Jyotish is the ancient Indian system of astrology. Find out how it is related to western astrology and zodiac signs. Read on to know more about some of its fundamental aspects.
Astrology plays a very important role in Indian culture. When a child is born, an astrologer prepares a birth chart for him. The birth chart is said to govern many of the important decisions in his life. Even in business circles, astrology decides the auspicious time for striking a deal, beginning a new business venture, buying goods, etc.
'Jyotish' is the term given to Vedic or Indian astrology. The name itself is derived from the Sanskrit words jyoti meaning light and ish meaning God. Therefore, jyotish is literally translated as 'light of God'. It contains certain aspects, which are unique and not followed by any other astrology system. Here are some of them.
Nakshatra is the name given to the lunar mansion. A lunar mansion is one of the 27 or 28 divisions of the sky through which the moon passes on each day of its monthly cycle. Each of these divisions can be identified by a prominent star in them. Each nakshatra represents a division of 13 degrees 20 minutes. This is similar to the ecliptic in zodiac signs. An ecliptic is the apparent path of the sun through the sky, in relation to the stars and planets.
For a given date, the nakshatra corresponds to the star or constellation through which the moon passes at that time. The nakshatra is used to calculate the positions of the planets at a specified time. Each nakshatra
is further divided into four equal segments. A single segment is known as a 'pad
' or 'charan
is mentioned 11 times in the Rigveda
and was considered to be an extremely important astrological aspect in ancient India.
literally refers to any heavenly body, which can have an effect on human affairs. For practical purposes, graha
usually means planet. It includes upgrahas
, which are referred to as sub-planets but are not actually planetary bodies. However, their effects are equivalent to those produced by the main planets. Graha
also includes the two lunar nodes, which are the points at which the moon's orbit intersects the ecliptic.
The nine grahas
or planets are Surya
(Saturn) and the lunar
. The planets, Uranus and Neptune are not considered to be grahas
. Five of the planets represent the five elements from which all matter is constructed. Jupiter represents ether, Saturn represents air, Mercury represents earth, Mars represents fire, and Venus corresponds to water. Some principles of almost all the ancient Indian sciences like Yoga, Ayurveda, classical music, etc. have been derived from these elements.
Rashi means sign, and is similar to the concept of zodiac sign
in Western astrology
. The primary difference between the two systems is the way in which they are measured. In Vedic astrology, the positions of the planets are measured based on the fixed positions of the stars. In the case of western astrology, planetary positions are determined by taking into account the position of the sun.
As with zodiac signs, there are twelve rashis. They are Mesha
), and Meena
(Pisces). The lagna
or ascendant is the most important rashi for an individual. It refers to the rashi that is present on the eastern horizon, at the time of the individual's birth.
A birth chart for an individual is divided into twelve parts. Each of these parts is called bhava
or house. Each house represents a different part of life and its position is determined by time and place rather than date. The placement of a house will determine how much influence it will have over a particular sphere of life. Each house is related to a specific rashi. In Vedic astrology, the twelve houses are Lagna, Dhana, Parakrama, Suhrda, Suta, Roga, Kama, Mrityu, Bhagya, Karma, Aya
, and Vyaya