We all have heard about Moon signs. We have also heard about Nakshtra. What is a Nakshtra in Vedic Astrology? What is its significance?
Moon signs are very important in the study of Vedic Astrology. They not only reveal the mental make-up of different natives but also help you delineate various patterns in absence of an exact time of birth. Moon represents mind and hence much depends on the Moon sign. All transit results are based majorly on Moon sign. It does not mean, however, that other ascendants like Navmasa etc cannot be used for calculating effects of transits. Various Astrologers opine that Chandra-lagna( Moon sign as prime ascendant) dominates when a native reaches near 50 years of age.
What this all has to do with Nakshtra?
Well, if a Moon sign tells you about your behaviour and karma, Nakshtra narrows it down and makes it more precise. Many of us wonder, is Astrology not a pseudo-Science-if you tell that there are just 12 types of psyches in the worlds and only twelve types of patterns? Well, it’s a proto-Science in my opinion, because, much has to be discovered yet and much which has already been known and then lost has to be retrieved and refined. The further precision claimed by the aid of Nakshtra has elements of truth in it. Suppose there are three individuals who were born on 14th and 15th of a particular month in any year. If you say that since they have the same Moon signs, results for their Rashi-signs will be same. There is no refinement possible if you do not resort to Nakshtra system. If we assume that Moon was in the sign Sagittarius on 14th and entered into Capricorn on 16th: You can propose that all three persons born on 14th and 15th have same Moon sign-Sagittarius. If you take into the account, the degrees of Moon into the sign Sagittarius, at the time of their birth, you can differentiate their Nakshtras. For example: The person born with Moon between 0 to 13.20 degrees in Sagittarius has Moola as his birth Nakshtra; whereas, the person with-in 13 degree 20 minutes to 26 degree 40 minutes is born in Poorvashadha Nakshtra and the person born in 26 degree 40 minutes to 30 degrees is said to be born in Uttarashadha.
This division of a sign into three Nakshtras makes predictions more accurate. Further you can divide the Nakshtra into quarters. This helps immensely in the delineation. The KP system of prediction uses stellar method of analysis for various Major and Sub periods. We might take up KP system for analysis in another article. Here our intention is to understand the significance of Nakshtras.
Thus, Nakshtras are 27 in number and they are of prime significance in the Udu dasa-system, which is also known as Vimshottari dasa system. Vimshottari dasa system is most widely used system in Vedic Astrology. Moon travels roughly through one Nakshtra in a day. Nakshtras are said to be Moon’s wives in mythology.
Nakshtras are primarily denoting karmic-astral body of a native. A Nakshtra should be analysed in various contexts-for example—the Nakshtra lord and Rashi lord in combination suggest the state of mind or behavioural patterns a native has in his karmic store. For example: a person born in Moola Nakshtra will be having Kethu ( south node of Moon)—as his Nakshtra lord, whereas Jupiter(Guru) will be the Rashi lord because of the birth in the Sagittarius Moon sign. Now, if you compare this birth with a birth in the Poorvashadha or Uttarashadha Nakshtra –you will realize that Moola is much more dangerous a Nakshtra—because it’s ruled by the super-detached-no-boundary Kethu; whereas- Poorvashadha and Uttarashadha are ruled by the Venus and Sun respectively. Kethu is opposite of Jupiter as far as mundane world is concerned. Kethu is very beneficial for spiritual realization but its headless disposition makes it so random a motor of feelings that a person with a Nakshtra with the lordship of Kethu finds himself tormented by random feelings and these behavioural patterns distinctly colour his life. Kethu is super detaching-humbling-frustrating agent as far as material world is concerned and Jupiter is Pollyanna sage who guides you for the best and the most—therefore, there is such a vehement conflict between these two lords that a person born in Moola Nakshtra starts grand projects in various fields but abandons them in a fit of frenzy and absconds! This was a brief explanation to suggest that conflict between two lords might suggest a dangerous position and harmony between them might suggest a relatively healthy disposition.
Similarly you may analyse other aspects of Nakshtra affecting your psyche. Nakshtras are more promising agents than Moon signs as far as prediction about karmic stores are concerned.