Taittiriya Brahmana - ritual instructions & nakshatras

pundit performing a ritual


Astrologer Ernst Wilhelm has provided us with a wonderful resource (and I am always thankful for this kind of transparent and generous scholarship) in a literal translation of that part of Taittiriya Brahmana ( from the Yagur Veda (link) which gives more clues as to nakshatras' meaning or at least how they were used by priests in rituals (the Taittiriya Brahmana is an old manual for priests).  By providing this text, Wilhelm has given people with little or no understanding of Sanskrit an opportunity to study these sutras in a fresh way rather than relying (only) on commentaries written about them by others (such as the commentary of Bhatta Bhaskara Mishra, a 12th century scholar - and the one David Frawley refers to for the list of shaktis associated with the nakshatras).

My own take on the naksharas has more to do with mystical practices than priestly rituals, although one might argue the two are related but really it depends on the level of spiritual awareness of the person conducting the ritual (not just book learning but actual consciousness transformation).  In the first place I don't know how enlightened the author of Taittiriya Brahamana was and in the second place it is in the Upanishads where we find the deep mystical teachings, so it is with a bit of caution that I look to this text for a foundational meaning.  However, having said that, I will attempt my own contemplations of this text to see what the author is hinting at.  Sri Aurobindo, in his decoding of the Rig Veda, has given me lots of clues as to how to work with these old writings about rituals and it his example that I look to for inspiration in this task.

The following excerpts from Ernst Wilhelm's e-book Energies of the 27 Lunar Mansions (hereafter EW) have been used with permission from the author.  He said he is constantly updating it so my apologies if I am referring to an older version of his work.  You can download the whole thing for free on his website here:  link - (pdf)

The nakshatra order given in the Taittiriya Brahamana (hereafter TB) begins with GV1 Krittika, so already I am impressed!  I will keep updating this as I get new insights.

Meaning of Above and Below?

I am always thinking of the most universal meanings and these relate to the quincunx that Mayanist David Stuart discovered (see my post on the Cosmological Circle here) and more basically what the four directions north, south, east, west mean at the deepest levels of awareness.  In my opinion, "Above" is "North", not the compass point, but the spiritual direction that Kundalini follows when awakened taking us all the way up the spine to GV20 Brahmarandhra at the top of the head.  In the celestial macrocosm this is the heaven sphere.  Above then represents energy and consciousness (the latter is the source of the former) in its highest expression.  Below is "South", the materialistic direction, and its most gross (physical) expression, that is consciousness in limitation but also giving us the practical aspect of life in a human experience.  This leaves us with East and West - which these sutras also include because for every deity there is a corresponding shakti (a power that goes with the consciousness of the deity) and shakti is the power that arises out of consciousness (it is consciousness in motion vs. consciousness in potentiality).  In the body we have a left and right side, a left and right brain, and these in the Tantric thinking are Siva and Sakti, male and female, yin and yang within us.  Also the physical sun in the sky that has always represented the light of truth, rises in the east, and thus in the mind east is that sacred direction from which the sacred derives - it is the Source, the Origin - and the direction that we as spiritual seekers are heading towards, the direction that evolutionary energy is taking us towards.  We have this idea of east and west in the "purva" and "uttara" nakshatras as well, respectively.  It is the west, the uttara, that takes us back home in this case, so west must be Sakti, the inner Guide, heading back towards the Source entering through all the chakras up the sushumna to the crown on top where Siva waits.  We read an astrological chart in a direction that is in reverse to the sun's course in the sky - because the spiritual mirrors the material or vice versa (the spiritual comes first and the material manifests out of it). When the Christian priest draws the sign of the cross even he is marking the territory of the four directions of the cross that is the universal tree of life within us marked by various chakra points along the spine (whether he knows this or not is a different discussion altogether).  It is not unlike what all religious representatives do in one form or another in the noble religions. This is where everything connects for me.  This is where I begin to interpret...

Note:  I'm also going to consider the commentary done by Bhattabhaskara Mishra (BM), a Vedic scholar who lived in the 10th century (see article) as well as David Frawley's notes about it (DF) that gives insights as to its relevance to ayurveda (see article by David Frawley).  This is where we get the idea of the shaktis. For example, BM wrote the following about Uttarabhadrapada (GV25) [all quotes come from David Frawley's article]:

Purva Bhadra is ruled by Aja Ekapad, the one-footed serpent. It gives the fire to raise a spiritual person up in life (yajamana udyamana shakti). What is good for all people is its basis above. What is good for the Gods is its basis below. These three cause the entire world to be supported. 
It gives me another idea about the "above" and "below" - and how the spiritual and the material realms mutually support one another, and that they meet at a point or coordinate.  This is actually quite a strong clue as to how BM may have interpreted "above" and "below".  The "east" "west" part of it seems to be more about the consciousness (deity) and power (shakti) of the point.

To be continued....

GV1 Krittika

TB Sutra by EW: 

The white spots [kṛttikāḥ] of agni (Fire) are bright [śukraṁ] from above and light [jyotiḥ] from below.

Reorganized as:
(W) the white spots  [root chakra GV1] (E) the agni           

GV1 is that part of the root chakra that gets very hot in the first stage of Kundalini awakening, taking and literally shaking the soul that is stuck in "I am my physical body" consciousness.  The white spots are at first glance the six or seven Pleiades stars associated with Krittika and also the ritual of Divali/Diwali and also the mythological story (which may refer to a tantric process) in which the consciousness of the element fire (Agni) takes the procreative life force (semen) from Pure Consciousness (Siva) and throws it into the Ganges (sometimes this means one of the central nadis) which can't take the tremendous heat and produces the six-headed version of Ganesha (Siva and Parvati's son) who is Spanda or Kartikeya.   These things are all talking about the same thing. Brightness and light are qualities of fire, but they are also metaphors for awakening consciousness. And the six or seven heads allude to the chakras.  The product of Consciousness and Energy, according to Sri Vasudeva, is wisdom - that which is represented by the deity Ganesha.  In my post on GV1 Krittika I make the connection with Ganesha and Kartikeya.  Here the energy has to do with awakening and procreation, which produces the next nakshatra, Rohini - the auric egg of the kanda subtle "chakra" associated with both the root and sacral chakras.

In the Rig Veda we learn about the Ashwin twins (who I believe to be subtle energy channels ida and pingala), and Yama and Yami, the twins who are related to the earth (the first created humans) and to me this is the physical manifestation that follows the subtle one.  In many mythologies around the world the first humans were said to be created out of the earth.  The human experience is a root chakra experience, an earth experience.  The earthly form, created for the soul by Nature, is the vessel for the soul and its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey - all of which is a virtual reality dream, according to the enlightened ones.  Sri Vasudeva teaches that we are all on an evolutionary journey, whether we seek it consciously or not.  Life pushes us to evolve.  And sometimes that push can be painful, especially if we are blind to the process.

Divali/Diwali is associated with the Pelaides.  These are the white spots and the six/seven heads of Kartikeya.  Wikipedia tells us that "Hindus in some regions of India associate Diwali with the legend of Yama and Nachiketa on Kartika amavasya (Diwali night)" and that "Nachiketa, the latent Spirit in all things; the first emerged fire (Puranas); RV 10.135."  Yama (who we know from GV28 Bharani) is instructing this first little light of awakening consciousness in the body...and we know from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras that the yamas and niyamas (the do's and don'ts the yogi should follow if they are not to have a disturbed meditation - as per. Sri Vasudeva) are the first step in self-realization.

Here is BM's interpretation of the sutra:

Krittika is ruled by Agni, the God of Fire. It has the power to burn (dahana shakti). Its basis above is heat and below is light. The result of these three is burning or purification.
The entire sushumna is the proverbial "pillar of fire" within the soul in the human experience, and in the cosmic Self.  Why?  Because when Kundalini begins to rise She purifies every chakra point and all the nadis (energy channels) so that our best Self can shine through.  Because GV1 is at the tailbone, this represents a point of separation from body consciousness and stimulation of the root chakra.  Those who have experienced the shaking of Kundalini at this point, which is a kryia (spiritual energy experience) say it gets very hot here.  This is why I think it's associated with fire.

The Pelaides cluster that is associated with Krittika are the white spots and the root chakra is rightly associated with Taurus, the divine bovine or Mother Nature in Hindu thinking - because it has to do with the physical body.  The root chakra is associated with the element earth, not fire - so the Agni power here has more to do with the spiritual experience associated with muladhara.  And this is explained in the story of Kartikeya's birth - that the gods needed to get Shiva to conceive a child (you can read the story for yourself) and Agni's part of it was to carry the sperm of Shiva:

"This semen incubates in River Ganges, preserved by the heat of god Agni, and this fetus is born as baby Kartikeya on the banks of Ganges." (link)
Remember, this is poetry.  There are several versions of the story - in some the baby has six heads, in some the Gopis or Pelaides together nurse the baby.  All of this to me is code for the six chakras concerning ascension in the karmic play that is identified in the natal chart.  The work of ascension is focused on six major chakras:  root, sacral, navel, heart, throat and brow.  Kartikeya is a form of Ganesa who is the patron deity of jyotish.  Ganesa is also the root chakra as well as the aum symbol in the brow - so he is that wisdom born of Consciousness (Shiva) and Energy (Shakti/Parvati) that takes us through the six chakras to enlightenment and self-realization.

BM has interpreted Agni's shakti or power as दहन dahana which speaks to the destructive, burning, scorching, incinerating quality of fire - and that relates to spiritual evolution in an early stage when purification may be challenging or painful.  The other qualities of heat and light are what results from this burning.  The navel chakra is the one concerned with the element fire.  When the root and sacral chakra join energies in the navel chakra the radiance of the soul glows through the body as tejas, the vitality of the body increases, the sexual energy is also transformed.  But in GV1-Krittika the primary action is the purification as BM writes, "The result of these three is burning or purification."  As the ego's total identification with the gross physical body begins to burn away, the heat of Kundalini from the Source and the light of one's true nature from ego transformation combine to begin to release the soul from that part of maya.

[An interesting side note - that some ancient cultures speak to primordeal origins from the Pelaides (the Hopis for example) - but I think this comes from the notion that our spiritual origin in the human experience in context of ascension rises up from the root chakra that is associated with Pelaides.]

Kartikeya is also the warrior created by Parvati to protect her privacy from Shiva while she was bathing.  This speaks to me of the next stage concerning GV2-Rohini where Kundalini stirs out of Her watery abode of the sacral chakra...

GV2 Rohini

TB Sutra by EW: 

The red growing [rohiṇī] of prajāpati (The Creator) is water [āpaḥ] from above and the receptacles of light [oṣadhayaḥ] from below. 

Reorganized as:
(W) the red glowing  kanda (GV2) (E) of rohini          
receptacles of light

GV2 in my hypothesis stands for the kanda, that auric egg composed of all 72,000 energy channels (nadis) in the soul's energy field.  Situated between the root and sacral chakra it probably shares qualities of both.  Water is the element associated with the sacral chakra and become the receptacles of prana (subtle light).  The star Rohini is literally red, and red is also the colour associated with the root chakra.

BM writes:
Rohini is ruled by Prajapati, the Creator. Its power is growth (rohana shakti). Its basis above is the plants and below is the waters. The result of these three is creation.
Prajapati is associated with the cosmic egg and the kanda exists between the root and sacral chakras (according to several mystical accounts).  The sacral chakra is associated with the water element. The ego consciousness associated with the sacral chakra is still in the domain of animalistic behaviour.  Sri Vasudeva teaches that this is a kind of limbo space between the lower domains of bhur and bhuvah and the more sentient heavenly domains above svar from the navel chakra on upward (because the navel is associated with hrit chakra and that's where the brahmanadi begins leading all the way up the spine to the point of self-realization at GV20).  The sacral chakra means many other things as well but these are the meanings that the sutra and interpretations seem to imply.  We are still in the realm of Brahma granthi, the consciousness of the gross-physical - of which Prajapati is a manifestation in the context of procreative power.  Water is what nourishes plants from below in the physical world in the roots and from above from the rain clouds - all of this being a metaphor for the Ocean of Consciousness that becomes Ananda, Soma, Amrit - all the divine liquids that help to bring about conscious transformation.

So many layers and layers of meanings!

GV3 Mrigasira

TB Sutra by EW: 
The diminutive pervadings [invakā] of soma (Moon) are diffusions [vitatāni] from above and weaving [vayantaḥ] from below. 

Reorganized as:
(W) diminutive pervadings  sacral chakra (GV3) (E) of soma                

GV3 seems to be located in the centre of the sacral chakra.  The energy of the sacral chakra, again as Sri Vasudeva has taught, is associated with the pleasurable feelings in the nervous system in the sexual area, that which revitalizes in an exciting and stimulating way.  Well all of us over the age of puberty know what that feels like.  What the tantric yogis know is that this energy of the sacral chakra, called ojas, can be purified and refined and brought to the higher up chakras where the pleasure becomes even nicer and becomes less carnal and more spiritualized.  The journey in consciousness is a purification journey.  When the moon is described as soma, it's a reference to that nectar of bliss dripping from the downturned crown chakra lotus that can be experienced in any number of ways all the way to the most profound experience of Satchitananda - the bliss of self-realization.  But to get to that point the sacral energy needs to travel, and it travels up through the weavings of the nadis.  When I contact this chakra in my own meditation practice the energy flows in a serpentine way not in a straight line - perhaps this is also what is meant by weavings.

BM writes:

Mrigashirsha is ruled by Soma, the God of the Moon or the immortal nectar. Its power is giving fulfillment (prinana shakti). Its basis above is extension. Its basis below weaving (producing clothing). These three together make the world enjoyable.
प्रीणन prinana means "pleasing/soothing/appeasing/gratifying" appropriately for the sacral chakra which is associated with pleasure, orgasm and the subtle element (tanmatra) of taste.   Soma is the intoxicating elixir of the gods.   The bliss of realizing one's immortal nature comes gradually, in stages all the way up sushumna.  The BM version of vitatāni is "extension" while EW uses the meaning "diffusions".  वितान vitAna means "extension" and वयन vayana means "weaving".  When the sacral energy rises it extends or expands the ego, and the Kundalini Herself is extended.  In the rising process She weaves two and fro where the ida and pingala connect at each chakra point.

