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The 27 Nakshatras of Vedic Astrology

The third 9 Nakshatras are covered on this page: Mula, Purva Ashada, Uttara Ashada, Shravana, Dhanistha, Shatibishak, Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada, Revati The rest will be covered on subsequent pages so it isn't so overwhelming long.

Nakshatras 19 - 27 of Vedic Astrology
notes complied by Julene Packer-Louis

Below is an at a glance look at many of the important considerations for contemplating or meditating on the richness and depth of meaning of the nakshatras. I have also included the mythology and a brief bit about the indications. This is what I typed up for myself as a study guide for learning the Nakshatras. Please excuse the sentence fragments when they arise. Originally this was just my notes, but I decided that others might find it useful.

Start by looking up your Moon's Nakshatra (your Janma Tara) so you can see how that correlates to you. Also if you look up the Nakshatra of your Lagna (Ascendant) you can see the Nakshatra through which you attached to the wheel of time. You can read about the Nakshatras of all of your planets for added insight beyond sign placement alone. I hope you find this helpful.

The Last 9 Nakshatras of Vedic Astrology
(sidereal zodiac degrees - Lahiri Ayanamsha)

The last nine Nakshatras are sattvic in nature and concerned with linking to inner life. This begins psychological exploration accompanied by material deprivation - getting rid of attachments that keep us tied to the wheel of samsara. Notice the continued rhythm of the gunas in each set of nine. Only the nineteenth Nakshatra is purely Sattvic, on the rest secondary and tertiary understones of rajasic and tamasic come forth.

Nakshatra 19: Mula (nakshatra of the galactic center)
Symbol: Tied Bundle of Roots
Zodical Degrees: 00:00 Sagittarius - 13:19:59 Sagittarius
Sex & Gana: Female-Neuter Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: Lesath in Scorpio (tail, stinger)
Ruling Planet: Ketu
Hindu Deity: Nirriti
Guna: sattva/rajas/rajas
Disposition: sharp
Keynote: the root star
Primary Motivation: kama
Animal: male dog
Shakti: power to damage or destroy

Mythology: Nirriti is a goddess of calamity who lives in the realm of the dead. She has the power to destroy, break things apart, and deny prosperity. She is an aspect of Kali depicted with a necklace of human skulls who dances on Shiva's body. Shiva is Kali's husband. This dance destroys illusions and creates through destruction. She is the embodiment of divine wisdom that ends all illusions.

Indications: Mula means "root" and this nakshatra is associated with getting to the root of the matter and makes for good investigative research as well as obsessive compulsive behavior. Often there are extreme reversals of fortune in life and a profound sense of loss because the idea is to learn lessons of detachment, look deeper into the meaning behind the circumstance, seek a higher power, and transform the experience into spiritual realization or enlightenment. Herbal medicines and alternative healing is also associated with Mula.

Nakshatra 20: Purva Ashada
Symbol: elephant tusk, fan, or basket
Zodical Degrees: 13:20 - 26:39:59 Sagittarius
Sex & Gana: Male Manusha
Fixed Stars: Kaus Borealis & Nunki
Ruling Planet: Venus
Hindu Deity: Apas
Guna: sattva/rajas/tamas
Disposition: fierce
Keynote: invincibility
Primary Motivation: moksha
Animal: male monkey
Shakti: power to energize

Mythology: Apas is the goddess of water. She represents the spiritual environment in which the soul dwells, and its attunement to the harmonious interrelationship between all things in creation. The water goddess is worshiped to destroy poisons, ward of jealousy & disease, and bestow creative energy. The elephant is mostly related to inertia but can be aroused to creative deeds, also his tusk can regenerate if severed. Purvashadha cleanses the soul of ignorance collected in past incarnations and opens the soul to universalization of consciousness and universal sympathy. Purva Ashada means "early victory." The karma from past incarnations can bring unpleasant experiences marked by divine or miraculous assistance that arouses religious worship and a need to help others.

