All About Nakshatra

The Nakshatras are the apparently fixed bodies in the Zodiac, where the planetary system moves with them placed in the background. Among the Rasi and the nakshatras, the former is overlorded by the Sun, whereas the latter is overlorded by Moon. This implies that the Rasi shows the environment we would be placed with at different times in our life and what we get out of it, on the other hand, the nakshatras govern the different state of mind we shall be having at various times. Even the actual events are important in our life, taking a person-centric view point; our reactions to them also matter equally. Hence the study of the nakshatras is well warranted.

There are two nakshatra schemes, one of which uses 27 Nakshatras and the other uses 28 nakshatras, which include the Abhijit Nakshatra, an intercalary nakshatra. Both the schemes are useful in their own right. While 27 nakshatra scheme is used for all day to analysis, such as analysis of birth chart, analysis of dasas, using Navatara chakra etc; the 28 nakshatra scheme is used for analysis of few chakras such as sarvatobhadra chakra, the sannadi chakra etc. The Nakshatras are reckoned from beginning with Aries which coincides with the beginning of Ashwini.

There are four padas (quarters) of each nakshatra, each measuring 3d 20m making the total duration of the nakshatra to be 13d 20m. Thus there are 108 padas across the zodiac and each map to 1 Navamsa. However, since the duration of 1 sign is 30 degrees, the nakshatra cannot be mapped exactly on the Rasis. However, it is interesting to see that 9 nakshatras can be mapped to 4 Rasis. From this we can derive the basis of dividing the zodiac of 12 Rasis and 27 nakshatras into 3 parts each measuring 120 degrees. This is the basis for the Navatara Chakra, where the nakshatras are divided into three groups of 9 each, starting either from the Janma or Lagna Nakshatra.

While we see the mapping of the 9 Nakshatras on 4 Rasis, we see that there are few nakshatras which would fall across two Rasis such as Krittika, which falls in Aries and Taurus; Mrgashiras, which falls across Taurus and Gemini and so on. There are others which would fall in 1 rasi such as Ashwini, Bharani, Rohini etc. Even though this looks haphazard and erratic, there is a hidden meaning behind it. To understand the meaning, we need to know the tattvas (primordial elements) ruling the Rasis and the Nakshatra padas. Beginning from Aries, the Rasis are ruled by Fire, Earth, Air and Water in a cyclical manner. Thus Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are the fiery signs; Taurus, Virgo & Capricorn are the earthy signs and so on. This is the same pattern which repeats for the nakshatra padas, which means that the first pada is governed by fire element, 2nd by earth, 3rd by air and the 4th by water. This cycle repeats across the nakshatras.

The beauty of the mapping of the Nakshatra with the rasi is that, among the 9 nakshatra padas which fall in a rasi, the tattva of the first and the last pada belongs to the tattva of the sign. So the first and last pada of Aries would be Fiery, the first and last pada of Taurus would be Earthy and so on. Seeing this from another perspective, the while seen among the three groups of 4 signs (starting from Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), the 1st sign starts from 1st pada of a nakshatra and ends with the 1st pada of a nakshatra (for example, Aries starts with 1st pada of Ashwini and ends with the 1st pada of Krittika). Similarly, the 2nd sign (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) start with 2nd pada of a nakshatra and end with the 2nd pada of another nakshatra (for example, Taurus starts with 2nd pada of Krittika and ends with 2nd pada of Mrgashiras); 3rd sign Gemini starts with 3rd pada of Mrgashiras and ends with 3rd pada of Punarvasu and the 4th sign Cancer start with 4th pada of Punarvasu and end with 4th pada of Aslesha.

The lordship of each cycle of 9 nakshatras, as per Vimshottari dasa scheme, starting from Ashwini is Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury. It is worthy to note that the 3 of the 9 nakshatras, which fall in the junction of signs (rasi sandhi), are ruled by Sun, Mars and Jupiter, the three best friends on the Deva's side! The other Nakshatras which fall inside the signs are ruled by Ketu, Venus, Moon, Rahu, Saturn & Mercury. What can be made out of these two categories of the planets?

