Essentials of predictive Hindu astrology contain some very different principles than those you may be accustomed to finding in western Astrology.
Western and Hindu Astrology Differences
Western astrology addresses planetary influences that affect your personality and drive your choices in life. A western astrology chart is a map of the psychology behind your actions, relationships, career and other life arenas.
In contrast, Hindu astrology, also known as Vedic astrology, is based on the Vedic religion which actually created Vedic astrology to help guide followers along their spiritual paths. This is accomplished only when you understand the role of karma in your life.
Hindu astrology focuses on how you act and react to life situations. It also assists you in gaining a better understanding of your soul's progression in this lifetime and the lessons you're meant to master through certain obstacles and challenges. Hindu astrology is considered a predictive astrology since it can be used to predict stages and events in your life that you'll either accept or refuse. It's through the exertion of free will that you create more karma. It's this cycle that your soul strives to break.
Understanding the Concept of Karma
There is a common misconception that karma is payback time when, in fact, it isn't sinister. Simply put, karma is the result of actions, thoughts and attitudes you've held in previous lifetimes. Karma is known as a cause and effect result. The Western concept of good and bad karma is simply a way people attempt to comprehend the cause and effect of action or inaction. Karma is truly an opportunity to recreate past scenarios or create new ones. Since your birth chart is a reflection of your past life and karma, it can reveal how your past likes, dislikes and habits carry over into this lifetime.
The Essentials of Predictive Hindu Astrology
There are sharp contrasts between western and Hindu (Vedic) predictive astrology. For example:
Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac while Hindu uses the sidereal zodiac; this means your Vedic astrological sign may be different. Other differences include:
- Cusps: There are no cusps.
- Dashas or Dasa (planetary cycles): Your life is defined by ages or periods (Dashas) that are governed by specific planets.
- Moon sign: Your moon sign is also more important than your sun sign.
- Planetary influences: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aren't used in the Vedic astrological system.
- Rising sign: The ascendant sign is the most important sign in your Vedic chart.
- Yogas (yogakaraka): This system of 27 yogas defines the relationship of planetary placements.
North and South Nodes Importance
In Hindu astrology, the South Node is called Ketu and the North Node is known as Rahu. The North Node is significant because it's your karmic goal in this life. The South Node is the residual from your past life that often translates into a deep desire during this life. A Vedic astrologer can help you see how you might fall into the comfortable patterns of behavior from previous lifetimes and advise you how to avoid negative ones.
Four Vital Accomplishments
There are four basic vital accomplishments you're destined to fulfill this lifetime, and they are addressed in your Hindu astrological chart. These four life purpose goals are given as:
- Artha: (Governs houses two, six and ten) This basic attainment of wealth isn't just about money; it's also about fulfillment obtained through abundant spiritual, emotional, physical and mental life experiences. Gaining self is the greatest wealth you can achieve.
- Dharma: (Governs houses one, five and nine) The life force (Dharma) challenges you to discover your role in life. Dharma means that you understand what you were born to accomplish and go after it. While this includes career, it's also about everything you do in life that builds you into the whole spiritual person you were intended to be.
- Kama: (Governs houses three, seven and eleven) The Hindu god of love is your ideal in giving love back to the world. To achieve kama, you must become successful in your various relationships.
- Moksha: (Governs houses four, eight and twelve) Liberation is the goal of Moksha in your chart. It isn't always easy to free yourself of the bonds that desires and base needs create. Your Vedic chart reveals the areas that challenge you the most in discovering freedom from self-imposed bonds.
The Five Essentials of Jyotish
Jyotish is sanskrit for lord of light, illumination or, in the case of Vedic astrology, science of light. It's often used as the name for Vedic astrology. There are five essentials of predictive Hindu astrology, also known as Jyotish, that every Vedic astrologer is expected to embody.
- Technical proficiency: This is a must for any astrologer. Jyotish is considered a science and gives extensive technical information that lays the groundwork for understanding Hindu astrology and interpreting astrological charts. In addition to the basics, an astrologer learns how to perform calculations, recognize dashas, and perform other necessary tasks such as non-computer calculations and chart drawing.
- Continual practice: Practical application of technical knowledge is necessary in order for the astrologer to become proficient and gain experience. The general belief is that by studying the astrology of past events (lives) of notable and famous individuals, the astrologer can learn without the pressure of accuracy, as well as by reading for people the astrologer may know.
- Jyotish guru: Everyone benefits by having a teacher (guru); this is especially true when it comes to learning astrology. Another person's experience and perspective can give you a new way of seeing things. The word guru isn't coincidental since "gu" translates as darkness and "ru" means remove, which is truly the function of a Jyotish Guru.
- Spiritual practice: Vedic astrology is a spiritually-based science; even though you learn the methodologies, you must also add your own brand of insight into your readings and interpretations. While the guiding force of the conclusions you draw are scientific, the practical application of those principles will ultimately be intuitive.
- Ethical orientation: The astrologer is charged to always be ethical in practices. The objective is to always be of service to others and ever watchful over the welfare of others.
Understanding Hindu Astrology
When learning Hindu astrology, it's important to understand the nuances that make it a cohesive science.