Tag Archives: jyotish astrology

Planetary Strengths or Powers

Summary: Covers a key component of chart interpretation – assessing the ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of a planet from its sign placement in a birth-chart. Also explains house rulership (ownership) and ‘friends and enemies’ concepts

In Jyotish, a key component of chart interpretation lies in assessing the ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of a planet.

A planet that is classified as ‘strong’ brings many benefits and signifies positive returning karmas. In general, ‘strong’ equates with ‘good’!

There are two ways in which ‘strong’ equals ‘good’

Firstly some of the benefits will be in the life areas indicated by the natural associations or indications of that planet.

For example our health, power, self-esteem, relationship with father are natural associations or indicators of the Sun. Whereas our mind, emotions, memory are associated with the Moon. (See the aricle on ‘natural indications’ of planets for details)

Secondly, a strong planet brings benefits to the Houses associated with the signs it ‘owns’ or ‘rules’ [1].

Assessing Planetary Strength from Sign Placement

Although there are numerous ways of assessing a planet’s strength, a fundamental indication of strength is to assign a particular state depending on the sign of the zodiac in which the planet is located. Sometimes even the sector of the sign (say the first 10 deg.) makes a difference to the level of ‘strength’.

In Vedic astrology there are certain signs in which a planet is said to be ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’ and so can deliver benefits, whereas in other signs it is said to be ‘weakened’ so we might expect more challenges, difficulties or negative returning karmas in the life areas associated with it. Therefore the strength of a planet depends on its relationship with the sign of the zodiac in which it is placed (or passing through).

When beginning astrology, we can make quite a good initial observation of a birth-chart simply by first looking to see if each of the nine planets is in one of the four key categories of strength.

These are called, ‘Exalted’, ‘Moolatrikona’, ‘Own House’, ‘Debilitated’ (weakened or ‘fallen’).

The state of ‘Moolatrikona’ (no direct English equivalent word) brings benefits somewhere between the best state ‘exalted’ and the good state ‘own house’.

The sign where a planet is weakest (Debilitated) is exactly 180° opposite its position of maximum strength (Exalted).

Suppose we take a naturally positive planet such as Venus. If Venus is in its sign of Exaltation (Pisces), it will bring tremendous benefits (both to its natural indicators, and also to the two houses associated with the signs it rules – Libra and Taurus; the house numbers linked to these signs will of course depend on the particular ascendant in the birth-chart). However, if Venus is located in its sign of Debilitation (Virgo), it will bring no benefits whatsoever.

Therefore the same planet can act in very different ways according to its sign placement!

Planetary Strengths or Powers by Sign Placement

Sun

Exalted sign: Aries (maximum strength at Aries 10°)

Moolatrikona sign: Leo 0° to 20°

Own sign: Leo 20° to 30°

Debilitated sign: Libra (maximum weakness Libra 10°)

Moon

Exalted sign: Taurus 0° to 3°

Moolatrikona sign: Taurus 3° to 30°

Own sign: Cancer

Debilitated sign: Scorpio (maximum weakness at Scorpio 3°)

Mars

Exalted sign: Capricorn (maximum strength at Capricorn 28°)

Moolatrikona sign: Aries 0° to 12°

Own signs: Aries 12° to 30° and Scorpio

Debilitated sign: Cancer (maximum weakness at Cancer 28°)

Mercury

Exalted sign: Virgo 0° to 15° (maximum strength at Virgo 15°)

Moolatrikona sign: Virgo 16° to 20°

Own signs: Virgo 20° to 30° and Gemini

Debilitated sign: Pisces (maximum weakness at Pisces 15°)

Jupiter

Exalted sign: Cancer (maximum strength at Cancer 5°)

Moolatrikona sign: Sagittarius 0° to 10°

Own signs: Sagittarius 10° to 30° and Pisces

Debilitated sign: Capricorn (maximum weakness at Capricorn 5°)

Venus

Exalted sign: Pisces (maximum strength at Pisces 27°)

