Vedic Astrology and why it is called so
by Anuj Bahl
There are some
people who refrain from calling astrology, as practiced by Hindus,
as “Vedic”. They have some contentions regarding the same which are
mostly based on the argument that the Vedas do not contain
“astrology”. This argument is not exactly correct but instead of
contending this argument, a simpler logic will prove Astrology as
For astrology to
be called Vedic it may or may not be present in the Vedas. The very
character of Astrology is Vedic and it follows the teachings as
presented in the Vedas. In this regard, Astrology is Vedic.
The word “Vedic” does not only refer to the period when Vedas were
written. The word “Vedic” refers to that which follows the Vedas.
Considering that Hindus follow the Vedas, the correct name for a
Hindu should be Vedic or Vaidikas.
Like the culture that is based on the teachings of the Vedas is a
Vedic Culture, similarly the astrology governed by the thinking and
understanding of the Vedas, is “Vedic”.
Now let us understand how Astrology follows some of the teachings of
Jyotish (Hindu or Vedic Astrology) as a Vedanga
Vedanga refers to
those bodies of knowledge that are the "limbs" to the Vedas. In
other words, it aids in understanding of the Vedas.
It would be important to understand what Vedas are. The word "Veda"
means knowledge. Vedas contain aphorisms to understand the true
identity of ourselves. Many people think Vedas are part of Hindu
Religion. It would correct to say that Hindu Religion has adopted
itself from the Vedas. Vedas are universal and came before the word
"Hindu" came into being.
Jyotish is a Vedanga and in its approach it follows the Vedic
teaching. Jyotish cannot go against the Vedas in its teaching or
Jyotish follows the principle of freedom of choice. It gives
individuals the right to choose in any given situation. The choices
always available to an individual in any given situation of life
1. To react (anger, jealousy, envy, fear, fight, arrogance, likes,
2. To pro act (do one's action as required by the call of duty,
without involving oneself in the above reactions).
3. Remain calm without any action (Realizing the results are given
by the lord, and accepting them without any reaction)
The 2nd choice has all the elements of the 3rd choice. Jyotish as a
subject never undermines these choices. With these choices, one can
change one's future. With the first choice, one can enhance the
difficulties in one's destiny and with, the second and third choice;
one can enhance the quality of destiny in happiness and success.
Each time you make the 2nd or 3rd choice, you weaken the reactions
within yourself. Over a period of time, you stop reacting at all.
Jyotish understands this principle and employs it.
Jyotish never promises a pre destined life. Mother, father, brother,
sister may be predestined but not your future. Your future depends
upon the choices.
understands the concept of surrender. It understands that the
actions are in the hands of the doer, while the results are in the
hands of the Lord (Ishvara). Prayers to the lord for desirable
results are a part of remedial measures in Astrology. Remedial
measures are, most often than not, recognition of a power much
greater than us, which dictates the results.
Astrology: As a
Astrology can be
a source of spiritual guidance. In Hindu or vedic astrology, planets
are called “grahas”. The meaning of a graha is “to seize”. In other
words, they seize us into their web and lend reality to thoughts and
desires. Their nature, position, association, aspect, etc. determine
the nature of thoughts and desires and possible actions. They
represent the misinterpretation of the Reality.
Give the above, astrology can be used to find out what thinking
patterns, desires and expectations bind the individual. One can
analyze how the individual is caught up in the web of “Maya”.
If we see, different grahas (planets) give the following
identifications within one self and consequent binding:
Sun: the appearance to the ego as consciousness separate from the
wholeness, as if ego possesses the consciousness. The position of
Sun in a house and a sign may cause Sun to "arrest" itself by the
very my thought it illumines. Like Sun is clouded by the very cloud
Moon: identification with the mind and all the emotions arising
there from: give rise to the multiplicity and raises the pair of
Mars: identification with ambition, power, conflict and desire.
Mercury: identification with the intellect: takes one part of the
Reality as right and other as wrong and so on increases its
identification. No wonder it is the son of Moon.
Jupiter: identification with the values, memory and society.
Venus: identification with beauty and physical aspects of nature.
Saturn: identification with sorrow and pain and lends reality to the
Rahu-Ketu: identification with the future and the past, thus lending
reality to the concept of time.
In this regard,
Astrology, as practiced by Hindus, is Vedic contrary to many beliefs