What is Astrology or Jyotish ?

Astrology or Jyottsh is a divine science which has come to us as a gift from the gods. In the ancient India our sages had developed by their untiring spiritual exercises a divine eye (Dtvya drlshtl) by which they could see the movements of planets and their effects on human beings. In those days of the past, astrology was a subject which all disciples of a Guru had to learn Thus astrology is great gift of sagas given io welfare of human being.

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Astrology is a branch of Veda (Vedanga) with the aid of which it is possible to know about all the past and future events by considering the position of lagna and planets at birth or at the time of putting a query'. Astrology has three broad divisions, namely: Siddhanta, Samhlta and Hora. Siddhanta

According to tradition, our sages who, with the strength of their spiritual powers, were able to have direct contact with our creator Lord Brahma, were initiated by the Lord into divine science. Then the sages propagated these, for the benefit of humanity. What at present we have in our Hindu astrology we owe entirety to those sages and the principles laid down by them still hold good as they were when they came from the mouths of those sages. It will be worthwhile for those who want to enter this divine field, to know the names of those great men who put these principles in writing for the benefit of others. They are Varahamihira, Kalidasa, Varunchi, Vashista, Vyas, Parashara, Venkatcsa, kashyap, Neelkantha, Jayadeva, Ganapathi, Satyacharya, Manitha, Jeeva Sharma, Bhaskaracharya, Aiyabhatta and many others.

To cast and read a birth chart—the limit of accuracy depending on Astrologer intelligence, insight, intuitive capacity, sincerety and lastly the grace of God. The Great Varahamihira in his monumental work Brihat Samhita said about the qualities of an astrologer to one should possess to become a good astrologer. He said, “The astrologer should be good looking with well proportioned, undeformed limbs, must be able to explain questions put by others, should worship the devas, observe fast and penance, should be able to suggest remedies and shantls, should be thoroughly trained in calculations of the positions of planets, and well-versed with works on astrology.../’


First we should know what is meant by the Zodiac. Zodiac is a broad belt in the heavens extending about 9 degrees on each side of the ecliptic. Ecliptic is the path of the Sun which (path) passes exactly through the centre of the Zodiac. The Zodiac is an imaginary circled 360 degrees and our ancient learneds divided this circle into twelve equal parts of 30 degrees each. Each equal part of 30 degrees is known as a sign (or a rasi). The Zodiac is called Bhachakara in Sanskrit, and it revolves on its axis once in a day from east to west.

Signs or Rasis

Thus we have twelve signs in the Zodiac, namely: Aries (Mesha), Taurus (Vrishabh), Gemini (Mithuna), Cancer (Kataka or Karka) Leo (Simha), Virgo (Kanya), Libra (Tula), Scorpio (Vrischik), Sagittarius (Dharius or Dhanu) Capricorn (Makara) Aquarius (Kumbha) and Pisces (Meena). As already mentioned above, each of these signs has a stretch of 30 degrees in the Zodiac.

Signs or Rasis

The planets which, according to astrology, have most powerful influence on the earth are nine in number, namely: Sun (Ravi, Surya), Moon (Chandra), Mars (Mangal or Kuja), Mercury (Buddha), Jupiter (Guru or Brahaspati), Venus (Sukra), Saturn (Sani), Rahu and Ketu. The last two are called shadowy planets (chhaya grahas) as they do not have physical or celestial bodies like the other seven planets. Of the two places where the Moon crosses the ecliptic (that is, the path of the Sun), the north point is known as Rahu and the corresponding south point which is exactly 180° away from the former is called Ketu. Inspite of the fact that they are not celestial bodies like other planets, they are very sensitive and effective points and it is on account of their powerful influence on the earth, our ancients have ranked them as planets in Hindu astrology. In western astrology though some recognition is now being given to Rahu and Ketu, mostly theseplanets find little importance in their predictive system.
On the other hand the western astrologers have given significant place to the newly discovered planets Uranus (also called Herschel), Neptune and Pluto. In Hindu Predictive Astrology, however, we do not generally give any importance to them, because they are at a veiy great distance from the earth, and very slow moving planets. The view taken is that their influence is more on mundane affairs that is, events affecting masses as a whole and not on individuals. We shall, therefore, exclude these planets from our lessons which are mainly intended for beginners.
Now to come to the planetary system with which we are concerned, let us mention that each planet exercises his influence on the earth according to his strength, position and dignity etc., in the zodiac at the time of birth of an individual or even in day to day affairs. As regards the influence according to power and position of a planet