What is Vedic astrology?
Vedic astrology or Jyotish is the most ancient and accurate rational method of decoding the planetary influences on human life. As the name suggests, it is based on Vedas written over 5000 years back. Vedas are the foundation of Hindu religion and the "e;shlokas"e; mentioned in these Holy Scriptures guide us to follow the path of "e;Dharma"e;. Rigaveda, , Yajurveda, Samveda and atharvveda are the basic literatures. Vedic astrology also takes help from several puranas and upnisads for recommending effective remedial measures. Vedic astrology is an extremely vast subject and its principles cannot be understood only by our five senses. One needs to connect to other dimensions and able to harness the cosmic energy to predict accurately. Therefore meditation, dhyan, pooja etc. become an integral part of a practitioner.
Most of the scholars of the vedic astrology consider "e; Brihat Parasara Hora Sashtra"e; as the most authentic literature of this complex subject. However, it is merely a collection of handful shlokas which makes it difficult for anybody to harness the true meaning. It is usually left to the Scholars to understand and decipher the hidden secret. Perhaps Parasara was aware of the fact of misusing this pious knowledge and he might have deliberately left it half cooked so that only true seekers could decode by Dhayana, meditation and other similar spiritual practices. It brings us to a very interesting conclusion that a true practitioner will have to follow the path of spirituality to understand and disseminate the knowledge to next generation.
Building Blocks of Vedic Astrology
Vedic astrology is primarily based on nine planets, 12 Rashis and 27 nakshatras. The nine planets are as follows
1. Sun (Surya)
2. Moon (Chandra)
3. Mars (Mangalor Kuja)
5. Jupiter (Guru)
6. Saturn (Shani)
7. Mercury (Budha)
9. Venus (Sukra)
Our sages do not suggest including Uranus, Neptune and Pluto for predictive purpose as they are very far from earth and stay in a particular rashi for considerably long years. For instance, Uranus takes 84 years to complete one cycle and hence stays for 7 years in one rashi. Since average age of a person is around 75-80 years, Uranus would not even complete one cycle. Neptune and Pluto have even bigger orbit and will not affect our life significantly. However, for mundane astrology these planets for considered by some astrologers.
Since moon is closest to the earth, it is given special importance in vedic astrology. It completes one revolution in approximately 27 days and moon quickly moves from one rashi to another rashi. It stays for 2 and half day in one sign. Rahu and Ketu are the illusory bodies in our planetary system. Astronomically these are intersection points of sun and moon as they move on celestial sphere and also known as north and south nodes respectively. They cause eclipse to these luminaries ( sun and moon) and may be most crucial for spiritual development. It will be discussed in detail in planet section.
The second building block is Rashi and it is more commonly known as zodiac sign. The body of universe is considered to form a full circle of 360 degree. This circle is divided equally into 12 segments or Signs. Each sign occupy 30 degree of the angular space. The sequencing starts with Aries (Mesha) Sign and ends with Pisces (Meena) Sign. Aries represents the birth of the soul and pisces represents the final journey of soul of heaven. Thus in a way, these 12 rashis represents the complete human life cycle in a sequenced manner. The complete list of 12 rashis is given sequentially below:
1. Aries (Mesha)
The third building block is houses or Bahvas. Similar to 12 Rashis, there are 12 houses in vedic astrology. The only difference between them is that Houses are fixed where as Rashis are changeable. 1st house represents the east direction and at the time of birth, whichever rashi rises in east becomes the Lagna or Ascendent. Each house represents certain aspects of life and it will be dealt separately in house section of this website. In vedic astrology, Houses are more important than signs. Signs only impart certain characteristics to a particular house.
The fourth building block is Nakshatra.It is completely unique to vedic system. There are 27 nakshatras which are spaced equally across the signs or rashis. In other words, the circle of 360 is segmented equally in 27 nakshatras and each nakshatra covers 130 20’ of angular space. These nakshatras are very crucial in determining the overall nature and life path of a native. The calculation of Vimshottari Dasha is completely based on position of moon in a particular nakshatra at birth. Doesn’t it seems interesting?
The fifth building block is Dasha System. Although there are several Dasha system as prescribed by great Parashara, it is Vimshottari Dasha which is most accurate in Kalyuga. At this juncture, it is suffice to say that Dasha system brings the particular planetary energy on native’s life for a given time period. That Planet gives results as per its placement in the birth chart.
The final and last building block is Transit system which finally fine tunes the results of a particular dasha. A benefic planet transit in an auspicious house generally brings positive results and Malefic planets do the opposite.
Sun (Surya)- I am the KING. Take it or leave it
Sun has been ordained the highest position among all planets and it is the parent of entire solar system. In Hindu Mythology, Surya represents the Sun god. Surya is depicted as a red man with three eyes and four arms, riding in a chariot drawn by seven mares. Surya holds water lilies with two of his hands. With his third hand he encourages his worshipers whom he blesses with his fourth hand. In India, Surya is believed to be a benevolent deity capable of healing sick people.
It is the brightest among all planets and has the capacity to burn anything in vicinity. This particular trait makes Surya a malefic planet. However, It is only mild malefic as it is also the Karaka of Father, Body, career and reputation. As per Phaladeepika, Sun is the significator of the person's collection of copper and gold, and of father, patience, valour, victory in war, one's soul (Atman), auspiciousness, happiness, prowess, power, light, any work relating to Lord Shiva, travels in forests and mountains, havans or yajnas, Inclinations for work, temple, acuteness, enthusiasm.
Sun is very closely connected to power and authority and a natural leader. Generally, astrologers say that a strong sun pulls you into government jobs. However it is not always true because sun is basically karaka of leadership. A sun dominated native always love to be in leadership position either as head manager, CEO, Chairman, Political posts, Ministers, top bureaucrats, and Head of religious trust. The only common thing is domination. A sun dominated native dislike to work under authority and unable to give his best in subordinate positions. Like a King, he is very much concerned about his subordinates and sticks to his words.
In birth chart, Sun rules ‘Leo’ Sign. It receives its directional strength in 10th house and is exalted in Aries and debilitated in Libra. Surya dev can be propitiated by offering prayer to Sun in early morning. Since sun is also connected with health and vitality, it is not surprising to believe that ‘Surya Namaskar’ is the best exercise to overall health. Through ‘Surya Namaskar’, one knowingly or unknowingly appeases Surya dev. Chath, a popular festival celebrated in Bihar and adjoining areas, is nothing but worshiping and appeasing Suryadev. Today this festival is spreading rapidly in all over India which confirms its fructifying results
Moon( Chandra) - I am Queen, don’t dare to ignore me.
Moon is most important planet after ascendent in vedic astrology and this also differentiates vedic astrology from Western astrology. In western astrology system, Sun is given prime consideration while delineating the chart whereas Moon plays a pivotal role in determining the overall strength of the birth chart and predicting the final outcome during Dasha and Transits. It has been given the status of “Queen” in vedic astrology and thus Moon is also associated with government like Sun.
Moon is an emotional, caring, service oriented and domestic planet. It is Karaka of Mother whose primary aim is provide nourishment to a native. ‘Mother’ here has been used as a representation. Mother can be one’s own mother, Homeland, any mother like figure or Goddess. As per Phaldeepika, Moon is the significator of the welfare of the mother, tranquility of the mind, bathing in the sea, white chamar, umbrella, good fan, fruits, flowers, tender objects, farming grains, fame, pearls, silver, bell metal, beauty. As Phaldeepika Suggests, stability of mind is also governed by Moon.
Human as a whole can be divided into two halves, Mind and body. Body receives command from mind and acts accordingly. Without Mind, human body has no existence and vice-versa and since Moon is closely connected with Mind, the significance of moon can not be overemphasized. If moon is badly afflicted in birth chart, it causes turbulence and instability in thoughts. All diseases involving mind such as memory loss, depression, anxiety, hallucination, connection with spirit world etc are considered to be caused by stressed moon. A weak moon can even limit the overall effects of various Rajayoga and Dhanayogas.
In 21st century, the world is really overstressed and mind is scapegoat here. Meditation, Yoga and Dhyana are best available effective measures. Astrologically, Moon can be propitiated by worshipping Shiva on Mondays. There is interesting story about Moon Connection with Great Shiva. As per Hindu Mythology, King Daksha had 27 daughters and all were married to Moon. However, Moon was more inclined to most beautiful daughter ‘Bharini’. Other daughters complained to Daksha about this discrimination and then furious daksha cursed Chandra that he would gradually diminish. Feared of this, Candra started worshipping Shiva. At the end of Tapasya, Shiva appeared and offered him the middle path as per which Chandra would wane in Krishnapaksha or wax in Suklapaksha. Thus offering prayer to shiva also helps in appeasing Moon.
Mars- Have you got your red?
Mars or Mangal is given the status of a ‘Commander’ in hindu astrology. As a commander, he has to listen to the orders of King (Sun) and Moon (Queen) and act accordingly. It is his prime duty to protect the kingship and people. Being a true warrior, Mars is never afraid of warzone and ready to take up any challenge. In Hindu Mythology, Mars is depicted as a god with a red body representing the universal red energy emitted by Planet MARS.
Parasara describes Mars as a native having red blood eyes, is fickle minded and having thin physique. Phaldeepika suggests to consider MARS for ascertaining one's strength (physical and mental), products produced from the earth, qualities of the brothers and sisters, cruelty, battle, courage, antagonism, the fire of the kitchen, gold, kinsmen, weapons, thieves, enemies, enthusiasm, sexual energy, falsehood, prowess, high thinking, sin and wounds. In a more refined way, Mars is the KARAKA of our will power, physical stamina, aggression, Sports involving lot of physical activity, Lands, Mechanical studies, weapons, wars, defence forces, dynamic behavior etc.
Since Mars is deeply connected with RED color astronomically and mythologically, it also signifies all kinds of activities associated with red. All kinds of cuts, burns, surgery, accidents, boxing and similar things are the favorite of MARS. One may think that a strong mars may protect the native from accidents and surgery, but the actual effect is opposite. If Mars aspects the ascendant(body), these things will automatically come to the native. However, he will have strong will power to fight back.
Mars is a natural Malefic but performs very well when associated with greatest benefic Jupiter. Mars has been allotted rulership of two signs Aries (Mesha) and Scorpion (Vrischika). Aries represents mars’ active energy and Vrischika its passive energy. It is exalted in ‘Capricorn’ (Makara), a sign which brings discipline into Mars energy. Its deity is ‘Hanuman’ who rules Tuesday and red colour in Hindu religion. Hanuman is the representation of purest form of Mars energy. In Ramayana, Hanuman, although most powerful, always served Lord Rama unconditionally. Thus, offering prayer to Hanuman definitely helps in bringing discipline in using our very powerful mars energy.
Jupiter (Guru)-My knowledge is supreme. Come and take my advice.
Jupiter has been given the status of a wise and knowledgeable minister in vedic astrology. Astronomically it is the biggest planet of solar system. It is a slow moving planet and takes 12 years to complete one revolution. Thus, it stays in particular sign for approximately one year. Along with Saturn, Jupiter is another crucial planet which has profound effect on transit calculations. Being the most benefic planet in vedic astrology, Jupiter plays a very important role while determining the overall strength of the chart.
In Hindu Mythology, Jupiter is the ‘teacher of the gods’ and he is believed to carry the highest level of wisdom and knowledge. Jupiter has the task of carrying forward the traditional knowledge from one generation to next generation. That is why Jupiter is everything to do with teaching (higher level) and acquiring knowledge. Parsara depicts Jupiter having a big body, is intelligent and learned in all sastras. Considering Phaldeepika, Jupiter signifies matters relating to knowledge, noble qualities, sons (progeny), minister, good behavior, imparting knowledge or teaching, magnanimity, knowledge of shruties, shastras, smrities, progress in every direction, beautitude, devotion towards gods and Brahmins, sacrifice, penance, religious faith, treasury, mastering the senses, honour, kindness and happiness of the husband.
As Phaladeepika suggests, Guru is Karaka of most desiring things of human life especially wealth, progeny (child), education, marriage for female natives and fulfillment of any kind of hopes and wishes. Apart from that, it is planet of optimism and positive thinking. A Jupiterian native will never be depressed in life. It throws its benefic effects on all the planets aspected by it. Sagittarius(Dhanu) and Pisces (Meena) are two signs ruled by Jupiter. It is exalted in most benefic sign Cancer(Karkata) and debilitated in Capricorn (Makar). It is such a powerful planet that it can ward-off all the evil combinations in the birth chart.
But there is a catch here. Even the super benefic planet does not always yield the auspicious results. An exalted Jupiter develops stubbornness in the native. It can produce the extreme types and fundamentalists who stick to their religious beliefs. Offering prayer to your guru and Lord Vishnu helps in receiving the most out of Jupiter.
Venus (Sukra)- Deadly combination of beauty and creativity.
Jupiter and Venus are two extreme types of benefices. Jupiter is ‘Sattwik’ in disposition where as Shukra carries Demonic characteristics. Venus is the planet of love, relationships and luxuries. Whether it is food, home, clothes, romance, wine or dance, Venus wants to experience all the finest things in life. It is the most beautiful planet in vedic astrology. Natives born under strong venus energy are among the most beautiful and possessed on this earth. It is applicable for both male and female natives. Venus is skilled in all types of relationships and partnerships. ‘Kamadeva’ ,a deity responsible for producing attraction between opposite sex, is the carrier of Venus energy of love and romance. Without Venus, the world will be bereft of love and compassion.
Parashara Says that Venus is charming, has a splendorous physique, is excellent or great in disposition, has charming eyes, is a poet, is phlegmatic and windy and has curly hair. As per Phaldeepika, venus is karaka of one's wealth, conveyances, clothes, ornaments, treasures (including hidden treasures), amalgam of song, dance and instrumental music, scents, flowers, co-habitation, bed, house, richness, fondness for poetry, Indulgence in all kinds of comforts and luxuries, ministership, soft-spokenness, marriage and other holy deeds and celebrations. Thus venus is perfect planet for todays’ materialistic world.
In Hindu Mythology, Venus or Sukra is the son of the great seer ‘Bhrigu’. Brighu taught his son all of vedic and spiritual knowledge. However, He became enemy of Jupiter or Brihaspati and moved towards demons. He vowed to teach the lessons of immortality to demons and prepare them to fight against Gods. Therefore Sukra, inspite of having all vedic knowledge, his mind is always occupied with acquiring luxurious things in life. He thinks like demons who indulge in all kinds of activities which bring pleasure to the mind.
Sukra rules two signs, Taurus( Vrish) and Libra (tula). It is exalted in Pisces (Meena) and debilitated in Virgo (Kanya). Goddess Laxmi is Deity for Venus and it is believed she fills the house with all kind of wealth and luxury.
Mercury (Budh)- I am quick and diplomatic.
Budh or mercury is the fastest moving planet in our solar after moon. Hence Mercury is the planet of quick intelligence and communication. Mercury has been given the status of a “prince’ in vedic astrology. Like a prince, mercury imparts youthful appearance and quick grasping power. Moon signifies the Memory part of mind but mercury adds intelligence to that. Hence, the conjunction of moon and mercury in a benefic house makes the native very intelligent.
In Hindu mythology, Mercury is the illegitimate son of Chandra and Tara (Wife of ‘Guru’). Tara eloped with Chandra and this resulted in a war between Gods and Chandra who was helped by Sukra. However, on Bhrama’s advice Chandra returned pregnant Tara to Jupiter. Tara gave birth to Budha, a quick and handsome son. Jupiter or Guru was so impressed with his intelligence that he taught budha all of the shastras and vedic teachings. Thus although mercury treats Chandra as enemy, Chandra does not show any enmity towards Mercury.
