Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chastity and stellar links of Arundhathi!

A reference to a shift in the position of Arundhathi,

the companion star of Vasishta (Mizar),

as told in Mahabharata was given in my earlier post.

This post is an elucidation of the Arundhathi factor from texts and

from stellar evolution probabilities.

We come across a list of inseparable pairs in Hindu texts.

It is contained in Sita's narration in Sundhara khanda

This list contains Arundhathi – Vasishta pair.

There are 12 couples who are known for not leaving each other or

for being attached to each other or

for reasons of the wife following the husband always.

They are

Suvarchala and the Sun God,

Sachi and Indra,

Arundhati and Vasishta,

Rohini and the Moon God,

Lopamudra and Agastya,

Sukanya and Chyavana,

Savitri and Satyavanta,

Srimati and Kapila,

Madayanti and Saudasa,

Kesini and Sagara,

Damayanti and Nala


Sita and Rama.

This is told by Sita in Ashoka vana.

"Although wretched or without kingdom, whoever is my husband,

He alone is my master.

Like Suvarchala with the Sun God, I am fond of Him always."

"Like the highly fortunate

Sachi who waits upon Indra,

like Arundhati on Vasishta,

like Rohini on the Moon God,

like Lopamudra on Agastya,

like Sukanya on Chyavana,

like Savitri on Satyavanta,

like Srimati on Kapila,

like Madayanti on Saudasa,

like Kesini on Sagara,

like Damayanti the daughter of Bhima, devoted to husband Nala,

in the same way I am devoted to my husband Rama, the best in Ikshvaku dynasty."

(Valmiki Ramayana, Sundhara Khanda - 24 - 9,10, 11 & 12 )

Three pairs of this list are celestial or stellar entities

while the rest are Puranic characters.

If we analyze the three stellar ones, we find some stellar truths hidden in their pairing.

For instance, it is said Suvarchala never leaves Sun God.

The Sun god is said to have two wives, Chaaya and Suvarchala.

Chaaya means shade and Suvarchala means a very good luminescence.

From the meanings it is obvious that

since the brightness or luminescence of the Sun never leaves it,

that brightness known as Suvarchala is said to be always following the Sun.

The next stellar couple is Rohini and Chandra or the Moon.

This is a pair that is very often talked about in Sanskrit and Tamil literary works.

Though the moon is wedded to 27 star sisters –

thereby indicating that the moon passes through them in its monthly rotation,

Rohini is said to be very dear to him.

It is because the moon passes too close to Rohini,

sometimes occulting it

in its monthly sojourn.

The reason is that Rohini almost lies on the plane of the ecliptic of the moon.

The nodes of the moon (Rahu / Ketu) lie too close to Rohini

that we often come across in texts, the description of Rahu capturing Rohini

to indicate that someone is being tormented.

Even the 5 planets also make 'passes' with Rohini very often.

Mars passes too close to her.

There is a reference to Saturn going close to her in Ramayana

giving rise to a terrestrial phenomenon of drought

during the reign of Dasaratha, father of Rama.

Dasaratha prayed to Saturn and sang a hymn in praise of him

which made Saturn move away form Rohini.

This is an important information worthy of a probe

whether Saturn made any deviation in its course in its past.

But Rohini is always identified with the Moon

as Moon always moves very close to her

every time it passes Taurus constellation.

That is the reason for their pairing up as inseparable couple.

It is understandable to consider these two important celestial pairs

(Sun- Suvarchala and Moon – Rohini)

and look upon them with respect and prayers.

But why the Arundhathi – Vasishta pair was put along with them?

The reason must be to do with some celestial or stellar happenings.

Let us look at the probable connections in stellar terms.

This pair always seem to be together although

they are not part of a binary.

When there are so many binaries in the sky circling each other always,

why our elders picked up this pair which is not a binary

but are away from each other by a distance of 3 light years?

The reason seems to lie in the equilibrium reached after a bout stellar crashes.

The mythology connected with the formation of this pair seems to hold the key.

It must be known that the Sapta rishis or the 7 stars of the Ursa Major

were not the same for each manvanthra.

That means the star alignment in this formation has kept changing perhaps with the exception of Vasishta and Athri who are said to continue in all manvanthras.

This means these two have continued their existence in spite of stellar convulsions and super nova bombardments.

They must have retained their original materials and

could have survived by gobbling up matter from outside.

That is how they can continue in all manvathras and

last till Brahma completes a kalpa (day).

In contrast the rishis in stellar formation would have lost their entities and existence

in the evolving stellar universe.

