Nakshatra or Stars in Astrology
These celestial luminaries make all the difference in astrological calculations. Initially, the zodiac was grouped in 12 Rashis for convenience, however the ancient seers have farther subdivided the heavens into 27 Nakshatras or star constellations for the call of precession. These constellations or the Nakshatras emerged as one of the most important components in Astrology.
Vedic astrology identifies each constellation with a star. The 360 degree division of the sky is therefore further divided into 27 subdivision of 13.20 degrees identified with 27 stars. Each of these Nakshatras are farther subdivided into four Padas or quarters of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. Therefore the first Rashi, Mesha, which has 30 degrees, contains the entire 4 Padas (13:20′) of the 1st star constellation Ashwini, the entire 4 Padas (13:20′) of the 2nd star constellation Bharani and the 1st Pada (3:20′) of the third star constellation Krittika. In this manner, each Rashi comprises of 9 Padas. Some schools of astrology also consider 28 divisions with an additional star called Abhijit. However, for all practical purposes only 27 stars starting from Ashwini are considered. (Ref: the chart).
These Nakshatras are broadly classified under the three heads of Deva (divine), Nara (human) and Rakshasa (Demonic). Farther, they are subdivided by their gender and Varna (cast), and are also ascribed with qualities such as colour, presiding deity, merits and ruler ship of body parts, planets etc.
While the effects of a particular planet placed in a Rashi is studied, the position of the planet in respect to the Nakshatra and its particular Pada is also born in mind. Indians through ages have been taking into account these Nakshatras for determining the auspicious dates and Muhurtha (moment) for any cultural or religious event including marriage. The role of Nakshatras and their respective Padas in predictive astrology is unique to Indian astrology.
Nakshatras (Constellations) and their essential merits
|No.||Nakshatras (Constellations)||Astronomical Name||Deity||Ruling Planet Starting Dasha||Colour|
|1||Ashwini||Beta Arietis||Ashwini brothers||Ketu||Blood red|
|2||Bharani||35 Arietis||Yama||Venus||Blood red|
|5||Mrigshirsha||Lambda Orionis||Chandra||Mars||Silver Grey|
|8||Pushya||Delta Cancri||Brihaspathi||Saturn||Black mixed with red|
|9||Ashlesha||Alpha Hydroe||Nagas||Mercury||Black mixed with red|
|10||Magha||Regulus||Pithras||Ketu||Ivory or cream|
|11||Purvaphalguni||Delta Leonis||Bhaga||Venus||Light brown|
|12||Uttaraphalguni||Beta Leonis||Aryaman||Sun||Bright blue|
|13||Hasta||Delta Corvi||Aditya||Moon||Deep green|
|14||Chitra||Spica Virginis -Vegus||Tvashtav||Mars||Black|
|17||Anuradha||Delta Scorpio||Mitra||Saturn||Reddish brown|
|19||Mula||Lambda Scorpio||Nirrti||Ketu||Brownish yellow|
|21||Uttarashadha||Sigma sagittari||Vishwa deva||Sun||Copper|
|22||Shravana||Alpha Aquiloe||Vishnu||Moon||Light blue|
|23||Dhanishtha||Beta Delphinum||Ashta vasav||Mars||Silver Grey|
|25||Poorvabhadrapada||Alpha Pegasi||Ajaikapat||Jupiter||Silver grey|
|26||Uttarabhadrapada||Gama Pegasi||Ahir Budhanya||Saturn||Purple|