Mythology about Nakshtras and Navamansa
Nakshatras : According to mythology Nakshatras are the daughters of Daksha Prajapati. They were 27 in number and were married to Moon. The list of Nakshatras is available in Taittiriya Samhita (A.V 19.7) and also in the Shatapatha Brahmana. Each Nakshatra has one of the navagrahas as Lord and is totally governed by them. The order for the first 9 nakshatras are Ketu, Shukra(Venus), Surya(Sun), Chandra(Moon), Mangala(Mars), Rahu, Guru(Jupiter), Shani(Saturn) and Budha(Mercury). This cycle gets repeated two more times to cover all the 27 nakshatras. Based on this the Vimsottari Dasa System has been built. In Vedic Astrology the Zodiac comprises 360 degrees. By making a 30 degree division we get the 12 Rasis. By making a 13 degree 20 minutes division we get the 27 Nakshatras. In fact the first division was by means of Nakshatras only for which we find references in Rig-Veda also. Moon takes 27 days and 7¾ hours to make one round of the fixed Zodiac. Based on this the division of 130 20’ was made. Now we get a shortfall of 7¾ hour in the lunar transit which was made up of an extra Nakshatra called Abhijit. For the purpose of some special charts like Sarvobhadra Chakra etc we consider 28 Nakshatras and for all other purposes we take only 27 Nakshatras. The span from 2760 40’ to 2800 54’ 13” that is to say the last pada of Uttarashada is known as Abhijit. Details about each Nakshatra like, Symbol, Gotra, Gana, Lord, Deity, Type, Yoni, Guna, Goal, Sex, Body Part, Caste etc. etc. can be seen in any Standard beginner’s book. In most of the Panchanga’s also these details are given. I am not going into the details of these in this article. In the Gola Shastra we find a further sub-division of this arc of 13 degrees 20 minutes into 4 parts of 3 degrees 20 minutes each. These are called padas that is legs or feet. Why this was done? The arc of 13 degrees 20 minutes were found to be insufficient for the ancient astrologers and get a better and specific characteristic features of ruler-ship of the stars the further sub-division was made. Thus each Rasi was allotted 9 padas each in the running order of the Nakshatra. Nakshatras and their nature have volumes and volumes of information and it is not possible to present here all of them. Like-wise Nakshatras have deep relationships with various divisional charts, especially the Navamsa called as D-9 chart and Nakshatramsa Chart called as D-27 chart. Navamsa : Bhagavat Gita says that the first symptom of fall in Dharma is when the women of the family become corrupt and thus get polluted. Dharma is denoted by the 9th house. Hence one ninth division is called Navamsa to stress the point that it is a Dharmamsa. That is why Navamsa gains importance while matching charts for marriage. This is the chart which gives out the inherent abilities of the native though in a hidden form. Rasi chart is existence at the physical level. Moon chart shows your mental abilities. Navamsa chart shows the soul’s development through previous lives which are going to bear fruit in the current life. The importance given to this chart by Parasara, Jaimini, Varahamihira, Kalyana Varma and many more astrologers including respected B.V.Raman point out that the strength of the planets are to be judged taking into account both Rasi and Navamsa chart together. How Navamsa chart is constructed? Each Rasi of 300 is divided into 9 equal parts. So each part will be 30 20’. For Fiery Rasis (Mesha, Simha, Dhanus) Navamsa starts from Mesha. For earthy signs (Vrishabha, Kanya, Makara) Navamsa starts from Makara. For Airy signs (Mithuna, Thula, Kumbha) the beginning is from Thula and for the watery signs (Karka, Vrischika and Meena) the order starts from Karka. An Example will clarify this point: Suppose a planet say Mercury is in 150 25’ at Kanya. Kanya is earthy sign. Hence starting point for Navamsa will be Makara. 150 25’ is in the 5th part of the rasi by dividing it with 9. Hence counting 5 from Makara we come to Vrishabha. In the Navamsa chart Mercury will be placed in Vrishabha. Suppose Mars is in Karka 240 10’ then it falls in the 8th part of the rasi. Karka being a watery sign counting is to begin from Karka itself. 8th from Karka is Kumbha where Mars will be placed in Navamsa chart. This is the way Navamsa chart is to be constructed. Relationship of Nakshatra padas and Navamsa I have already mentioned that each Nakshatra is divided into 4 padas and the pada has a characteristic of the sign of the zodiac which starts from Mesha. If you take 3 nakshatras you get 12 padas (3 x 4) which can be equated to the 12 rasis. However each rasi has been assigned only 2¼ Nakshatras or 9 padas only. So counting from Mesha the 9th sign falls in Dhanus. So the next Nakshatra pada should automatically start from Makara. Count 9 signs from Makara to end up in Kanya. The next Nakshatra pada should start from Thula. Similarly counting from Thula the 9th sign falls in Mithuna and naturally the next Nakshatra pada will begin from Karka. So the order of beginning is Mesha, Makara, Thula and Karka which tallies with the basic principle laid down in scriptures and as explained above. To make matters simple I will conclude that the signs of padas and the Navamsa signs are the same. Now let us examine the sample calculation made above according to this new rule: Mercury is in 150 25’ in Kanya. The Nakshatra is Hasta-2nd pada. Count the padas from Ashwini to Hasta – 2nd. Ashiwini to Uttaraphalguni it is 12 Nakshatras or 12 x 4 = 48 pada. Add 2 padas of hasta and the total pada is 50. For the 12 rasis we are allotting 12 padas. Hence 4 x 12 = 48 padas gets allotted to all the 12 rasis. 2 padas remain – starting from Mesha the 2nd rasi will be Vrishabha which gets the 50th pada. So Mercury will be in Vrishabha in the Navamsa Chart which tallies with our principle stated earlier. Let us take the 2nd example also. Mars is in Karka 240 10’. The Nakshatra is Aslesha – 3rd pada. From Ashwini till pushyam 8 Nakshatras or 32 padas are there. Adding the 3 padas of Aslesha we get 35 padas. Staring from Mesha allot each pada and you will end up in Kumbha as the 35th pada. This is what we have arrived at earlier. To complete this calculation you should compute the Nakshatra and the pada in which the planet is placed using the longitude of the planet.