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Nakshatra (Devanagari: nkatra) is the term for lunar mansion in Hindu astrology.

A nakshatra is one of 27 (sometimes also 28) sectors along the ecliptic. Their names are related to the most prominent asterisms in the respective sectors. The starting point for the nakshatras is the point on the ecliptic directly opposite to the star Spica called Chitr in Sanskrit (other slightly different definitions exist). It is called Meshdi or the "start of Aries".[citation needed] The ecliptic is divided into each of the nakshatras eastwards starting from this point. The number of nakshatras reflects the number of days in a sidereal month (modern value: 27.32 days), the width of a nakshatra traversed by the moon in about one day. Each nakshatra is further subdivided into quarters (or padas). These play a role in popular Hindu astrology, where each pada is associated with a syllable, conventionally chosen as the first syllable of the given name of a child born when the moon was in the corresponding pada. The nakshatras of traditional bhartiya astronomy are based on a list of 28 asterisms found in the Atharvaveda (AV 19.7) and also in the Shatapatha Brahmana.[citation needed] The first astronomical text that lists them is the Vedanga Jyotisha. In classical Hindu mythology (Mahabharata, Harivamsa), the creation of the nakshatras is attributed to Daksha. They are personified as daughters of the deity and as mythological wives of Chandra, the moon god, or alternatively the daughters of Kashyapa, the brother of Daksha.[1] Each of the nakshatras is governed as 'lord' by one of the nine graha in the following sequence: Ketu (South Lunar Node), Shukra (Venus), Ravi or Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Rahu (North Lunar Node), Guru or Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shani (Saturn) and Budha (Mercury). This cycle repeats itself three times to cover all 27 nakshatras. The lord of each nakshatra determines the planetary period known as the dasha, which is considered of major importance in forecasting the life path of the individual in Hindu astrology. In Vedic Sanskrit, the term nkatra may refer to any heavenly body, or to "the stars" collectively. The classical sense of "lunar mansion" is first found in the Atharvaveda, and becomes the primary meaning of the term in Classical Sanskrit. Contents [hide] 1 Nakshatras in the Atharvaveda 2 List of Nakshatras 3 Padas (quarters) 4 Use in astrology 4.1 Hindu given names 4.2 Electional astrology 5 Names in modern languages 6 See also 7 References 8 External links Nakshatras in the Atharvaveda[edit source | editbeta] In the Atharvaveda (Shaunakiya recension, hymn 19.7) a list of 28 stars or asterisms is given, many of them corresponding to the later nakshatras: (1) Kttik (the Pleiads), (2) Rohin, (3) Mrigashrsha, (4) rdr, (5) Punarvasu, (6) Snrit, (7) Pushya, (8) Bhanu (the Sun), (9) Aslesh, (10) Magh, (11) Svti

(Arcturus), (12) Chitr (Spica), (13) Phalgunis, (14) Hasta, (15) Rdhas, (16) Vishkh, (17) Anurdh, (18) Jyeshth, (19) Mla, (20) Ashdhas, (21) Abhijit, (22) Sravana, (23) Sravishths, (24) Satabhishak, (25) Proshtha-padas, (26) Revati, (27) Asvayujas, (28) Bharani. [2] Interestingly enough, the term "nakshatra" has a different meaning as demonstrated in the "Surya Siddhanta" which is an ancient text on astronomy. In the early chapters, the author, Mayasura or Mayan, describes various time units. He writes that a "prana" is a duration of 4 seconds. He then continues with a discussion of a number of time units with progressively long durations made up of the shorter time units all composed of a number of pranas. Amongst those time units are something he calls "nakshatra." For example, there are 15 pranas in a minute; 900 pranas in an hour; 21600 pranas in a day, 583,200 pranas in a nakshatra (month). According to Mayan, a nakshatra is a time unit with a duration of 27 days. This 27 day time cycle has been taken to mean a particular group of stars. The relationship to the stars really has to do with the periodicity with which the moon travels over time and through space past the field of the specific stars called nakshatras. Hence, the stars are more like numbers on a clock through which the hands of time pass (the moon). This concept that nakshatra means a time unit has been lost and diverted to meaning a set of stars in the sky. This concept was discovered by Dr. Jessie Mercay in her research on Surya Siddhanta. It is documented in a textbook called "Fundamentals of Mamuni Mayans Vaastu Shastras, Building Architecture of Sthapatya Veda and Traditional Indian architecture." (Mercay, 2006 - 2012, AUM Science and Technology publishers) List of Nakshatras[edit source | editbeta]

