Each nakshatra, or lunar mansion in Hindu astrology, is divided into four Padás (steps). These Padás correspond to the four Purushartas, or aims of human life, as seen in the zodiac signs.
The first Padá represents Dharma, or the purpose or duty of the nakshatra
The second Padá represents Artha, or the accumulation of resources
The third Padá represents Kama, or desire and
The fourth Padá represents Moksha, or liberation and comfort.
Each nakshatra has its own unique qualities, and from these qualities emerge these four Purushartas. For example, the Krittika nakshatra embodies qualities such as passion, action, duty, commitment, critical thinking, meticulousness, and nourishment, and its first Pada represents the purpose or duty of embodying these qualities, while its second Pada represents the accumulation of resources through these qualities, and so on.
Read about all 27 nakshatras here. Let's explore how a particular pada of a nakshatra can become auspicious.
The word “Push” in Sanskrit means “Neel Kamal” (Blue Water Lily).
This exquisite flower is often used as an offering in Pooja. It also symbolizes "nourishment". Some specific Padás in certain nakshatras provide nourishment to a planet, even if it is in a bad position. These are known as Pushkara Navamsha Padás. When planets are placed in these Padás, they receive an uplifting push, serving as a wake-up call. This is one of the ways to determine a planet's strength. The nourishment can be provided in different ways, depending on the nakshatra, its lord, and the other planets placed there. During its dasha period or sub-period, the planet in the Pushkara Navamsha placement provides the native with the necessary push towards fortune, virtue and spirituality in life. This placement also benefits a person in marriage and relationship prospects. If a planet is already in good dignity, the Pushkara Navamsha placement acts as an energy boost for the planet, and if the planet is severely afflicted, it may take time, but will eventually find strength.
There are 24 Pushkara Navamsha Padás based on the Vimshottari dasha rulership system, as listed below:
1st Padá of Sun-ruled nakshatras
2nd Padá of Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn-ruled nakshatras
3rd Padá of Venus-ruled nakshatras
4th Padá of Sun, Jupiter, and Rahu-ruled nakshatras
Sun and Jupiter ruled nakshatras have two Pushkara Navamsha Padás each, while Moon, Venus, Saturn, and Rahu ruled nakshatras have one each. However, Ketu, Mars, and Mercury ruled nakshatras do not have any Pushkara Navamsha Padás. All these Padás fall in Navamsha zodiacs ruled by natural benefic planets Jupiter, Venus, Moon and Mercury.
Pushkara Bhága, on the other hand, offers even more benefits than Pushkara Navamsha Padás. Bhága means abundance or indulgence, and this placement provides such abundance or indulgence based on the planet's dignity (as mentioned earlier). However, this placement is determined by the specific degree of a zodiac sign. The list of degrees is provided below.
Aries 21° degrees
Some Pushkara Padás get Pushkara Bhága as well, which becomes more powerful.
Bharani 3rd Padá
Purva Phalguni 3rd
Uttara Phalguni 4th
Purva Ashadha 3rd
Uttara Bhadrapada 2nd
You can also use the Pushkara Padás and Bhagá degrees to find an auspicious time to begin an activity, especially if benefics are involved. However, it's important to consider the quality of the nakshatra as well, as it plays a significant role. For example, if it's an ugra (harsh) nakshatra, it's advisable to avoid starting auspicious activity such as marriage, building a house during that time.