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Jyotiṣa (Sanskrit jyotiṣa, from jyótis- "light, heavenly body": also spelled Jyotish and Jyotisha in English, Devanagari: ज्योतिष) is the Hindu system of astrology (also known as Indian astrology, Hindu astrology, and of late, Vedic astrology). Traditionally, it has three branches:[1]

  • Siddhanta: , which is traditional Indian astronomy.
  • Samhita: also known as Medini Jyotisha (mundane astrology), predicting important events based on analysis of astrological dynamics in a country's horoscope or general transit events such as war, earthquakes, political events, financial positions, electional astrology; house and construction related matters (Vāstu Shāstra), animals, portents, omens etc.
  • Hora: Predictive astrology based on analysis of natal horoscopes and the moment a query is made.

The latter two are part of predictive astrology (Phalita). Conceptually, therefore, Indian astrology has two branches, Ganita (Siddhanta) and Phalita (Samhita plus Hora).

The foundation of Jyotisha is the notion of bandhu of the Vedas or scriptures, which is the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. The practice of Jyotisha primarily relies on the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western astrology in that an ayanamsa adjustment is made for the gradual precession of the vernal equinox. Jyotisha includes several nuanced sub-systems of interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (nakshatras).

Astrology remains an important facet in the lives of many Hindus. In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their jyotish charts, and jyotish concepts are pervasive in the organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life, such as in making decisions made about marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home. To some extent, astrology even manages to retain a position among the sciences in modern India.[2] Following a controversial judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities even offer advanced degrees in astrology.[3]

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Yoga Vasistha


The term jyotiṣa in the sense of one of the Vedanga, the six auxiliary disciplines of Vedic religion, is used in the Mundaka Upanishad and thus likely dates to Mauryan times. The Vedanga Jyotisha redacted by Lagadha dates to the Mauryan period, with rules for tracking the motions of the sun and the moon.

The documented history of Jyotisha begins with the interaction of Indian and Hellenistic cultures in the Indo-Greek period. The oldest surviving treatises, such as the Yavanajataka or the Brihat-Samhita, date to the early centuries CE. The oldest astrological treatise in Sanskrit is the Yavanajataka ("Sayings of the Greeks"), a versification by Sphujidhvaja in 269/270 CE of a now lost translation of a Greek treatise by Yavanesvara during the 2nd century CE under the patronage of the Western Satrap Saka king Rudradaman I.[4]

The first named authors writing treatises on astronomy are from the 5th century CE, the date when the classical period of Indian astronomy can be said to begin. Besides the theories of Aryabhata in the Aryabhatiya and the lost Arya-siddhānta, there is the Pancha-Siddhāntika of Varahamihira.

The main texts upon which classical Indian astrology is based are early medieval compilations, notably the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, and Sārāvalī by Kalyāṇavarman. The Horashastra is a composite work of 71 chapters, of which the first part (chapters 1-51) dates to the 7th to early 8th centuries and the second part (chapters 52-71) to the later 8th century. The Sārāvalī likewise dates to around 800 CE.[5] English translations of these texts were published by N.N. Krishna Rau and V.B. Choudhari in 1963 and 1961, respectively.

Historically, the study of astrology in India was an important factor in the development of astronomy in the Early Middle Ages.


Rāshi – the signs (zodiac)

A zodiac divides the 360 degrees of the ecliptic into 12 equal parts. Each twelfth part (of 30 degrees) is called a sign or rāshi.[6] Whereas Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac (where the signs are measured from the point of the Spring Equinox on the ecliptic), the Jyotisha system favors the sidereal zodiac (where the signs are aligned with their eponymous constellations). The difference, due to the precession of the equinoxes, becomes noticeable over time. After two millennia, the origin of the ecliptic longitude has shifted by about 24 degrees. As a result, the assignment of planets to their sign positions in the Jyotisha system is consistent with the actual zodiac, while in Western astrology the planets fall into the following sign, as compared to their placement in the sidereal zodiac, about two thirds of the time. The Sanskrit names of the signs are direct or approximate translations of the Greek names (dhanus meaning "bow" rather than "archer", and kumbha meaning "water-pitcher" rather than "water-carrier", and "makara" meaning "crocodile" rather than "goat").

The word Rashi is used to indicate the Houses of the Zodiac, and also specifically, the Moon-sign of the horoscope. It never refers to one's sunsign. Thus, if one's Rashi from his/her horoscope is Capricorn, it means that the Moon (and not the Sun) was in Capricorn zodiac during the person's birth.

