What is Nakshatra?

Nakshatra or Constellation is a combination of two words – Naks meaning sky and Shetra meaning region or an area. A Nakshatra is a region or area of the sky. They are divisions of 13 degrees 20 minutes each starting from zero Aries and ending at 30 degree Pisces. Together they comprise of 360 degrees. They are sub divisions of the zodiac signs and are further sub-divided into 4 Padas or quarters each. Each Pada has a span of 3 degrees 20 minutes. Each sign or rashi contains 9 padas. Just as the Sun rules the zodiac signs, the Nakshatras are ruled by the moon. The moon resides in each Nakshatra for one day as it moves approximately 13 degrees 20 minutes in that period. The Nakshatras are classified under three main groups- Deva (divine), Manusha (Human), Rakshasa (Demonic). They are further divided on the basis of gender and ruling deity and gunas. The presence of the planets and deities in these Nakshatras determine the true nature of an individual. These Nakshatras are read by astrologers to find out auspicious dates for cultural or religion related events. The Nakshatra in which the moon is present at the time of our birth is called the Janma Naksahtra. Readings are done keeping on the basis of that.

 

27 Nakshatras

ASHWINI

Symbol- Horse head
Ruling planet- Ketu
Gender- Male
Gana- Deva
Guna- Rajas/rajas/rajas
Presiding Deity- Ashwini Kumaras, the horse headed twins
Animal- Male Horse
Indian Zodiac- 0° – 13°20′ Mesha

BHARANI

Symbol- Yoni
Ruling planet- Venus
Gender- Female
Gana- Manusha
Guna- rajas/rajas/tamas
Presiding Deity- Yama
Animal- Elephant
Indian Zodiac- 13° 20′ – 26°40′ Mesha

KRITTIKA

Symbol- Knife or razor
Ruling planet- Sun
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- rajas/rajas/sattva
Presiding Deity- Agni
Animal- Female Sheep
Indian Zodiac- 26°40′ Mesha – 10° Vrishabha

ROHINI

Symbol- Ox cart or chariot
Ruling planet- Moon
Gender- Female
Gana- Manusha
Guna- rajas/tamas/rajas
Presiding Deity- Prajapati
Animal- Cobra
Indian Zodiac- 10° – 23°20′ Vrishabha

MRIGASHIRA

Symbol- Deer’s head
Ruling planet- Mars
Gender- Female
Gana- Neuter Deva
Guna- rajas/tamas/tamas
Presiding Deity- Soma
Animal- Female Serpent
Indian Zodiac- 23° 20′ Vrishabha – 6° 40′ Mithuna

ARDRA

Symbol- Tear drop
Ruling planet- Rahu
Gender- Female
Gana- Manusha
Guna- rajas/tamas/sattva
Presiding Deity- Rudra
Animal- Female dog
Indian Zodiac- 6° 40′ – 20° Mithuna

PUNARVASU

Symbol- Quiver of arrows
Ruling planet- Jupiter
Gender- Male
Gana- Deva
Guna- rajas/sattva/rajas
Presiding Deity- Aditi
Animal- Female cat
Indian Zodiac- 20° Mithuna – 3°20′ Karka

PUSHYA

Symbol- Wheel
Ruling planet- Saturn
Gender- Male
Gana- Deva
Guna- rajas/sattva/tamas
Presiding Deity- Brihaspati
Animal- Ram
Indian Zodiac- 3°20′ -16°40′ Karka

ASHLESHA

Symbol- Coiled Serpant
Ruling planet- Mercury
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- rajas/sattva/sattva
Presiding Deity- Nagas
Animal- male cat
Indian Zodiac- 16°40′ – 30° Karka

MAGHA

Symbol- Royal throne
Ruling planet- Ketu
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- tamas/rajas/rajas
Presiding Deity- Pitris
Animal- male rat
Indian Zodiac- 0° – 13°20′ Simha

PURVA PHALGUNI

Symbol- Hammock, front legs of bed
Ruling planet- Venus
Gender- Female
Gana- Manusha
Guna- tamas/rajas/tamas
Presiding Deity- Bhaga
Animal- Female rat
Indian Zodiac- 13°20′ – 26°40′ Simha

UTTARA PHALGUNI

Symbol- Hammock, four legs of bed
Ruling planet- Sun
Gender- Female
Gana- Manusha
Guna- tamas/rajas/sattva
Presiding Deity- Aryaman
Animal- Bull
Indian Zodiac- 26°40′ Simha- 10° Kanya

