Vedic Astrology: What is it?
Vedic astrology is a part of Vedic knowledge.
Vedic astrology is called Jyotisha in Sanskrit (ancient Vedic language). It was developed during the Vedic period and originally associated with the Vedas (the most famous one is the Rig Veda).
We know from Vedic texts that “Jyoti” is translated as “light,” and “isha” is originated from the word “Isvara” (Indian God), meaning “lord”, “mentor”.
Jyotisha is the science of LIGHT guiding a person to the path of truth.
The task of Vedic astrologers is to become facilitators who pass divine knowledge to people and help to reveal their true path, the meaning of life.
Planets are parts of God's creation. You need to find out who God is and what the planet laws are, and how they affect our lives.
The Vedic law of karma is a fundamental principle of astrology in India. Prarabdha-karma is reflected in horoscopes of Vedic astrology.
In our world, almost everything (except for the causeless mercy of the Lord and free will) happens in accordance with the Indian law of karma, which the Lord gave us.
The Vedic law of Karma is formulated very simply: “We reap what we sow”. Essentially, this is simply another name for also known Newton’s third law: “Every action corresponds to an equal in strength and oppositely directed reaction.”
The Vedic karma of a living creature manifested in this material world is generally divided into four categories. These are the following:
- Sanchita (the sum of all past deeds, known and unknown, committed by a living creature).
- Prarabdha (the part of sanchita-karma that must be experienced by a living creature in the current incarnation).
- Kriyaman (includes the sum of all possible consequences created by current human actions)
- Agama (represents actions you plan to perform in the future). No wonder they say that thought creates fate (thought – plan – action – habit – character – fate).
Sanchita and prarabdha karmas are somehow “assigned” or “prepared” for us, being the product of already completed actions that has a certain effect on our present and future.
However, in contrast to them, Vedic kriyaman-karma is what we do at every moment of the current time, possessing the ability to choose and consciously create — that is what we call free will.
Vedic horoscope represents prarabdha-karma (karma shown at the date of birth, a part of the time of the general sanchita-karma, which goes back to the past and continues in the future).
Each person who has reached certain heights in spiritual development voluntarily and lovingly plays the role of a servant of divine laws. Planets (grahas) are PERSONALITIES, wonderful servants of God, servants of the law of Karma that are much more developed than people. They bring us consequences of a deed (shown in the horoscope by methods of astrology), impartially performing their work.
Nevertheless, grahas are personalities with their preferences, likes, dislikes, and love of attention. This is the basis of compensatory measures (upaya) for the influences of the planets, from which we learn what a person likes. Our free will and ability to change our destiny are partially manifested there.
Prarabdha-karma, both positive and negative (but we are most often worried about the negative side), has a different severity:
- Adridha Karma (karma is painted on sand, metaphorically speaking, so it is easy to change).
- Dridha-Adridha Karma / Mixed (this karma is not easy to change since it is written on paper).
- Dridha Karma (this karma is carved in stone, and it can be changed only by the grace of a guru and God).
Depending on the planets’ position and the type of karma, an astrologer can suggest one or another upaya. They may include: development of certain qualities; fasting on the day of the planet; mantra recitation to the planet or the image of God patronizing this planet; establishing good relations with certain relatives and representatives of certain professions; donations and help to certain people on certain days of the week; feeding animals and birds; wearing clothes of a certain color; consumption of certain foods; carrying stones related to the planets, etc.
It should be noted that there are different levels of upaya, depending on the mode (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas). Perhaps, the most effective and gracious upaya is a conscious work aimed at changing consciousness, habits, actions, character, and also donations (fiery rituals and charity), recitation of certain mantras and fasting. (In order to pronounce a mantra correctly, one often needs to receive recommendations from a Spiritual teacher).
Wearing stones can sometimes delay negative karma, but if a person has not changed his character traits – there will be no benefit.
The whole material world is permeated with three gunas (qualities) – Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Speaking of the evolution of consciousness, Sattva is an individuality that generally has spiritual self-awareness, Tamas is an individuality that is almost unaware of itself, and Rajas is the ability to be more or less self-aware.
Although these three gunas can theoretically exist in the form of pure Sattva, Rajas or Tamas, all things in our world initially consist of a combination of all three gunas in various proportions.
What we call a soul lies beyond the three gunas. The ultimate goal of our earthly existence is to go beyond these limits (moksha), which will bring freedom from the influence of 9 Planets, the joy of liberation from our own Karma. Various spiritual traditions describe methods on how to go beyond karma.
The Main Tools of Jyotish in Astrology
- Grahas (planets)
- Rashi (zodiac sign)
- Bhavas (horoscope houses)
- Dasha (astrological period systems)
A planet has the Sanskrit name “Graha”, which literally means “invader”, “controller”. It reveals the role of planets in astrology. They seem to capture a person and give him or her certain karma.
According to astrology, the action of the planets takes place in a subtle way, capturing the mind, human consciousness.