Position of the Hindu Nakshatra Mandala as per the coordinates specified in Surya Siddhantha The classical list of 27 nakshatras is first found in the Vedanga Jyotisha, a text dated to the final centuries BCE. The nakshatra system predates the influence of Hellenistic astronomy on vedic tradition, which became prevalent from about the 2nd century CE. In Hindu astronomy, there was an older tradition of 28 Nakshatras which were used as celestial markers in the heavens. When these were mapped into equal divisions of the ecliptic, a division of 27 portions was adopted since that resulted in a cleaner definition of each portion (i.e. segment) subtending 13 20' (as opposed to 12 51 3/7 in the case of 28 segments). In the process, the Nakshatra Abhijit was left out without a portion[3]:179. The Surya Siddhantha concisely specifies the coordinates of the twenty seven Nakshatras[3]:211 The following list of nakshatras gives the corresponding regions of sky, following Basham.[4] No. Name Associated stars Description Image 1 Ashvini "wife of the Ashvins" and Arietis Lord: Ketu (South lunar node) Symbol : Horse's head Deity : Ashvins, the horse-headed twins who are physicians to the gods Indian zodiac: 0 - 1320' Mesha

Western zodiac 26 Aries - 920' Taurus 2; 7 Bharani "the bearer" 35, 39, and 41 Arietis Lord: Shukra (Venus) Symbol: Yoni, the female organ of reproduction Deity: Yama, god of death or Dharma Indian zodiac: 13 20' - 2640' Mesha Western zodiac 9 20' - 22 40' Taurus 3 Krittika an old name of the Pleiades; personified as the nurses of Krttikeya, a son of Shiva. Pleiades Lord: Surya (Sun) Symbol: Knife or spear Deity : Agni, god of fire Indian zodiac: 2640' Mesha - 10 Vrishabha Western zodiac 22 40' Taurus - 6 Gemini 4; 9 Rohini "the red one", a name of Aldebaran. Also known as brhm Lord: Chandra (Moon) Symbol: Cart or chariot, temple, banyan tree Deity : Brahma or Prajapati, the Creator Indian zodiac: 10 - 2320' Vrishabha Western zodiac 6 - 1920' Gemini 5; 3 Mrigashrsha "the deer's head". Also known as grahya , Orionis Lord: Mangala (Mars) Symbol: Deer's head Deity: Soma, Chandra, the Moon god Indian zodiac: 23 20' Vrishabha - 6 40' Mithuna Western zodiac: 1920' Gemini - 240' Cancer 6; 4 Ardra "the moist one" Betelgeuse Lord: Rahu (North lunar node) Symbol: Teardrop, diamond, a human head Deity : Rudra, the storm god Indian zodiac: 6 40' - 20 Mithuna Western zodiac: 2 40' - 16 Cancer 7; 5 Punarvasu (dual) "the two restorers of goods", also known as yamakau "the two chariots" Castor and Pollux Lord: Guru (Jupiter) Symbol : Bow and quiver Deity : Aditi, mother of the gods Aldebaran

Indian zodiac: 20 Mithuna - 320' Karka Western zodiac 16 - 2920' Cancer 8; 6 Pushya "the nourisher", also known as sidhya or tiya Lord: Shani (Saturn) Symbol : Cow's udder, lotus, arrow and circle Deity : Bhaspati, priest of the gods Indian zodiac: 320' -1640' Karka Western zodiac 2920' Cancer - 1240' Leo 9; 7 shlesh "the embrace" , , , , and Hydrae Lord: Budh (Mercury) Symbol: Serpent Deity : Sarpas or Nagas, deified snakes Indian zodiac: 1640' - 30 Karka Western zodiac 1240' - 26 Leo 10; 15 Magh "the bountiful" Regulus Lord: Ketu (south lunar node) Symbol : Royal Throne Deity : Pitrs, 'The Fathers', family ancestors Indian zodiac: 0 - 1320' Simha Western zodiac 26 Leo - 920' Virgo 11 Prva Phalgun "first reddish one" and Leonis Lord: Shukra (Venus) Symbol : Front legs of bed, hammock, fig tree Deity : Bhaga, god of marital bliss and prosperity Indian zodiac: 1320' - 2640' Simha Western zodiac 920' - 2240' Virgo 12 Uttara Phalgun "second reddish one" Denebola Lord: Surya (Sun) Symbol: Four legs of bed, hammock Deity : Aryaman, god of patronage and favours Indian zodiac: 2640' Simha- 10 Kanya Western zodiac 2240' Virgo - 6 Libra 13 Hasta "the hand" , , , and Corvi Lord: Chandra (Moon) Symbol: Hand or fist Deity : Saviti or Surya, the Sun god Indian zodiac: 10 - 2320' Kanya , and Cancri

Western zodiac 6 - 1920' Libra 14 Chitra "the bright one", a name of Spica Spica Lord: Mangala (Mars) Symbol: Bright jewel or pearl Deity : Tvastar or Vishvakarman, the celestial architect Indian zodiac: 2320' Kanya - 640' Tula Western zodiac: 1920' Libra - 240' Scorpio 15 Svti "Su-Ati (sanskrit) Very good" name of Arcturus Arcturus Lord: Rahu (north lunar node) Symbol: Shoot of plant, coral Deity : Vayu, the Wind god Indian zodiac: 640' - 20 Tula Western zodiac 240' - 16 Scorpio 16; 14 Visakha "forked, having branches"; also known as rdh "the gift" Librae Lord: Guru (Jupiter) Symbol : Triumphal arch, potter's wheel Deity : Indra, chief of the gods; Agni, god of Fire Indian zodiac: 20 Tula - 320' Vrishchika Western zodiac 16 - 2920' Scorpio 17 Anuradha "following rdh" , and Scorpionis Lord: Shani (Saturn) Symbol : Triumphal archway, lotus Deity : Mitra, one of Adityas of friendship and partnership Indian zodiac: 320' - 1640' Vrishchika Western zodiac 2920' Scorpio - 1240' Sagittarius 18; 16 Jyeshtha "the eldest, most excellent" , , and Scorpionis Lord: Budh (Mercury) Symbol : circular amulet, umbrella, earring Deity : Indra, chief of the gods Indian zodiac: 1640' - 30 Vrishchika Western zodiac 1240' - 26 Sagittarius 19; 17 Mula "the root" , , , , , , , and Scorpionis Lord: Ketu (south lunar node) Symbol : Bunch of roots tied together, elephant goad Deity : Nirrti, goddess of dissolution and destruction Indian zodiac: 0 - 1320' Dhanus , , and

Western zodiac 26 Sagittarius - 920' Capricorn 20; 18 Purva Ashadha "first of the ah", ah "the invincible one" being the name of a constellation and Sagittarii Lord: Shukra (Venus) Symbol: Elephant tusk, fan, winnowing basket Deity : Apah, god of Water Indian zodiac: 1320' - 2640' Dhanus Western zodiac 920' - 2240' Capricorn 21 Uttara Ashadha "second of the ah" and Sagittarii Lord: Surya (Sun) Symbol : Elephant tusk, small bed Deity : Visvedevas, universal gods Indian zodiac: 2640' Dhanus - 10 Makara Western zodiac 2240' Capricorn - 6 Aquarius 22; 20 Abhijit "victorious"[5] , and Lyrae - Vega 23; 20 Sravana , and Aquilae Lord: Chandra (Moon) Symbol : Ear or Three Footprints Deity : Vishnu, preserver of universe Indian zodiac: 10 - 2320' Makara Western zodiac 6 - 1920' Aquarius Lord: Brahma

24; 21; 23 Dhanishta "most famous", also Shravishth "swiftest" to Delphini Lord: Mangala (Mars) Symbol : Drum or flute Deity : Eight vasus, deities of earthly abundance Indian zodiac: 2320' Makara - 640' Kumbha Western zodiac 1920' Aquarius - 240' Pisces 24; 22 Shatabhisha "requiring a hundred physicians" Aquarii Lord: Rahu (north lunar node) Symbol : Empty circle, 1,000 flowers or stars Deity : Varuna, god of cosmic waters, sky and earth Indian zodiac: 640' - 20 Kumbha ; Western zodiac 240' - 16 Pisces 25; 3 Purva Bhadrapada "the first of the blessed feet" and Pegasi Lord: Guru (Jupiter) Symbol : Swords or two front legs of funeral cot, man with two faces Deity : Ajikapada, an ancient fire dragon

Indian zodiac: 20 Kumbha - 320' Meena ; Western zodiac 16 - 2920' Pisces 26; 4 Uttara Bhdrapad "the second of the blessed feet" Pegasi and Andromedae Lord: Shani (Saturn) Symbol : Twins, back legs of funeral cot, snake in the water Deity : Ahir Budhyana, serpent or dragon of the deep Indian zodiac: 320' - 1640' Meena ; Western zodiac 2920' Pisces - 1240' Aries 27; 5 Revati "prosperous" Piscium Lord: Budh (Mercury) Symbol : Fish or a pair of fish, drum Deity : Pushan, nourisher, the protective deity Indian zodiac: 1640' - 30 Meena Western zodiac 1240' - 26 Aries Padas (quarters)[edit source | editbeta] The 27 Nakshatras cover 1320 of the ecliptic each. Each Nakshatra is also divided into quarters or padas of 320, and the below table lists the appropriate starting sound to name the child. The 27 nakshatras, each with 4 padas, give 108, which is the number of beads in a japa mala, indicating all the elements (ansh) of Vishnu: # Name Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4 1 Ashwini ( ) Chu Che Cho La 2 Bharani ( ) Li Lu Le Lo 3 Kritika ( ) A I U E 4 Rohini( ) O Va/Ba Vi/Bi Vu/Bu 5 Mrigashrsha( ) Ve/Be Vo/Bo Ka Ke 6 rdr ( ) Ku Gha Ng/Na Chha 7 Punarvasu ( ) Ke Ko Ha Hi 8 Pushya ( ) Hu He Ho Da 9 shlesh ( ) Di Du De Do 10 Magh ( ) Ma Mi Mu Me 11 Prva or Prva Phalgun ( ) Mo Ta Ti Tu 12 Uttara or Uttara Phalgun ( ) Te To Pa Pi 13 Hasta ( ) Pu Sha Na Tha 14 Chitra ( ) Pe Po Ra Ri 15 Svt ( ) Ru Re Ro Ta 16 Vikh ( ) Ti Tu Te To 17 Anurdh ( ) Na Ni Nu Ne 18 Jyeshtha ( ) No Ya Yi Yu 19 Mula ( ) Ye Yo Bha Bhi 20 Prva Ashdh ( ) Bhu Dha Bha/Pha Dha 21 Uttara Ah ( ) Bhe Bho Ja Ji 22 rvaa ( ) Ju/Khi Je/Khu Jo/Khe Gha/Kho

