Vedic Astrology Course

What is Jyotish? - Origin of Predictive Vedic Astrology

‘Jyothi’ means light and ‘Jyothish’ means the science of light. Jyothish has three parts, namely ‘Siddhantha’, ‘Savhitha’ and ‘Hora’. Word ‘Hora’ indicates time and its application in predictive astrology. Savhitha includes many different topics like mundane astrology. The meaning of the word Siddhantha is the principle and is generally used to indicate astronomy.

Is Predictive Astrology a Vedic Idea?

Many people ask this question and many more people claim that Vedha doesn’t mention predictive astrology. There are many hymns about planets in Vedha and scholars relate them to astronomy. I want to confirm that there is a very clear reference to predictive astrology in Vedha. Purushasuktha, which is a 10.90 hymn of Rhugvedha, has seeds of planetary signification. I am quoting a few of them here for ready reference.

Chandhrama manaso jatachakshoh sooryo ajayathaha | 
Mukhadhindhrachagnischa pranadhvayurjayath ||13 ||  

- Purushasuktha Rhugvedha 10.90

Meaning: The moon was born from his mind and the Sun was born from his eyes. Indhra and Agni were born from his mouth and Vayu was born from his Prana or life force. The above hymn has a clear indication that the moon is a karaka of mind and Sun is a Karaka of eyes or vision. Even today, the same Karakathwa exists in Vedic astrology i.e. Moon signifies mind and Sun signifies eyes. The second part of the above hymn has seeds of principles in Ayurvedha. Here is one more from daily practices called Sandhyavandhanam or daily rituals.

Soorya aathma jagathassthasa | 

- Rhugvedha

Meaning: The sun is Aathma or the soul of the world. In Vedic astrology, Sun is an indicator of the soul. 

Rhudhrogam mama soorya harimanam cha nashaya |

Rhugvedha, Suryasuktham 11

Meaning: Oh Sun, takeaway and end my heart disease.

Reference of Predictive Astrology (Jyotishi) in Vedas & Puranas

  • In Vedic astrology, Sun is an indicator of the heart. You may also find references to predictive astrology in Ramayana, Mahabharata and Purana (Indian texts for teaching culture). It is interesting to note that many Avatar of Lord Vishnu follows a certain pattern of the position of Sun and Moon. For example, in the case of Lord Rama Sun is exalted and Moon is in its own house whereas in the case of lord Krishna Moon is exalted and Sun is in its own house. All the Indian festivals are based on the positions of the Sun and Moon.
  • We shall also understand in our upcoming posts in VidhyaMitra.com that Veda only has roots or basics of most of the sciences. Vedha doesn’t completely explain any topic. Every topic in Veda has been evolved over the period and so is Vedic astrology. Even though Vedic sciences evolved over the period, all of them follow certain fundamental principles. Even Vedic astrology follows these principles. We shall learn these principles first and then start our journey. This shall help us to deepen our understanding of Jyotish in reference to Vedic Astrology.
  • NO MATTER WHETHER IT is Ayurvedha, Yoga or Astrology, all Indian sciences are developed using one simple principle and that is - ‘Eva and Shiva’. We have explained the Indian method of developing sciences in detail in other articles in Vidhyamitra.com

Pinda Brahmanda Theory in Jyotish

Yatha pinde thatha brhamande tatha pinde yatha brahmande |

Meaning: The way it is at the micro-level is the same way it is at a macro level and the way it is at a macro level the same way it is at the micro-level. Even though I could not identify the source of this stanza, I could find many more similar stanzas. I am referring to this due to its simplicity. Brahmanda means universe and Pinda means personality.