Template:Rashi table

Bhāva – the houses

In almost all traditional Jyotish practice, the twelve houses of an astrological chart have the same boundaries as the twelve signs in the chart; in other words, each sign is a house in the chart. The beginning of each house is the 0th degrees of the sign and the end is the 30th degree of the sign. What varies from chart to chart is the enumeration of these houses, i.e., which sign is the first house, which is the second, and so forth. This is determined by the position of the Lagna (usually the Ascendant, or the longitudinal point of the zodiac that was rising in the East at birth.) The house in which the Lagna falls is always the first house of the chart, and the other houses follow it, counter-clockwise, in the sequence of the zodiac.

Each of the twelve houses signifies a region of the concerns of life, and the identity of the sign of that house will color what may be expected from that life.

More than one system to align houses with signs are recognized in Jyotisha. The most common method is described above, a method that Western astrologers call the whole sign house system; another is Sripathi, akin to a Porphyry house system. The modern Krishnamurti Paddhati also incorporates a Placidus house system.

The areas of life represented by the 12 houses are:[7]

  1. Lagna - Nature of Native, Appearance, Health, Character, Purpose of Life, behavior,[8] birth,[9] limbs,[10] head[11]
  2. Dhana - Wealth, Family, Domestic Comforts, Early Education, Inheritance, Speech,[12] moveable asssets[13]
  3. Parākrama - Younger Brothers and Sisters, Communication (Talking, Writing, Business Documents),[14] Intelligence, fine arts[15] Short Journeys, "great prowess (physical and mental)," [16] hands, arms, shoulders [17]
  4. Suhṛda - Mother, Emotions, Education, Home, Property and Land, Surrounding in Old Age, vehicles,[18] the chest[19]
  5. Suta - Children, Lovers, Recreation[20] Devotion,[21] Speculation and Gambling,[22] the belly,[23] accumulated karma[24]
  6. Ripu/Roga - Diseases,[25] Maternal uncle and aunt, Litigation, Servants, Mental Worries, Enemies, Foreigners, small intestine,[26]
  7. Kāma - Spouse, Business Partner, Death,[27] Respect,[28] passion,[29] groin [30]
  8. Mrityu - Death & Longevity, Obstacles,[31] Suffering, Sexual organs and sexual attractiveness,[32] Occult, Dowry, Inheritance, Imprisonment, Excretory organs,[33] accidents[34]
  9. Bhāgya - Father, Luck, Higher learning, Philosophy & Religion, Mentor or Guru, Prosperity, Travel, "deeds of virtue"[35]
  10. Karma - Profession, Status & fame, Power, Father, Mother-in-law, Government, Clothes,[36] Commerce,[37] knees[38]
  11. Āya - Friends, Hopes, Earnings, Club or Social Activities, Elder Brothers and Sisters, Daughter/Son-in-law, calves, shins and ankles[39]
  12. Vyaya - Expenses, Sleep (and convalescence), Sexual pleasures,[40] Spirituality, Travel & Pilgrimage, Secret Enemies, Imprisonment, Hospitals, Asylums, Liberation, loss[41] foreign residency,[42] feet[43]

In general houses are classified into four categories:

  • Kendra houses, which are angular houses, that is the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses. (kendra also describes the relationship between any houses or grahas which are about 90 degrees apart.) These are very strong houses for grahas to occupy.
  • Trikona houses, which are houses forming a triangle within the chart with the first house, about 120 degrees apart from one another: the first, the fifth and ninth. These are the most auspicious houses.
  • Dusthana houses, which are the less fortunate houses which tend to rule unhappy areas. These houses make no clear geometric connection to the Lagna. Dusthanas include the sixth, eighth and twelfth houses.
  • Upachaya houses, or "growth" or "remedial" houses, where malefic planets tend to improve, include the third, sixth, tenth and eleventh houses.

In addition, the second house is considered a neutral house, having no strong weight for auspiciousness or evil.

Graha – the planets

Graha means rotating body[44] which may be translated as planet or any heavenly body or point that can cast an impact on human affairs. Graha also means a demon or something which possesses a person.[45] They are literally called "Seizers," [46] entities which can grab and take hold of a person. The grahas also include the north and south lunar nodes, (Rahu and Ketu), which are not planets but only slightly less effective than planets,[47] as well as sub-planets (upgrahas), which are also sometimes used.

