Nakkhatta: 2 definitions


Nakkhatta means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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[«previous (N) next»] — Nakkhatta in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

nakkhatta : (nt.) a constellation; star; celebration.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Nakkhatta, (nt.) (Ved. nakṣatra collect. formation from naktiḥ & naktā=Gr. nu/c, Lat. nox, Goth. nahts, E. night=the nightly sky, the heavenly bodies of the night, as opposed to the Sun: ādicco tapataṃ mukhaṃ Vin. I, 246) the stars or constellations, a conjunction of the moon with diff. constellations, a lunar mansion or the constellations of the lunar zodiac, figuring also as Names of months & determinant factors of horoscopic and other astrological observation; further a celebration of the beginning of a new month, hence any kind of festival or festivity.—The recognised number of such lunar mansions is 27, the names of which as given in Sk. sources are the same in Pāli, with the exception of 2 variations (Assayuja for Aśvinī, Satabhisaja for Śatatāraka). enumerated at Abhp. 58—60 as follows: Assayuja (Sk. Aśvinī) Bharaṇī, Kattikā, Rohiṇī, Magasiraṃ (Sk. Mṛgaśīrṣa) Addā (Sk. Ārdrā), Punabbasu, Phussa (Sk. Puṣya), Asilesā, Maghā, Pubba-phaggunī (Sk. Pūrva-phalgunī). Uttara°, Hattha, Cittā (Sk. Chaitra), Sāti (Svātī), Visākhā, Anurādhā, Jeṭṭhā, Mūlaṃ, Pubb-āsāḷha (°āṣāḍha), Uttar°, Savaṇa, Dhaniṭṭhā, Satabhisaja (Śatatāraka), Pubba-bhaddapadā, Uttara°, Revatī.—It is to be pointed out that the Niddesa speaks of 28 N. instead of 27 (Nd1 382: aṭṭhavīsati nakkhattāni), a discrepancy which may be accounted by the fact that one N. (the Orion) bore 2 names, viz. Mṛgaśīrṣa & Agrahayanī (see Plunkett, Ancient Calendars etc. p. 227 sq.).—Some of these Ns. are more familiar & important than others, & are mentioned more frequently, e.g. Āsāḷha (Āsālhi°) J. I, 50 & Uttarāsāḷha J. I, 63, 82; Kattikā & Rohiṇī SnA 456.—nakkhattaṃ ādisati to augur from the stars, to set the horoscope Nd1 382; oloketi to read the stars, to scan the constellations J. I, 108, 253; ghoseti to proclaim (shout out) the new month (cp. Lat. calandae fr. cālāre to call out, scil. mensem), and thereby announce the festivity to be celebrated J. I, 250; n. ghuṭṭhaṃ J. I, 50, 433; saṅghuṭṭhaṃ PvA. 73; ghositaṃ VvA. 31; kīḷati to celebrate a (nakkhatta-) festival J. I, 50, 250; VvA. 63; DhA. I, 393 (cp. °kīḷā below). n. ositaṃ the festival at an end J. I, 433.—nakkhatta (sg.) a constellation Sn. 927; collect. the stars Vv 811 (cando nparivārito). nakkhattāni (pl.) the stars: nakkhattānaṃ mukhaṃ chando (the moon is the most prominent of the lights of night) Th. 2. 143; Vin. I, 246=Sn. 569 (but cp. expl. at SnA 456: candayogavasena “ajja kattikā, ajja Rohiṇī” ti paññāṇato ālokakāraṇato sommabhāvato ca nakkhattānaṃ mukhaṃ cando ti vutto); D. I, 10 (nakkhattānaṃ pathagamanaṃ & uppatha-gamanaṃ a right or wrong course, i.e. a straight ascension or deviation of the stars or planets); II, 259; III, 85, 90; A. IV, 86; Th. 2, 143 (nakkhattāni namassantā bālā).

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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