Moolatrikona sign: Libra 0° to 15° and Taurus

Own signs: Taurus 15° to 30° and Libra

Debilitated sign: Virgo (maximum weakness at Virgo 27°)

Saturn

Exalted sign: Libra (maximum strength at Libra 20°)

Moolatrikona sign: Aquarius 0° to 15°

Own signs: Aquarius 15° to 30° and Capricorn

Debilitated sign: Aries (maximum weakness at Aries 20°)

Rahu

There are considerable differences of opinion in the ancient texts about the signs where Rahu and Ketu are strong or weak. So the following are quoted using the best sources I have available.

Exalted sign: Taurus

Debilitated sign: Scorpio

Ketu

Exalted sign: Scorpio

Debilitated sign: Taurus

House ‘Ownership’ or ‘Rulership’ Principles

A ‘strong’ planet also brings benefits to the signs associated with that particular planet. By ‘association’ we mean sign(s) the planet is said to ‘own or rule’. The Vedic seers allocated each of the signs to a particular planet:

Sign Ownership or Rulership by Planets in Jyotish

For example, the Sun is said to be the ‘owner or ruler’  of the sign of Leo (sidereal). A strong Sun therefore brings benefits to the house number in the birth chart that corresponds with the sign of Leo. It brings benefits to all life areas that specific house indicates. The house number (1 to 12) will of course depend of on a person’s ascendant. If a person had a Cancer ascendant, then Leo becomes the second house (counting clockwise). So a strong Sun would bring benefits associated with the second house e.g. wealth

Note that in Jyotish signs and houses correspond exactly – unlike in some western astrological systems.

Suppose a person had an ascendant in Aries – this sign then becomes the first house and the sign of Leo (counting clockwise from Aries – yes clockwise, unlike in the Western system) would be the 5th house. So, if the Sun was ‘strong’ (by sign placement – see below) the affairs indicated by the 5th house e.g. children, intelligence and education, would also be supported in a positive way. This is in addition to the natural indications of the Sun (health, power, etc.) being positively supported. 

Additional Measures of Strength – ‘Friends’ and ‘Enemies’

Professional astrologers add a number of other states lying between the ‘own house’ and ‘debilitated’ states. These are a bit more complicated for beginners but they ‘fine tune’ the chart interpretation.

These five intermediate states are named as follows: ‘Great Friends’, ‘Friends’, ‘Neutral’, ‘Enemies’, ‘Great Enemies’.

A planet positioned in a sign owned by a ‘Great Friend’ does well, but one in a sign owned by an ‘Enemy’ is weakened. Of course, planets don’t actually have ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’. It is just a convenient way of saying that a planet such as Venus is less ‘happy’ (so will bring less benefits) when positioned in the sign of an ‘enemy’ such as the Sun. Good Vedic astrological software will show these states for each planet in a birth-chart.

The above, together with ‘Exalted, ‘Own House’  and ‘Debilitated (‘Fallen’) are the primary planetary strengths or ‘Avasthas’.

For a proper chart interpretation we should take these nine detailed levels into account, but when we are starting to look at charts for the first time we can just use the four key states: Exalted, Own, Moolatrikona and Debilitated. They give a surprisingly accurate picture of an individual’s returning karmas! If you are in any doubts about the validity of Jyotish check these strength indicators out in the charts of your friends and family.

The sage Parashara quantifies the benefits a planet in each state can bring:

Exalted 100%, Moolatrikona 75%, Own House 50%, Friendly sign 25%, Neutral sign 12%, and Fallen/Enemies sign 0%.

This gives us a general idea of how the state of a planet affects the good it can do. We don’t have to take the above figures too literally – but they give a good illustration of the concepts.

Other Factors Which Influence Planetary Strength

There are also other factors which influence strength. For example, if the planet appears to be moving backwards against the background of the fixed stars (i.e. ‘retrograde’), if it is very close to the Sun (i.e. ‘combust’), or within about 1 degree of another planet (i.e. involved in ‘planetary war’). A planet’s position in the divisional charts (e.g. the ninth division or ‘marriage’ chart) also affects its overall power and ability to do good.

