Both names Ashwini and its older name in the Atharvaveda as asvayuj ("harnessing horses") have to do with horses, which in traditional Hindu iconography represents the mental powers that draw the chariot of Sun-Higher Self across the sky. They are twins and located near the nostrils, suggesting ida and pingala energy. This is actually confirmed by the research of an Ayurvedic authority and author of 20 books David Frawley writes: "Durgadas is one of the most important traditional scholars and teachers of both Veda and Tantra working in the world today, with his field of insight extending to Ayurveda and Jyotish," (link). And in particular, Ashwini Rahasya: The Yogic and Ayurvedic Secrets of the Ashwin Gods by Durgadas Rodney Lingham (2013-05-24). Here and elsewhere Lingham writes that the Ashwins relate to ida and pingala, specifically "to the yogic vayus or pranas - yogic breaths or wind such as the upana (upmoving), apana (down moving) and samana (cental, equalizing breath)". He references ancient sources such as Rig Veda and the Mahabharata. Sri Aurobindo also in his commentary on Rig Veda, The Secret of the Veda, writes that the Ashwins (among other things) "They are riders on the horse, the Ashwa, symbolic of force and especially of life-energy and nervous force, the Prana. . . . the Ashwins are twin divine powers whose special function is to perfect the nervous or vital being in man in the sense of action and enjoyment," (p.83)
In the reincarnation aspect of the GV story, this is probably a stage to do with selection of parents, a suitable body that has to "breathe" and so on. (I am not 100% sure yet.) The Ashwins also represent the powers of the Dawn, the birth of a new day and in the body, and (to my thinking) the settling of the prana in the stomach where they cook and begin to create life.
Hero twins feature prominently in creation mythologies around the world and usually refer to moon and sun (think ida-lunar and pingala-solar pranic channels). In worth myth the twin leitmotif is also associated with the beginnings of empire (such as Romulus and Remus). The androgenous soul has to enter a human body that has a gender. Gender is the domain of the sacral chakra. So this probably comes into play as well.
I think of Ashwini, Bharani and Krittika as three components of the root chakra - in keeping with the tripling of each chakra set in the whole Nakshatra system. It is no wonder then that the hatha yoga practice of tightening the anus in order to link with the root chakra is appropriately called Ashwini Mudra.
The consciousness of Ashwini is represented by the Ashwin twins, horses, who give the soul
the power to quickly reach things (shidhra vyapani shakti). Ida and Pingala are the lunar and solar nadis that circulate life force in the body, and pranayama helps use direct that force to any area of the body or in any chakra bringing healing and health of all kinds.
As the fetus is forming in the womb the soul may come around it, linking with the mother. I think this is the stage we are at with Ashwini, in context of reincarnation. IMHO the soul is now forming itself into the particular astral body that is appropriate to link to the physical body represented in Bharani.
Ram's Horns of AriesI've always wondered about the shape of the Ram's horns. They look a lot like the hypocampus in the animation below, a part of the brain associated with memory and other things. There is evidence that the Greeks associated it with the Ram and mythologized it (link). It is not a stretch to see how the zodiac sign Aries, the Ram, could have evolved from this - a reference to the brain....
GV27 兌端 (duì duān)
It is interesting that GV27 corresponds to a point used in Vypasana meditation (Buddhism): Anapana or anapanasati “respiration awareness/mindfulness of breath". Contemplating the in-out breath to still the mind is the first step of Vypassana (link). This actually works well with the notion that the Ashwin twins refer to Ida and Pingala, the two subtle breathing channels.
Chinese lunar manion 參 Shen
|GV27 參 Shen "Three stars / Ginseng" [Ashwini]|
Arabian Manazil أَلْطَّرْف \ أَلْطَّرْفَة ʾAṭ-Ṭarf /ʾAṭ-Ṭarfah
|أَلْطَّرْف \ أَلْطَّرْفَة ʾAṭ-Ṭarf /ʾAṭ-Ṭarfah|
To be continued