Soma may have been a psychoactive drink used in ancient times to bring about altered states of consciousness:

Celebrated in both Hindu and Zoroastrian traditions and scripture, this beverage — which is talked about at length in spiritual texts like the Vedas — is widely thought to have been a potent psychedelic, and it was certainly of immense importance in religious ceremonies. These vivid descriptions paint a picture of a plant extract that was known for increasing awareness, imparting visionary mystical experiences, and helping those who took it to feel strong sensations of bliss, light, poetic inspiration, and immortality.
 (see article

- so the weaving and extending could also refer to the experience of an intoxicated state - although the inner experience is far greater than anything physical.  Here is an excellent explanation of Soma as both the intoxicant used in ancient rituals and as the metaphor for the inner experience (link).  At this level of consciousness, the sexual level, the Ananda experience would be more of a physical thing - so this is an appropriate deity for this area.

GV4 Ardra

TB Sutra by EW:
The two arms [bāhū] of rudra (The Howling) are deer and grain [mrigayavaḥ] from above and the caustic [vikṣaraḥ] from below. 
He provides some extra meanings below:
rudrasya - of Rudra, of the Howler or Roarer, god of tempest, fire as a destructive agent. bāhū - dual arms. mṛga - deer, game animal. yavaḥ - grain. mṛgayavaḥ - hunting and gathering. parastāt - from above. vikṣaraḥ - caustic, melting away. avastāt - from below. 

Reorganized as:
deer and grain
(W) the two arms  celibacy (GV4) (E) of rudra        

GV4 Ardra has to do with the transmutation of subtle sacral energy into vital energy for the body. This involves arresting the sacral energy and pulling that prana upwards into the navel chakra where it burns (the idea of "caustic" perhaps).  The reference to the deer must be its relationship to GV3 Mrigasira, which I believe has to do with the pleasure centre in the sacral chakra.

I've also uncovered research that Rudra (Adra) and Soma (Mrigasira) are the pingala and ida nadis ("arms") extending out of kanda that lies between the root and sacral chakras.  Ardra or Rudra are associated with the constellation Orion, the hunter.  The bow is also a symbol for the bow-shaped crescent moon representing the subtle element water आप Apa within the sacral chakra.  It is interesting that Orion the hunter is chasing after the Pelaides, which is GV1 Krittika - so it is looking backwards - and this also connects with the idea of going down to the sacral area and pulling up that subtle energy and recycling it in the navel chakra.  All very advanced esoteric stuff....but it's all there hidden in layers of meaning.

I can't think what else this could mean.

GV5 Punarvasu

TB Sutra by EW:
The restoration of good [punarvasu] for aditi (The Undivided) is wind [vātaḥ] from above and moisture [ārdram] from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) the restoration of good  GV5 (E) of aditi                          

GV5 is situated somewhere in the navel chakra.  The navel chakra is associated with the element fire, the heart chakra with air and the sacral chakra with water.  Here वात vātaḥ as "wind" may refer to air which is the heart above, and the "moisture" to the sacral below it.  The word used for moisture here is  ārdram and clearly points to the nakshatra आर्द्र Ardra (GV4) below it.  In my post on Punarvasu, I show how the prana reassigned from the sacral chakra is brought up to the navel chakra to restore and replenish the body's storage of prana as vitality, transmuting that energy into tejas (the radiance of the soul shining through the physical body.  Aditi is the Cosmic Mother who gives birth to the Eight Vasus or cosmic subtle energies associated with the elements.  Sri Vasudeva explains vasu as "the light that exists in everything", meaning the spiritual light.  The word punarvasu suggests the complete set is restored.  Again this is about the solar plexus, manipura, now that subtle energy has been restored to it from the lower chakras.

When we combine the four components:  subtle air, subtle moisture, supercharged vitality, and the power behind creation of everything to do with gross physical existence (manipura is like the brain in the triology of the physical chakras from root to navel) - this suggests tremendous power, the power of the martial artist which is an aspect of the manipura - that subtle element fire existing in the middle.  It is the adrenaline, it is the fever, it is the engine of the body that is being located here.

GV6 Pushya

TB Sutra by EW:

The auspiciousness [tishya] of bṛhaspati (The Lord of Devotion) is worshipping [juhvataḥ] from above and the worshippers [yajamānā] from below. 
Reorganized as:
            (W) the auspiciousness  GV6 (E) of brihaspati                        

GV6 suggests to me a stage in consciousness evolution where that vitality prana in the navel chakra can be raised up and further transmuted into a powerful cocreative force - the force of the will, willpower of the body, using the power intention and attention (as taught by Sri Vasudeva).  Whenever we want to manifest something in our lives we need to focus with our whole mind, heart and actions.  This is the actions part of it.  

The Sanskrit word juhvataḥ has the word for "tongue" in it, tongue implies the organ of taste and taste is associated with the sacral chakra.  It also implies tongues of fire, as in the ritual fire of the priest, that is the deity brihaspati-Jupiter - and the tongues of fire feed on oxygen (the idea of vatah - "wind"/air).  This also situates GV6 as the manipura cakra (associated with fire) meeting the hrit cakra (part of the anahata cakra associated with air).

The nakshatra Punarvasu is located in Cancer - that womb space of gut feelings in the body, the intuitive space, the emotional space in us.  This is how I associate the idea of "worshipping".  The word for worshipping used here is यजमान yajamānā  which also could mean sacrificer (the Vedic priest makes ritual offerings, something is sacrificed), and also means a position of power such as a rich man, the head of a family or tribe (again the priest).  I associate Jupiter as the intuition within us which has to transmute into discrimination and wisdom higher up the sushumna.  At the level of the navel chakra it is functioning as gut feelings, based on survival instincts.  Further, if we use the navel chakra for energy healing work it not only has to come out of the heart and into the hands or up further into the brow to transmit mentally, but we need to surrender (sacrifice) that energy and invoke the power of Kundalini from within that universal life force energy that is far greater than our individual store will be used and in the right way with divine intention (not that of our own selfish ego).  In this way our own battery pack, if you will, of the navel chakra will not be foolishly used up, but we will be endlessly replenished.  The greater the need of the receiver, the greater the energy flow from the Universal Source.  Anybody who practices reiki knows this.  The ego needs to get out of the way while that inner priest in us stokes the fires of prana through the power of intention/desire and heart-felt action.  

A true ritual is an alchemical process.  And a true alchemical process in the inner alchemy, like the Taoist neidan practice.  We can transmute energy when we become a priest of the divine light within us. And when the divine light within us is pleased, our consciousness is transformed as well.

