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Hindu astrology  
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Jyotisha ( Or Jyotish from Sanskrit jyotiṣa, from jyótis- "light, heavenly body") is the traditional Hindu system of astronomy and astrology. Also known as Hindu astrology, more recently Vedic astrology, It has three branches:[1]
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 ayanāṁśa adjustment 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 (Nakṣatra).
Astrology remains an important facet in the lives of many Hindus. In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their jyotiṣa 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.[2] Following a judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities offer advanced degrees in astrology.[3]
The term Hindu astrology had been in use as the English equivalent of Jyotiṣa since the early 19th century. Vedic astrology is a relatively recent term, entering common usage in the 1980s with self-help publications on Āyurveda or Yoga. The qualifier "Vedic" is however something of a misnomer,[4][5][6] as there is no mention of Jyotiṣa in the Vedas, and historical documentation suggests horoscopic astrology in the Indian subcontinent was a Hellenic influence post-dating the Vedic period.[7]



[edit] History

Jyotiṣa is one of the Vedāṅga, the six auxiliary disciplines used to support Vedic rituals.[8]:376 Early jyotiṣa is concerned with the preparation of a calendar to fix the date of sacrificial rituals.[8]:377 Nothing is written on planets.[8]:377 There are mentions of eclipse causing "demons" in the Atharvaveda and Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Chāndogya mentioning Rāhu.[8]:382 In fact the term graha, which is now taken to mean planet, originally meant demon.[8]:381 The Ṛgveda also mentions an eclipse causing demon, Svarbhānu, however the specific term of "graha" becomes applied to Svarbhānu in the later Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa..[8]:382
It is only after the Greek settlement in Bactria (third century BC) that explicit references to planets are attested in Sanskrit texts.[8]:382 It was only after the transmission of Hellenistic astrology that the order of planets in India was fixed in that of the seven-day week.[8]:383 Hellenstic astrology and astronomy also transmitted the twelve zodiacal signs beginning with Aries and the twelve astrological places beginning with the ascendant.[8]:384 The first evidence of the introduction of Greek astrology to India is the Yavanajātaka which dates to the early centuries CE.[8]:383 The Yavanajātaka ("Sayings of the Greeks") was translated from Greek to Sanskrit by Yavaneśvara 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.[9] However the only version that survives is the later verse version of Sphujidhvaja which dates to AD 270.[8]:383 The first Indian astronomical text to define the weekday was the Āryabhaṭīya of Āryabhaṭa (born AD 476).[8]:383 According to Michio Yano, Indian astronomers must have been occupied with the task of Indianizing and Sanskritizing Greek astronomy during the 300 or so years between the first Yavanajataka and the Āryabhaṭīya.[8]:388 The astronomical texts of these 300 years are lost.[8]:388 The later Pañcasiddhāntikā of Varāhamihira summarizes the five known Indian astronomical schools of the sixth century.[8]:388 It is interesting to note that Indian astronomy preserved some of the older pre-Ptolemaic elements of Greek astronomy.[8]:389
The main texts upon which classical Indian astrology is based are early medieval compilations, notably the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, and Sārāvalī by Kalyāṇavarma. The Horāshastra 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.[10] English translations of these texts were published by N.N. Krishna Rau and V.B. Choudhari in 1963 and 1961, respectively.

[edit] Elements

[edit] Vargas

There are sixteen varga (Sanskrit: varga, 'part, division'), or divisional, charts used in Hindu astrology:[11]:61–64
Varga Divisor Chart Purpose
Rāśi 1 D-1 Natal chart
Horā 2 D-2 Overall wealth
Drekkāṇa 3 D-3 Siblings
Caturthāṁśa 4 D-4 Properties
Saptaṁāṁśa 7 D-7 Children
Navāṁśa 9 D-9 Spouse, Etc.
Daśāṁśa 10 D-10 Earning Career
Dvādaśāṁśa 12 D-12 Parents, Grandparents
Ṣodhaśāṁśa 16 D-16 Vehicles
Viṁśāṁśa 20 D-20 Upasana-s, Sādhana-s
Caturviṁśāṁśa 24 D-24 Education (higher)
Saptaviṁśāṁśa 27 D-27 Vitality
Triṁśāṁśa 30 D-30 Evils in life
Khavedāṁśa 40 D-40 Quality of life
Akṣavedāṁśa 45 D-45 (From here on out,the birth time must be absolutely precise or the divisional chart is incorrect!!)
Ṣasṭyāṁśa 60 D-60 Used to differentiate between twins, past life karma, etc.