If you want to establish contact with the grahas, you need to know how to contact them, what are their names.
Each graha has many names (~108). There are 9 main grahas, and the most commonly used names are the following:
Rahu and Ketu are completely unknown for all non-Indian people.
There are natural benefactors and villains among the planets, although this is more likely a conditional classification in astrology. All grahas are exceptionally auspicious, as they are servants of the Lord, perfectly fulfilling the divine law of Karma.
Moreover, in the great astrological work of the Vedic literature, Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra, the correspondence of the planets to certain incarnations of the Lord is mentioned.
Types of Zodiac (Rashi)
There are two types of Zodiac in astrology: tropical and sidereal (fixed, true).
The sidereal zodiac is attached to a particular star, and the tropical zodiac – to the point of spring solstice.
Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac, but if you look at the sky, you will literally see an image corresponding to the sidereal zodiac. There was a time when both zodiacs coincided, but then Hindu astrology ceased to take into account precession (a special value), and the difference between zodiacs increased. Nowadays, this gap, called Ainamsa, is about 24 degrees.
According to Indian astrology, if your Sun sign is in Scorpio, then, according to the Vedic science, it can still be in the sign of Libra.
The Hindu zodiac signs are called Rashi in Sanskrit. The sky, represented by fixed stars, is divided into 12 parts in Jyotisha, corresponding to 12 Zodiac signs.
The planets and signs are compared to people who create circumstances (planets) and circumstances themselves (signs).
The planets represent the active principle in astrology, the signs – the passive one. The signs represent a field for activity.
The third important component of the horoscope is a “house”, which is called Bhava in Sanskrit. There are 12 bhavas:
|#||Sanskrit name||Key feature||Some meanings|
|1.||Thanu bhava||House of body, “I”, individuality||
Birth, appearance, character, general well-being, health, head (brain and optic nerves).
|Family values (tangible and intangible), genes, childhood, cash, securities, speech, faith, mouth, nutrition, voice.|
|3.||Sahaja bhava||Energy||Energy, willpower, courage, ability to concentrate, younger brothers, neighbors, skills, moving, lungs, shoulders, arms.|
|4.||Matru bhava||Feeling of happiness||Character (formed), emotional comfort, mother, property, education, heart, chest.|
|5.||Putra bhava||Children||Poorva Punya (Accumulated Positive Karma), intelligence, wisdom, children, creativity, morals, love, belly.|
|6.||Ari bhava||Enemies||Internal (negative character traits, habits, illnesses) and external enemies (force majeure, ill-wishers), rivals, cousins, uncle, service to people and God, intestines.|
Personal and business partners, the ability to conduct one’s business, life abroad, sex, danger to life, kidneys.
Crisis, shame, transformation, chronic diseases, accidents, issues of life and death, occult knowledge, unearned wealth (inheritance, insurance, etc.).
|Dharma bhava||Supreme Destination (Dharma)||Father, Spiritual Teacher, mentors, employers, higher knowledge, higher law, luck, wisdom.|
|10.||Karma bhava||Activity (Karma)||Field of activity, responsibility, profession, status, reputation, authority.|
|11.||Labha bhava||Results of activity||Older brothers (sisters), friends, associates, results of activity, the realization of ambitions, desires.|
||End of life or chain of reincarnations, intimate life, restrictions on freedom (monasteries, prisons), penance, loss, expense, foreign countries, secrets, dreams.
A countdown goes from the Lagna = an ascending sign at time of birth, where the Lagna = the first house in astrology, and then goes the second, third and so on.
Astrological programs calculate the Lagna, but if you want to discover it yourself, then read Chapter 5 of Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra.
The Lagna’s position depends on the time and place of birth, so it is important to know it for sure.
The Lagna shifts by 1 degree every 4 minutes.
It is often necessary to carry out rectification – clarification of the time and place of birth in order to draw up a correct natal chart.
There are different methods for rectification in astrology, for example, according to the dates of events from the past.
In addition to the Janma Lagna (first house in the main horoscope), there are also other Lagnas. These are the Hora Lagna, Ghati Lagna, Bhava Lagna, Chandra Lagna, Paka Lagna, Arudha Lagna, Varnada Lagna, etc., used in various astrological analyses. You can learn more about some of them in chapter 6 of the already mentioned Shastra.
An important nuance in Vedic astrology is that each Zodiac sign corresponds to a certain house of the horoscope.
An important addition to the main horoscope is fractional horoscopes, called Vargas in astrology.
The Varga construction is based on dividing a zodiac sign by 2, 3, 4 and more parts.
Each fractional birth chart serves as a magnifying glass for a particular house of the horoscope.
Nowadays, this astrology is based on 16 main vargas, although there are many more of them.
The main charts are Rasi and Navamsha.
These two charts are enough for general analysis of the horoscope. Other Vargas are considered for more detailed analysis (Hora Chakra, Drekkana Chakra, Dashamsha, Trimsamsha, etc.).