Hindu astrology (also known as Indian astrology, more recently Vedic astrology Kannada: ವೇದ ಜ್ಯೋತಿಶಾಸ್ರ), also Jyotish or Jyotisha, from Sanskrit jyotiṣa, from jyótis- “light, heavenly body”) is the ancient Indian system of astronomy and astrology. It has three branches:
- Siddhanta: Indian astronomy.
- Samhita: Mundane astrology, predicting important events related to countries such as war, earthquakes, political events, financial positions, electional astrology, house and construction related matters (Vāstu Shāstra), animals, portents, omens, and so on.
- Hora: Predictive astrology in detail.
The foundation of Hindu astrology is the notion of bandhu of the Vedas, (scriptures), which is the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Practice relies primarily on the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western (Hellenistic) astrology in that an ayanamsaadjustment is made for the gradual precession of the vernal equinox. Hindu astrology includes several nuanced sub-systems of interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (nakshatras).
Astrology remains an important facet in the lives of many Hindus. In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their jyotish charts, and astrological concepts are pervasive in the organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life, such as in making decisions made about marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home. To some extent, astrology even manages to retain a position among the sciences in modernIndia. Following a controversial judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities even offer advanced degrees in astrology.
Hindu astrology had been in use as the English equivalent of Jyotisha since the early 19th century. Vedic astrology is a relatively recent term, entering common usage in the 1980s withself-help publications on Ayurveda or Yoga. The qualifier “Vedic” is however a something of a misnomer, as there is no mention of Jyotisha in the Vedas, and historical documentation suggests horoscopic astrology in the Indian subcontinent was a Hellenic influence post-dating the Vedic period.
The term jyotiṣa in the sense of one of the Vedanga, the six auxiliary disciplines of Vedic religion, is used in the Mundaka Upanishad and thus likely dates to Mauryan times. TheVedanga Jyotisha redacted by Lagadha dates to the Mauryan period, with rules for tracking the motions of the sun and the moon.
The documented history of Hindu astrology begins with the interaction of Indian and Hellenistic cultures in the Indo-Greek period. The oldest surviving treatises, such as the Yavanajatakaor the Brihat-Samhita, date to the early centuries CE. The Yavanajataka (“Sayings of the Greeks”) was translated from Greek to Sanskrit by Yavanesvara during the 2nd century CE, under the patronage of the Western Satrap Saka king Rudradaman I, and is considered the first Indian astrological treatise in the Sanskrit language.
The first named authors writing treatises on astronomy are from the 5th century CE, the date when the classical period of Indian astronomy can be said to begin. Besides the theories ofAryabhata in the Aryabhatiya and the lost Arya-siddhānta, there is the Pancha-Siddhāntika of Varahamihira.
The main texts upon which classical Indian astrology is based are early medieval compilations, notably the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, and Sārāvalī by Kalyāṇavarman. TheHorashastra is a composite work of 71 chapters, of which the first part (chapters 1–51) dates to the 7th to early 8th centuries and the second part (chapters 52–71) to the later 8th century. The Sārāvalī likewise dates to around 800 CE. English translations of these texts were published by N.N. Krishna Rau and V.B. Choudhari in 1963 and 1961, respectively. Historically, the study of astrology in India was an important factor in the development of astronomy in the Early Middle Ages.Ganaka is a caste in Kerala, India famous for doing traditional Hindu or vedic astrology as there traditional career.
