Punarvasu

Etymology & Symbolism

Punarvasu (पुनर्वसु) is derived from Puna, meaning “purifying” and Vasu, meaning “excellent.” Together, they reflect return, renewal, restoration, and repetition.

In Malayalam, Punarvasu is called Punartham. It is also known as Punarpusam in parts of South India. As Punar is the common prefix in all forms of the name, the importance of the purification properties of Punarvasu are clear.

Dhanu (Bow)

Dhanu (Bow). Artwork courtesy: Drdha Vrata Gorrick

Quiver of Arrows

Its primary symbol is a quiver of arrows, which reflects the ability to launch successful projects.

The quiver symbolizes potential energy and resources, the arrows being ready for use as appropriate. As the arrow’s abode, the quiver suggests something that is returned to its appropriate resting place, and so represents one’s home or a homecoming and, by extension, any residence or dwelling.1

Those in whose horoscopes in which Punarvasu is prominent may pursue endeavors which compel them to lead lives of relative retirement from the world, living in the intimacy of family or friends away from heavy public involvement, greatly attached to the home but, like the arrow in the quiver, always prepared for travel. This may result in a simultaneous preference for travel and a dislike for changing residence. Since an arrow may be taken from its quiver, used, and then returned to its quiver, this also suggests repetition, recycling, and regaining that which was lost or used. The arrow also suggests flight, and a capacity to penetrate its target, no matter how distant mentally or physically.2

The Bow

Castor & Pollux, representing the heads of the twins of Gemini (Mithuna)

Castor & Pollux, the brightest stars that comprise the heads of the twins of Gemini (Mithuna)

See:3

Astronomy

Punarvasu resides between 20° Mithuna (Gemini) and 3° 20′ Karka (Cancer). Punarvasu is comprised of the two brightest stars in the constellation of Mithuna, Castor and Pollux.

Although they are often depicted holding an arrow and Punarvasu, itself, is associated with a quiver of arrows, Castor and Pollux are considered the “twin gardeners.”

Classifications

Nature Puruṣārtha Varna Color Gana Guna/Tattva Gender Body Part Animal
Movable (Chara)  Artha  Merchant  lead or steel grey  Deva  Rajas/Sattva/Rajas  nose  (female) cat

It is a moveable nakshatra and its influence is good for invoking life changes such as career or residential moves. It allows creativity and inspiration to be renewed.

The animal symbol is a female cat, which reflects its sensitivity and need for independence.

Shastri Devi

Shastri Devi rides the cat.4

Devata, Graha & Śakti

Punarvasu is ruled by Brihaspati, resides within the rāśis of Mithuna and Karka (ruled by Budha and Candra, respectively), and its presiding deva is Aditi, the Goddess of Infinity.

Graha

Through Budha’s influence, Punarvasu offers great potential in communication fields and gives a tendency to over-intellectualize life experiences, which can produce a critical nature. This is, of course, especially true for the first three padas, which fall in Budha’s rāśi of Mithuna (Gemini). Position in these first three quarters (padas) can also offer great intellectual and spiritual wisdom.

The last pada (quarter), Candra’s in rāśi of Karka (Cancer), results in one of the most benefic positions of all the mansions. Punarvasu is a powerful springboard for self-expression, encouraging the development of latent talents.5

Earth as Aditi, Madhubani Style (Artist: Vidya Devi and Dhirendra Jha)

Earth as Aditi, Madhubani Style (Artist: Vidya Devi and Dhirendra Jha)

Aditi

Aditi is sky, Aditi is air, Aditi is all gods, Aditi is Mother, father and son, Aditi is whatever shall be born. – Rgveda

Aditi, the feminine goddess of the Vedas and frequently associated with infinity and unboundedness, represents true freedom and plenty, which is the product of an amiable, adaptive, understanding and reasonable character, one who is capable of being happy with little when necessary. Aditi is also associated with the virtues and, by extension, this striving to act nobly, which links Punarvasu to philosophy, religion, yoga, and similar means to enhanced self-understanding.6

Punarvasu is ruled by Aditi, has the power to gain wealth or substance (vasutva prapana shakti). It brings about the return of energy and vitality, like the return of the monsoon rains after the dry season. It causes our creative growths and inspirations to be renewed. Aditi, the Great Mother Goddess, is the Earth Goddess who grants all abundance and gives birth to all the Gods. ((David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras))

The 12 Adityas were born of Kasyapa in the womb of Aditi. The 12 Adityas are Vishnu, Indra, Vaga, Twasta, Varuna, Aryama, Pusa, Mitra, Agni, Parjyanya, Vivaswan and Dinakar. The mother Aditi of whom the Gods are born is the repository of everything good-truth, generosity, magnanimity, purity, aristocracy, beauty and renown. It follows that this star is the cause for these virtues. To start afresh after having once broken off, to start a new life, to come back from a distant land-all. Punarvasu signifies these. It stands for freedom from restriction and limitation, and boundless space.

Aditi

Aditi

Aditi is also known as Lajja Gauri, the goddess of the sky. Her name means “free,” “unbound,” or “limitless.” Ancient art throughout India  shows Lajja Gauri as a lotus-headed goddess, naked and adorned with jewels, her legs raised in a birthing or sexual position, exposing her vulva. She is the Infinite Mother, ruler over the conscious and unconscious minds, the past and the future, and the universe. The ultimate protector, she provides her children with safety, spiritual enlightenment, and material wealth; she also grants her worshippers an easy path to their heart’s desire. Lajja Gauri is mentioned in the sacred Vedic texts as the Mother of All Gods, and the mediator between the mortals and the Divine.7

The Earth in the beginning had no growths. She desired, “May I produce herbs and trees.” One who makes the appropriate offering to Aditi, to Punarvasu, produces progeny and cattle. – David Frawley, Fruits of Worshipping Each Nakshatra

Yamas & Niyamas

Āsanas, Mudras, Meditations, Mantra & Bhandas

When Candra is in Punarvasu this is a great time to practice puja.

Tales & Mythologies

Rama

Rama was born under this Nakshatra.

“On completion of the ritual six seasons have passed by and then in the twelfth month, on the ninth day of Chaitra month [April–May,] when the presiding deity of ruling star of the day is Aditi, where the ruling star of day is Punarvasu (Nakshatra), the asterism is in the ascendant, and when five of the nine planets viz., Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus are at their highest position, when Jupiter with Moon is ascendant in Cancer, and when day is advancing, then Queen Kausalya gave birth to a son with all the divine attributes like lotus-red eyes, lengthy arms, roseate lips, voice like drumbeat, and who took birth to delight the Ikshwaku dynasty, who is adored by all the worlds, and who is the greatly blessed epitome of Vishnu, namely Rama.” – Book I : Bala Kanda, Ramayana by Valmiki, Chapter (Sarga) 18, Verse 8, 9, 10 and 11

Rama & Sita

See:8

Padas

Punarvasu is the beginning of a third cycle in the pada that will lead to major changes at the end of Cancer. Two padas are vargotamma and pushkara. Therefore there is a real support for planets on this journey.9

Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
Ruler Mangala (Meena) Śūkra (Taurus) Budha (Mithuna) Candra (Karka)
Position 20° – 23° 20′ Mithuna 23° 20′ – 26° 40′ Mithuna 26° 40′ – 30° Mithuna 0° – 3° 20′ Karka
Bija Mantra  के Ke  को Ko  हा Ha  ही Hi
Effects
Native’s Nature

Gemstones & Metals

Interests & Careers

  • acting, drama, entertainment
  • politics
  • writing, publishing
  • spiritual teaching, mysticism

Philosophers, imaginative or innovative thinkers or doers, churches and temples. Teachers of virtue and self-enhancement. Psychologists and gurus. Artisans and trade people involved in the construction and maintenance of dwellings. Architects, civil engineers, scientists, and the like.10

Auspiciousness/Engage In

  • Buying and repairing vehicles
  • Journeys, processions
  • Visiting friends
  • Gardening
  • Performing puja

Inauspiciousness/Avoid

As with all Nakṣatras, there are both auspicious and inauspicious characteristics to be considered. A day in which Candra is in Punarvasu…

Ayurveda & Health Issues

Punarvasu can be responsible for a sensitive nervous system, pain and swelling in the ears, a weak liver, jaundice, and lung problems.

Indicative of the fingers and nose.


  1. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 224. 

  2. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. pp. 224-225. 

  3. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 85. 

  4. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 86. 

  5. Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras. 

  6. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 224. 

  7. https://thepaganandthepen.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/goddesses-of-love-and-inspiration/ 

  8. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 85. 

  9. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 88. 

  10. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 225.