Nakshatra Series – Dhanishta
Dhanishta the zenith of Martian energy, is represented in the celestial firmament by four stars in the constellation known as Delphini (the Dolphin). These four stars are arranged in a rhombus shape, which the ancients saw as signifying a drum. In modern astronomy these stars are known as Alpha-Delphini, Beta-Delphini, Delta-Delphini and Gamma-Delphini. This asterism can be seen lying in the dark empty space above the constellations of Capricorn and Aquarius. Beta Delphini, having a visual magnitude of only 3.63, is the brightest among these stars, making Dhanishta less bright in comparison to other asterisms. However it can be easily spotted as there are no bright constellations in its vicinity.
“Dhanishta” translates into- “the wealthiest” or “the most beneficent”. The reader can already understand the basic energy of this asterism through this simple meaning. Its alternative name is ‘Shravishta’, a Sanskrit term, which translates into “the most heard of” or “the most famous”. This again is a self-explanatory meaning, which directly hints at the extremely lucky quality of this asterism. The name Shravishta implies that Dhanishta forms a pair with the previous Nakshatra Shravana.
All scholars agree on the fact that a musical drum is the main symbol of this Nakshatra. However there is a difference of opinion in regards to the type of musical drum. Some equate the drum with tabor, some with a tabla, some with a Mridanga, but in our view the drum is actually a damaru. Damaru is Shiva’s favourite drum.
The drum (damaru) conveys two main attributes – music and hollowness. Hollowness here relates to receptivity to outer influences. In its highest expression this receptivity allows one to be an instrument of the universal mind without letting the ego interfere with the process. Since this Nakshatra follows Shravana, it relates to the process where what we have listened to is synthesized. This gives this Nakshatra the ability to actually accomplish things like playing music etc. In its lowest expression, this Nakshatra is susceptible to receiving lower level influences, and thus its outer works are not as elevating as they are in its highest expression. A drum as we know is a rhythmical instrument, which can be associated with time, and time is the rhythm of the universe. This is why this Nakshatra is said to have immaculate timing.
Its alternative symbol is a flute, which again emphasizes the fact that music is produced through hollowness, in much the same way as celestial music is created through the hollowness of universal space.
Dhanishta is presided over by a group of eight gods called the Vasus. “Vasu” translates into “superb”, “excellent or “wealthy”. Their names are:-
- Apa, which translates into ‘water’. He is a male deity usually related to Apah, the water goddess of Purva Shada.
- Dhruva – which translates into ‘the fixed’, and is related to the pole star at any given point in time.
- Dhara – which translates into ‘a bearer’ or ‘a stream of water’. This deity is akin to ‘the man pouring water from a pot’ – the symbol of Aquarius.
- Anila – which translates into ‘wind’. This deity is the same as Vayu, the wind god who is the ruler of Swati
- Soma – which translates to ‘the Moon’. He is the same as the Moon deity associated with Mrigshira.
- Anala – which translates into ‘fire’. This deity is another manifestation of Agni, the fire god who rules Krittika.
- Pratyusha – which translates into ‘dawn’. He is the male counterpart of Usha, the solar goddess who rides in front of the Sun. This might be the deity which made Jimi Hendrix, a musician with prominent Dhanishta influence, came up with the phrase ‘first rays of the new rising sun”.
- Prabhasa – which translates into ‘light’. This is another solar deity related to the morning time.
As we can see, all these eight deities carry within them the energies of different Nakshatra’s. This makes Dhanishta soft of compendium of the energies of earlier Nakshatra’s i.e. specifically Ashwini, Krittika, Mrigshira, Swati and Purva Shada. These eight Vasus are supposed to be wealthy and skilled at music. This conveys this Nakshatra’s mastery over the material plane and relates it with the rhythmical, musical functioning’s of the universal mind. This is probably the reason why a lot of scholars associated the signs of astrology with this asterism, which in a way is understanding the rhythm of the universe.
Shiva is the ultimate presiding deity of this asterism. This can be easily understood from the fact that part of this asterism lies in Aquarius, a sign completely under the influence of Shiva. Ancient puranic scriptures are full of stories of Shiva’s immense musical ability. Shiva, even while wreaking havoc and destruction, does so in a graceful and rhythmical dance form known as tandava, exemplified by his famous Nataraja posture. In fact, two of the main Indian classical dance systems directly originate from Shiva.
In a way, this Nakshatra can be seen as a bridge between Vishnu and Shiva’s energy. It can thus be related to the half-Vishnu, half-Shiva form which can still be found in some temples in India. Vishnu relates to its mastery of the material world, while Shiva relates to its musical and bohemian aspect.
Nature and Functioning:
Much of the nature of this Nakshatra can be derived from the nature and qualities of the eight gods presiding over it.
From Apah, it derives its musical ability, confidence, invincibility and a warrior like disposition, which in its negative aspect can manifest as vanity and obstinacy. This can sometimes lead this Nakshatra to ‘beat its own drum’.
