5 things to know about Vedic astrology
Things To Know

5 things to know about Vedic astrology

By August 19, 2020 September 18th, 2022 No Comments

1) Origins of Vedic astrology

Rooted in the Vedas, India’s ancient system of knowledge, Vedic astrology is based on the belief that the stars and planets have a powerful influence on our lives. 

According to Hindu teachings, life is meant for spiritual growth. This growth is, in part, facilitated by karma, the concept that every thought and action has a corresponding reaction.

The Vedas say that a person’s karma is directly related to the position of the planets and stars, and thus astrology is the method of understanding one’s karma by analyzing these positions.

Originally known as jyotish, or “the science of light,” Vedic astrology is considered by many to be the eye of the Vedas, because it is meant to provide guidance to individuals who feel lost or confused on their life’s journey.

Dubbed also as the “science of fate,” astrology is used to understand all aspects of life, including the future success of a particular endeavor, like marriage, moving into a new home, or a business venture. In the past, it was even used as a way of predicting the outcomes of battles in war, or a particular governmental decision. As a result, rulers would often employ astrologers to provide them better insight as to how they could best run their kingdoms.

2) East vs. West astrology

First of all, it should be known that the “Daily Horoscope” section usually found online and in newspapers has nothing to do with Vedic astrology. 

Not only do those sections adhere to Western astrological interpretations, which are different from the Vedic system, they also pay attention to only one small aspect of its practice, thereby creating vague and generalized predictions.

The primary difference between Vedic and Western astrologers comes down to how they view the constellations.

Looking up from Earth, the sun and planets trace a path along the sky, moving against a backdrop of constellations, or patterns of stars which make up the various astrological signs, like Taurus, Aries, Pisces, etc. When the sun or a particular planet moves in front of a particular pattern of stars, it is said to be in the astrological sign those stars represent. Thus, the ecliptic path the planets take as they pass in front of the twelve signs of astrology is called the zodiac. 

About 2,000 years ago, both Western and Vedic astrology followed the planets along this ecliptic path to create horoscopes and make predictions. 

But as the Earth spins on its axis, it actually experiences a wobble, known as precession. This wobble tilts the Earth, also tilting its ecliptic plane. As a full wobble takes 26,000 years to complete, the ecliptic plane shifts about 1 degree every 72 years. 

The ecliptic plane has shifted enough in the last 2,000 years that the position of the sun and planets in relation to the signs no longer matches that of the old ecliptic plane.

Vedic astrology takes precession into account and therefore calculates horoscopes based on the updated ecliptic path. Western astrology, however, sticks to the old path, which is more symbolic as opposed to astronomically accurate.

3) How we are affected by the planets

As described in the Vedas, everyone and everything is under the control of time.

By its influence, individuals are pulled inevitably through various stages of existence, before they eventually die and are pushed on to the next life, the condition of which is determined by their accumulated karma

According to modern science, time and space are interconnected to create the fabric in which we exist known as space-time. Large objects, such as planets, affect this fabric, influencing everything around them.

In the book “The Astrology of the Seers,” David Frawley says:

“What we call the planets are no more than points of light in a vast energy network, connected intricately by subtle lines of force, linking the entire solar system into a single organism. Though the planets appear like small points of light in the distance, their energy fields are present on Earth, and they are responsible for many of the formations of the Earth life and of our own bodies and minds.”

Simply put, as life is played out on the field of time, the planets are like referees, maintaining order.

4) Destiny vs. free will

Our future is determined by two things, according to the Vedas: destiny and free will. 

Destiny refers to the various situations we encounter in life, while free will is how we react to them through thought and action. How we react creates further karma, which then determines the future set of situations we will be destined to face. In other words, our destiny is created by our free will. 

The Vedas recognize four goals of human life, dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.

Dharma can be basically defined as the mode of conduct most conducive for one’s spiritual growth. Fulfilling dharma, brings meaning, purpose, and honor to a person’s life.  

Kama translates literally as “desire,” and refers to the need for sensory and emotional happiness. All beings, in some way or another, are seekers of joy, and should pursue such joy without harming themselves, or others. 

Artha, though translating as “goal” or “purpose,” is more specifically related to the acquisition of wealth or sense of security. In order to experience the happiness of attaining one’s goals, a person must have the necessary resources of wealth in order to do so. 

The final goal, moksha, means “liberation,” and relates to people’s spiritual development until their eventual freedom from the cycle of birth and death. 

Vedic astrology is the map of our karma. It allows us to more precisely understand our own nature and destiny in order to navigate our lives in fulfilling these four goals. Ultimately, however, it’s about helping us in our spiritual development to achieve the final goal of moksha. By studying our horoscopes, we can better comprehend what energies are affecting us, and how we can best respond to those energies, often with spiritual practices like chanting or ritual worship, to help us in our spiritual growth.

5) Qualifications of a Vedic astrologer

In a world filled with psychics and fortune-tellers, it’s important to note that the techniques of Vedic astrology require many years of academic study and training. 

The best astrologers are ones who have actually developed their skills over lifetimes. Even then, its practice is so nuanced and in-depth, complete mastery is near impossible. 

Beyond its technical aspects, Vedic astrology is ultimately a spiritual science, and therefore requires a certain level of intuition that is generally only present in those who maintain certain standards of spiritual practice. In order to read horoscopes and then give advice on how to best approach life’s obstacles from a spiritual perspective, an astrologer should be living a life in which a strong standard of spiritual discipline is maintained. 

In fact, the astrologers of ancient India were considered to be great sages who were honest, humble, magnanimous, detached, and treated all equally. Their main purpose was to help guide individuals on the path of spirituality. 

Though they are much harder to find these days, astrologers who maintain a similar standard of spiritual integrity still exist. 

For those who feel particularly lost or are going through a hard time, such astrologers can provide one the vision necessary to see life’s obstacles, not as sources of depression, but as lessons meant for one’s spiritual growth.

Leave a Reply

10/28/22Dr. Anandibai Joshi

Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi is credited with being the first woman from India to study medicine in the United States. Born in Bombay in 1865, she was married at the age of ten to an older man who had been her teacher. Dr. Joshi had a child at the age of 13, but the child died when only 10 days old. She believed that with better medical care, the child would have lived, and she frequently cited this as motivation for her desire to attend medical school. Her husband encouraged her in her academic pursuits and in 1883, Joshee joined the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, now known as the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She graduated in 1886 with her degree in medicine; her M.D. thesis focused on Hindu obstetrics. Unfortunately,  Dr. Joshi was only able to practice medicine for a few months before passing away from tuberculosis.

Science in Hinduism

10/2/2022Gandhi Jayanti

Gandhi Jayanti marks the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’ for India and the Indian Diaspora. To honor Gandhi’s message of ahimsa (non-violence), volunteer events and commemorative ceremonies are conducted and statues of Gandhi are also decorated with flower garlands. Gandhi and the satyagraha (truth force) has inspired many of America’s most prominent civil rights and social impact movements and leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez. The United Nations declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence in honor of Gandhi, whose work continues to inspire civil rights movements across the world.

Examining the Impact of Mahatma Gandhi on Social Change Movements

Why we should not tear down statues of Gandhi

10/1/2022First Hindu temple in US

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 facilitated the journey of many Indian immigrants to the United States. In this new land, many created home shrines and community temples to practice and hold pujas (services). As Hindu American populations grew in metropolitan and rural areas, so did the need to find a permanent temple site for worship. In 1906, the Vedanta Society built the Old Temple in San Francisco, California but as this was not considered a formal temple, many don’t credit this with being the first. Others believe it is the Shiva Murugan Temple built in 1957 in Concord, California, whereas others believe it is the Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devanstanam in New York that should be considered the first. Today, there are nearly 1,000 temples in the United States . Regardless of where you live, you have the right to practice your faith.

A Guide To Temple Safety and Security

5 Things to Know About Visiting a Hindu Temple