Why Do Nakshatras Come in 3's?

"The Godhead has built this universe in a complex system of worlds which we find both within us and without, subjectively cognised and objectively sensed. It is a rising tier of earths and heavens; it is a stream of diverse waters; it is a Light of seven rays, or of eight or nine or ten; it is a Hill of many plateaus. The seers often image it in a series of trios; there are three earths and three heavens. More, there is a triple world below, — Heaven, Earth and the intervening mid-region; a triple world between, the shining heavens of the Sun; a triple world above, the supreme and rapturous abodes of the Godhead."
Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, p.22 

In my hypothesis that the nakshatras represent minor chakras or parts of the main chakra system, I have assigned all 27 nakshtras as follows, based on my interpretation of spiritual evolution:

Chakra SystemEvolution↑
GV20 Abhijit/GV19 UttarashadamokshaGV20 Abhijit
GV21 Sravana, GV22 Dhanistha, GV23 Shatabhishabrow-crownGV17 Mula, GV18 Purvashada, GV19 Uttarashada
GV24 Purvabhadrapada, GV25 Uttarabhadrapada, GV26 RevatibrowGV14 Vishaka, GV15 Anuradha, GV16 Jyestha
throatGV11 Hasta, GV12 Chitra, GV13 Swati
heartGV8 Magha, GV9 Purvaphalguni, GV10 Uttaraphalguni
navelGV5 Punarvasu, GV6 Pushya, GV7 Ashlesha
sacralGV2 Rohini, GV3 Mrigasira, GV4 Ardra
GV27 Ashwini, GV28 BharanirootGV1 Krittika

You will note that in this I consider "brow" chakra as having two levels, an astral and causal level, so "brow" here means "astral" and "brow-crown" means causal since this is where I believe the soul penetrates its causal level of mind and maya and begins to connect with crown-chakra consciousness. Only GV20 Abhijit, which I believe is Druva, the pole star and Brahmarandhra chakra, is by itself. The pole star is in a symbolic sense stationary, unchanging (ignoring for the moment the phenomenon of precession - because today's pole star is Vega) - so it represents the point between transcendence of "I"/ego consciousness and the human experience.  It is Krishna's nakshatra,  “…of the lunar mansions [the twenty-seven nakshatras] I am Abhijit.” – Krishna speaking in Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 11, ch.16, v.27.  I think this means the consciousness of the avataur, the one who has selflessly limited their consciousness in a human experience out of compassion for the rest of us.

The throat, heart, naval and sacral do not have involutionary nakshatras in this model because in involution soul does not need to create a new physical body for itself each time it reincarnates.  Nature does that for us.

Pondering the meaning of the tripling of nakshatras

In Christopher Warnock's study of the Arabian mansions he mentions triples, groups of threes - and when I line up the Arabian mansions to correspond with the Indian ones on the Chinese GV template, their assignments make sense in terms of the chakra area represented.

Whenever something comes in threes the natural cycle of Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution comes to mind - ruled by the cosmic forces personified as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.
I am exploring how this plays out in a linear way throughout this website.  The most obvious one are the sacral chakra ones:  GV2 Rohini (procreative innocence), GV3 Mrigasira (sexual energy of Kundalini activating at this level as pleasure/lust), GV4 Ardra control of that lust - and I have written about that elsewhere.

But what about the lordships of the nakshatras?  These also come in threes.  Would they not also represent creation, sustenance and dissolution?  The answer is of course they do!  When I explore how the order of the Vimshottari sequence of Mahadasha lords* divides the 27-nakshatra system on the cosmological wheel I see this clearly through the nakshatras belonging to the Sun - because the Sun begins the system:

Creation cycle:   From GV1 Krittika to GV9 Purvaphalguni.  These appear to deal with the soul's engrossment with the sense-pulled mind, and issues to do with body-identification and one's individuality
Sustanance cycle:  From GV10 Uttaraphalguni to GV18 Purvashada.  These appear to deal with the  soul as it begins to feel its co-creative powers and use them for good or evil in a social context.
Dissolution cycle:   From GV19 Uttarashada to GV28 Bharani.  These appear to be all about involution and are likely related to the 9 underworlds of the Maya as Carl J. Calleman has discovered.

In spiritual evolution yoga speaks of three knots or granthis on the journey (in the Chinese system they are called dantiens).  These are related to Brahma (gross body identified consciousness related to the physical chakras); Vishnu (the opening of the heart and spiritual connection and the social or "we" consciousness that slowly and gradually begins to emerge); and Shiva (the dissolution of the "I" as an individual, and the surrendering of one's individual identity and power, becoming merged with the Higher Self of the Cosmos).

Exploring the triple nakshatras of each planet through the lens of Creation, Sustenance & Dissolution  


How does this idea of creation, sustenance and dissolution work from the perspective of nakshatra lordships?  Here I explore some of that, in order of the Vimshottari sequence of mahadasha lords but numbered according to the 9 waves identified in the Mayan system by Carl J. Calleman:

9. Nakshatras of the Sun

As the lord of the first nakshatra in Taurus, according to Kapiel Raj's analysis of Ketu (see below), the Sun is a karaka of the artha houses (2nd, 6th, and 10th).  I think of the 2nd house as the repertoire of the soul, what we bring into each lifetime stored in our causal body.  The 6th house then brings out the things that challenge us because these are patterns in our causal body (this is all from Sri Vasudeva's teachings) that are like seeds waiting to sprout and life's obstacles or "enemies" trigger them into sprouting, creating opportunities for us to detach from them so that we can learn from them and transmute them by using the intellect and intuition-transformed-into-wisdom to transmute them - which in plain English means changing out behaviour in a Self-ward direction, becoming more spiritual.  This is wise action.  This is what leads to moksha (the 12th is opposite the 6th - see Lada Duncheva's great explanation of that here).  And the 10th house represents our maximum "wealth" of the soul that is possible in GV20 Brahmaranadhra if we can surrender our selfish "I" and become identified with Higher Self, thus attaining the wishfulfilling tree in fullness, by becoming it.

Creation of the "I" in GV1 Krittika is for me most profoundly expressed in the story of Parvati's creation of Kartikeya, that is a form of Ganesha and the root chakra - the consciousness that "guards" Parvati while she is "bathing" in her coiled Kundalini sleep in the sacral chakra.  This is the consciousness of the gross level, the soul fully believing "I am the physical body" - and also being very warlike about it!

Sustenance of the "I" in GV10 Uttaraphalguni for me represents the beginnings of the soul's sense of social responsibility and the higher emotions in the heart chakra (maybe).  This is an interesting one that I've haven't explored fully yet.  In the Chinese equivalent lunar mansion this is the only female one.  Sri Vasudeva teaches that when our heart chakra awakens we begin to understand what love is - it's a subtle energy, and it expands our being.  He also teaches that this is the beginning of the desire for social connection.  It is in the heart that our Higher Self calls us powerfully to begin to merge into the collective "I" or "we" consciousness.  This is not the final journey but the beginning of it.

Dissolution of the "I" in GV19 Uttarashada.  Here the lordship is a bit of a misnomer because we are restricted in the Vimshottari system of lordships to the 27 nakshatra system, leaving out Abhijit. It is really in Abhijit where the "I" begins to dissolve and make the jump or shift into transcendental/"we" consciousness of the Higher Self - that cosmic "I" of the Universe.  However you do get an idea of it in Uttarashada which is all about "invincibility", that once one is identified with Higher Self in completeness (and it takes the power of grace to that so we only get there when we are deserving), once that identification begins to be made in Brahmarandhra (even here the journey is not over) we feel invincible - in full mastery of our astral powers, but it is only in the avataur that Brahmarandhra expresses the fully transcended "I".

8. Nakshatras of the Moon

All these chakras have a very tender quality to them, soft, receptive, mothering.