The sapta rishis in each manvanthra are oriented towards the earth where life thrives.

The earth must not have been the same in the past.

From the mind boggling figures of the number of years of the Kalpa or day of Brahma,

it is reasonable to assume that the present earth and solar family formation

was not there always.

The formation of earth with its 7 gods (7 gruhas) in protection of them

must have been in different alignment in the past.

But whenever such alignments take place favoring life and man to thrive,

the Sapta rishis would have been there to guide them.

In other words, the earth would be oriented towards their formation every time.

But the importance given to Arundhathi as a chaste wife,

always following Vasishta gives a story

hidden in the clashes of the stars in the past.

The clue lies in the Arundhathi mantra said on the night of marriage

and the Puranic narration.

The verse on Arundhathi as told by the newly wed groom is,

"When the Seven Sages gave Arundhathi precedence over the Krittikas

and made her position secure,

the six Krittikas accepted the leadership of Arundhathi (the seventh);

may this wife of mine flourish as the eighth (of those stars)."

The Puranic description of this story of Arundhathi securing a permanent position also tells of a past happening in star-wars.

According to Mahabharata, Murugan was born to Agni and Svaha,

after the latter impersonated the six of seven wives of the Sapta rishis and made love to him (agni).

On hearing this incidence, 6 of the sapta rishis suspected the chastity of their wives and divorced them.

These wives then became the Krittika asterism.

Arundhathi remained with Vasishta and therefore said to be a symbol of attachment to husband and not leaving him at any time.

The stellar facts that emerge from this are like this:-

The constellation of krittika (Pleiades) is nowhere near the Sapta rishi mandala.

The stars in the Pleiades are thought to have formed together later,perhaps around 100 million years ago, making them 1/50th the age of our sun.

It is probable to guess that in the course of their formation, the companion stars of Sapta rishis

(assuming from the purans that each of the 7 rishis in the Sapta rishi mandala had a companion star oriented towards them)

might have been captured by the Pleiades under formation and swallowed

by the fire of core formation of the Pleiades.

Svaha means oblations.

Any offering made into agni is done so with a chanting of 'svaha'

which means getting absorbed by Agni.

That could have been mentioned as marriage between Agni and Svaha.

The "svaha" of the 6 stars that were until then oriented towards Sapta rishis,

could have been meant by the divorce of them by the rishis.

They were permanently lost to Pleiades by the Sapta rishi mandala,

which now has only Arundhathi not disturbed

and still oriented towards Vasishta.

This stellar fact was remembered as a story and

mentioned in the verse on Arundhathi.

Recall the verse again.

"When the Seven Sages gave Arundhathi precedence over the Krittikas

and made her position secure,

the six Krittikas accepted the leadership of Arundhathi (the seventh);

may this wife of mine flourish as the eighth (of those stars)."

The 6 wives were lost to Pleiades as krittika stars.

The 7th one is secure in the company of saptha rishi mandala.

Likewise, let the wife also be secure with the husband and remain undisturbed.

What a wonderful way of thinking of togetherness!

Arundhathi is not likely to be disturbed for ages to come

and likely to be seen only in the company of Vasishta.

Let the bride also be like her in accompanying her husband.

I picked up this comparison with Arundhathi in 3 different Tamil works.

Pura naanuru - 122,

Perum Paanaattru-p-padai - 302-3,

and Kali-th-thogai – 2

All these eulogize Arundhathi as fit enough to be worshipped

for following her husband always.

This is one more proof of unitariness of Tamil culture with the culture of Aryavartha.

The Arundhathi signification is not to be construed as subsidiarines

or secondary role to husband.

Dharma sastras accord equal role, status and position to

both the man and the woman in marriage.

From the wordings of the verse,

it is clear the wish and worship on Arundhathi is about in-separation in life.

While the other 6 pairs of sapta rishis were separated,

Arundhathi- Vasishta pair remained intact,

inspite of stellar pulls and crahses.

The couple do not want to be separated from each other,

even if the heavens or stars fall on them.

This is the prayer of the newly wed coupe too.

(This will be further elaborated by me later

when I write on 'Mangalya dharanam',

which I hope to post within a couple of weeks.)

The sad part of the Arundhathi episode is that

she changed position at the start of this Kali yuga,

when the earth felt a massive shake.

Perhaps this is an indication of kali yuga dharma

of loss of values with reference to

women, marriage, pati / patni vratham and age-old notions of chastity!

On sapta rishi mandala:-

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