There are nine grahas:[48] the two luminaries (Sun and Moon), the five visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and the two lunar nodes (Rahu [the North Node] and Ketu [the South Node].) The extra-saturnine planets (Uranus , Neptune and Pluto) are not included in the category of Graha. (The links just given and in the Sanskrit name column of the table below will give more information about each Graha.)

Sanskrit Name English Name Abbreviation Gender Guna Represents
Surya (सूर्य) Sun Sy or Su M Sattva Soul, king, highly placed persons, father.
Chandra (चंद्र) Moon Ch or Mo F Sattva Mind, queen, mother.
Mangala (मंगल) Mars Ma M Tamas energetic action, confidence and ego
Budha (बुध) Mercury Bu or Me N Rajas Communication and analysis
Brihaspati (बृहस्पति) Jupiter Gu or Ju M Sattva the great teacher
Shukra (शुक्र) Venus Sk or Ve F Rajas wealth, pleasure and reproduction
Shani (शनि) Saturn Sa M Tamas learning the hard way. Career and Longevity
Rahu (राहु) Head of Demon Snake
Ascending/North Lunar Node
Ra M Tamas a Asura who does his best to plunge any area of one's life he controls into chaos
Ketu (केतु) Tail of Demon Snake
Descending/South Lunar Node
Ke M Tamas supernatural influences

Nakshatra – the lunar mansions

A nakshatra (Devanagari: नक्षत्र) or lunar mansion , is one of the 27 or 28 consecutive divisions of the sky, identified by the prominent star(s) within them, each of which identifies the starry background of the region in which the Moon is found on each night of its monthly cycle. In fact, the nakshatras are styled as the wives of the Moon God, with whom he spends one night each month. Each nakshatra represents a division of the ecliptic (of 13 degree 20 minutes), similar to the zodiac. Traditionally the nakshatra position of the Moon is computed for the newborn's mental make-up, and calculations of planetary periods (dasha). Each nakshatra is further partitioned into four equal segments known as charan or pada The Nakshatras are important factors in the calculation of the Panchanga (Hindu ephemeris and calendar) and in Indian methods of astrological matchmaking (see Synastry), Muhurta (Electional astrology), and Praśna (Horary astrology).


Lagna – the ascendant

One's ascendant, or lagna, is the degree of the rāshi (or sign) which is rising on the eastern horizon at the time of one's birth. This is more specifically called the Udaya Lagna to differentiate it from charts in which other points are used to determine the first house of the horoscope (see below.) The Udaya Lagna is the most influential and important sign within the natal chart, and the characteristics of that sign will to some extent be impressed upon the personality of the person or event being born. This sign will be considered the first house of the horoscope, and the enumeration of the other houses follows in sequence through the rest of the signs of the zodiac. In this way, the Lagna does not only delineate the rising sign, but also all the other houses in the chart.

However, the Ascendant is not the only Lagna used in Jyotiṣa. Another important lagna is the Janma Rāshi, which is the rāshi (or sign) in which the moon is found at birth. A Chandra Lagna chart, which is also an important tool used to analyze the horoscope, is a chart in which the Moon's house is treated as the first house of the horoscope and the enumeration of the other houses are made starting from that rāshi and continuing in sequence throughout the rest of the zodiac signs. The astrologer will use the Chandra Lagna to see the personality from the perspective of his or her mind, since the Moon is predominant symbol of the mind among planets.

The Rāshi Chakra (that is, the horoscope where the first house is the house in which the rising sign is found) is the still the most important natal chart, but charts can be cast for different analytical purposes. The primary Lagnas (that is, houses designated as the First House, from which the rest of the houses are enumerated) used to analyze the horoscope are:

  • Udaya lagna (rising sign, or Ascendant as first house)
  • Chandra Lagna (first house counted from the sign of the natal Moon, used to anlayze mind, memory and mental activity, and also used to help determine how fertile a woman will be.[49])

In addition, the rishi Parasara mentioned a few other special ascendants or Veshaish Lagni. to be used in special circumstances, including:

  • Surya Lagna (ascendant counted from sign where the natal Sun is located)
  • Karak Lagna (significator taken as ascendant for all grahas)
  • Varnada Lagna (for social company)
  • Shri Lagna (for prosperity and marriage)
  • Indu Lagna (for wealth)
  • Hora Lagna (for financial prosperity)
  • Gati Lagna (for name and fame)

Lastly, there are some Lagnas which are determined by factors outside the chart, and which are used for electional and horary charts. These are mainly:

  • Dig Lagna (first house determined by compass direction)[50]
  • Shabda Lagna (where the first house is determined by the "words a client utters"[51]
  • Sparsa Lagna (where the first house is determined by a part of the body which is touched)[52]
  • Nama Lagna (where the first house is determined by the numerology of the person's name)[53]

Drishti (aspects)

In Sanskrit the word drishti means "glance" or "sight." Grahas (that is, planets and nodes of the Moon) and also signs which can "see" each other are said to be in "aspect" to one another. In most cases, this means that the signs or grahas are opposite one another in the sky, but there are some special cases where drishtis occur with other placements.

