By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Dhanus, DhanuS, Dhanush
Dhanuṣ literally means ‘the bow’.
The query, whether the stars and planets effect our life, is a subject of query for several centuries. This results in the evolution of a regular science called Jyautiṣa (also Jyotiṣa) or astrology.
Astrological works divide zodiac into 12 equal parts of 30° each. Each of these are called a ‘rāśi’ (a zodiacal sign). The sun travels through these 12 rāśis in a year. The time taken by the sun to travel through one rāśi is the length of a solar month. The Dhanuṣ or Dhanurāśi is the 9th in the series.
Dhanuṣ in Greek Astrology
It is called Sagittarius (archer) in Greek astrology. It resembles an archer. It comprises of:
- Two nakṣatras
- The first quarter of Uttarāṣāḍhā.
Personification of Dhanuṣ
If time is considered as a personified being (‘kālapuruṣa’) then Dhanurāśi forms his thighs. Guru or Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) is said to be the lord of Dhanurāśi.
Significance of Sun in Dhanurāśi
During 24 hours, as the earth goes around itself once, the sun moves through all the 12 rāśīs. The duration of its presence in each of the rāśis varies. For the Dhanurāśi it is 5 ghaṭikās and 30 vighaṭikās i.e, 2 hrs. and 12 minutes. These movements and their duration are of great importance in astrological calculations.
- Zodiac is the annual path of the sun around the earth.
- Dhanurāśi is also called Taukṣika.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore