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nakṣatra


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The ancient Indian system of constellations or lunar mansions (nakṣatras) was known from Vedic times. By dividing the sky on the basis of the moon's relation to the fixed stars, a lunar month of initially 27 and then (through correction) 28 days was established by astronomers, the moon passing through a different nakṣatra on each day of its cycle. This information was then used to fix the auspicious dates and times for Vedic sacrifices and to cast horoscopes. See also jyotiṣa.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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