There are also other ‘Avasthas’ or ‘states’ which modify planetary strengths. Wikipedia comments: ‘Avasthas are basically secondary sources of strength which temper interpretations rather than reverse them’. If Wiki is talking about these other Avasthas (such as ‘youth’, etc.) and not the primary ones (Exalted, Own, etc.) then I agree. For those wishing to research this further, WikiZero has an interesting article on Avasthas.

These other influences on planetary strength will be covered in further articles.


Additional Resources on Jyotish

The Twelve Houses and Their Indications

Summary: Covering the main indications of each of the Twelve Houses in Vedic Astrology together with explanatory notes and  House Classifications

This section is essential reading for students of Jyotish and covers the main areas of life associated with each of the twelve houses.

Most chart interpretations are structured on a house‑by‑house basis, so a knowledge of the houses and their indications are vital.

Standard Jyotish texts often give long lists of affairs associated with each house, but I have tried to be as concise as possible here in order to just emphasise the main indications.

First House – ‘House of Body’

House Indications:

    • Birth and our younger years as a child
    • Health, body, and strength
    • Our personality and temperament
    • Self‑confidence and self‑love
    • Prosperity and fame
    • ‘Dharma’ – our actions and activities that are most evolutionary

The 1st house covers important areas of life and a good [1] first house strengthens the whole horoscope.

It reflects our ‘self’ and all matters arising from this. The planet ruling the 1st house indicates the nature of our personality and tendencies to a large extent.

House Classification: Kendra / Dharma (i.e. Angular House / Action)

House Indicator [2]: Sun

Second House – ‘House of Wealth’

House Indications:

    • Accumulated wealth and money
    • Speech and verbal expression
    • Family life?

The 2nd house is the main indicator of the wealth we accumulate over the years.

The 2nd house is linked to speech – important in education

House Classification: Artha (i.e. Wealth)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Third House – ‘House of Brothers, Sisters and Desires’

House Indications:

    • Brothers and Sisters
    • Desires in general
    • Courage
    • Our motivation and efforts
    • Communication

A good 3rd house will give ‘happiness from brothers and sisters’: our brothers and sisters will be of help to us and our relationship with them will be good. Some astrologers limit the associations of the 3rd House to younger siblings.

The 3rd is an Upachaya or ‘growing ‘ house where malefic planets [4]  generally do well unless debilitated or otherwise weakened.

House Classification: Upachaya / Kama (i.e. ‘Growing’ / Desire)

House Indicator: Mars

Fourth House – ‘House of Happiness and Comforts’

House Indications:

    • Happiness and comforts
    • The affairs and well‑being of our mother and our relationship with her
    • Fixed assets such as property, land and buildings
    • Friends and relatives?

The 4th house governs the home and our mother (our mother’s well‑being is also seen from the status of the Moon).

This house reveals our overall happiness and contentment with all aspects of our life – for example physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial.

House Classification: Kendra / Moksha (i.e. Angular  /  Liberation)

House Indicator: Moon

Fifth House – ‘House of Children’

 House Indications:

    • Children, intelligence, education and the mind
    • Spiritual techniques, religious knowledges
    • Past life credit (positive returning Karmas)
    • Investment and speculation

The 5th rules children and gives information on the number of offspring and the happiness we will get from them.

It also governs both common sense, intelligence and education.

A good 5th house is often found in the horoscopes of virtuous people who have made considerable progress in this life.

The 5th is a very good house and planets placed in it usually benefit from being there.

House Classification: Trikona / Dharma (i.e. Trinal / Action)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Sixth House – ‘House of Enemies’

House Indications:

    • Enemies, competitors, jealous people, subordinates at work, obstacles
    • Illness, disease
    • Worries and anxieties

‘Enemies’ can mean competitors or anyone who can rise to a higher status in an organization than us.