|Trimshamsha||5||D-5||Morals, ethics, spiritual values|
|Khavedamsha||40||D-40||Quality of life|
|Akshavedamsha||45||D-45||(From here on out,the birth time must be absolutely precise or the divisional chart is incorrect!!)|
|Shastiamsha||60||D-60||Used to differentiate between twins, etc., etc.|
There are three chart styles used in Jyotiṣa, two of which are depicted below:
Grahas – the planets
Nine grahas, or navagrahas, are used:
|Sanskrit Name||English Name||Abbreviation||Gender||Guna|
|Surya (सूर्य)||Sun||Sy or Su||M||Sattva|
|Chandra (चंद्र)||Moon||Ch or Mo||F||Sattva|
|Budha (बुध)||Mercury||Bu or Me||N||Rajas|
|Brihaspati (बृहस्पति)||Jupiter||Gu or Ju||M||Sattva|
|Shukra (शुक्र)||Venus||Sk or Ve||F||Rajas|
|Rahu (राहु)||North Lunar Node||Ra||M||Tamas|
|Ketu (केतु)||South Lunar Node||Ke||M||Tamas|
|Sun||10° Aries||4°-20° Leo||10° Libra||Leo|
|Moon||3° Taurus||4°-20° Cancer||3° Scorpio||Cancer|
|Mars||28° Capricorn||0°-12° Aries||28° Cancer||Aries, Scorpio|
|Mercury||15° Virgo||16°-20° Virgo||15° Pisces||Gemini, Virgo|
|Jupiter||5° Cancer||0°-10° Sagittarius||5° Capricorn||Sagittarius, Pisces|
|Venus||27° Pisces||0°-15° Libra||27° Virgo||Taurus, Libra|
|Saturn||20° Libra||0°-20° Aquarius||20° Aries||Capricorn, Aquarius|
Rahu and Ketu are exalted in Taurus/Scorpio and are also exalted in Gemini and Virgo.
The natural planetary relationships are:
|Sun||Moon, Mars, Jupiter||Mercury||Venus, Saturn|
|Moon||Sun, Mercury||Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn||Mercury, Venus, Saturn|
|Mars||Sun, Moon, Jupiter||Venus,Saturn||Mercury|
|Mercury||Sun, Venus||Mars, Jupiter, Saturn||Moon|
|Jupiter||Sun, Moon, Mars||Saturn||Mercury, Venus|
|Venus||Mercury, Saturn||Mars, Jupiter||Sun, Moon|
|Saturn||Venus, Mercury||Jupiter||Sun, Moon, Mars|
|Rahu, Ketu||Mercury, Venus, Saturn||Mars||Sun, Moon, Jupiter|
Rāśi – the zodiac signs
The sidereal zodiac is an imaginary belt of 360 degrees (like the tropical zodiac), divided into 12 equal parts. Each twelfth part (of 30 degrees) is called a sign or rāśi (Sanskrit: rāśi, ‘part’). Jyotiṣa and Western zodiacs differ in the method of measurement. While synchronically, the two systems are identical, Jyotiṣa uses primarily the sidereal zodiac (in which stars are considered to be the fixed background against which the motion of the planets is measured), whereas most Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac (the motion of the planets is measured against the position of the Sun on the Spring equinox). This difference becomes noticeable over time. After two millennia, as a result of the precession of the equinoxes, the origin of the ecliptic longitude has shifted by about 22 degrees. As a result the placement of planets in the Jyotiṣa system is consistent with the actual zodiac, while in western astrology the planets fall into the following sign, as compared to their placement in the sidereal zodiac, about two thirds of the time.
