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Q&A on Varuna’s Shatabhishak Nakshatra

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According to your translation of Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa (Nakshatra: The Authentic Heart of Vedic Astrology) Shatabhishak Nakshatra: “Needs all-encompassing space, to produce all the solid earth.” And according to your other book (27 Stars, 27 Gods), Shatabhishak’s ruler, Varuṇa is the archetypical character symbolizing a “fall from grace.”

My question is, why would someone who falls from grace require all encompassing space to produce all the solid earth?

My Reply

I think there are many reasons.

We fall from the high place (space, heaven) to the low place (earth). So the conversion of heaven to earth, space to solids, expresses this.

Seen a little differently, the earth is what stops our fall. So we need to “pull together our resources” and “make something basic and solid” to stop our fall from a high place. So, we can see the conversion from “nothing to something” as a way to break our fall and make our rebound.

Varuṇa doesn’t “rebound” in the typical way. Instead he rebounds by collecting all the wealths of the earth in the waters and dwelling there. This is another excellent lesson for Shatabhishak. These natives make the low place into the high place.


I don’t remember accurately but I think I had read somewhere (possibly in the Mahabharata) that Varuna did not protest Vrttra’s assault on the rivers because he rightfully knew that water cannot be forced into submission, and eventually overwhelms its exploiter. The explanation that I am sort of getting is that Varuna requires all encompassing space to produce all the solid earth in order to shelter the rivers in the form of the sea/ocean. What do you think?

My Reply

That is very nice. Indeed Varuṇa was commanded by Indra to shelter apas, whom he had neglected. You’ve brought out another excellent dimension of meaning in Taittirīya’s Sūtra for Śatabhiṣak. “It requires space, to make earth [for the water].”


And, how do you think that this relates to people in society at large? Do people who fall from grace require space so that they in turn can shelter others who suffer a similar fate?

My Reply

It has many meanings.

One of them is identical to a meaning I already suggested. We pool together our dispersed resources (space), to make a stable base (earth) and recollect our riches (water).

Another is: Śatabhiṣak is usually not accepted in official hierarchies and social structures. So it must make it own world. It should not make that world for its own self, but for the sake of its dharma, its duties to others.



2 responses to “Q&A on Varuna’s Shatabhishak Nakshatra”

  1. ari Avatar



  2. Bharathi Manikandan Avatar
    Bharathi Manikandan

    Vanakkam Sir,
    Pls read the history of this temple thru this link. Parasurama asks Varunas help to create Kerala.. (is it connected to sathabisham!!?)


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