Hindu or Jyotish astrology. Astrology notions (II)


Hindu astrology is called Jyotiḥśāstra, the science of Jyotisha (also written Yiotisha), which comes to mean "heavenly lights", and far from any mystical issue, many scholars suggest that it is a way of calling the stars. It receives respect, calling it jyotiṣamayanam cakṣuḥ, "Eye of Wisdom" It is also known by the nickname of Hinduist and Vedic - although astrological texts did not appear in the Vedas of the 2nd century, which were added some time later -, relating it to religion; and it is that astronomical and astrological issues are still merged in some fields, in addition to the fact that the calendar is governed a lot by Hindu festivities based on astrological movements.

It appears in the Upanishads, specifically in Mundaka. These texts are considered the six auxiliary disciplines of Hinduism, giving astrology a special place. Until the S.V. there is no continuity or recognition of astrology as a discipline, relating it to its interactions with the Greek world. They are the majority who insist that Western astrology is nothing more than a cultural branch developed as a result of the Hindu. However, all that we know comes from medieval religious texts and compilations, as well as redactions and translations made from the colonial periods onwards. Its study and use has not been lost over time, even reaching the rank of a scientific discipline, at an independent level from astronomy, a questionable thing, which has led this to the legal world, where in some states it can even be studied at the university level with specialization. The jyotiṣi, astrologers, can be religious and/or astronomers, or street fortune tellers, with no middle ground, but almost equally reliable at the popular level.

Vedic astrology is based on the idea of ​​the interrelation between the macrocosm and the microcosm (bandhu), on the idea of ​​reflection and the connection of each act or movement, and of the connection (r̥ta) between the human being and the universe. . There are two main branches of Jyotish astrology:

- religious astrology, actually very close to astronomy, is traditional Vedic, coming from surya siddhanta, which is the name given to an anonymous Hinduist medieval work, which as a whole is called gaṇita;

- predictive astrology, phalita, where we find the so-called mundane or saṃhita, referring to those astrological events that directly affect the terrestrial world and human affairs, and therefore also related to births, horoscopes (Rāśi) and ideas about the destiny, which can be reflected in a Rāśi -cakra, a birth chart. With the stars the sex of the baby could be predicted or even favored at the moment of conception, even for the selection of a couple the synastry was reviewed, requiring at least seventeen coincidences. Today, many newborns take their names in relation to the situation of the astral chart and the lunar houses, or many people make their decisions according to certain calendar dates that are fateful or disastrous for certain tasks.

Astrological-astronomical studies are organized in turn into six fields of study: jātaka, the birth horoscope; gaṇita, the position of the planets; gola, the data offered by the celestial sphere; nimitta, astrology as a pure divination tool, along with the one that offers answers to specific questions at specific times, praśna, and the muhūrta, which helps in decision-making. In fact, muhūrta specifically is the period of the most auspicious 48 minutes for a person, normally indicated by the family astrologer.

-Vedic astrology: the zodiacal signs

Contrary to Western astrology, Hindu astrology analyzes the sky with the sidereal zodiac (Nirayana), instead of the tropical one, and takes into account the equinoctial precession. This means that it includes in its zodiac and its astral charts the constellations that enter its territory, in consequent relation with the planetary position, instead of maintaining a fixed group regardless of its position, as occurs with the western zodiac. In Hindu astrology, the Ophiuchus constellation is part of the zodiac, but not of the horoscope. For them it does not make sense to maintain the same figures without observing the changes, if the origin of the ecliptic has shifted 24 degrees for years and the planets only cover 1/3 of their time passing through the assigned sign and 2/3 in the following . They, in that sense, readjust it. However, by horoscope are understood, like the West, the celestial sections and not the groups of stars. Also, there is a lunar zodiac or nakshatras. They equally divide the sky, guided by the ecliptic, into twelve parts of 30 degrees each.

