Ashvini (अश्विनी aśvinī) is the first nakshatra (lunar mansion) in Hindu astronomy having a spread from 0°-0'-0" to 13°-20', corresponding to the head of Aries, including the stars β and γ Arietis. The name aśvinī is used by Varahamihira (6th century). The older name of the asterism, found in the Atharvaveda (AVS 19.7; in the dual) and in Panini (4.3.36), was aśvayúj, "harnessing horses".
Ashvini is ruled by Ketu, the descending lunar node. In electional astrology, Asvini is classified as a small constellation, meaning that it is believed to be advantageous to begin works of a precise or delicate nature while the moon is in Ashvini. Asvini is ruled by the Ashvins, the heavenly twins who served as physicians to the gods. Personified, Asvini is considered to be the wife of the Asvini Kumaras. Ashvini is represented either by the head of a horse, or by honey and the bee hive.
Traditional Hindu given names are determined by which pada (quarter) of a nakshatra the Ascendant/Lagna was in at the time of birth. In the case of Ashvini, the given name would begin with the following syllables: Chu, Che, Cho, La.
- Hart De Fouw, Robert Svoboda. ‘’Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India.’’ 2003: pg. 204. ISBN:0-940985-69-1
- Ralph Griffith, The Rig Veda 1895
- Dennis M. Harness. The Nakshatras: The Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology. Lotus Press, 1999. ISBN:0-914955-83-7. pg. 2
- "Baby names". mypanchang.com. http://www.mypanchang.com/nakshatras.html.
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