Maarghazhi is known as Dhanur masam because
the sun moves in the Dhanur rasi (the constellation of Sagittarius) in this month
That is, the sun rises in Dhanur rasi in this month.
This constellation is in the shape of a bow
held by a half-man who seems to have his lower body as that of a horse.
The facts about this rasi and other related ones make me
link them to many of our notions of Hinduism.
This constellation is in the centre of our milky way galaxy.
It is from here the entire galaxy evolved -
as though from the shoot of the bow.
This area is dotted with massive black holes which gobble up the matter around them.
If in pralaya, all bodies were to get back to the source from which they originated,
then our entire galaxy would some day
get eaten up by this centre.
I used to wonder whether the meaning of
Lord's name, Krishna: is to do with black holes.
"ThaanE undumindu thaanEAlvaanE" (Nammazhwar) seems to describe the way the blackhole
eats up and Spits(?).
(No proof for the latter in science as yet.
But it is a possibility as per the closed universe theory of Hindu thought.)
Many verses from Prabhandam can be quoted to describe this situation.
"sarvam krishnaarpanam asthu" seems to denote that
everything gets absorbed by black holes.
Another interesting information is that this constellation is in the
southern most part of the sky when we see it in the night sky,
after which there is a turn-around of the succeeding constellations to the north.
The earth also makes a turn-around towards the end of this month
and moves towards the galactic centre with the sun doing its northen sojourn.
The stories of Dhaksha prajapathi and south as the abode of the dead
can be convincingly explained on the basis of these.
If we say that the Sun, as the originator of our planetary life is
the lord of our planet and its inhabitants, we can also say that
the constellation of Dhanush is the lord of all that is in this galaxy.
It is supposed to be the abode of devas as their day is said to begin
in Dhanur masam.
It is at this time of the year that we on earth come in line with dhanur rasi and sun.
The combined force of dhanur rasi and the sun on earth will be the highest on this month.
With the sun in the middle, we are on the other side, closer to outer space.
It is significant to note that we will be at a point farthest away from
our galactic centre (Sagittarius)on Vaikunta ekadasi
that occurs in this month.
In other words, we will be closer to the place of origin of all galaxies -
probably the abode of the Lord, parama padam.
Another point which I wish to note here is about the way that
galactic materials are carried away from and taken back to the centre
by galactic arms and other detected and undetected forces (in science).
The Sagittarius arm (one of the spitral arms of our galaxy)
which is the longest and the most massive one that originates in the
galactic centre almost envelopes the entire galaxy before it fades out into outer space.
(Is it Sesha as mentioned in sandhyavandhana manthrams?).
It seems there is no escape from this galaxy
unless particles move in particular arms and in particular directions.
There are also movements which bring in streams of gas
towards the galactic centre.
By and far, I used to wonder whether the movement is towards the centre (dhanur rasi)
and away from the centre during uttarayana.
It is interesting to note that after the month of Ani
when we are closest to the galactic centre,
all our actions are either diverted to religious activities or
The pithrus are supposed to be carried by the rays
of the sun in Mahalaya paksham which land them in our place.
The movement therefore seems to be towards the inner or within the galaxy
during this particular part of the year.
Those jivas that leave the mortal coil enter this inner route / arm and are reborn again.
On the other hand those who die in Uttarayana
enter the wing that has outer-push force.
Perhaps that takes them outside this abode, not to return forever.
It seems dhanush and chakra have special significance in God's scheme of things.
(AAzhi ezha, shankum, villum ezha - Nammazhwar).
The bow has always been used for precision strikes
(origin of galactic matter from the central bow)and the chakra for sustenance.
The shape of our galaxy which looks like a chakra actually supports our existence.
"ennaiyum en udamaiaiyum un chakara pori-yotri-k- kondu,
ninnarulE purinthirundEn" (Periazhwar)