Classification of Nakshatra

Fixed Nakshatras

Rohini, Uttar-phalguni, Uttar-ashadha and Uttar-bhadrapada are supposed to be fixed nakshatras and they are favourable for activities which are related to establishing something permanent such as coronations, laying the foundations of cities, sowing operations, planting trees.

Soft Nakshatras

Chitta, Anuradha, Mrigasira and Revati are soft nakshatras. They are favourable for soft or artistic activities such as wearing new apparel, learning dancing, music and fine arts, sexual union and performance of auspicious ceremonies.

Light Nakshatras

Ashwini, Pushya, Hasta and Abhijit are light nakshatras, and they are favourable for light and sportive activities such as putting ornamentation, pleasures and sports, administering medicine, starting industries and undertaking travels.

Sharp Nakshatras

Moola, Jyestha, Ardra and Aslesha are sharp nakshatras in nature and they are favourable for sharp, piercing and painful activities such as incantations, invoking spirits, for imprisonment, murders, and separation of friends.

Mobile Nakshatras

Sravana, Dhanishta, Satabhisaj, Punarvasu and Swati are mobile nakshatras and they are auspicious for mobile activities such as acquiring vehicles, for gardening and for going on procession.

Dreadful Nakshatras

Purva-phalguni, Poorvashadha and Poorvabhadra, Bharani and Makha are dreadful nakshatras and they are favourable for nefarious schemes, poisoning, deceit, imprisonment, setting fire and other evil deeds.

Mixed Nakshatras

Krittika and Visakha are mixed nakshatras and during their influences, works of day-to-day importance can be undertaken.

Inauspicious Nakshatras

Beginning from the third quarter of Dhanishta and ending with the last part of Revati, the time is held to be unsuitable for any kind of auspicious work. This period goes under the special name of Nakshatra Panchaka and when these stars are ruling, one should avoid journey towards the south, house repairing or renovation, collecting fuel and cattle fodder or acquiring cots and beds.

Auspicious Nakshatras

Of all the twenty-eight constellations, the pride of place appears to have been given to Pushya, the 8th star.


1. Ashwini
2. Bharani
3. Krittika
4. Rohini
5. Mrgashiras
6. Ardra
7. Punarvasu
8. Pushya
9. Aslesha
10. Makha
11. Purva-phalguni
12. Uttara-phalguni
13. Hasta
14. Chitra
15. Swati
16. Visakha
17. Anuradha
18. Jyestha
19. Moola
20. Purva-ashadha
21. Uttara-ashadha
22. Sravana
23. Dhanishta
24. Satabhisaj
25. Purva-bhadrapada
26. Uttara-bhadrapada
27. Revati

What is a mantra and how does it work?

Mantras are powerful sounds. Mantras are the sounds that when chanted produce great effects. These are chanted repeatedly and that is called japa. Japa is a key part of Hindu prayer.

Mantras are very rich in their meaning. While doing japa one can meditate on the mantra and its meaning. As the mind dwells more and more into that meaning, the mantra conditions the mind and takes it up to higher states and forms the path to the great liberation - eternal bliss.

What makes mantras so special as compared to the normal words? Mantras are not composed by humans. One may wonder how can that be possible. Especially given that there are sages associated with the mantras. The point to be noted is that these sages are not composers of these mantras, as we would normally compose sentences. They are not the inventors, but they are the discoverers of the mantra. They get to know the mantras in a state in which these words do not emanate from their thoughts, but they are just passive audience to it. Those who go deep in meditation and realize God may be able to get a feel of this situation.

To be such a discoverer, even though they are just passive hearers, needs great amount of qualification. Only the perfect one can unchangedly reproduce the mantra he has heard. The only one that is absolutely perfect is God. All other discoverers reproduce that mantra only as pure as their closeness to perfection.

Veda samhitas are full of mantras and hence have been preserved for ages in their pure form by utilizing the various techniques like patha, krama, jaTa, gaNa pATas, that ensure that the chanter clearly gets the correct letters and even the correct level of sound for each letter (svara). The chanters are advised to chant the mantras only after getting the right pronunciation of it, so that the mantras are preserved against deterioration over time. There would be gurus who initiate the disciple in a mantra. The guru ensures that the disciple got the mantra right, so that the person can chant independently as well as initiate others in that mantra. Ensuring this preservation, the vedas were passed on only through the tradition of guru and disciples and was never written down till the very recent past. (It is really amazing to note that without being written down the vedas have been preserved in pure form across the land by these techniques. Though the texts are freely available now for anybody to read, it would be important to ensure that these mantras are properly learnt and then chanted. This way the treasure that has been preserved so carefully over multiple millenniums does not deteriorate due to indifference.)