Therefore, this Hymn means that everything we are connected to exist within us and affect us. For example, Jupiter is the largest planet so if Jupiter aspects the ascendant, the person shall be fat. Similarly, we also affect everything that is connected to us. Later in our Vidhyamitra Astrology Course Series, we shall also see how planets affect us and why. This theory of the basis of astrology might answer some of your questions.

yāvānvā ayamākāśastāvāneṣo'ntarhṛdaya akāśa ubhe asmindyāvāpṛthivī antareva samāhite ubhāvagniśca vāyuśca sūryācandramasāvubhau vidyun- nakṣatrāṇi yaccāsyehāsti yacca nāsti sarvaṃ tadasminsamāhitamiti || 8.1.3

Chandogya Upanishad

Meaning: The space in the body is as big as the space outside. Heaven and earth are both within it, so also fire and air, the Sun and the Moon, lightning (energy) and the stars (Nakshathra). Everything exists within that space in the embodied self-whatever it has or does not have. 

This hymn from Chandogya Upanishad is similar to the previous hymn and refers to the Sun, Moon, Nakshathra and their existence in the human body. Therefore, this is apt in the astrological context.

The Relative Universe - Important idea of Indian Culture & Astrology

  • Another important concept in Indian culture is the idea of a relative universe. What this means is your universe is everything related to you and around you. Therefore, you shall be the frame of reference. This idea is very much applicable to astrology. Due to this idea of the relative universe, we consider that a planet is in a particular sign based on where we see it.
  • We also consider that the Sun is in a particular sign as we see it in a particular sign. There is a misconception that Indians were unaware of the fact that earth rotates around the Sun.
  • There are many more examples of the relative universe. For example, as per Indian culture, the day starts at sunrise. This is because we get to see the sun even though the sun is always there. Considering our biological clock, it also makes sense to classify day and night as parts of the day rather than starting a day at midnight. No matter we are in which time zone, our biological clock is as per day and night in that time zone. Therefore, our body neither recognises GMT nor ET. Both these times have nothing to do with our perception of time.
  • You might be amazed to know that the position of the Sun has a direct correlation with the metabolism of our body. For example, as the Sun rises, the metabolism of our body increases until noon and afternoon it starts reducing. The metabolism of the body is lowest around 4 AM. This is probably the reason why early morning time is considered good for meditation. Vedhic astrology is entirely based on this idea of the relative universe and the scientific world criticizes astrology for this. The scientific world feels that astrologers have based all their theories on the geocentric model, as astrologers did not know that our solar system is heliocentric. As we progress in our learning in Vidhyamitra.com, we will learn many more instances of the relative universe.
  • Beyond these two principles, we will learn about the Ayurvedhic ap- proach of human birth as it plays a key role in human health and human psychology. We shall learn about it when we learn about how house indications were defined. We shall also know astronomical information about planets, signs and constellations.
  • Astronomical information has a deep connection with significations of planets, signs and constellations. We may call these four aspects as foundations of Vedic astrology. You might also learn that certain scientific ideas present in Indian culture are applied in Vedic astrology.

Theory of Multiples, Patterns or Harmonics

  • In Vedic philosophy, there is an idea of multiples. For example, the duration of Thretha Yuga is three times of Kali Yuga and Dhwapar Yuga is double of Kali Yuga. Such a law of multiples is also observed in our solar system.
  • For example, Moon’s 12 rotations around earth take approximately 354 days. Earth’s one rotation around the Sun takes approximately 365 days. Jupiter’s one rotation around the Sun takes approximately 12 years. Mars’s one rotation is around 2 years and that is double that of the sun. Therefore, you may learn that the relative speed of the Moon is 12 times the earth and the relative speed of the Sun is 12 times of Jupiter.

Theory of Cycles in Vedic Philosophy

According to Vedic philosophy, the universe always existed. It transforms from one phase to another and the cycle repeats. The circular movement of planets indicates this. It has been observed that plants and animals get used to this cycle and behave accordingly. For example, plants are used to seasons. Some animals are also used to cycles of the moon. We, humans, are also used to a daily cycle and it is called the body clock. We will learn about the body clocks in the coming Vidhyamitra Astrology posts.

