Jyotish Shastra is perhaps the oldest astrology in the world which is a system that is mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures. Here, Jyotish means ‘the science of light or heavenly body’ and Shastra means the ‘knowledge on the particular field’. It is a Sanskrit term that deals with the astral light pattern. Jyotish Shastra is an important limb of the Vedas. It is much more than a simple divination system. It is a great Vidya (Spiritual Science), which is deeply embedded in a profound philosophy of life.
Misconceptions and Myths
Since, astrology is an ancient science, which is perhaps difficult even for modern science to interpret, there are many dimensions and corners of his realm which many people misinterpret. Due to which, there are lots of false ideas about ancient science. Here are 10 Misconceptions and Myths About Vedic Astrology or Jyotisha Shastra.
1. Astrology Is Based On Magic and Paranormal or Psychic Activity
Those who don’t believe in astrology often write it off as something mysterious magical activity, but the truth is, astrology is really just based on an ancient science in the Vedas. The main component used in astrology is a birth chart, which is created with information about when and where you were born. The chart itself is an imprint of what the planets, stars, and universe looked like at that precise moment.
It makes sense, that astrology is also called ‘Jyotish’, which translates to “science of light.” It is simply based on the objects we know are in the universe, and there’s nothing too mysterious about that.
2. Jyotish is not ‘Rays’ From Other Planets
Jyotish literally means the “lord of light,” but is often translated as the “science of light.” “Jyoti” means light, which refers to the luminosity of the stars and planets. However, since our outer reality is a reflection of our inner reality, the light also refers to the light of God within.
So, some people have a misconception regarding Jyotish that it is the rays emanating from the planets that affect our lives or have some concern with our destiny but that is a myth. Rays can only produce some physical effects. Just like Sun rays produce heat & give away light. Similarly, rays emanating from the Moon on a Full-Moon day are responsible for producing tides in the sea. They have no concern about our destiny.
3. It Is Just About Your Weekly Zodiac Sign/Horoscope
Many people enjoy reading horoscopes online and think of it as just an entertaining hobby. In reality, astrology is much more meaningful than a diversion.
Vedic astrology is deeply dependent on karma and planetary positions. It’s essentially your accumulated karma that results in whatever happens in the future. Let’s say your chart shows that this seed is an apple seed. That means the potentiality of the seed is to become an apple tree; to grow hundreds of thousands of apples, and to live its life for whatever period of time. This is the potentiality of every single chart. It shows the seed which has the possibility to achieve its fully-grown destiny to bear the fruits of your karma. Basically, your chart is the blueprint of your destiny, written in a language that only the astrologer understands. That’s a lot more significant than just whether you’ll have a good week or a bad week!
4. It Can Accurately Predict The Future and Even Change It
This is, perhaps, the most dangerous assumption people make about astrology. Contrary to popular belief, its purpose is not to predict everything that will happen to you in the future. Instead, it’s meant to be a guiding tool that empowers you to make conscious decisions and avoid the ditches in life. Astrology aims to help succeed and stay aligned with the oneness of the universe. It can help guide you to better decisions by pointing out whatever is wrong.
Let me put it this way: If you have an apple seed, you’re never going to have an orange tree with it. Perhaps the apple seed can avoid getting certain diseases, by choosing how you treat it and deal with it.
5. The Misconception about Its Practice
By getting into the habit of continually studying charts, for instance, 3 or more per day, one’s understanding of Jyotish will accelerate dramatically.
6. Who is The Teacher of An Astrologer
There is a huge misconception about who the master is in Vedic Astrology. Jyotish is based in an oral tradition. Traditionally, one studying Jyotish Shastra would sit with their guru for long hours reciting Jyotish texts, discussing principles, and studying charts. Over time the learner acquires the refined discernment of their teacher. There is no replacement for this kind of one on one tutoring with a qualified teacher.
Inevitably, while studying Jyotish Shastra, questions arise, which can only be answered by someone with a quality experience. Such questions can only be answered by an experienced Jjyotishi or Jyotish guru.
A guru is someone who dispels confusion and brings clarity. “Gu” means shadow or darkness, while “ru” means to disperse or remove.
7. Being A Student of Jyotish Shastra Is Easy
Jyotish Shastra is a science that has its own set of academic requirements. It has its own technicality that is measured by all the elements of Sahsatra such as Bhawa, Gharha, Dhasa, etc.
For instance, it requires the memorization of a large body of technical information. There’s no way around it. Just like the pianist needs to memorize scales until they become second nature, the Jyotish or astrologer needs technical information at the forefront of his or her awareness when analyzing a chart.
8. Delusion About Gemstones
The theory given by some astrologers that if we wear gemstones related to some planets then the rays coming from those planets will penetrate those gemstones and will enter our skin and will alter our destiny is not correct. It has been observed that gemstones produce some effects on the state of mind or in some cases state of health of a person.
It is not the rays but the planetary positions at the time of a birth of a person as seen from his birthplace which have some correlation with the person’s personality as well as his destiny regarding various issues of his/her life.
9. Jyotish Shastra Has No Spiritual Practice
Jyotish is a spiritual science that cannot be learned only through technical academic study. At some point in one’s development, the Jyotishi needs to combine both intuition and intellect in order to interpret the symbolic language of astrology correctly. And the intuition can be developed only through spiritual practices.
Traditionally, the Jyotishi would be initiated into the worship of a personal deity or Ishta devata who would help illumine their intuition. For instance, Vedic astrologers often worship Ganesha because he is considered the patron deity of Jyotish. Deity worship is the devotion to a specific aspect of God and is not idol worship, which is another common misconception.
10. Jyotisha Is a Business
Jyotish Shastra was brought forth by great sages for the welfare and benefit of humanity. A Jyotish has the same attitude, and their primary motivation is to benefit and serve others. The key to ethical behavior is a concern for the welfare of others. Thus, the original intention of the Jyotish is for the welfare of others, while, also earning money for his/her primary needs.
But there is still a huge misconception about Jyotisha practice that it is only done for the business purpose. But the actual aim of Jyotisha is the welfare of the people.
Astrology, like counseling, is a helping profession. Jyotish Shastra is also a powerful predictive system. Although the misconception exists, the theory of Jyotisha has its own components that help us know about the certain upcoming prediction of our life. How the Jyotishi handles their relationships with clients is their own karmic responsibility. Jyotishi’s words can strongly influence others for better or for worse.