A powerful 6th means we can get to the top of our chosen field easily.

The 6th is a ‘growing’ house or Upachaya ‑ problems indicated may get better in time. For example a health problem indicated by the 6th may be there in childhood, but be gone by the time we are an adult.

Malefic planets and their natural significations are generally ok in the 6th.

But houses owned by these planets that occupy the 6th are generally disturbed.

House Classification: Dusthana/ Upachaya /Artha (i.e. Negative / Growing / Wealth)

House Indicator is: Mars

Seventh House – ‘House of Marriage and Partnerships’

House Indications:

    • Married life, our partner, sexual passions
    • Partnerships of all kinds (for example – business)

The 7th house indicates the quality of married life and the well‑being of our partner.

Using the house that the Moon is in as an ascendant, and looking at planets occupying the 7th house from the Moon also gives useful additional advice on marriage.

A strong Navamsa chart [5] is beneficial for relationships.

The 7th is also responsible for some aspects of travel.

House Classification: Kendra  / Kama (i.e. Angular / Desire)

House Indicator: Venus

Eighth House – ‘House of Transformation’  

House Indications:

    • Life, longevity, death
    • Wills and legacies
    • Intuition, occult practices, secret and esoteric matters

The 8th is called the “house of death” as it governs the nature and cause of death.

However, a good 8th, together with a well-placed Saturn, gives a long and energetic life.

The 8th is a Moksha house stirring an interest in personal evolution.

According to some astrologers the 8th governs long term illnesses, chronic mental and physical diseases, and sexual diseases.

The 8th generally damages planets occupying it (there are exceptions ) and the houses they rule.

House Classification: Dusthana / Moksha (i.e. Negative / Liberation)

House Indicator is: Saturn

Ninth House – ‘House of Fortune’

House Indications:

    • Luck, fortune and general prosperity
    • Religion, faith, worship, spiritual teacher, higher knowledge of all kinds, law
    • Some aspects of our relationship with our father
    • Long journeys to sacred places, some aspects of travel

The 9th is of equal importance to the 1st house

It indicates our luck or fortune.

The 9th is the best house of the horoscope. Planets placed within it do well and the 9th ruler itself carries with it a very positive energy. Some astrologers consider the 9th, rather than the 5th, to govern past‑life credit.

A good 9th gives a tremendous amount of luck and fortune ‑ almost a sort of divine grace.

A person’s relationship with his spiritual teacher is seen from the ninth ‑ in India this was the father of the family (at least in the early years, before getting a spiritual guru later on). So some aspects concerning the relationship between a person and his father are therefore seen from the 9th.

House Classification: Trikona / Dharma (i.e. Trinal / Action)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Tenth House – ‘House of Status and Power’

House Indications:

    • Our status, fame, career
    • Authority figures, government officials, authoritative institutions
    • The status, power and authority of our father

The 10th house gives the degree of success, respect and status we will achieve in our chosen career.

The 10th is an Upachaya or “growing ” house where malefics can do well ‑ unless in their fallen status or poorly aspected.

Many factors relating to a persons’ father are seen from the 10th.

House Classification: Kendra  / Upachaya / Artha (i.e. Angular / Growing / Wealth)

House Indicator: Mercury

Eleventh House – ‘House of Gains , Profits and Desires’

House Indications:

    • Profits, gains and income in general
    • Desires, wishes, opportunity, ambitions

The 11th differs from the 2nd in that it rules gains and profits “by any means” so even if the 2nd house is weak there can still be considerable income ‑ although this may not lead to much accumulated wealth.

The 11th rules the fulfilment of major desires. A good 11th brings many opportunities which is how a person can fulfil his desires.

The 11th is a “growing” house or Upachaya where malefics can eventually do well.

House Classification: Upachaya / Kama (i.e. ‘Growing’ / Desire)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Twelfth House – ‘House of Loss and  Expenditure’

House Indications:

    • Expenditure, financial waste and loss, misfortune
    • Salvation, final liberation, enlightenment,
    • Journeys to far off lands

The 12th is concerned with loss of all kinds.