When they are in aspect, grahas transfer their influence other grahas, creating relationships within the chart. These relationships also will occur between signs. In Jyotish, these connections are usually described by the number of houses which separate the grahas (counting from the house of the first graha.) Signs opposite each other in the sky are 7 houses apart from one another.

Since there are no "orbs" (or small ranges of exactness of degree which determine strength of aspect) in Jyotish, all aspects are from one sign to another sign or from one graha in a sign to another graha in a different sign, without regard to where a planet or node may be located within that sign. Thus a graha at 2 degrees of Aries casts a drishti (that is, makes an aspect) with any planet or node in all of Libra--even if the second planet is located at 29 degrees of Libra.

Mutual aspects
In Jyotish, there is only one relationship where there is mutual influence from one graha to another, and that is when the grahas are 7 houses aparat. In astronomy, this relationship called opposition, a condition where signs are located opposite one another in the sky, at a difference of about 180 degrees. Therefore, the only fully mutual aspects in Jyotish are between:

  • Meṣa (Aries) and Tula (Libra)
  • Vṛiṣabha (Taurus) and Vrischika (Scorpio)
  • Mithuna (Gemini) and Dhanus (Sagittarius)
  • Kataka (Cancer) and Makara (Capricorn)
  • Simha (Leo) and Kumbha (Aquarius), and
  • Kanya (Virgo) and Meena (Pisces)

and the grahas which may be located in these signs.

One-directional aspects
In addition to these mutual aspects, three of the planets have the special ability to influence other planets or signs or houses without receiving a mutual aspect in return. These one-directional aspects are measured by the number of houses ahead the aspect is cast, and these distances vary by the planet which casts them.

  • Saturn aspects planets, signs and houses located 3 signs ahead and 10 signs ahead in the zodiac. For example, if Saturn is in Aries, it aspects Gemini, located 3 signs ahead (including the sign of Aries in the count), as well as any planets located in Gemini; it also aspects Capricorn, 10 signs ahead, as well as any grahas in Capricorn. However, the grahas in Gemini and Capricorn do not influence Saturn in return.
  • Mars aspects planets, signs and houses located 4 signs ahead and 8 signs ahead in the zodiac. For instance, Mars in Libra aspects Capricorn, located 4 signs ahead, and any grahas in Capricorn; it also aspects Taurus, located 8 signs ahead. But the grahas in Capricorn and Taurus do not have an influence upon Mars in return.
  • Jupiter aspects planets, signs and houses located 5 signs ahead and 9 signs ahead in the zodiac. For instance, Jupiter in Cancer aspects Scorpio, located 5 signs ahead, as well as Pisces, located 9 signs ahead. But no graha in Cancer or Scorpio will have an influence upon Jupiter in return.

Argala – the intervention

Significations of various houses are interlinked. Support provided by one house to another is called Argala and the obstruction offered to supporting houses is called Virodha argala.

Graha (planets) in 2nd, 4th and 11th house cause argalas on a given house, whereas the planets in 12th, 10th and 3rd cause virodha argalas to 2nd, 4th and 11th respectively.

Benefic generally give shubha argalas, malefic offerpapa argalas. If however a malefic has an argala on house of which it is a significator, such an aragala can be termed as shubha. For example, a malefics in 10th house cast papa argala to 9th house as 10th house is second from 9th. This may make the newborn non religious and give bad relations with boss/teacher, provided there is no virodh argala from 8th.

Arudha – the mounted image

The term Arudha Pada is also known as "Pada". Arudha literally means "mount" and refers to the IMAGE of a sign falling on another due to "reflection of the rays emanating from it and being reflected by its lord.

Keeping the reflection in view, the Karaka (Significator) can be taken to be the Moon. Count from a sign to its lord. Then count as many signs from the lord to arrive at the ARUDHA PADA. For example, if the Lagna Lord is in the fifth house, then count five signs from the Lagna lord to arrive at the ninth house. This ninth house becomes the arudha Pada for the Lagna.

