"...you don’t go about trying to observe the cosmos because you don’t have a gallery view of the Cosmos – you cannot. There’s no place where you can sit and observe cosmos. And in fact you cannot observe anything except what happens within you. Even if you take a telescope and look at the star, the star is happening only the way it projects in your mind, isn’t it?* Yes? You don’t see any star. This is the reason why you see stars which don’t actually exist. Many stars that you see don’t exist but they’re projected in your mind in a certain way and that’s how you know it. Or in other words you only can experience this [referring to oneself], or this is the only doorway through which you can experience anything."
"In the yogic astronomy, we divide the orbit of the Earth around the Sun into 27 segments, called nakshatras. . . .Each nakshatra corresponds to one half of the lunar orbit around the Earth. The cycles within the human body respond and correspond to that."
Sri Jaggi Vasudev, Kali Yuga When Did it End?
To understand the 27 nakshatras I first needed to study the original 28 system
There is plenty of information on internet and in books about the lunar mansions so I'm assuming you already have a basic understanding, although I am focusing on the nakshatras from the "Vedic" Astrology system. There is general agreement that the older system included Abhijit so there were 28 rather than 27 nakshatras (for example, see this discussion). The 27 nakshatra system is the current one in use, which I use also, but I look to the 28 lunar constellation systems to understand original meanings for them. This older list including Abhijit begins with Krittika (for example see Bhatta, Bhaskara Misra's commentary on an ancient piece of scripture or illuminated writing, the Taittiriya Brahmana Book 1, Chapter 5 and this open access paper that refers to this list here). Krittika and Abhijit happen to fit on the bottom and top of the sushumna nadi and all the nakshatras refer to access points along the energy channel (nadi or meridian) relative to the most sacred process known to humanity. This has profound significance for a number of disciplines not only astrology but acupuncture and archeology too! And beyond that it illuminates our essential truth as spiritual beings in a human experience and what the journey of life is all about!
It is so important that we begin to look inside ourselves using our mental powers - get meditating, start praying - and discover this entire world that exists within us. This is the secret of evolution on all levels of being spirit-mind-body. The more spiritually evolved we can become the less likely we are to destroy our bodies, blow each other up and ruin our home planet Earth. These ancient sciences were religion and science joined together and there is a reason they were joined together...but back to the nakshatras...
Years ago I began my investigations into the nakshatras' linkages to the chakras when I learned that in China the Governor General Vessel / Dumai Meridian (same as the Sushumna Nadi in India), has twenty-eight points that are associated with twenty-eight lunar mansions. The two systems obviously shared a common template in the distant past. I've also found similar ideas from remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization as decoded by Carl Johan Calleman and others. There is also an entire unifying cosmology built into the most basic and observable geographic and mathematical principles as unearthed by John Mitchell and Michael Schneider. Their evidence suggests that not only some of the huge calendar pyramids but entire civilizations were based on these!
The Chinese, Indian and Mayan systems are tied into different geographies and philosophies but where they are the same is in the actual experience of the points that is implied, and that is universal - beyond differences of beliefs, time and space. When I lined up the three systems to the acupuncture "map" Krittika became the first one and Abhijit needed to be included for it to make sense. This alignment worked for all three systems and is also tied to the approximate date of the beginning of Kali Yuga, cir. 3,100 B.C.**
For me it's important to remember that acupuncture, like any ancient healing system, is a derivative of a sacred science that deals with the consciousness transformation of the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. The same is true of astrology. When it is used for making predictions it is derivative, but when it is used as a tool for spiritual awakening, it begins to flower in its greater function as "the eyes of the vedas" - unveiling what the scriptures are about in the human part of the journey of enlightenment to higher states of consciousness. Anything to do with divination and the healing arts, I have found, relates to more superficial understanding (or complete misunderstanding) of the Enlightened teachings - sadly a great void in New Age esoterica, because (in my experience) people don't value or appreciate the viewpoint of enlightened masters, those who have completed the full journey to moksha. Also humanity today lives in a degraded collective consciousness - we have lost that Satya Yuga perspective, living in gross physical consciousness only, with barely a glimmer of what vast universes lie within our energy being streaming out of Pure Consciousness.
As Sri Yukteswar hinted in his Holy Science, the study of astrology is based on that. The mythology and etymology of the nakshatras hint at deeper meanings relating to the chakras within us and our connection to the cosmos that we also experience within us. All of this is expressed through the poetry of Gods (and Godesses) interacting within us as our own tendencies and energies. The Rig Veda is a source for many of the deities associated with the nakshatras, and Sri Aurobindo studied it in detail as a work of poetry with many esoteric secrets that would be understood by self-realized souls:
"For as the Gods have built the series of the cosmic worlds, even so they labour to build up the same series of ordered states and ascending degrees in man's consciousness from the mortal condition to the crowning immortality. They raise him from the limited material state of being in which our lowest manhood dwells contented and subject to the Lords of Division, give him a life rich and abundant with the many and rapid shocks and impulsions from the dynamic worlds of Life and Desire where the Gods battle with the demons and raise him yet higher from those troubled rapidities and intensities into the steadfast purity and clarity of the high mental existence. For pure thought and feeling are man's sky, his heaven; this whole vitalistic existence of emotion, passions, affections of which desire is the pivot, forms for him a mid-world; body and material living are his earth."
Moksha, which is the highest aspiration one can have in the human experience, includes within it the other three goals of life given in Vedic Astrology - Dharma, Artha and Kama - but without the attachment to any of them.