Savya and Apasavya (Clockwise and Anticlockwise) - Savya is from right to left and Apasavya is from left to right. This idea is related to Uttharayana (movement of the Sun towards the north) and Dhakshinayana (movement of the Sun towards the south). Dhakshinayana starts from the Cancer transit of the Sun, Uttharayana starts from the Capricorn transit of the Sun. Uttharayana is an Apasavya motion of the Sun, and Dhakshinayana is a Savya motion of the Sun.

Purusha = Puru (Components) + Esha (Owner)

In the Indian system of developing sciences, the entire system is considered as ‘Purusha’. The word Purusha is split as ‘Puru’ meaning organs or components and ‘esha’ means the owner. Therefore, Purusha means the owner of components. For example, ‘Vaasthupurusha’ is the owner of various components in the house. Similarly, Kalapurusha is the owner of various components of life in general. We shall consider Kalapurusha as ‘Brahmanda’ and human life as ‘Pinda’ for correlation. Therefore, humans are also called Purusha. The idea of Purusha is from Vedha.

In Purushasuktha, which is a part of Rhugvedha, a Purusha is imagined as someone with thousands of heads, eyes and legs. He occupies the universe and extends beyond in all directions. Below is the actual stanza from Purushasuktha.

Sahasrashirsha purushaha Sahasrakshh sahasrapath | Sa bhumim vishwatho vruthvathyathishaddhashangulam ||

Purushasuktha Rhugvedha 10.90

Meaning: The Purusha has a thousand heads, thousand eyes and thousand feet. He envelops the world from all sides and extends ten Angula beyond (the world). Most people translate this stanza as mentioned above however it also has one more meaning as mentioned below. The Purusha has thousands of directions (Shirsha), thousands of axes (aksha), thousands of nodes (path). He expands from earth to universe and 10 digits (Angula) beyond it. 

Note: Angula is an ancient unit of length and Angula also means 10 digits. If you observe both the meanings carefully then you may learn that one meaning is in the context of mankind and another meaning is in the context of the universe. This idea of Purusha at a micro and macro level is extended in all Vedic sciences including Vedic astrology.

Meaning of Purshartha in Jyotish

  • Just now we learnt that Purusha means human. Artha means meaning or purpose. Therefore, Purushartha means the main purpose of life or phase of life. There are 4 Purushartha defined in Vedic philosophy.
  • According to Vedic philosophy, we focus on these 4 Purushartha in life. However, one of them is prominent and the other Purushartha are supportive of prominent Purushartha.
  • The 4 Purushartha are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. We shall learn about the 4 Purushartha because we are going to extensively use them in our analysis in upcoming posts in VidhyaMitra.
  • Dharma Purushartha indicates focus on roles, responsibilities and righteousness.
  • Artha Purushartha indicates a focus on earnings and wealth.
  • Kama Purushartha indicates focus on material desires and Moksha Purushartha indicates focus on evolution, enlightenment and upliftment.

3 Constraints that Limit your Growth as per Vedic Texts

Based on Vedic philosophy, 3 types of constraints limit your growth. They are ‘Aadhidhaivik’, ‘Aadhibhouthik’ and ‘Aadhyathmik’. Let’s look at each of them.

Aadhyathmik

Aadhyathmik constraints are related to Aathman or self. It is related to your capabilities, skills, state of mind and physical strength. The modern world has a lot of focus on overcoming these constraints. Modern science also has many solutions to work upon these constraints. All the solutions related to self-help or self-improvement are solutions to overcome Aadhyathmik constraints. Vedic culture has many fundamental frameworks to overcome Aadhyathmic challenges. Pathanjali Yoga Suthra and Bhagvadhgeetha are the two foremost texts that describe such frameworks. 