Exception: The Arudha Pada cannot be in the same sign or the seventh from it. In case this happens, then choose the tenth house therefrom. For example, if the Lagna Lord is in the 4th house, then the Arudha lagna should be in the 4th from the 4th house i.e. the 7th house. But since this is not allowed, the tenth therefrom should be chosen. The tenth from the 7th house is the 4th house and the 4th house becomes the Arudha Lagna.

Arudha of 1st house is also called PADA LAGNA or ARUDHA LAGNA. Arudha lagna stands for "manifestation of self, in this maya (illusory) world". In this manner Arudha Pada can be computed for all the houses. They are called Dhana Pada (2nd), Bhratripada (3rd), Matri Pada (4th), Mantrapada (5th), Satrupada (6th), Dara Pada (7th), Roga pada (8th), Bhagyapada (9th), Rajyapada (10th), Labhapada (11th) and Upapada (12th). Jaimini discussed Arudha lagna (AL) and Upapada (UL) extinsively in his classical treatise.

Yoga: planetary combinations

In Jyotish, Yoga means "union" or "combination." Most of the time, a yoga is a conjunction of planets which takes on special significance, generally because of the houses which each planet rules in a given chart. Yogas are used to delineate character and to predict possible future events.

Yogas also obtain when planets are in mutual aspect to one another or in cases in which they rule each other's houses (a condition called Parivarthana Yoga, or mutual reception in Western astrology.)

Since there is no orb for conjunctions or aspects in Jyotish, it is sufficient that planets occupy the same or connected signs to create a yoga. For example, when the ruler of the first house and the ruler of the ninth house are in the same sign--even if they are 29 degrees apart--this is considered a raj yoga which signifies leadership, power and fame.

Ancient and early medieval Indian Jyotish literature contains nearly eight hundred of these yogas, but there are several dozen which are most commonly used. Some of them are favorable; some are not.

Yogas are general grouped by the areas of life they affect, but may also be grouped by the graha affected. The major categories of yogas are:

  • Raj (Royal) Yogas, which produce fame and power. They occur most commonly when the ruler of an angular house, most commonly the first or seventh, is combined with one of the rulers of Trikona houses, usually the ninth or the fifth.
  • Pancha Mahaparusha Yogas are yogas which indicate great strength for the five starry planets (Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus or Saturn) when they are located in the houses that they rule or when they are in the sign of their exaltation, and at the same time are located in a house 90 degrees from the Lagna (or sometimes the Moon.)
  • Chandra (Lunar) Yogas
  • Solar Yogas
  • Lagna (Ascendant) Yogas
  • Dhana (Wealth-producing) Yogas combine the rulers of the Trikona houses (the first, fifth and ninth) with the ruler of a wealth-producing house, particularly the second or the eleventh house. It also includes Chandra/Mangala yoga in which the Moon and Mars are combined.
  • Arishta (Poverty-producing) Yogas are yogas which combine the rulers of the Trikona houses with the rulers of the unfortunate eighth or twelfth houses, and tend to indicate poverty.

Shadbala – the sixfold strength

Shadbala, or "sixfold strength" is a common method used by astrologers to weigh the relative strength of each of the grahas in a chart.

Shad Bal consists of the following strengths

  • 1. Sthan Bal (Positional strength)
  • 2. Dig Bal (Directional strength)
  • 3. Kāl Bal (Temporalstrength), inclusive of Ayan Bal (Equinoctial strength)
  • 4. Chesht Bal (Motional strength)
  • 5. Naisargika Bal (Natural strength)
  • 6. Drik Bal (Aspectual strength)

These strengths are computed for the seven Grahas from Sun to Saturn. The lunar nodes (Rahu and Ketu) are not considered.

The method for calculating these indices is complicated, but the overall result is to produce an comparative index number, which is used to gauge how effective each planet is within the chart. This can be helpful in understanding the overall horoscope and also in helping to predict the nature of periods in life which are ruled by one or two planets (Vimshottari dasas.)

Dashas (Planetary periods)

Main article: Dasha (astrology)

As in traditional Western astrology, much of the prediction in Jyotish is accomplished by interpreting the nature of planetary periods within a lifetime which are controlled by various grahas in the chart (including Rahu and Ketu.)

Every lifetime falls into long periods where one graha has major control over events. These periods are called dashas or "eras." When each dasha begins and how long it lasts is most commonly calculated by a method called Vimshottari dashas, which, unlike any form of Western astrology, is determined from the nakshatra and degree in which the Moon is found at birth.

