Dhaniṣṭha

Etymology & Symbolism

Dhani means, “wealthy,” and Ishta means, “complete.” Dhaniṣṭha, then, represents complete wealth, both in spirit and mind. However, Bepin Behari states that “the very word Dhaniṣṭha means a drum, as well as bamboo-cane.”1

Also known by the names Śrāviṣṭha (श्रविष्ठा) and Avittam, Dhaniṣṭha (Dhanishtha/धनिष्ठा) is called the “Star of Sympathy,” the “most famous,” and the “swiftest.”

Reverberation

The symbol most commonly used to represent Dhaniṣṭha is the drum (specifically the mridangam) and the flute, which use their hollowness to produce sound through reverberation. Siva’s drum represents the spiritual view of man, as does Krishna’s flute.

These instruments act as a link between the music and the musician. The drum or flute suggests association with sound, as did the previous Nakṣatra, but in Dhaniṣṭha the sound is mostly musical and rhythmical in nature and less purely vibrational. With this same method, Dhaniṣṭha’s impulse is to purge what resides in the soul from whatever it considers its own so that the divine plan can be unfolded smoothly and more easily take shape. It is at this stage when the individual may function like a read through which divine music is played uninterruptedly and without any distortion. These instruments help prepare the soul for its ultimate unity with the cosmic plan.23

Depending on the skill of the musician, the nature and contribution of the instrument may be assessed. How the music comes forth depends on the touch of the drum or the blowing of the flute. The force here may be similarly reflected on the plane to which it is directed.

Krisna and the Gopis

Krishna’s Flute

The flute attracts devotees to dance to the tune of Lord Krishna. When Krishna plays his flute, his devotees (the Gopis) are attracted to the tune and renounce all self-consciousness [much like the Pied Piper].45

Śiva’s Drum

Śiva sounds his small dumaru, a drum-like musical instrument shaped like a time-jar (hourglass?), under the spell of which the entire universe dances. The drum itself represents the by polarity of personality. On both sides of it hollowness is covered by stretched leather, and tiny knots tied to two threads attached at the center strike the stretched leather alternatively and rhythmically.67

As the drum, it links the individual soul to the very root of manifestation which it begins to reverberate. The Maha Shunya or Cosmic Void radiates sound waves which concretize cosmic ideas. Sound allows perception of the void on whose substratum all sounds arise. Beneath the noise and education of the outer world, there’s a great silence which resolves the real nature of things. This is the medium which enables the soundless sound to be perceived, towards which all meditation practices in. Under all forms of manifestation, there is the void which reveals their divine purpose. Perception of this original cause afford the individual different intensities of spiritual existence. One experiences the divine energy circulating everywhere.8

Personal Renunciation

This perception depends upon the purification of the psyche, which necessitates purging of personal emotions and self-centered ideas. At this stage, the individual may experience great sorrow and suffering, bleeding of the heart, but this is the only way to enlightenment. Divine strength, power, and light can only be poured into the individual after his crucifixion. Within the hollowness of the drum there is the capacity to resound the tune played by the cosmic dancer, Lord Śiva. The trial of the neophyte is a necessary stage for experiencing universal harmony. The drum and the hands of Śiva, the supreme god, and the flute on the lips of Krishna, the great avatar, are intended to evoke spirituality in man, to make the soundless manifest in sound. Dhaniṣṭha, among the lunar mansions, prepares the individual to realize the divine.9

Complete renunciation of personal and social considerations is required before the consummation of divine love can occur. The soul has to become hollow like a reed or flute before it merges in the supreme and the spark becomes one with the flame. Having listened to the message of the universal spirit under the influence of Dhaniṣṭha and giving up the personal point of view, the individual begins radiating the divine message and power. With the emptying of selfish, personal, and tamasic impulses, the hollowness of the individual is filled with universal sympathy and compassion. When the Aquarian pitcher begins to pour the waters of life, it gains enormous vitality to nourish the world around it. Yet a person under this asterism can magnify and exaggerate his own needs and beat his own drum loudly. This happens if one is on the lower lungs of evolution, otherwise one is a divine messenger of hope, courage, and enlightenment to his fellow beings.10((Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. pp. 238-239.))

