What is popularly known by the term – Vedic Astrology, is actually Eastern or Hindu Astrology. The divine science of astrology (Jyotish Vidya, meaning light’s study or the knowledge of light, as Jyoti means light and Vidya means study or knowledge or skill) is nowhere mentioned in the Vedas and thus calling it as Vedic Astrology is a misnomer. The divine science of astrology forms a branch of the Vedas (Vedanga) and being a branch of the Vedas, popular usage has termed this heavenly science as Vedic Astrology.
With the help of Vedic astrology, it is possible to know some past and future events, after due consideration of the position of the ascendant (Lagna), the planets and the constellation at the time of birth. Because of its foretelling knowledge, this science is generally recognized as an art of fortune telling. However, predicting the future course of events is just a part of this divine science.
Founding Fathers of Vedic Astrology
Ancient illumined sages (Rishis) of India, after meditating for extensively long periods, with an unwavering mind and controlled senses, obtained divine vision (Divya Drishti), by which they formulated this divine science of Vedic astrology. Some of these holy and founding fathers of Vedic astrology are Varahamihira, Kalidasa, Varunchi, Vashishta, Parashara, Vyas, Venkatesha, Kashyap, Neelkantha, Jayadeva, Satyacharya, Yavanesvara, Manitha, Jeeva Sharma, Bhaskaracharya, Aryabhatta and many others. They transmitted their knowledge orally to their students following the Teacher-Student Tradition (Guru-Shishya Parampara) of imparting education. Later, some sages wrote down manuscripts, which are now lost in antiquity. Fortunately, some texts (like Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita, Parashara’s Hora Shastra, etc.) have survived the vicissitudes of time and form the classical texts of Vedic Astrology.
Three Parts of Vedic Astrology
Vedic astrology has three broad divisions as follows:
1. Siddhanta. This deals with astronomical knowledge and provides the foundation for further studies.
2. Samhita. This deals with worldly events like birth, marriage, war, conquests and building of houses (Vastu Shastra). It also deals with natural calamities like earthquakes, forest-fires, drought, floods, etc.
3. Hora. This deals with the horoscope of human beings. This part interests most people.
Divine Principle of Vedic Astrology
Astrology is a science that studies the tendencies of heavenly bodies and its effects on human beings. However, one should not take a deterministic or a fatalistic approach to what is mentioned in the horoscopes, as Vedic astrology can, at best, only indicate what may take place in the future. Besides the creator Brahma, who can say with certainty what will definitely happen? This is the divine principle of Vedic Astrology as it connects the microcosmic individual with the macrocosmic universe. With the knowledge of Vedic Astrology, the astrologer can, by the grace of God, only indicate, with not complete but with a reasonable degree of accuracy, regarding past or future events.
In conclusion, it must be understood that without faith, a pious mind and a clean soul, neither the seeker nor the sought can connect. Hence, Vedic Astrology should be undertaken after offering prayers to God Ganesha and paying homage to one’s preceptor (Guru), to avail the maximum benefit from it.