What is hindu astrology?
Vedic Astrology refers to Indian or Hindu astrology as system that originated in ancient India, and was documented by sages in the Vedic scriptures. Also known as “Jyotish”- the science of light, Vedic astrology deals with astral light patterns that are believed to determine our destiny. The Sanskrit word derives from jyotis which means ‘light, brightness’. Jyotisha thus signifies the ‘science of heavenly bodies’.
Origin of astrology
Vedic culture is extremely ancient, at least 5000 years old. Indian Astrology, called the Jyotish, is universal and timeless. Jyotisha is one of the most time-tested and oldest systems of astrology in the world. The genesis of Indian culture is rooted in the Vedic Hymns which date back before the dawn of civilization, and were preserved as they passed from father to son, and Guru to disciple. In the Vedic system Moon rules the emotional nature. It is well known that the planets with their large magnetic fields and gravitational field interacts with the Earth, affecting it physically. The Indian astrology defines the actual traits of an individual, marital compatibility and future based on the position of the planets at the time and place of birth.
Modern Hindu astrology
In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their jyotiṣha 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. Astrology retains a position among the sciences in modern India. Following a judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities offer advanced degrees in astrology.
Elements of astrology
There are sixteen varga or divisional, charts used in Hindu astrology .
- Rasi – zodiacal signs- The Nirayana, or sidereal zodiac, is an imaginary belt of 360 degrees, which is divided into 12 equal parts.
- Daśā-s – planetary periods -The word Dasha means ‘state of being’ and therefore the Daśā governs to a large extent the state of being of a person. The Daśā system shows which planets may be said to have become particularly active during the period of the Daśā.
- Gocharas – transits- The natal chart shows the position of the grahas at the moment of birth. The study of transits is based not only on the transit of the Moon ‘Candra’, which spans roughly two days, but also the movement of the slightly faster planets such as Mercury ‘Budha’ and Venus ‘Śukra’. The movement of the slower planets Guru, Śani and Rāhu-Ketu is always of considerable importance.
- Bhāvas – houses- The Hindu Jātaka, or Birth Chart, is the Bhāva (Sanskrit: ‘division’) Cakra (Sanskrit: ‘wheel’), the complete 360° circle of life, divided into houses, and represents our way of enacting the influences in the wheel. Each house has associated kāraka (Sanskrit: ‘significator’) planets that can alter the interpretation of a particular house. Each Bhāva spans an arc of 30 degrees and therefore there are twelve Bhāvas in any chart of the horoscope.
- Dṛṣṭis – aspects- Drishti (Sanskrit: Dṛṣṭi, ‘sight’) is an aspect to an entire house. Grahas cast only forward aspects, with the furthest aspect being considered the strongest. For example, Mars aspects the 4th, 7th, and 8th houses from its position, and its 8th house aspect is considered more powerful than its 7th aspect, which is in turn more powerful than its 4th aspect.