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Of course, you have heard of Vedic Astrology, but do you know what it is

It’s one of the catchphrases in modern times. But how many of you know and understand the true meaning of Vedic Astrology?

Let me share with you the facts on this ancient science but first, let’s learn its meaning. It is the English term for the system of Jyótish or Jyótisa, a Sanskrit word that is compounded from two words: Jyoti meaning Light and Isha meaning God. So, Jyotish means Light of God or Light of Life.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • The dimensions of Vedic Astrology
  • Jyotiśa or Vedic Astrology: Integral to the Vedas
  • The three branches of Vedic Astrology

Can you see its true import?

Jyotish or Vedic Astrology has its roots in the Vedas, India’s ancient sacred texts containing the fundamental knowledge of human existence. Veda means knowledge or wisdom derived from the root vid – ‘to know’. It considers human life to be an interplay of the microcosm and the macrocosm. We live on one planet of our solar system, the Earth, and therefore, the other planets in this solar system influence our mental, physical, material, and spiritual states.

Hindu Astrology or Jyotish uses astronomy, mathematical calculations, the science of timekeeping, intuition, logic, deep knowledge of planetary influences, combined with spiritual awareness to guide us towards a more fulfilling life.

The dimensions of Vedic Astrology

Dimensions of Vedic Astrology

Jyotiṣa is associated with Sun or Surya, the Giver of Light. Without it, there would be no Light; hence this planet due to its Agni tattva plays a predominant role in Vedic Astrology. Light is a source of illumination; it reveals purities and impurities and focuses on Truth, so a Jyotiṣi or Vedic Astrologer does not merely predict or study horoscopes. They need to combine the same qualities as the Sun and spread Light and Truth. They must approach their calling with a deep respect for the laws of the universe, be truthful and of a spiritual bent to guide people to the right path. You will agree that it’s a calling that comes with moral responsibility.

Jyotiśa or Vedic Astrology: Integral to the Vedas

As one of the Vedanga or limbs of the Vedas, this revered system supports the performance of Vedic Astrology rituals. (Anga in Sanskrit means ‘limb’, so Vedānga is ‘limbs of the Vedas’).

Jyotisa or Vedanga

There are 6 Vedāṅga associated with the body parts of Lord Vishnu:

Siksa

Sikṣā

This branch relates to phonetics, phonology, and Sandhis (the way to pronounce the transitioning over two words using the correct sounds). Siksā or Shiksha focuses on the accent, pronunciation, stress, and melody of Sanskrit words and their euphonic (musically pleasing) combination during Vedic Astrology recitations.

Kalpa

Kalpa

Vedic Astrology ritual instructions delivered according to a standardized format during critical events such as marriages, births, death, and individual conduct and discharge of duties at different stages of life.

Vyakarana

Vyākaraṇa

It’s all about grammar and following its discipline. It lays down rules that determine the exact form of words and sentences to convey their meaning correctly.

Nirukta

Nirukta

The etymology or history of words, their origins, their use in context and their form and meaning. It’s a linguistic discipline that demands the highest adherence.

Chhandas

Chhandas

These deal with the meter. A meter is the basic rhythmic structure within a poetic work. Speaking a sentence has a meter based on syllables, long and short, with rhythm and aesthetics. A highly evolved discipline, Chhandas are among the six supplementary fields that maintain the structure and authenticity of Vedic Astrology knowledge.I will write a separate article on this.

Jyotisa

Jyotiṣa

Called Veda Chakshu (Chakshu is the Sanskrit word for Eyes, so it means ‘Eyes of the Veda’), Jyotish, or what we call Vedic Astrology in English, is an essential añga of Veda to study the auspiciousness of time of birth, rituals, initiations, beginnings, and endings, among other aspects of an individual’s life.

Note: Traditionally, Vyākaraṇa and Nirukta are common to all four Vedas (Rig Veda/Yajur Veda/ Sama Veda and Atharva Veda). However, each Veda has its Sikṣā, Chhandas, Kalpa and Jyotiṣa.

Vyakarna

These six auxiliaries correspond to the six features of the Lord Vishnu:

  • Vyākaraṇa = Face.
  • Nirukta = Ears.
  • Shiksha = Nose.
  • Chhanda = Feet.
  • Kalpa = Hands.
  • Jyotish = Eyes.

Have you noted that the eyes correspond to Jyotiśa? Can you see the importance of this co-relation? Jyotiśa or Vedic Astrology considers the karmic blueprint and its positive and negative aspects with a rare kind of visionariness to reveal what you can expect and how to seek remedies to face challenges. Many things in Vedic Astrology call for you to see beyond the textual aspect.

The three branches of Vedic Astrology

Jyotiṣa has three branches, and hence it is called Triskandha Jyotiśa. ‘Tri’ means three, and ‘skandha’ means to shoulder the responsibility and possess the character required to keep your head up. A person who is an expert in all three areas is Triskandha jyotiṣa.

The three branches are:

Siddhanta
Siddhanta

This word combines ‘Siddha’ and ‘Anta’. Siddha means Accomplished, Perfected, Completed, etc. It refers to attaining exact knowledge in any science through logic, intuition, and the systematic application of knowledge. Anta is the fruition or completion, of all calculations, for example. So, Siddhanta is about Perfection and Completion to determine an outcome.
It is divided into:

  • Gola: Geometrical calculations.
  • Ganita: Mathematical calculations.
Hora
Horā

This is commonly called Predictive Astrology. It is the signposting of events, outcomes, possibilities, and situations in everyday life and a crucial part of Vedic Astrology.

Hora has four elements:

  • Jataka: A jataka is the person/native whose horoscope is studied. 
  • Prasna: A question put at a precise point in time that reveals the answer. It is used during consultations to guide the native or the jataka.
  • Muhurta: It’s the timing of events. It advises on the most auspicious time to conduct or initiate ceremonies, take up job offers, weddings, new projects/undertakings, travel, the naming of a child, etc. 
  • Nimitta: Reading the import of omens. What signals are coming to you when you undertake something meaningful? Did you get bad news, or did something positive happen? 

Note: Nimitta in Hora takes up only 10% of its approach. The remaining 90% is practised in Samhita (below).

We will study Hora in detail, and many of my articles will focus on explaining and learning Hora Shastra.

Samhita
Samhita

It deals with things that affect the masses. It includes diverse areas such as weather forecasts, agriculture, natural disasters, market moods, changes in government, national and international events, etc. All the annual predictions for the world are based on Samhita astrology.

It comprises:

  • Nimitta (the remaining 90% of approaches through the reading of omens is pursued in this field).
  • Tilakadi laksana: Predictions based on appearance in Hindu Astrology.
  • Ritu: Mundane Astrology predictions which deal with the possibility of the next earthquake, the next monsoon, predictions of nations etc.
  • Pasu: Relating to animals and their karmas.
  • Ketu: Spiritual pursuit.
If you want delicious lemonade, buy the best lemons. If you want accurate predictions, consult a qualified Vedic Astrologer

Let’s face it; the world is full of psychics, fortune-tellers, and soothsayers of all stripes. If they could predict correctly or provide the proper remedies, all problems would disappear. But sadly, that is not the case. You spend time, effort, and money, getting tossed around from one crystal-ball gazer to the other when all you need is one expert who can provide you with the guidance you seek

What you need is a trusted & ethical Vedic Astrologer.

Why? Because they are a breed apart. They have spent years and years in rigorous, uncompromising, and demanding studies under a reputed guru or master to learn the techniques of Vedic Astrology. Learning and practising it calls for the skills of a mathematician, knowledge of an astronomer, wisdom of a guru and the spiritual discipline of an evolved human being. Only when these requirements are honoured does this ancient system reveal its treasures to them.

It is also true that many Vedic Astrologers carry titles such as Jyotish Virat, Jyotish Acharya, Jyotish Ratna, etc., which are sometimes distributed like confetti by some teachers of this knowledge. They take up an astrology course for a week, fortnight, or month, choose fancy titles and get into business, but they don’t know the basics.

Vedic Astrologers must earn this distinguished skill through unwavering devotion to the system and its study. For example, some people call themselves Trikalgya Jyotisa (Knowers of Three Dimensions of Time). But are they truly so advanced? It calls for the incredible ability to know an individual’s past, present and future. Only a few astrologers have this knowledge. These titles must not be taken lightly and should be used with caution.

I will share one more interesting fact: The quality of your Karma determines the type of astrologer you consult. If your Karma is good, you will find the right astrologer. Equally, the astrologer’s Karma also plays a role here. I will share my thoughts on Karma in a separate blog.

So, the next time you hear the terms ‘Vedic Astrology’, ‘Vedic Astrologer’, ‘Vedic Predictions’ or ‘Jyotish’, be aware of their time-honoured origins and let this awareness guide you to the right expert.

Namaste Knowledge Seekers

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