It is to be noted that many of the hymns of thirumuRai are known to have the great powers of mantras that are practiced even today.

While there are plenty of mantras available, there are a few that are chanted with high esteem by the shaivas. Definitely those are highly powerful ones that can lead the chanter on the great path to mukti (liberation). pranava, paNJchAkashra, gAyatri to name a few. For shaivites the Holy Five Syllables (paNJchAkshara) with or without combination of the praNava is the ultimate mantra.

Definition #1: Mantras are energy-based sounds.

Saying any word produces an actual physical vibration. Over time, if we know what the effect of that vibration is, then the word may come to have meaning associated with the effect of saying that vibration or word. This is one level of energy basis for words.

Another level is intent. If the actual physical vibration is coupled with a mental intention, the vibration then contains an additional mental component which influences the result of saying it. The sound is the carrier wave and the intent is overlaid upon the wave form, just as a colored gel influences the appearance and effect of a white light.

In either instance, the word is based upon energy. Nowhere is this idea more true than for Sanskrit mantra. For although there is a general meaning which comes to be associated with mantras, the only lasting definition is the result or effect of saying the mantra.

Definition #2: Mantras create thought-energy waves.

The human consciousness is really a collection of states of consciousness which distributively exist throughout the physical and subtle bodies. Each organ has a primitive consciousness of its own. That primitive consciousness allows it to perform functions specific to it. Then come the various systems. The cardio-vascular system, the reproductive system and other systems have various organs or body parts working at slightly different stages of a single process. Like the organs, there is a primitive consciousness also associated with each system. And these are just within the physical body. Similar functions and states of consciousness exist within the subtle body as well. So individual organ consciousness is overlaid by system consciousness, overlaid again by subtle body counterparts and consciousness, and so ad infinitum.

The ego with its self-defined "I" ness assumes a pre-eminent state among the subtle din of random, semi-conscious thoughts which pulse through our organism. And of course, our organism can "pick up" the vibration of other organisms nearby. The result is that there are myriad vibrations riding in and through the subconscious mind at any given time.

Mantras start a powerful vibration which corresponds to both a specific spiritual energy frequency and a state of consciousness in seed form. Over time, the mantra process begins to override all of the other smaller vibrations, which eventually become absorbed by the mantra. After a length of time which varies from individual to individual, the great wave of the mantra stills all other vibrations. Ultimately, the mantra produces a state where the organism vibrates at the rate completely in tune with the energy and spiritual state represented by and contained within the mantra.

At this point, a change of state occurs in the organism. The organism becomes subtly different. Just as a laser is light which is coherent in a new way, the person who becomes one with the state produced by the mantra is also coherent in a way which did not exist prior to the conscious undertaking of repetition of the mantra.

Definition #3: Mantras are tools of power and tools for power.

They are formidable. They are ancient. They work. The word "mantra" is derived from two Sanskrit words. The first is "manas" or "mind," which provides the "man" syllable. The second syllable is drawn from the Sanskrit word "trai" meaning to "protect" or to "free from." Therefore, the word mantra in its most literal sense means "to free from the mind." Mantra is, at its core, a tool used by the mind which eventually frees one from the vagaries of the mind.

But the journey from mantra to freedom is a wondrous one. The mind expands, deepens and widens and eventually dips into the essence of cosmic existence. On its journey, the mind comes to understand much about the essence of the vibration of things. And knowledge, as we all know, is power. In the case of mantra, this power is tangible and wieldable.

Statements About Mantra

Mantras have close, approximate one-to-one direct language-based translation.

If we warn a young child that it should not touch a hot stove, we try to explain that it will burn the child. However, language is insufficient to convey the experience. Only the act of touching the stove and being burned will adequately define the words "hot" and "burn" in the context of "stove." Essentially, there is no real direct translation of the experience of being burned.

