Abhijit is a nakshtara which comes into picture when a 28 Nakshatra system is used. This system was discarded by the Vedic seers for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the division of 360 degree zodiacal arc by 28 gives an incomplete fraction. This makes it impossible to specify the exact degreecal range of each nakshatra, which makes an unequal size system the only possibility. Even if one unwantingly accepts that each Nakshatra would have a different size, one is faced with the strange task of dividing 28 Nakshatra’s among 9 planets. Even if one manages to get over this obstacle by assigning 4 Nakshatra’s to one planet and 3 to the rest, one finds that the exceedingly accurate Dasha system falls to pieces. In other words, it makes perfect sense to use a 27 Nakshatra system.
All this has a lot to do with the fact that 27 is a more perfect number than 28, but a discussion on that is beyond the scope of this post. The average time it takes Moon to complete one revolution through the zodiac is 27.3217 days, a figure which is closer to 27 than it is to 28. Thus a 27 nakshatra system also fits in with the Lunar calendar much better than a 28 nakshatra system. It is interesting to note that the Chinese and Arabic astrologers are still using this borrowed 28 lunar mansion system, which has no sense besides the fact that it fits in with the seven day-four week solar calendar (7 x 4 = 28)
Abhijit can be seen as an attempt to highlight the specialty of a certain portion of the zodiac.
This certain portion lies between 0 and 12 degrees of the sign Capricorn, which would place Abhijit between Uttara Shada & Shravana. The English translations of the term “Abhijit’ can range from “the undefeatable”, ever-conquering”, “complete victory” & “final victory”, but they all point towards the same general area of triumph and achievement. No wonder then that Krishna says in Bhagawadgita, “Amongst the nakshatras I am Abhijit”. It is in this part of the celestial firmament that Indra and the Gods achieved a final & lasting victory over the Demons
Abhijit Nakshatra starts from the last pada (quarter) of Uttara Shadha Nakshatra and it extends up to 1/15th part of Shravana Nakshatra. It lies between 276 degrees 40 minutes to 280 degrees 53 minutes 20 seconds. The major portion of Abhijit Nakshatra lies in Makara Rashi and Meena Navamsha.
Its longitude starts from 06° 40′ to 10° 53′ 20 in sidereal Capricorn i.e. from the last quarter of nakshatra Uttara Ashādhā to first 1/15 th part of Shravana. Hence, Abhijit nakshatra is not a regular nakshatra with four padas or quarters, it serves as an intercalary asterism most of the times. It is not mentioned as frequently as other asterisms in mythology. Moon or Chandra is said to have 27 (not 28) wives with whom he stays for one day in a sidereal lunar month. Each of the 27 asterisms is feminine, only Abhijit is masculine. Abhijit Nakshatra is an auspicious time in the Hindu Calendar.
One finds that the triumphant aspect of Abhijit is very similar to that of Uttara Shada. Also Abhijit more or less lies within the last l0 degrees of Uttara Shada. Uttara Shada is the nakshatra where a conclusive triumph of good over evil takes place. Abhijit then can just be seen as a specific part in Uttara Shadha where there is absolute domination of all that is good from the universal perspective.
Life for native’s born with Moon in Abhijit can be a struggle till 27th year, sometimes severe financial problems.
The presiding deity over Abhijit is Lord Brahma himself – he is one of the trinities in Hindu pantheon. More on this Nakshatra in a separate post