Bṛhaspati – Guru and Priest of the gods
He dwells in the Vedic constellation of Puṣya
Symbolized by a blossoming lotus
and found by our modern star charts as a crescent of stars including aSELLus australus and a few other dim stars (and a distant galaxy) in the front of the body of the crab, cancer.
Puṣya is symbolized by a flower, and it literally means “blossom.” Blossoms symbolize success, fruition, and accomplishment.
The word puṣya also means “nourishment” (only with nourishment does a flower blossom, or a person succeed), and it’s other most common symbol is the udder of a cow, which Vedic culture venerates as the source of the most nourishing food: milk.
This name reveals puṣya to be a loving, mothering place – which provides nourishment and thus allows us to blossom to our fullest potential. Other names for puṣya are tiṣya and sidhya. Tiṣya means “fortunate” and connotes success that endures. Sidhya also means “fortune” and connotes achieving the fullest potential.
Read synopsis paragraph
Why do these stars have such auspicious qualities? Like every nakshatra, they get their qualities directly from the god who dwells amongst them. Bṛhaspati is the god dwelling in Puṣya, the guru and priest of the gods.
What is a “guru” or a “priest”?
Well they are many things, unfortunately, but what they are supposed to be is a via-medium, a communication channel allowing us to link ourselves to the Supreme. That is what Puṣya nakṣatra does, it links its guest to the supreme – thus raising them higher, nourishing their growth, allowing them to blossom to the fullest potential.
As Puṣyas other name, Tiṣya, implies – the success achieved with Puṣya is enduring. Why? Because it is linked to the Supreme! It is harmonious with the universe, not a success won in selfish defiance of others. In short, it is “moral.”
In Gītā 10.38, Krishna says,
nītir asmi jigīṣatam
Among those who seek success,
I am morality
27 Stars, 27 Gods, pg. 50~51
I want to conclude with a very important spiritual point. The fact that the gods need a priest and a guru shows for certain that they are not the supreme divinity. Brhaspati demonstrates that Vedic spirituality is neither monotheistic nor polytheistic – but is a unity of the two. Bhedābheda-tattva.
A single supreme divinity manifests as an infinite multitude of divinities. This multitude includes the gods of fire, rain, and so on; but it also includes you and me, and all the animals, plants, insects, microbes, and even atoms of matter. The multitudes of divinity are as divine as the single, original divinity – but we are eternally distinct individuals – just as sunlight is distinct from but also not separable from the sun.
Monotheistic religions only pretend to be monotheistic, there are always other divinities assisting the supreme divinity. Allah has Muhammad. Yahweh has Moses and Jesus. So the dichotomy between monotheism and polytheism is a fallacy, a false dillema. Vedic spirituality certainly did not fall prey to it.