The story of Indra is, first and foremost, a story of fear. He is the deity of Jyeshta Nakshatra. The end of Jyeshta Nakshatra coincides with the end of Scorpio. The Lunar and Solar zodiac meet–culminating in a ruthless quest for absolute power and authority.

While Indra is generally depicted as a powerful and virtuous hero, he is also someone who constantly gets into trouble due to his pride; as well as his drunken, hedonistic and adulterous ways. He is the deity who disturbs sages as they meditate because he fears that self-realised human beings may become more powerful than him.

The weapon that Indra uses to kill his enemies is the Vajra or thunderbolt. It is a symbol of one who has the ability to bring upheavals and calamities into other people’s lives life. Indra as a deity had a presence in northeastern Asia minor (modern-day Turkey). There were four deities revered within the Vedic pantheon; but Indra longed to be the one and only.

Indra has ‘the status’ of being the God of the Gods. Yet, his story is not only problematic; it is also full of problems. Indra’s story is one of a rise to power and a lifelong struggle of never wanting to share it.

It is an internal conflict that manifests itself in the external world–creating chaos and order over and over again.

The Elder Sibling

On a mundane level, Jyeshta represents one’s elder siblings. We usually compete with our siblings for the same resources. But the elder–and in particular, the eldest sibling–is usually ‘entitled’ to the lion’s share of the resources that are allocated to one’s offspring.

It all begins with the bond that a mother has with their firstborn. Everything is less exciting when the second child comes around. There’s also the trend towards receiving hand-me-downs and the like. Over time, this can grow into resentment towards continually receiving less due to ‘a lesser status’. Younger siblings are expected to accept this treatment and for most of human history, it was even largely condoned and sanctioned by societal norms.

In Jyestha Nakshatra, the quest for absolute power reaches its full potential and fruition. Elder siblings start losing out to their younger siblings. What they thought was theirs now has to be shared; or there is competition for it. This is an excellent position for people with a competitive streak. The Elder Sibling’s ‘status’ is not enough to carry him or her through life anymore. It reflects the reality that we don’t always receive more because we’ve earned it or because of our capabilities–but simply because we were born first.

The younger siblings grapple, fight and have to accept the unfairness of it; while the elder sibling believes that they are only receiving what they are due.

Indra, as an archetypal character, faces the full spectrum of fear. First, the possession of a kingdom as well as the keeping of it. Even then, he is not satisfied and seeks to possess what belongs to another. In a way, it is also the placement of a hoarder and one who is never satisfied till everyone is beneath him or her.

In this nakshatra, the quest for absolute power is born. This is a very difficult nakshatra for it is one of power. It is the quest for power; and the quest to maintain it that defines the hardships that natives of this nakshatra will face. In Jyesta, elder siblings learn that younger siblings can find their own path and no longer need them. This, in essence, takes away the elevated status that one has.

For if there is no longer anyone ‘beneath’ you; or even above you–then you are destined to be alone.

The Symbolism

The symbol for this nakshatra is the umbrella and the earring. The umbrella is a type of shelter–indicating that one has been sheltered from certain hardships that most people go through. Therefore, this individual may not be accustomed to dealing with day-to-day inconveniences and difficulties.

It is a placement of a royal status, but different to that of Magha Nakshatra which concerns itself with intergenerational succession planning. In Jyeshta, it shows that one has a sense that one is not ordinary and should rightfully be ‘above’ others. People with this placement put themselves first, not realising that in due course, they will be abandoned by those around them. This is what happens to Indra.

The umbrella is also a symbol of sheltering oneself from the difficulties that people with this placement will cause in your life. They will bring storms into your life through the weapon, the vajra thunderbolt, that they wield. The only way to shelter yourself from them is to keep your ears peeled for when the storm is coming and make sure you are safe from harm.

Indra’s quest for power is fulfilled, but his victories always remain short-lived. He loses everything, regains it and then loses it again.

That is the story of power and fear. And that is the Sanatan.

Five ritual objects used in Vajrayana at Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima, Japan

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