Astronomy

Dhaniṣṭha resides between 23° 20′ Makara (Capricorn) and 6° 40′ Kumbha (Aquarius). It corresponding to α to δ Delphini in the constellation Delphinus.

Classifications

Nature Puruṣārtha Varna Color Gana Guna/Tattva Gender Body Part Animal
Movable (Chara) Dharma Rakshasa/Asura Sattvas/Tamas/Tamas  Female

Dhaniṣṭha is classified as a chara, or movable, nakṣatra, meaning that… it is best to begin activities like travel when the Candra is in Dhaniṣṭha.

Devas, Grahas & Śakti

Dhaniṣṭha is ruled by Maṅgala, resides within the rāśis of Makara and Kumbha (both ruled by Śani), and its presiding devas are the eight Vasus.

Grahas

There is a strong and adventurous nature due to the ruling planet Maṅgala, the spiritual warrior. Mangala externalizes that which lies concealed within. Although one wouldn’t associate Maṅgala with a sympathetic nature, its powers of courage, strength, and devotion to do so.

Śani offers up patience and protection, which sustains the person through his trials. Having endured the ordeal of purification the individuals consciousness is attuned to the universal harmony. Spiritual knowledge is opened to the mind. Behind the interplay of light and shadow in the outer world, beneath the fleeting images of the senses, one deciphers the inner reality. Within the increasing perception of ultimate reality, the mind resounds the celestial harmony.11

With the first half of the asterism in Makara and the latter half an Aquarius, although both ruled by Śani, the influence of Makara causes more trial than Aquarius. The person under Makara’s influence has to purify and universalize himself.

Kumbha (Aquarius) is ruled by Śani, which restricts the growth and expansion of material riches.12 Under Kumbha one can become a servant of the divine, a martyr in the name of God, working for nature and the universal spirit. He investigates and reveals/uncovers the unifying principles in life, attuning his own existence so as to flow like a river, energizing the sattvic harmony in all life. If this does not occur, a devil or Mephistopheles is born to plague the world. Such person will be ruthless, inconsiderate, and heartless, striving to acquire everything for his own selfish aggrandizement. No depth of degradation will be too low for him. But in the end, he will suffer and cry. Retribution takes place so that ultimately he turns his gaze to the inner light.13((Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 240.))

This conflict between Śani and Maṅgala is similar to that of Shravana, though under Shravana the turmoil rises at the mental level and guides the ego and earthly confrontation. Dhaniṣṭha’s motivational urge, dharma or righteousness, goads the individual to proceed undaunted in spite of the unfriendly external situation. That is why this asterism is generally considered inauspicious.14

The Vasus

The deities which preside over Dhaniṣṭha are the eight Vedic devas known as the Vasus, personifications of the cosmic energies: Agni, Prithvi, Vāyu, Antariksha, Āditya, Dyaus, Chandramas, and Nakṣatrani. Vasu translates as “good,” “superb,” or “beneficent,” as well as “wealthy” or “possessing property,” and so all these things, as well as valuable naturally-occurring materials, are associated with Dhaniṣṭha. The Vasus are assigned to Dhaniṣṭha in their role of energy sources. For example, charity and a capacity to control or command are also innate features of the Vayus and impart appropriate characteristics on Dhaniṣṭha.

Vadu represents both charity and innate capacity to control or command others.15

Each Vasu is a star (sun) and each has a special domain on the different realms of existence. None of them can exist along with materialism. They are the very antithesis of matter. Dhaniṣṭha, therefore completely yet gradually eliminates material attachments from the individual and enables the soul to express itself freely and directly.16

Vasana

Vasana (Indra) is also a deva associated with Dhaniṣṭha.