As in Hellenistic Western astrology, every graha in Jyotish is associated with a certain specific number of years, and these determine the length of each dasha. Dashas are further divided into sub-periods controlled by secondary rulers. The natal condition and strength of each ruler determines how benevolent or unfortunate each period will be, and which region of life will be highlighted during the dasha.

Birth charts

There are three different Jyotish chart representations, for showing the rāshi (signs) and bhāva (houses) which are apparently equivalent but quite different in function. The following images show the same birth chart in the two main notations - North Indian and South Indian.

Birth Chart (northern format).png
Birth Chart (southern).png

In the North Indian notation, the house positions are fixed (1st house top middle, with the rest following in counterclockwise order) and the signs of the zodiac are placed sequentially therein, starting from the Ascendant (rising zodiac sign) placed in the 1st house, and indicated by numerals in the chart (1 for Aries, 2 for Taurus, and so on).

Conversely, in the South Indian notation, the signs of the zodiac have fixed positions (Aries always occupies the 2nd box from the left in the top row, with the rest following in clockwise order), and the first house is marked "As" (for ascendant) with the rest following in clockwise order.

The charts contain twelve sections, houses or bhāvas, each of which is related to a rāshi in an equal house system when rough and hurried computations are needed, but when precision is needed bhāvas are made according to Bhāvachalita in which houses are unequal due to elliptical nature of apparent orbit of the Sun.

Panchangam (almanac)

A panchangam (Sanskrit pañcāṅgam ) is a Hindu astrological almanac (or calendar), which follows traditional Indian cosmology, and presents important astronomical data in tabulated form. It forecasts celestial phenomena, such as solar eclipses, and weather (rain, dryspells), as well as more mundane occurrences. A typical Panchanga has tabulations of positions of the Sun, Moon, and other planets for every day of the year at a fixed place (longitude, latitude) and time of day (in 24-hour format IST). Remaining data can be calculated using the relative difference from this fixed place and time. Panchangas may contain information for more than one year, such as the Vishvavijaya Panchanga which is for 100 years.

The theories in the Surya Siddhanta and Grahalaghava formed the basis for the plethora of Panchangas in the past in different regions of the country - a culturally complex system. Thus, the Government of India has prepared the National Panchanga or the Indian national calendar in 1957 (was proposed by Saha and Lahiri in 1952), which is used in predictive Astrology. The Lahiri Ephemeris published annually is the most widely used English almanac in Jyotisha apart from the many Panchangas published in local languages, which are mostly based on the National Panchanga.

In modern India

David Pingree notes that astrology and traditional medicine are the two traditional sciences that have survived best in modern India, although both have been much transformed by their western counterparts.[54]

There are a great number of contemporary publications, reflecting the persisting importance of astrology in Hindu culture, and the corresponding economical attractivity of the market in India. Notable modern authors include Sri Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936), Bangalore Venkata Raman (1912-1998), Bejan Daruwalla (b. 1931), V. K. Choudhry (b. 1951), Sanjay Rath (b. 1963) & Prash Trivedi (b. 1975).


New approaches developed by Hindu astrologers in the modern epoch include the following:

  • New Techniques of Predictions by the late Mr. H.R.S. Iyer. In the 1960s, H.R. Seshadri Iyer, introduced a system including the yoga point, which became popular in the West.
  • Systems' Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes by Mr. V.K. Choudhry. In the early 1990s, Indian Vedic Astrologer and Author, V.K. Choudhry introduced the Systems' Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes a simplified system of Jyotish (predictive astrology). The system, also known as "SA", helps those who are trying to learn Jyotisha.
  • Krishnamurti Paddhati by the late Mr. K. S. Krishnamurti. The system developed by Shri Krishnamurti is mainly based on the analysis of the stars (nakshatras), by sub-dividing the stars in the ratio of the dasha of the concerned planets. The system is also known as "KP" and "sub theory".


In the early 2000s, under the Bharatiya Janata Party led government, astrology became a topic of political contention between the religious right and academic establishment, comparable to the "Creation science" debate in US education. The University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government decided to introduce "Jyotir Vigyan" (i.e. jyotir vijñāna) or "Vedic astrology" as a discipline of study in Indian universities, backed up by a decision by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, despite widespread protests from the scientific community in India and Indian scientists working abroad.[55] In September of the same year, the Supreme Court of India issued a notice to the Ministry of Human Resource Development in reaction to a petition, stating that the introduction of astrology to university curricula is "a giant leap backwards, undermining whatever scientific credibility the country has achieved so far".[56] In 2004, the Supreme Court dismissed a further petition, judging that the teaching of astrology does not qualify as promotion of religion.[57]

