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    NakshatraFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Nakshatra (Sanskrit: , IAST: Nakatra) is the term for lunar mansion in Hindu astrology. A nakshatra is oneof 27 (sometimes also 28) sectors along the ecliptic. Their names are related to the most prominent asterisms inthe respective sectors.

    The starting point for the nakshatras is the point on the ecliptic directly opposite to the star Spica called Chitr inSanskrit (other slightly different definitions exist). It is called Meshdi or the "start of Aries". The ecliptic isdivided into each of the nakshatras eastwards starting from this point. The number of nakshatras reflects thenumber of days in a sidereal month (modern value: 27.32 days), the width of a nakshatra traversed by the moonin about one day. Each nakshatra is further subdivided into four quarters (or padas). These play a role in popularHindu astrology, where each pada is associated with a syllable, conventionally chosen as the first syllable of thegiven name of a child born when the moon was in the corresponding pada.

    The nakshatras of traditional bhartiya astronomy are based on a list of 28 asterisms found in the Atharvaveda(AV 19.7) and also in the Shatapatha Brahmana. The first astronomical text that lists them is the VedangaJyotisha.

    In classical Hindu mythology (Mahabharata, Harivamsa), the creation of the nakshatras is attributed to Daksha.They are personified as daughters of the deity and as mythological wives of Chandra, the moon god, oralternatively the daughters of Kashyapa, the brother of Daksha.[1]

    Each of the nakshatras is governed as 'lord' by one of the nine graha in the following sequence: Ketu (SouthLunar Node), Shukra (Venus), Ravi or Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Rahu (North LunarNode), Guru or Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shani (Saturn) and Budha (Mercury). This cycle repeats itself three times tocover all 27 nakshatras. The lord of each nakshatra determines the planetary period known as the dasha, which isconsidered of major importance in forecasting the life path of the individual in Hindu astrology.

    In Vedic Sanskrit, the term nkatra may refer to any heavenly body, or to "the stars" collectively. The classicalsense of "lunar mansion" is first found in the Atharvaveda, and becomes the primary meaning of the term inClassical Sanskrit.


    1 Nakshatras in the Atharvaveda2 List of Nakshatras3 Padas (quarters)4 Use in astrology

    4.1 Hindu given names4.2 Electional astrology

    5 Names in modern languages6 Apps7 See also8 References

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    Position of the Hindu NakshatraMandala as per the coordinatesspecified in Surya Siddhantha

    9 External links

    Nakshatras in the Atharvaveda

    In the Atharvaveda (Shaunakiya recension, hymn 19.7) a list of 28 stars or asterisms is given, many of themcorresponding to the later nakshatras:

    (1) Kttik (the Pleiads), (2) Rohin, (3) Mrigashrsha, (4) rdr, (5) Punarvasu, (6) Snrit, (7) Pushya, (8)Bhanu (the Sun), (9) Aslesh, (10) Magh, (11) Svti (Arcturus), (12) Chitr (Spica), (13) Phalgunis, (14) Hasta,(15) Rdhas, (16) Vishkh, (17) Anurdh, (18) Jyeshth, (19) Mla, (20) Ashdhas, (21) Abhijit, (22) Sravana,(23) Sravishths, (24) Satabhishak, (25) Proshtha-padas, (26) Revati, (27) Asvayujas, (28) Bharani. [2]Interestingly enough, the term "nakshatra" has a different meaning as demonstrated in the "Surya Siddhanta"which is an ancient text on astronomy. In the early chapters, the author, Mayasura or Mayan, describes varioustime units. He writes that a "prana" is a duration of 4 seconds. He then continues with a discussion of a number oftime units with progressively long durations made up of the shorter time units all composed of a number ofpranas. Amongst those time units are something he calls "nakshatra." For example, there are 15 pranas in aminute; 900 pranas in an hour; 21600 pranas in a day, 583,200 pranas in a nakshatra (month). According toMayan, a nakshatra is a time unit with a duration of 27 days. This 27 day time cycle has been taken to mean aparticular group of stars. The relationship to the stars really has to do with the periodicity with which the moontravels over time and through space past the field of the specific stars called nakshatras. Hence, the stars are morelike numbers on a clock through which the hands of time pass (the moon). This concept that nakshatra means atime unit has been lost and diverted to meaning a set of stars in the sky. This concept was discovered by Dr.Jessie Mercay in her research on Surya Siddhanta. It is documented in a textbook called "Fundamentals ofMamuni Mayans Vaastu Shastras, Building Architecture of Sthapatya Veda and Traditional Indian architecture."(Mercay, 2006 - 2012, AUM Science and Technology publishers)

