To be honest, I am no writer and I have never even remotely contemplated writing a book, that is, till this one, which came to be rather under certain pull and push circumstances. But that is a different story. In fact, besides what I could not escape writing during my academic and professional career, I have written nothing. Some letters may be I am shy of writing. The credit of pushing this book through print goes to certain friends, who immensely liked my diaries, in which I had preserved the hard earned fruits of my long, arduous, painful and very frustrating journey in the pursuit of astrology. Their incessant insistence to put these into print became such a pestering that I could not escape. I am not much of a fighter either, so I gave in.
The format of the book bears the testimony to the fact that I have shirked writing and resorted to compiling instead. I have strived to offer the bare technical data, the tenets and the working rules- but all devoid of any trimmings and frills of a writer. Earnestly, all that I can say is that the material provided between the covers of this book is time tested and should hold fast in over 70 per cent of cases, a highly commendable success rate for any field of scientific discipline.
During may search for consistency in predictive techniques, I worked my way through mounds of books, magazines an articles on astrology and I came out the other end more dazed than enlightened. In that entire labyrinth I sensed a promise lurking but it always alluded me. Every book seemed to promise lurking but it always eluded me. Every book seemed to promise the sky and led me nowhere. All leads died away sooner or later. Some thing was wrong somewhere, for sure. Either the books had no soul or my head was wrapped in a thick fog. Latter was the case!
Books on astrology, in fact, cannot teach you how to make a prediction in as much as book on the art of playing cricket cannot teach you how to score. The secret, it is one, lies in being out there; Be it an astrologer, a surgeon, a cook or a cricketer- never to let go of the proper technique, persevere, and miraculously, that touch comes, a certain sense develops.
Although this book contains the essence of a vast cross section of the writing of the rishis, the past and the present great and the big wigs of astrology, yet I am not even attempting to suggest that the purpose of this book is teach you how to predict. No! At best it shall only assist you and assist you quickly and nearly in the direction of your delineation. It may not be humanely possible to recall as much data out of your memory, so this book shall provide you with the back- up. It is a ready reckoner for information that you may require to clear away the mist out of your predictive conclusions. And, that can make all the difference.
This book not only has separate chapters on Marriage, Compatibility, Children, Profession Horary and Miscellany etc. the points or priority and the points of significance have further been segregated for the convenience of the users, who alone can justifiably advise me of the usefulness of the format of the book. I sincerely solicit their suggestions.
My sincerest thanks are due to my renowned astrologer- friends Chander Bhalla, S.K. Duggal and R.S. Gill for bringing me around to surrender my diaries and give these the shape of a book and keeping me propped up while all this was going on. I could have folded without a warning. I am also grateful to Savita and Rajesh Sharma of North India Computers for their untiring assistance with the manuscripts. I am also grateful to Shri S.P. Khullar General Manager, Telephones for editing the book and giving valuable suggestions. I also acknowledge my gratitude to Mr. Narinder Sagar for his continuous support and in publishing my very first venture so attractively.
Vedas, repositories of knowledge, are the heritage of India. Astrology, i.e., Jyotisha is a part of Vedas. There are about thirty slokas on astrology in the Rig-veda, forty-four in Yajura veda and one hundred and sixty two in Atharva veda. Our sages developed another immortal classic known as the Puranas, which also contain seeds of astrology. Our sages declared Bharatavarsha as karmobhoomi where men did get karmaphala. Karmas and karmaphala is the domain of astrology, rather with pronounced spiritual undertones. It is a science of the influence of the planets and stars on human and terrestrial affairs. The planetary motions, their positions and time (kaal) do have effects on us all. With the regular movement of planets one can foretell the destinies of men, fates of nations, sudden inundation, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other incidents relating to terrestrial phenomenon. Astrology is a divine science, which correlates astronomical movements of planets with physical, psychic and atmik (soul’s) responses. This science is based on basic assumptions that planets do influence us that law of karma and theory of cause and effect is genuine and there is continuity of life even after physical death. Certain positions and groupings of the stars and planets in relation to earth correspond to various types of events which occur during one’s life time, and astrology assists in predicting such events.
Every science requires research, new theories, developments and modifications at each stage. New ideas, new systems, new projections and new strategies are evolved continually. Scientific development envisages repetitive observations, postulation of hypothesis and final outcome of principles. Astrology is a science which has, unfortunately, always lacked these basic ingredients and so became more of a myth and unable to defend itself from the onslaught of the non-believers. In India, this science was spread over in a very large number of classical works and other isolated documents written in widely different Indian languages, the consolidation of which, in itself, became an insurmountable handicap. With sketchy records and lack of backing towards a systematic development of this science, in India, roadside astrologers cropped up and brought huge disgrace to this otherwise a divine science.
This science was, in olden days, handed down through the generations orally from teacher to disciple method, a method of shruti and smriti, prevalent in this country in absence of the paper and the printing technology. A lot of valuable treasure on this science existed in the past in the shape of highly qualified priests and written scriptures but with the advent of Mohammaden and Mohgul aggressions, it fell a prey to a singular biased onslaught. We come across many a missing links and the pitfalls in whatever scanty classics and other manuscripts on astrology are available today. Many scholars in the past have tried to provide and explain away these missing links but with little success. At places the confusion that already existed has, unfortunately, only been compounded. The modern age is witnessing a renaissance in this field and the markets are awash with literature on various topics of astrology. Let us hope that this healthy trend continues.
