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In India, the way in which Naksatravidya, the science of stars, has been thought of even in the Vedic literature shows that it was regarded as one of the intellectual attainments. The word Naksatra means star in general as well as an asterism in the zodiacal belt. The star groups or Naksatras were referred to as Devagrahas: Parts of the body of the Primordial Being, Prajapati, have been extolled in terms of Naksatras (His hand — Hasta, mind - Citra, base — Mula etc.). The Kalapurusa also has been imagined in much the same way by the later exponents of Indian astrology.
In the Vedic as well as the Post-Vedic literature including the Puranas there are innumerable references to the auspicious days in relation to the Naksatras, for marriages, ploughing and the like. Some of them were even thought of in terms of Punya or Papa Naksatras and prognostications were usually made on that basis. In the Mahabharata as well as the Ramayana there are passages which speak of inauspicious or unlucky movements with reference to Naksatras as well as planets. It seems to be fairly certain that the Naksatravidya was held in high esteem in India of the Vedic and Post-Vedic period. A knowledge of the Naksatras was necessary for a religious rite (sacrifice) called Naksatresti as well as the Srauta rite concerning the consecration of the sacred fires. In the Chandegya, it is stated that among the lores which Maharsi Narada knew was also the Naksatravidya, or the Science of Stars. The Science of Stars was, however, not all that noble and worthy of adoration as it developed.