Vedic Astrology- A Glimpse

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    Vedic Astrology Vedanga Jyotishya AKA Indian astrology is the most ancient (4000 BC) amongst different schools of astrology. Vedic astrology has three branches called Siddhanta, Samhita, and Hora. The word Hora originates from Sanskrit word Ahoratri which means day and night.
    • Siddhanta is the study of arithmetic (Ganita), trigonometry (TrikonaMiti), algebra(Beeja Ganita), geometry (Jyamiti or Gyamiti) and astronomy (Khagol shastra) and its application to astrology. How to compute the fundamental planetary positions pertaining to Hora and Samhita is explained in Siddhanta.
    • Samhita deals with general astrology which computes geo-political events such as reign of a national leader, War, disease and natural disasters such as drought, hurricane, earthquake etc and Vaastu, The science of building dwellings. The Sun and the Planetary positions and their effect on geographic locations is analysed. Forecasting of rains and guidance for seeding of crops is also part of samhita.
    • Hora ( phalita) AKA predictive astrology, is divided into sub categories:
      • Jaatak : Casting a Natal chart ( Jatak ) or Individual horoscope(AKA kundli in hindi ).
      • Muhurta : selecting an auspicious time to start some important event such as wedding, thread ceremony or new business venture. Muhurta is also known as Electional astrology.
      • Sakuna : Shakuna is to predict events based on omens as indicated by the action of birds.
      • Nimitta : Foreboding sign such as a dog howling.
      • Swar Shastra: phonetic astrology based on names and sounds
      • Prashna: questions are answered based on time and place it was asked.
      • Nadi shastra: Predict an individual's past, present, and future based on writings by ancient Indian sages.
      • Jaimini Sutras: timing of events based famous Indian astrologer Jaimini.
      • Samudrika shastra is the science of predicting one's future by reading hand and facial features. Birth marks on one's body may indicate his/her personality and character. Hasta Samudrika is the school of Indian palmistry. Anga samudrika is the predictions based on body features. Stree and purusha samudrika is the prediction of nature and compatibility between man and woman based on their appearance.
    Gem stones: Since ancient times, Indian astrology recommends gem stones to ward off the ill effects of grahas (planets) on persons based on their horoscope( kundli ). The energy pattern emanating from a gem directly affects one's emotional well being and promotes positive changes over a period of time. Rudraksha: Rudraksh is also recommended by Vedic astrologers for removing ill effects of the grahas(planets). The Rudraksh are classified according to clefts on their surface. One is recommended to wear a Rudraksha as an amulet with a certain number of mukhis(cleft) based which planet is dominant in their horoscope. Yantra: Yantras AKA Talisman are supposed to be the receivers of the cosmic energy and facilitate harmony, prosperity, success and good health. Some of the well known Yantras are Sri, Gayathri, Ganesh and Laxmi Yantra. Remedy Astrological remedies( parihara ) involves Mani, Japa and Aushadha. Mani could be wearing a gem stone according to one's horoscope or wearing Rudraksha mala or wearing a amulet with yantra or talisman. Japa involves meditation or chanting mantras, Doing Yagya and worship of God. Aushadha means fasting or taking special kind of food, using Ayurvedic herbs and minerals in special bath, Marma therapy, Aroma therapy and practice of Yoga and pranayama. Vaastu is the ancient Indian science of building dwellings where the five elements are in harmony with earth's magnetic forces and cosmic forces and result in positive energy. Vaastu may be used while constructing houses, temples and places of business etc. A dwelling with vaastu architecture bring positive energy, profit, security and sense of well being. Panchangam: AKA Pañcãngam or Panchang(five components) is the Indian astrological almanac with ready reference tables showing positions of Sun, Moon, and other planets for all 365 days the year. The point of reference is a selected longitude, latitude of a location. The Planetary positions are computed for the time of day in 24-hour format. The users will have to adjust the calculations according to the longitude and latitude of their location and the time difference. Nakshatra, Tithi, Karana, yoga and Wara are the five components known as Panchangam, whose positions on each day is computed.
      Yuga43,20,000 solar years
      VarshaOne solar year
      Ayana6 solar months
      Ruthu2 solar months
      MasaOne solar month
      Paksha15 solar days
      AhorathriOne solar day
      DinaOne day
      Yamaone-eighth of a solar day
      Muhurthaone-thirtieth of a solar day
      Ghatione-sixtieth of a solar day
      One Ghatika24 minutes
      HoraOne hour
      60 GhatikasOne Divasa or Day
      Prana4 seconds
      Truti33,750th fraction of a second
      Shastyabda60 years cycle
      Shatabdya100 years cycle
      Kalas: Starting from sunrise to sunset each day is divided into eight slots. Each slot or period is known as Kala. Amongst the eight kalas three are considered important.
        Rahu Kala: A particular time slot of the day considered as inauspiscious. Astrolgers advise that one should avoid starting new venture, Any business dealings, investments, travel, new relationships and health treatments. Gulika kala: An auspicious period of time about 90 minutes for commencing new activities or Venture. YamaGandaka Kala: InAuspiscious time for starting new and importants activities such as commencement of travel.
        Indian astrology is the most ancient school amongst different schools. In Hindu puranas there are references to Sage Naarada and Sage Garga having taught astrology to their disciples. During Vedic period there is a reference to brihat Parashara Hora Shastra. Sage Parashara taught this to his disciple Maitreya and Maitreya propagated it to his disciples. Sage Bhrigu propagated what is known as the Bhrigu Samhita which describes predictive astrology.
        Indian puranas(mythology) refer to events with predictive astrology long before Indian and Babylonian civilizations interacted with each other. Mahabharata has references to Sakuna and Nimitta which means Indian astrology is much older than 3200 BC. Rigveda has a description of almanac based on cluster of Stars. Upanishads have a description of almanac based on movement of the Sun. Shuchi, King of Magadha compiled a treatise on Vedanga Jyotishya in 1250 BC. This is the earliest known treatise on Astrology. Laghada as another author of vedanga Jyotishya and pre-dates Shuchi.
        The difference between Indian and western astrology is that in vedic astrology the zodiac sign corresponds to actual ( visible to naked eyes) series of constellations and is known as Sidereal Astrology. The western system ( tropical zodiac) has no relation to the actual constellations.
        During the reign ( 712-775 AD ) of Arab Caliph Al Mansur a Hindu mathematician Astronomer ( Kanka ?) was invited to Caliph's court in Baghdad. The scholar brought a manuscript which the Arabs called SindHind ( Siddantha from Hind?). This became the source for Arabs to learn Algebra ( Beeja Ganita) Indian Astronomy and decimal system of numbers. The manuscripts may have contained the works of VarahaMihira and BrahmaGupta.
      AryaBhatta ( 475 AD ), Varahamihira ( 505 AD), BrahmaGupta ( 598 AD ), Bhaskaracharya( 1114 AD ) and Neelakanta Somayaji ( 1445 AD ) are some of the well known medieval Indian Mathematician/Astrologers.