What is Nakshatra?
In Vedic astrology, Birth star or Janma Nakshatra or simply 'Nakshatra' is the name of the constellation in which the Moon was located at the time of the birth. Hence, it is often referred to as Lunar Mansion. The word Nakshatra means "something eternal," or in Sanskrit "Naks"- translates to the sky and "shetra" referring to an area or a particular region, so together it means a specific area of the sky.
Other than Vedic Astrology, this phenomenon of classifying constellations based on the Moon is also seen in Persia, Arabia, Egypt, Babylonia, China under various terms like Manzil, Sieu, etc.
According to Vedic science, a full zodiac or the "sky map" is of 360 degrees. There are about 27 Nakshatras, categorized into 12 Rashis or Moon signs with 13 degrees and 20 minutes each constellation. Today's Nakshatra can help us predict and plan our day. We can foresee how this day is going to pan out. Understanding Nakshatra and relevant panchang entities of a given moment, we can predict a person's destiny, a community or even the future of a region or a country. The nakshatras are classified on varied qualities, like Guna, animal, or other qualities like the Kama (Sensual desires), Artha (Mental desires), Dharma (Principles), and Moksha (ultimate liberation).
Names of Nakshatra
The 27 Nakshatras are Ashwini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigashirsha, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashalesha, Magha, Poorva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hastha, Chitra, Swati, Vishakha, Anuradha, Jyestha, Moola, Purva Shada, Uttarashada, Sharavana/Thiruvonam, Dhanishta, Shatabisha, Purvabhadra, Uttarabhadra, and Revathi.