Indications: Purification & Transformation. Spiritual quality of life, development of sensitivity, flashes of intuition, insight to working with Divine Law (laws of karma & dharma), sustaining & nourishing creativity, becoming aware of latent qualities, purification of ego, rectifying the karmic account. May frequently and quickly change deities of worship and philosophy, experimental but guided by religion/spirituality and service. Can be egoic, prideful and inconsiderate of others at the lower level. [Think of slaying the elephants for their ivory and you get the lower level contrast.]

Nakshatra 21: Uttra Ashada
Symbol: elephant tusk, small cot, planks of bed
Zodical Degrees: 26:40 Sagittarius - 9:59:59 Capricorn
Sex & Gana: Female Manusha
Fixed Stars: no stars (between Nunki/Sagattarius & Altair/Aquila the Eagle)
Ruling Planet: sun
Hindu Deity: Vishvadevas
Guna: sattva/rajas/sattva
Disposition: fixed
Keynote: universal star
Primary Motivation: moksha
Animal: male mongoose
Shakti: power of unstoppable victory

Mythology: The Vishvadevas are the universal gods discussed in Rohini. Their influence is intellectual development and socialization who personify universality. This is an emphatic nakshatra born out of humility from passing through a devastating struggle. After we realize our inner spirituality in Purva Ashada, in Uttara Ashada we have to assimilate that psychologically. We then begin to perceive life in a different light and think and act more universally than personally - earthly action in accord with a spiritual goal. The Vishvadevas are the 10 sons of the god Dharma: Vasu (goodness), Satya (truth), Kratur (will power), Daksha (ritual skill), Kala (time), Kama (desire), Dhriti (forbearance), Kuru (ancestors), Pururavas (abundance), and Madrava (joy).

Indications: Universalization of the individual. Humility, empathy or self centeredness, immense suffering brings spirituality. Humanitarian concerns, quest for spirituality, deep penetration into some aspect of knowledge, ability to relate to others. Brings one to the summit of power, support & recognition through appropriate alliances. Idealistic with lofty goals and refined virtues, victory depends on a cause that benefits all. Lower side can be apathetic, lazy or constantly active, starting projects and not finishing them. "Later victory," success usually comes later in life after loss in early life. Need to learn patience with adversity.

Nakshatra 22: Shravana
Symbol: Tabor Drum
Zodical Degrees: 10:00 Capricorn - 23:19:59 Capricorn
Sex & Gana: Male Deva
Fixed Stars: Altair in the Eagle
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Hindu Deity: Vishnu
Guna: sattva/tamas/rajas
Disposition: moveable
Keynote: learning
Primary Motivation: artha
Animal: female monkey
Shakti: power to connect diverse elements

Mythology: In the beginning, in order to create the world, the Supreme created himself in the form Brahmin from his left side. He created Vishnu from his right side to sustain it, and Shiva from his center to destroy it. Vishnu is depicted floating on the cosmic ocean with his wife Lakshmi (goddess of abundance) at his feet. He has a black or blue complexion (a sign of a higher god), four arms, a crown, and a sacrificial cord around his waist. He is often depicted with a chakra (wheel), club, conch shell and a lotus. Vishnu is always sleeping, watching what is being created and as he does a lotus flower blooms in his naval. It grows for a Brahmin Year which is 4,320 of our years and then Vishnu stops dreaming and the lotus flower closes and collapses back into itself. Then he starts to dream again and the process repeats. Some say Vishnu's naval is the galactic center of the universe.

Indications: Shravana literally translates to "to hear" and indicates an acute sense of hearning and a natural ability to be a good listener, making for good counselors. It bestows an intellectual quality that is always seeking more information, knowledge and widsom. It indicates great teachers, perpetual students, restless in the pursuit of knowledge and can travel a lot. There can be trouble, disappointment or disability in early life, but with age self-confidence grows.

