Indian Vedic Astrology—
Introduction Of Astrology—–
The first texts to be taught, heard and learnt in India were the Vedas, the sacred books of the Aryan peoples. The four Vedas, which are generally acknowledged to the source texts of what is usually known as Hinduism, are collections of hymns, or sacred songs, whose deep significance lies less in the literal meaning of their words than in their symbolic meaning, their rhythm and melody, and personal power of their reciter.
The Vedas themselves may be considered living beings. Those who open themselves to these entities, by being initiated into their study by a guru who has served as their receptacle for many years, become filled with this deep knowledge. Unfortunately, even though a few Vedic traditions survive in India, there is substantial doubt that anyone living today fully knows the deep knowledge contained within the Vedas, for the keys to understanding their esoteric import started being lost well before the Christian era.
Because even at their birth the Vedas were fully comprehensible only to the Rishis, the Seers who divinely cognized them developed six auxiliary disciplines called Vedangas (Limbs of the Veda). These Six Vedangas must study before one can attempt to comprehend the Vedas themselves; they are Vyakarana (Grammar), Chandas (Meter), Shiksha (Intonation), Nirukta (Etymology), Kalpa (Ritual) and Jyotish (Astronomy / Astrology). When the Veda is personified as a living being, Vyakarana is regarded as the face, Chandas the legs, Shiksha the breath, Nirukta the ears, Kalpa the hands, and Jyotish the eyes. Each Vedanga is a living being who can be obtained only through a guru.
These beings, and others like them, which have sprouted from the Vedic corpus, are often generically termed Vidyas, a word that is derived from the same root as the word Veda. Jyotish is the Jyotir Vidya (the Lore of Light), a Vidya that can be had only from jyotishis, because Jyotish is the study of all facets of the ‘lords of light’: the Sun, Moon, planets and stars.
One way in which deep knowledge is imparted to students of Jyotish is through observations and interpretations like these, which are stored in planetary stories and myths. Part of the sadhana (spiritual path) of Jyotish is to learn these myths and stories help to integrate Jyotish’s tenets into the pupil’s consciousness, which makes the model of reality, which is Jyotish become vividly real and solid. There is no doubt that the best way to learn Jyotish it to hear teaching stories at the doubt that of your guru. But because the tales themselves are also alive, they can speak softly to those who listen to them mindfully, even if they have no guru handy to amplify them.
CLASSIFICATION OF ASTROLOGY—–
There are Six Limbs to Astrology, just as there are Six Vedangas for the Vedas. Prashna Marga, a text on horary astrology, lists them as shown in Table below. Prashna Marga states that one conversant with all six branches of astrology will never err in predictions – a tall order! Such an astrologer is a true daivajna (roughly, ‘a knower of God’s intention’). Jyotishis of this quality still exist but are very rare, even in India.
The Six Limbs of Astrology:
Gola Spherical astronomy and direct observations; observational
Ganita Astronomical and astrological calculations
Jataka Birth or natal astrology
Prashna Answering questions without the use of a natal horoscope; horary
Muhurta Choosing astrologically auspicious beginnings for any endeavor;
Nimitta Interpretation of omens
A thorough understanding and interpretation of omens requires one’s intuition to be in full bloom. It is nearly impossible to do this without direct instruction from a skilled omenologist, thus making Nimitta the Jyotish limb most dependent on the oral tradition.