The zodiacal Houses receive the name of Bhāva, and each one corresponds to the zodiacal sign that occupies its place in the 30 degrees. Like Western astrology - most likely because they shared this origin - each of the twelve Houses corresponds to a specific matter of life: The I complexion, physical abilities, health and personality. The II the abundance, the food, the family, the communication and the form of the death. The III are the brothers and close relatives, courage, audacity and mental abilities, including extrasensory ones. The IV is the house, the home, the spirit and the mother. The V House are children, virtue and external opinion. The VI are enemies, diseases and problems. The VII is the couple, the important changes. House VIII are life obstacles, including death, not necessarily one's own, since it can speak of inheritances or victories over enemies. The IX is spirituality and religion, travel and the father, sometimes understood as a guide. The X House It is the profession, the honor and the authority that will be received. The XI House is the achievements, the successes, the economic and professional gains and the advances at a social and family level. The XII are the losses, but it can also be positive losses, releases.

Each House begins at degree 0 of each sign, and its degrees are taken into account to analyze the influence of the zodiacal ascendants.

The Houses are divided into cardinal (kendra): I, IV, VI and X, where the influence of the planets is strong; the fixed ones (pāṇaphara): II, V, VIII and XI, where the influence of the planets is somewhat less; and the variables (āpoklima): III, VI, IX and XII, where the planetary influence is very small. However, there are still the so-called triangular houses (trikona), I, V, and IX, in which the planetary influence is always positive.

The zodiacal signs or rāśi, corresponding to those of the Western horoscope, have specific and archetypal personalities associated with them, although it should be noted that these do not always correspond to the characteristics given in the West. The names, except those of Dhanus (the bow) and Kumbha (the jug), correspond to the Latin names and meanings of Western Astrology. Capricorn is sometimes called the Crocodile, for its aquatic half. But, in fact, while in the Western world the way to recognize ourselves "astrologically" is the sign of the zodiac, that is, it is guided by the position of the sun, in India it is more common to name ourselves by the ascendant, that is, the constellation that looms over the eastern edge of the star map at the time of birth.

Hindu astrology makes a specific distinction, grouping them into human signs (nara): Gemini Virgo, Libra, the first half of Sagittarius, the first half of Aquarius; water signs: (jalācara): Cancer, Pisces and the second half of Capricorn; signs of four-legged animals (catuḥpada): Aries, aturus, Leo, the second half of Sagittarius, the first half of Capricorn; and the insect sign (kīṭa): Scorpio.

The personality interpretations that are made of them are similar to those of the western horoscope. Kumbha -Aquarius is stubborn, hardworking, and enterprising, very brave. It represents the efforts and the universal, total reach. His planet is Saturn. It is said of Mīna-Pisces that they are sensitive, with artistic gifts, and devoted to others, even devotional points. His planet is Venus. Meṣa -Aries, a sign that is said to be arrogant and stubborn, dominant, but faithful and passionate, brave. His planet is Mars. Vṛṣabha -Taurus, of which it is said that they reach maturity quickly, but that sometimes excessive ambition grows along with it. His planets are Venus and the Moon. Mithuna-Gemini is an unstable sign, as its duality already indicates. However, it is also a sign of communication, and he puts real passion into his interests. His planet is Mercury. Karka - Cancer is a hard-working sign, but often prefers a certain solitude at work due to mistrust; however, it is always said that it has a marked sentimental and family side, as a symbol of nature. His planet is the Moon. Siṃha -Leo is very daring and adventurous, very independent, sometimes unconscious but with great leadership abilities. His planet is the fiery Sun. Kaniá -Virgo is affable, fun, and affectionate, he is sociable with limits and very creative, pure in his intuitions. His planet is Mercury. Tula - Libra is virtuous and attentive, very dedicated to the people around him, collaborative, but also very spiritual. Its planets are the Moon and Saturn. Vrischika - Scorpio is demanding in every way, including himself, which makes him seem self-centered and susceptible. His planet is Mars. Dhanus -Sagittarius, who are said to be very intelligent and charismatic, with an attractive personality, but with a tendency to immaturity due to their enthusiasm. His planet is Jupiter. Makara-Capricorn is a complex, controlling and strict sign, equally tenacious in the face of adversity.

