The full moon occurred late last night on Tuesday, August 20th 4 degrees in Aquarius and in the Nakshatra of Dhanishta. Dhanishta means “wealthy” or “famous” and is ruled by Mangala or Mars and the 8 Vasus or the Gods that rule natural phenomena. This lunar sign is symbolized by a flute or drum. Krishna orchestrates the world through his flute and Shiva manages the world through his Damru or drum. Therefore, Dhanishta is an instrument of God that unifies all beings. It gives us adaptability, strength and overall benevolence. The energy of Dhanishta and Aquarius gives us the confidence and drive to work together toward the greater good of humanity.
This particular full moon falls on the Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan. This day sisters honor their brothers by tying a Rakhi or silk thread around their wrists. The sacred thread reinforces the bond between siblings and represents unconditional love and protection. The Rakhi has been used throughout history to unify communities and ease social tensions. It is even said that Rajpat and Maratha Queens sent the Munghal Kings Rakhis to prevent them from invading their land.
Rasksha Bandhan and the planetary influence of Dhanishta is another reminder that we are integral pieces of a greater whole. Meaning that we all share energy in this world. That is why in our yoga practice it is important to remember that we don’t just practice for ourselves. The stability that the asana practice brings to our lives gives us the ability to be more tolerant, generous, loving and understanding people in the world. Unfortunately this message can get a little skewed in a modern day yoga world that advertises classes labeled as hot bootie, shredded ab, sculpt flow.
We need to remember that the real reason we stay disciplined and dedicated to our practice is because we need to move beyond the selfish ego and offer up our better selves to the world. In the practice of Ashtanga yoga we remind ourselves of this fact at the end of every practice by chanting the Mangala Mantra which ends with:
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings be happy and free and may our thoughts and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom for all.