A good 12th indicates we will retain our wealth.

A good 12th also indicates we are well on the path to higher states of consciousness and enlightenment.

Planets in this house are generally  harmed ( there are exceptions ) as are the houses they rule.

House Classification: Dusthana / Moksha (i.e. Negative / Liberation)

House Indicator: Saturn


Parts of the Body Associated with Each House

Each house is associated with a part of the body, so houses that are in some way badly weakened can indicate possible problems in the physiology in their associated area.

House       Part of Body

1                 Head

2                 Eyes, face, mouth, upper throat

3                 Arms, shoulders, lower throat

4                 Chest, heart

5                 Stomach

6                 Region of navel

7                 Body below the waist

8                 Reproductive organs, anus

9                 Hips, thighs

10                Knees

11                Calves of legs

12                Feet


House Classification

Houses 5 and 9 (Trikona) are considered ‘very good indeed’.  This is because planets placed in them are strengthened.  The houses these planets rule also benefit from their ruler being in the 5th or 9th house.

They are also ‘good’ in that the planet ruling the 5th and 9th, even if a natural malefic such as Saturn, becomes a functional benefic and carries a positive energy with it wherever it is placed.

Houses 6, 8 and 12 (Dushtana) are considered ‘bad’.  Planets placed in them are weakened. The houses ruled by the planets that are placed in the 6, 8 or 12th houses are also weakened.

The rulers of the 6, 8 and 12th generally cause problems somewhere in the chart – even if they are natural benefics such as Jupiter (this applies provided the planet does not also rule either the auspicious 5th or 9th House.)

Houses 3, 6, 10 and 11 form a special category called Upachaya or ‘growing’ Houses.  Malefics do well in growing houses and eventually produce good results. Problems indicated by a ‘growing’ house get less with time.

Houses 1, 4, 7 and 10 are the angular houses (Kendras) and planets placed in them are strengthened.

Houses are further classified in groups of four, starting with the first house: Dharma (Duty – evolutionary actions), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Enlightenment). This grouping then repeats with the fifth house being Dharma, six Artha, seventh Kama, eighth Moksha, and repeats again – ninth Dharma, tenth Artha, eleventh Kama and twelfth Moksha.

Footnotes

[1] When we say a house is ‘good’ we will be considering factors such as: looking at the status and strength of the planet that rules that house. (e.g. ‘Exalted’ or ‘Own House’ status); in which house the ruler is placed (e.g. in the auspicious 9th); any natural benefic planets such as Venus in the house itself; any positive aspects to the house from benefics such as Jupiter, etc.

[2] We can further assess the state of a house by looking at the status and ‘wellbeing’ of its ‘indicator planet’. This can modify our interpretation of house affairs – although it is of less importance than the main factors (e.g. status of house ruler, occupying planets, aspects, etc.). Knowledge of the indicator planet’s natural indications corresponds with the affairs of the house it is associated with. For example, Venus is associated with love and passions, so it ties in nicely with the seventh house – the house of marriage. So this association agrees with our understanding.


Further Resources for Students of Jyotish


Introduction to Vedic Astrology – Jyotish

Summary: This article is a brief introduction to Vedic Astrology. It covers the links with yoga, and the basic aims and applications of the predictive and preventive Vedic Astrological System – also known as Jyotish or Yogic Astrology.

Links with Yoga

Jyotish is asister’ subject of Yoga and originated from the same ancient Vedic Tradition. Jyotish is also often referred to as ‘Yogic Astrology‘ or ‘Vedic Astrology’.

Jyotish is closely related to the other Yoga related sciences –  Ayurveda (a holistic Vedic Healthcare system) and Vastu (Vedic design of life-enhancing buildings and living spaces).

Jyotish Astrology, just like Ayurveda, was ‘revealed’ or ‘cognized’. It was not discovered – neither was it invented by mankind, nor developed by trial and error over a period of time.

