In India, astrology is called Jyotish, a Sanskrit word that is derived from two roots, “Jyoti and Isha” which respectively mean ‘Light and God’. Jyotish is the science of light, both the light of the celestial bodies and the internal light of the soul. It is a gift was bestowed upon humanity by the ancient rishis (sages) and has been passed on from generation in an oral and written form. Jyotish unfolds the knowledge of how the planets and the stars influence an individual human life as well as the life of the nations, and the globe. It sheds light on our lives.
Vedic Astrology uses extremely accurate astronomical calculations to determine the position of the stars and the planets to predict the future of individuals as well as mundane affairs; therefore, Jyotish is referred to as predictive astrology.
Jyotish has numerous practical applications. The main one is predicting one’³ life events, as well as understanding how the heavenly bodies influence our lives and which particular planets are responsible for favorable occurrence in specific areas of life. A human being is a creation of the cosmos; therefore, all the facets of human existence, including the past, present and future are intimately connected to the influence of the planets and the stars.
Through Vedic Astrology one can analyze and interpret the quality and intensity of an individual’s karma within various aspects of life. One of the most important areas of Vedic Astrology is important areas of Vedic Astrology is ‘Upaya’ (Sanskrit word for method), the body of knowledge that deals with remedial measures for improving and correcting adverse planetry influences, as well as strengthening and promoting the positive ones. Vedic Astrology provides us with tools and means to predict and time the events that are going to take place in one’³ life but more so, it renders instructions on how to improve the quality of life in order to enjoy the totality of existence.
.. Astronomical Basis of Vedic As–
The imaginary sphere in the space surrounding our entire solar system in known as the celestial sphere. The projections the earth’s equator on this sphere is known as celestial equator. The apparent path of Sun around the Earth is known as ecliptic. The zodiac is a belt of heavens extending about 8° on both sides of the ecliptic. It encircles the space through which the planets travel in their orbits. When the Sun moves of celestial equator towards the north the point where it cuts the celestial equator is called vernal equinox and the point of intersection during sun,³ motion from north to south in called autumnal equinox. It has been observed that the vernal equinox- that is the first point of Aries from where the longitudes of all the planets are measured in not a fixed point. Each year when sun reaches the vernal equinox the position of earth with respect to a fixed star known as Revati is found to be nearly 5… seconds of arc of space farther West than the Earth was at the same equinoctial moment of the previous year. Thus the equinoxes recede back along the ecliptic. The angular distance between the first point from where the fixed Zodiacs commences and the vernal equinox point is known as Ayanamsha.
The Hindu system of astrology observes the fixed zodiac also known as Niryana zodiac that is the first degree of Aries is reckoned from a particular star in Revati group of stars, which is fixed. However, the Western System of astrology observes movable zodiac also known as Sayana, a zodiac that reckons the first degree of Aries from the vernal equinox. It is estimated that both these zodiacs coincided in the year 285 AD. The value of Ayanamsha as on 1.1.2003 is 23°53’ 40.97”. The Niryana positions of the planets in Hindu astrology are calculated by deducting the value of Ayanamsha thus calculate from the corresponding Sayana position of planets as followed in Western astrology.
The starting points of the sidereal (fixed) and tropical zodiacs (movable) coincide once every 25, 800 years. After that the starting points separate from each other by an approximate 1-degree of an arc per each 72 years (approximately 50.3 second arc per year). The difference between the longitude of the starting points of the sidereal and topical zodiacs at any given time is the Ayanamsha.
Due to the existing controversy about the year in which two starting points coincided last, there are several ayanamashas used by different school of Vedic Astrologers. Some of them are Lahiri, Krishnamurti, Raman and Fagan Ayanamasha. Lahiri is the most widely used ayanamsha, which is based on the last coincidence point taking place in the year for the birth of the native born in 1975 is 23:31:09 degrees.
