The Bliss of Bhaga
Susan Shumpsky, Exploring Chakras: Awaken Your Untapped Energy (who has shared a lot of insights into Laya Yoga) gives a wonderful description of hridaya chakra here. I am convinced that GV8-Magha is the ego identified as Narayana/Purusha/Atman sitting on the bejeweled throne beneath the wishfulfilling tree (kalapurusha/chintamani) associated with the hridaya chakra. As Shumpsky writes, the 8-petalled hridaya chakra is actually a part of the anahata chakra and this makes a lot of sense to me.
Magha G8, the "throne" of ego at the base of the brahma-nadi (the Self in contracted consciousness thinking it is "me" in separation). GV8 is like the root of that innermost part of us that is associated with the causal body, as Paramahansa Yogananda explains with diagrams in his commentary on Bhagavad Gita. The causal body is where we store our ego patterns, but also where we are closest to our Higher Self - that God-Consciousness. It begins to be felt here. This is also where we have maximum power, hence the 8 petals of hridaya/hrit chakra are associated with magical powers called siddhis. These are our co-creative powers to manifest anything we desire. The entire world is a wish-fulling tree because it's all a dream, an illusion (Maya) in manifestation. Just as we can manifest anything in ordinary dreams, so too in this world. The causal body holds many treasures here, also a lot of things to derail us on the path to total enlightenment.
When I read Sri Aurobindo's commentary on the meaning of Bhaga (the deity associated with Purva Phalguni) in the Rig Veda, I immediately associate this with the spiritual experience of a deeply and powerfully open heart chakra - where the love of the Divine is felt like a burning fire. When Kundalini pierces this chakra at this depth, this is the experience. I can personally attest to this. It has been described as the love of a thousand mothers - more love than you can imagine. St. Teresa of Avila wrote about this in her mystical autobiography and the sculptor Bernini interpreted it as a kind of orgasmic experience.
From personal experience I know this to be a much greater and more profound spiritual experience than even the best orgasm (the realm of the orgasm is much lower down at Mrigasira GV3). At the level of the heart chakra it brings you into contact with the Divine as pure love, pure unconditional, burning love - emphasis on the BURNING. This is where the Divine is experienced as the Supreme soulmate:
And I would add "my Lover" - there is nothing that God cannot be. At the heart when we experience this depth of love, the religious part of us awakens profoundly and we want nothing else but to express and receive that love continuously. This to me is Bhaga - Purva Phalguni's consciousness - that blissful, burning spiritual experience (kryia) in the depths of the heart chakra.
This bliss of Bhaga consciousness gives generative power (प्रजनन prajanana shakti). The astrologers like Bernini, liken this to orgasm, the pleasures of the marriage couch - but this is a downgrading of the real meaning, the deeper meaning of this nakshatra. At the heart chakra as it opens up to crown consciousness (because at this depth of the causal level via brahmanadi we are touching the Divine - and this is the path of bhakti yoga) - and we begin to connect with the Infinite, that brings an expansive feeling. The energy of love is expansive. In The Serpent Power, it is written (and Sri Vasudeva has confirmed this) that once the heart is open we are able to enter the energy field of another. We develop the power to give and receive healing energies, uplifting energies. Someone with a powerfully awakened heart chakra can walk into a room and immediately light up the whole space with just this one chakra. Since all the nakshatras have something to do with the process of enlightenment, I am inclined to believe that Purvaphalguni's association with the joy that comes from sex in marriage and from financial wealth is a degraded interpretation of what was originally intended to express the bliss of spiritual experience at the heart chakra and the wealth of spiritual knowledge of Truth that comes with it.
Sri Aurobindo writes that in Rig Veda Bhaga is Ananda (here used as an all-encompassing word for that bliss that comes from spiritual experiences):
"Bhaga represents Ananda as the creative enjoyment; he takes the delight of the creation, takes the delight of all that is created."
Joy is certainly a heart chakra quality - ananda is the rapture of the enlightened, self-realized - heart bursting out of your chest joy. Remember that the Moon is Soma, and this means to me prana in the form of divine elixir - beginning with bodily fluids in the sacral chakra, but refined as subtle energy in the subtle body water element (tanmatra) and further refined as Kundalini purifies this, our experience of Self, all the way up to the centre of the head to the purest Ananda.
Some religions only speak of the heart but we are not stuck with the linear model, the Supreme can be accessed through all the chakras. I am still learning about this from Sri Vasudeva.
