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Order of the Planets in Nakshatra Rulerships and Dasas

 
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james_m



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Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:33 pm    Post subject: Order of the Planets in Nakshatra Rulerships and Dasas Reply with quote

i have a question at the bottom, if you want to skip right down to that... i asked aj about this and he was kind enough to give me a very interesting paper he had written on this topic.. i might share it, if he is okay with me sharing it... check my question at bottom..

i happened to notice, looking at the rulership of the nakshatras a connection to numerology... it might not be meant to be one, but either way, i thought it was interesting... on top of this, i realized that the order of the dasas is the same order, depending on where you want to start in the zodiac....

starting at the beginning of aries for the nakshatras this is the order..

nakshatras with numbers - all under the number 1 - ketu ruled.. 1, or 1+0, or 1+9, 1, 10, or 19th nakshatra are all ruled by ketu..

2, 11, 20 - venus ruled

3, 12, 21 - sun

4, 13, 22 - moon

5, 14, 23 - mars

6. 15. 24 - rahu

7. 16, 25 - jupiter

8, 17, 26- saturn

9, 18, 27 - mercury

depending on where you start the order, the order remains the same regardless.. so when you are figuring out the dasa periods for a person, it hinges on a few factors - but this order is not broken.. it remains the same.. different starting points, but same order...

ketu, venus, sun, moon, mars, rahu, jupiter, saturn, mercury... 9 ''planets'' and 9 rulers for both the nakshatras and dasas - same order in both... and if you are into numerology, you can add that into it as well...


my question - why is it this order for both the nakshatra and dasas?? what is the basis for this particular order and why is it not some other order?? on the surface it looks very random... all feedback welcome!
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we need to see AJ's paper!
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: order of the planets in nakshatra rulerships and dasas Reply with quote

Isn't this just a function of the 9 multiplication tables (conditioned in its turn by the 9-digit system that we take for granted)? 9 multiplied by any factor will yield a number whose digits eventually add up to 9.

There isn't really a standard rulership scheme for the nakṣatras; each nakṣatra-based daśā system has its own, and not all of them use all 9 planets or list them in the same order. But the Viṃśottarī scheme has become very popular, perhaps in part because the 9 planets divide neatly into the 27 nakṣatras.
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james_m



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Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

first more questions...

which came first - the nakshatras or the dasa?? what about the concept of navamsa?? it is another system or interpretation that is built on the number 9...

martin - correct, but i am looking at this from a numerology angle or the idea of symbolism contained in numbers... does indian study have any connections with numerology?

obviously it would be even more crazy if there were only 9 houses as opposed to 12, so everything could fit neatly into the concept of 9 being the last and final number from a literal and symbolic point of view...

and the dasas are built on the number of years 120 - vimsottair scheme - which is the most popular scheme for the dasas... 120 is the degrees of a trine and thus we find if we divide a 360 circle by 9, aside from sextiles 9x6 coming out of it, we get trines 9x3 as well... the beginning of the fire signs and end of the water signs is the area referred to as gandanta.. this area is ruled by mercury - end of water and ketu - beginning of fire... does it make sense for them to rule this area more then some other area??

personally i think a lot of astrology is based on symbolism... astrologers attempt to fit the observations they make into the symbolism they've adopted.. that is what i think.. some astrologers will be aghast that i say this, but it is an observation of mine.. some astrologers won't care knowing what the basis for any of it is... i am reminded of how important martins terms are in his most recent book on primary directions, but no one knows the basis for these terms... we are just supposed to accept them or not!

while i don't see any immediate connection to ketu and the number 1, i do see some connections with the other bodies and the numbers.... 2 is associated with the opposition aspect and has a relationship theme to it which i associate with venus... 8, i associate with death so saturn works on one level with the number 8... mercury is bhudda and one could say a symbol for enlightenment - the last number 9 has an association with this as i see it, although mercury or mind is the great slayer of the real as well - so i suppose it depends on how mercury functions here... after that my understanding of numerology symbolism connected to the planets breaks down... moon and the number 4 - i can see a little bit... sun, mars, jupiter and rahu - i see no immediate connections...

so does indian astrology make any association with number symbolism? it doesn't look like it, but it was an avenue of consideration coming out of my first comment in this thread...

which comes first historically - nakshatras, dasas, or navamsas?? probably no one knows and probably they all came out before anyone could see one before the other, but i am curious....

therese - i will share the paper if aj doesn't mind me sharing it.. have to wait and ask him first..

martin you make a comment that intrigues me - ""There isn't really a standard rulership scheme for the nakṣatras; each nakṣatra-based daśā system has its own, and not all of them use all 9 planets or list them in the same order.""

are the two systems - nakshatras and dasas always interwoven with one another?? or can they be stand alone systems??

thanks for both your comments..
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I share your wish to understand underlying principles, James. As a historian, though, I think we sometimes simply have to accept that we don't know what those original principles were (unless and until more data should turn up). Speculating without sufficient data will almost certainly lead one wrong. It is something you see all the time in contexts like traditional exegeses of religious texts, or popular etymologies (like the 17th-century astrologers trying to derive the word hyleg from the Hebrew halakh, because the only ancient languages they knew were Latin, Greek and Hebrew).

