There are 33 classes of Devatas in Sanatan Dharma, I had written a bit about them in this post on Kundalini, this is a continued post about the Ashta Vasu. Jyotish is a Vedant and considers these 33 classes of Devatas as extremely important. These 33 classes are created by Narayan, as per the Narayan Upanishad as
“narayanad brahma jayate, narayanad prajapatih prajayate, narayanad indro jayate, narayanad ashtau vasavo jayante, narayanad ekadasha rudra jayante, narayanad dvadashadityah”.
“Brahma is possible because of Narayan. Prajapati comes to existence because of Narayan. Indra takes place because of Narayan. The 8 Vasu are generated because of Narayan. The 11 Rudra are produced because of Narayan. The 12 Aditya are reborn because of Narayan.”
Narayan is commonly taken to mean Vishnu, but there is a difference, Nara means – man, mortal, connected to men, human, spiritual, pawn, water, young one, multitude of men etc. Ayan too has several meanings including – coming, approach, travel, movement, circulation, extreme end (high/low) of energy, etc. So we can very loosely consider ‘Narayan’ to mean the soul’s sojourn as a mortal, or the movement of energy from the high/low vibrational states, etc. Now the 8 types of Vasu. ‘Vasu’ can be understood in different ways as – eight, rays of illumination, excellent, benefic, gold, pearls, water, minerals, jewels, dwellers, property, sweet, medicinal drugs etc.
These 8 are named Apah, Dharaa, Anila, Anala, Dhruva, Soma, Pratyusha and Prabhas. They grant knowledge of the self which is linked to the manifested Universes and also of the non-manifested Paramtattva. They are the 8 petals of the Kaalachakra or the Ashtadalapadma chakra. I have written a very basic post on how to use this chakra for simple astrological analysis earlier. The Kaalchakra is considered to be the most accurate predictive tool in Jyotish. (All Jyotish texts are in Sanskrit and maybe only 20% have been translated. Again these translated versions are not correct. Knowing the language and understanding it are two completely different things. Though I know English I cannot understand the higher calculus equations written in english.) Back to the Vasu, they are also linked to the 8 directions and to so many many esoteric concepts. They represent the ways in which matter and energy is linked to form the human body.
Apah – This is the conscious energy of the Jala/water of the 5 pancha-mahabhoot. The tattva which flows and records everything.
Dharaa – This is linked to the earth, the Prithvi tattva. The mahabhoot which supports.
Anila – The Vayu tattva, the mahabhoot which flows and resonates.
Anala – The Agni tattva, the conscious energy of fire.
Dhruv – This is the pole star, called Dhruv. He represents stability, certainty, rigidity, settled, fixed, eternal, constant sound, immoveable, knot, etc. This is the topmost point of the Merudanda which extends from the planet earth into the manifested cosmos. It represents the Antariksh. The planet earth is also a conscious entity and its energy structure extends upto the Dhruv. Dhruv is linked to several astrological phenomena, most importantly the precession of the equinoxes and the Ayanamsha of Jyotish.
Soma – is the Moon. Also is – immortality, anything that flows, connected to the pitr/ancestors, sky, medicinal drug, camphor, and the One who is merged with Uma. (Uma is Devi, mate, light, night, fame, quiet, medicinal drug, splendour, magnificence etc)
Pratyusha – is the rising degree of the zodiac on the eastern horizon, the ascendant/Lagna. It represents regularity, cyclic events etc. But is also represents how things are regularly step-by-step consumed or burnt to give illumination.
Prabhas – The illumination or the magnificence of the lunar mansions. It explains the true nature of the zodiac. This represents how the brilliance of these Nakshatra is manifested in the human body and life. Prabhasaa is a name of the Devi in the Shri Sukta, She projects fire/brilliance with this attribute.
These 8 energies are the basis of your manifested existence in this Universe.Now Indra. The stories say of Indra being the King of the Devata, let’s see what Sanskrit has to say. Indra means the Human Soul!, then also magic, chief, best, first, night, ruler of the ether, the ruler of the east direction, the energy that radiates from your head, etc. See the layers of meanings? Devbhasha Sanskritam is the language of your existence, it cannot be translated, only experienced.
If you have read stories from the vedic times there is a recurring theme, when a Rishi starts doing intense mediation/Tap, the ‘throne of Indra’ loses its stability becomes shaky/’dolayamaan’. So Indra sends an Apsara to distract the Rishi and to stop his mediation/Tap. Now Indra is the thought patterns and the net woven by your mind, the Indrajaal, to enmesh your soul in the manifested Universe. When you do intense Tap, focus on your third eye, these thought patterns start breaking thus the ‘throne of Indra’ loses its stability. The mind fights back till the very last, so Apsara are created. ‘Apsara’ means a small ‘pool’ created from the larger ‘ocean’, i.e. beautiful irresistible highly intense thought patterns created by the depths of the mind. So in Dhyan, when the aspirant challenges the bindings placed by the 33 koti devata, he is tested on every level by his own mind. You are facing your own lower energy self as your adversary. If the Rishi can withstand the beguiling Apsara, Indra himself appears before the Rishi and gives him boons, thus if you can resist it, eventually the mind itself starts supporting the Tap.
Indra is the ruler of the 33 koti devata thus also rules your chart. It is obvious, the Human Soul is the ruler of the horoscope. The Universe has manifested for Indra and he is required to protect it. And because Sanskrit is a palimpsest, this means that you have manifested your own Universe, to play this game of the horoscope, thus you are also protecting your creation. The instant your mind stops working frantically to generate this universe, you will realise your own self. (I hope you do realise everyone has their own Universe, each one has a different perception and thus everyone lives in his own personal Universe)Now Prajapati is the Ultimate Creator. This word can be understood in 2 ways.
- Prajapati is the one who generates/creates/brings forth/bears the following, mankind/seeds/creatures/subjects/family/future/posterity/era/etc. So he is the energy which creates the creatures and also creates the time/space.
- Now the other way of understanding it. ‘Prajapati’ is the energy which enters all the manifested creations/time/space to transform them. The direction of transformation is decided by your will, your thoughts!
Our Rishis were the Ultimate, they have given us such staggering concepts which are so simple but so utterly mind-blowing! Prajapati is also called Yadnya. It means a fire-ritual/homam also, but in this context it is the ‘evolution of the human soul’, the second meaning above. Yadnya means, fire, worship, offering, give-up, prayer, sacrifice etc, but its deepest meaning is the constantly moving, spirally/dimensionally moving, eternally changing but still constant, evolution of the soul, from the lowest energy levels to the highest and beyond that, till the Paratattva. The journey is the same for all of us, to reach the highest stage of evolution, yet every soul is different, its universe is different, its experiences are different. It is the exact same but exactly different for everyone. Paradoxes!
Thus Prajapati is the ‘motion’ of your chart, through time/space, creation and beyond!
Thus the 8 Vasu, Indra and Prajapati are that part of Jyotish which are linked to your Soul, its manifestation, your existence, the creation of your body using the energies of the panchamahabhoot and the cosmos, also the way out from this Indrajaal and to the eventual realisation of the Real Ultimate Identity.
Jyotish is the science of Illumination so please at least try to think beyond the ‘when will I get ….’ type of questions. Nothing wrong with the mundane questions, these are also important, but its like using a fusion powered precision tool for hammering nails in the wall.
Will continue with the 11 Rudra and the 12 Aditya in my next post.