A number of Indian universities currently offer advanced degrees in Jyotisha, including Benaras Hindu University.[58]

Notes and references

  1. What is Jyotisha Astrology
  2. "In countries such as India, where only a small intellectual elite has been trained in Western physics, astrology manages to retain here and there its position among the sciences." David Pingree and Robert Gilbert, "Astrology; Astrology In India; Astrology in modern times" Encyclopedia Britannica 2008
  3. Mohan Rao, Female foeticide: where do we go? Indian Journal of Medical Ethics Oct-Dec2001-9(4) [1]; T. Jayaraman, A judicial blow, Frontline Volume 18 - Issue 12, Jun. 09 - 22, 2001 [2]
  4. Mc Evilley "The shape of ancient thought", p385 ("The Yavanajataka is the earliest surviving Sanskrit text in horoscopy, and constitute the basis of all later Indian developments in horoscopy", himself quoting David Pingree "The Yavanajataka of Sphujidhvaja" p5)
  5. David Pingree, Jyotiḥśāstra (J. Gonda (Ed.) A History of Indian Literature, Vol VI Fasc 4), p.81
  6. The 12 Rashis[unreliable source?]
  7. the meanings which are not specifically cited apparently derive from a website: which is no longer accessible.[unreliable source?] Meanings not confirmed by other sources have been removed.
  8. Hart deFouw and Robert Svoboda, Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India, (Pengin, 1996), p. 129.
  9. deFouw & Svoboda, p. 129; and James T. Braha, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer, (Hermetician Press, Hollywood FL, 1986), "birth, early childhood start in life." (p.37.)
  10. Ronnie Gale Dreyer, Vedic Astrology: A Guide tot he Fundamentals of Jyotish (Samuel Weiser, York Beach ME, 1997), p. 85
  11. Dreyer, p. 85; and deFouw and Svoboda, p.129.
  12. Dreyer, "speech, truthfulness, learning" (p. 86); Braha, "speech, use of foul language, speech defects, orators, poets..." (p. 37); deFouw and Svoboda, "ability to speak {...] power and quality of speech" (p. 131.)
  13. deFouw p. 131.
  14. deFouw, "especially routine" (p. 133.)
  15. Braha mentions "fine arts, music, dance, drama, theater, musicians, actors, etc." (p.38.)
  16. deFouw, p. 133.
  17. Braha, p.38; also deFouw, p. 133.
  18. Dreyer, p. 87; deFouw says "conveyances" (p. 134.)
  19. deFouw, p. 134; Braha (p. 38) says "heart, emotions and passions."
  20. "Creative and pleasurable pursuits." Dreyer, p. 88
  21. Dreyer says "Vedic knowledge" (p.88)
  22. mentioned only by Braha, p.38.
  23. deFouw, p. 136 ("upper abdomen and the organs therein, including the stomach and liver"); Dreyer (p. 88) confirms that the belly is found in the 13th century Phaladeepika of Matreswara (English tr. K. Subramanyam, 1981) p. 7.
  24. Dreyer, "previous karma" (p. 88.); Braha (p. 38) says "poorvapunya--rewards and credit due from last incarnation." DeFouw and Svoboda, on the other hand, locate "previous good karma" in the ninth house (pp. 142-143.)
  25. deFouw, p. 137: "accidents, anxieties, debt, disease." Also Dreyer, p. 88. Also Braha (p. 88) says "health, illness, disease."
  26. deFouw, p.137.
  27. deFouw, p. 139.
  28. Dreyer, p. 89.
  29. Dreyer, p. 89.
  30. Dreyer (citing Mantreswara), p. 89; also deFouw, p. 139.
  31. Dreyer, p. 89.
  32. Braha: "sexual strength, reproductive system, venereal diseases," as well as "sexual attractiveness (p. 39.) Dreyer (pp. 89-90), says only "sexual organs" as does deFouw and Svoboda (pp. 140-141), specifically "external sexual organs."
  33. deFouw, pp. 140-141.
  34. deFouw, p. 140; also Braha, p. 39.
  35. Dreyer, p. 90.
  36. Dreyer, p. 90.
  37. Dreyer, p. 90.; Also deFouw p. 144
  38. Dreyer, p. 90; Also deFouw, p. 141
  39. DeFouw, p. 141
  40. Braha, "pleasures of the bed (including sexual pleasure)" (p. 40.) Also deFoux and Svoboda say "comforts of the bed (like sleep and sex), convalescence" (p. 147)
  41. "including bodily vigor," DeFouw p. 147
  42. DeFouw p. 147
  43. DeFouw p. 147
  44. Dreyer, p. 37
  45. "As the powers that rule this world of ignorance, the planets are perhaps primarily demonic in their effect. The Sanskrit word for planet, graha, also means a demon or something which possesses a person." (Frawley, David, Astrology of the Seers [2000] Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, WI, p. 11.)
  46. "A graha is literally a Seizer, a group of astral forces which can enter your organism and take control of your being." (deFouw & Svoboda, p.33.)
  47. their only lesser quality being that they do not rule signs of the zodiacs, which the other grahas do.
  48. The 9 Grahas - Planets[unreliable source?]
  49. Dreyer, pp. 47-49.
  50. a chart generally used only in horary astrology (deFouw and Svoboda, Light on Life, p. 45.
  51. deFouw & Svoboda, p. 46, used exclusively in horary astrology
  52. deFouw & Svoboda, p. 46 (horary.)
  53. deFouw & Svoboda, p. 46 (horary.)
  54. David Pingree, review of G. Prakash, Science and the Imagination of Modern India, Journal of the American Oriental Society (2002), p. 154 f.
  55. T. Jayaraman, A judicial blow, Frontline Volume 18 - Issue 12, Jun. 09 - 22, 2001 [3]
  56. Supreme Court questions 'Jyotir Vigyan', Times of India, 3 September 2001 [4]
  57. Supreme Court: Teaching of astrology no promotion of religion; Introduction of Vedic astrology courses in universities upheld
  58. Department of Jyotish, Faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vijnan Sankaya.[5]


