How to Become a Hindu

Sanskrit Birthstar Syllables

According to traditional jyotishīs (Indian astrologers), among the most auspicious Hindu first names begin the syllables that corresponds to one’s birthstar, called nakshatra, which is the constellation with which the moon was aligned at the moment of birth. Below is a list of the twenty-seven nakshatras and the distinct Sanskrit syllables that correspond to each. To choose a nakshatra name (nāmanakshatra), first determine the birthstar of the child or adult, then look for the star in the list below to determine the syllable(s) with which the name should begin. There are four sounds for each nakshatra, corresponding to the four quarters (pādas) of each constellation. If you know the pāda under which the child or adult was born, it is best to choose the syllable of that pāda. Several of the nāma-nakshatra syllables are quite rare in actual usage in the Sanskrit language. For example, someone born under the fourth pāda of Pūrvāshādhā nakshatra may not find more than two or three qualifying names beginning with the syllable ḍha, even in extensive name lists, so it is common practice to choose a name starting with a similar syllable. In this case the syllable ḍhā might be used, such as in the name Dhārana, or ḍha as in Dharma. It is also common to resort to the syllable of another pāda within the same nakshatra if too few names are available. §

Why chose a name based on nakshatra? The first reason is that it vibrates in harmony with the nature of the individual in this particular incarnation, by virtue of its unique relation to the moon at the moment of birth, which has a significant impact on the inner, emotional nature. Secondly, by simply hearing the name, an astute jyotisha śāstrī, priest, swāmī or satguru would immediately know the nature of the person, cognizing that he was born under, say, the śravaṇā nakshatra. He would thus be able to wisely counsel or console, advise and encourage accordingly. In ancient days, as today, this first sound of the first name was extremely important to knowledgeable preceptors. §

Aśvinī Nakshatra§

Chu चु (as in Fu-Manchu)
Che चे (as in chase)
Cho चो (as in choke)
ला (as in lava)

Bharaṇī Nakshatra§

Li लि (as in lilt)
Lu लु (as in lute)
Le ले (as in leg)
Lo लो (as in local)

Kṛittikā Nakshatra§

Ā (as in ānanda)
I (as in iridescent)
U (as in uvula)
E (as in egg)

Rohiṇī Nakshatra§

O (as in odor)
Va (as in vanilla)
वी (as in Vīṇā)
Vo वो (as in vote)

Mṛigaśira Nakshatra§

Ve वे (as in Veda)
Vo वो (as in votary)
का (as in Kanji)
Ke के (as in Kenya)

Ārdrā Nakshatra§

Ku कु (as in Kuwait)
Ghā घा (as in Ghana)
Ng (pronounced “ng”)
Çha (as in Churchill)

Punarvasu Nakshatra§

Ke के (as in Kenya)
Ko को (as in kodiac)
हा (as in hardy)
ही (as in hither)

Pushya Nakshatra§

हू (as in hurrah)
He हे (as in heyday)
Ho हो (as in homogenous)
Ḍā डा (no English equiv.)

Aśleshā Nakshatra§

Ḍī डि (no English equiv.)
Ḍu डू (no English equiv.)
Ḍe डे (no English equiv.)
Ḍo डो (no English equiv.)

Maghā Nakshatra§

मा (as in māyā)
मी (as in miracle)
मू (as in mudra)
Me मे (as in megabyte)

Purvaphalguni Nakshatra§

Mo मो (as in motion)
Ṭā टा (no English equiv.)
Ṭī टी (no English equiv.)
Ṭū टू (no English equiv.)

Uttaraphalguni Nakshatra§

Ṭe टे (no English equiv.)
Ṭo टो (no English equiv.)
पा (no English equiv.)
पी (no English equiv.)

Hasta Nakshatra§

Pu पु (as in purusha)
Shā षा (as in shanti)
Ṇā णा (no English equiv.)
Ṭhā ठा (no English equiv.)

Chitra Nakshatra§

Pe पे (as in Peru)
Po पो (as in pole)
रा (as in Rāma)
री (as in Rio de Janeiro)

Svātī Nakshatra§

Ru रु (as in rumor)
Re रे (as in regulate)
रा (as in Rāma)
ता (as in Tahiti)

Viśākhā Nakshatra§

ती (as in East Timor)
तू (as in tune)
Te ते (as in terrace)
To तो (as in total)

Anurādhā Nakshatra§

ना (as in Nagasaki)
नी (as in Nicaragua)
नू (as in numeral)
Ne ने (as in Nepal)

Jyeshṭā Nakshatra§

No नो (as in noble)
या (as in Yama)
यी (as in yield)
यू (as in Yukon)

Mūla Nakshatra§

Ye ये (as in Yemen)
Yo यो (as in yo-yo)
बा (as in ball)
बी (as in Bini)

Pūrvāshādhā Nakshatra§

Bu बु (as in Buddha)
Dhā धा (as in dharma)
Bha (as in bhakti)
Ḍhā ढा (no English equiv.)

Uttarāshādhā Nakshatra§

Be बे (as in beta)
Bo बो (as in Bohemian)
जा (as in jar)
जी (as in jīva)

Śravaṇa Nakshatra§

Ju जु (as in Jupiter)
Je जे (ay as in hay)
Jo जो (as in joke)
Gha (as in Ghana)

Dhanishṭā Nakshatra§

गा (as in garden)
गी (ee as in keep)
गू (as in guru)
Ge गे (as in Gestault)

Śatabhīshā Nakshatra§

Go गो (as in go)
सा (as in Sahara)
सी (as in Sita)
सू (as in Sūrya)

Pūrvabhādhrapada Nakshatra§

Se से (as in Seoul)
So सो (as in sonar)
दा (as in Dante)
दी (as in dīpa)

Uttarabhādhrapada Nakshatra§

Du दु (as in duty)
Tha (as in Thar Desert)
Jña ज्ञ (as in Jnana)
Da (as in Tahiti)

Revatī Nakshatra§

De दे (as in deva)
Do दो (as in donut)
Chā चा (as in chakra)
Chī ची (as in chief)