23 rviha ( ) or Dhanishta Ga Gi Gu Ge 24 Shatabhisha ( )or atataraka Go Sa Si Su 25 Prva Bhdrapad ( ) Se So Da Di 26 Uttara Bhdrapad ( ) Du Tha Jha Da/Tra 27 Revati ( ) De Do Cha Chi Use in astrology[edit source | editbeta] Hindu given names[edit source | editbeta] Hindu astrologers (see Jyotisha) teach that when a child is born, they should be given an auspicious first name which will correspond to the child's Nakshatra. The technique for deducing the name is to see which nakshatra the moon is in at the moment of birth; this gives four possible sounds. A refinement is to pick one sound out of that four that relates to the Pada or division of the Nakshatra. Each Nakshatra has four Padas and four sounds and each Pada is of equal width. The Moon remains in each Nakshatra for approximately one day. A further refinement or opportunity is to instead use the Nakshatra that the ascendent resides in at birth. The same broad choice of sounds and Padas apply, but now the sounds change roughly every 15 minutes. The ascendent passes through all 27 Nakshatras every 24 hours, being in each one for 53 and a third minutes of time, and is in a Pada for 13 and a third minutes of time. By using the ascendent's nakshatra, instead of the moon's nakshatra leads more to comfort of the Self, rather than comfort of the mother. This second approach is only really applicable if intuitively the moon approach does not feel right. Electional astrology[edit source | editbeta] Constellations are grouped on the basis of their nature, type of their face, degree of their beneficence, their quarters in different signs, with reference to the constellation occupied by the Sun, with reference to the birth constellation (Janma Nakshatra), their caste, etc. The current constellation occupied by the Moon, and its nature forms the fundamental of Vedic system of electional astrology (Muhurta). Some of the activities and works which are associated with the Nakshatras are given below based on their fundamental nature: Fixed (Dhruva, Sthira) constellations: Rohini, Uttara Bhdrapad, Uttra Falguni, and Uttara Ashada Fixed and permanent nature, house, village, temple, entering in new hose-citytemple, religious works, rites for getting peace, propitiation of portents, Vinayaka Shanti, coronation, sowing of seeds, planting of small garden, starting of vocal music, friendship, sexual works, making & wearing of ornaments & clothes may be auspiciously begun / effectively performed. Works allocated to delicate & friendly (Mridu) asterisms may also be performed. Movable (Chala , Chara) constellations: Punarvasu, Swaati, Sharavana, Shatabhish & Shravishth Related to motion & movement, riding on a vehicle or elephant, opening of shop, walking first time, walking in garden, sex, making jewellery, learning of a trait. Things performed in Small (Laghu) constellation are also effectively performed in the Movable constellations. Cruel (Ugra, Karur) constellations: Magha, Bharani, Porva Palguni, Poorva Shada, & Poorva Bhadra. Ambush, burning, poisoning (self & others), making & using weapons especially related to fire, cheating / deception / wickedness / craftiness, cutting &

destroying, controlling of animals, beating & punishing of enemy. Works allocated to Sharp / Horrible (Darun) asterisms are also successfully done in these asterisms. Mixed (Mishra & Sadharan) constellations Vishakha & Krittika. Fire works, burning of sacred fire (Agnihotra), using poison, fearsome works, arresting, adulteration (mixing), donation of ox to get ones desires fulfilled (Vrashotsarga). Works prescribed under cruel (Ugra, Karur) constellations may also be performed. As per N.S. works of Sweet / delicate & friendly (Mridu & Maitri) constellations can also be included. Small (Laghu & Kshipra) constellations Hasta, Abhijit, Pushya, and Ashvini. Selling, medical knowledge, using & handling of medicines, literature-music-art, the 64 Kala Shilpa (various arts, sculpture etc.) jewellery making & wearing, sexual intercourse. And the works prescribed for Movable (Char) constellations. Though Abhijit is included in Small group of asterisms, but is rarely referred in the Muhurt prescriptions. Sweet/Delicate & Friendly (Mridu & Maitri) constellations Mrigashrsha, Chitra, Anuradha and Revati. Starting & learning singing of songs, clothes & jewellery making & wearing, Manglik works, matter related to friends, female company, enjoyments, sexual passions. Sharp & Horrible ( Teekshan & Darun ) constellations: Jyeshta, Ardra, Ashlesha, and Moola Charm or spell causing disease or death, hypnotism, sorcery; ghost, ambush, horror, murder, capture, matters related to secrecy, backbiting, starting of quarrel, separation, matters related to friendship & breaking thereof, training & tying of animals, pleasure works, playing games, getting made & wearing of new dress & ornaments, starting & learning singing of songs, entering into village / city, peaceful & developmental works. Names in modern languages[edit source | editbeta] The names of nakshatras in other languages are adapted from the Sanskrit variation (apabhramsa) through Pali or Prakrit. The variations evolved for easier pronunciation in popular usage. # Sanskrit Tamil Telugu Kannada Malayalam Mongolian 1 Ashvin Aswini Ashwini Ashwini Ashvati 2 Bharan Parai