Vedic Astrology’s Predictive Capabilities

The most widely used area of Vedic Astrology is called ‘Hora’ and deals with predicting an individual’s returning karmas, as decoded from the planetary arrangements in a person’s birth-chart. So, Jyotish is very much  ‘karmic astrology’.

Jyotish attempts to predict both the benefits and the obstacles we might experience in all areas of our lives [1] and, most importantly, when in our life [2] we might encounter those benefits or problems.

Vedic Astrology’s Preventive Capabilities

Apart from being just predictive, Jyotish aims to be ‘preventive’ too. It offers practical techniques to modify a person’s returning karmas. These are known as ‘Planetary Antidotes’ or ‘Remedial Measures’.  So Vedic Astrology provides the ultimate form of ‘karmic re-balancing’.

The capabilities of Jyotish enable the effects of potential problems in the future, caused by returning karmas (decoded from planetary positions in our birth-chart and expressed as ‘planetary imbalances’), to be first identified and then minimized, or even avoided completely. Similarly, very good periods in our lives can be predicted and the time used to full advantage.

Jyotish gives a whole range of ‘remedial measures’ in order to correct any planetary imbalances that occur in a horoscope.  This enables us to avert potential problems that might otherwise have arisen in the future. Remedial measures might involve the wearing of an appropriate gemstone in a prescribed manner, acts of charity, use of specific mantras, vedic ceremonies such as yagna or yajna.

Best Time for Every Action

The second area of Vedic Astrology is called ‘Muhurta’. It suggests the best possible times to begin an important action such as getting married, building a new house or starting a business. There is a phrase ‘well begun is half done’. Actions started at the times suggested by Muhurta have all the laws of nature supporting their successful outcome.

Footnotes

[1]  Jyotish deals with predictions involving the four key areas of life: Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha.

Artha covers ‘wealth’ (money and prosperity, ‘wealth’ of children, ‘wealth’ of knowledge, ‘wealth’ of food, ‘wealth’ of health, etc.). Dharma covers duty, character, actions that will be evolutionary and follow natural law (e.g. type of career), etc. Kama means desire, so it covers relationships, all types of desires, pleasures of the senses, etc. Moksha covers spiritual and personal growth towards Self-realization.

[2]   Jyotish identifies key periods called the ‘Maha Dasha Periods’ where returning Karmas, for better or worse, are delivered by the ‘Cosmic Postman’ via the nine planets. A planet’s inherent nature, where it is placed in a birth-chart, the houses it ‘rules’ and in which it is placed, and other planets nearby and aspecting it all affect the outcome.


Additional Information on Vedic Astrology

 

Vedic Astrology – A Paradigm Shift

Summary: This article examines the paradigm shift needed by Western Astrologers if they are going to stand any chance of understanding the fundamental concepts involved in the predictive and preventive Vedic Astrological system.

Jyotish – A Major Paradigm Shift for Western Astologers

A fully Self–realized Vedic Master said this about Vedic astrology:‘The purpose of astrology is to take you to the ultimate truth that the entire universe is one organism. It’s one Being, one consciousness, one Self, that manifests itself into this varied universe’. [1]

For many centuries man thought that the Sun and planets revolved around the earth and that the earth was at the centre of the universe. These ideas were very deeply ingrained in our thinking and formed a conceptual framework which affected our whole outlook on life.  The learned scholars and establishment of the time (the Church) supported these ideas.

Irrefutable scientific evidence later emerged to suggest that what had previously been taken as ‘self-evident fact’ was merely a result of an earth-centred perspective and that, contrary to what we observe, the earth and planets do indeed revolve in orbits around the Sun.

Looking back from our present time it is hard to imagine the upset this change in perspective caused and why those who supported the new theories were branded as heretics.  It is also difficult to imagine why the established ideas had so much inertia.

The above is an example of what is known as a ‘paradigm shift’.  There have been other examples.  More recently the concept of ‘evolution of the species’ had to overthrow the entrenched ideas that God, at some time in the past, created life exactly as we see it now – and that there was no room in the divine plan for changes.

Yet another paradigm-shift occurred in the field of physics when the rules of motion as laid down by Isaac Newton were found to be inadequate at explaining all observed phenomena (e.g. those occurring close to the speed of light or at the minute atomic scale).  Einstein’s’ theory of relativity and the whole of quantum physics then emerged. However, the shift from one view point to another is never easy and takes considerable time to get established in the consciousness of the general public.

Now Western Astrologers are often considered as being reasonably flexible and adaptable to ‘new ideas’. One problem with Jyotish Astrology is that it is not a ‘new idea’ – it has been in existence for thousands of years.  Another problem is that in order to be able to fully grasp ‘where it is coming from’ a major paradigm shift is going to be needed by Astrologers born and bred into Western Astrological thinking patterns.

Here are some key concepts:

1. Planets Do Not Affect People

The Jyotish Astrologer realises that planets do not affect people – it is people which affect people!  In the West it is very easy to take on an ‘Astrological Victim Consciousness’ mode of thought e.g. ‘I’m having a bad time at the moment because of my Saturn transit’ i.e. Saturn is the agent responsible for my condition.  Jyotish Astrology says this is nonsense.  Any condition or situation we find ourselves in at the present is solely due to our past thoughts, words or deeds.  Of course we could argue as follows, ‘I can’t remember doing anything which would give rise to what I am now experiencing.’

The answer to this, from a Jyotish viewpoint, is very simple.  It says that our memory does not extend far enough back.  In order to understand the present we might require a memory stretching back many lifetimes.  So Jyotish has built into its structure the concepts of re-incarnation and the fruits of past actions returning to the individual.

The mechanics of Jyotish, at a fundamental level, rely on the Vedic Model of Reality: the universe and all the beings in it is an interconnected single entity!

2. We Were Not Born at a Particular Time Merely by Chance

We were not born at some particular time on a specific day when the planets were arranged in a particular way, merely by chance.  Jyotish Astrology comes from a tradition which does not believe that the Creator plays dice!  It would be grossly unfair if some people were born into very rich families and others into families of beggars just by accident.

Jyotish implies that we were born at a particular time and place due to our past karmas and latent impressions (samskaras). The celestial arrangement of the 9 planets amongst the twelve houses and 27 constellations (Nakshatras) at our birth simply reflects how our lives will unfold as a result of our past deeds. The moment of our incarnation on this planet therefore reflects the karmic lessons we needed to learn to maximise our evolution – and Jyotish Astrology can detect the nature and timing of the benefits we receive and challenges we face.

3. Planets Don’t Emit a Physical ‘Force’ that Affects People

Many Western Astrologers believe that the planets emit some type of force which, as yet, has not been discovered by science, and which influences our lives.  They therefore feel that Jyotish Astrology is in some way limited as it does not use the very slow moving planets Neptune, Uranus and Pluto and thus fails to take into account the ‘forces’ emitted by these planets.

The Western Astrological concept of a planet emitting a ‘force’ that affects human beings is very mechanistic and ‘Newtonian’. Vedic Astrology realises that it is just dealing with a field of information, not a physical, or even esoteric hidden force. The planetary arrangements present at the time of birth are a type of code that can be ‘read’ by skilled Vedic Astrologers and translated into predictions.

The lack of a physical force and the acceptance that planetary arrangements merely represent information is supported by the Jyotish axiom that the ‘effects’ of planets vary markedly with the individuals’ rising sign or ascendant.  There is no such parallel in Western Astrology.

In Jyotish the planet Mars is (generally) a very positive influence in the birth chart of someone with a Leo ascendant (sign rising on the horizon at birth).  It is also (generally) an extremely negative influence for a person with a Virgo ascendant.  So the same planet signals both positive effects for some individuals and negative for others. Clearly this is not due to any physical force emanating from the planet! This gives evidence to the fact that we are really dealing with an integrated field of information (or intelligence) where the individual is linked to the Cosmic Totality.