If you want to convert sidereal (Vedic) planetary positions into tropical (Western, you can do so by adding this ayanamsha to the degrees of the planets in natives Vedic chart. To arrive to the sidereal positions by converting the tropical ones, you will need to subtract the ayanamsha from the tropical positions. For example, a native’s Sun is placed in 15:07 degrees of the constellation of Gemini in native’s Vedic chart. When you add the ayanamsha for the year of birth, which is 23:31:09 degree, you will derive the tropical (Western Astrology) horoscope position of natives Sun, which happens to be placed in the sign of Cancer. Therefore native’s Jyotish (sidereal) Sun sign is Gemini and natives Western (tropical) Sun sign is Cancer.
For predictive purposes yotish looks at the position of the planets in relation to their placement in the Zodiac at the time of one’³ birth. These positions reveal how the universe was functioning at that instance. In a way, planets are like 9 special measuring points from which the entire subtle state of natural law can be measured. At the time of birth, when the body enters the world, this state of the universe gets projected into the structure of the life of the individual. Therefore, the conditions of the nine planets, define the entire life span of events and circumstances for an individual.
3. The Planets- The 9 Planets
We just mentioned nine planets, even though not all of them are actual planets. Only five of them are planets, one is a star, one is a moon, and the remaining two are special mathematical points. Everyone is familiar with the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. The other two elements included into the group are Rahu and Ketu as the North and South Lunar nodes. Rahu and Ketu do not have physical substance; they are two mathematical points that make the point of intersection of the plane of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth with the ecliptic plane. Lunar or solar eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon are close to one of the nodes. This group of “Planets” is also referred with a Sanskrit term Planets.
Each Planet (planet) represents certain facets of human life: Traditional Vedic astrology does not consider the influence of Neptune, Uranus and Pluto.
The Planets Mercury and Venus orbit in the space between the Sun and the Earth and are known as inner planets or inferior planets. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, whose orbits are on the outer side of the Earth, are known as outer planets or superior planets. Rahu and Ketu always move in the reserve direction, i.e. they have retrograde motion. The Sun and the Moon are never retrograde. The remaining planets are direct in their motions but in the course of their journey in the Zodiac. The two relative motions they appear to become stationary for a while, get backward movement and again after some time, they regain their natural courses. This phenomenon of going backward is known as retrograde when they are at a certain distance from the Sun. These planets have natural friendship and enmity amongst themselves. Here are the names of the Planets in Sanskrit:
Sun is Surya
Moon is Chandra
Mars is Mangala
Mercury is Budha
Jupiter is Guru
Venus is Shukra
Saturn is Shani
The North Node is Rahu
The South Node is Ketu
Planets have primary and secondary significations. Here is the list of the primary planet significations assigned by the sage Parashara (the author of Birhat Parashara Hora Shasta):
Sun signifies the soul.
Moon signifies the mind.
Mars signifies energy.
Mercury signifies speech.
Jupiter signifies knowledge.
Venus signifies reproduction.
Saturn signifies grief.
The Sun’s annual path is known as ecliptic. The belt of Heavens expending 8 degree on either side of the ecliptic is known as the zodiac. The Planets (planets) are constantly moving through the Zodiac. The circle of the Zodiac is divided into 12 equal segments called constellations or rashi (signs), Each rashi (sign) occupies 30 degrees of the celestial space. Each of the rashis (signs) has a unique set of attributes, which affect any Planet (Planet) travelling through the sign. The signs are environments that affect the way a planet feels and behaves. here is the 12 rashis (signs) listed in their natural order:
1. Aries (Mesha)
2. Taurus (Vrishabha)
3. Gemini (Mithuna)
4. Cancer (Karka)
5. Leo (Singha)
6. Virgo (Kanya)
7. Libra (Tula)
8. Scorpio (Vrishika)
9. Sagittarius (Dhanu)
10. Capricorn (Makara)
11. Aquarius (Kumbha)
12. Pisces (Meena)
4. Rashi Ruler ships
Every rashi (sign) has its particular ruler. The Sun and the Moon rule over one sign each, where as the rest of the Planets hold ruler- ship over two signs. Traditionally, Rahu and Ketu to rule the signs of Taurus (Alter: Gemini), Scorpio (Alter: Sagittarius) respectively. The sign ruler ship is a permanent value.
