By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Dreskana, DreSkANa, Dreshkaana
Dreṣkāṇa is also spelt as drekkāṇa.
Jyotiṣa or the ‘science of light’ is an ancient science that is the combined study of astronomy and astrology. The word ‘dreskāṇa’ (or drekkāṇa) is one of the several technical words used within this field.
When a zodiac sign is equally divided into three parts, each part is called ‘dreṣkāṇa’. The lord of the first dreṣkāṇa is the owner of this zodiac sign. The lord of the second dreṣkāṇa is the lord of the 5th sign in the series. The lord of the third dreṣkāṇa is the lord of the 9th sign.
For instance, let us consider the zodiac sign Meṣa or Aries. Divide it into three equal parts. Each part is called a dreṣkāṇa and has a presiding deity. The first is governed by the sign of Meṣa or Aries, viz., Kuja or Mars. The second is ruled by the lord of the 5th sign (Simha or Leo), viz., Ravi or Sun. The third is ruled by the lord of the 9th sign (Śani or Sagittarius), viz., Guru or Jupiter.
The eclipse of 360° is divided into 12 Rāśis or zodiacal signs like Meṣa (Aries), Vṛṣabha (Taurus) and so on. Each sign occupy 30° equally. This 30° is divided into 3 dreṣkāṇas, each dreṣkāṇa is of 10° extension.
Origin of the word
The word dreṣkāṇa is believed to be of Egyptian or Greek origin. The original word is ‘decanoi’ (deca = 10).
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore