Jyotish Shastra, or Vedic Astrology, is perhaps one of the oldest astrology in the world. It is much more than a simple divination system. It is a great Vidya (Spiritual Science), deeply embedded in a profound philosophy of life. It is also known as Vedic astrology or Hindu Astrology.
Jyotish means ‘the science of light or heavenly body’, and Shastra means ‘knowledge of the particular field.’ Jyotish Shastra is the knowledge of the future, an important limb of the Vedas. Thus, it is a fascinating subject with many interesting facts. Here are 10 Basic Facts You Should Know To Understand Jyotish Shastra or Vedic Astrology that precisely explain it.
#1. The Origin of Jyotish Shastra
Jyotish Shastra emerged in the context of the Vedas, the ancient holy book of Hindus. According to Veda, Joytisha means (light of god or “Ish”). It complemented this worldview in its attempt to shine the divine light on the individual’s life. It endeavors to dispel the darkness of illusion and assist the person in understanding the purpose of the soul’s present incarnation.
The oldest Sanskrit book mentioning essential procedures of astrology is ‘Compositions of Garga’ (unpublished) written during the 1st century.
#2. Modern Astrology
The credit for the modernization of Vedic astrology goes to Rishi Parashara and Rishi Jaimini. Rishi Parashara wrote Parashara Hora Shastra, a book that describes the rules and regulations for making astrological predictions. Further, Rishi Jaimini, a student of Ved Vyasa, compiled some important notes on Vedic astrology.
#3. Its Difference with Western Astrology
One thing that is very peculiar about Jyotish Shastra is that it has a considerable difference in its principles and logic from Western astrology. The Vedic birth chart differs from the traditional Western horoscope in several ways. Most importantly, Vedic astrologers use the sidereal zodiac rather than the tropical zodiac. The sidereal zodiac is based upon the actual positions of the 12 signs of the zodiac in the sky while the tropical zodiac is based on the position of the Sun as it rises at the spring equinox.
#4. The Precision of Birth Chart
The most important aspect of Jyotish Shastra is that it considers the place, time, and date of birth of a person while building their birth chart. A little error in these three details leads to an extremely big error while creating the chart. The rising sign, moon sign, and Sun sign are of significant importance to define the personality traits of the person. A Swiss astrologer Karl Ernst Kraft was able to predict the actions of Adolf Hitler, and he was arrested later for making that accurate prediction.
#5. Planets or The Grahas
The most important elements in the individuals’ charts are the celestial bodies, and Planets, which were in ancient times identified with lesser deities. Planets are termed Graha, that which possesses a person; hence the planets are seen as symbolic of the illusions (Maya) of earthly existence that obscure the individual’s divine nature.
Each planet has acquired a set of associations, and its particular placement in the chart indicates a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Generally, only the ancient visible planets are utilized by Vedic astrologers, and thus one will not find Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto.
#6. Movement of The Moon
Vedic astrology divides the zodiac into the 12 signs and divides it into 27 lunar mansions roughly defined by the movement of the Moon around the earth every 27 days. The planetary periods relate to the lunar mansions very much as houses relate to the traditional signs. The planetary periods are of varying lengths related to the different planets. The newborn’s place in the cycle of periods is determined by the position of the Moon in Kundali – the natal chart. The recognition of these periods provides Vedic astrologers with an additional level of interpretation of the person’s life.
#7. Movement of The Stars
Jyotish Shastra is known for widely using the stars and different constellations that one sees in the sky. As per Jyotish Shastra, the movement of stars plays a very important role in an individual’s life and decides on the important phases in their life, such as marriage, career, death, happiness, etc.
#8. A Spiritual Subject
Vedic astrology is not a mundane subject like mathematics and other subjects. For its believers, it is a divine subject. Vedic astrologers are required to be spiritually aware and observe some ethics.
#9. Vedic Astrology Is More Accurate Than The Western System
Vedic astrology is based on the sidereal zodiac; it is based on observing the fixed position of constellations in the sky. Meanwhile, western astrology is based on the tropical zodiac or the observation of the constellations in relation to the movement of the Sun. The movement of the earth has changed by 23 degrees after thousands of years of its revolution and rotation. As Vedic astrology is based on the sidereal zodiac system, it is considered more accurate than the Western system.
#10. Everything is Linked
Jyotish Shastra revolves around one basic principle. That is that all things in the universe are linked to one another. The fortune and destiny of an individual are linked to some cosmic design and are highly influenced by it. The life of a person is, in fact, the incarnation of the soul and reflects the greater whole inside the body of which he or she is a part. This is the crux of Jyotisha Shastra.