GV7 Ashlesha

TB Sutra by EW:
The embraces [āśreṣāḥ] of sarpāḥ (The Serpents) are approaching indirectly [abhyāgacchantaḥ] from above and indirectly dancing towards [abhyānṛtyantaḥ] from below. 
Reorganized as:
approaching indirectly
(W) the embraces  [Brahma granthis (GV7)] (E) of sarpaah     
indirectly dancing towards

There is a verse in the long version of the Guru Gita (#84) which begins अज्ञानसर्पदष्टानां Agyaana sarpada ṣṭaanaan - "the serpent of ignorance".  I have figured out that GV7 Ashlesha refers to the 1st psychic knot Brahma granthis that is the soul thinking it is the physical body.  Serpent is Kundalini, Kundalini is our Higher Self.  When manifesting in the physical body, this Higher Self is contracted, limited, hence the "ignorant serpent".  When we embrace the self-concept "I am the body" we express that ignorance - ignorance of our true spiritual nature.  This is the consciousness of Brahma granthis.

There is an ancient Vedic snake ritual, a sacrifice, known as Sarpa Satra that might be associated with this.  It has to do with curses and revenge.  In jyotish,  sarpa dosha is also a curse - what happens when all the planets in the natal chart are stacked in between the serpent nodes Rahu and Ketu:  "If the planets are moving towards Ketu, it is Kala Sarpa Yoga and If the planets are moving towards Rahu, it is Kala Sarpa dosha." (see article).  This could be suggested in the idea expressed in "above" and "below" "approaching indirectly" and "indirectly dancing towards".  The sutra here could be hinting about the planets (which stand for energies and tendencies in our inner world).  In the karmic scheme of things Ketu, the tail of the serpent, represents our past, and Rahu its head, the direction we are heading towards as indicated in the natal chart.  Taking this idea further we also see how the Sarpa dosha or yoga is an embracing of the planets in the chart.  The article also states
"Kala Sarpa yoga or dosha in ancient tradition is believed to be caused when either you or your ancestors have killed or harmed snakes instead of respecting and worshiping them in a previous birth. It's generally believed that the presence of Kala Sarpa Yoga weakens the chart of the native."  (link)
Again, as with the Sarpa Satra, we have the idea of a curse, being hemmed in for some transgression against the serpent.  I am taking the idea of the serpent (Ashlesha is also Ketu's birth star) as the Kundalin in coiled form, which is the soul (jiva) in ignorance - that is the meaning of serpent poison, and the curse - the curse is really maya, the ignorance of being an embodied soul and not knowing one's true nature as Spirit.  All of this IMHO supports my hypothesis that Ashlesha represents Brahma Granthis (and that is the first dantien in the Chinese system).

And just to say that when Kundalini is manifesting in the physical world She tends to become demonized in the mythology but that is just to say that we get addicted to this material world, and hypnotized by it, like a charmed serpent.  But really we do need Kundalini to ground us in the material world as well, especially those of us who are spiritual seekers, those of us who meditate - we need to balance ourselves and be grounded.  Life should not feel like a curse (although it can sometimes) but as a purgatory that can become a paradise if one learns to live in the witness.

GV8 Magha

TB Sutra by EW:

The gifts [maghāḥ] of the pitaraḥ (The Ancestors) are crying [rudantaḥ] from above and the fallen down [apabhraṁśaḥ] from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) the gifts [hrit chakra, bottom of brahmanadi (GV8] (E) of the ancestors
the fallen down

GV8 is, I believe, a chakra point in the causal body from where the brahmanadi begins all the way to the top of the head at GV20.  In the hrit cakra between the anahata and muladhara this is the throne of ego sitting beneath the wishfulfilling tree.  Sri Vasudeva teaches that the Universe is a wish-fulfilling tree - a great axis mundi (sushumna nadi) that grants our every desire - and if we are not mindful of what we are thinking and worrying about all the time, it also manifests our fears to us. The idea of "ancestors" sort of fits with the idea of the causal body - that memory storage place that is the origin of our egoic patterns/tendencies/habits.  The ego has fallen from its sattvic place of knowing "I am Spirit not the body" and is crying.  :(

The gifts of the magi certainly are picked up in the Christian nativity story.  The gifts given to the Christ being of gold, frankensence and myrrh (oils associated with funerary rites, and gold being fit for the king) are an ancient nod to astrology.  The nativity story itself with the birth from the virgin (Virgo) to the supreme sacrifice of self in the figure of the "fisher of men" (Pisces) - is also heavily laden with astrological symbolism.

It is also important to remember that GV8 is situated around the womb area..........

GV9 PurvaPhalguni

TB Sutra by EW:

The reddish at the early [pūrve phalguṇī] of aditya aryaman (The Companion) is wife [jāyā] from above and a male [ṛṣabhaḥ] from below. 

Reorganized as:
जाया wife/woman/the one who brings forth
(W) the reddish at the early [GV9 in hrit cakra(E) of aditya aryaman
 ṛṣabhaḥ - male animal (ऋषभ "bull"), a male

This is no doubt that this nakshatra has to do with procreation and fertility.  My research however suggests that GV9 being in the hrit cakra has to do with the divine procreative power not the carnal kind.  GV8-Magha is at the base of the brahmanadi, so it's like the root chakra for the brahmanadi. Thus GV9-PurvaPhalguni would be like the sacral chakra of the brahmanadi.  In the iconography associated with hrit cakra, Magha is king ego sitting on his causal body throne before the wishfulfilling tree.  That's a metaphor telling us that all of life is a wish-fulfilling tree.  The causal body is that which holds all our ego patterns from all our past lives.  Those deep attachments lie dormant in seed form waiting to sprout into karmas in this life.  That's the passive view.  On the proactive side, we can actively engage with those patterns and use the deeply ingrained things in us (you can think of it as the subconscious if that's helpful) to manifest the worldly things.  If you believe in something powerfully enough it will manifest, and it will change your self-concept too. This is what I believe is meant by the procreative power of this nakshatra.  Usually most people want material things, and relationships, the things that pleasure the lower parts of ourselves not the all-out bliss of superconsciousness - hence that's why (I believe) PurvaPhalguni has come to be associated with the materialistic person.  But I think that's just a corruption of a deeper meaning lost in time.


GV12 Chitra

TB by EW:
The brights [citrā] of indra (The Conqueror) is right [ṛtaṁ] from above and truth [satyam] from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) the brights [GV12 akashic centre in the anahata cakra linked to visshudha cakra(E) of indra

ऋतम् Rutam "right/duly/properly/expressly/very" is contrasted with Satyam (Sat is ultimate truth, the truth of knowing oneself as Pure Consciousness, as in the yuga called Satya).  Rutam contains a similar "Ru" as in गुरु "GuRu" - meaning "light" because GuRu Tattwa (the Guiding Principle of the Universe manifesting within us as Kundalini and outside of us as the Intelligent Universe).  (ऋ Ru is different but ऋत Ruta also means "enlightened" so same difference.)  Guru thus means that which takes us from darkness (the darkness of ignorance) into light (the light of self-realization) [source:  Sri Vasudeva].  I also found this definition of Rutam here:  "The word Rutam in The Vedas means the "Balance of Physical, Ethical and Moral and Spiritual forces that maintain order in The Universe(s)."

