Nakshatras and their Nature

The term Nakshatra originates from the words “Naksha” (map) and “tara” (star). In understanding the celestial influences of the planets, Vedic astrology considers the 27 constellations to be the fundamental element. The 360 degrees of the Zodiac is divided into 27 parts called Nakshatras ( a constellation of stars). Each extends to 13 degrees and 20 minutes of arc. Nakshatras are also ruled by planets. Rahu and Ketu are also allocated the ownership. The ancient Indian sages and spiritualists considered the 27 constellations or Nakshatra rather than the 12 zodiac star signs that mapped the sky.

Each Nakshatra carries distinct qualities and characteristics and is based on the longitude of the Moon at the time of birth. Male and female natives born in the same birth star or Nakshatra may have different characteristics. The nakshatra is thought to influence our personality traits.

Names of the Nakshatras (Stars), their appearance, nature and Lords are given in the table below.

As stated above, every star or Nakshatra has distinctive properties including their appearance, their nature of influence as well as their rulers. You can know your star’s distinctive properties by referring the table below:

Star Appearance Nature Ruler
1 Aswini 3 stars resembling a horse’s face Auspicious Ketu
2 Bharani 3 stars resembling a female sexual organ. Inauspicious Venus
3 Krittika Constellation of 6 stars Inauspicious Sun
4 Rohini 5 stars resembling an ear. Auspicious Moon
5 Mrigasira 3 stars like a head. Auspicious Mars
6 Ardra Star like a coral head. Auspicious Rahu
7 Punarvasu 5 stars like a potter’s wheel. Semi auspicious Jupiter
8 Pushya 3 stars resembling a blood sucker. Auspicious Saturn
9 Ashlesha 6 stars like a serpent. Inauspicious Mercury
10 Makha 5 stars like a palanquin. Destructive Ketu
11 Purvaphalguni 2 stars resembling human eyes. Fatal Venus
12 Uttaraphalguni 2 stars like eyes. Intelligent Sun
13 Hasta 5 stars like human fingers. Fortunate Moon
14 Chitra 1 star like a pearl. Auspicious Mars
15 Swati 1 star like a sapphire. Auspicious Rahu
16 Vishakha 5 stars like a potter’s wheel. Inauspicious Jupiter
17 Anuradha 3 stars resembling an umbrella. Success giving Saturn
18 Jyeshta 5 stars like a crouching lion. Destructive Mercury
19 Moola 5 stars like a crouching lion. Destructive Ketu
20 Poorvashada 2 stars each forming a square. Destructive Venus
21 Uttarashada 2 stars each forming a square. Intelligent Sun
22 Shravana 3 stars like an arrow. Happy Moon
23 Dhanishta 3 stars like an Sun’s head. Auspicious Mars
24 Satabhisha 100 stars resembling a flower. Happy Rahu
25 Poorvabhadra 2 stars each forming the legs of a cot. Fatal Jupiter
26 Uttarabhadra 2 stars each forming the legs of a cot. Fortunate Saturn
27 Revati 3 stars like a fish. Happy Mercury
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The Earth is 300 to 400 light-years away from the 27 Nakshatras. The ancient sages divided the zodiac into 12 main Rashi, which aided in the study of the planets’ effects. It was then subdivided further into a sub-divisional system that divided each zodiac into 27-star constellations. Each of these constellations is further divided into four quarters of padas and we have 27*4=108 padas comprising the whole of the zodiac.

Each Nakshatra spans 13 degrees and 20 minutes. It is further subdivided into four Padas, or quarters, each of three degrees and twenty minutes. Thus, the first zodiac sign, Aries, which has 30 degrees, contains the entire 4 padas (13 degrees and 20 minutes) of the first star constellation Ashwini, the entire 4 padas (13:20′) of the second star constellation Bharani, and the first pad (3:20′) of the third-star constellation Kritika, giving each Rashi a total of 9 padas.

Different names of 9 planets

The planets play a major role in prediction techniques in Vedic astrology. Each planet is also known by different names which are given below:

Planet Different Names
Sun Ravi, Surya, Aditya, Arka and Bhanu
Moon Chandra, Soma and Sitamsu
Mars Kuja, Angaraka and Bhoma or Bhumija
Mercury Budha, Soumya, Gna, Somaja
Jupiter Guru, Jiva, Brihaspathi, Suri
Venus Shukra, Sita, Bhrigu and Kavya
Saturn Sani, Ravija, Asita and Manda
Rahu Dragons’ Head,Thama and Sarpa
Ketu Dragon’s Tail, Sikhi

Planetary Directions

Let us understand what are the directions in which every planet is positioned.

Direction Planet
East Sun
West Saturn
North Mercury
South Mars
North-East Jupiter
South-East Venus
North-West Moon
South-West Rahu

Planetary States

Planets are thought to be in states known as avasthas. Avasthas are the divisions of a planet according to its condition. A planet receives an Avastha according to its degree within a specific Rashi. The ancient text Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra provides us with precise calculations and explanations that allow us to quantify the condition of the planet and accurately predict its outcomes. Avasthas, or planetary states, are classified into several categories. The ten states that describe the physical-mental conditions of the planets are as follows:

  1. Deepta or exaltation – gives long life, successful work, good family, promising children, wealth, fame, respect and conveyances.
  2. Swastha or residence in their own house – permanence, happiness, sound education, good position.
  3. Muditha or residence in friendly sign– good dress, fine taste, sweet scents, flowers, women, position and happiness.
  4. Santha or planets in auspicious sub-divisions– timely strength and courage, helping relations, comfortable life, health and happiness.
  5. Saktha or retrograde motion– courage, prosperity, successful position, reputation, wealth, good relations. In retrograde motion, good planets produce happiness and bad planets give evil effects and misery.
  6. Peedya or planets in the last quarter or Navamsa of the sign – hatred, quarrelsome relations, family dissension, criminal prosecutions, pilfering habits, expulsion from country.
  7. Deena or planets in unfriendly houses – sickness, meanness, mental worry, derangement in brain, social degradation or excommunication, bigoted persecutions.
  8. Vikala or planets in combustion – mental disorder, orphanage, many face expulsion from country, public disgrace of children, wife and friends.
  9. Khala or planets in debilitation – constant losses, vulgar birth, troubles from unexpected sources, quarrels with parents, imprisonment, disease, misery and utter disregard for that which is noble and sacred.
  10. Bheetha or acceleration – loss due to fire, foes, kings and thieves. Persecution, tortures, disgraceful life, vulgar habits, danger in foreign countries. In predicting the results, it is to be noted that the evil conjuctions and aspects add to the misery and good conjuctions and aspects are beneficial.
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Basic Planet Avasthas

Based on the degrees that a planet occupies within a Rashi, the planets are categorised into states that range from infancy to death. The range of a Rashi is 30 degrees. Five sections of six degrees each make up the 30 degrees. The five Avasthas assigned to these sections for the odd Rashis are Bala (infant), Kumara (young adult), Yuva (adolescent), Vridha (advanced), and Mrita (deceased). This order is the opposite for the even Rashis.

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