Bharani Bharani Bharai 3 Krittik Krttikai Kritika Kritika Krttika 4 Rohini Rkii Rohini Rohini Rhii 5 Mrigashrsha Mirugacriam Mrigasiraa Mrigashira Makayiram 6 rdr Tiruvtirai Arudra Ardra tira or Tiruvtira ( ) 7 Punarvasu Punarpsam Punarvasu Punarvasu Puartam 8 Pushya Psam Pushya Pushyami Pyam 9 shlesh / yilyam Ashlesha Ashlesha yilyam 10 Magh Makam Maghaa

Magha Makam 11 Prva or Prva Phalgun Pram Pubba Poorva / Pram 12 Uttara or Uttara Phalgun Uttiram Uttara Uttara Utram 13 Hasta Astham Hasta Hastaa Attam 14 Chitr Chittirai Chittaa Chitra Chittira ( ) 15 Svt suwti Swaati Swathi Chti 16 Vishkh Viskam Vishaakha Vishakha Vishkham 17 Anurdh Anusham Anuraadha Anuradha Anizham 18 Jyeshtha Kai Jyesthaa Jyestha

( 19 Mla Mlam Moolaa Moola Mlam 20 Prva Ashdh

Ka (Trikka) )

Pram Poorvashaadha Poorvashadha Pram 21 Uttara Ashdh Uttiram Uttarashaadha Uttarashadha Utram 22 Shravana Tiruvnam Shravana Shravana Tiruvnam ( ) / 23 Shravishth or Dhanishta or Aviam Dhanishta Dhanishta Aviam 24 Shatabhish or Shatataraka / Sadayam Shatabhisha Shatabhisha Chatayam 25 Prva Bhdrapad / Poorvabhadraa Poorva Bhadrapada Pruruti 26 Uttara Bhdrapad / Uttaraa bhadra Uttara Bhadrapada Uttti

Pradhi

Uttdhi

27 Revati Rvathi Revati Revati Rvati See also[edit source | editbeta] Atmakaraka Navagraha Panchangam Gandanta Chinese constellation Twenty-eight mansions Decans (Egyptian) References[edit source | editbeta] ^ Mythology of the Hindus, by Charles Coleman p.131 ^ trans. Ralph T.H. Griffith, Hymns of the Atharva Veda, 1895[]. Original text via GRETIL from Gli inni dell Atharvaveda (Saunaka), trasliterazione a cura di Chatia Orlandi, Pisa 1991, collated with the ed. R. Roth and W.D. Whitney: Atharva Veda Sanhita, Berlin 1856. citrai sk div rocanani sar srpai bhvane javani turm sa sumatm ichmno hni grbh saparyami nakam suhavam agne krttika rohi castu bhadra mrgasira sam ardra punarvasu sunrta caru puyo bhnr lea ayana magha me pya purva phalgunyau catra hastas citra siva svat sukho me astu radhe visakhe suhavanuradha jyeh sunkatram ria mulam nna purva rasata me aadha urja devy uttara a vahantu abhij n me rsat pyam ev rvaa rvih kurvat supum a me mahac chatabhiag var ya a me dvaya prhapada susarma a revat cvayjau bhga ma a me ray bhraya a vahantu ^ a b Burgess, Ebenezer (1858). Translation of the Surya Siddhantha, a Textbook of Hindu Astronomy. The American Oriental Society. ^ Arthur Llewellyn Basham, Indian Astronomy[year needed] Appendix: Astronomy.[page needed] ^ Its longitude starts from 06 40' to 10 53' 40 in sidereal Capricorn i.e. from the last quarter of Uttra Ashadha to first 1/15 th part of Shravana.[citation needed] Its span is 4 13' 40.[citation needed] The span of 27 mean daily lunar motions totals 355.76167 degrees, and together these total 359.98945 degrees. Considered an "intercalary" lunar mansion.[citation needed]