The mind is mankind’s most powerful tool. It can be used as a weapon to destroy or it can be used as a weapon to carve out one’s future. But like any weapon or any tool, we have to learn to wield it wisely.

There is a vast imaginative terrain that every human being has access to. The ability to access this terrain is stronger in some people. Is there a non-physical reality that influences our physical world? When we speak of the Rahu and Ketu placements in the natal chart, we are referring to the vast imaginative terrain that exists within the universal consciousness.

The brain is a tool which has no consciousness of its own. Through our mind and the latent power of consciousness–we learn to use, to utilise and to harness the power of the tools that we were born with.


Ardra is the sixth nakshatra in Vedic astrology. I chanced upon it accidentally. I should not say accidentally as I was looking for it for a long time till I found it accidentally. In the English-speaking world, the nakshatra is associated with Betelgeuse. My teacher led me to this knowledge.

The symbol of the nakshatra lunar house is the head of a jewel. The ruling deity of this lunar house is Rudra, who is commonly seen in Hinduism as an aspect of Shiva. Ardra means green and moist. It is a nakshatra which is ruled by the Shadow Planet Rahu.

Rahu as Vasuki–Shiva’s snake–drank a substance which made him immortal. Was it the mythical elixir of life?

As the ruler of Ardra nakshatra, Rahu wants to achieve the highest ambition of mankind. He wants to achieve the impossible and he wants to do this through his mind. The mind is not the same as the brain–even though we think of it in that way.

The mind, or human consciousness, can continue to live even after it is severed from its body. The brain, as a human organ, is subject to the factors of our genetics, bodily wear and tear, as well as habitual factors such as: sleep, meditation and even violence. The mind or consciousness, however, exists beyond these biological factors.

Tears of the Dragon

I was walking by the reservoir when I heard a woman cry. It was no ordinary cry. She wailed from deep within the well of her being. It was an audible cry, but by no means a deafening one. But to my ears, her cry was so loud that I could hear nothing else.

I made my way to her. She was sitting there huddled by the reservoir, trying to hold back tears which couldn’t be held inside. There was a man in black next to her. He looked like he was attempting to comfort her, but the more he tried, the more she cried. I could only see their backs.

By the time I reached them, I started to make out who they were. Sitting there, by the reservoir, was a close friend of mine and his wife. My immediate reaction was to think that he had done something to cause those tears. But when I looked upon his desperate face, I knew the real reason resided elsewhere.

I knelt down instinctively and lay a hand upon her shoulder. “Remember me?” I said. I was not sure that she would. But in her tear stricken eyes, I saw a strong sign of recognition. I whispered a few comforting words and she calmed down. I am not entirely sure what I said, but she did temporarily calm down.

For the next few months, she would continue to cry in this way. She would suddenly start crying uncontrollably. As a scientist, I wondered if there was a biological and not just an emotional reason behind those tears.

Instead of asking about her childhood, her fears, her anxieties–I asked her husband about her physical condition. I wasn’t exactly a doctor, but I knew that something was up. That there was something we were not picking up on.

Tears evoked by different emotions serve separate functions and have a distinct chemical makeup. For instance, you can cry from sadness or happiness; and you can cry when you chop an onion. The root cause of those tears were different. We can also cry from being exposed to a certain allergen of which we are unaware.

I took her to see a few different doctors. With time, we discovered that she had developed a medical condition. It was why she was crying. There was a physical pain inside her she did not know about, and would never even have known how to express. Luckily, we caught it early. Within a few months of treatment, she was cured and her condition became stable.

As time went on, she stopped crying completely.

The Sanskrit

In Sanskrit, Rudra means the one who wails and howls. It is now considered a name for Shiva, but the existence of Rudra predates Shiva. In the context of natural phenomena, it refers to either a typhoon or a tempest.

Rudra means the one who eradicates problems from their roots. The nakshatra name of Ardra is a shortened version of ārudrā. It refers to the place where Rudra goes. The ‘place’ here is not a physical place, but a phenomenon that occurs in both nature and within man.

The wet and green place is ascribed to rain. Rain, as a natural phenomenon, and tears, as a manmade phenomenon, play a valuable role in life. We should not shun Nature’s need or our need to cry. It is also hard to control these phenomena and their aftereffects. We always think that crying is a signal to some sort of unexpressed emotion or anger, but sometimes the underlying cause of our tears is something else entirely.

So what does all of this have to do with Rudra, Shiva and Rahu?

How could you just leave me standing
Alone in a world so cold?

When Doves Cry by Prince

Would you abandon someone if they were crying? Most of us seek shelter when it rains, don’t we. We don’t go for a walk without an umbrella. But rain, much like tears, are a signal–a signal that something is either wrong or that something is coming.

If something is wrong, we can find a solution for our woes. If something is coming, well, let’s just say… it was never in our hands. I guess we can always just blame it on the weatherman.


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