Vedic Astrology In a Nutshell – Part I
By Dr. Bhalachandra Keni
Physician, Hospital and Healthcare Management, Acupuncture Practitioner, Astrologer
Foreword by Venkat
As a second year student of Dr. Bala’s Vedic Astrology course (and as a faculty member of his institute SIVA), I run out of words of appreciation for the beautiful and simple structure of his courses. His material is the result of collection of evidences (from his research studies with thousands of birth charts) and the scriptural texts of Jyotisha Shashtra (Vedic Astrology). This short series of articles provide a bird’s eye view on Vedic Astrology through the basic definitions of the terminology for those who are unaware of them. To those who are curious and interested, it is highly recommended to join his online courses which are offered free of charges. The approach is scientific and the belief in SIVA is that astrology findings are for aligning our actions which are statistically more likely to yield good experiences. In his own words, astrology is not for predicting the future.
Enjoy these simple and short articles in the series to explore the key features and terminology in Vedic astrology.
Dr Bhalachandra Keni, a medical doctor (Physician) by profession, is also learning, practicing and teaching Astrology for the last 50 years with the sole motive to teach younger generation the science behind astrology and the art behind interpretation in an effort to eliminate misconceptions surrounding it. He founded the Sarvamangala Institute of Vedic Astrology (SIVA) in 2006 which has been conducting online scientific astrology classes since then based on his vast research and statistical studies.
Dr. Bala is a medical professional with 42 years of experience in Hospital, Health Care Management, and Operations. He has worked in the roles of Chief Medical Officer, Hospital head, Visiting Assistant Professor, Medical Director etc. in India as well as the remote parts of the Pacific Islands Countries viz. Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands and Fiji Islands. Apart from allopathic medicine he also practices Acupuncture. He has a wide range of interests which include painting, rangoli art, acting, swimming, and fitness.
Vedic Astrology In a Nutshell – Part I
Astrology and its importance is known from ages and it has been well applied to the human life from time immemorial. In recent years there have been reports of growing concern of its skeptics and losing faith due to its commercialization. I am not pointing at anyone but as a matter of fact it has become a norm. My intention is to provide the reader the essence of Astrology through scientific approach and evidence based study. In this short series I provide an overview of Vedic Astrology for the benefit of the unaware reader.
- What is astrology?
Astrology is the study of art and science of interpretation of the influence of the various stars on the life of human being. These astral (planetary) configurations are observed in the cosmos at the time of birth of a human being.
- What are zodiac signs (i.e. Rasi)?
In our solar system, the planets move around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. However, we see the Sun appears to move around the earth. This apparent movement of the Sun around the earth is known as ecliptic. The planets are known to move around this path within the imaginary band that extends 8 degrees north and south of ecliptic. Within this band (see figure) lies group of fixed constellation that resembles living creature on earth, and thus they have been named accordingly. This circular band of 360 degrees is divided into 12 equal parts of 30 degrees, which are known as zodiac signs. The sequential arrangement of the zodiac signs (rasi) are Aries (Mesha), Taurus (Vrishabha), Gemini (Mithuna), Cancer (Karka), Leo (Simha), Virgo (Kanya), Libra (Tula), Scorpio (Vrischika), Sagittarius (Dhanus), Capricorn (Makara), Aquarius (Kumbha), and Pisces (Meena). Each sign has its own unique qualities.
- What are planets (i.e.Graha) and how do they influence a person’s life?
Astrology considers influence of each of nine planets viz. Mercury (Budha), Venus (Shukra), Mars (Mangala), Jupiter (Guru), Saturn (Sani), Sun, Moon, Northern node (Rahu), and Southern node (Ketu); the later four of these, though not planets strictly in astronomical sense, have been included as they exert as much influence as the proper planets. Each planet, with its distinct characteristics, is believed to govern a life a human being. It is known that the planets and the earth are the product of the Sun. Thus all planets including earth have inherited astro type of the Sun in variable measures. As the human being is the biological product of the earth, it is conceivable as I strongly feel, a psychochemical processes of an individual are the result of / product of invisible energy dispersed by the planets. It is astrology or chart of a person that describes the measure of this energy, both static and dynamic forms, existing in an individual; this is experienced in most scientific form when a high tide occurs in ocean on a full moon day and in abstract form (lunatic effect!!!) on when some of Canis familiaris such as wolf and hound start howling on the very day!!
- What is a horoscope (i.e. Birth chart)?
Horoscope is a map of planetary configurations at the time of birth of an individual or birth of a comparable event (such as marriage and starting a business) documented in a specific diagram called as “Birth Chart”.
- What is horoscope made of?
Horoscope is made of a chart consisting of 12 zodiac signs/houses. Each house is designated in terms of a Zodiac sign and is ruled/governed/owned by specific a planet. Each house has been assigned specific characters influenced by a zodiac sign.
- What is ascendant (i.e. Lagna)?
The zodiac signs appear to move approximately at the rate of 30 degrees in 2 hours in view of the fact that the rotation of the earth on its own axis. The imaginary line pointing to the zodiac sign when drawn tangentially to the earth’s surface in the eastern direction from the site of birth of human or an event is known as Ascendant. In astrology the ascendant sign becomes the first house (Lagna bhava) the starting point for analytical interpretation of the horoscope.
- What are houses of a chart (i.e. Bhava)?
The ascendant is counted as first house (Lagna Bhava) and there after the consequent houses are numbered in sequence up to 12 houses. Each houses represents a structural and functional aspect of the parts of the human body from head to toe. A house also deals significantly with the operations of materialistic life. The five planets namely Mercury (Budha), Venus (Shukra), Mars (Mangala), Jupiter (Guru), Saturn (Sani); Northern node (Rahu) and Southern node (Ketu); Sun and the Moon in the solar system are employed for astrological purposes. All the 9 objects are considered as planets for the matter of astrological interpretation. Each planet has its own characteristics and believed to affect the human being. The hypotheses behind this mechanism as follows: the planets and the earth are the product of the dispersed Sun. Since, the earth is made up of all the elements from other planets of Mercury to Saturn; the human being is the product of these elements, hence the planets invisible energy affects the psychochemical process of the individual. On a full moon day the high tide effect of the ocean and lunatic effect on some animals like Canis familiaris such as wolf and hound can be observed.
- What is natal moon (i.e. Janma rasi)?
In a horoscope a zodiac sign that is occupied by moon at the time of birth is termed natal moon. Moon is represented as mind of the human body, and hence the mental framework of human beings bear a resemblance to the qualities of that particular zodiac sign.
To be continued…
By Dr. Bhalachandra Keni