Nakshatra 23: Dhanishta
Symbol: tabor drum
Zodical Degrees: 23:20 Capricorn - 6:39:59 Aquarius
Sex & Gana: Female Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: Daneb Algedi & Sadalsuud
Ruling Planet: Mars
Hindu Deity: 8 Vasus
Guna: Sattva/tamas/tamas
Disposition: moveable
Keynote: star of symphony
Primary Motivation: dharma
Animal: female lion
Shakti: power of wealth & fame

Mythology: What the soul comprehends and hears in Shravana it reiterates as divine music in Dhanistha. The 8 Vasus are the personification of cosmic energy. Dhanistha means "drum" or "bamboo-cane flute." This has associations with divine music of Shiva's drum (cosmic dancer) & Krishna's flute. When Krishna plays his flute, his devotees are attracted to the tune and renounce self-consciousness and personal & social considerations so the soul becomes hollow like the drum or flute in order to emerge with the Supreme and become one with the Flame. Dhanistha also has connections to the vital sheaths of the auric body or human personality and the planets that reverberate within them. It is about the great silence beneath the noise of manifestation and how sound allows us to perceive the Cosmic Void at the root of manifestation where silence resounds the real nature of things.

Indications: Purging emotions and self centered ideas to purity the psyche, gradually eliminating attachments and enabling the soul to express itself directly. There is a trial and suffering for purification of consciousness enabling the mind to receives spiritual knowledge and decipher inner reality. Insight, listening, spiritual depth, occult knowledge, find fortune far from home. Lower nature is greedy, stingy, conservative.

Nakshatra 24: Shatabishak
Symbol: Circle or 100 physicians, stars or flowers
Zodical Degrees: 6:40 Aquarius - 19:59:59 Aquarius
Sex & Gana: Neuter Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: Formahault in Pisces Austrinus
Ruling Planet: Rehu
Hindu Deity: Varuna
Guna: sattva/tamas/sattva
Disposition: moveable
Keynote: star of veiling
Primary Motivation: dharma
Animal: mare (female horse)
Shakti: power of healing

Mythology: Originally Varuna was god of cosmic order. His son was Soma (moon god). The sun was his eye and the wind was his breath. Later on the gods decided to establish a clearer hierarchy and Varuna became lord of the oceans. Varuna is depicted riding a sea monster that is half fish and half antelope. He carries a lasso and can have two or four arms. Varuna is a divine healer who poured the waters of life to heal illness and give immortality. He is also the god of maya and illusion who grants divine grace to the sincere.

Indications: Shastabishak translates to "a hundred healers" and also contains the faint stars in Aquarius that represent the water being poured from his pot (which is the nectar of immortality). Shatabishak is the nakshatra concerned with healing the human condition, both physically and spiritually. Its symbol the circle represents the void of space behind the veil or illusions of maya. It can bestow a moody, secretive, reclusive and lonely temperament. It is associated with inner vision, meditation, philosophy, the visionary, mystic and scientist. Professions associated with this nakshatra are healers, doctors, electricians, astronomers, astrologers as it also provides an affinity to star watching.

Nakshatra 25: Purva Bhadrapada
Symbol: front legs of a couch
Zodical Degrees: 20:00 Aquarius - 3:19:59 Pisces
Sex & Gana: Male Manusha
Fixed Stars: Markeb & Scheat of Pegasus
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Hindu Deity: Aja Ekapada
Guna: sattva/sattva/rajas
Disposition: fierce
Keynote: sacrifice
Primary Motivation: artha
Animal: male lion
Shakti: power of spiritual fire

Mythology: Aja Ekapada is the one footed goat who represents unborn, transcendent energy; a form of Shiva and the vehicle of Agni. In the Vedas he is considered as infinity, a deity without motion or speech, the unpolarized latent creative energy that produces different levels of existence. Aja Ekapada represents the stage of cosmic evolution where the fire energy of creation is still latent, but the area of creation is defined - the vehicle of fire (Agni), not fire itself. The outward impulse of motion toward creation yet itself is still.