Hidden in plain sight
One can study coordinates, numbers, scripture and all kinds of teachings but I believe there is more direct way to know them and the surest way of all. If you meditate and know how to identify your brow chakra, the centre of your mind, you may feel some kind of sensation (heat, tingling, tickling...) at various points on your head. These are points where subtle energy channels (nadis/meridians) and vortexes (chakras) converge with the nervous system of the physical body. The Chinese have preserved this knowledge in the acupuncture system of Traditional Chinese Medicine but it is the Taoist neidan (inner alchemy) teachings that Grandmaster Mantak Chia is sharing that reveals its deeper meaning.
Vedic astrology is also tied to a healing system (Ayurveda) and a consciousness transformation system (Yoga).
In particular there is a lot of information in Kriya Yoga, Integral Yoga, Laya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga - and probably others.
The foundation of my studies is my own personal experience and the guidance of my Teacher, Satguru Sri Vasudeva of Blue Star, Trinidad, then other Teachers and ordinary teachers also. Wisdom can shine through anybody.
A bit of theory
|Our nadis / meridians and chakra points|
The moon is only a reflection of the sun so metaphorically mind is not the goal but a means to the (spiritual) goal. To understand the spiritual function of these points and meridians related to mind/nakshatras, one needs to know about how consciousness transformation works through an authentic spiritual practice. When the creators of astrology incorporated the moon stars and constellations into their system, they knew it would be used for all kinds of things, hence the confusion today.
Seeing the link between nakshatras and chakras, it now makes sense to me why I feel vibrationally more connected to people and situations and timings that share the nakshatras I have in my natal chart. That vibration is coming from my own chakras and nadis. Not everyone understands the terminology but everyone knows the feeling of being more comfortable in some places or with some people than with others. The natal chart explains why. Sometimes the same nakshatras trigger an intense reaction in me (positive or negative). The principle is the same. It is not the "sun sign" that we need to study but the nakshatra sign. No wonder this is why in the Indian system nakshatras are used to gage compatibility and timings.
When I learned how acupuncture was a kind of map and then later discovered some of the lesser known teachings about important minor chakra points like the Brahmarandhra Chakra, (which is the most important one to know to really understand the nakshatras) I was amazed at how much sense it made. One of the things that impressed me the most was that the acupuncture map showed how spiritual awakening at the throat chakra is connected to artistic expression. This is not common knowledge, but something I experienced during a very intense Kundalini awakening at the throat. I discovered that this is linked most powerfully with Chitra Nakshatra. If you have been trying to figure out the mysterious meanings of these nakshatras then you can read about some of my discoveries in the links (Table of Contents) and you will see how obvious are the connections to these vortex points within us. Especially the names of the nakshatras and the myths associated with them become startling evidence that the creators of the nakshatra system knew these connections. Sometimes the link is not so obvious and then we need to look at how things were changed over eons of interpretation.
There was a time when we were closer to the earth, when we looked up at trillions of stars each night, and we were more psychically and biorhythmically linked to all of life. There is physical evidence of paleoastronomy from 17,000 years ago, and neolithic acupuncture from 5,000 years ago so our ancestors were not nearly as stupid as mainstream science would have us believe. If you believe in the yugas, you will know that we have fallen from more enlightened times when such an esoteric view of astrology would have felt natural. In fact astrology was probably not needed until we lost touch with our spiritual selves. That day of reconnecting will come again, MUST come again, and is actually arriving as more of us experience the reality of the subtler worlds for ourselves as our normal state of being. This is no longer privileged knowledge but something we need to get in touch with because our survival depends on it.
An invitation to explore moon's orbit of the sushumna axis
Now that there is more openness to talking openly about our soul anatomy, more information than ever is out there for all with access to internet. There is a growing interest in fusing all these ancient teachings together to find a common ground and that is a good thing because our differences will only be appreciated when we understand what makes us so much the same. More importantly there are more of us who follow a spiritual practice, such as meditation, where these insights arise spontaneously.
I begin with an exploration of the nakshatras because that is the system with which I am most familiar. I am totally indebted to the many teachers who have popularized this knowledge and continue to make it available to the masses in the West - David Frawley, Dennis Harness, Ernst Wilhelm, Vic Dicara, Kapiel Raaj, Prash Trivedi...to name a few. I am guided by an authentic spiritual teacher about the basics, and although he doesn't care to explore this area of mind and map it all out (his purpose in my life is to help me transcend mind), I am grateful for his being a compass for my use of the map. His name is Sri Vasudeva of the Blue Star organization and about mind he has said on the spiritual journey, "We can use a thorn to remove the thorn".
The purpose of this website is to invite collaborative investigation into the deeper meanings of the nakshatras and, if there is interest, into other lunar mansion systems as well. I invite you to join me in researching how these subtle minor chakras and kshetram, marma points and linga might relate to the nakshatras / lunar mansions to decode them plainly. I am developing this in in the spirit of wikipedia, as a collaboration, so check in periodically to see changes in the posts.
Please feel free to comment or join our Facebook community page to share and discuss our research about this exciting topic. If you have a lot to share, why not submit an article? See my "Guest Article" page (sidebar).
*The physical eye sees star light travelling towards us from stars, many of which died billions of years ago. Sadguru is saying the senses fool us. The mind is the interpreter of the senses and this experience of an external cosmos is happening inside us.
**3,115 B.C. for the Mayan system, beginning of the 6th wave that just ended on October 28, 2011, according to Carl Johan Calleman's theory - link; see also David Frawley's article (link)