I am not aware of any Indian number symbolism of the kind you mention.

Quote:
which comes first historically - nakshatras, dasas, or navamsas?? probably no one knows and probably they all came out before anyone could see one before the other, but i am curious....

This one is actually fairly easy to answer: the nakṣatras were defined long before there was horoscopic astrology, and therefore daśās, in India. The earliest daśā systems weren't based on nakṣatras; the ones that are would likely be medieval. The navāṃśas as navāṃśas, that is, ninth-parts, depend on the notion of 12 zodiacal signs, so they came after the introduction of horoscopic astrology. However, they do coincide with the quarters (pādas) of the nakṣatras, and so could conceivably be earlier. I'm not sure when the pādas were first mentioned.

But yes, there were nakṣatras before there were daśās, and there are daśās independent of the nakṣatras.
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks martin... this is very helpful..

so for me in trying to understand the order of the planets in both the nakshatras and dasas ( vimshottari anyway) has to start with the nakshatras in some obvious respect....

another question i have is when did the change happen from 28 to 27 nakshatras, or are both of them considered too far back historically to know??

i sort of feel the answer to 27 verses 28 is connected to the concept of navamsa and the importance of the number 9 in all that is symbolizes, whether this was a conscious decision or not... 9 is an odd number to emphasize, unless one wants to incorporate the 7 planets with rahu and ketu... but it is emphasized with the 27 nakshatras and the concept of the importance of the navamsa...

on a related note - here is a wikipedia page on dasa which also has a nice map of the rulership of the nakshatras system i was discussing earlier...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasha_(astrology)

not sure why it is not also highlighting the (astrology), but that has to be in the link for it to work... copy and paste the whole line if you want to go directly to the page..
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wikipedia table clearly refers to the Viṃśottarī scheme. But if you look at other nakṣatra-based daśā systems like Aṣṭottarī or Yoginī (or the umpteen systems listed in the Bṛhatpārāśarahorā), they will have other rulership schemes.

I'm not sure about the earliest sources for the 27- and 28-nakṣatra systems, respectively. But once the asterisms had been normalized and mapped on to the ecliptic (that is, after the introduction of horoscopic astrology), one obvious advantage of the 27 version is that it divides more neatly into 360.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James wrote:
Quote:
Another question i have is when did the change happen from 28 to 27 nakshatras, or are both of them considered too far back historically to know??

This is covered in one source I have (Pre-Siddhantic Indian Astrology by Prof. K.D. Abhyankar, I-S.E.R.V.E, 2007). Abhyankar mentions that the Vedanga Jyotisa of 1400 BC reduced the number of naksatras from 28 to 27 for mathematical reasons and made the nakshatras 13 1/3 degrees of he ecliptic. The Abhijit nakshatra was dropped. Abhyankar states that when the zodiac signs came to India around 500 B.C. there was an attempt to incorporate them into the nakshatra system. The attempt was made by the Jain astronomers, and the incorporation was completed by the Siddhantic astronomers.

However, in The Divine Forces of the Lunar Nakshatras as Portrayed in the Vedas (Shree Ganapati Productions, 2015) Radhe makes this interesting statement in discussing the Taittriya Brahmana which lists 28 nakshatras:

Quote:
This list of the Nakshatras differs from the certainly older list given in the Taittiriya-Samhita (TS.4.4.10.1-3) by the fact that it contains 28 nakshatras instead of 27, Abhijit having been inserted between the Second Asadhas and Srona. (p. 179)

I hadn't seen this mentioned anywhere else that the original number of nakshatras was probably 27 rather than 28. Radhe's book is an excellent source for tracing the earliest history of the naksatras. A great deal of research went into the book.
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks martin and therese...

fascinating comments at the end of your post therese... lots to consider... thank both of you.
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James wrote:
Quote:
Another question i have is when did the change happen from 28 to 27 nakshatras, or are both of them considered too far back historically to know??


Therese wrote:
Quote:
This is covered in one source I have (Pre-Siddhantic Indian Astrology by Prof. K.D. Abhyankar, I-S.E.R.V.E, 2007). Abhyankar mentions that the Vedanga Jyotisa of 1400 BC reduced the number of naksatras from 28 to 27 for mathematical reasons and made the nakshatras 13 1/3 degrees of he ecliptic. The Abhijit nakshatra was dropped. Abhyankar states that when the zodiac signs came to India around 500 B.C. there was an attempt to incorporate them into the nakshatra system. The attempt was made by the Jain astronomers, and the incorporation was completed by the Siddhantic astronomers.

However, in The Divine Forces of the Lunar Nakshatras as Portrayed in the Vedas (Shree Ganapati Productions, 2015) Radhe makes this interesting statement in discussing the Taittriya Brahmana which lists 28 nakshatras:



Therese wrote:
Quote:
This list of the Nakshatras differs from the certainly older list given in the Taittiriya-Samhita (TS.4.4.10.1-3) by the fact that it contains 28 nakshatras instead of 27, Abhijit having been inserted between the Second Asadhas and Srona. (p. 179)


Quote:
I hadn't seen this mentioned anywhere else that the original number of nakshatras was probably 27 rather than 28. Radhe's book is an excellent source for tracing the earliest history of the naksatras. A great deal of research went into the book.


As you are aware Therese the dating of Indian religious and astrological texts is a subject of ongoing debate and disagreement. For example, while Prof. K.D. Abhyankar may support the oldest possible date for the composition of the Vedanga Jyotisa other scholars date the text to the last few centuries BCE. for example Michael Witzel notes:

Quote:
Only if one is convinced that Lagadha intended the solstice to be exactly at alpha Delphini of Dhanishta, one can date his observations back to the late second millennium. Since that cannot be shown beyond doubt, since the composition of the text is in Late Epic language, and since its contents have clear resemblances to Babylonian works, the text must belong to a late period, to the last centuries BCE


The existence of 28 Nakshatras seems to be very ancient rather than a late interpolation as you seem to be suggesting. For example, there are 28 Nakshatra listed in the Atharvaveda which is dated from approximately 1200 to 100BCE. This challenges the assumption the 28th Nakshatra was a late addition. It can be argued the contrary may be true ie that the 27 Lunar Mansions only became the norm in Indian astrology at a much later point.

Further evidence to support this view is provided by the scholar Bill Mak who has written about Indian Naksahtra horoscopes preserved in China which date back as early as the first centuries CE. These use 28 nakshatras rather than 27. The older examples were also still using the Nakshatra Krittika as the first Nakshatra.

It seems likely then that the astrological use a 27 Nakshatra system was a later development sometime between the 2nd-6th century CE when the Nakshatras became fused with the 12 sign zodiac. At some point then Ashwini became linked to the 12 sign zodiac. This also coincided with the vernal equinox in Ashwini. Before this time the size of the Nakshshatras also seems to have been unequal rather than 13'20 degrees in size. .

Intriguingly, some ultra traditional Hindus have argued the Nakshatras don't belong with the sidereal zodiac at all since they are historically unequal in size with the first Nakshatra determined where the equinox was. The consequence it is argued is that Indian religious festivals have gradually fallen out of sequence with the seasons. A noted figure in this campaign for Indian calendar reform has been Sri Mohan Krity Aarsh Tithi Patak who has advocated a system of unequal Nakshatra junction stars as described in the Atharva Veda.

https://web.archive.org/web/20130317222334/http://www.reformedsanathancalendar.in/natchatras.html

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Sanathan+Calendar&docid=608030824259519243&mid=77D6C2C7EBC16921640677D6C2C7EBC169216406&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

The move to a 27 mansion system had some definite astrological advantages. Firstly, the 27 equal mansions fits more closely with the sidereal or zodiacal monthly cycle of the Moon than the 28 mansion system did.

Secondly, it more closely approximates to the daily motion of the Moon through the zodiac and the length of the equal mansions is an approximation of that. So in the equal , 27 nakshatra system the Moon travels through approximately a nakshatra each day.

Thirdly, we have a more organised rulership system with each planet /node assigned three Nakshatra each. Again this fits into the numerology of 9.

When you take it all together its actually a beautiful piece of astrological synthesis to bring together these two completely different systems.

However, the contrary position is that the original Indian system of star lore was completely transformed to fit into a fixed symmetrical, ecliptic based system. Many of the ancient Indian myths are directly linked to fixed stars. Their rearrangement into the equal nakshatras has actually created an astrological dislocation in the placement of some stars by modern nakshatra. I personally, think there is evidence the original Indian system of nakshatras was equatorial (like the 28 Chinese Lunar Mansions) not ecliptical at all. This explains why stars way outside the ecliptic -Sirius, Canopus, Crux, Vega, Ursa Major (the Plough/Big Dipper) form such an important role in Indian mythology.

In one of his articles on the Indus Valley script the Finnish academic Asko Parpolo makes the following fascinating comment:

Quote:
The Purana texts contain an interesting conception about the pole star... In reply to a question why the stars and planets do not not fall down from the sky, these heavenly bodies are said to be bound to the pole star with invisible 'ropes of wind'. These 'ropes' seem to refer to the air roots of the cosmic banyan tree, which god Varuna is said to hold up in the sky in the earliest Indian text dating from c1000 BCE'. Study of The Indus Script, Special Lecture, Asko Parpolo, 19.05.2005, Tokyo

'

Parpola uses these references as part of a wider argument that one of the seals in the ancient Harappan culture actually represents the pole star/cosmic tree of later Vedic texts. Whether, Parpola is right or not regarding that point the cosmology represented in the Puranas sounds far more like an equatorial view of the cosmos centred on the pole star rather than one based around the ecliptic. It would therefore seem more logical to assume that the ancient Nakshatras fitted into that kind of cosmology and astrological world view.

The Nakshatra based dasa (time lord) systems like Vimsottari were clearly actually designed for the 27 Nakshatras. The Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra (BPHS) was quite possibly the first text to pull all this together into a fully integrated system.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said, I haven't looked into the various textual sources relevant to this question myself (though I know Bill Mak has, and also Michio Yano). But it seems perfectly possible that the 27- and 28-asterism arrangements have coexisted as variant traditions for a very long time (and also that the 28-asterism model appealed more to Chinese translators because it resembled the indigenous Chinese system).

Quote:
Intriguingly, some ultra traditional Hindus have argued the Nakshatras don't belong with the sidereal zodiac at all since they are historically unequal in size with the first Nakshatra determined where the equinox was.

It might be more correct to describe these people as reformist than as ultra-traditional, since they are urging a reform to the de facto tradition. Also, while the nakṣatras clearly did not originally belong to any kind of zodiac (as they were used in India long before the zodiac was), actual stars in the sky cannot be anything but sidereal. The stars used to define the equinox a couple of millennia ago certainly don't define it today.
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin wrote:

Quote:
I haven't looked into the various textual sources relevant to this question myself (though I know Bill Mak has, and also Michio Yano). But it seems perfectly possible that the 27- and 28-asterism arrangements have coexisted


It seems you are correct. I have just been reading Bill Mak's paper: ''The Oldest Extant Source on the Indian Lore of Nakṣatras According to Vṛddhagarga Bill M. Mak Kyoto University, December 2018.

Bill Maks states:

Quote:
Nakṣatras in the Vedic Literature -
Full set of 27 nakṣatras (from Kṛttikā): Taittirīyasaṃhitā 4.4.10, Taittirīyabrāhamaṇa 1.5.1. Early first millennium BCE.

28 nakṣatras (with Abhijit): Maitrāyāṇīsaṃhitā 2.13.20, Taittirīyabrāhamaṇa 3.1.1, Atharvaveda 19.7.2-5. Late first millennium BCE
.

He concludes:

Quote:
27 nakṣatras as day-indicator associated with Vedic rituals and natal astrology, enumerated from Kṛttikā (Vṛddhagarga) - 27 nakṣatras associated with sidereal movement of the Moon (27.3 days) (Vedāṅgajyotiṣa)

- 28 nakṣatras with the inclusion of Abhijit, motivated by the attempt to gain greater accuracy in the uneven nakṣatra coordinate system (Atharvavedapariśiṣṭa, Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna) - Abhijit associated with the post-Vedic deity Brahmā. - 28 nakṣatra system died out but is preserved in early Vedic and Buddhist texts - 27 nakṣatras enumerated from Aśvinī (= Meṣa or Aries)



Martin wrote:
Quote:
It might be more correct to describe these people as reformist than as ultra-traditional, since they are urging a reform to the de facto tradition.


I suppose so. I was primarily focusing on the fact these are a group of devout Hindus who believe the festivals are not aligned correctly to the correct calendar suggested in the Vedas. They regard this as spiritually damaging . But there is no denying they seek reform. Ironically to what they perceive as the original correct order of things. It reminds me somewhat of the Protestants in Christianity or the modern salafis in Islam who seek to reform what they see as corruptions that have developed in the practises of their tradition.

Martin wrote:
.
Quote:
..while the nakṣatras clearly did not originally belong to any kind of zodiac (as they were used in India long before the zodiac was), actual stars in the sky cannot be anything but sidereal. The stars used to define the equinox a couple of millennia ago certainly don't define it today.


Naturally. That is indisputable. However, while the naksatras are sidereal the question arises whether seasonal factors influenced the order of them? The earliest order began with Kriitika. Some of the naksatra horoscopes preserbed in China start with Kriitika (the oldest), some start with Bharani, while the later examples all start with Ashwini. This surely hints that over time the changing equinioxes and solstices influenced how ancient Indians viewed the sidereal naksatras?

Mark
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Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The adjustment from Kṛttikā to Aśvinī as starting point was probably to align the nakṣatras with the twelve-sign zodiac rather than with precession as such, but yes, it is perfectly possible that the counting originally started from Kṛttikā because the conjunction of the sun (or, perhaps more likely, the full moon) with it coincided with some seasonally important event.
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