What is Jyotish
Jyotisha is a Vedanga or one of the six limbs of the huge tree called Veda! Vedas are nothing but the knowledge born out of the great cognitions of the ancient Rishis (sages).
What Is Jyotish
Jyotish or Jyotisa also known as Vedic Astrology is one of the Vedānga, the six auxiliary disciplines used to support Vedic rituals. The foundation of Hindu astrology is the connection to Vedas, (scriptures), which is the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Jyotisa relies primarily on the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western (Hellenistic) astrology in that an ayanānśa adjustment is made for the gradual precession of the vernal equinox. (more technical details will be in the article section shortly). Hindu astrology includes several nuanced sub-systems of interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (Nakshatra).
The ancient Indian astrology or more popularly called ‘Eastern’, ‘Sidereal’ astrology is technically Vedic astrology. More technically it is known as Jyotisha.
Jyotiṣa is composed of two words. Jyotis + ṣa. Jyotis means light/brightness/an illuminating object whereas ṣa means mastery. The mastery of the lord of the light is what is Jyotisha. Now the one who is the master of light has to study this light and so a Jyotishi is one who studies the light. Hence a Jyotisha also means the study of light. Jyoti means light and Isha means the study.
For this, you have to understand the building blocks of Hindu or Sanatana dharma. Take a look at the following diagram and try and get your head around it!
Branches Of Jyotish
Siddhanta Jyotisa calculates the position of the planets and other heavenly bodies. Hindu calendar (Pānchānga) is created from that calculation. ‘Siddhāntā Sirómāni’ and ‘Sūryā Śiddhāntā’ are two main books on Hindu astronomy. Siddhānta is derived from the word Siddha meaning – Accomplished, fulfilled, accuracy (in Mathematic and geometric and formulae). Siddhanta Jyotiṣa includes expertise in Logic or tarka sastra i.e. logical, intuitive and systematic application of knowledge. Anta means the end, which shows the final results of calculation or study. Siddhānta is divided into two parts – Ganita (Math) and Gola (Geometry)
Samhitā (Mundane astrology):
Predicting important events related to countries such as war, earthquakes, political events, financial positions, house and construction related matters (Vastu Śāstra), animals, portents, omens, and so on. It is also concerned with the calculation of Sūbhā Mūhūrtā for Brātā, pārbā and sānskārā.
Jātakā’ or simply predictive astrology. The horoscope is the map of destiny. Predictions of major events in a human being life span such as heath, education, wealth, marriage, profession etc. are interpreted by analyzing the birth chart or horoscope or janma kundali.
I have been learning jyotish from my guru since 1978 and have been a professional astrologer since 2000. My services include correction of
problems based on the Vedic astrology or Jyotiṣa principles. This invloves reading your horoscope and suggestion of simple vedic remedies
Jyotish Vs Others
How is Jyotisa or Vedic astrology different from other forms of astrology (Greek, western etc.)? A few major differences could be listed as follows:
1. First of all, Vedic Astrology is technically termed a sidereal system whereas Western Astrology is tropical. In short it means that the various constellations of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus etc.) are based on actual or fixed stellar positions whereas Western astrology is based on movable positions.
2. Secondly, Vedic astrology is based on a very ancient system of unbroken tradition where as western astrology tradition was checkered at best. Western astrology can be dated back to about 130 years back; where as Vedic astrology is at least 5,000 years old. Jyotisa, in India has always been taught in the tradition of Guru-Sishya parampara and this is followed even now by traditional astrologer families.
3. Jyotisa is a part of the Veda’s and is deeply rooted in Vedic thought and philosophy. This means that the Vedic astrologer must have been taught all the three branches (listed above).