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 a ‘sister’ subject of Yoga and originated from the same ancient Vedic Tradition. Jyotish is also often referred to as ‘Yogic Astrology‘ or ‘Vedic Astrology’.
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  and, most importantly, when in our life  we might encounter those benefits or problems.
Vedic Astrology’s Preventive Capabilities
Apart from being just predictive, Jyotish aims to be ‘preventive’ too. It contains a range of practical techniques to modify a person’s returning karmas. So Vedic Astrology provides the ultimate form of ‘precision karmic engineering’.
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 offers 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.
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.
 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
- Additional basic information on Jyotish can be found in FAQs 1 and FAQs 2
- Jyotish differs profoundly from Western Astrology. These differences are discussed in the article: Vedic and Western Astrology: Key Differences
- Origins of Jyotish
- Jyotish and Karma
- Jyotish – Forecasting Analogies
- Jyotish – Planetary Forces
- The Sidereal Zodiac used by Vedic Astrology
- Resources for Students of Jyotish
- The Maharishi Jyotish website provides good introductory level material about the factors involved in making predictions in Vedic Astrology