
|10||Magha||Pitris||Female Rat||Throne||Ma, Mi, Mu, Me|
|11||Purvaphalguni||Bhaga||Female Cow||Hammock||Mo, Ta, Tee, Too|
|12||Uttaraphalguni||Aryaman||Female Rat||Fig Tree||Tay, To, Pa, Pee|
|13||Hasta||Surya||Male Buffalo||Hand||Pu, Sha, Nu, Tha|
|14||Chitra||Vishwakarma||Female Tiger||Jewel||Pe, Po, Ra, Re|
|15||Swati||Vayu||Female Buffalo||Coral||Ru, Re, Ro, Ta|
|16||Vishakha||Indra||Female Tiger||Arch||Ti, Tu, Te, To|
|17||Anuradha||Mitra||Male Deer||Lotus||Na, Ni, Nu, Nay|
|18||Jyeshta||Indra||Female Deer||Amulet / Umbrella||No, Ya, Yi, Yu|
|19||Mula||Niritti||Dog||Roots||Ye, Yo, Bha, Bhe|
|20||Purvashadha||Varuna||Female Monkey||Fan||Bu, Dah, Bha, Dha|
|21||Uttarashadha||Vishwadevas||Female Mongoose||Tusk||Be, Bo, Ja. Ji|
|22||Shravana||Vishnu||Male Monkey||Ear||Ju, Je, Jo, Gha|
|23||Dhanistha||Vasus||Lion||Drum||Ga, Gi, Gu, Ge|
|24||Shatabhishak||Varuna||Horse||1000 Stars||Go, Sa, Si, Su|
|25||Purvabhadrapada||Ajaekapada||Male Lion||Funeral Cot||Se, So, De, Di|
|26||Uttarabhadrapada||Ahirbudhanya||Male Cow||Water Snake||Du, Tha, Jha, Na|
|27||Revati||Pushan||Female Elephant||Fish||De, Tho, Cha, Chi|