 4. Jyotish Provides Remedial Measures to Modify Returning Karmas

Because we are part of an integrated whole, then by participating in certain vedic procedures , performing prescribed acts of charity, reciting certain sanskrit mantras  or wearing appropriate gemstones we can modify or deflect (to a large extent) returning karmas so that we do not have to suffer the consequences in this lifetime. These methods are referred to as ‘Planetary Antidotes’ or ‘Remedial Measures’. So, Jyotish enables us to both detect and ‘deflect’ returning karmas! [2]

Footnotes:

 [1] HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘The Daily Sutra’, 20 May 2003

[2] Vedic ceremonies such as yagnas, when performed correctly by enlightened pandits are said to modify returning karmas. Also, as the universe and the beings in it are viewed as an interconnected whole, then the wearing of certain gemstones associated with  specific planets in a birthchart are said to modify returning karmas associated with those planets. The sanskrit mantras are also seen as a  means of ‘upwardly managing’ the laws of nature to modify returning karmas!


Additional Information on Vedic Astrology

Jyotish – Forecasting Analogies

Summary: This article examines a few of the analogies used to describe the probabilistic nature of prediction in Vedic Astrology.  It helps our understanding of how planetary arrangements can be used to predict the chances of future events occurring.

Forecasting Analogies in Vedic Astrology

Weather Forecasting Analogy

Vedic Astrology is essentially probabilistic. It is therefore similar to a long-range weather forecasting system. It attempts to predict when and how the actions we have performed in the past (our past karmas) return to us in the form of present and future influences on our lives.  If ‘potential storms’ are seen on the horizon we can take appropriate action to avert any potential problems that have not yet manifested.  We can also make maximum progress and fulfil our desires most easily when ‘fine weather’ is forecast. Just as weather forecasters cannot be 100% accurate all of the time, Jyotish is not an exact science. Skilled and experienced Vedic Astrologers are said to achieve around the 70% probability mark. However, if there are many different factors in an individual’s birth chart all pointing to either benefits, or issues, in a specific life area, then a Jyotish astrologer can be much more confident in his or her predictions.

Seed Development Analogy

 Different seeds produce different trees.  A Botanist can look at two seeds.  He predicts one will grow into a silver birch; the other into a red wood.  We find nothing surprising in his prediction. He cannot say exactly how many branches each specific tree will have, or even what height they will reach as this depends on the soil conditions, climate and local environment.  He cannot say how long each tree will live either. But he can make general predictions about their overall characteristics.  A birth chart is like the seed – we should not be surprised that Vedic  Astrologers can predict general trends.

We know that the structure and characteristic growth of the tree is encoded in the DNA within its seed. Similarly the probable effects of our returning karmas (which are also governed by the sequential unfoldment of the laws of nature) are reflected in the ‘code’ contained within the planetary arrangements in our birth-chart. This implies we were not born at a random time by chance and reflects the Vedic view of the interconnectedness of all life and matter in the universe.

Road Map Analogy

Vedic Astrology gives a vantage point which transcends space and time. Instead of driving along an unknown road we can take a perspective ‘from a helicopter’ and see the future turns, terrain, and road surface. It is a bit like navigating with a map rather than trying to navigate without one. In some areas of life the road is straight and the going easy. In other areas we need to take more care. These benefits and difficulties also change with time as we progress along the journey. Life simply becomes easier and more fulfilling as a result of having a perspective from the viewpoint of Vedic astrology.

Relationship Between the Cosmos and the Individual

Jyotish astrology shows the relationship between the cosmic totality and the individual reality. The whole of sidereal astrology was cognized by an ancient sage called Maharishi Parashara who is said to have discovered mathematical and astronomical rules to predict the future and remedial measures needed to avoid any potential problems. To him, the cosmos was an intelligently organised and inter-connected whole; so that one event led into another event and that this unfoldment of life could be predicted from the code contained within the arrangement of the planets at the time of birth.


Additional Information on Vedic Astrology