Jyotisha (or Jyotish from Sanskrit jyotiṣa, from jyótis- “light, heavenly body”) is the traditional Hindu system of astronomy and astrology, also known as Hindu astrology, Indian astrology, and more recently Vedic astrology. The term Hindu astrology has been in use as the English equivalent of Jyotiṣa since the early 19th century, whereas Vedic astrology is a relatively recent term, entering common usage in the 1980s with self-help publications on Āyurveda or Yoga. Vedanga Jyotisha is one of the earliest texts about astronomy within the Vedas. The qualifier “Vedic” is however something of a misnomer, as there is no mention of Jyotiṣa in the Vedas, and historical documentation shows that horoscopic astrology in the Indian subcontinent came from Hellenistic influences, post-dating the Vedic period. Jyotisha has three branches, Siddhānta, Samhitā and Horā. [Read more …]
Below is just a comparative summary between Western astrology — made popular and best known in the Western world, therefore referred to in this manner — and Hindu astrology, originally known, as mentioned above, as Jyotisha.
Some differences between Vedic and Western Astrology
- Vedic astrology is technically called “sidereal system” whereas Western Astrology is “tropical.” This essentially means that in heaven there are stars that make up the various constellations of the zodiac, as the Aries, Taurus, etc. Vedic astrology is based on real star constellations (sidereal), while Western astrology is based on an imaginary zodiac that slowly moves backwards in space as a function of time (“tropic” in Latin means “turn”).
- In Vedic astrology, the birth chart is prepared according to the position of the Ascendant (and Moon), not the Sun as in Western astrology.
- Vedic astrology gives a better view of the results of karmic influences and also how and when such trends tend to manifest for the native being analyzed. The occurrence of significant life events are shown by means of a comprehensive system of planetary time cycles, called “Dashas”. Western astrology does not have such a corresponding method.
- Vedic Astrology puts strong emphasis on harmonic charts and these could reach up to 16 additional charts, called “Vargas.”
- The outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are not used in the traditional Vedic system of astrology, while they are a very important part of Western astrology. As these planets are farther from Earth, they are therefore not considered to have a strong and direct influence on the individual life of a native.
- In addition to the nine planets, Vedic astrology also includes the lunar constellations (or mansions), called Nakshatras in Hindi, which are 27 in total, as prescribed by Parāśara, the ancient sage of India who founded Vedic astrology.