I am of the firm opinion that every serious student of astrology should stick to the aphorisms and the guidelines contained in astrological classics only and apply these practically and elicit one’s own conclusions. Towards this end, I have tried to present the wisdom that is scattered over a large body of classical literature in an organized fashion in this book to facilitate an astrologer to approach all the relevant data quickly.
Vedic astrologers follow a rational procedure based on the following five factors:
1. The Solar system: Our solar system is centered around the sun. Nine planets viz. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus (or Herschel), Neptune and Pluto along with a belt of asteroids revolve in elliptical orbits around the sun. In Vedic astrology, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto find no place. On the other hand, the classics recognize the Moon and the two shadowy points known as Rahu and Ketu, which are the Moon’s nodes as equivalent to planets. They are not physical bodies but are mathematically calculated sensitive points of intersection of the orbits of the Moon and the Sun. The planets mercury and Venus orbit in the space between the Sun and the Earth and are known as inner planets or inferior planets. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, whose orbits are on the outer side of Earth, are known as outer planets or superior planets, Rahu and Ketu always move in the reverse direction, i.e., they have retrograde motion. The sun and the Moon are never retrograde. The remaining planets are direct in their motions but in the course of their journey in the Zodiac they are obstructed by certain invisible forces and so they become stationary for a while, get backward movement and again after some time, they regain their natural courses. This phenomenon of going backwards is known as retrogression and these planets become retrograde when they are at a certain distance from the Sun. These planets have natural friendship and enmity amongst themselves.
2. Zodiac: The sun’s annual path is known as ecliptic. The belt of Heavens extending 8 degrees on either side of the ecliptic is known as the Zodiac. In this belt the moon and the planets appear to move. The Zodiac is divided into twelve equal parts of 30 degree each which are called the Signs or the rashis of the Zodiac. These have been named as Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Each Sign is ruled by a planet. Different signs have different characteristics, which play an important role in the delineation of astrological charts. Details of such characteristics are given in their respective chapters in this book.
3. Stars or nakshatras: The entire zodiac has been divided into 27 equal parts of 13 degrees and 20 minutes each known as nakshatra or asterism or a constellation or Moon mansion. Every constellation has been assigned a planetary ruler. Ketu is the ruler of the first constellation starting from 0 degree arise and then the ruler ship of Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury follows in this sequence till the end of the Sign Cancer. The same sequence starts from 0 degree Leo and Sagittarius and continues till end of Scorpio and Pisces respectively.
4. Time: All are aware of the measure known as local mean time, standard time for any country of zone and the Greenwich mean time. There is another system/measure of time known as sidereal time that is derived from the earth’s rotation with respect to a fixed star. The duration of sidereal day is 23 hour 56 minutes. Whenever the time is reckoned with reference to the sidereal day, it is called sidereal time. The sidereal time is zero hour when the beginning of Aries (in sayana system) crosses the observer’s meridian.
In astrology, the first house is reckoned from lagna point. The lagna or the ascendant is the rising sign in the eastern horizon at a particular epoch. It is the point of intersection of the ecliptic at a given time with the horizon of a place. The lagna is dependent on the rotation of the earth on its axis and so it is dependent on the sidereal time of a place at a given moment or epoch. The longitude of the lagna point thus calculated forms the middle point (cusp) of the first house.
5. The houses: There are 12 house. The sign where lagna point falls is known as the first house or lagna. The next sign is second house, next the third and so on. In Vedic system the sign and the house are deemed synonymous. However, in western astrology the cusp of a house is the commencing point and the first house is constituted by space covering about 30 degree beyond the cusp; but in Vedic astrology, the cusp is the mid point of a house and extends to 15 degrees on either side. Zodiac is constantly moving and all the 12 signs get an opportunity to become lagna in 24 hours comprising a day.
6. Janma rashi means the sign containing moon at the time of birth and this sign is called Chandra lagna and is as important as the lagna itself.
An aspect means a certain distance between two planets or zodiacal positions, at which these exert some influence over each other. In Hindu astrology, all planets aspect the opposite house. In addition, Jupiter aspects 5th and 9th houses: Mars aspects 4th and 8th house and Saturn aspects 3rd and 10th houses from their own positions. In Western astrology the aspects are considered on the basic of degree wise distance between two planets or between a planet and a cusp.
The imaginary sphere in the space surrounding our entire solar system is known as the celestial sphere. The projection of the earth’s equator on this sphere is known as celestial equator. When sun moves from the south of celestial equator towards the north, the point where it cuts the celestial equator is called vernal equinox and the point of intersection during sun’s motion from north to south is called autumnal equinox. It has been observed that the vernal equinox which is the first point of Aries from where the longitudes of all the planets are measured is not a fixed star known as Revati is found to be nearly 50.3 seconds of arc of space farther west than the earth was at the same equinoctial moment of the previous year. Thus the equinoxes recede back along the ecliptic. The angular distance between the first point from where the fixed zodiac commences and the vernal equinox point is known as ayanamsha. The Hindu system of astrology observes the fixed zodiac also known as niryana zodiac that is the first degree of Aries is reckoned from a particular star in Revati group of stars, which is fixed. However, the western system of astrology observes movable zodiac also know as sayana, a zodiac that reckons the first degree of Aries from the vernal equinox. It is estimated that both these zodiacs coincided in the year 285 A.D., and the value of ayanamsha for the year 2008 is 23 degree 58 minutes. The niryana positions of the planets in Hindu astrology are calculated by deducting the value of ayanamsha thus calculated from the corresponding sayana position of planets as followed in western astrology.
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