Hindu Astrology

Hindu astrology (also known as Indian astrology, more recently Vedic astrology, also Jyotish or Jyotisha, from Sanskrit jyotiṣa, from jyótis- "light, heavenly body") is the traditional Hindu system of astronomy and astrology. It has three branches:

  • Siddhanta: Indian astronomy.
  • Samhita: Mundane astrology, predicting important events related to countries such as war, earthquakes, political events, financial positions, electional astrology, house and construction related matters (Vāstu Shāstra), animals, portents, omens, and so on.
  • Hora: Predictive astrology in detail.

The foundation of Hindu astrology is the notion of bandhu of the Vedas, (scriptures), which is the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Practice relies primarily on the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western (Hellenistic) astrology in that an ayanamsa adjustment is made for the gradual precession of the vernal equinox. Hindu astrology 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 astrological 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. Astrology retains a position among the sciences in modern India. Following a judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities offer advanced degrees in astrology.

The term Hindu astrology had been in use as the English equivalent of Jyotisha since the early 19th century. Vedic astrology is a relatively recent term, entering common usage in the 1980s with self-help publications on Ayurveda or Yoga. The qualifier "Vedic" is however something of a misnomer, as there is no mention of Jyotisha in the Vedas, and historical documentation suggests horoscopic astrology in the Indian subcontinent was a Hellenic influence post-dating the Vedic period.

Read more about Hindu Astrology:  History, Modern India

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