GV13 陶道 (táo dào) & 箕 Ji; स्वाति Swati; سَعْدُ ﭐلْبُلْعَ \ أَلْبُلْعَ Sa‘du ʾl-Bul‘a / ʾAl-Bul‘a; B'en

Put away from thee all denials of expression and with thy steeds of the yoking, with Indra for thy charioteer come, O Vayu, in thy car of happy light to the drinking of the Soma wine.  
Rig Veda ch8v2 in Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda
ch.VIII "Vayu, the Master of the Life Energies"

With Swati we are definitely in the throat chakra, now.*  This is the nakshatra chakra dealing with the throat chakra.  The wind god Vayu suggests it strongly and his power to scatter like the wind (pradhvamsa shakti). What I found more interesting is Swati's association with the Chatak bird (Pied Crested Cuckoo) and how this relates to kechari mudra and the dripping of amrita in the back of the throat.

Chatak bird (Pied Crested Cuckoo)

Swati is in the Hindu calendar system the month of October, in India a monsoon season when the Chatak bird refuses all sources of water except the pure rain that drops like pearls from the Moon (Soma) or the star Arcturis (Swati's star in the Indian tradition).  This story is often used as an allegory in various ancient texts and poems for the discriminating seeker who only seeks the pleasure of the Divine, abandoning the pleasures below (of the body or material world).

"This bird is often quoted by saints as an example of an ideal spiritual seeker who ignores all things worldly and quenches its thirst by drinking directly from the heavens above.
 I think Sri Ramakrishna is one of those saints.

The स्वा swa in swati is an adjective meaning "of self".  According to Sri Vasudeva's teachings, in this last stage of the throat chakra the one in meditation, the seeker, begins to turn away from outward expressions of the Divine and begins to focus inward, seeking the inner ecstasy that comes from expansion of the "I".  A Swati native is the one to drink the first drop of the ocean of bliss, the ocean of Satchitananda.  This comes in a grosser form, as amrita, which refines more and more into the samadhi or soma experience at GV18 (Purvashadha) although the supreme Ananda of the supreme Bindu comes only once the Kundalini has pierced the Bramarandhra chakra, the Guru Chakra and entered into the transcendent space of Sahasrara.

These things are worth contemplating as to Swati's intrinsic meaning.

More about Vayu

Vayu is the deity of the subtle element air, that which we breathe in through the nostrils yet carries prana into the body along the ida and pingala nadis in the form of prana (incoming) and apana (outgoing) life force energy to keep our body nourished and alive.

Vayu is the Lord of Life. By the ancient Mystics life was considered to be a great force pervading all material existence and the condition of all its activities. It is this idea that was formulated later on in the conception of the Prana, the universal breath of life. All the vital and nervous activities of the human being fall within the definition of Prana, and belong to the domain of Vayu. 
Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p.309
From a yogic practice perspective this is all about the practice of pranayama, the conscious management of breathing for total wellbeing body-mind-spirit.  Since the pradhvamsa shakti associated with Vayu for Swati nakshatra is the power to scatter like the wind, it begs the question: What is being scattered?  What is carried in the element air?

The gross physical air we breath is of course oxygen but it also comes with moisture, water in the air, humidity and from this becoming more subtle one may deduce the idea of Soma from that subtle nectar originating in the bliss of Ananda in the crown chakra.  Also Swati has an association with the kidneys and the apana could have something to do with urination, a minor point but interesting.  Sri Aurobindo in his commentary on Rig Veda links Vayu with (among other things) vatapramiyah (p.308).

More importantly for the practicing mystic/yogi, air carries with it life force energy - prana, chi, qi. That is what nourishes the soul AND the physical body.  That is what gets scattered in the wind - both in-coming and out-going.  And when we speak, our voice carries a kind of power, a kind of prana called shakti carried by the sound riding on the wave of the breath.

I am also wondering whether स्वाति Swati has any relationship to the goddess of music सरस्वती Saraswati.  Saraswati is also a nadi running down the front of the body connected to one of the petals of the root chakra.

What is more important than kechari mudra in a daily yogic practice is pranayama for cleansing the body at the level of the nadis, and moving prana through the chakras to assist in their unfolding - because we can work on spiritual consciousness development from the outside in as well as the inside out.  And because Swati as GV13 is associated with the throat chakra being linked with the heart chakra (anahata controls the element air, Vayu) it is important for the seeker to express things we communicate through the throat (speech, writing, singing) coming from a space of love.  These things are suggested by the spiritual dimension of Swati.

GV13 陶道 (táo dào)



Chinese Lunar General 箕 Ji

GV13 箕 Ji "Winnowing-basket /A Sieve" [Swati]

The Chinese lunar constellation Ji is situated under the tail of the Azure Dragon and is symbolized by a basket "in order to collect its precious dung!"  (Derek Walters), a similar idea of gathering precious drops from a cosmic space.


[needs more research]

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*A curious link is associated Swati's alternative name निष्ट्या Niṣṭyā where in an ancient text (a Tamil hymn Narayana Suktam - Locus of the Soul) adho niṣṭyā is taken to mean 'below the Adam's Apple'" (see link).

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