Feb 22, 2007

Fundamentals of Jyotisha (Vedic Astrology) Part I

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !

Jyotisha or Vedic Astrology is unique in many ways when compared with any other astrology; many concepts are unique to Jyotisha alone. There is a big difference when we say “Graha” and Planet, Graha is an energy field, a space entity which has the capacity to hinder or facilitate certain energy to the native, but when we call it as Planet it becomes a physical space entity. So I would prefer to call Graha as Graha and not translate it in to English where it looses its significance, particularly in case of Rahu and Ketu and other Upa-grahas, Upa-grahas (Can call them sub planets just for understanding and not for reference) are yet to be found by Modern Astronomy.Graha as described in Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra is a heavenly body that passes through the Nakshatras (Constellations) Graha’s are listed in Table 1, those listed in Table 2 are Upa-Graha’s and those listed in Table 3 are Kalavelas.

Now we have Graha’s, Upa-Graha’s and Kalavelas, let us complete the picture before we deal with them in detail.

Earth is a globe and it is suspended in the space, it is tilted on its axis at an angle of 23.5° and it rotates on this axis, completing one circle every 24 hours, and at the same time it also circles around Sun, and completes one circle in 365 days and 6 hours, as it travels around the Sun, it crosses 27 Nakshatra’s (Lunar asterism) and 12 Rashi’s (Zodiac signs), before it reaches its starting point.

The precession of Earth’s axis:As the Earth rotates on its axis, it maintains certain speed but the northern point of the axis does not remain directed to the same star field, in fact it sways like a top, this is called precession and the gravitational pull of the two luminaries, Sun and Moon are responsible for this. In addition, Earth takes 26,000 years to complete one precession cycle that means it takes that many years to reach the exact same point where the north point of the axis points to the same star field.

This will be explained in detail when I will take up Ayanamsa.

An imaginary circle (360°) around Earth if divided into 12 equal segments and each 30° segment is given a name and called as Rashi, or the zodiac signs. Table 4 lists all the Rashi’s.

Further, another Imaginary circle (360 degrees) is again divided in 27 segments of 13° 20 minutes each; each segment is occupied by one Nakshatra (lunar asterism) Table 5 lists all the Nakshatra’s.

* Further explanation in future posts.
Now we have Graha’s, Upa graha’s, Kalavelas, Rasi’s, Nakshatras and Earth, we will discuss each one of them in detail, but to correlate all these we need a chart, In India we have three types of Charts, North Indian Chart, South Indian Chart and East Indian Chart and the western astrology uses a circle.

The South Indian chart is shown as Chart no 1, Mesha(Aries) is always fixed in the top row, 2nd house and the remaining signs follow in a clockwise direction as shown in the chart no 1, Nakshatra position is also fixed with Ashwini taking the 1st 13° 20 minutes of the Mesha bhava( Aries House), as we already know that each house is equal to 30°. The lords of the houses are also fixed as shown in the chart no 1, except Sun and Moon all other Graha’s have lordship of two houses each, Rahu and Ketu have shared lordship with Sa in Khumba (Aquarius) and Ma in Vrishchika (Scorpio) resp.
In the North Indian Chart, the
house positions are fixed (1st house top middle, with the rest following in counterclockwise order) and the signs of the zodiac are indicated by numbers in the chart (1 for Aries, and so on). The lagna occupies the first house.

Lagna/Ascendant& Special Lagnas: This is the sign that rises in the eastern horizon at the time of the birth of a native, and it determines the physical appearance, general health, longevity and other functional and dysfunctional traits in a native, depending on the Rasi and position of the lord of that Rasi.

In Jyotisha, normal lagna is used to draw inference about the native’s life in general, but to get information in specific areas like wealth, business, prosperity, power, marriage etc, the Rasi/House with the special lagna is taken as the first house.

Arudhas/Padas: As the normal Lagna(As) denotes the true self of a native, Arudhas or Padas denote the illusion attached with the native in the material world, or we can say the image of the native as the world perceives it can be found from position of Arudhas.Table no 7 lists all the arudhas and their significance.

Arudhas: Arudhas or Padas are arudhpadas of various bhavas or houses as listed in the table no 7, normal lagna denotes the real image or personality or character or true self of the native and the Arudhas denote the perceived image /character/personality/position/illusion created by the material world/people/or a hype created by the people around native, it could be bad and good based on the positions of the arudhapadas, a simple example is a very genuine person by nature/character/personality might be perceived by the material world as a bad character or bad person and vice versa, a very intelligent person as very stupid and very stupid as a genius, all this depends on hype created in the material world, many times we see people flying very high with hype but the actual picture could be that everything in that persons life is dubious, this is maya which is represented by Arudhas, so each pada signifies some aspect of the life as listed in the table no 7, this helps in differentiating between the actual reality and the cream coated image of the native, sometimes both can match also.
Each Bhava/house has some significance/properties in addition to the characteristics of the Rasi/Sign, these are listed in the table no 8
Bhava/houses, the chart is divided in to 12 Bhavas/houses, based on the 12 Rasi/Signs of the zodiac, Graha’s posited in the bhavas will influence the native in those areas of his/her life, e.g. Dhana bhava gives “x” properties to the native, but the level of phala/result will depend on the Graha’s, Arudhas, lagna etc.

Above list is not exhaustive, each bhava will be dealt in detail. Varga - the divisional charts: Varga simply means division i.e. when each Bhava is divided into Vargas or amsa; we have various Varga/divisions, as it will be very difficult to show them in one chart, each Varga is presented as a separate chart.

The bhava is divided in to divisions from two to 60 and even 144 and the Graha’s positions are determined based on the registered longitude of the Graha at the time of birth. Out of all the Vargas, Rasi, Hora, Navamsa, Dashamsa, Shodashamsa, Vimshamsa, Siddhamsa, AkshaVedamsa and Shashtiamsa are very important to get a complete picture of the native.

In fact the Rasi/Radix gives the complete information about the native’s life but the divisional charts are like tools to confirm the prediction, if all the divisional charts are placed one above another like a stack of mirrors, and if all the Graha’s are posited in same positions in all the divisional charts (very remote) the native will have theoretical phala i.e. 100% in a way.

Other terms I will deal with are, Lagnamsha, Vargottama, Parivartana, Uttamans etc. names of all the Vargas/divisional charts described by Maharishi Parasara and Jaimini are listed in the table no 9.

To follow: Fundamentals of Jyotisha( Part II)

ॐ नमः शिवाय!

Surya Ianala, 23 Feb., 2007

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