Nakshatra Series – Pushya
Pushya translates into the “Nourisher”, the “Nurturer” or the “Yielding”. This simple name carries within itself the essence of this Nakshatra. Some scholars are of the opinion that Pushya also translates into “a flower”. The flower conveys the same sense of gentleness and nourishment as the other translations. Pushya’s ancient name is “Tishya”, which translates into auspicious. “Sidhya” meaning ‘prosperous’ is another name associated with this Nakshatra. We can see that all these names are drawn from a common essence of benevolence.
Pushya’s main symbol is the ‘milk yielding udder of a cow’. We have already seen that the ancient seers saw its three stars as representing a cow’s udder. Once we combine this symbol with its name, all the indications of this Nakshatra are immediately clear, that is – its propensity and ability to nourish, nurture, care and give freely on all planes of existence.
Cows, as we know, provide their milk to others besides their own calf unselfishly. Cows are also a universal symbol of motherhood and were highly revered, especially in the ancient Vedic society. In India it is still considered the holiest amongst all animals. All the notions of fertility and productivity that are related to the earth on a material plane fall under the domain of this Nakshatra. In many ancient legends, the earth is often equated with a cow.
Cows are intimately connected with the sign Taurus. This Nakshatra is intimately connected with the sign Taurus and its qualities, even though it does not fall in that sign. As we shall find later, Moon in Taurus placement in a chart carries an energy similar to the energies of this Nakshatra.
The practice of agriculture, the root of all civilization, can be equated with the domestication and milking of cows. From a universal perspective, it represents the power of the feminine goddess energy to provide for whatever is required. The milk which comes from the cow’s udder represents all kinds of varied things like life force, vitality and creativity. One can only give if one can produce and this Nakshatra relates to all kinds of productive forces operating within our universe.
Its alternative symbol is a ‘wheel’. The ‘wheel’ is an ancient symbol signifying movement in all its aspects, especially the movement of time. It can be seen as a motif for progress achieved in the course of time. The idea of progress or development always involves the passage of time. This Nakshatra is very aware of the proper utilization of the time principle to achieve its productive, creative and nurturing objectives. From the modern day point of view, we can see that the use of automobiles have made people’s lives much simpler than they used to be. This is just one of the numerous gifts from this liberal Nakshatra.
Wheel is also an archetypal symbol for civilization, which once again emphasizes the prosperous, courteous and refined nature of this Nakshatra. There’s no place for brutality, savagery vulgarity or animalistic behaviour in this Nakshatra. Another obscure symbol of this Nakshatra is a ‘circle’. This generally reflects the circular essence of this asterism. This Nakshatra is related to curves of all types. Breasts, the Moon, the Earth and a Cow’s Udder are all circular and rounded. Natives with Pushya prominent in their charts usually show an obsessive streak for round things.
Some scholars ascribe a ‘flower’ to be one of Pushya’s symbols. As we have already seen, flowering is one of the translations of Pushya. Pushya represents a flowering process of any type. For example, human beings are supposed to flower at the age of sixteen. The term “sweet sixteen” is usually used to describe this happy, cheerful, carefree period where the body, mind and emotions have matured or blossomed enough to make us step out of childhood. It is interesting to note that the sixteenth year is regarded as the maturation age of Jupiter, the planet most closely associated with this Nakshatra.
Brihaspati, the guru, priest and chief advisor of the gods, is the presiding deity of this Nakshatra. Since he is the same as the planet Jupiter as understood in astrology, all the attributes and significations associated with Jupiter apply to him as well. It is not very hard to correlate Jupiter’s basic nature with the kind and caring disposition of this Nakshatra. All of Jupiter’s benevolence such as generosity, compassion, joyfulness and optimism are manifested through this Nakshatra. It is interesting to note that Jupiter relays all of its good qualities much more through this Nakshatra in comparison to the Nakshatra’s it is the planetary ruler of. This is very similar to the case of Moon reflecting most of its qualities through Mrigshira instead of the Nakshatra’s it actually rules.
This point reveals the fact that the ruling deity is always more important than the planetary ruler when it comes to understanding the crux of any Nakshatra.