Similarly, there is no word which is the exact equivalent of the experience of sticking one's finger into an electrical socket. When we stick our hand into the socket, only then do we have a context for the word "shock." But shock is really a definition of the result of the action of sticking our hand into the socket.

It is the same with mantras. The only true definition is the experience which it ultimately creates in the sayer. Over thousands of years, many sayers have had common experiences and passed them on to the next generation. Through this tradition, a context of experiential definition has been created.

Definitions of mantras are oriented toward either the results of repeating the mantra or of the intentions of the original framers and testers of the mantra.

In Sanskrit, sounds which have no direct translation but which contain great power which can be "grown" from it are called "seed mantras." Seed in Sanskrit is called "Bijam" in the singular and "Bija" in the plural form.

Let's take an example. The mantra "Shrim" or Shreem is the seed sound for the principle of abundance (Lakshmi, in the Hindu Pantheon.) If one says "shrim" a hundred times, a certain increase in the potentiality of the sayer to accumulate abundance is achieved. If one says "shrim" a thousand times or a million, the result is correspondingly greater.

But abundance can take many forms. There is prosperity, to be sure, but there is also peace as abundance, health as wealth, friends as wealth, enough food to eat as wealth, and a host of other kinds and types of abundance which may vary from individual to individual and culture to culture. It is at this point that the intention of the sayer begins to influence the degree of the kind of capacity for accumulating wealth which may accrue.

Mantras have been tested and/or verified by their original framers or users.

Each mantra is associated with an actual sage or historical person who once lived. Although the oral tradition predates written speech by centuries, those earliest oral records annotated on palm leaves discussed earlier clearly designate a specific sage as the "seer" of the mantra. This means that the mantra was probably arrived at through some form of meditation or intuition and subsequently tested by the person who first encountered it.

Sanskrit mantras are composed of letters which correspond to certain petals or spokes of chakras in the subtle body.

As discussed earlier, there is a direct relationship between the mantra sound, either vocalized or subvocalized, and the chakras located throughout the body.

Mantras are energy which can be likened to fire.

You can use fire either to cook your lunch or to burn down the forest. It is the same fire. Similarly, mantra can bring a positive and beneficial result, or it can produce an energy meltdown when misused or practiced without some guidance. There are certain mantra formulas which are so exact, so specific and so powerful that they must be learned and practiced under careful supervision by a qualified guru.

Fortunately, most of the mantras widely used in our portal and certainly those contained in this chapter are perfectly safe to use on a daily basis, even with some intensity.

Mantra energizes prana.

"Prana" is a Sanskrit term for a form of life energy which can be transferred from individual to individual. Prana may or may not produce an instant dramatic effect upon transfer. There can be heat or coolness as a result of the transfer.

Some healers operate through transfer of prana. A massage therapist can transfer prana with beneficial effect. Even self-healing can be accomplished by concentrating prana in certain organs, the result of which can be a clearing of the difficulty or condition. For instance, by saying a certain mantra while visualizing an internal organ bathed in light, the specific power of the mantra can become concentrated there with great beneficial effect.

Mantras eventually quiet the mind.

At a deep level, subconscious mind is a collective consciousness of all the forms of primitive consciousnesses which exist throughout the physical and subtle bodies. The dedicated use of mantra can dig into subconscious crystallized thoughts stored in the organs and glands and transform these bodily parts into repositories of peace.

Some of you may be interested or even fascinated by the discipline of mantra, but feel somewhat overwhelmed by the array of mantras and disciplines, astotaras and pujas you find in here. If so, then this chapter will be of use to you. It contains some simple mantras and their common application. They have been compiled from vedas and upanishads, drawn from the various headings of the deities or principles involved. These mantras address various life issues which we all face from time to time. 

Shrimad Valmiki Ramayan - Sanskrit Text with Hindi Translation श्रीमद वाल्मीकि रामायण

 Shrimad Valmiki Ramayan - Sanskrit Text with Hindi Translation- DP Sharma 10 volumes.

सम्पूर्ण श्रीमद वाल्मीकि कृत रामायण संस्कृत और हिंदी में .. पूरी डाउनलोड करे नि:शुल्क :


शिर्डी के साँई बाबा जी के दर्शनों का सीधा प्रसारण...

