For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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Learn Vedic Astrology, Chapter 1 - Part - 2


Introduction to Vedic Astrology - Veda and relationship with Vedic Astrology

  1. Theory of Karma:

i.)                  Sanchit ( accumulated karma of all previous lives),
ii.)                Prarabdha (given fate in this life as reflected in the horoscope) and
iii.)              Kriyamaan (free will in the hand of native) is built within the Vedic Astrology. One can improve adverse aspect or negate good fate by his Kriyamaan- Free will. Consultations include advice on Kriyamaan- free will to deal with life problems and ward off malefic influences in the horoscope.

  1. Philosophy of cycle of Birth & Re- birth:
Philosophy of cycle of Birth & Re- birth is built- in the above Theroy of Karma.

  1. Subdivisions of Vedic Astrology: There are three main sub- divisions of astrology:

i.)                  Samhita: This deals with collectivity or multitudes. It encompasses such varied areas as weather forecasts, agricultural produce, natural disasters, floods, famines, ward, earthquakes, cyclones, market trends, changes in government, national and international events, and virtually anything that influences the masses.

ii.)                 Siddhanta or Tantra or Ganita: This deals with the mathematical aspects of astrology. This includes knowledge of astronomy and calculation of latitudes, longitudes or planets ascendant, houses etc. A proficiency in mathematical aspect of astrology is considered as a prerequisite for a good astrologer.

iii.)                Hora: It deals with:
Ø      Individual horoscopes or Jataka, or natal charts.
Ø      Muhurta or electional astrology, which concerns itself with the election of favorable planetary dispositions to achieve specific accomplishments in day- to- day life.

  1. Astronomical Basis of Vedic Astrology
Vedic astrologers follow a rational procedure based on the following factors:

i.)      The solar system:  Our solar system is centered around the Sun. Nine planets viz. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus ( or Herschel), Neptune and Pluto along with a belt of asteroids revolve in elliptical orbits around the Sun. In Vedic astrology, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto find no place. On the other hand, the classics recognize the Moon and the two shadowy points known as Rahu and Ketu, which are the Moon’s nodes as equivalent to planets. They are not physical bodies but are mathematically calculated sensitive points intersection of the orbits of the Moon and the Sun. The planets Mercury and Venus orbit in the vicinity of sun.

ii.)    Zodiac: The Sun’s annual path is known as ecliptic. The belt of Heavens extending 8 degrees on either side of the ecliptic is known as the Zodiac. In this belt the Moon and the planets appear to move. The Zodiac is divided into twelve equal parts of 30 degrees each, which are called the Signs, or the Rashis of the Zodiac. These have been named as Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. A planet rules each sign. Different signs have different characteristics, which play an important role in the delineation of astrological charts.

iii.)   Stars or Nakshatra: The entire zodiac has been divided into 27 equal parts of 13 degrees and 20 minutes each known as Nakshatra or asterism or a constellation (Moon mansion). Every constellation has been assigned a planetary ruler.

iv.)  Time:  The various measures of the time are local mean time, standard time for any country or Zone and the Green which Mean Time. There is another system/ measure of time known as Sidereal Time. The Sidereal time is zero hour when the beginning of Aries (in Sayana system) crosses the observer’s meridian.

v.)    In astrology, the first hour is reckoned from Lagna point. The Lagna or the ascendant is the rising sign in the eastern horizon at a particular epoch. It is the point intersection of the ecliptic at a given time with the horizon of a place. The Lagna ias dependent on the rotation of the Earth on its axis and so it is dependent on the Sidereal Time of a place at a given moment or epoch.

vi.)              The houses: There are 12 houses. The sign where the Lagna point falls is known as the first houses or Lagna. The next sign is second house, next the third and so on. In Vedic system the sign and the house are deemed synonymous. Zodiac is constantly moving and all the 12 signs get an opportunity to become Lagna in the 24 hours comprising a day. Janama rashi (birth sign) means the sign- containing Moon at the time of birth and this sign is called Chandra Lagna ( Moon ascendant) and is as important as the Lagna itself.

vii.)            Aspects: An aspect means a certain distance between two planets or zodiacal positions, at which these exert some influence over each other.

viii.)          Ayanamsha: The projections the earth’s equator on the celestial sphere is known as celestial equator. When the Sun moves off celestial equator towards the north, the point where it cuts the celestial equator is called vernal equinox and the point of intersection during Sun’s motion from north to south is called autumnal equinox. Each year when Sun reaches the vernal equinox, the position of earth with reapect to a fixed star known as Revati is found to be nearly 50.3 seconds of arc of space farther west than the earth was at the same equinoctial moment of the previous year. Thus the equinoxes recede back along the ecliptic. The angular distance between the first point from where the fixed zodiac commences and the vernal equinox point is known as Ayanamsha. The Hindu system of astrology observes the fixed zodiac also known as Niryana zodiac that is the first degree of Aries is reckoned from  a particular star in Revati group of stars that is fixed. However, the Western system of astrology observes movable zodiac also known as Sayana, a zodiac that reckons the first degree of Aries from the vernal equinox. It is estimated that both these zodiacs coincided in the year 285 AD.

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