Mercury is endowed with an attractive physique and capacity to use words with many meanings. He is fond of jokes. Phaldeepika teaches us to consider mercury for learning, eloquence, proficiency in arts, praise by learned people, maternal uncle, dexterity in speech, aptness for acquiring knowledge, expertise in ways of worship, intelligence, religious acts relating to Lord Shiva, truthfulness, oyster, spots of recreation and enjoyment, skill in mechanical arts, kinsmen, heir apparent, friends, sister's sons and daughters etc.
Being princely nature, mercury represents our adolescent phase. It is well known that adolescent phase is most crucial for over all personality development. Natives are prone to commit mistakes in romantic and love affairs. Therefore, Mercury is most flirtatious among all planets. He loves to enjoy the company of many women and may lead to marital problems.
Gemini (Mithun) and Virgo (kanya) are the two signs rules by Mercury. Gemini is flirtiest and represents the lighter side of mercury whereas Virgo is serious side of mercurial energy. Mercury is exalted in Virgo and debilitated in Pisces. Mercury has tremendous love for mathematics and engineering. He loves to dive into accounting, sales, marketing, writing, publishing etc. Mercury is the true businessman and an excellent consultant. Lord Vishnu is the deity of Mercury, as Vishnu symbolizes the intellectual energy among three Gods.
Saturn- Why are you so serious?
Saturn or Shani is the farthest of all among nine planetary systems. It is a very slow moving planet and stays in one Sign for approximately 2 and half years. As per Hindu mythology, Saturn has been given the status of a servant. Saturn is the son of Surya dev and born to shadowy maid Chhaya. Surya's wife could not tolerate the intense heat produced by her husband the Sun god. To protect herself, she sent a shade to a husband in the form of a mistress whose name was Chhaya. Saturn walk with a limp and that is why he is the slowest moving planet.
Saturn has an emaciated and long physique, has tawny eyes and is windy in temperament, has big teeth and coarse hair. As per Phaldeepika, Saturn signifies longevity, death, fear, downfall, disgrace,sickness, unhappiness and misery, poverty, humiliation, sins, labour, filth, censure, misfortune, impurity of mind, observance of certain formalities after death in the family, stability, taking shelter from menials, buffaloes, drowsiness, debts, articles of iron, service, slavery, confinement, getting arrested, agricultural implements etc. Thus Saturn is associated all the morbid and distressed activities of life.
Shani produces an extremely serious and down to earth personality. He brings a peculiar type of fear and therefore it causes pessimism. Completely opposite to Jupiter, which is planet of optimism, Saturn makes the native worry for security in life. That is why Saturn dominated person is the happiest person in government job. He is a hardworking and does not believe in taking short cuts like mercury and Rahu. Since Shani is ‘Servant’ by nature, he believes in offering service to his master. Hence Saturn is also the karaka of services and career as a whole.
Saturn is a Karmik planet, which carries the load of stored bad karma of previous life. A native has to go under severe hardships and penance to get rid of his bad karma. This is the reason, he brings limitations in life. But once your penance is over and debts of bad karma are paid, he releases the native from his strong clutches and starts giving positive results.
Saturn rules two powerful signs Capricorn (Makar) and Aquarius (Kumbha). He is exalted in Libra (Tula) and debilitated in Aries (Mesha). He is most feared among all planets. Saturn is also responsible for hardships during Sadedati and continues for seven and Half years at a time. A native experiences the effect of sadesati for maximum of three times. As feared by many, Sadesati does not always bring bad results. It only stresses the mind or moon. If moon is strongly disposed in the birth chart, Saturn can bring auspicious results. In Hindu mythology, Only Shiva can control Saturn and therefore malefic effects of Saturn can be mitigated by offering worship to Shiva on Saturdays.