[edit] Chart styles

There are three chart styles used in Jyotiṣa, which are depicted below:
North Indian
South Indian
Eastern Indian
Legend:Ashu Ra - Rahu, Sa - Saturn, Ve - Venus, Su -Sun, Ma - Mars, Me - Mercury, As - Lagna, Mo - Moon, Ke - Kethu, Ju - Jupiter.

[edit] Grahas – the planets

Grah (Devanāgarī: ग्रह, Sanskrit: graha, 'seizing, laying hold of, holding'.)[12]
Nine grahas, or navagrahas, are used:[11]:38–51
Sanskrit Name Telugu Name Kannada Name Tamil Name Malayalam Name English Name Abbreviation Gender Guna
Sūrya (सूर्य) రవి ಸೂರ್ಯ ஞாயிறு, சூரியன் ആദിത്യന്‍ Sun Sy or Su M Sattva
Chandra (चंद्र) చంద్ర ಚಂದ್ರ திங்கள், சந்திரன் ചന്ദ്രന്‍ Moon Ch or Mo F Sattva
Maṅgala (मंगल) కుజ ಮಂಗಳ செவ்வாய் ചൊവ്വ Mars Ma M Tamas
Budha (बुध) బుధ ಬುಧ புதன் ബുധന്‍ Mercury Bu or Me N Rajas
Bṛhaspati(बृहस्पति) గురు ಗುರು வியாழன், குரு വ്യാഴം Jupiter Gu or Ju M Sattva
Śukra (शुक्र) శుక్ర ಶುಕ್ರ வெள்ளி, சுக்கிரன் ശുക്രന്‍ Venus Sk or Ve F Rajas
Śani (शनि) శని ಶನಿ சனி ശനി Saturn Sa N Tamas
Rāhu (राहु) రాహు ರಾಹು ராகு, கரும்பாம்பு രാഹു North Lunar Node Ra F Tamas
Ketu (केतु) కేతు ಕೇತು கேது, செம்பாம்பு കേതു South Lunar Node Ke M Tamas
Planets in maximum exaltation, Mūlatrikoṇa (own sign), and debilitation, are:[11]:21
Graha Exaltation Mūlatrikoṇa Debilitation Sign Rulership
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
Rāhu Taurus, Gemini Virgo Scorpio, Sagittarius Aquarius (co-ruler)
Ketu Scorpio, Sagittarius Pisces Taurus, Gemini Scorpio (co-ruler)
The natural planetary relationships are:[11]:21
Graha Friends Neutral Enemies
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 Sun, Venus Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn Moon
Ketu Mars Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn Sun

[edit] Rāśi – the zodiac signs

The Nirayana - sidereal or fixed zodiac is an imaginary belt of 360 degrees (like the Sāyana - tropical zodiac), divided into 12 equal parts. Each twelfth part (of 30 degrees) is called a sign or rāśi (Sanskrit: 'part'). Vedic (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.
Template:Rāśi table The zodiac signs in Hindu astrology correspond to parts of the body:[13]
Sign Part of Body
Meṣa (Aries) head
Vṛṣabha (Taurus) mouth
Mithuna (Gemini) arms
Karka (Cancer) two sides
Siṁha (Leo) heart
Kanyā (Virgo) digestive system
Tula (Libra) umbilical area
Vṛścika (Scorpio) generative organs
Dhanu (Sagittarius) thighs
Makara (Capricorn) knees
Kumbha (Aquarius) Lower part of legs
Mīna (Pisces) feet

[edit] Bhāvas – the houses

Bhāva (Sanskrit: 'division'.) In Hindu astrology, the Jātaka - Birth Chart is the Bhāva Cakra (Sanskrit: 'wheel'.) The Bhāva Cakra 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 kāraka (Sanskrit: 'significator') planets that can alter the interpretation of a particular house.[11]:93–167
House Name Kārakas Meanings
1 Lagna (Tanu) Sun outer personality, physique, health/well-being, hair, appearance
2 Dhana Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Moon wealth (fixed assets), family relationships, eating habits, speech, eyesight, death
3 Sahaja Mars natural state, innate temperament, courage, valor, virility, younger siblings, communication
4 Sukha Moon inner life, emotions, home, property,middle education, mother
5 Putra Jupiter creativity, children, spiritual practices, punya, love, sex, higher education
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, genitals
8 Randhra Saturn longevity, length of life, death, mokṣa, chronic illness, deep and ancient traditions, sex-life
9 Dharma Jupiter, Sun luck, fortune, spirituality, dharma, guru, relationship with father
10 Karma Mercury, Jupiter, Sun, Saturn dream fulfillment, knees and spine, current karmas, career, sky, father
11 Lābha Jupiter gains, profits from work, ability to earn money, steady income, social contexts and organizations
12 Vyaya Saturn loss, intuition, imprisonment, foreign travel, moksha

[edit] Nakṣatras

A Nakṣatra or lunar mansion is one of the 27 divisions of the sky, identified by the prominent star(s) in them, used in Hindu astrology.[11]:168
Historical (medieval) Hindu astrology enumerated either 27 or 28 nakṣatras. Today, popular usage[clarification needed] favours a rigid system of 27 nakṣatras covering 1320 of the ecliptic each. The missing 28th nakshatra is Abhijeeta. Each nakṣatra is divided into quarters or padas of 320:
# Name Location (Sidereal Longitude) Ruler Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
1 Aśvinī (अश्विनी) 0 – 1320' Aries Ketu चु Chu चे Che चो Cho ला La
2 Bharaṇī (भरणी) 1320' – 2640' Aries Venus ली Li लू Lu ले Le पो Lo
3 Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) 2640' Aries – 1000' Taurus Sun अ A ई I उ U ए E
4 Rohiṇī (रोहिणी) 1000' – 2320' Taurus Moon ओ O वा Va/Ba वी Vi/Bi वु Vu/Bu
5 Mṛgaśiras (मृगशिरा) 2320' Taurus – 640' Gemini Mars वे Ve/Be वो Vo/Bo का Ka की Ke
6 Ārdrā (आर्द्रा) 640' – 2000' Gemini Rahu कु Ku घ Gha ङ Ng/Na छ Chha
7 Punarvasu (पुनर्वसु) 2000' Gemini – 320' Cancer Jupiter के Ke को Ko हा Ha ही Hi
8 Puṣya (पुष्य) 320' – 1640' Cancer Saturn हु Hu हे He हो Ho ड Da
9 Āśleṣā (आश्लेषा) 1640' Cancer – 000' Leo Mercury डी Di डू Du डे De डो Do
10 Maghā (मघा) 000' – 1320' Leo Ketu मा Ma मी Mi मू Mu मे Me
11 Purva or Pūrva Phalgunī (पूर्व फल्गुनी) 1320' – 2640' Leo Venus नो Mo टा Ta टी Ti टू Tu
12 Uttara or Uttara Phalgunī (उत्तर फल्गुनी) 2640' Leo – 1000' Virgo Sun टे Te टो To पा Pa पी Pi
13 Hasta (हस्त) 1000' – 2320' Virgo Moon पू Pu ष Sha ण Na ठ Tha
14 Citrā (चित्रा) 2320' Virgo – 640' Libra Mars पे Pe पो Po रा Ra री Ri
15 Svātī (स्वाती) 640' – 2000 Libra Rahu रू Ru रे Re रो Ro ता Ta
16 Viśākhā (विशाखा) 2000' Libra – 320' Scorpio Jupiter ती Ti तू Tu ते Te तो To
17 Anurādhā (अनुराधा) 320' – 1640' Scorpio Saturn ना Na नी Ni नू Nu ने Ne
18 Jyeṣṭha (ज्येष्ठा) 1640' Scorpio – 000' Sagittarius Mercury नो No या Ya यी Yi यू Yu
19 Mūla (मूल) 000' – 1320' Sagittarius Ketu ये Ye यो Yo भा Bha भी Bhi
20 Pūrva Āṣāḍha (पूर्वाषाढ़ा) 1320' – 2640' Sagittarius Venus भू Bhu धा Dha फा Bha/Pha ढा Dha
21 Uttara Āṣāḍha (उत्तराषाढ़ा) 2640' Sagittarius – 1000' Capricorn Sun भे Bhe भो Bho जा Ja जी Ji
22 Śravaṇa (श्रवण) 1000' – 2320' Capricorn Moon खी Ju/Khi खू Je/Khu खे Jo/Khe खो Gha/Kho
23 Śraviṣṭha (धनिष्ठ) or