They also have in common the identification as fixed signs, in the middle of the seasonal period (Vṛṣabha, Siṃha, Vrischika and Kumbha); cardinals, at the beginning of the seasonal periods, which are sometimes called mobiles and should not be confused with the western mutables (Meṣa, Karka, Tula and Makara); and the Duals -these, yes, corresponding to the mutables of the West-, which close the seasonal period (Mithuna, Kaniá, Dhanus and Mīna), which grant those born under them greater or less flexibility to changes.

They are also vertically associated with the ailments, weaknesses or inclinations of certain vital organs. Likewise, thanks to this association, many consider that diseases or passions associated with these organs can be controlled through plants or minerals associated with them. This relationship is closely linked to the chakras. Meṣa is associated with the head, Vṛṣabha with the mouth, throat and neck; Mithuna to the shoulders, arms, hands and lungs. It shares this with Karka, which influences the entire torso and upper back area. Siṃha is directly related to the heart, source of passions and vital energy. Kaniá is linked to the digestive system in general and to the lower back, which it shares with Tula, which influences the lower abdomen, the urinary system. Vrischika is attached to the sexual organs, Dhanus to the hip and thighs, Makara to the knees. Kumbha is associated with the twins and Mīna with the feet. These same relationships will be found progressively in the western signs.

-The Lunar Houses.

The Nakshatras -whose name is related to a measure of time- are the 27 (or 28 in the ancient tradition) celestial divisions that reflect the number of days that a lunar cycle lasts. Its beginnings are marked by stars, not by constellations, regardless of the fact that some of these belong to zodiacal constellations. Each one of them is 13° 20' on the ecliptic, and each one is divided into four padas of 3° 20', making a total of 108, a sacred number, which corresponds, among other things, to the so-called elements of Vishnu, or with the beads of the japa mala, the Asian "rosaries". These padas are associated with syllables that traditionally influence the choice of newborns in them. The astrological planet that passes through them determines the future or vital inclination that defines the subject. These twenty-seven nakshatras may vary slightly, but the most common version is the following, organized by the constellation whose stars they touch:

1. Ashwini, whose symbol is a horse's head, identified with the twin horse-headed gods who are heavenly physicians. Its stars are β and γ Aries

2. Bharani, whose symbol is Ioni, symbol of the female reproductive organ, but is identified with the god Yama of the underworld, or Dharma, and whose stars are 35, 39 and 41 Aries.

3.Krittika represents several women, sometimes the nurses of the gods, identified with the Greek Pleiades, whose constellation marks the beginning. In some traditions this was the first Nakshatra. His symbol is a knife, and is identified with Agni, the god of fire.

4. Rohini, "the red one", by the star Aldebarán, of Taurus. Its symbol is a divine object, a car or a temple, and it is identified with Prayápati, protector deity of life.

5. Mrigashira is the head of a deer, related to the goddess of the Moon, Chandra -which gives interest to those who want to find a relationship with Greek mythology- and Soma. Its stars are λ, φ Orion.

6. Ardra, the tear, moisture, but also a human head or a precious stone. Its indicator star is Betelgeuse. He is identified with Rudra, the storm god.

7. Purnavasu, the two servants or yamakau, the two carts. It starts in the constellation Gemini. His symbol is a bow and a quiver. It is identified with Aditi, mother of the gods.

8. Pushya, also called Tishya, is the Nurse. Its symbol is the udder of a cow, although it is also recognized as a lotus flower. He is identified with Brihasti, the priest, and his stars are γ, δ and θ Cancer.

9. Ashiesha, the embrace, in the stars δ, ε, η, ρ, and σ in the constellation of Hydra, has as its symbol, (how could it be otherwise?) the serpent Naga, queen of the nagas, serpent gods , sometimes with a human torso and tail, and other times divine serpents.

