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Nakshatra means Star?

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The biophysical systems on the Earth subtly connect to the larger cosmos. Vedic Jyotish, the science of influences from space, explains this idea with the help of a few corollaries. Per the first corollary, any influence from the cosmos is directional. Secondly, any cosmic force needs a localized channel. Without a medium, no cosmic vibration can impact our planet. Thirdly, objects in our solar system are efficient channels. They are Grahas because of their ability to draw and direct influences. The moon is the most efficient among these Grahas because of its rapid transit in the sky through different directions. The Bhagavad Gita refers to the dynamism of the moon in verse with the phrase “ṇakṣhatrānnāṁ shashī” ( Nakshatranam Shashi ). But first, let us see a few examples.

Nakshatranam Shashi – Moon activates cosmic vibrations by its presence

Gold under the Earth remains worthless until someone discovers it. Gold is a currency after coming out of a gold mine. Similarly, we become aware of our hidden talents once someone points them out. A coach, a guide, or a teacher teaches us how to use our abilities.

Similarly, Scientists distinguish between two aspects of energy, namely, the Potential and the Kinetic. Water locked up in a Dam has a high Potential-energy. This water gushes out when the dikes open. Its kinetic energy can drive large turbines to generate electricity for towns and cities. Let us now turn back again to the phrase “ṇakṣhatrānnāṁ shashī.”

Moon activates cosmic impulses

ādityānām ahaṁ viṣhṇur jyotiṣhāṁ ravir anśhumān

marīchir marutām asmi nakṣhatrāṇām ahaṁ śhaśhī

आदित्यानामहं विष्णुर्ज्योतिषां रविरंशुमान् |
मरीचिर्मरुतामस्मि नक्षत्राणामहं शशी || 21||

Those who do not understand the corollaries of Jyotish misunderstand the phrase (Chapter 10, verse 21), “Nakshatranam aham Shashi”. They interpret the term as “the moon dominates the brightness of the stars (Nakshatra).” This is flawed, especially considering the moon’s phases. Certainly, starlight dominates the night sky on new moon nights. The word Nakshatra is used colloquially to refer to stars. However, Nakshatra in Vedic texts refers to a directionally unique part of the sky. The moon’s presence in a Nakshatra enlivens the cosmic vibration from that segment of the sky. The same is true for other planets. Vedic astrologers say this differently. A house or a horoscope division without aspects from Grahas is boring to them.

The power of the full moon

The moon is at its strongest at its fullness. Therefore, Astronomer Rishis marked the names of lunar months by the Nakshatra in which a full moon occurs. The twelve months in the Panchang sound are named after Nakshatra names. Besides, the kinetic energy in certain Nakshatra regions of deep space is soothing to the psyche. One among them is the Shravana Nakshatra. This Nakshatra is associated with Vishnu. The month of Shravan is revered by the devout for worshipping Shiva.

Should we interpret the other phrases in the verse based on the logic for “Nakshatranam Shashi?”

Yes, perhaps. It brings more clarity about the meaning of the mantras. For example, let us take the phrase “Jyotisham Ravir Anshuman.”

Translators take the word Ravi generally refers to the Sun. However, Panini, the grammarian, shows “ru” (Praise or sound) as the root of the word “Ravi.” With this clue, we notice another meaning for the sentence phrase “Jyotisham Ravir Anshuman.” The phrase translates to “the praise-worthy Divine, responsible for the radiation in every bright object in the universe.”

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