The Science of Light
JYOTISA, THE LANGUAGE OF THE UNIVERSE
The Vedas have six auxiliary disciplines or limbs called Vedangas, one of which is Jyotiṣa. Vedangas form an integral part of Vedic education, aiming for the promotion of a holistic development and understanding of the Vedas and Vedic practices. However, each Vedanga has developed into a new and separate branch.
Jyotiṣa is considered the "eye" of the Vedas, also known as the “science of light'', since it provides guidance to our life path by the reading of the stars, the planets and the entire movement of time. The Jyotiṣa system places a strong emphasis on the soul and on the significance of karma.
All great ancient civilisations in India, China, Europe, Egypt and Babylon, as well as the Mayans and Incas, centered their cultures on profound systems of astrology, connecting conditions and events on planet Earth with cosmic influences arising from the stars. This was often the basis for time calendars, whose aim was organising human life according to celestial forces.
"In the Hindu view, the planets are not mere celestial bodies circling the Sun. They are also divine beings. Each is like a prism, conveying subtle energy from the far galaxies, thus impacting man’s affairs on Earth according to its unique nature and location in the sky."
ASTROLOGY AND ASTRONOMY
Vedic Astrology uses the sidereal system based on the astronomic placement of the planets in the heavens, and its relationship to the star's constellations - known as the 27 nakshatras.
As the Earth revolves on its axis, it experiences an oscillation, known as precession of the equinoxes. In Vedic Astrology, precession is taken into account, meaning that the stars appear to slowly move backwards through the zodiac from a geocentric perspective - one degree every 72 years. As a result, Vedic Astrology calculates horoscopes based on the updated ecliptic path (the apparent line traveled by the Sun around the Earth). Contrary, Western Astrology has a different method of measurement of the zodiac. It uses the tropical fixed system based on the four seasons (the position of the Sun).
The difference between the two systems became noticeable over time as a result of precession. Hence, these two systems currently have a difference of almost 24 degrees, causing most planetary positions in the Vedic chart to go back one sign from the Western chart.
THE 27 NAKSHATRAS
For thousands of years, seers observed and mapped the natural order of the heavens and accurately framed the movement of the planets using stone observations, ancient sun clocks, and other simple astronomical tools. In this manner, they were able to divide the zodiac into various sections including, among others, the zodiac signs and the star constellations or nakshatras, which are groups of thousand of fixed stars.
The nakshatras represent the stars, which are constant, and the Moon, which is always changing. In its proper understanding, this interaction can lead to a deeper understanding of consciousness, karma, and happiness.
While planets move through the nakshatras, these placements have a significant meaning. Furthermore, the nakshatra position of the Moon at birth determines the planetary cycle of a person.
The nakshatras serve as the guardians of the soul throughout human incarnations, bringing divine knowledge to the Earth.
THE VEDIC NATAL CHART
According to the time, date and place of birth, a mathematical calculation based on the stars and planets' positions creates the individual's natal chart. Yet, it is written in a mathematical language that requires detailed examination and expertise to decipher its secrets.
As the planets move through the zodiac, they trigger different events in our lives, individually, but also collectively, including weather conditions, epidemics, social and political events, which is known as mundane astrology.
Vedic Astrology considers that the future is not only influenced by the so-called destiny, but also free will should be considered. Here comes the concept of karma, which means that our actions have consequences, and deliver results (law of cause and effect). Even if the past is very powerful, the law of karma suggests that we are free to create our own destiny in life, and that our free will can modify life in the present moment and in the future. Though, individual and collective consciousness play a significant role.