HASTA

Symbol- Hand or fist
Ruling planet- Moon
Gender- Male
Gana- Deva
Guna- tamas/tamas/rajas
Presiding Deity- Surya
Animal- female buffalo
Indian Zodiac- 10° – 23°20′ Kanya

CHITRA

Symbol- Pearl, gem
Ruling planet- Mars
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- tamas/tamas/tamas
Presiding Deity- Vishwakarma
Animal- female tiger
Indian Zodiac- 23°20′ Kanya – 6°40′ Tula

SWATI

Symbol- Sword, coral
Ruling planet- Rahu
Gender- Female
Gana- Deva
Guna- tamas/tamas/sattva
Presiding Deity- Vaya
Animal- male buffalo
Indian Zodiac- 6°40′ – 20° Tula

VISHAKA

Symbol- Decorated archway, potter’s wheel
Ruling planet- Jupiter
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- tamas/sattva/rajas
Presiding Deity- Indragni
Animal- male tiger
Indian Zodiac- 20° Tula – 3°20′ Vrishchika

ANURADA

Symbol- Triumphal archway, lotus
Ruling planet- Saturn
Gender- Male
Gana- Deva
Guna- tamas/sattva/tamas
Presiding Deity- Mitra
Animal- female deer or rabbit
Indian Zodiac- 3°20′ – 16°40′ Vrishchika

JYESHTA

Symbol- Umbrella, earring
Ruling planet- Mercury
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- tamas/sattva/sattva
Presiding Deity- Indra
Animal- Male deer or rabbit
Indian Zodiac- 16°40′ – 30° Vrishchika

MULA

Symbol- Bunch of roots tied together
Ruling planet- Ketu
Gender- Female
Gana- Neuter Rakshasa
Guna- sattva/rajas/rajas
Presiding Deity- Nirriti
Animal- Male dog
Indian Zodiac- 0° – 13°20′ Dhanus

PURVA ASHADHA

Symbol- Elephant tusk, fan, basket
Ruling planet- Venus
Gender- Male
Gana- Manusha
Guna- sattva/rajas/tamas
Presiding Deity- Apas
Animal- Male monkey
Indian Zodiac- 13°20′ – 26°40′ Dhanus

UTTARA ASHADHA

Symbol- Elephant tusk, small cot, planks of bed
Ruling planet- Sun
Gender- Female
Gana- Manusha
Guna- sattva/rajas/sattva
Presiding Deity- Vishwadevas
Animal- Male mongoose
Indian Zodiac- 26°40′ Dhanus – 10° Makara

SHRAVANA

Symbol- Ear, three footprints in uneven row
Ruling planet- Jupiter
Gender- Male
Gana- Deva
Guna- sattva/tamas/rajas
Presiding Deity- Vishnu
Animal- female monkey
Indian Zodiac- 10° – 23°20′ Makara

DHANISHTA

Symbol- Drum or flute
Ruling planet- Mars
Gender- Female
Gana- Rakshasa
Guna- sattva/tamas/tamas
Presiding Deity- 8 Vasus
Animal- Female Lion
Indian Zodiac- 23°20′ Makara – 6°40′ Kumbha

SHATABHISHA

Symbol- Empty circle. Thousand flowers or stars
Ruling planet- Rehu
Gender- Female
Gana- Neuter Rakshasa
Guna- sattva/tamas/sattva
Presiding Deity- Varun
Animal- Mare
Indian Zodiac- 6°40′ – 20° Kumbha

PURVA BHADRAPADA

Symbol- Sword, two front legs of a funeral cot, Man with two faces
Ruling planet- Jupiter
Gender- Male
Gana- Manusha
Guna- sattva/sattva/rajas
Presiding Deity- Aja Ekapada
Animal- Male lion
Indian Zodiac- 20° Kumbha – 3°20′ Meena

UTTARA BHADRAPADA

Symbol- twins, back legs of a cot, a snake in the water
Ruling planet- Saturn
Gender- Male
Gana- Manusha
Guna- sattva/sattva/tamas
Presiding Deity- Ahir Bhudyana
Animal- Female Cow
Indian Zodiac- 3°20′ – 16°40′ Meena

REVATI

Symbol- drum, pair of fish
Ruling planet- Mercury
Gender- Female
Gana- Deva
Guna- sattva/sattva/sattva
Presiding Deity- Pushan
Animal- Female Elephant
Indian Zodiac- 16°40′ – 30° Meena