    List of Nakshatras

    The classical list of 27 nakshatras is first found in the Vedanga Jyotisha, atext dated to the final centuries BCE. The nakshatra system predates theinfluence of Hellenistic astronomy on vedic tradition, which becameprevalent from about the 2nd century CE.

    In Hindu astronomy, there was an older tradition of 28 Nakshatras whichwere used as celestial markers in the heavens. When these were mappedinto equal divisions of the ecliptic, a division of 27 portions was adoptedsince that resulted in a cleaner definition of each portion (i.e. segment)subtending 13 20' (as opposed to 12 51 3/7 in the case of 28 segments).In the process, the Nakshatra Abhijit was left out without a portion[3]:179.The Surya Siddhantha concisely specifies the coordinates of the twentyseven Nakshatras[3]:211

    The following list of nakshatras gives the corresponding regions of sky, following Basham.[4]

    No. Name Associatedstars Description Image

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    1 Ashvini"wife of the Ashvins" and Arietis

    Lord: Ketu (South lunar node)Symbol : Horse's headDeity : Ashvins, the horse-headed twins who arephysicians to the godsIndian zodiac: 0 - 1320'MeshaWestern zodiac 26 Aries -920' Taurus

    2; 7 Bharani"the bearer"35, 39, and 41Arietis

    Lord: Shukra (Venus)Symbol: Yoni, the female organof reproductionDeity: Yama, god of death orDharmaIndian zodiac: 13 20' - 2640'MeshaWestern zodiac 9 20' - 22 40'Taurus


    Krittikaan old name of the Pleiades;personified as the nurses ofKrttikeya, a son of Shiva.


    Lord: Surya (Sun)Symbol: Knife or spearDeity : Agni, god of fireIndian zodiac: 2640' Mesha -10 VrishabhaWestern zodiac 22 40' Taurus- 6 Gemini

    4; 9Rohini"the red one", a name ofAldebaran. Also known as brhm


    Lord: Chandra (Moon)Symbol: Cart or chariot, temple,banyan treeDeity : Brahma or Prajapati, theCreatorIndian zodiac: 10 - 2320'VrishabhaWestern zodiac 6 - 1920'

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    5; 3Mrigashrsha"the deer's head". Also known asgrahya

    , Orionis

    Lord: Mangala (Mars)Symbol: Deer's headDeity: Soma, Chandra, theMoon godIndian zodiac: 23 20'Vrishabha - 6 40' MithunaWestern zodiac: 1920' Gemini- 240' Cancer

    6; 4 Ardra"the moist one" Betelgeuse

    Lord: Rahu (North lunar node)Symbol: Teardrop, diamond, ahuman headDeity : Rudra, the storm godIndian zodiac: 6 40' - 20MithunaWestern zodiac: 2 40' - 16Cancer

    7; 5

    Punarvasu (dual)"the two restorers of goods", alsoknown as yamakau "the twochariots"

    Castor andPollux

    Lord: Guru (Jupiter)Symbol : Bow and quiverDeity : Aditi, mother of thegodsIndian zodiac: 20 Mithuna -320' KarkaWestern zodiac 16 - 2920'Cancer

    8; 6Pushya"the nourisher", also known assidhya or tiya

    , and Cancri

    Lord: Shani (Saturn)Symbol : Cow's udder, lotus,arrow and circleDeity : Bhaspati, priest of thegodsIndian zodiac: 320' -1640'Karka

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    Western zodiac 2920' Cancer -1240' Leo