This makes a lot of sense to me because GV12-Chitra has to do with intuitive power, the power to penetrate into the element space (akash) to retrieve information stored in the causal field - all that has ever been thought (as in the akashic record).  This then represents a stage of awakening in the consciousness where the truth (Satya) begins to be perceived, and leads one further into right conduct (as in going deeper within) to uncover more of that truth from within.  I think this is what is implied by north and south.  The light of the Guru (that which comes once GV20 is attained) is pouring down to the soul at this point or stage bringing a glimpse of Pure Consciousness (Satya).  This is not an end but a beginning and a significant shift in awareness.

Indra, according to Paramahansa Yogananda's writings (Bhagavad Gita) represents the divine mind, that part of us that is righteous and stays on the spiritual track not being overcome by the (demonized) sense-seduced mind (manas).  In the GV template, I associate Indra with Buddhi - the higher intellect part of us.  

The word citra has the interesting word cit in it - also meaning Pure Consciousness.  Sat is the Truth of existence, self-realization, Ru is the light of that Truth that the Guru helps us to unfold, and Chit is the Pure Consciousness itself.  Indra, divine mind, begins to perceive it at this GV12 point.  The great artist Leonardo Da Vinci had his Saturn in Chitra.  He fully manifested the potential of this point as he was a greatly inspired artist and science - a genuius.  All great scientists and artists will say that the ideas came to them out of nowhere, they just had to express it.  Incidentally Donald Trump has his Jupiter-Retrograde in Chitra in his second house giving him the power of inspired speech.  It just shows that there are many ways to express this energy, and there are many ways to express a more evolved consciousness until one is fully anchored in the most pure expressions at the top of the head and no longer influenced by the lower expression below.

When my throat chakra opened I was flooded with inspiration and my intuition grew by leaps and bounds and so did my artistic output - such is the power that starts to be released when this chakra is opened and that is Chitra's contribution to it.  Chitra gives us that flash of inspiration that (being associated with the heart chakra) wants to express itself in the outer world in things like artistic or scientific work.  This to me is an essential and deeper meaning alluded to here.

GV13 Swati

TB by EW:
The strange things [niṣṭyā] of vayu (Wind) are the spreading [vratatiḥ] from above and the non-accomplishment [asiddhiḥ] from below. 

Reorganized as:
the spreading
(W) the strange things [GV13] (E) of vayu

GV13 is located at a transition point between the upper part of anahata chakra and the lower part of vishudha chakra.  There are some clues here.  First of all, Vāyu is the deity representing the air element that comes from the anahata chakra and is expressed in the atmosphere of akasha (space element) in the throat and eventually becomes transformed into speech.  One of the meanings for the word niṣṭyā is mleccha and this clearly has something to do with purification and speech:

Mleccha (from Vedic Sanskrit म्लेच्छ mleccha...meaning "non-Vedic", "barbarian"), also spelled Mlechchha or Maleccha, is a name, which referred to people of foreign extraction in ancient India. or kandAla - "Mleccha was used by the ancient Indians originally to indicate the uncouth and incomprehensible speech of foreigners and then extended to their unfamiliar behaviour, and also used as a derogatory term in the sense of "impure and/or "inferior" people."  [Wikipedia]
The throat chakra is a purifier.  We see this clearly in the next nakshatra GV14 Vishakha.  When we speak do we speak in a pure way, with a pure heart and noble intentions from the brow chakra? Speech is subtle energy as well as the physical and can affect us in very powerful ways on subtle and not so subtle levels.  

The journey of speech begins at the root chakra which the yogic science of speech explains as the four states of Vāni (speech or sound).  These are Parā at the root chakra coming from the Source, next Madhyama at the navel chakra where our will/intention is set from the brow together with vitality from the body, next Pashyanti at the heart chakra where the subtle energy of emotion is added to it and finally it comes out of our mouth as Vaikhari with the air and all these nuances of life force (prana) as gross speech.  Speech travels as a wave through the atmosphere and it carries with it the subtle energies we have put behind the speech.  I think this is what is being suggested in the above sutra.

It is suggesting to me that at the GV13 Swati point the speech may come out in an impure way because the soul is still influenced by selfish things and for example anger may come up through the speech or intent to manipulate for example.  The soul as Kundalini needs to travel higher up and indeed become aligned with Self to express noble things - and to speak appropriate - at the right time and in the right way.

The other connection of air and speech is hamsa, which is the natural mantra of the breath.  Sri Vasudeva teaches that normally when we are breathing in and out, the out-breath has a ha sound (and ham means "I am", the ego) while the in-breath carries a sa-sound.  When one has become aware of subtle energy and moreso once the Kundalini awakens within this hamsa transforms into the soham that is prana moving up and down the sushumna without the need to breathe air to make it move - because then it moves with the power of the mind only.  This is a profound esoteric teaching that can be experienced in meditation.  I don't know if this qualifies as a siddhi but it does suggest to me that the yogic practice alluded to in the sutra above is more about spreading prana through the breath and speech than mentally moving it, because that requires an open brow chakra, which is further above it.  However the original commentary on Taittiriya Brahmana must have caught on to this when he wrote that Svati is about pradhvamsa shakti - note the word ंस h"hamsa" in it.  Hamsa also means "swan", a symbol of purity.  And  प्राध्व prAdhva means "being on a journey"/"long" - suggesting the way speech carries prana in it that influences the atmosphere and anyone who comes into the space.

GV14 Vishakha (aka Radha)

TB by EW:
At the branched [viśākhe] of indra & agni (The Conqueror and
The Fire) are yokes [yugāni] from above and crops [kṛṣamāṇā]
from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) branched [GV14 lower portion of the vishudha chakra] (E) of indra & agni

GV14 and GV15 are the upper and lower throat chakra points.  The throat chakra is a purification centre and the consciousness here is pure expression of (or pure listening to) Self vs. tainted expression of lower self.  GV14 is in both Libra and Scorpio, more impacted by the lower areas, while GV15 is in Scorpio and more impacted by the mental area (manas).  Indra means divine mind and agni is that inner subtle element of fire, that purification force that involves the entire ascension process along the sushumna.  The divine nectar of bliss (ananda) from the crown chakra filters down as it drips in various forms of subtle energy described vicariously as soma, ojas, or amrita - it depends on the context in which the term is used.  The throat chakra is also linked to the lalana chakra located in the soft palate area (talu) that receives these kinds of nectar.   I think of GV14 Vishukha as a turning point - either the seeker goes all the way to the crown for the real ananda experience or satisfies themselves with some temporary and less fulfilling intoxication experience through the secondary bindu point (chandra bindu, and GV18).

युगानि yugAni also means generations.  I'm not sure whether "yokes" is the best word in this case although I can see how it goes with "crops" in some kind of farming analogy (कृष kRza means ploughing and other things).  It might suggest the idea of making furrows in the ground as a poetic allusion to the splitting of nadis from this point, one to the secondary bindu, the other to the upper bindu - a choice the seeker needs to make at this point.  

