Dhanishtha (Devanagari, Marathi धनिष्ठा)(Telugu: ధనిష్ఠ)(Kannada: ಧನಿಷ್ಟ)(Tamil: அவிட்டம்) is the twenty-third nakshatra in Hindu astronomy, corresponding to α to δ Delphini. It is also known as Dhanishtha or Avittam. In Jyotiṣa, Dhanishta is ruled by Mangala (the planet Mars). Dhanishta is classified as a Movable nakshatra, meaning that, under electional astrological beliefs, it is best to begin activities like travel when the moon is in Dhanishta.
The deities which preside over Dhanishta are the eight vasus: Agni, Prithvi, Vāyu, Antariksha, Āditya, Dyaus, Chandramas and Nakshatrani. The symbol most commonly used to represent Dhanishta is the drum known as the mridanga, and the flute.
Traditional Hindu given names are determined by which pada (quarter) of a nakshatra the moon was in at the time of birth. In the case of Dhanista, the given name would begin with the following syllables:
- Ga (गा)
- Gi (गी)
- Gu (गु)
- Ge (गे)
- Hart De Fouw, Robert Svoboda. ‘’Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India.’’ 2003: pg. 206. ISBN 0-940985-69-1
- Bepin Behari, David Frawley. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. Lotus Press: 2003. ISBN 0-940985-51-9 pg. 238