Pūrva Aṣāḍha

Etymology & Symbolism

Pūrva Aṣāḍha (पूर्वाषाढ़ा), or “first of the aṣāḍhā,” where aṣāḍhā translates as “the invincible one,” “the undefeated,” or “the unsubdued.” The asterism itself is called “the invincible star.” Pūrva Aṣāḍha is also called Aparajita, “the undefeated,” which connotes victory in struggles and confrontation.1

Pūrva Aṣāḍha is symbolized by a fan, a winnowing basket (used to separate grain from its husk), and an elephant’s tusk.

The Fan & Winnowing

Pūrva Aṣāḍha enables one to be patient, to wait for obstacles or unpleasant conditions to subside, much like how a fan cools one off in hot situations and allowing a person to withstand uncomfortable conditions. Fanning is, technically, taking aggressive action on heat, expressing energy against inert air violently enough to move it for your benefit and improve your comfort.

Winnowing grain is also an aggressive act on grain, and the aggression exerted in this example yields an improvement in life (and dietary comfort). Although Pūrva Aṣāḍha natives have the tool(s) to achieve patience by cooling off and bettering their conditions and level of comfort, the tools themselves are of an aggressive nature. Because Pūrva Aṣāḍha enables a person to improve one’s circumstances, natives will often have a strong desire to do so. How one carries out this desire depends on the placement of Pūrva Aṣāḍha and the planets that occupy it. If poorly placed, self-indulgence and selfishness can prevail dependent on the planet or house involved. For example, declarations of war and other such physical aggression may be possible if occupied by Mangala.

The Elephant’s Tusk

Pūrva Aṣāḍha is symbolized by an elephant’s tusk, and with its tusk the elephant is also a symbol of this asterism. The conscious obliviousness of an elephant to surrounding sensory input, hubbub, commotion, and other material activity allows for the acknowledgement of the more harmonious interrelationships of all things. It allows us to see through the clutter and calm the noise in order to view the true beauty and truths of the world.

Astronomy

Pūrva Aṣāḍha resides between 13° 20′ and 26° 40′ Dhanuṣa (Sagittarius). It consists of the stars δ and ε Sagittarii in the constellation Sagittarius.

Nature Puruṣārtha Varna Color Gana Guna/Tattva Gender Body Part Animal
Fierce (Urga) Moksa Manushya Sattvas/Rajas/Tamas Monkey

Their primary motivation is moksha (spiritual liberation).

Devata, Graha & Śakti

Purva Ashadha is ruled by Śūkra, resides within the rāśi of Dhanuṣa (ruled by Bṛhaspati), and its presiding deva is Apah, the obscure water goddess.

Graha

Śūkra, the planet of sensitivity, reflects the popularity of this asterism.

Bṛhaspati rules the sign of Sagittarius, which is connected with Ganesha – again, a reference to the elephant and its tusk.

Bṛhaspati purges past karmic effects needed to transform a person into a spiritual force. This divine grace/help/aid makes a person god-fearing, religious, and helpful to others.

Varuṇa & Varuṇānī

The God Varuna on his mount makara, 1675-1700 Painted in: India, Rajasthan, Bundi placed in LACMA museum

The God Varuna on his mount makara, 1675-1700 Painted in: India, Rajasthan, Bundi placed in LACMA museum

Varuṇa is also mentioned as a residing deity due to his protection of the seas and the giving of rain. He pervades all things, representing the inner law of higher truth. There can be flashes of intuition in this nakshatra which provide valuable insight into the workings of divine law.

Varuṇa’s consort, Varunī (or Varuṇānī), is the goddess of wine, alcohol, and immorality. Although she is often associated with Apah, she is not usually directly associated with this asterism. According to legend, Varunī was adopted by Varuṇa when she came out of the ocean during the churning for amrita (immortal nectar). She represents the purifying nectar of immortality (amrita). She is also “the agent of transcendent wisdom.”

Apah

Varunani, consort of Varuna

Varunani, consort of Varuna

Ap (áp-) is the Sanskrit term for “water,” which in classical Sanskrit only occurs in the plural, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. Apah, water deified as a goddess, is an obscure devi. Very few remaining Vedic texts refer to her, but her ocean goddess equivalents (i.e., Aphrodite, Astartes, etc.) are much more widely known. The prefix ap appearing in both Apah and Aphrodite are surely more than coincidental.

As water sustains life and cleanses impurities, Apah, the  destroys all poisons, wards off jealousy and disease, and bestows creative energy.

Apah represents the cosmic waters deified as God, depicted as the causal waters spreading in all directions and giving rise to the affairs of humanity. This also relates to the concept of spreading one’s name and reputation throughout the land.

Apah is persuasive and universal and promotes journies by sea or water in general, as well as sexual excess.

Apah is also the name of the deva Varuṇa, a personification of water, one of the Vasus in most later Puranic lists.

The personification of Apah, the Waters, representing a distinct principle of motherhood as primeval generatrixes of this creation, does not appear to have emerged much beyond the natural phenomenon. Theoretically they are called the mothers (ambayah). All this was obtained or takes birth from the Waters. The earth is said to be all established on them. They are addressed as the all-soothing great goddesses. According to the author of Atharvaveda they received Agni as their germ. In their amidst the devine king Varuna is believed to move and stay.

Apah is described as the consort of Varuna, the Supreme Lord of all oceanic waters, and thus given the epithet Varunani. In later mythology the goddess character of the universal waters, however, survived and Varuna’s female counterpart or Varunani, but she also did receive no specific function or status.

Apart the water cosmology, a general belief and the fertility of the common water appears to have inspired several kindred ideas and motifs. In the Tait Aranyaka a light is said to be born from the waters. Where that itself is the waters. Similar in idea is the statement that in the beginning this all was the waters, there the one Prajapati appeared on a lotus leaf. On the basis of such speculations, the myth of the Brahman creating a Brahma on the Lotus seems to have been suggested.

Contrasted to the indistinct personification of the waters as an element, a belief in watery nymphs as Apsarases seems to be of much developed character. They were doubtless a semi-divine class of female beings, who take their origin in the waters (apsu yosha) and associate with the Gandharvas, who also are similar beings, but male in sex and connected more or less with the high region in air or sky. Both of these groups are often mentioned together. Their love is stated to be the prototype of human marriage.

(…More from Goddesses in Ancient India, p. 86 and https://books.google.com/books?id=8BmDIbNuD0gC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=apah+goddess&source=bl&ots=8Clw4WnLFe&sig=cLK75e1sdp1khIYgcP_7T6108N0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiA8O6ui9fJAhUFPiYKHaplCwcQ6AEIKDAC#v=onepage&q=apah%20goddess&f=false)

Śakti

Purvashadha’s power is that of invigoration (varchograhana shakti). It brings about purification and regeneration, like the energy gained through taking a bath in water. It provides us additional energy for our efforts. These effects flow from the Waters, which in this instance are heavenly in nature and can provide inner purification.2

Planetary Positions/Astrological Interpretations

Pūrva Aṣāḍha natives are very proud people with the ability to influence and empathize with the masses.

Pūrva Aṣāḍha usually brings fame, wealth, fertility and much wisdom. Its power is that of invigoration (varchograhana shakti). Pūrva Aṣāḍha people can reveal a deeply philosophical and spiritual nature as the the corn husks of the ego are stripped away. They usually possess a strong need to continually improve their life situation.

Pūrva Aṣāḍha brings about purification and regeneration through “early victories” in life. These people have an independent nature with many friends to support their aspirations.

The shadow side of Pūrva Aṣāḍha is hubris and an egoic nature. These natives can exhibit an over-expansive nature, and usually do what they like without considering others’ opinions.

Just as its translation suggests, a Pūrva Aṣāḍha native is a good debater and can defeat anyone in an argument. They can become obstinate and will not submit to the demands of anyone. Mental aggression and self-deception may be present. Sometimes the native will exhibit his negative qualities to a magnified extent to help the person work through the lessons. Purification and cleansing of the pride and ego can result if the individual can surrender to God’s will. ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras.))

The basic characteristic of Pūrva Aṣāḍha is the general spiritual environment in which the soul dwells.3

Planets in Pūrva Aṣāḍha must try to maintain their purity because they can get easily influenced by others and their purity spoilt. They need to keep their environment, friends, diet, thinking and aspirations unpolluted as far as they can help it and periodically cleanse their surroundings. This will help them to maintain their integrity. They must practice inner cleansing as well through mantras, rituals and spiritual practices.4

Yamas & Niyamas

Santoṣa (contentment; acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self)

Those born under the influence of Pūrva Aṣāḍha “usually possess a strong need to continually improve their life situation.” Since “their primary motivation is moksha or spiritual liberation,” once such a person realizes that contentment is necessary for the achievement of moksa the path will become clearer.5

Satya (truth beneficial to all beings; truthfulness)

Those born under Pūrva Aṣāḍha are gifted with the character of Varuna, a residing deity of the asterism who “pervades all things, representing the inner law of higher truth. There can be flashes of intuition in this nakshatra which provide valuable insight into the workings of divine law.” (Dennis Harness, The Nakshatras.)

Āsanas, Mudras, Mantras & Bhandas

Tales & Mythologies

Padas

People with graha in any of Pūrva Aṣāḍha’s padas are developing their spirituality but are also facing ingrained desires that are difficult to give up. The philosophy and spiritual development is idealistic and young so the inner struggles are not always recognized for what they are. The soul has made the transition but there is a residue of materialism and still work to be done before these people can call themselves enlightened. In Pūrva Aṣāḍha’s padas holding on to the past delays the development, but the soul is also discovering roots in this new age, and new spiritual ways.6

Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
Position 13° 20′ – 16° 40′ Sagittarius 16° 40′ – 20° Sagittarius 20° – 23° 20′ Sagittarius 23° 20′ – 26° 40′ Sagittarius
Ruling Graha Sūrya Budha Śūkra Mangala
Ruling Rāśi Simha Kanya Libra Scorpio
Bija Mantra  भू Bhu  धा Dha  फा Bha/Pha  ढा Dh

Gemstones & Metals

Interests & Careers

With an ugra (fierce/cruel) nature, Pūrva Aṣāḍha suggests ambush, burning, poisoning (self & others), making & using weapons especially related to fire, cheating/deception/wickedness/craftiness, cutting and destroying, controlling of animals, beating and punishing of enemy.

Works allocated to Sharp/Horrible (Darun) asterisms are successfully performed in this asterism.

  • writing, teaching, debating, shipping, boating, politics, law, travel, foreign trading, acting, film, public speaking
  • All professions, people, and places involved with water in all its forms: shipping, sailing, Naval service, marine life, water utilities, etc. People who process raw materials, like manufacturers and refiners.7

Auspiciousness/Engage In

Inauspiciousness/Avoid

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

Ayurveda & Health Issues

Pūrva Aṣāḍha is indicative of the thighs and back portion of the trunk.

Pūrva Aṣāḍha can be responsible bladder/kidney problems, problems with the thighs and hips, sexual diseases, colds and lung problems, sciatica, and rheumatism. Apah’s influence is responsible for watery diseases like water retention or abnormal kidney or bladder function.


  1. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 238. 

  2. David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras

  3. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 229. 

  4. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 190. 

  5. Dennis Harness, The Nakshatras 

  6. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 192. 

  7. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 239