GV16 Jyestha

Jyestha as Alakshmi

Jyestha comes with her umbrella and earring in the story of Samudra Manthan, where she is called the "eldest" because she comes associated with the poison halahala before Lakshmi who comes with the amrita - so she is an opposite to Lakshmi, or the dark side of Lakshmi.  Lakshmi after all being Vishnu's shakti, comes with heart chakra energy.  Jyestha is the dark side of the heart - associated with things like jealously and unforgiveness.  But let's look deeper...

Jyestha has some obvious associations with Scorpio, as a deity who only belongs underground with unclean things.  Here in a Purana scripture [link] it says she is welcome in unsavoury places:

She would enter all such places which are inauspicious and full of disrepute. . . .the houses where the husband and wife are at logger heads . . . . where people are indulged in sinful activities and the cruel people having no cooperation among themselves… where the damsels never keep secrets and destroy the domestic felicity….the place, full of thorny trees and winding creepers. . . .she can enter the house….of the person whose household deity is Kali Dakini in the form of a ghost or a ksetrapala - guardian of a centre...
...and places where people keep poor hygene, eat forbidden foods, have dirty houses, are fools, drunkards, gamblers, gossips…adulterers etc - you get the idea.

Well I say somebody has to go to these places!  There are professions who deal with people like this. I think in some of these old scriptures Jyestha is a kind of talisman against evil.  One of her symbols is a talisman.  She protects with her "umbrella" the chatra known in Ayurveda as a symbol for sahasrara.  So she can't be all bad.  Somebody has to do dirty work like this, and that is Jyestha energy.*

Jyestha's consciousness and energy

Now here's what I think.  Jyestha is "the eldest, most excellent" precisely because of its location where the physical and astral forces of the soul in the human body reach their high point.  There is no true mastery yet, until the ego is liberated from the pull of mind and body, however there is great potential at this stage to attain enlightenment.  I read somewhere that originally the nakshatras ended with Jyestha, when there were only eighteen of them (source unknown).  On the cosmological wheel (see my post here) which is also the wheel in the night sky including all twenty-eight constellations, Jyestha is directly opposite Rohini.  I think that Jyestha, as the story of Chandra goes, is jealous of Rohini more for metaphysical reasons - because he must give up the procreative powers that he enjoyed so much when he was in that early stage of Rohini, if he is to advance further spiritually.

The consciousness of Jyestha is represented by his deity Indra, chief of the gods.  The name Indra, according to Yogananda in his commentary about the Gita, is part of indryia - and Indra represents our ability to control the senses.  Indryias are the subtle powers behind the physical senses - they have more to do with our astral senses - but without them we could not be able to use the physical senses. In Ernst Wilhelm's translation of Taittiria Brahmana of Jyestha it reads:

The red growing (rohinī) of indra (The Conqueror) is attacking [sṛṇat] from above and attacking in return [pratiṣṛṇat] from below. 
What's going on here?

Sri Aurobindo wrote somewhere (sorry I forgot where) that Indra represents the divine mind (and this corresponds with what Yogananda wrote), that highest of mental faculties that we humans with our neocortex have in capacity (if only we would use it for self-evolution).  Indra kills Vrita the serpent who brings drought.  That is to me a metaphor for the spiritual drought that comes when the spiritual aspirant allows their mind to fluctuate, being influenced by lower self and its attachment to gross things.

So all of these things kind of lift Jyestha above the one who goes into rat infested places and stuff like that.  Of course there is a deeper meaning behind this energy...

Jyestha and the seeker

I believe that with Jyestha, we have now arrived at the beginning of Rudra granthis - the knot to detach ego from its three attachments to false identity with lower self.  These are "I am" "I know" and "I own".

According to Nei Jing Tu (Nei Dan practice) this area contains the pineal gland.  We are entering the domain of the brow chakra.  Jyestha is at the doorway coming up the spine and entering back into that astral realm through the Talu chakra, the posterior point of the Medulla (opposite GV28 the anterior point that we enter when we reincarnate into a new body).  I have pieced this together based on my study of Paramahansa Yogananda's assertion that the soul enters the body at conception or birth (depending on what it needs to learn) through the medulla, and other sources from Laya Yoga etc.  In all the lunar constellation systems I have been researching this is an important point, as it marks a new stage in the life of the spiritual seeker of enlightenment.

This is what Yogananda (Kryia Yoga) has to say about the Medulla Obongata:

This structure at the base of the brain (top of the spinal cord) is the principal point of entry of life force (prana) into the body. It is the seat of the sixth cerebrospinal center, whose function is to receive and direct the incoming flow of cosmic energy.  The life force is stored in the seventh center (sahasrara) in the topmost part of the brain. From that reservoir it is distributed throughout the body. The subtle center at the medulla is the main switch that controls the entrance, storage, and distribution of the life force.

GV16 風府 (fēng fǔ)

Location:  Here the acupuncture needle points to the medulla (talu chakra anterior) where the cerebrospinal "pole" of the sushumna meets the "umbrella" of the brain".

Note the proximity to the part of the ear that would hold an earring.  Interestingly, arohana, the shakti associated with Jyestha's deity Indra, also refers to the ascending musical scale of notes in a raga.  With the point at the ascending side of medulla we have the idea of the mind entering into the domain of the brow chakra, and with the symbol of the ear we have a possible link to music as well.

The Medulla Oblongata

Is this Jyestha? 

Chinese Lunar Mansion  房 Fang

GV16 房 Fang "A Room or House" [Jyestha]
I like how the artist has depicted the proud, aloof ego of Jyestha.  This is exactly how I feel about this nakshatra.  I think he is like the magician tarot card - having attained mastery of the elements, he is the alchemist and advisor to king ego.

Fang xiu is, like all the lunar constellation personalities, associated with an animal.  This one is the rabbit or hare.  This what the rabbit represents:

The servant of a genie who pounds the remedies of the elixir of life in a mortar and pestle. A symbol of longevity. Strongly social. Reserved and withdrawn away from people, but independent within groups. Humble, submissive, will avoid confrontation. Happiest with friends, loves a good conversation, reading and literary pursuits. Remarkably brave when faced with danger. Excellent judge of character. Able to see deeply into people. Often gifted healers, both emotionally and physically. Astrologically brings wealth and prosperity. Happiness, longevity and honour.

There is an interesting study of Alakshmi here.