Creation in GV2 Rohini to me represents the innocence of the procreative power, perhaps that childlike aspect of Ganesha that Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi speaks about associated with the root chakra (see link) - Rohini is I am quite sure the Kanda chakra, that primordeal subtle/astral "egg" from which creation of new life begins in the gross physical world and out of which stream the 72,000 nadis (meaning all vibrations in our subtle body).

Sustenance in GV11 Hasta is to me in this context the soothing, creative touch of the hand through which the loving vibrations of anahata chakra stream, whether it is the comforting touch of our mother or the healing touch of the reiki practitioner.  There is a chakra in the hand also and hand reflexology shows us how the nadis end up in the hands.  Maybe this one has something to do with breastfeeding too (something to explore) or maybe more to do with the power of the touch.  Shaktipat from the Guru transmits through the touch.

Dissolution GV21 Sravana represents the AUM, that primordeal sound emanating from the crown chakra and from which all the other sounds - connected to every petal of the chakras through the passage of nadis/meridians flow and vibrate.  Shaktipat from the Guru transmits through the word also.  In the beginning, the Christian Bible says, was the Word of God.  And every prayer ends with the Amen, which is the Christian version of AUM.

7. Nakshatras of Mars

As the lord of the first nakshatra in Gemini, according to Kapiel Raj's analysis of Ketu (see below), Mars rules the Kama houses, and the first thing I notice about Mar's nakshatras is that these are all very sexy energies!  They seem to express the very alluring qualities of Kundalini energy that intoxicate the soul, pulling us ever inward towards divine union with Source - the Siva that is Higher Self.

Creation GV3 Mrigasira - Kundalini awakening in the sacral chakra as sexual energy, seductive and alluring in every way.

Sustenance GV12 Chitra - The jewel of genius as the soul is able to download insights from the akashic dimension.

Dissolution GV22 Dhanistha - I always picture Krishna playing his flute with this one.  [more on Dhanishtha later]

6. Nakshatras of Rahu

The energies that bind or restrict us or, in a positive way, anchor us - Rahu afterall has to do with materialization of things.  To be explored.....

Creation GV4 Ardra

Sustenance GV13 Swati

Dissolution GV23 Satabhisha

5. Nakshatras of Jupiter

As the lord of the first nakshatra in Cancer, according to Kapiel Raj's analysis of Ketu (see below), Jupiter rules the moksha houses.  To be explored.....

Creation GV5 Punarvasu

Sustenance GV14 Vishaka (aka Radha)

Dissolution GV24 Purvabhadrapada

4. Nakshatras of Saturn

These probably have to do with ritual, spiritual practices (sadhanna).

Creation GV6 Pushya

Sustenance GV15 Anuradha

Dissolution GV25 Uttarabhadrapada

3. Nakshatras of Mercury

What immediately jumps out to me about these, is that these nakshatras mark very specific "end points" in self-awareness.

Creation GV7 Ashlesha - soul clinging to its identification with the gross body.

Sustenance GV16 Jyestha - soul clinging to its identification with the astral (and maybe causal bodies).

Dissolution GV26 Revati - soul in mahasamadhi, totally merged in the void, totally anchored in a timelessness that is beyond "I"

2. Nakshatras of Ketu

Watch this video where astrologer Kapiel Raj shares his breakthrough discovery about Ketu ruling the dharma houses:

Creation GV8 Magha - the throne of the ego sits in the hrit chakra, heart of the anahata, heart of the soul in the causal body.  There is so much more to this than I have explored, because what begins in Hrit chakra GV8 ends in Brahmarandhra chakra GV20 and ultimately in the Supreme Bindu in the crown experience.

Sustenance GV17 Mula -

Dissolution GV 27 Ashwini

1. Nakshatras of Venus

These ones are very obviously connected to the cellular underworld as described by Carl J. Calleman.