GV15 Anuradha

TB by EW:
The well beings along with the gifts [anurādhāḥ] of aditya mitra (The Friend) is ascending towards [abhyārohat] from above and the ascended to [abhyārūḍham] from below. 
Reorganized as:
ascending towards
(W) well beings along with the gifts [GV15 upper portion of the vishuddha chakra] (E) of aditya mitra
ascended to

GV15 Anuradha is located at the top of the physical throat just below the medulla point which is GV16 Jyestha.  Everything about this suggests to me that if the yogic has reached here, they have chosen the best pathway to attain the transcendental state.  Of the two Radhas this is the superior one - the best bhakti devotee because the Radha in legend was Krishna's favourite (meaning the most evolved of the Gopis).   Krishna is associated with the throat chakra (vishuddhi chakra) - I think because this is where the the Vishnu granthi is becoming untied and the Rudra granti is about to open, as the yogi realizes that God is within us, as our own divine Self.  Note that Krishna Consciousness is attained only after GV20 Brahmarandhra has been pierced.  As an avatar form of Vishnu - the sustaining power of the universe, Krishna has domain over all that is experienced by the senses in manas (and this is what GV17 destroys or detaches us from during meditation - temporarily that we may merge deeper into our divine being).

At this stage Kundalini may be experience as the inner guide, a divine friend (mitra) on the spiritual journey.  It is only in the transcendental mergence into the crown chakra that one fully realizes one's own self as Kundalini ("I am the Guru"  "I am the Krishna" or Christ or Buddha) - beyond which there is only "I am" (the cosmic) and the void of GV26 Revati.  This is an important stage on the ascension journey when the Vishuddhi chakra is truly opened by Kundalini.  The intention to merge may become much more powerful now.

Radharani's companion said, "Your speech is faltering, and Your chest is also heaving. By all these signs I can understand that You must have heard the blowing of Krsna's flute, and, as a result of this, Your heart is now melting"

GV16 Jyestha

TB by EW:
The red growing (rohinī) of indra (The Conqueror) is attacking [sṛṇat] from above and attacking in return [pratiṣṛṇat] from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) the red glowing [GV16 medulla point, posterior] (E) of indra
attacking in return

Considering that Jyestha relates to the reptilian part of the brain, which totally explains to me what Scorpio really means, this sutra makes a lot of sense to me - as an obvious allusion to the red (rohini) star Antares in the heart of the Scorpion.  The Scorpion, like the reptilian brain, relates to those primal thoughts and feelings in us responsible for survival responses.  What is being threatened here is the ego - as Kundalini, our divine consciousness, makes Her way towards our secret data bank of manas represented by the galactic whirlpool GV17 Mula.  What is being threatened is our whole belief system about self-identity - that whole "Who am I?" and its related concepts of knowing and ownership.  All of this is about to be ground to pieces in that spiritual whirlpool.  In more mundane expressions, whenever we meditate, we detach from manas - from the sensory and thinking experiences, in order to access our Higher Self.  Indra is the divine mind, that part of us that knows all this intuitively, that takes us willingly or not along the wisdom path to true self-realization.

The fact that the sutra mentions rohini also speaks to the tempation at this point to return to a more naive ego, as expressed in GV2 Rohini nakshatra - that childlike state of the unenlightened soul, like a baby, pure and connected to the divine through all 72 thousand nadis - yet ignorant of everything, for "Ignorance is bliss" is the mantra of fools who care not to do the hard work of spiritual self-purification.  Let them be happy with the addictive bliss they get from meditation or other things - it is not the lasting and life changing ananada that beckons from above - not as an attack really (although the ignorant soul may perceive it that way) but as a deep inner call to return home.

GV17 Mula

TB by EW:
The uprootings [mūlavarhaṇī] for nirṛti (The Without Motion) is fracturing [pratibhañjantaḥ] from above and breaking into pieces [pratiṣṛṇantaḥ] from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) the uprootings [GV17 manas posterior (lower part of brow chakra)] (E) for nrrti (The Without Motion)
breaking into pieces

To really understand this point we need to look at GV23 Shatabhisha also, because that's the anterior side of manas and it also has to do with roots.  Going up (ascension) it is an uprooting, but coming down (devolution) it is a tying together again of the roots.  What is going on here?  For one thing ida and pingala probably meet at this point and the way forward (spiritually) requires going deeper into the sushumna through any one of the inner channels (vajra, chitrini, or brahamanadi).  It is like a hurricane and the eye of the hurricane is where we need to be, where it is without motion.  It means, as Sri Vasudeva teaches, to stay in the witness consciousness while all this inward focus is going on. At this point we are letting go of sense-influenced mind - all those chatterbox thoughts, and learning to become more centered.  We have to break free of the natural tendency to slip back into ordinary gross-body consciousness and allow ourselves, just as we do every night before we fall asleep, to let go and meet the astral and causal worlds in a pure way - but not letting go of the witness or else we do just fall asleep and then the whole point of the meditation is lost.

What is being fractured and broken is ego (see Jyestha, above) - at least the lower mind, the body-identified mind part of it.

GV18 PurvaShada

TB by EW:
The earlier victories [pūrvā aṣāḍhāḥ] of apā (The Waters) is vigor [varcaḥ] from above and a battle [samitiḥ] from below. 
Reorganized as:
(W) earlier victories [GV18 anterior buddhi kshetram of brow chakra] (E) of apA

GV18 and GV19 are the contemplation and meditation components that Patajali described.  This is an intoxication point in tantric practice, but for the sincere seeker this is a point after detachment of senses where mind is focused in fixed contemplation (धारणा dhAraNA) of the object of desire.  To really understand GV17, 18 and 19 read the last part of Patajalis' Yoga Sutras.  Here mind may still waver in meditation but begins to experience kind of samadhi which, if the meditator stays in witness consciousness, will lead to the one-pointed mind in the deep level of the casual field to Brahmarandhra at GV20.  At this point the nectar of ananda can be felt throughout the physical body and this can lead to a drop in consciousness if the karma and the self-discipline is not strong enough to go beyond it.

ApA is the deity representing the consciousness of the subtle element (tanmatra) water.  That links it to the sacral chakra, as well as to the Ocean of Consciousness that is satchitananda - the bliss of self-realization from the transcendental space.  

The ego is battling with itself (as in the allegorical story Bhagavad Gita) but victory (represented in fullness in GV20 Abhijit, the unmoved mover of the silent mind) is drawing nearer.

GV19 Uttara Ashada

TB Sutra by EW:

The concluding (victories) [uttarāḥ (aṣāḍhāḥ)] of viśveśāni devānāni (All Divine Lords) is superiorly conquering [abhijayat] from above and complete victory [abhijitam] from below. 
Reorganized as:
superiorly conquering
(W) concluding (victories) [mahanada posterior (GV19)] (E) of viśveśāni devānāni
complete victory

In my research GV19 is the posterior position of mahanada, the AUM sound that is heard in meditation when one-pointed concentration (dharana) becomes meditation (dhayana) which is that sensation of oneness with the object of concentration (subject, object and process all become one). This is the inner victory of enlightened self-realization that leads to complete victory in GV20-the brahmarandhra point where the sushumna ends and the crown chakra begins, the point of I am consciousness.  All the attachments of lower self are what is conquered at this point.  The victory is the supreme victory of self-realization.  A self-realized person becomes a jivan mukti, freed whilst in a human body.  All self-mastery is attained, total power over one's own mind and total co-creative power.  This is the greatest victory one could hope for in a human body!