Aries (Mesha) & Scorpio (Vrishika) are ruled by Mars.
Taurus (Virshabha) & Libra (Tula) are ruled by Venus
Gemini (Mithuna) & Virgo (Kanya) are ruled by Mercury
Cancer (Karka) is ruled by the Moon
Leo (Singha) is ruled by the Sun
Sagittarius (Dhanu) & Pisces (Meena) are ruled by Jupiter
Capricorn (Makara)& Aquarius (Khumbha) are ruled by Saturn
5. The 12 Bhava (Houses)
The Zodiac is divided in one more way. Relative to the position of the Earth, the zodiac is divided into 12 bhava (houses). Just as the proper motion of planets is reflected by their degree positions in rashis (signs) the diurnlas (illusionary, relative motion of the planets are perceived from the Earth) motion of the planets is shown by their placement in astrological houses. The houses represent the various areas of life. The areas of life are affected by the planets and signs that occupy the corresponding bhava (houses). The twelve bhava (houses) represent the totality of existence as experienced by a human being.
The sign where the Lagna (Ascendant) falls is known as the first house or Lagna. The next Sign is second houses, next the third and so on. In Vedic system the sign and the house are deemed synonymous. However, in Western astrology they cusp of a house is the commencing point and the first house is constituted by space covering about 30 degree beyond the cusp; but in Vedic astrology, the cusp is the midpoint of a house and extends to 15 degree on either side. Zodiac is constantly moving and all the 12 signs get an opportunity to become lagna in the 24 hours comprising a day. Janma Rashi means the sign- containing Moon at the time of birth and this sign is called Chandra lagna and is as important as the lagna itself. Here is a main signification’s of each house:
The First House represents the self
The Second House represents financial assets.
The Third House represents courage
The Fourth House represents happiness
The fifth House represents children
The Sixth House represents enemies
The Seventh House represents spouse
The Eight House represents vulnerable points
The Ninth House represents fortune
The Tenth House represents your career
The Eleventh House represents income
The Twelfth House represents the end of everything
So far, we have briefly covered the general principles of the three main components of Jyotish: the Planets (Planets) the Rashis (sign) and the Bhavas (Houses). The positions of the planets in the sign and houses are depicted in what is called the Horoscope. Evaluation the understandinfg of the interactive influence of these three main elements constitutes the interpretation of your horoscope.
6. Stars of Nakshatras
The entire zodiac has been divided into 27 equal parts 13 degrees and 20 minutes each known as nakshatra or asterism or a constellation (Moon mansion). Every constellation has been assigned a planetary ruler. Ketu is the ruler of the first constellation starting from 0 degree of Aries and then the ruler ship of Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury follow in this sequence till the end of the Sign Cancer. The same sequence starts from 0 Degree Leo and 0 degree Sagittarius and continues till Scorpio and Pisces end respectively.
All are aware of the time measure known as local mean time, standard time for any country or Zone and the Greenwich Mean Time. There is another system/ measure of time known as Sidereal Time that is derived from the Earth’s rotation with respect to a fixed star. The duration of sidereal day is 23 hour 56 minutes. Whenever the time is reckoned with reference to the sidereal day, it is called Sidereal time. The Sidereal time. The Sidereal Time is zero hour when the beginning of Aries (in Sayana system) crosses the observer’s meridian.
In astrology, the first house in reckoned from lagna (Ascendant) point. The lagna or the ascendant is the rising Sign in the Eastern horizon at a particular epoch. It is the point on intersection of the ecliptic at a given time with the horizon of a place. The lagna is dependent on the rotation of the Earth on its axis and so it is dependent on the Sidereal Time of a place at a given moment or epoch. The longitude of the lagna point (cusp) of the first house.