Aadhibhouthik

Aadhibhouthik constraints are constraints due to Bhutha or things made of Panchamahabhutha. It includes humans, other animals as well as plants. This includes accidents because of animals and plants. It also covers difficulties because of people invading your privacy or due to personality clashes. This even includes health issues, thefts, accidents and material losses. Day by day we are taking more safety and security measures to eliminate Aadhibhouthik constraints. Technology has been of much help to deal with part of Aadhibhouthik constraints. Soft skills help you to deal with people and people-related issues. This covers another part of Aadhibhouthik constraints. 

Aadhidhaivik

Aadhidhaivik constraints are constraints related to Dhaiva or what is called luck. The rationale behind Aadhidhaivik constraints is not evident. This includes your relation to Pithara or ancestors. It also includes your family god/goddess. It has some aspect of various invisible energies like ghosts. Astrology is also good at identifying such challenges and suggesting remedies for them. Here we learnt about 12 key principles of Vedic sciences and before we move forward, I want to explain a few important concepts from modern psychology. 

Triune Brain Theory & it's reference in Vedic Textbooks

American physician and neuroscientist Paul D MacLean proposed a model called the triune brain model. It is an oversimplified explanation of our complex and capable brain. There are many things about our brain that are now known and there may be many more that we will come to know in the future as the human brain is trying to understand itself. Our brain may continue to catch up with itself!

Interestingly, triune brain theory is also presented in Indian classical texts. The below stanza differentiates between humans from animals using a theory similar to triune brain theory.

Aahar nidhra bhaya maithunamcha Samanamethath pashubhirnaranam | 
Dharmohi theshamadhiko visheshaho Dharmena heenaha pashubhihi samanaha || 

- Hithopdhesh 25

Meaning: Food, sleep, fear and intercourse are common between humans and other animals. Dharma is an additional value of humans. The one who does not follow Dharma is equivalent to an animal. All four characteristics mentioned in the above stanza are specific to the reptilian brain and the reptilian brain is common between reptiles and humans. It mentions that Dharma is unique to humans. Therefore, this stanza says if one is not evolving then he is equivalent to an animal. This stanza is a good indication that Indians had their way of presenting triune brain theory. Bhagvadhgeetha very clearly applies triune brain theory as follows.

Dhyayatho vishayanpusaha sangastheshupajayathe | Sangathsanjayathe kamaha kamathkrodhobhijayathe || 62 || 
Krodhath bhavathi sammohaha sammohath smrithi vibhramaha | Smruthi bhramshath buddhinasho buddhinashath pranashyathi ||63||

- Bhagvadhgeetha Chapter 2

Meaning: As a man thinks of materialistic things, he is attached to them. This attachment raises a desire and a desire leads to anger. Anger mesmerizes. The mesmerisation creates a false understanding of facts in the memory. Due to false understanding, the application of intelligence is lost. Once the application of intelligence is lost, it is the end. As we connect with any materialistic thing, we start thinking that we want it. They want leads to unlimited desire and this finally leads to anger. The root cause of this anger is a failure to fulfil the desire. This entire cycle is to do with the reptilian brain. It is said that when the reptilian brain is very active for basic needs like safety and security, the information does not reach to mammalian brain or neocortex. This is because the decision has to be made very fast as the question is of existence. This part is called Sammoha or mesmerisation. Memory comes under the mammalian brain. As the information does not reach the mammalian brain or neocortex, decisions are not based on learnings from the past that are stored in memory or the application of intelligence that comes under the neo-cortex. This is considered as an end of evolution or the end of Dharma. Bhagvadhgeetha suggests that this sequence occurs when the focus is only on material desires. At a high level, the Vedic typology of Sathwa, Rajas and Thama matches with Triune brain theory. Let’s see how. The reptilian brain generally deals with basic physical needs and that is the nature of Thamoguna. The mammalian brain deals with feelings and emotions that is the nature of Rajoguna and the neo-cortex deals with intellectual activities and that is the nature of Sathwaguna.