By Swami Harshananda
Āślesā literally means ‘the embracer’.
It is usually classified as belonging to the rākṣasa group. Serpent is its presiding deity. It is considered as an evil nakṣatra so much so that if children are born in it, special śāntis or propitiatory rites like ‘gomukha-prasava-śānti’ are prescribed to be performed to ward off its effects. Travelling is forbidden when this nakṣatra is in the ascendant.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore