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General Simplistics About Astrology- Astrologer Vinayak Bhatt

The word ‘astrology’ is popularly understood as a means of the predictive science of futurology. In fact, futurology comprises of a diversity of approaches through occult means such as palmistry, numerology, horoscopy, horary astrology, omenology, intuition, pre-diction through tea-leaves, face-reading etc. All of these means of futurology form, in a broader sense, part and parcel of what is in layman’s language called as astrology. But precisely astrology is a predictive science dealing with the correlation between terrestrial events and celestial phenomena. In the light of precise meaning of the sublime science of astrology, a purview of some general simplistic about astrology is presented here as under:

planets

planets

1.PLANETS

Stars are fixed in the heavens. Planets visibly move among the stars. Technically celestial bodies which revolve around the Sun are known as planets, and satellites are those celestial bodies which revolve around any planet. In predictive astrology, even the Moon is considered as a planet. Although the earth is a planet in the solar system, yet because of geocentric observation, the Sun is treated as a planet. Rahu (Dragon’s head) and Ketu (Dragon’s tail) theoretically the two points of intersection between ecliptic and lunar orbit among the stars, separated through 180° from each other, are also assigned with the status of a planet each for the purposes of predictive astrology. In this light, these are nine planets in Hindu predictive astrology which are mentioned as under:

1.Sun 2. Moon 3. Mercury 4. Venus 5. Mars 6. Jupiter 7. Saturn 8. Rahu, and 9. Ketu

Besides, Herschel, Neptune and Pluto are three extra Saturnine planets. Herschel is also called as Uranus and Pluto as Venkatesh. In ancient Indian predictive astrology, an adequate mention is not found about these extra-Saturnine planets probably because they had not been discovered in those olden times. Even in modern Indian astrology, they are not given any significant place probably because they are very distantly posited in the heavens and therefore they can have little influence on terrestrial events, of course. It is worth-mentioning here that there exist several planetoids in the space in between Mars and Jupiter. Each planetoid is so small that it can have little effect on terrestrial events. In jaina canonical texts, there is  a mention of 88 planets including planetoids. And the aforesaid nine planets have been termed as teraka grahas (star planets).

 All the planets, except Rahu and Ketu, move eastward among the stars. Because of geocentric observation, all the planets, except the Sun and the Moon, sometimes appear to move backward among the stars. Then they are said to be in retrogression and known as retrograde & planets. The Sun and the Moon always remain direct. Rahu and Ketu always remain retrograde. Retrogression is only a relative motion with respect to geocentric observation. If helio-centric observation is made, none of the planets except the Moon, Rahu and Ketu, will ever become retrograde.

2. SIGNS (RASHIS)

Ecliptic or the solar orbit among the stars has been divided in twelve parts of 30° each. Each part is called a sign known after a particular name. ‘The twelve signs or Rashis are mentioned as under:

  1. Aries (Mesha) 2. Taurus (Vrisha) 3. Gemini (Mithona) 4. Cancer (Karaka) 5. Leo (Simha) 6. Virgo (Kanya) 7. Libra (Tula) 8. Scorpio (Vrischika) 9. Sagittarius (Dhana) 10. Scorpio (Makara) 11. Aquarius (Kumbha) and 12. Pisces (Meena).

The first and foremost in the series is Aries sign. The zero point of Aries, according to Raivat School, coincides with the star Zeta Piscium of Pisces sign. According to Chitra School, the zero point of Aries is situated at 180° from the star Alpha Virginis or Chitra nakshatra (asterism). For purposes of predictive astrology, some astrologers like the famous Dr. B.V.Ra man and Krishnamoorti have, of their own, fixed the first point of Aries on the ecliptic respectively. They follow their own respective Schools, of thought for all astrological purposes which do not seem to have any astronomical foundation at all because they are the least concerned with any observable star in the heavens.

The position of zero point of Aries is also known as Vernal Equinox. The longitude of any planet or heavenly body is measured along the ecliptic (rashi chakra) with respect to Vernal Equinox or first point of Aries.

3. NAKSHATRA (ASTERISM)

Ecliptic or the solar orbit has been divided into 27 equal parts of 13 each. They are known after the names of 27 nakshatras mentioned as below:

  1. Ashvini 2. Bharani 3. Krittika 4. Rohini 5. Mrigashira 6. Aridra 7. Punarvasu 8. Pushya 9. Ashlesha 10. Magha 11. Purvaphalguni 12. Uttaraphalguni 13. Hasta 14. Chitra 15. Svati 16. Vishakha 17. Anuradha 18. Jyeshtha 19. Mula 20. Purvasadha 21. Uttarasadha 22. Shravana 23. Dhanishtha 24. Satabhisha 25. Purvabhadrapada 26.. Uttarabhadrapada 27. Revati.

In fact it is revealed from the history of ancient lndain astron-omy that ecliptic as well as lunar zodiac were graduated in time degrees of days of one period of revolution of the Moon among the stars. Roughly the Moon completes one revolution among the stars in 27 days. But actually a period of revolution of the Moon consists of 27+21/67 days. That is why Abhijit, the 28th nakshatra, was conceived. Last quarter of Uttarasadha and first-fifteenth part of shravana. make Abhijit nakshatra. For purposes of name ceremony and election astrology, Abhijit nakshatra is also made use of.

Every nakshatra is further sub-divided into four equal parts or quarters as they may be called as well. Zero point of Aries is also the zero point of Ashvini: These days Ashvini heads the list of nakshatra whereas Aries heads the list of signs. Every sign consists of two and a quarter of nakshatras. For example, Aries comprises of Ashvini, Bharani and first quarter of krittika nakshatra.

4. YOGA (COMBINATION)

There are 27 yoga’s :mentioned, as under:

  1. Viskambha 2. Priti 3. Ayushmana 4. Saubhagya 5. Shobhana 6. Atiganda 7. .Sukarma 8. Dhriti 9. Shula 10. Ganda 11. Vridhi 12. Dharuva 13. Vyaghata 1.4. Harshana 15. Vajra 16. Sidhi 17. Vyatipate Variyana 19. Prigha 20. Shiva 21. Siddha 22. Sadhya 23. Shubha 24. Shukla 25. Brahma 26. Aindra 27. Vaidhriti

Yoga’s are determined on the basis of sum of longitudes of the Sun and the Moon. When the sum of longitudes of the Sun and Moon totals to 13°20′, the first yoga Viskambha will end and the second yoga Priti begins to operate till the sum totals to 26°40′. If the sum exceeds 360°, then multiples of 360 are subtracted from the sum for determining the current yoga.

5. TITHI (LUNAR DAY)

A lunar month consists of two pakshas (lunar halves) i.e. bright lunar half and dark lunar half. Each paksha consists of 15 lunar days, viz. 1. Pratipada (First lunar day) 2. Dvitiya (Second lunar day) 3. Tritiya (Third lunar day) 4. Chaturthi (Fourth lunar day) 5. Panchami (Fifth lunar day) 6. Sashthi (Sixth lunar day) 7. Saptami (Seventh lunar day) 8. Ashtami (Eighth lunar day) 9. Navami (Ninth lunar day) 10. Dashami (Tenth lunar day) 11. Ekadashi (Eleventh lunar day) 12. Dvadashi (Twelfth lunar day) 13. Traudashi (Thirteenth lunar day) 14. Chaturdashi (Fourteenth lunar day) 15. Purnima (Fifteenth lunar day) or Amavasya (Thirtieth lunar day)

When the Moon and the Sun have the same longitude, Amavasya comes to an end and the first lunar day of the bright lunar half begins to operate. A lunar day is 12° long. When the longitude of the Moon exceeds to the longitude of the Sun by 12°, the first lunar day of the bright lunar half ends and the second lunar day begins to operate. When the difference between longitude of the Moon and longitude of the Sun becomes 180°, first lunar day of dark lunar half commences after the completion of bright lunar half.

When a tithi or lunar day commences after sunrise and ends before the next sunrise, the tithi is said to be lost. On the other hand, if a tithi commences before the sunrise and remains in vogue even after the next sunrise, the tithi is said to be gained. Thus the same tithi remains in vogue on two consecutive sunrises.

6. KARANA (HALF LUNAR DAY)

Half-tithi is known as karana (half lunar day). Every tithi consists of two karanas. Some karanas are movable and some others a_ _ immovable. Movable karanas are seven in number, viz.

  1. Bava 2. Balava 3. Kaulava 4. Taittila 5. Gara 6. Vanij 7.Vishti

Vishti karana is also known as Bhadra. In election astrology, Bhadra is not considered to be an auspicious time.

Immovable karanas are four in number, viz.

  1. Shakuni 2. Chatuspada 3. NIga 4. Kintughana

Every immovable karana commences only once a month at a fixed time of half-tithi. Movable karanas commence more than once in every lunar month. However karanas are permanently associated with half-tithis as shown in the following table:

Bright lunar half     

Tithi                       First                       Second                     

1.                            Kintughan                Bava

2.                            Balava                      Kaulava

3.                            Taittila                      Gara

4.                            Vanij                         Vishti

5.                            Bava                         Balava

6.                            Kaulava                    Taittila

7.                            Gara                         Vanij

8.                            Vishti                        Bava

9.                            Balava                      Kaulava

10.                          Taittila                      Gara

11.                           Vanij                        Vishti

12.                           Bava                        Balava

13.                           Kaulava                   Taittila

14.                           Gara                        Vanij

15.                           Vishti                       Bava

Dark lunar half   

Tithi                       First                       Second                     

1.                            Balava                      Kaulava

2.                            Taittila                       Garaa

3.                            Vanij                         Vishti

4.                            Bava                         Balava

5.                            Kaulava                    Taittila

6.                            Gara                         Vanij

7.                            Vishti                        Bava

8.                            Balava                      Kaulava

9.                            Taittila                      Gara

10.                           Vanij                        Vishti

11.                           Bava                        Balava

12.                           Kaulava                   Taittila

13.                           Gara                        Vanij

14.                           Vishti                       Shakuni

15.                           Chatuspada            Naga

7. DAY

Day means ‘day and night’ i.e. ahoratra. Traditionally only daylight is called a day. There are seven days in all, viz. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. According to Indian tradition a day measures from sunrise to sunrise, whereas according to English calendar the day’s length is the time from midnight to midnight i.e. 12.00 pm. to 12.00 pm.

In Vedic times the day was called after the name of the nakshatra on that day. Thus there was a cycle of 27 days. Then the days were counted by the ordinal numbers from one to fifteen such as the first day, second day etc. The fifteen days corresponded to the lunar days of the bright or the dark half of a lunar month. Thereafter the cycle of seven days came into vogue. The seven days correspond to seven planets. There are twenty-four hours in an ahoratra or a day. Each hour is governed by a planet. The planet governing the first hour after sunrise becomes the lord of the day and the day is called after that planet. To learn about the lord of the hour, all the seven planet are considered in the following order:

Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.

The lord of the twenty fifth hour becomes the lord of the following day. For example, the Sun is lord of the first hour on Sunday, Venus of second hour and so on the cycle goes till the Moon becomes lord of the twenty fifth hour. So Monday commences after Sunday.

8. AYANAMSA

Ayanamsa implies precession of equinoxes. Equator divides the globe into two parts-northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere. Ecliptic and celestial equator intersect at an angle of 23°27′, at two points called Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox. Vernal Equinox signifies the point on ecliptic where from the Sun just enters into the northern hemisphere. At Autumnal Equinox the Sun just enters into the Southern hemisphere. When the Sun crosses over these two cardinal points on the solar orbit, day (daylight) and night are equal in length.

The earth has three motions. One, annual motion that causes change in seasons. Two, diurnal motion that causes the cycle of day and night Third, oscillatory motion that causes a cyclic change in the position of North Pole on earth resulting into the shifting of terrestrial equator. ,Consequently there occurs a change in the position of Vernal Equinox also. It has been observed that Vernal Equinox retrogrades at the rate of 50″.2731 a year. In this way Vernal Equinox retrogrades through 1° in 72 years approximately. According to Indian or Hindu astrology, Vernal Equinox is fixed in the heavens. Thus the difference between the positions of movable and fixed Vernal Equinoxes goes on increasing. The magnitude of precession of equinoxes with respect to the fixed Vernal Equinox is known as .what is traditionally called as Ayanamsa. There is a 26000 years cycle of precession of equinoxes. In this light there will be a complete change in seasons after 13000 years. As a result there will be summer in December and winter in June. The reason behind this change of seasons is that the length of the tropical year i.e. the time of the solar transit from Vernal Equinox to Vernal Equinox, is the time taken by the Sun to traverse (360°-50″.2731) along the ecliptic whereas a sidereal year is the time required by the Sun to traverse 360° along the solar orbit. Consequently Vaishakhi, solar ingress into Aries according to the Hindu calendar, shifts one date of. English calendar every 72 years. Thus Vaishakhi which commences on 14th April these days will commence on 14th October after about 13000 years.

There are some orthodox scholars who believe that ayanamsa oscillates with an amplitude of 28°. This view is totally refuted in the light of present advancements in the study of heavens.

9. SIDEREAL MONTH

Indian months or sidereal months are twelve in number, viz. Chaitra, Vaishakha, Jyestha, Asadha, Shravana, Bhadrapada, Ashvina, Karttika, Margashirsa, Pausa, Magha and Phalguna. The day when the Sun crosses over the fixed Vernal Equinox and thus enters the first point of Aries of the Hindu zodiac, is celebrated as Vaishakhi and the month Vaishakha commences. The month Jyestha begins when the sun enters first point of Taurus. In this way the time taken by the Sun to transit a sign or one-twelfth of the zodiacal circle makes a sidereal month, viz.

Aries (Mesha)                                   Vaishakha

Taurus (Vrisha)                                 Jyestha

Gemini (Mithuna)                             Asadha

Cancer (Karaka)                                Shravana

 Leo (Simha)                                      Bhadrapada

Virgo (Kanya)                                     Ashwina

Libra (Tula)                                        Karttika

Scorpio (Vrishchika)                         Margashirsa

Sagittarius (Dhanu)                          Pausa

Capricorn (Makara)                         Magha

 Aquarius (Kumbha)                        Phalguna

 Pisces (Meena)                               Chaitra

The earth has an elliptical orbit about the Sun. Because our observation is geocentric, so the Sun appears to move about the earth in an elliptical orbit. The solar motion on its elliptical orbit is not uniform. So the Sun takes different lengths of time for transiting different signs of the zodiac. So the lengths of all the sidereal months are also not equal. A month is made up of 32 days whereas another of 30 days only. The perigee when the Sun is nearest to the earth and the apogee when the Sun is farthest from the earth are also not fixed among the stars. Therefore after quite a long span of time the lengths of the sidereal months will also undergo some change. These days Asadha has 32 days. It will reduce to 31 days and then to 30 days whereas the adjacent month will correspondingly gain in length.

The day of solar ingress into a sign is celebrated as sankranta. In other words, sankranta is day between two consecutive sunrises when the Sun ingresses into another sign of the fixed zodiac. There are some festivals associated with the solar motion. For instance, Vaishakhi is celebrated on the day of solar ingress into Aries sign of the fixed zodiac.

10. LUNAR MONTH

According to Hindu astrology, the lunar month measures from new-moon-day to new-moon-day (amavasyanta) or from full-moon-day to full-moon-day (purnimanta). According to Moslem calendar, a new lunar month begins at the sight of the new moon. Like sidereal months, lunar months are also called as Chaitra, Vaishakha etc. They are also twelve in number. Some festivals are associated with the lunar motion. For example, birth day of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is celebrated on seventh lunar day of the bright half of the lunar month Pausa. Recently this festival was celebrated twice in one year of the English calendar.

The lunar month is shorter than the sidereal month. A lunar month has almost 29.5 days. Thus the difference goes on increasing till it is cumulated to the length of a lunar month. At that time a lunar month is repeated, e.g. first Phalguna, second Phalguna. Such an extra lunar month is known as an intercalary lunar month. In this manner we employ the lunisolar calendar in civil use. It may however be mentioned that the extra lunar month is intercalated in between the two halves of normal lunar month e.g. Dark half of first Phalguna, bright half of second Phalguna, dark half of second Phalguna, and bright half of first Phalguna.

Sometimes at the instance of an intercalary lunar month, there occurs a difference of opinion among the scholars regarding the determination of some festivals. This is why sometimes a festival is celebrated twice in an year, e.g. two Deepavalis, two Dussehras etc.  

General Simplistics About Astrology- Astrologer Vinayak Bhatt

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