Nature and Functioning:
Pushya is that place on our journey where we can rest safely and peacefully without anything to fear. It is the most nourishing of all Nakshatra’s and brings us back to that state in our infancy where we are safely nestled in our mother’s arms. That is why natives strongly ruled by Pushya are very maternal, kind, helpful, generous, protective and nourishing. They often end up in comfortable positions in life. Pushya relates to breasts and this conjures up the expression “Milk of human kindness”. Kindness is what this Nakshatra is all about. Pushya is a blissful and soothing Nakshatra and the natives they produce are much sought after by others for their friendship and aid. Being ruled by Saturn, Pushya natives are very reliable, dependable stalwarts, who one can always turn to in times of need.
Pushya is simply the most loved and benign of all Nakshatra’s. Like its neighbour Punarvasu, it loves life and expresses much contentment and sense of wellbeing, but it has the advantage of being able to manifest this fullness and expansiveness on the material plane, therefore giving rise to great material comfort and prosperity. This is due to the concrete nature of its ruler Saturn.
Pushya in its positive aspect is extremely nourishing and its energies, wherever they are directed, produce great expansion and growth. This is true for any area of life whether it be in the emotional realm, in one’s creativity, spiritual development or on the material plane. As this Nakshatra completely resides in Cancer, a sense of family, home and community are strong in Pushya natives.
On a less evolved level, these natives will be very generous and protective of kith and kin and ever ready to lend a helping hand to those in their immediate community, but may fail to see the bigger picture. On a higher level, evolved souls under its influence, will embrace the whole world as their family, nourishing the earth with their chosen talents and ceaseless gift of caring. Pushya qualities of love, emotional wholeness, calmness, soothing, generosity and richness manifest through such souls with ease.
The negative side of this Nakshatra makes one so comfortable in their own world, that they can become rigid, narrow minded and orthodox in their attitudes towards anything or anyone outside of it, particularly in matters of religion, culture or other social conventions. Pushya has very few negative qualities attached to it, except the danger of it becoming overtly prejudiced, protective or bigoted. Suspicion and caution arises towards anything that does not fit its highly structured views or opinions.
Pushya expresses all the ‘square like’ aspects of its ruler Saturn and the number “4” (relating to the fourth sign Cancer). Therefore it always tries to take a balanced and even approach to things. It has a sense of realism and sanity to it and will always react reasonably to most situations and problems, which is why it is the most helpful amongst the Nakshatra’s. Helpfulness is its primary concern.
Natives here are highly productive and work patiently towards their goals. There is a sense of containment and safety inherent in this Nakshatra, similar to the safety and containment inherent in the Nakshatra Satabhisha. The only difference is that Pushya’s containment, shelter and safety arises from a very trusting situation, and Satabhisha arises out of a need for secrecy, and many a times, from a certain mistrust.
This number “4” influence is seen in Pushya’s respect for its roots, foundations and traditions. It has more to do with respecting the conservative outer traditions of culture and religion, than the inner esoteric aspects of spirituality, which is more associated with the latter Nakshatra’s. Jupiter is exalted in Pushya giving these natives a strong sense of ethics. They like to do the right thing and abide by accepted standards and laws. They are shining examples of hospitality, decency, courtesy, etiquette and are not likely to behave in any vulgar or extreme manner. However, in its negative aspect, Pushya can make one lethargic, needy, dependent and prone to addictions due to a lack of will power. If afflicted, Pushya natives tend to get victimized easily.
When this Nakshatra influences the appearance of a native, it gives fleshy features, prominent chest/breasts, round faces and luminous lustre. Natives under its influence put on fat easily and are prone to bronchial disorders. They have a liking for good food, comfort and social enjoyment. They also like to surround themselves with material luxuries of all kinds. They are gentle, patient docile creatures who are very attached to their family, especially the mother or mother figures.
In the universal scheme of things, Pushya relates to ‘brahmvuarchasa shakti”- the power to harness the creative powers of Brahma (the universal creator). Its symbolism has sacrificial offerings above and the worshipper below. This re-emphasizes the priestly aspect of Pushya, where one does outer rituals like homa and yagna to get the favour of celestial entities and divine powers in general.