Creation GV9 Purvaphalguni - wealth

Sustenance GV18 Purvashada - ecstacy of samadhi

Dissolution GV28 Bharani - soul has left the underworld of the interlife and entered into the new body for its next incarnation.  In the cosmology story relating to Kalapurusha this is the Adam and Eve of Yama and Yami - the creation of the human experience for the soul for the sport/game/school of life called Maya.

The States of Consciousness

I think it is also possible that the  triples might refer to gross, astral and causal layers of the main chakras.  To illustrate this I'll take for example the sexual chakra set:  GV2 Rohini, GV3 Mrigasira, and GV4 Ardra - which I have explained separately in the main posts about them.  Rohini as GV2 as the Kanda chakra or primordial egg, the place where all 72 thousand nadis meet is all about procreative power, that is, sexual energy transformed into the fertilization of an egg that produces a fetus.  This is certain a function of Kundalini at a gross level in the area of the sacral chakra.  Next we have GV3, Mrigasira, which is sexual energy manifesting as erotic desire or lust, the physical pleasure that comes from sexual union in its most basic level (not transmuted or taken higher).  This is Kundalini at the sacral chakra manifesting in the astral level as sexual desire - it's in the mind - it may begin and end in the body but, as quadriplegics know, physical orgasm is really happening in the mind.  And then GV4 Adra is about sexual restraint, stopping the energy and this is a causal activity because the causal layer is a storage layer, where karmic seeds are stored, where our soul memory lives.

The whole idea of nakshatras labelled "purva" and "uttara" suggest to me that there is a deepening of the experience of each chakra going from gross to more subtle, more refined stages.  The more awake we become through a spiritual journey into meditation, the more we experience our Self nature of beingness at the deeper layers of each chakra.  It makes perfect sense to me that the rishis would have taught about going deeper into the experience of each chakra by assigning three stars to each chakra each one progressively taking us into a deeper experience of that chakra.

Sri Vasudeva has given many talks about the four states of consciousness.  Turyia is the fourth state, that is transcendental - beyond the mind, and therefore not part of Chandra's domain.

Dhatu, Mula and Jiva qualities

Ernst Wilhelm in his new sutra translations (pdf) and in this video below explains how the nakshatras (not including Abhijit) are divided into mineral (dhatu), plant (mula) and animal (jiva) energy qualities.

These happen to align with the chakras referred to in the GV template very nicely.  Thus we have in the order of mineral-plant-animal:

root chakra:     Ashwini(GV27), Bharani(GV28), Krittika(GV1)
sacral chakra:  Rohini(GV2), Mrgashira(GV3), Ardra(GV4)
navel chakra:  Punarvasu(GV5), Pushya(GV6), Ashlesha(GV7)
hrit chakra:     Magha(GV8),  PurvaPhalguni(GV9), UttaraPhalguni(GV10)
anahata chakra: Hasta(GV11), Chitra(GV12), Swati(GV13)
throat chakra:  Vishakha(GV14), Anuradha(GV15), Jyestha (GV16)
brow chakra evolutionary:  Mula(GV17), PurvaShadha(GV18), UttaraShadha(GV19)
Brahmarandhra chakra (pericarp of the brow at the top of the sushumna):  Abhiji(GV20) is neither mineral, plant nor animal but Divine in the human experience
brow chakra devolutionary:  Sravana(GV21), Dhanishtha(GV22), Satabhisha(GV23)
death of ego process to mahasamadhi: PurvaBhadrapada(GV24), UttaraBhadrapada(GV25), Revati (GV26)

This is exciting because it suggests to me an evolutionary process or maturation process as the Kundalini moves through each chakra.  The greatest expression of consciousness in a mineral would be the ability to grow crystals - that's as far as its consciousness can express itself.  Then it is reborn as a plant.  The greatest expression of consciousness in a plant would be to mimic an animal, as we see in some interesting aquatic and insect-eating plants.  The next stage of evolution would be the animal and with higher consciousness human, and to become fully human is to become fully Divine, expressing our fullest potential.


* See my post on the sequence and the circle.