  शिर्डी से सीधा प्रसारण ,... "श्री साँई बाबा संस्थान, शिर्डी " ... के सौजन्य से...

Akshaya Tritiya and Impontance of Candana Yatra

Candana yatra starts on this day, which is celebrated as well as the day on which treta yuga began. Barley, one of the main ingredients for homa, which is the yuga dharma of Treta Yuga, was also created on this day. Ganga devi also descended to earth on this day. Many common people have special puja on this day. One should bathe in a sacred river, give charity, perform japa and offer barley in a sacred fire, and offer barley preparations to the deity.

Akshaya Tritiya day is the very auspicious day - there's no in auspiciousness to be found today so even checking muhurthas is considered unnecessary, so auspicious it is. Whatever one does for devotees, and for Krsna that person will get more benefit and it is eternal benefit and never lost.

He said one story of a brahmana: there was a brahmana who had a very good wife and was poor. Whatever little money he got would get spent somehow. Also he did not have children. So under the strong request of his wife he went to Vasishta muni to know the reason for his suffering. Vasishta muni told him that in his previous life he was very rich and also had many children. But he was very stingy, he was not even spending for his own children. This is the reason for his being poor, also without children. Then that brahmana asked Vasishta muni why he got a good wife. So that Muni replied that somehow with some reason, he observed that the vrata of Vaishaka month for the last 5 days. So he got a good wife and also the brahmana birth. Then the muni advised him to follow at least the last 7 days left of Vaishaka month, with devotion to Lord Krsna.

Since that brahmana observed the vrata of Vaishaka month for that at least the left out 7 days, he got sons, he became rich, ultimately he got Love of Godhead and went back to the spiritual world!

It is important to hear such a story/pastimes as this so that at least by hearing this, we engage ourselves in the service of Guru, the Vaishnavas and Krsna. Thus becoming inspired to always render service the devotee is always the beneficiary of such interaction with the Vaishnavas, one's Guru and Lord Sri Krishna.

Akshaya tritiiyaa: (from the Calendar of the Madhwa Vaishnavas) The third day in the bright fortnight of vaishaakha is the day of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Parashurama. The icon is decorated with an axe, to depict Him in a heroic pose.

This coincides with the anniversary of passing of Sri Vijayadhvaja Tiirtha, the sixth piithaadhipati in the lineage of Sri Pejawar Mutt. He is famous for his commentary upon the Srimad Bhaagavata epic. He lived in the 15th century and his vrindavana (samadhi) is in Kanva Tiirtha. There is also a pipal tree by the side of the vrindavana under which he is believed to have written his commentary.

During the tenure of Sri Pejawar MaTha a special festival is arranged in Sri Krishna Mutt on this day and the akshaya patra given by Sri Madhva is offered a special puja. This akshaya patra is said to have been given by the Sun god, it is the same pot that mother Draupadi used to cook in. It is said that from the time of turning it upwards for use on a day the pot will provide unlimited amounts of foodstuffs for the satisfaction of the Lord. There is a story in this connection wherein the angry sage Durvasas came to Draupadi demanding foods:

On the Pandavas return to Hastinapur they resided in the palace created for them by the demon Maya Danava. Mayasura built this palace out of gratitude to Krsna for saving him in the forest fire in the Khandava Forest where he was hiding when Agni devoured it. He also presented Bhima with a magnificent fighting club. After the Rajasurya sacrifice was performed, Duryodhana, being always envious of the Pandavas, came to the mansion created by Maya Danava's illusions. Bewildered by illusions of many kinds, Duryodhana mistook the solid floor for water and lifted the end of his garment to walk forward on what he thought was shallow water but it was solid floor, and after a few more steps he fell into waist deep water mistaking it for a solid floor. Proud Duryodhana, who was wearing his crown and a costly necklace was very angry, but when he fell into the water everyone laughed, especially Draupadi and Bhima. Yudhisthira tried to check the laughing of all the women in the palace, by raising his hand and his glances. Lord Krsna however, encouraged it by the suggestive gestures of His eyebrows. Humiliated and swearing revenge, Duryodhana turned his face downwards and went back to Hastinapura.