Encyclopedic treatments
  • Kim Plofker, "South Asian mathematics; The role of astronomy and astrology", Encyclopedia Britannica (online edition, 2008)
  • David Pingree and Robert Gilbert, "Astrology; Astrology In India; Astrology in modern times", Encyclopedia Britannica (online edition, 2008)
  • "Hindu Chronology", Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911) [6]
Academic literature
  • David Pingree, "Astronomy and Astrology in India and Iran", Isis - Journal of The History of Science Society (1963), 229-246.
  • David Pingree, Jyotiḥśāstra in J. Gonda (ed.) A History of Indian Literature, Vol VI, Fasc 4, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden (1981).
  • Ebenezer Burgess, "On the Origin of the Lunar Division of the Zodiac represented in the Nakshatra System of the Hindus", Journal of the American Oriental Society (1866).
  • William D. Whitney, "On the Views of Biot and Weber Respecting the Relations of the Hindu and Chinese Systems of Asterisms"", Journal of the American Oriental Society (1866).
  • Satish Chandra, "Religion and State in India and Search for Rationality", Social Scientist (2002).
Popular introductions
  • James Braha, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer, 1986, Hermetican Press, N. Miami, FL, USA.
  • Ronnie Gale Dreyer, Vedic Astrology: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Jyotish. 1997, Samual Weiser, York Beach, ME. ISBN 0-87728-889-5
  • Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda, Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India. 1996, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-940985-69-1 .
  • V.K. Choudhry, Systems´ Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes, Fourth Revised Edition, 2006, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, India, ISBN 81-7082-017-0.
  • Komilla Sutton,The Essentials of Vedic Astrology, 2000, The Wessex Astrologer Ltd., Bournemouth, England.
  • Richard Houck, Digital Astrology, Groundswell Press (1998) ISBN 0964161273. [An excellent overview of the complicated and fascinating topic of ashtakavarga, the relative strength of each of the houses of the chart.]
  • Richard Houck, Hindu Astrology Lessons, 1997, Groundswell Press, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
  • Prash Trivedi, 27 Celestial Portals, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-940985-84-5 .
  • David Harness, Nakshatras: The Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-914955-83-7 .
  • Sanjay Rath, Introduction to Vedic Astrology Template:Year .
  • David Frawley [Vamadeva Shastri], Astrology of the Seers: A Guide to Vedic/Hindu Astrology. 2000, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, WI. ISBN 0-914953-89-6
  • Prash Trivedi, Key of Life: Astrology of the Lunar Nodes, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, ISBN 0-940985-33-0 .
  • C.L. Diwan, Discovery of Astrology,1994, Amar Jyoti Press, Jhansi, UP, India.
  • "Hindu Electional Astrology", [A compendium on Vedic system of electional astrology by V K Shridhar] [7] ISBN 81-901413-0-9 .

See also

External links