10. Magha, wealth, is found in the constellation Leo, in its star Regulus. Its symbol is the throne of a king, and it is identified with the "parents", Pitrí, that is, the ancestors as protectors and teachers.

11. Purva Malghuni, also in Leo, in δ and θ, "the first reddish", whose symbol is the head of a bed. He is identified with the god of patterns, Aryaman.

12. Uttara Phalguni, "the second reddish", starts in the space of Denebola, the second brightest star in Leo; its symbol is the bed - that's why the previous figure was the headboard -, and it is identified with Bagha, the god of marriage, fertility and prosperity.

13. Hasta, the hand, begins at the stars α, β, γ, δ and ε in the constellation of the Raven. His symbol is the hand, which gives or hits, and is identified with the sun god Savitar.

14. Chitra, "the shining one", has as its star Spica, the main star of Virgo, which represents a spike - as it is traditionally identified as the Virgin Persephone. His symbol however is a shining jewel, and is identified with Tuastri, the first born creator of the universe, and Vishwakarma, architect of the universe.

15. Su Ati or Swati, "the good one", has Arcturus as its star, the main star of the constellation of the Boyero. His symbol is a shoot of grass or a branch of coral, and he is identified with the god of the wind, Vaiu.

16. Vishaka, the "arbor", begins in the stars α, β, γ and ι of the constellation Libra. Its symbol is a ceramic lathe, identified with Agni, the god of fire, but also with an arched door, like a triumphal arch, related to the god Indra, as leader of the other gods.

17. Anuradha, "the next, the one who follows", begins in the stars β, δ and π of the constellation of Scorpio. Its symbol is also the triumphal arch, next to the lotus flower. He is identified with the god Mithras, from multiple myths, in this case in his role as god of friendship and teamwork.

18. Jyeshtha, "the greatest, the best," in the α, σ, and τ stars of Scorpio. Its symbol is a circle, understood as an amulet or jewel, an umbrella or parasol seen from above, etc. He identifies himself as "the best", with Indra, leader of the gods.

19. Mula, the root, is found in ε, ζ, η, θ, ι, κ, λ, μ and ν, the stars that make up the tail of the scorpion. Its symbol is the roots of a tree or those tied for a ritual, and it is identified with Nirrti, the impulse of the spirit and superiority over the material.

20. Purva ashadha, "the first invincible" is found in the stars δ and ε of Sagittarius, and its symbol is a sieve or an open fan. It is identified with Apah, god of water.

21. Uttara Ahasdha, "the second invincible", is also in Sagittarius, specifically in the stars ζ and σ. Its symbol is a small bed or an elephant's hair, and it is identified with the Visuadeva or Visua deva, the complete or universal divinities.

22. Abhijit, "the victorious", is located in the constellation Lyra, on the stars α, ε and ζ. Its symbol is the tusk of an elephant, or a triangle, and, as it is an "intercalated" nakshatra -because its position and order have varied- it is not identified with a specific deity, mentioning only its solar value, it is not usually taken into account. often taken into account when making predictions.

23. Shravana, "the famous one", begins in α, β and γ of Eagle. His symbol is three footprints, and he identifies with Vishnu as the preserver of cosmic order and life in the universe.

24. Receives two names, Dhanishta, "the most famous" or Shravishth, "the fastest". It has its place in the space occupied by the α stars of the constellation of the Dolphin, up to its star δ. Its symbol is a musical instrument, and it is identified with the deities of abundance and fertility, called vasus, distributed and repeated in number of eight.

25. Shatabhisha, "the gathering of the doctors", occupies the space of Sadachbia. Its symbol is a circle, or a crown of stars or flowers. It is identified with Varuna, divinity of the celestial waters.

26. Purva Bhadrapada, "the first of the blessed feet" (?) begins in the constellation Pegasus, in the stars α and β. Its symbol is two swords or two faces, according to some, the headboard of a bed where the deceased rest. It is identified with Ajalkapada, a dragon from an ancient legend.