From Dhruva, it derives the fixed part of its nature, which relates to its reliability, perseverance and good organizational ability. In a negative aspect it manifests as stubbornness. Dhanishta natives do not like to be told what to do!
From Dhara, it derives its wisdom, charitable nature and conversational ability. In its negative aspect it makes one a chatterbox, or having a tendency to disperse their energies in unconstructive, unwholesome ways.
From Anila, this Nakshatra derives its business acumen, resourcefulness and motivation to accomplish things. In its negative aspect this can make oneself seeking or generally worried about their prospects
From Anala, it derives its energy, mental acumen and discrimination. In its negative aspect it can make this Nakshatra bad tempered and consequently capable of hurting others.
From Pratyusha, it derives its radiance, happiness, joy and hopefulness. Nature expresses unbounded joyfulness through sunrise, which this Nakshatra usually tries to accomplish through music and dancing.
From Prabhasa, it derives its light-heartedness, purity, good nature and wholesome aspirations.
From Soma, it derives its gentleness and sensitivity, which sometimes can manifest as fickleness, deceptiveness or extreme indulgence.
The reader can easily infer from the above that Dhanishta is all about living a good life. The reader can also infer how it is not easy to put the Dhanishta personality in a box. It has many diverse aspects to its nature, making it one of the most expressive among the Nakshatra’s. It has an ability to adapt itself to any situation in which it finds itself.
Those born with Dhanishta rising on the Ascendant usually carry a rich, liberal, radiant expression on their faces. They exude confidence and nobility. They have a peculiarly captivating smile, which conveys a feeling of deep satisfaction at some inner level. In some cases they can have roving eyes.
Being good conversationalists, Dhanishta natives can always put the other person at ease very quickly. This will hold truer of those natives who are born under the Aquarius part of this Nakshatra. The Capricorn part has a more worldly orientation and thus lacks in the more refined, and divine aspects.
All those who have Dhanishta happening in their chart, one way or the other, have a good sense of rhythm and enjoy music and dance. It is very easy for them to excel in these fields if they work at it. Dhanishta natives tend to be good at sports because rhythm and timing are the key to almost all sports. This holds especially true for track and field athletics, ball games and gymnastics. Natives are especially good at sports like gymnastics, where grace is a prerequisite.
This is a social Nakshatra, which likes to be part of groups. It is not a loner and likes to mingle with people. Since it is naturally ambitious and is always conscious of its dharma, it very rarely shows escapist tendencies. It would rather confront things, which can make it appear argumentative at times.
When Moon occupies this asterism, the person concerned often goes for mates or partners who are very different in personality and outlook to them. This obviously leads to a lot of conflict in these issues. This can be seen to be most true when Moon occupies the Capricorn part of this asterism. A lot of scholars are unanimous regarding the peculiar property of this asterism in promoting marital discord. Since this asterism carries so many good qualities, such a thing does not make sense straight away. In our view the Martian aspect of this asterism is responsible for this problem.
Mars is regarded as the most unfavourable planet for marital harmony. Once again the Capricorn part of this asterism has more problems in this regard as compared to the Aquarius part. This is simply because Aquarius has a more accommodating nature as compared to Capricorn, These marital. Difficulties are usually enhanced when either Mars, Saturn, Rahu or Ketu are placed in this Nakshatra, especially the Capricorn part. If this placement has some connection with the seventh house, it might be impossible for such a person to have a smooth married life. In our experience, most Cancer Ascendants, whose Ascendant falls within 16o40′ – 30o00′, have difficulty in married life or sometimes don’t marry at all. This is because Dhanishta falls on the seventh house cusp. Those under the strong negative influence of the Capricorn part of Dhanishta often end up hating the opposite sex.
Rama, one of Vishnu’s avatars, who is regarded as the epitome of good conduct and righteousness, faced numerous problems in his married life. In his chart, Mars is placed in the Capricorn part of Dhanishta in the seventh house. He had to fight a big war to rescue his kidnapped wife Sita, and even after things returned to normal, he had to abandon heron some very flimsy ground. The reader scan refer to the ancient Vedic epic of “Ramayana” for the whole story.
Dhanishta always has the ability to tune into some source. The most important aspect of this is the source it tunes itself into, In the present day world where media acts as the primary influence for the masses, and provides them with ever declining and degenerating standards of culture, music, dance, fine arts etc., most Dhanishta kinds find themselves tuning into these unwholesome influences. This is the reason why the higher expressions of this Nakshatra, which come about by direct tuning in with the universal mind, area rarity nowadays. In the universal scheme of things. Dhanishta relates to ” khyapayitri shakti”- the power to give fame and abundance. Its symbolism has birth above and prosperity below. This symbolism and imagery re-emphasizes the beneficial and positive aspect of this Nakshatra. Dhanishta can be seen as the zenith of worldly achievements, a characteristic often attached with the sign Capricorn. It goes without saying that only when these worldly achievements are in tune with universal requirements do they have any lasting meaning.