    9; 7 shlesh"the embrace", , , , and Hydrae

    Lord: Budh (Mercury)Symbol: SerpentDeity : Sarpas or Nagas, deifiedsnakesIndian zodiac: 1640' - 30KarkaWestern zodiac 1240' - 26Leo


    Magh"the bountiful" Regulus

    Lord: Ketu (south lunar node)Symbol : Royal ThroneDeity : Pitrs, 'The Fathers',family ancestorsIndian zodiac: 0 - 1320'SimhaWestern zodiac 26 Leo - 920'Virgo

    11 Prva Phalgun"first reddish one" and Leonis

    Lord: Shukra (Venus)Symbol : Front legs of bed,hammock, fig treeDeity : Bhaga, god of maritalbliss and prosperityIndian zodiac: 1320' - 2640'SimhaWestern zodiac 920' - 2240'Virgo

    12 Uttara Phalgun"second reddish one" Denebola

    Lord: Surya (Sun)Symbol: Four legs of bed,hammockDeity : Aryaman, god ofpatronage and favours

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    Indian zodiac: 2640' Simha-10 KanyaWestern zodiac 2240' Virgo -6 Libra

    13 Hasta"the hand", , , and Corvi

    Lord: Chandra (Moon)Symbol: Hand or fistDeity : Saviti or Surya, the SungodIndian zodiac: 10 - 2320'KanyaWestern zodiac 6 - 1920'Libra

    14 Chitra"the bright one", a name of Spica Spica

    Lord: Mangala (Mars)Symbol: Bright jewel or pearlDeity : Tvastar orVishvakarman, the celestialarchitectIndian zodiac: 2320' Kanya -640' TulaWestern zodiac: 1920' Libra -240' Scorpio

    15Svti"Su-Ati (sanskrit) Very good"name of Arcturus


    Lord: Rahu (north lunar node)Symbol: Shoot of plant, coralDeity : Vayu, the Wind godIndian zodiac: 640' - 20 TulaWestern zodiac 240' - 16Scorpio

    Lord: Guru (Jupiter)Symbol : Triumphal arch,potter's wheel

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    Visakha"forked, having branches"; alsoknown as rdh "the gift"

    , , and Librae

    Deity : Indra, chief of the gods;Agni, god of FireIndian zodiac: 20 Tula - 320'VrishchikaWestern zodiac 16 - 2920'Scorpio

    17 Anuradha"following rdh", and Scorpionis

    Lord: Shani (Saturn)Symbol : Triumphal archway,lotusDeity : Mitra, one of Adityas offriendship and partnershipIndian zodiac: 320' - 1640'VrishchikaWestern zodiac 2920' Scorpio- 1240' Sagittarius


    Jyeshtha"the eldest, most excellent"

    , , and Scorpionis

    Lord: Budh (Mercury)Symbol : circular amulet,umbrella, earringDeity : Indra, chief of the godsIndian zodiac: 1640' - 30VrishchikaWestern zodiac 1240' - 26Sagittarius


    Mula"the root"

    , , , , , ,, and Scorpionis

    Lord: Ketu (south lunar node)Symbol : Bunch of roots tiedtogether, elephant goadDeity : Nirrti, goddess ofdissolution and destructionIndian zodiac: 0 - 1320'DhanusWestern zodiac 26 Sagittarius- 920' Capricorn

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    Purva Ashadha"first of the ah", ah "theinvincible one" being the name ofa constellation

    and Sagittarii

    Lord: Shukra (Venus)Symbol: Elephant tusk, fan,winnowing basketDeity : Apah, god of WaterIndian zodiac: 1320' - 2640'DhanusWestern zodiac 920' - 2240'Capricorn

    21 Uttara Ashadha"second of the ah" and Sagittarii

    Lord: Surya (Sun)Symbol : Elephant tusk, smallbedDeity : Visvedevas, universalgodsIndian zodiac: 2640' Dhanus -10 MakaraWestern zodiac 2240'Capricorn - 6 Aquarius