If you have ever experienced an awakening at the heart chakra, or even falling in love because in meditation we can experience falling in love with love itself - this is a heart chakra opening. It is a stage in Ananda (not the final moksha one but it is a beautiful stage). When your heart is overflowing with love what do you want to do? You want to stand on the mountain and shout it to everyone. You want to share it with the world. This is the "born again" experience that brings people into religious study and the beginning stages of bhakti (that which flowers in Anuradha higher up the sushumna). Thus "sharing" is part of the meaning of the word bhaga "joy":
""Bhaga", enjoyment, and "bhaga", share, were for the Vedic mind not different words, but one word which had developed two different uses," Sri Aurobindo, The Secret..., loc. 916 [link]In context of the Rig Veda, Bhaga is invoked in the context of a hymn praising the Sun as an emanation of God's creative forces. The Sun in the Rig Veda is called Savitri, and Sri Aurobindo writes that it is associated with Aryaman - "Aryaman represents the light of the divine consciousness working as Force". Aryaman is the deity for Uttara Phalguni. Interestly Bhaga भग also means Uttaraphalguni nakshatra! And Sri Aurobindo writes that they are inseparable. It is that feeling of oneness with the Divine - that moment of divine union that is experienced with a really fantastic heart opening experience. All compassion, all harmony with all of life streams from there in the form of love - love prana.
I think this might have something to do with Bhaga's shakti being associated with procreation:
"When in us each creation of the active Ananda, the prajavat subhagam, comes thus out of the unmanifest, received and heard rightly of the knowledge in the faultless rhythm of things, then is our creation that of Bhaga Savitri, and all the births of that creation, our children, our offspring, praja, apatyam, are things of the delight, visva vamani. This is the accomplishment of Bhaga in man, his full portion of the world-sacrifice."
Sri Aurobindo, The Secret..., loc. 4765-6[link]What kind of "procreation" is this? I believe that Rohini has more to do with sexual procreation. Here we have arrived at the heart chakra system. The heart chakra is primarily the vehicle for receiving and transmitting the spiritual emotions - love, compassion, forgiveness, all those things that in bhakti("devotion") center us in our divine consciousness and allow us to tap into the creative life forces of the Divine. All kinds of "procreation" comes from this opening of the heart chakra - more loving being, the ability to heal, the ability to empower your intention to co-create with the Universe with the wings of love. If you have seen the film The Secret, they say in it this is a feeling universe. It is not enough to be intellectual but to love with all your heart. As you give so shall you receive. This, I believe is the real message of Bhaga and the original meaning of Purvaphalguni.
आनन्दकन्द Ananda kanda "root of bliss" is another name for this 8-petalled chakra associated with anahata chakra. The yoni and lingam triangles associated with anahata are the female (shakti) and male (shiva) principles in unity. No wonder that Phalguni is associated with marriage - but it is the divine marriage of consciousness and energy, the union of higher and lower self, of spirit and manifestation that is IMHO meant by it, not ordinary sexual union. And it is when we are in alignment with spiritual principles that our co-creative power to manifest anything we want comes into play - hence the association with the wish-fulfilling tree - that is the entire universe.
Relationship to Magha?
Jupiter's birth star is in Purvaphalguni, linking it to Brihaspati and Magha. Bhaga and Magha sound similar. They are connected. All three are connected. Magha (the consciousness of Swaha loka, realm of the ancestors - Pitris), Bhaga (the bliss of divine union in Purvaphalguni) and Aryaman the divine friend consciousness of Uttara Phalguni - are a triad. This is explained more in my post on GV10 UttaraPhalguni. Bhaga is the beginning IMHO of भक्ति bhakti "worship" - the way of the heart. Here we get a glimpse of the crown experience where Shakti (Higher Self manifesting as Kundalini the Power of God in a human experience) becomes one with Shiva (Higher Self as Supreme Consciousness - Cosmic Consciousness).
I think that all these associations of PurvaPhalguni with being lazy swinging on a hammock are just a degraded form of what originally would have meant the ecstasy of being overwhelmed by Divine Love, that burning love that is implied with PurvaPhalguni's association with Agni. हृद्दाह hrddaha (root in hrdyada) means"heart burning". No it is not heartburn (acid indigestion) but that's interesting that this experience happens in the same general region. I will never forget this experience when it happened to me. After this profound kryia, I immediately understood what was meant by the religious icons of Jesus's flaming heart.