Indications: Purva Bhadrapada reveals a visionary with a focus on the future, especially universal goals that uplift humanity and provide purification. It has an eccentric and mystical quality to it. It is associated with those who march to the beat of their own drum, are opinionated, passionate, independent, good speakers with good business skills who are good at making money. It can bestow an intelligent, philosophical scholarly, and witty nature, or an impulsive, high strung, coercive nature. Careers associated with this nakshatra are Astrologers, priests, ascetics, occultists, researchers, statisticians, and administrative planners. Combined with Uttara Bhadrapada they are the scorching or burning pair.

Nakshatra 26: Uttara Bhadrapada
Symbol: back legs of a couch
Zodical Degrees: 3:20 - 16:39:59 Pisces
Sex & Gana: Male Manusha
Fixed Stars: Algenib & Alpharatz of Pegasas
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Hindu Deity: Ahir Budhyana
Guna: sattva/sattva/tamas
Disposition: fixed
Keynote: warrior
Primary Motivation: kama
Animal: female cow
Shakti: power to bring rain

Mythology: Ahir Budhyna is the dragon of the deep sea related to Ahir Vritra the dragon of primordial ignorance, concealed in primitive darkness. Together with Purva Bhadrapada these represent dual principals of darkness (uttara) and light (purva) that are in eternal conflict. Both deities are aspects of Shiva. Uttara Bhadrapada is passive energy or non action. Uttara merges itself with the great deep that is the source of all creative energy, the impulse of passivity from which creation emerges. Dragon is also wisdom, comprehension of concealed knowledge. Second half of the cot, stability & poise in preparation for eternal rest, end of attachments except the attachment to soul's liberation and the divine plan. The final dissolution reabsorbed in the final cause.

Indications: Ahirbudhyana is the auspiscious serpent associated with that part Shiva's army that are the celestial emissaries of vital power associated with fertility and kundalini. It can bestow psychic abilities, a need for seclusion, wisdom from constriction over material attainments, concealed knowledge, material surrender for spiritual enlightenment. If spiritual indications are not present than the person can be lazy and irresponsible.

Nakshatra 27: Revati
Symbol: Drum or pair of fish
Zodical Degrees: 16:40 - 29:59:59 Pisces
Sex & Gana: Female Deva
Fixed Stars: Al Pherg in Pisces
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Hindu Deity: Pushan
Guna: sattva/sattva/sattva
Disposition: soft
Keynote: star of safe travel
Primary Motivation: moksha
Animal: female elephant
Shakti: power of nourishment

Mythology: Pushan is an early solar deity, of which there were six or seven and then it increased to eight. All of the solar deities are sons of Aditi and called Aditya. They are gods of light, bright and pure as streams of water, free from guile and falsehood, blameless, and perfect. They have 12 eyes that correspond to the 12 months and 12 spokes on the wheel of time. They are upholders of the universal laws (of karma I assume), protectors and debt extractors. They drive away darkness and nourish mankind. This is the last nakshatra at the end of Pisces before the wheel goes round again. This nakshatra is said to protect travelers from one life to the next and also shamans who go between the worlds, thereby safe travel takes on a much larger meaning.

Indications: Revati translates to "the wealthy." Its Deity Pushan protects travelers so this is a star of safe travel. However this is not limited to travels on earth for this is the last nakshatra in Pisces, the end of the zodiac, before it begins again in Aries. This star is also protector of safe travels from one life to the next and is the nakshatra of shamanism and protection between the worlds. Revati indicates a love of connection to humanity, lover of animals, and a sweet caring friend without a mean bone in the body. Early life may hold dissapointments and illness or physical weakness that lead to a compassionate, forgiving, mystical nature with faith in the goodness of humanity.

Take a video tour of the Nakshatras see all Vedic Astrology articles by Julene.

© Julene Packer-Louis 2013