    , and Lyrae - Vega Lord: Brahma

    23;20 Sravana

    , and Aquilae

    Lord: Chandra (Moon)Symbol : Ear or ThreeFootprintsDeity : Vishnu, preserver ofuniverseIndian zodiac: 10 - 2320'MakaraWestern zodiac 6 - 1920'Aquarius


    Dhanishta"most famous", also Shravishth"swiftest"

    to Delphini

    Lord: Mangala (Mars)Symbol : Drum or fluteDeity : Eight vasus, deities ofearthly abundanceIndian zodiac: 2320' Makara -

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    640' KumbhaWestern zodiac 1920'Aquarius - 240' Pisces


    Shatabhisha"Comprising a hundredphysicians"


    Lord: Rahu (north lunar node)Symbol : Empty circle, 1,000flowers or starsDeity : Varuna, god of cosmicwaters, sky and earthIndian zodiac: 640' - 20Kumbha ; Western zodiac 240'- 16 Pisces


    Purva Bhadrapada"the first of the blessed feet" and Pegasi

    Lord: Guru (Jupiter)Symbol : Swords or two frontlegs of funeral cot, man withtwo facesDeity : Ajikapada, an ancientfire dragonIndian zodiac: 20 Kumbha -320' Meena ; Western zodiac16 - 2920' Pisces


    Uttara Bhdrapad"the second of the blessed feet"

    Pegasi and Andromedae

    Lord: Shani (Saturn)Symbol : Twins, back legs offuneral cot, snake in the waterDeity : Ahir Budhyana,serpent or dragon of the deepIndian zodiac: 320' - 1640'Meena ; Western zodiac 2920'Pisces - 1240' Aries

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    Revati"prosperous" Piscium

    Lord: Budh (Mercury)Symbol : Fish or a pair of fish,drumDeity : Pushan, nourisher, theprotective deityIndian zodiac: 1640' - 30MeenaWestern zodiac 1240' - 26Aries

    Padas (quarters)

    Each of the 27 Nakshatras cover 1320 of the ecliptic each. Each Nakshatra is also divided into quarters orpadas of 320, and the below table lists the appropriate starting sound to name the child. The 27 nakshatras, eachwith 4 padas, give 108, which is the number of beads in a japa mala, indicating all the elements (ansh) of Vishnu:

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    # Name Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 41 Ashwini () Chu Che Cho La2 Bharani () Li Lu Le Lo3 Kritika () A I U E4 Rohini() O Va/Ba Vi/Bi Vu/Bu5 Mrigashrsha() Ve/Be Vo/Bo Ka Ke6 rdr () Ku Gha Ng/Na Chha7 Punarvasu () Ke Ko Ha Hi8 Pushya () Hu He Ho Da9 shlesh () Di Du De Do10 Magh () Ma Mi Mu Me11 Prva or Prva Phalgun ( ) Mo Ta Ti Tu12 Uttara or Uttara Phalgun ( ) Te To Pa Pi13 Hasta () Pu Sha Na Tha14 Chitra () Pe Po Ra Ri15 Svt () Ru Re Ro Ta16 Vikh () Ti Tu Te To17 Anurdh () Na Ni Nu Ne18 Jyeshtha () No Ya Yi Yu19 Mula () Ye Yo Bha Bhi20 Prva Ashdh () Bhu Dha Bha/Pha Dha21 Uttara Ah () Bhe Bho Ja Ji22 rvaa ( ) Ju/Khi Je/Khu Jo/Khe Gha/Kho23 rviha () or Dhanishta Ga Gi Gu Ge24 Shatabhisha ()or atataraka Go Sa Si Su25 Prva Bhdrapad () Se So Da Di26 Uttara Bhdrapad () Du Tha Jha Da/Tra27 Revati () De Do Cha Chi

    Use in astrology

    Hindu given names

    Hindu astrologers (see Jyotisha) teach that when a child is born, they should be given an auspicious first namewhich will correspond to the child's Nakshatra. The technique for deducing the name is to see which nakshatrathe moon is in at the moment of birth; this gives four possible sounds. A refinement is to pick one sound out ofthat four that relates to the Pada or division of the Nakshatra. Each Nakshatra has four Padas and four sounds andeach Pada is of equal width. The Moon remains in each Nakshatra for approximately one day.