The devas refer to two things (as I understand this) - one being the divine/noble qualities of the mind. This would be one of the attainments at this stage of awakening.  The other thing are those souls who no longer need to be in a human experience, who now live in the higher celestial dimensions helping souls below and working on a more cosmic level - but who have yet not ascended completely into the oblivion of the completely formless, egoless state.  Abhiji (GV20), which is included within GV19 Uttara Shada, is that point of maximum attainment possible within the human experience.

In systems that use 27 nakshatras, Abhijit is considered part of UttaraShadha.  It is only a few degrees - referring to the fact that it's easy to miss in meditation if one is distracted.  It is like the proverbial "eye in the needle" that a rich man cannot pass through for it requires total and complete surrender of ego and every attachment that ego brings.  Ego will melt away like a hologram at this point and only the Divine can bring it back again, humbler, purified, and more capable of doing its bidding in every moment in fullness.  For most of us, we move past this sanctuary of sanctuaries, this oasis of bliss, just like in the Monopoly Game when tell ourselves "Do not pass Go, do not collect $200" and we just die a thousand deaths and continue along the wheel of karma repeating the same mistakes living the same lie......  There is no elixir to life like the conquest by self-realization, by transcending mind, to be able to return to the body encased in the protective cloak of the Divine - that is the seat of one's power and nothing can ever hurt us again and no karma will undo us again, when we are fully and permanently established in that space.

GV21 Sravana

TB Sutra by EW:
The cripples [śroṇā] of viṣṇu (The All Pervasive) are inquiring ideas [pṛcchamānāḥ] from above and the paths [panthā] from below. 
Reorganized as:
inquiring ideas
            (W) the cripples [mahanada anterior (GV21)] (E) of Vishnu                
the paths

Sroṇā is another name for Sravana.  It seems to imply the three steps of Vishnu (trivikrama during Vishnu's incarnation as Vamana) that reclaimed the three worlds from the demon king.  I begin with my assumption that GV21-Sravana is the AUM sound (anterior mahanada) emanating from GV20 The Source or Omnipotent Consciousness that is the silence of Abhijit.  The AUM also represents the three worlds, since everything that is created is said to be a manifestation of that priordial sound.  

What comes out of Pure Consciousness in the process of creation, according to mystical science, is intention, the intention to create.  This could be what "inquiring ideas" means.  That creates ripples of manifestation, "the paths".

GV22 Dhanistha:

TB Sutra by EW:

The most famous ones [śraviṣṭhāḥ] of the vasūnāḥ (The Excellent Ones) are the past [bhūtaṁ] from above and the thriving [bhūtiḥ] from below.  
Reorganized as:
the past
                                 (W) the most famous ones [buddhi anterior GV 22] (E) of the vasunah                
the thriving


GV23 Satabhisha:

TB Sutra by EW:

The 100 cures [śatabhiṣak] of Indra (The Conqueror) are all expanse [viśvavyacāḥ] from above and all earth [viśvakṣitiḥ] from below. 
Reorganized as:
all expanse
                                 (W) the 100 cures ✜ (E) of Indra                                          
all earth

The 100 cures are likely the nadis corresponding to the petals on the brahmarandhra chakra (GV20). These receive infinite inflowing consciousness and energy from the crown chakra ("all expanse") downward where they can stream into the body ("all earth") bringing divine healing energies.  Indra is the divine mind, according to Paramahansa Yogananda.

GV24 Purva Bhadrapada:

TB Sutra by EW:

One foot at the earlier feet of the stool* [ekapadaḥ pūrve proṣṭhapadāḥ] of aja (The Unborn) is common to all humans [vaiśvānaraṁ] from above and the collective gods
[vaiśvāvasavam] from below. 
Reorganized as:
common to all humans
                                 (W) the earlier (feet of the bull) ✜ (E) of aja (The Unborn)                         
collective gods

The two Bhadrapada GV points below flank either side of the third eye kstram point.  प्रोष्ठ proṣṭha also translates as bull.*  This makes more sense to me than "stool".  Other versions refer to a funeral cot, but that is not the meaning here.

The Great Square of Pegasus which consists of four stars; Alpheratz, Algenib, Markab and Scheat, of which this star beta (β Scheat) formed one corner, constituted the double asterism, the 24th and 25th nakshatras (Hindu Moon Mansions) Purva, Former, and Uttara, Latter, Bhadra-pada, Beautiful, Auspicious, or Happy Feet, sometimes also called Proshtha-pada, Proshtha meaning a Carp or Ox; but  the 19th American philologist Professor Whitney's translated it "Footstool Feet," and said that the authorities do not agree as to the figures by which they are represented, for by some the one, by others the other, is called a Couch or Bed, the alternate one, in either case, being pronounced a Bifaced Figure, or Twins...  [Constellations of Words
The stars on either corner of the Great Square of Pegasus do serve well as an indicator of the third eye area between the hair line and the tip of the nose (more or less) as this is roughly the area where the energy of the brow chakra (which is in the centre of the brain) streams out of the front of the face, unless we are focusing our mental powers sharply and then we may feel a throbbing at the third eye point between the eyebrows.

Considering that the Bhadrapada points concern the dying of ego - from past lives - "bull" (very consistently) serves as a metaphor for the gross body.  Bull also makes more sense than "stool" because we are talking about cows in the next one (Revati GV26).  The egos past, present and future are dying, all sense of ego is dying - whether we are talking about mahasamadhi experience that is the experience of the gods, or the afterlife experience that is common to all humans.  अज aja means "unborn".  This is a preparatory stage for the next incarnation (or mahasamadhi, depending on the context) for the soul.

On the other hand I'm looking at आज्ञा Ājñā; अज aja "unborn"; and आज Aja "lunar mansion Purvabhadrapada" and thinking this is how it all fits together.  What is common to all humans?  We all have a brow chakra, the Ajna.  And this is the location of Rudra granthis, where that psychic knot begins to untie.  Ajaikapada is an ancient name for the one-footed form of Rudra (Shiva - in the Mahabharata there is a version of the 11 Rudras including both Ahirbudhyna and Ekapada).  The two, GV24 and 25 are related - they are two expanses of the third eye point, which is the central one - all the power emanating from the brow (ajna) chakra within.  The mythology associates these with primal waters.  Ekapada is the unborn or unmanifest form of Ruda-Shiva, Consciousness in potentiality.  The brow chakra is where ida and pingala join and from where only brahmanadi arises.

On another note:
There is something in the Egyptian idea of Nun & Naunet that is probably an ancient version of the deities for GV24 and 25.  I think that GV24 and 25 are the primordeal Kundali (the Maha Kundali, which is the cosmic version of Kundalini within us) that lies in coiled form before manifestation.  The waters are then the cosmic sacral chakra, the holy abode of cosmic Shakti.

The one-footed Shiva is also Lila-murti - the form of the play before it has begun to manifest as Maya.  This all makes sense relative to ajna chakra because the mind is the place where everything begins to take form - through the power of intention, visualization - that has been inspired by the word, the primordeal sound AUM.

