Hindu astrology has a unique system of prediction that is based on the position of the moon in a given Nakshatra (constellation). There are twenty-seven nakshtras in all. Each one of them covers thirteen degrees and twenty minutes of the zodiac. Each Nakshatra is the head of a particular group of stars.
Importance of Nakshatras
The ‘Nakshatras’ or constellations form the most important element of the Hindu Astrology and ‘Muhurtha’ streams of knowledge. Without these, our knowledge would be incomplete.
Nakshatra means ‘something that never decays’. It has been referred to as ‘constellation’ or ‘asterism’ and also at times as ‘lunar mansions’ by astrologers from the west. Among these, the word ‘asterism’ comes closest to the meaning of ‘Nakshatra’.
The Nakshatras represent a cluster of stars. For instance, the first Nakshatra in sequence known as ‘Ashwini’ is made up of three stars, which looks like a Horse. Hence the name ‘Ashwini’, which is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Ashwa’, which means a Horse. The Horse thus becomes the symbol of this asterism. As the Horse represents physical power and stamina, those born in this Nakshatra are always active, tenacious, dynamic and full of energy.
How does the Nakshatra affect you?
The zodiac is divided into 27 Nakshatra zones. Therefore, while traversing the zodiac, the Moon has to pass through one of the Nakshatra. When you were born, the Nakshatra in which the Moon was situated at that time is called your Janma Nakshatra (birth nakshatra). Accurate predictions can be made after ascertaining your Janma Nakshatra. You can exploit opportunities through proper interpretation of the Nakshatra. Similarly, you can ward off the negatives if you take corrective measures. Nakshatra are also associated with colours, symbols, deities, gemstones etc.
Nakshatras and the Three Worlds
According to Hindu mythology there are three worlds or ‘Lokas': Swarga (Heaven) Loka, Prithvi (Earth) Loka and Mrityu or Narakha (Hell) Loka. The Nakshtras too are divided into three groups or ‘Ganas’.
How to co-relate the Nakshatras to the planets in an individual?s Horoscope
The sky is considered as a stage and the planets are said to be the players on the stage. The screen behind the players represents the backdrop of the sky, which keeps on changing with every new act in the play. The Nakshatras form the designs on this screen. The situation is similar to a singer singing on the stage while projections on the screen behind him can be changed with different colours or scenes, which the director of the program decides. When we talk of the Moon in an individual?s birth chart, the rising asterism nearest to the degrees of Moon at the time of one?s birth in the backdrop of the sky, will be considered as ‘Janma Nakshatra’, or the Asterism in which ones Moon is placed.
How they help us ?
The Nakshatras form a major ‘anga’ or a major element of the Hindu Panchanga. They are used while choosing a Muhurtha in Electional Astrology.
They guide us to the first letter of an infant?s name at the time of ‘Naamkaran’ or naming ceremony of an infant. The Nakshatras also guide us during matchmaking. They are help us find how each planet in the horoscope will function. This forms the study of another domain of astrology known as ‘Nakshatra Paddhaty’.
The Moon placed in a particular Nakshatra decides the mental bearings of the Native they would be, and if they are not in required levels, then the remedial measures of the Moons Nakshatra Lord Owner have to be undertaken for pacifying and strengthening the Moon so as to decrease the malefic effects and bring an increase in the benefic one.
In Astrology, there are umpteen uses of the Nakshatras for gauging celestial influences on human lives. This can produce many hard paperback volumes if one decides to write a thesis on it.