Ardra/ Thiruvadhirai Nakshatra captured in Mithuna Rashi but star of Orion Constellation with mobile astrophotography
Thiruvadhirai occupies 6’40–20’00 in Mithuna raasi and is the 10th brightest star in the sky. This lunar mansion is represented by a single star Betelgeuse.
Ardra Nakshatra: The word Ardra means “wet”. Wet things such as teardrops, raindrops, and especially thunderstorms well represent this word. Rudra, the howling god of destructive storms, is Ardra’s deity.
A storm is frightening, terrible, and destructive, but nature’s way of replenishing the surroundings too. Ardra is the storm that we must weather so that our nature can once again become pure and clean is the popular belief in Hindu tradition.
Sankaracharyar, an incarnation of Rudra, was born when the Moon was in Ardra. The next great philosopher of India, Ramanuja Acharya, who built upon Sankara’s foundations, was also born with the Moon in Ardra.
So it will not be an exaggeration if we say this star is spiritually in a very fertile domain.
The hindu mythological story behind this star goes as mentioned in the Skanda Purana as follows. It says that Brahma once had an argument with Rudra, during which Rudra decapitated one of Brahma’s heads (originally he had five). Rudra threw the head into space, and it became the stars of Mrgasirsa, the Nakshatra, which comes after Brahma’s Rohini. Searching (mrga) for the head (Sirsa), Rudra came to reside in the Nakshatra next to Mrgasirsa, Ardra.
The hindu mythological story on how Rudra came into existence can be found here.
Thiruvathira or Thiruvathirai or Arudhra Darisanam is a Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Thillai Chidambaram Kovil ,10-day Festival is held during Thiruvathirai. On the 9th day night Maha Abhishekam will be done to Lord Nataraja. It takes place on the full moon night in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January) and this is also the longest night in a year. If you observe the moon and its Nakshatras crossing one by one, we understand the significant days of these festival and uncover new layers of meaning. It starts with Rohini‑Hyades on the 8th day, and of Mriga‑shiras‑Lambda Orionis on the 9th day and finally during the night after the 9th day we see the full moon in Arudra-Betelgeuse.
Most of the temples around the world with Lord Nataraja and Shiva as deity perform the Arudhra Darshan during this day. Arudra or cosmic dance of Nataraja represents five activities — Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. Lord Shiva is supposed to be incarnated in the form of Lord Nataraja during the Arudra Darshan day.
It is believed that on this day, the Goddess Parvathi finally met Lord Shiva after her long penance and Lord Shiva took her as a saha-dharma chaarini (equal partner). Both Parvathi and Shiva present this ideal to devotees in the form of Ardhanareeshvara Darshanam too (half male, half female form).
Now let us see the Arudra Nakshatra captured as part of the Orion constellation and it maps exactly to Betelgeuse star.
For me, personally, the festival of Thiruvadhirai reminds me of this very special human being, Mrs.L aunty who used to provide me with the sumptuous prasadham of thiruvadhirai kali and thalagam every year :-)
See you with next Nakshatra, Punarvasu/Punarpoosam. Have a great day :-)