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    A further refinement or opportunity is to instead use the Nakshatra that the ascendent resides in at birth. Thesame broad choice of sounds and Padas apply, but now the sounds change roughly every 15 minutes. Theascendent passes through all 27 Nakshatras every 24 hours, being in each one for 53 and a third minutes of time,and is in a Pada for 13 and a third minutes of time. By using the ascendent's nakshatra, instead of the moon'snakshatra leads more to comfort of the Self, rather than comfort of the mother. This second approach is onlyreally applicable if intuitively the moon approach does not feel right.

    Electional astrology

    Constellations are grouped on the basis of their nature, type of their face, degree of their beneficence, theirquarters in different signs, with reference to the constellation occupied by the Sun, with reference to the birthconstellation (Janma Nakshatra), their caste, etc. The current constellation occupied by the Moon, and its natureforms the fundamental of Vedic system of electional astrology (Muhurta). Some of the activities and workswhich are associated with the Nakshatras are given below based on their fundamental nature:

    Fixed (Dhruva, Sthira) constellations:

    Rohini, Uttara Bhdrapad, Uttra Falguni, and Uttara Ashada

    Fixed and permanent nature, house, village, temple, entering in new hose-city-temple, religious works, rites forgetting peace, propitiation of portents, Vinayaka Shanti, coronation, sowing of seeds, planting of small garden,starting of vocal music, friendship, sexual works, making & wearing of ornaments & clothes may be auspiciouslybegun / effectively performed. Works allocated to delicate & friendly (Mridu) asterisms may also be performed.

    Movable (Chala , Chara) constellations:

    Punarvasu, Swaati, Sharavana, Shatabhish & Shravishth

    Related to motion & movement, riding on a vehicle or elephant, opening of shop, walking first time, walking ingarden, sex, making jewellery, learning of a trait. Things performed in Small (Laghu) constellation are alsoeffectively performed in the Movable constellations.

    Cruel (Ugra, Karur) constellations:

    Magha, Bharani, Porva Palguni, Poorva Shada, & Poorva Bhadra.

    Ambush, burning, poisoning (self & others), making & using weapons especially related to fire, cheating /deception / wickedness / craftiness, cutting & destroying, controlling of animals, beating & punishing of enemy.Works allocated to Sharp / Horrible (Darun) asterisms are also successfully done in these asterisms.

    Mixed (Mishra & Sadharan) constellations

    Vishakha & Krittika.

    Fire works, burning of sacred fire (Agnihotra), using poison, fearsome works, arresting, adulteration (mixing),donation of ox to get ones desires fulfilled (Vrashotsarga). Works prescribed under cruel (Ugra, Karur)constellations may also be performed. As per N.S. works of Sweet / delicate & friendly (Mridu & Maitri)constellations can also be included.

    Small (Laghu & Kshipra) constellations

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    Hasta, Abhijit, Pushya, and Ashvini.

    Selling, medical knowledge, using & handling of medicines, literature-music-art, the 64 Kala Shilpa (variousarts, sculpture etc.) jewellery making & wearing, sexual intercourse. And the works prescribed for Movable(Char) constellations. Though Abhijit is included in Small group of asterisms, but is rarely referred in the Muhurtprescriptions.

    Sweet/Delicate & Friendly (Mridu & Maitri) constellations

    Mrigashrsha, Chitra, Anuradha and Revati.

    Starting & learning singing of songs, clothes & jewellery making & wearing, Manglik works, matter related tofriends, female company, enjoyments, sexual passions.

    Sharp & Horrible ( Teekshan & Darun ) constellations:

    Jyeshta, Ardra, Ashlesha, and Moola

    Charm or spell causing disease or death, hypnotism, sorcery; ghost, ambush, horror, murder, capture, mattersrelated to secrecy, backbiting, starting of quarrel, separation, matters related to friendship & breaking thereof,training & tying of animals, pleasure works, playing games, getting made & wearing of new dress & ornaments,starting & learning singing of songs, entering into village / city, peaceful & developmental works.

    Names in modern languages

    The names of nakshatras in other languages are adapted from the Sanskrit variation (apabhramsa) through Pali orPrakrit. The variations evolved for easier pronunciation in popular usage.

    # SanskritBengaliname

    Malayalam name

    Tamil name



    Westernstar name

    1 AvinAvin





    and Arietis

    2 BharaBhara





    35, 39, and41 Arietis

    3 KttikKttik






    4 RohiRohi






    5 MgairasMgairas





    , Orionis

    6 rdrrdr

    tira or Tiruvtira()





    7 PunarvasuPunarvasu





    Castor andPollux

    8 PuyaPuya ()





    , and Cancri

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    9 Ale /






    , , , ,and Hydrae

    10 MaghMagh



    Makha orMagha or




    Prva orPrvaPhalgu

    Prva orPrvaPhalgu



    PrvaPhalgu orPubba or


    and Leonis


    Uttara orUttaraPhalgu

    Uttara orUttaraPhalgu



    UttaraPhalgui orUttara or



    13 HastaHasta





    , , , and Corvi

    14 Citr14Citr

    Chittira (Chitra)()


    Citt orCitr or



    15 SvtiSvti












    , , and Librae

    17 AnurdhAnurdh





    , and Scorpionis

    18 JyehaJyeha

    Ka (Trikka) ()




    , , and Scorpionis

    19 Mla/Mla





    , , , , ,, , and Scorpionis

    20 PrvhaPrvha





    and Sagittarii

    21 UttarhaUttarha





    and Sagittarii

    22 ravaaravaa





    , and Aquilae


    ravih orDhaniha or

    ravih orDhaniha()





    to Delphinus

    atabhiak or atabhiak

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    24 atatrak /








    PrvaBhdrapad /






    and Pegasi








    Pegasi andAndromedae

    27 Revat








    iPhone app


    See also

    AtmakarakaNavagrahaPanchangamGandantaChinese constellationTwenty-eight mansionsDecans (Egyptian)


    1. ^ Mythology of the Hindus, by Charles Coleman p.1312. ^ trans. Ralph T.H. Griffith, Hymns of the Atharva Veda, 1895[]. Original text via GRETIL (http://fiindolo.sub.uni- from Gli inni dell Atharvaveda (Saunaka), trasliterazione a cura di Chatia Orlandi,Pisa 1991, collated with the ed. R. Roth and W.D. Whitney: Atharva Veda Sanhita, Berlin 1856.

    1. citri sk div rocanni sarsrpi bhvane javni | turma sumatm ichmno hni grbh saparyminkam

    2. suhvam agne kttik rhi cstu bhadr mrgira m rdr | pnarvas snt cru pyo bhnr leyana magh me

    3. pya prv phlgunyau ctra hsta citr iv svt sukh me astu | rdhe vikhe suhvnurdh jyhsunkatram ria mlam

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    4. nna prv rsat me adh rja devy ttar vahantu | abhijn me rsat pyam ev rvaarvih kurvat supum

    5. me mahc chatbhiag vrya me dvay prhapad surma | revt cvayjau bhga ma me raybhraya vahantu

    3. ^ a b Burgess, Ebenezer (1858). Translation of the Surya Siddhantha, a Textbook of Hindu Astronomy( American Oriental Society.

    4. ^ Arthur Llewellyn Basham, Indian Astronomy Appendix: Astronomy.5. ^ Its longitude starts from 06 40' to 10 53' 40 in sidereal Capricorn i.e. from the last quarter of Uttra Ashadha to

    first 1/15 th part of Shravana. Its span is 4 13' 40. The span of 27 mean daily lunar motions totals 355.76167 degrees,and together these total 359.98945 degrees. Considered an "intercalary" lunar mansion.

    External links

    Retrieved from ""Categories: Hindu astrology Hindu astronomy Constellations Nakshatra Technical factors of astrology

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