Śakti

The energy emanating from this asterism is the tremendous life force, which one properly absorbed leads to spiritual attainments. Those who are unprepared for its impact may actually be burned up. They are deprived of their material conveniences and suffer from great penury.17

Dhaniṣṭha gives give abundance and fame (khyapayitri shakti) and allows us to bring the resources of people together. In this way it builds upon the connections of Shravana and makes them more practical. Dhaniṣṭha is ruled by the Vasus, the deities of the Earth that give abundance on the earthly plane. They are manifestations of Agni or the sacred fire and show the gifts that it can dispense. ((David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras))

Planetary Placements/Astrological Interpretations

This is a mystical nakshatra under which many adepts and seers are born, while for ordinary men of the world it brings untold miseries and deprivation.18

Great yogis are born under Dhaniṣṭha.19

Marital discord and/or sexual difficulties are often associated with Dhaniṣṭha. Marriage may be delayed or denied. Men strongly influenced by Dhaniṣṭha may gravitate to mysogyny if other indications support this.20

Usually, a love of music and talent in singing or reciting chants can be observed here. There is great wealth as well as difficult marital karma found in this lunar mansion. Dhaniṣṭha offers insight, listening, and perception of truth and can give great spiritual depth and occult knowledge.  Its natives can be liberal in thought and unify others in a common sense. Universal sympathy and compassion can be experienced here. Dhaniṣṭha people can gain great fame and recognition. They are able to bring their resources together, are practical, and their fortunes are usually found away from home. Dhaniṣṭha can also offer materialism, though, and if afflicted, natives can strive to acquire everything for themselves. They can become overly ambitious, greedy, stingy, or covetous of others’ good fortunes. A tendency toward self-absorption and narcissism may result. ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras))

Yamas & Niyamas

Āsanas, Mudras, Mantras, Meditation & Bhandas

Great yogis and seers are born under Dhaniṣṭha.21

Mantra

Usually, a love of music and talent in singing or reciting chants, recitation of rhythmical incantations, and prayers can be observed here.

Meditation

Beneath the noise and education of the outer world, there’s a great silence which resolves the real nature of things. This is the medium which enables the soundless sound to be perceived, towards which all meditation practices in.22

Tales & Mythologies

Padas

There is no vargotamma and pushkara in Dhaniṣṭha. Ashtamamsha in its first pada brings unexpected transformations. This ashtamamsha shakes up the quality of all the planets. The beginning of Hasta and the beginning of Dhaniṣṭha are the only two ashtamamsha that start the nakshatra, therefore these are significant changes taking place.23

Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
Position 23° 20′ – 26° 40′ Capricorn 26° 40′ – 30° Capricorn 0° – 3° 20′ Aquarius 3° 20′ – 6° 40′ Aquarius
Ruler Surya (Leo) Budha (Virgo) Śūkra (Libra) Mangala (Scorpio)
Bija Mantra गा Ga गी Gi गु Gu गे Ge

Gemstones & Metals

Dhaniṣṭha itself is associated with (all) gems and precious metals.

Interests & Careers

  • Music (especially rhythm), drumming, military/marching bands
  • Recitation of rhythmical incantations, prayers, poetry, etc.
  • Medical profession, medicine, surgery
  • Real estate, property management
  • Engineering, mining
  • Science, research
  • Charitable organizations & institutions

Auspiciousness/Engage In

Inauspiciousness/Avoid

As with all Nakṣatras, there are both auspicious and inauspicious characteristics to be considered. Dhaniṣṭha’s motivational urge, dharma or righteousness, goads the individual to proceed undaunted in spite of the unfriendly external situation. That is why this asterism is generally considered inauspicious.24

Ayurveda & Health Issues

Dhaniṣṭha is indicative of the back .and anus.

Health problems related to Dhaniṣṭha include arthritis, back problems, knees and ankles, hypertension, heart trouble, piles, and hemorrhoids.


  1. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 78 

  2. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 238. 

  3. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 78-79 

  4. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 78 

  5. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 238. 

  6. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 78. 

  7. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 238. 

  8. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 239. 

  9. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 239. 

  10. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 78. 

  11. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 240. 

  12. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 78 

  13. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 79. 

  14. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 78. 

  15. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 241. 

  16. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. pp. 239-240. 

  17. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 78 

  18. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 78-79 

  19. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 240. 

  20. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 231 

  21. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 240. 

  22. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 239. 

  23. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 221. 

  24. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 78