|Number||Sanskrit Name||Western/Greek Name||Tattva (Element)||Quality||Ruling Planet|
|1||Meṣa (मेष) “ram”||Aries (Κριός “ram”)||Tejas (Fire)||Cara (Movable)||Mars|
|2||Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) “bull”||Taurus (Ταῦρος “bull”)||Prithivi (Earth)||Sthira (Fixed)||Venus|
|3||Mithuna (मिथुन) “twins”||Gemini (Δίδυμοι “twins”)||Vayu (Air)||Dvisvabhava (Dual)||Mercury|
|4||Karkaṭa (कर्कट) “crab”||Cancer (Καρκίνος “crab”)||Jala (Water)||Cara (Movable)||Moon|
|5||Siṃha (सिंह) “lion”||Leo (Λέων “lion”)||Tejas (Fire)||Sthira (Fixed)||Sun|
|6||Kanyā (कन्या) “girl”||Virgo (Παρθένος “virgin”)||Prithivi (Earth)||Dvisvabhava (Dual)||Mercury|
|7||Tulā (तुला) “balance”||Libra (Ζυγός “balance”)||Vayu (Air)||Cara (Movable)||Venus|
|8||Vṛścika (वृश्चिक) “scorpion”||Scorpio (Σκoρπιός “scorpion”)||Jala (Water)||Sthira (Fixed)||Mars|
|9||Dhanus (धनुष) “bow”||Sagittarius (Τοξότης “archer”)||Tejas (Fire)||Dvisvabhava (Dual)||Jupiter|
|10||Makara (मकर) “sea-monster”||Capricorn (Αἰγόκερως “goat-horned”)||Prithivi (Earth)||Cara (Movable)||Saturn|
|11||Kumbha (कुम्भ) “pitcher”||Aquarius (Ὑδροχόος “water-pourer”)||Vayu (Air)||Sthira (Fixed)||Saturn|
|12||Mīna (मीन) “fish”||Pisces (Ἰχθεῖς “fish”)||Jala (Water)||Dvisvabhava (Dual)||Jupiter|
The zodiac signs in Hindu astrology correspond to parts of the body:
|Sign||Part of Body|
|Karka (Cancer)||two sides|
|Kanyā (Virgo)||digestive system|
|Tula (Libra)||umbilical area|
|Vṛścika (Scorpio)||generative organs|
|Kumbha (Aquarius)||Lower part of legs|
Bhāvas – the houses
Bhāva (Sanskrit: bhāva, ‘division’.) In Hindu astrology, the natal chart is the bhava chakra (Sanskrit: chakra, ‘wheel’.) The bhava chakra is the complete 360° circle of life, divided into houses, and represents our way of enacting the influences in the wheel. Each house has associated karaka (Sanskrit: karaka, ‘significator’) planets that can alter the interpretation of a particular house.
|1||Lagna||Sun||outer personality, physique, health/well-being, hair, appearance|
|2||Dhana||Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Moon||wealth, family relationships, eating habits, speech, eyesight, death|
|3||Sahaja||Mars||natural state, innate temperament, courage, valor, virility, younger siblings|
|4||Sukha||Moon||inner life, emotions, home, property, education, mother|
|5||Putra||Jupiter||creativity, children, spiritual practices, punya|
|6||Ari||Mars, Saturn||acute illness, injury, openly known enemies, litigation, daily work, foreigners, service|
|7||Yuvati||Venus, Jupiter||business and personal relationships, marriage, spouse, war, fighting|
|8||Randhara||Saturn||length of life, physical death, mokṣa, chronic illness, deep and ancient traditions|
|9||Dharma||Jupiter, Sun||luck, fortune, spirituality, dharma, guru, father|
|10||Karma||Mercury, Jupiter, Sun, Saturn||dream fulfillment, knees and spine, current karmas, career, sky themes (being 12am/mid heavens|
|11||Labha||Jupiter||gains, profits from work, ability to earn money, social contexts and organizations|
|12||Vyaya||Saturn||loss, intuition, imprisonment, feet, foreign travel, moksha|
Historical (medieval) Hindu astrology had various systems of enumerating either 27 or 28 nakshatras. Today, popular usage[clarification needed] favours a rigid system of 27 nakshatras covering 13°20’ of the ecliptic each. Each nakshatra is divided into quarters or padas of 3°20’:
|#||Name||Location||Ruler||Pada 1||Pada 2||Pada 3||Pada 4|
|1||Ashvinī (अश्विनी)||0 – 13°20′ Aries||Ketu||चु Chu||चे Che||चो Cho||ला La|
|2||Bharanī (भरणी)||13°20′ – 26°40′ Aries||Venus||ली Li||लू Lu||ले Le||पो Lo|
|3||Krittikā (कृत्तिका)||26°40′ Aries – 10°00′ Taurus||Sun||अ A||ई I||उ U||ए E|
|4||Rohini (रोहिणी)||10°00′ – 23°20′ Taurus||Moon||ओ O||वा Va/Ba||वी Vi/Bi||वु Vu/Bu|
|5||Mrigashīrsha (म्रृगशीर्षा)||23°20′ Taurus – 6°40′ Gemini||Mars||वे Ve/Be||वो Vo/Bo||का Ka||की Ke|
|6||Ārdrā (आर्द्रा)||6°40′ – 20°00′ Gemini||Rahu||कु Ku||घ Gha||ङ Ng/Na||छ Chha|
|7||Punarvasu (पुनर्वसु)||20°00′ Gemini – 3°20′ Cancer||Jupiter||के Ke||को Ko||हा Ha||ही Hi|
|8||Pushya (पुष्य)||3°20′ – 16°20′ Cancer||Saturn||हु Hu||हे He||हो Ho||ड Da|
|9||Āshleshā (आश्लेषा)||16°40′ Cancer – 0°00′ Leo||Mercury||डी Di||डू Du||डे De||डो Do|
|10||Maghā (मघा)||0°00′ – 13°20′ Leo||Ketu||मा Ma||मी Mi||मू Mu||मे Me|
|11||Pūrva or Pūrva Phalgunī (पूर्व फाल्गुनी)||13°20′ – 26°40′ Leo||Venus||नो Mo||टा Ta||टी Ti||टू Tu|
|12||Uttara or Uttara Phalgunī (उत्तर फाल्गुनी)||26°40′ Leo – 10°00′ Virgo||Sun||टे Te||टो To||पा Pa||पी Pi|
|13||Hasta (हस्त)||10°00′ – 23°20′ Virgo||Moon||पू Pu||ष Sha||ण Na||ठ Tha|
|14||Chitrā (चित्रा)||23°20′ Virgo – 6°40′ Libra||Mars||पे Pe||पो Po||रा Ra||री Ri|
|15||Svātī (स्वाती)||6°40′ – 20°00 Libra||Rahu||रू Ru||रे Re||रो Ro||ता Ta|
|16||Vishākhā (विशाखा)||20°00′ Libra – 3°20′ Scorpio||Jupiter||ती Ti||तू Tu||ते Te||तो To|
|17||Anurādhā (अनुराधा)||3°20′ – 16°40′ Scorpio||Saturn||ना Na||नी Ni||नू Nu||ने Ne|
|18||Jyeshtha (ज्येष्ठा)||16°40′ Scorpio – 0°00′ Sagittarius||Mercury||नो No||या Ya||यी Yi||यू Yu|
|19||Mūla (मूल)||0°00′ – 13°20′ Sagittarius||Ketu||ये Ye||यो Yo||भा Bha||भी Bhi|
|20||Pūrva Ashādhā (पूर्वाषाढ़ा)||13°20′ – 26°40′ Sagittarius||Venus||भू Bhu||धा Dha||फा Bha/Pha||ढा Dha|
|21||Uttara Ashādhā (उत्तराषाढ़ा)||26°40′ Sagittarius – 10°00′ Capricorn||Sun||भे Bhe||भो Bho||जा Ja||जी Ji|
|22||Shravana (श्रवण)||10°00′ – 23°20′ Capricorn||Moon||खी Ju/Khi||खू Je/Khu||खे Jo/Khe||खो Gha/Kho|
|23||Shravishthā (धनिष्ठा) or Dhanistā||23°20′ Capricorn – 6°40′ Aquarius||Mars||गा Ga||गी Gi||गु Gu||गे Ge|
|24||Shatabhishā (शतभिषा)or Shatataraka||6°40′ – 20°00′ Aquarius||Rahu||गो Go||सा Sa||सी Si||सू Su|
|25||Pūrva Bhādrapadā (पूर्वभाद्रपदा)||20°00′ Aquarius – 3°20′ Pisces||Jupiter||से Se||सो So||दा Da||दी Di|
|26||Uttara Bhādrapadā (उत्तरभाद्रपदा)||3°20′ – 16°40′ Pisces||Saturn||दू Du||थ Tha||झ Jha||ञ Da/Tra|
|27||Revatī (रेवती)||16°40′ – 30°00′ Pisces||Mercury||दे De||दो Do||च Cha||ची Chi|
Daśā-s – the planetary periods
Dasha (Devanagari: दशा, Sanskrit,daśā, ‘planetary period’.) The dasha system shows which planets will be ruling at particular times in Hindu astrology. There are several dasha systems; however, the primary system used by astrologers is the Vimshottari dasha system. The first maha dasha is determined by the position of the natal Moon. Each maha dasha is divided into subperiods called bhuktis. Vimshottari dasha lengths are:
|Ketu||7 Years||Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury|
|Venus||20 Years||Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu|
|Sun||6 Years||Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus|
|Moon||10 Years||Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun|
|Mars||7 Years||Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon|
|Rahu||18 Years||Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars|
|Jupiter||16 Years||Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu|
|Saturn||19 Years||Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter|
|Mercury||17 Years||Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn|
Drishtis – the planetary aspects
|Mars||4th, 7th, 8th|
|Jupiter||5th, 7th, 9th|
|Saturn||3rd, 7th, 10th|
Gocharas – the transits