GV25 Uttara Bhadrapada

TB Sutra by EW:

In the concluding (feet of the stool) [uttare (proṣṭhapadāḥ)] of ahirbudhniyas (The Serpent at the Deep) is sprinkling upon [abhiṣiñcantaḥ] from above and pressing out juice [abhiṣuṇvantaḥ] from below. 
Reorganized as:
sprinkling upon
      (W) the concluding (feet of the bull)* [the last breath (GV25)] (E) of ahirbudhiniyas                      (S)
pressing out juice

Something about this sounds like a bull sacrifice, or maybe a soma sacrifice.

GV26 Revati

TB Sutra by EW:

The wealthy ones [revatī] of aditya pūṣan (The Nourisher) are the cow [gāvahaḥ] from above and calves [vatsā] from below. 
Reorganized as:
the cow
                                 (W) the wealthy ones [mahasamadhi (GV26)] (E) of Aditya Pusan (Nourisher)   

Revati GV26 represents the final stage in the soul journey - mahasamadhi - all the egos of all past lives are surrendered and one becomes merged into the ocean of Pure Consciousness, also known as the Ocean of Milk.  That's the relationship of soul to spirit, as the calf to the cow, endlessly floating in a state of bliss without the burden of an experiencer, an "I" to create any separation whatsoever.  One becomes one with that blissful Beingness - which is the ultimate primordeal state, and the Source of everything.  The wealth is the infinite and omnipresent wealth of pure consciousness.  The cow is also Mother Nature/Earth - and Aditya Pusan is that aspect of Consciousness that nourishes and sustains us always.

One of the symbols for mahasamadhi in a cosmic sense is Vishnu sleeping upon Shesha - because now Kundali - the great awakening power that sets the yugas in motion for all of humanity - is in a resting state, deep in Satyuga, deeply immersed in the void awaiting that Big Bang moment when life and karma starts all over again.  We never die.  Our egos are shed only to be reassembled anew in an infinite wheel of great cycles.  My thinking is that the naga serpents associated with the Bhadrapada's are some variation of this Kundali - the cosmic counterpart to our individual Kundalini.

GV 27 Ashwini

TB Sutra by EW:
The two harnessed horses [aśvayujau] of the aśvinī (The Two Charioteers) is the community from above [grāmaḥ] and the army [senā] from below.

Reorganized as:
(W) two harnessed horses  [ida-pingala at conception (GV27)]  (E) of the aśvinī                 
the army

I think is first of all an allusion to the ancient Vedic Ashwamedha ritual in which either the king wins a community or has to send his army to attack his challengers.  This is of course sublime poetry and the Ashwamedha ritual has been used as both a moral allegory and a reference to prana.  My research has shown that Ashwini probably represents ida and pingala nadis, two of the triveni nadis in the subtle body distributing prana as prana/apana, and of importance to all kinds of yoga practices (the third one is sushumna).  So what is this sutra really talking about?

Horses are the vehicles of the senses in classical Indian iconography, it's the nadis or meridians or energy pathways that prana or life force travels through.   As someone who meditates on a regular basis I know that the inbreath brings in prana from the outside ("community") fortifying the body with subtle life force, and the forceful outbreath (the army) from the body/mind gets rid of all the toxic things.  This is part of a pranayama practice, for yoga and meditation - to stir up vitality in the body and to connect in a subtle way to the sharira (bodies - physical and subtle) and in advanced yoga for higher transmutation of the energy.  The word for "community" is रामः and can also mean "village" btw.

If as I suspect GV27-Ashwini is also talking about soul reincarnation at the level of conception, there is not much here to go on and this is where the ritual manual for priests may not have all the answers. 

However I did find an interesting bit of text in Parashara's Agni hymn in Rig Veda, that Sri Aurobindo transcribed in his classic The Secret of the Veda (here):

सेने॑व सृ॒ष्टामं॑ दधा॒त्यस्तु॒र्न दि॒द्युत्त्वे॒षप्र॑तीका ॥७॥
senā-iva sṛṣṭā amam dadhāti astuḥ na didyut tveṣa-pratīkā [7]

"He is like an army running to the charge and puts strength in us: he is like the flaming shaft of the Archer that has a keen burning face. He is the twin that is born and the twin who is that which is to be born. He is the lover of the virgins and the husband of the mothers."
 [trans. by Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda]

Here we have the same word for army सेने॑व senā and a mention of the twins.  In Sri Aurobindo's commentary Agni is the ritual fire (homa) that mediates between humans and that which transcends human consciousness (see article).  Keeping in mind that the army may represent that downward and forceful outbreath that brings prana down into gross-body consciousness (and bringing the soul into a new body incarnation) this passage brings to mind not one but several nakshatras - the archer that is Adra (restraint), the twin that is born (the Ashwins) and the twin that is yet to be born (Yama that is Bharani's deity/consciousness), then the virgins (I don't know who maybe Rohini) and the husband of the mothers (the Kartikeyas/Pelaides of Krittika).  All of these suggest prana moving into the root chakra to me.

GV28 Bharani

TB Sutra by EW:

The bearing away [apabharaṇīḥ] of yama (The Restrainer) is drawing away [apakarṣantaḥ] from above and carrying away[apavahantaḥ] from below. 

Reorganized as:
drawing away
(W) of bearing away [anterior medulla (GV28)] (E) of yama
carrying away

EW also gives us the pieces:

yamasya – of Yama, of The Restrainer. apabharaṇīḥ - bearing or carrying away. apakarṣantaḥ - drawing away. parastāt - from above. apavahantaḥ - carrying away. avastāt - from below. 

When I looked up अपकर्ष apakarSa it can also mean "drawing or dragging down".  It gives the strong impression of a force that bears us away and drags us down.  Clearly to me, this is not Yama as "death" but Yama as the Adam, the first soul-incarnate-in-a-human-body.  I immediately relate this to the incarnating soul at GV28 transitioning from the dumai governor channel into the renmai conception channel, which is I believe a kshetram point linked to the medulla at the top of the spine where souls in some traditions are said to enter a new human body.  To me it is the soul that is being drawn away or dragged down from its spiritual home in heaven into a new earthly incarnation in a human body.  And then in atypical great economy, the Sanskrit words also imply the womb that bears that body and the process of birth itself.

Here I read:

"Earlier represented by the Vedas as a cheerful king of the departed ancestors who became the first human to die, this god’s role quickly changed in later mythology to become a judge of good and evil deeds of deceased souls and determine their retribution."   
[Blake Irvin, March, 2013 - in a scholarly paper:  link]
 I think the original Yama has more to do with the illusion of mortality (due to the immortal soul's identification with the gross physical body - that which perishes), than morality.  The "restraint" that Yama puts upon us is likely the restraints placed on the soul due to this illusion of mortality, and all the confusion we have to deal with in life because of the human senses and our associations and attachments related to them.  In a way, Yama is the physical body, our vehicle in earth school.

The Four Directions (more thoughts)

------------------- Do priests really know the mystical processes their rituals are supposed to produce?  And does the author of these sutras know them?  There are more questions than answers here and I could be reading too much into this or not.  You decide.  And let me know what you think.