Nakshatra in Vedic Astrology

The twelve zodiac star signs – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces – are given much emphasis in the world of Astrology. However, in Vedic Astrology, the 27 Nakshatras (constellations) are more emphasized over the star signs. It has been studied in Vedic Astrology – also known as Hindu Astrology – that Nakshatras are indeed the key to realizing the influence of celestial bodies in one’s life.

Types of Nakshatra

On a scientific basis, the 27 Nakshatras (constellations) are around 300 to 400 light years far from our planet earth. The 27 Nakshatras are as follows –

1. Aswini- Arietus-Stars-3

2. Bharani- Arielisa Mus-3

3. Krithika- Tauri Alcyoni-S

4. Rohini- Taiur Aldeboran-S

5. Mrigaslra- Orionis-8

6. Arudra- Orionis-1

7. Punarvasu- Gemini Polux-5

8. Pushyami- Cancri-3

9. Ashlesha- Hydrac-6

10. Makha- Leonis Regulas-5

11. and 12. Pubba and Uttara Leonis-4

13. Hasta- Cofvl-5;

14. Chitra- Virginis Spica-1

16. Swathi- Bootis Arcturus-1

16. Vishaka- Librae-3

17. Anuradha- Scorpionis-3

18. Jyesta- Scoipionis-6

20. and 21. Purvashada and Uttarashada-Sagittari-4

22. Sravana- Aquilate-3

23. Dhanishta- Delphini-4

24. Sathabisha- Aquari- l00

25. Purvabhadra- Pegasi-4

26. Uttarabhadra- Pegasi and Andromedae-4

27. Revathi- Pisclum-3

How to Calculate a Nakshatra?

Nakshatra Calculation – One Nakshatra consists of 13º and 20 minutes of the zodiac. Thus the entire zodiacal belt of 360º is the sum of 27 Nakshatras.

Well, on the basis of Moon Nakshatra of a person, at the time of his birth, powerful calculations could be derived. It is said that because of their dependency on Nakshatras, Vedic astrologers could make more powerful predictions and foretelling in comparison to those made in Western or other forms of Astrology.

Nakshatras (constellation or mansion) is as old as Vedic Astrology and it can be said that Vedic Astrology never existed without the concept of Nakshatra. The Vedas, the oldest of all the Hindu scriptures, has also referred to the concept of Nakshatra.

The Etymology

The meaning of Nakshatra is extremely deep and relevant to its characteristics. However, the term has two possible dissections –

  1. ‘Naks’ = ‘Sky’

‘Shetra’ = ‘Region’

Thus, ‘Nakshatra’ means ‘Skymap’.

  1. ‘Naksha’ = ‘Map’

‘Tara’ = ‘Star’

Thus, Nakshatra means ‘Star Map’.

The possible inference one may derive from both the dissections is that as per the Vedic Astrology the 27 Nakshatras and not the 12 zodiacal star-signs are the ones which map the sky.

Classification of Nakshatras

There are various classifications of Nakshatra –

  1. On the basis of basic attributes
  2. Primary motivation
  • Kama – sensual desires
  • Artha – material desires
  • Dharma – living life grounded on spiritual values
  • Moksha – freedom from the cycle of birth and death
  1. Sex
  2. Caste, Creed
  3. Species

Nakshatras are unveiled by their ruling planets, symbolic form and presiding deities.

Moon and Nakshatra

The Vedic or Hindu Astrology is based on calculations made with Moon in focus. The zodiac star signs are also formed on the basis of the position of the Moon and not the Sun as done in Western Astrology.

There is a strong linkage between the Moon and 27 Nakshatras (constellation or mansion). These Nakshatras belong to the Moon as it stays in each constellation or mansion for one day. The concept of lunar mansion has also found its mention in ancient Chinese and Arabic Astrology but somehow they never gained as much attention in European and Western Astrology.

Zodiac Signs and Nakshatra

Few points will make clear the natural connection between a zodiac and a Nakshatra. These are as follows –

  • The beginning point of the first Nakshatra, i.e. Ashwini and the first zodiac, the Aries, is the same.
  • Since there are 27 Nakshatras of 13º and 20 minutes distributed amongst the 12 zodiac signs, one zodiac sign has the mixed influence of more than one Nakshatra.
  • Being more vividly classified, Nakshatras provide a deeper understanding of celestial influence than zodiac sign, in particular.

Planets and Nakshatra

The planets are celestial bodies that are instilled with high creative powers. Each planet has its own certain distinctive characteristics which exhibit certain forces and impacts on the zodiacal fields.

Fields of Influences

Circles divided by zodiac signs and Nakshatras

  • Hold negative or passive fields
  • Creates appropriate environment for planets to exhibit special powers
  • Passive creative or generating forces
  • Material layers of action
  • Horizontal arm in the cross of celestial causes


  • Hold positive and active fields
  • Act as descending forces that work on the environment shaped by signs and Nakshatras
  • Active causes
  • Vertical arm in the cross of celestial causes

Birth Chart and Nakshatra

Vedic Astrology lays immense emphasis on one’s Nakshatra position during his time of birth. Various characteristics and personality traits of a person are read more through the birth star (Nakshatra of the Moon) than by the Sun zodiacs. The importance of Nakshatra position on the birth-chart (Janam Kundali) is also anytime more than that of the zodiac signs.

Nakshatras are various abodes where fruits of our karmas (deeds) are eventually transferred and sealed. Again, in one’s next birth, the sealed karmas are released. Remember, the fruit of bhakti (devotion and worship) is considered the highest form of karma.

Dasha and Nakshatra

Few points based on the relation between Dasha and Nakshatra will make the concept clear. These are as follows –

  • Dasha (major planetary period), based on Moon Nakshatra, during one’s birth time forms the basis of Vedic Astrology.
  • Based on the birth Nakshatra a 120 year old planetary cycle, called Vimshottari Dasha, is formed which is most crucial.
  • Accurate interpretation and predictions of possible opportunities and future events are made based on planetary movements
  • Dasha helps one understand how planetary periods affect different phases of one’s life.
  • Dasha (Major Period system) also take into account the seven major planets plus two lunar nodes (Rahu and Ketu) for correct prediction of the future events.
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27 Constellations