Gochara (Sanskrit: gochara, ‘transit’.) In Hindu astrology, a natal chart shows the actual positions of the grahas at the moment of birth. Since that moment, the grahas have continued to move around the zodiac, interacting with the natal chart grahas. This period of interaction is called gochara.
Yogas – the planetary combinations
Kalasarpa Yoga is a dangerous yoga. If all planets (excepting Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) are 1-side of Rahu & Ketu, it becomes Kala-Sarpa Yoga.
Dig bala – the directional strength
Lagna – the ascendant
Atmakaraka – the soul significator
Gandanta – the karmic knot
Gandanta (Sanskrit: gandanta, from gand, ‘knot’, and anta, ‘end’.) Gandanta is a spiritual or karmic knot in Hindu astrology. Gandanta describes the junction points in the natal chart where the solar and lunar zodiacs meet, and are directly associated with times of soul growth.
Ayanamsa – the zodiac conversion
Moudhya – the combustion
Saade saati – the critical transit
Saade saati, the transit of Saturn over the natal Moon, is the most important transit in a birth chart and takes approximately 7.5 years to complete. The transit begins when Saturn enters the house before the Moon, and ends when Saturn departs the house after the Moon. The most intense phase is when Saturn is 2–3° on either side of the Moon. The beginning of the transit will give an indication of the issues to be addressed. Saade saati results in a complete transformation, usually with a change in career or life direction.
Panchanga (Sanskrit: pañcāṅga, from panch, ‘five’ and anga, ‘limbs’.) The panchanga is a Hindu astrological almanac that follows traditional Indian cosmology, and presents important astronomical data in tabulated form. Panchanga means five limbs, or five lights that influence every day.
In modern India
David Pingree notes that astrology and traditional medicine are the two traditional sciences that have survived best in modern India, although both have been much transformed by their western counterparts.
Astrology remains an important facet of Hindu folk belief in contemporary India. Many Hindus believe that heavenly bodies, including the planets, have an influence throughout the life of a human being, and these planetary influences are the “fruit of karma.” The Navagraha, planetary deities, are considered subordinate to Ishvara, i.e., the Supreme Being) in Hindu belief assist in the administration of justice. Thus, these planets can influence earthly life.
In the early 2000s, under the Bharatiya Janata Party led government, astrology became a topic of political contention between the religious right and academic establishment, comparable to the “Creation science” debate in US education.
The University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government decided to introduce “Jyotir Vigyan” (i.e. jyotir vijñāna) or “Vedic astrology” as a discipline of study in Indian universities, backed up by a decision by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, despite widespread protests from the scientific community in India and Indian scientists working abroad. In September of the same year, the Supreme Court of India issued a notice to the Ministry of Human Resource Development in reaction to a petition, stating that the introduction of astrology to university curricula is “a giant leap backwards, undermining whatever scientific credibility the country has achieved so far”.
In 2004, the Supreme Court dismissed a further petition, judging that the teaching of astrology does not qualify as promotion of religion