The Kurus then made a conspiracy to trick Yudhisthira into a gambling match by which the Kauravas (Kurus) could cheat the Pandavas out of everything with the dice made from Sakuni's bones. During the match Yudhisthira lost his kingdom, wealth, jewelry, clothing and finally even gambled and lost his wife. When Dussasana went to fetch the chaste Draupadi, she said she couldn't come to the assembly as she was undergoing her monthly period, and was only dressed in one piece of cloth (a simple 'sari'). Draupadi had a beautiful bunch of hair which was sanctified at the ceremonial Rajasurya Yajna, but Dussasana defiled that sacred lady and grabbed her by her hair just to insult her. When he started to pull off her sari just to make her naked, Draupadi, realizing that she had no hope of help from her husbands as they too had been lost, by Yudhisthira being tricked into upholding mundane moralistic codes and now had no free will to act (though Bhima was transcendentally situated from such sentimental codes his brothers tried to make him restrained to follow Yudhisthira's mood and etiquette). Draupadi then cent per cent, completely surrendered to Krsna, and to the amazement of the assembly, as much 'sari' as Dussasana took from her body, as much again replaced it. Lord Krsna, though protecting his surrendered devotee, decided that for their sinful behaviour the Kurus would be inevitably killed at the Battle of Kuruksetra and all of their wives would too loosen their hair in public, but this time as widows.

When the Pandavas were exiled to the forest for twelve years after a second gambling match, the Kurus made a clause, that after the completion of twelve years the Pandavas had then to spend one year incognito, thus making thirteen years all told. If, during the final year the Pandavas's whereabouts were discovered, they again had to spend another twelve years in the forest.

Because the Pandavas were concerned how to feed the 'brahmanas' who accompanied them to the forest, Srimati Draupadi Devi was given a pot by the sun god called by Aksayapatra. This pot would never be empty until Draupadi had taken her meal and turned the pot upside down. Then it would produce no more for that day. Once Draupadi had finished cooking and had just taken her meal when the Muni Durvasas arrived with many of his disciples. The angry sage Durvasas and his disciples had secretly been asked to go there by the Kauravas who knew that by this time Draupadi would have taken her meal, and if she was unable to offer them anything to eat, she would incur the wrath of Durvasa. Durvasas and his disciples went to the river to bathe and freshen up before taking their meal. Draupadi, full of anxiety, prayed to Lord Krsna to help her. Lord Sri Krsna then told Draupadi that if there was a morsel of food left He would be satisfied if that were offered by Draupadi, His pure devotee with love to Him. Seeing a fragment of spinach stuck to the side of the pot, Krsna asked for it, Draupadi offered it to Krsna, and simply by eating that morsel of foodstuffs, all of Durvasas' men and Durvasa himself became completely full and satisfied, and out of embarrassment slipped away and didn't come to demand a meal from Draupadi as the sinful Duryodhana had arranged for them to do.

Candana Yatra:

Candana yatra starts on the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Vaisakha month, May 12th, and continues for twenty days. Lord Jagannatha gave direct instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time. Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the best of ointments is sandalwood paste. Since the month of Vaisakha is very hot in India, the cooling effect of the sandalwood is very pleasing to the Body of the Lord.

Sandalwood paste is applied all over the body of Jagannatha leaving only his two eyes visible. The utsava murtis (functional Deities - Vijay utsav) are taken on procession and are placed in a boat in the temple pond. To commemorate this festival, Lord Caitanya also carried out water sports with his devotees.

A few years back HH Jaypataka Swami wrote on Candan Yatra as follows:

"In Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir the devotees were observing the charming and beautiful Chandan Yatra festival at ISKCON Sri Mayapur. Every day hundreds of devotees spent some time making sandalwood paste by grinding the wood on a stone grinder. This sandalwood paste is applied to the bodies of Lord Madhava and Narasimhadeva. Jala-dana festival was also going on---dripping water on the Shaligram Sila and Tulasi. In the afternoons the original Deities of Sri Sri Radha Madhava were taken to Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi lake and a beautiful boat festival was observed. The boat was decorated like a silver swan with a temple on it. After the boat pastimes the Sri Sri Radha Madhava were places in a flower house and swung in Jhulan style with devotees chanting and dancing before them. Like this every day of Candan Yatra is a colorful festival filled with life and joy."