Rahu- My desires are unquenched
Rahu along with Ketu is a shadowy planet and astronomically they represent the intersection points where moon crosses the apparent path of Sun. This point of intersection in northerly course is called Rahu and Ketu in southerly course. Rahu and Ketu have their unique position in vedic astrology as they greatly influence the pace of spiritual development. They always move opposite to each other and maintain the gap of 1800. It means, if Rahu is in 1st house then Ketu will always be in 7th house and vice versa. Their motion is always retrogarde. Hindu Mythology narrates a very beautiful story on Rahu and Ketu. The story revolves around great churning of ocean by Devas and Ashuras to take out most precious thing called ‘Amrita’. In order to prevent ‘Amrita’ going into the hands of Asura, Lord Vishnu takes the form of Mohini. However one Asura named ‘Swarbhanu’ understood the trick, disguised in form of Deva and received some amount of ‘Amrita’. Sun and moon identified him and then Lord Vishnu cut-off his head with his Sudarshana Chakra. Since both parts received ‘Amrita’, they became immortal. Rahu is the Head part and Ketu is headless body. Rahu and ketu are great enemies to Sun and moon as they identified him. Rahu is a strong malefic planet in vedic astrology. He is an outcaste, foreigner and have smoky disposition.
Rahu is the Karaka of eccentricity, intercaste and interreligious relationships, eccentric love affairs, masses, media, evil thoughts and actions, deformed body or mind, is an irreparable liar and always downward looking. Parasara describes rahu with smoky appearance which makes Rahu a mysterious planet. A Rahu dominated native is confused person with lot of smoke all around. His beliefs are far way from realistic situation. Thus in a way, Rahu makes native to desire the undesirable. Like Jupiter, Rahu is also connected with positivity and expansion. But Rahu expansion is too big to control. Its association with benefic planet expands the auspicious results and its conjunction with malefic brings far more dangerous results. Rahu is closely associated with worldly desire. Rahu desires are unquenched and he tries to achieve the things at any cost. It is karaka of all new technologies, computer sciences, nanotechnology etc. All difficult to treat diseases, cancer, imprisonment, insanity, leprosy etc. are domain of Rahu. Rahu has no lordship. According to Parasara, Rahu is exalted in Taurus and debilitated in Scorpion. Rahu can be propitiated by worshipping ‘Durga’. Meditation, Pranayam and Dhayana are other effective remedial measures.
Ketu- I want to be Buddha.
Ketu is the planet of other extreme like Rahu. Rahu develops excessive attachment with the materialistic affairs, whereas Ketu creates detachment from mundane affairs. These are two opposite poles and always look at each other. It is interesting that Rahu desires for something and ketu looking at that house force you for detachment. This is the actual struggle and irony of human life. Life begins with myriad desires and in later part of life, native moves towards detachment. He looks for spirituality and peace of mind. He understands that nothing in this world can satisfy him. Ketu is the Karaka of ‘this’ dissatisfaction and consequent enlightenment. Ketu is the representation of our final journey to heaven. It is a headless planet without mind and desires. Please refer ‘Rahu’ section to understand the birth of headless ketu. Ketu characteristics are similar to that of Mars. That is why Ketu is also co-lord of Scorpion sign. Scorpion is the most powerful sign to understand the deepest meaning of life and death. Ketu is anything mysterious and beyond the understanding of human senses. It produces great sages and spiritual gurus especially if placed in 12th house, the house of ‘Moksha’.
The special significance of Rahu and Ketu completely differentiates Vedic astrology from any other predictive methods. These Planets connects astrology with ‘Moksha’, the ultimate goal of life as taught by Lord Krishna in ‘Bhagvatgeeta’. Ketu produces an independent thinker, an introverted and rigid personality. He is of rebellious disposition and sticks to his own beliefs. He is an original thinker and indulged in search of true meaning of life and death. He is like ‘Lord Buddha’ who renounced the world to understand the ‘truth’. Ketu is the past and represents the ‘Sanchit’ skills and knowledge of previous life. It is malefic in sense that it brings sudden events and dissatisfaction in one’s life. He possesses a kind of self-doubt and can be self-destructive. Being closely associated with mars, Ketu natives are found military and defense forces. He is true researcher and is best for acquiring PhD degree. Ketu is Karaka of undiagnosed diseases, poison, snakes bites, fire, black magic, possession by ghosts and similar mysterious events in life. Ketu makes very good astrologers and fortune tellers. It is not surprising that astrologers are fascinated by Ketu. Ketu can be propitiated by offering prayer to ‘Lord Ganesha’ on Tuesdays.