27. Uttara Bhadrapad, "the second of the blessed feet", continues on the star γ of Pegasus and α of Andromeda. His symbol is the hind legs of the funeral bed, but they also symbolize a couple of things, twins or a water snake. He identifies with a water dragon named Ahir Budhyana.

28. The last nakshatra, for some, in truth, by which one should begin to count, begins in ζ, star of the constellation of Pisces. Its symbol is also two fish, as in Western astrology, and it is identified with the protective and nurturing divinity Pushán.

Each of these nakshatras, in their different traditions, have a planet that governs them, an element, a part of the body, a living being, a mineral... but as it is an introduction, it has been thought more convenient and less overwhelming to mention the divinity and the stars that compose them.

-The planets

The elements of the Astral Chart receive the name of Varga. Among them are the Rási, the zodiacal signs already seen, and the Dasas or planetary periods, when a planet (Graha) enters an astrological mansion, or in a zodiacal sign, that is, the influential planets at the time of birth or making a decision. There are nine astrological planets (Navagrahas): The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu and Ketu, the two lunar poles, called shadow planets (Chaayagrahas) These planets do not affect only at the opportune moment of birth or the situation, but continue to affect throughout life, as long as people remain "linked to them" and to the celestial space itself as a whole. This affectation receives the name of Gochara, which means "transit". Considering that the planets exert more or less force depending on their proximity to the earth, the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are little appreciated, since, despite the fact that they may affect, their influence is considered minimal.

When several planets coincide, their combination is called Yoga: The Raja yoga are the combinations of planets of a powerful nature; Dhana yoga, those that emit beneficial and prosperous influences, as well as good omens, and Sanyasa yoga, those that combine more than three planets with diverse influences. The planetary aspects are called Drsti, and they evoke their influence in relation to their vision as armies of deities or demons willing to apply their force on the person. However, the planets in this sense function as a filter of this power.

Taking into account this planetary importance, the aspects are always highly referenced throughout life. This influence reaches particular elements, such as, for example, as in Western astrology, since it drinks a large part of it, the planets exercise their powers over specific minerals, used in homeopathy and Ayurveda, generally in ashes (bhasma ).

The planets, always governing other astral elements, also have ruling divinities. This is due to the weekly conception, similar to that produced in the West, where the gods and planets, sharing names and personalities, are used to name the days of the week. In this way, the Sun is Surya; the Moon, Candra; Mars is Angaraka, Mangala or Skanda; Mercury is Budha, son of Candra or an avatar of Vishnu; Jupiter is Bṛhaspatii; Rahu and Ketu, shadowy planets, are the brothers Shani and Yama, king of the dead.

For the Hindu believer in astrology as it has been very briefly presented, there is a certain "astrobiological solidarity", that is, there is an active and conscious participation of the universal whole. Being an internal and external reflection, there is an acceptance of the Self and of external things, of destiny, within the feeling of freedom and individuality; This is something complex to understand from a Western perspective where destiny and freedom do not seem to be able to find themselves together, on the contrary, there is a certain feeling of obviated obligation, but for Vedic astrology, knowledge of the stars offers a clear, variable path, and before everything, as was said at the beginning of the article, which reflects in oneself, both inside and outside, a cosmic order, which promotes the thought of belonging to something higher and promotes the spiritual search for the end of reincarnations.

Pietro Viktor Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com


-Behari, B. Introduction to Esoteric Astrology, Sagar Publ., Delhi, 1979.

-Dreyer, R. G. Indian astrology. A Western approach to teh Ancient Hindu Art. Wellinborough, The Aquarium Press, 1990.

-Servier, J. (dir.) Diccionario del esoterismo. Akal, Madrid, 2006.

-Sutton, K. Nakshatras: The stars beyond the Zodiac. Wessex astrologer, Bournemouth, 2014

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