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The Vision of Vedic Astrology
To deny the influence of the stars is to deny
the wisdom and
I first encountered Vedic Astrology orJyotish about
25 years ago and discovered a system of astrology which can reveal
the secrets and truer promise of our lives. Some believe that in
Jyotish, our own absolute nature speaks to us through the astrologer
(Jyotishi). Indeed, the Jyotishis first words reveal incontrovertibly
that we are known to some higher intelligence.
Jyotish (ja-yo-teesh) is the Sanskrit (most ancient
language on Earth) dual word for Vedic Astrology. Jyoti means light
and Ish is in short for Ishwar, which means God. Combined with Vedic,
which means of the knowledge, the words aptly describe
this astrological system.
First, it uses the sidereal or fixed zodiac, instead
of the tropical or movable zodiac of Western astrology. In Western
astrology, because of a tilting of the earth on its axis, thezodiac
appears to be moving out of alignment with the actual star-based
zodiac. Currently, this misalignment amounts to slightly more than
23 degrees, nearly one entire sign. So a person whose rising sign
might be Scorpio in Western astrology, has a good chance of being
Libra ascendant in Vedic astrology.
Second,Western astrology emphasises the Sun sign
while Vedic Astrology looks to the Ascendant and the placement of
the Moon. In addition, Vedic Astrology does not recognise the outer
planets, Neptune, Pluto, or Uranus. It does, however, give emphasis
to the two lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu, the points at which the moon
(in its orbit around the earth) passes through the plane of the
ecliptic. Although merely points in space, these nodes are so crucial
they are given the status of planets in Vedic Astrology.
Also of great importance are the Nakshatras, the
27 star constellations, one of which the Moon will occupy at the
moment of birth. This establishes the cycle of planetary periods
that determine the sequence of events in ones life.
On one level, Vedic Astrology deals with the circumstances
and characteristics of a persons material life, to reveal
and perhaps remedy what opportunities or perils may await us. It
is believed that by knowing what lies ahead it is possible to maximise
the good and avert obstacles or dangers.
An expert in Jyotish can derive full knowledge about
a persons potential and trends in life from place and time
of birth. The Birthchart, or Janma Kundali, can forecast precise
times when different tendencies will manifest. The Grahas (planets)
are positioned in their respective Rashis (Signs of the Zodiac).
Each Rashi falls in exactly one Bhava (house). The planets aspect
each other, and have lordships over the Bhavas.
Then comes the system of Dashas, unknown in Western
astrology. Dashas are planetary periods that rule defined stages
of ones life. The main periods (Maha dashas) last between
6 and 20 years, and during this period, a planet will have a dominating
influence in the life of a person. Each main period is divided in
9 sub-periods, each ruled by a different planet. Just like the main
periods, each sub-period is characterised by the particular qualities
and significations of the ruling planets. The dasha system can explain
changes in life from day to day with amazing precision.
The 9 Grahas (Planets)
Surya (the Sun)
Chandra (the Moon)
Rahu (the Northern Lunar node)
Ketu (The southern lunar node)
Rahu, Ketu, and the Planets influence each other
in various ways. The ancient sages saw a relationship between the
movement ofthe planets and the ups and downs of human experience.
Vedic Astrology explores these variations in order to help us anticipate
challenges and comprehend their meaning.The 12 Rashis (signs)
The zodiac is divided in 12 sections, which are called
the 12 rashis, or signs. Each sign is exactly 30 degrees. Like the
bhavas (houses), the rashis are each related to an area of life.
Part of the characteristics of a sign are derived from the graham
(planet) that is lord of that sign, but independent of that, each
rashis has its own unique traits. The rashis are classified in many
different ways, such as movable fixed and dual, as male or female,
as watery, dry, airy or fiery. The most influential rashi is the
one, which was ascending at the Eastern horizon at the time of birth.
It is called the Lagna, or better known, Ascendant.
Because of its prominence, the whole chart will be coloured according
to its characteristics. Another important sign is the one that holds
the Moon, the so-called Janma Rashi. The Moon is important in Jyotish,
and so is the Rashi it is in. Both the Ascendant and the Moon sign
will be of major influence in the life of the individual.The 12
The Jyotish chart is divided in 12 sections, which
are called the 12 bhavas, or houses. Each bhava is related to an
area of life, just like the planets are. Each of the 12 bhavas coincides
with one sign. (This is called the equal house system in Western
Astrology) Every bhava has one planet which is called its lord,
and the lord of a bhava is always the lord of the sign that falls
in that bhava. For example, Mars is lord of Aries, and if Aries
falls in the 5th house then Mars is also lord of the 5th house.The
most important house is the 1st house, and it represents the personality
of the individual, his body and life in general.
The Sanskrit name for the PGA was composed by HONORARY PATRON Prof. Dr. Satya Vrat Shastri, Padma Shri