Karma - action and consequence
Karma means action and its consequence - in the context that we are immortal beings carrying memories of our actions and their consequences from lifetime to lifetime. This analogy with the arrows suggests a hint as to the sequencing of Adra (as action) followed by Purnavasu (as consequence):
"In Vedantic literature, there is an analogy. The bowman has already sent an arrow and it has left his hands. He cannot recall it. He is about to shoot another arrow. The bundle of arrows in the quiver on his back is the sanchita; the arrow he has shot is prarabdha; and the arrow which he is about to shoot from his bow is agami. Of these, he has perfect control over the sanchita and the agami/Kriyamana, but he must surely work out his prarabdha. The past which has begun to take effect he has to experience."
Also if we look at the shaktis (powers) associated with Adra and Punarvasu, for Ardra we have यत्न = yatna (the shakti for Ardra) implying the effort you put into attaining something (action) and for Punarvas we have वसुत्व = vasutva (the shakti for Punarvasu) which means wealth/riches (not only money but wealth of all kinds including prana - and in a larger sense consequences of the effort). Just like the other nakshatras each having an obvious purna and and an uttara, a before and after pairing, we have more subtle pairings as well, like this one.
I can't get past the idea that Punarvasu, literally "Becoming Vasu Again" (vasu means the light of Higher Self, the light of our true divinity) - and it's association with the arrow returning again, has something to do with being born again with amnesia in a new lifetime, as though we were pure being without any baggage (no sanchita karma in our causal chitta), yet in a way born with a blank slate, yet receiving in this lifetime the consequences (slings and arrows of outrageous fortune) of our actions of past lifetimes. If this is so, then Punarvasu is all about reaping the consequences of those past actions, all about accountability, and about resilience and acting in wiser way in this one. Resilience in particular seems to apply the most here.
Of course if you want to know all about dealing with karma, that's longer story. It is told in the epic Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna (Higher Self) is telling Arjuna (contracted self) how to fight the enemies within himself, that is actually the parabdha karma for Arjuna. In this story the arrow is a metaphor for the divine tools of power in the soul (intellect and all the chakras and the grace of awakening Kundalini and all those wonderful things Sri Vasudeva and other enlightened masters teach us to use with awareness). But the power of the gut, gut brain, vitality, all the gifts of the manipura - all the wealth in there - that the Eastern cultures value so much - the first Dantien power - utilizing the body in support of the soul - this gut power seems to be most pertinent to Punarvasu as its GV5 position where it sits in relationship to the manipura chakra.
Strength and the navel chakra
Punarvasu means "the two restorers of goods" / "becoming Vasu again". Vasu means a "ray of light", as in my teacher's name Vasudeva "the light that shines in all beings". It is the result of Adra (as yogi) taking back the sexual energy and bringing it to the navel chakra so the solar plexus can shine brighter. This is bringing up the udana-prana to the navel chakra where it becomes or adds to the radiance of the body (तेजस् tejas). The arrow symbol connects these two nakshatras in the mythology.
I think Punarvasu people must have strong navel chakra power. Having a lot of energy in the navel also brings rejuvenation. My Guru Sri Vasudeva is a great example of that. He's in his 60's yet has the body of a much younger man. He practices these yogic techniques and teaches them to others. In latter years he has been combining yogi, tai chi, qi gong and other things and explaining the subtle energetics involved. Once your Kundalini is awakened these things are even easier to do.
|Sri Vasudeva demonstrating one of the chi exercises (I think this one is from the 8 Brocade)|
The mythology related to Punarvasu and the next 2 nakshatras, Pushya and Ashlesha, all have something to do with the twelve Adityas, the powers of the Sun that became the Greek gods and the solar zodiac. Here we are clearly dealing with the vital power of the solar plexus, Manipura.
More clues in the nameThe name पुनर्वसु Punarvasu which means "restoring wealth", also symbolized by the boomerang idea of the arrows, suggests vitality that Rudra in Ardra nakshatra rescues from wasting in the sexual act, is being returned to the "quiver" - the storage of vitality where it is transmuted through the fire of manipura chakra. Agni the god of fire represents the fire element that is associated with Manipura, and in the Rig Veda, Sri Aurobindo writes that Agni is "sacrificial fire". This makes sense on a number of levels. When we do pranayama together with bandhas in hatha yoga practice, the prana is being locked and reclaimed in the manipura chakra. From the point of view of Taoist deidan, the lower manifestation of sexual energy as jing is purified in the cauldron of the first dantien and transformed into chi energy.
The word Punarvasu is a compound of पुनर् punar "reclaim" and रवस् ravas or रवस ravas "reverse", however ravas is also in the word रवसिति ravasiti meaning "to breathe". What is reclaimed through pranayama is the prana-in-the-breathe! There is also the word वसु vasu in there in reference to the eight elemental energies associated with vitality, the vasus, and suggesting a connection with Dhanistha nakshatra GV22, that is associated with all of them. In context of manipura chakra and transmutation and reclaiming the vitality, the most important vasu of the eight is Agni. This is the one Krishna identifies with in Bhagavad Gita ch.X v.23 - Pavaka "the god of fire, the purifying power" (Yogananda, p.784)
My research suggests that Dhanistha is the sound of aum in action way up in the upper regions of the brow chakra, and the cosmic parallel for that in the iconography of Shiva-Nataraja, Conscious in its blissful dance producing the vrittis of mind and the cosmic illusion of Maya. Another name for Dhanistha is Vasudeva (meaning, the spiritual light in all things) because all the vasus are there. What Punarvasu is doing is reclaiming some of that spiritual light (prana) back into the womb space*, the Aditi space, within us - where it empowers the subtle and gross bodies more. It brings more fire power to the navel chakra and more subtle light (tejas) for the aura to shine brighter. In a practical sense this boosts the immune system as well as the nervous system, helps with digestion, and supports the Kundalini to enable Her to travel further up to the higher chakras, and take us to greater self-empowerment.
*The deity for Punarvasu is Aditi, the cosmic mother of form, all that manifests in the gross dimension. This is fitting for an area in our subtle anatomy associated with the physical body and the physical dimension. Patanjali tells us that contemplation on the navel chakra brings illuminated knowledge of the subtle body. Aditi is like the cosmic womb, and with GV5 we are still in that area of the body.
The eight vasus might even be connected to the 8 petals of hirt/hrydaya chakra that we encounter in GV8, 9, and 10. This is all part of manipura's functioning as the body's vitality storage center. The gifts of working the manipura chakra in revitalizing the immune system, energy of the body, willpower of the body etc...are all treasures associated with manipura as "the city of jewels". The tail end of chitrini nadi, the jewelled energy channel, is said to end here (according to Yogananda).
If you have ever done bastrika or kapalabhati pranayama, you will know the fire power of the navel chakra and how important it is to cleanse the area from the subtle body. This is our core power center for the gross physical body, our vehicle on the spiritual journey, our chariot of light.
GV5 懸樞 (xuán shū)
|GV5 懸樞 (xuán shū)|
Chinese Lunar General 奎 Kui
|GV5 奎Kui "The Man Striding or the Striding Legs" [Punarvasu]|