By Dr. Korada Subrahmanyam
Jyotiṣam, Jyautiṣam and Jyotiśśāstram (Astrology) are synonyms. This Vedāṅga is considered as the eyes of Vedapuruṣa. The term jyotiḥ, here, refers to a Graha (planet) or Nakṣatra (star). The system that deals with the movement of planets and stars as well as the related matters is called Jyotiṣam. The auspicious / suitable time for the performance of Vedic rites is fixed by applying different calculations (Gaṇitaśāstram) and this is the only Vedāṅga that deals with a lot of mathematics. This is also the only Vedāṅga, which is required even by common people in day to day life for auspicious time etc.
Jyotiṣam, unlike other Vedāṅgas, is known across the globe, especially for auspicious time and predictions.
Origin of Jyotiṣam
The origin of Jyotiṣam can be traced to Veda. The Śikṣavallī of Taittirīyopaniṣat (Kṛṣṇayajurveda) explains that there is an Upaniṣat called Mahāsaṃhitā (the great text) and it is divided into five Adhikaraṇas (chapters) that deal with Jñānam (cognition). Adhijyautiṣam is the second and it deals with Jyotiṣam –
अथाधिज्यौतिषम्। अग्निः पूर्वरूपम्। आदित्य उत्तररूपम्। आपस्सन्धिः। वैद्युतस्सन्धानम्। इत्यधिज्यौतिषम् ॥३, शिक्षावल्ली, तैत्तिरीयोपनिषत् ॥
athādhijyautiṣam. agniḥpūrvarūpam. ādityauttararūpam. āpassandhiḥ. vaidyutassandhānam. ityadhijyautiṣam॥3,śikṣāvallī, taittirīyopaniṣat॥
atha = after the first Adhikaraṇam, viz. adhilokam, adhijyautiṣam = the second one called ‘adhijyautiṣam’ is being explained.agniḥ= agni (fire) is, pūrvarūpam = the first letter. ādityaḥ = āditya (Sun) is, uttararūpam = the last letter. āpaḥ = water is, sandhiḥ = in the middle,vaidyutaḥ = electricity is, sandhānam = the connecting factor. iti = this, adhijyautiṣam= the chapter called adhijyautiṣam is explained.
The term “saṃhitā” is used (in Pāṇini also) in the sense of Morphophonemics, i.e. when two letters are uttered in quick succession, there will be phonemic change. Here the mantra says – consider the first letter as the form of Agni and the second one as that of Āditya. Water is in between and electricity is the uniting factor. Thus the Adhikaraṇam called Adhijyautiṣam is explained. Now one should worship (upāsanā) in the same fashion.
The system is divided into three Skandhas (parts) – Muhūrta-skandha (dealing with auspicious and inauspicious time etc.), Jātaka-skandha or Horāskandha or Phalitajyotiṣam (deals with predictions) and Siddhānta-skandha (dealing with preparation of Pañcāṇgam or Almanac).
It was Lagadhācārya, who compiled three works for three Vedas, called Vedāṅgajyotiṣam – Ārcajyotiṣam (Ṛgveda), Yājuṣajyotiṣam (Yajurveda) and Ātharvajyotiṣam (Atharvaveda). Ṛgveda, when recited with gānam (music) is called Sāmaveda.
Fundamentals of Jyotiṣam
- Dinam (day) – A day = 60 ghaṭikāḥ = 24 hours (2½ ghaṭikas = 1 hour); 1 ghaṭikā = 60 vighaṭikāḥ = 24 minutes (2½ vighaṭikas = 1 minute); 1 vighaṭikā = 60 liptāḥ = 24 seconds (2½ liptas = 1 second).
- Seven Days – Seven days make a week – the days are named after planets – Ravivāraḥ (Sunday), Somavāraḥ (Monday), Maṅgalavāraḥ (Tuesday – Mars), Budhavāraḥ (Wednesday – Mercury), Guruvāraḥ (Thursday – Jupiter), Śukravāraḥ (Friday – Venus), Śanivāraḥ (Saturday – Saturn).
Pakṣaḥ – Two weeks make a Pakṣa (fortnight). Two Pakṣas make one month. During first fortnight, called Śuklapakṣa (white fortnight), Moon’s fifteen Kalas (parts) go in ascending order while during the second fortnight, called Kṛṣṇapakṣa (black fortnight) the Kalas would run in descending order. Each day is called Tithi (date) and the following fifteen names denote fifteen Tithis. While fourteen names are common to both the Pakṣas there will be difference in the name of the last day:
- pūrṇimā (full moon day – Śuklapakṣa) or amāvāsyā (new moon day – Kṛṣṇapakṣa).
The duration of a Tithi would be somewhere between 20 hours to 26 hours, and 48 minutes.
- Names of months – Twelve such months make a year. Names of Māsas are given following the star with which Candra (Moon) resides with on Pūrṇimā (full moon day) of every month. This nomenclature is following one of the five Mānas (systems) called Cāndramānam and it is followed in some Southern States of India.
- Caitramāsaḥ (Candra resides with the Star Citrā on the full-moon day of this month).
- Vaiśākhamāsaḥ (Viśākha)
- Jyeṣṭhamāsaḥ (Jyeṣṭhā)
- Āṣāḍhamāsaḥ(Pūrvāṣāḍhā /Uttarāṣāḍhā)
- Śrāvāṇamāsaḥ (Śravaṇa)
- Bhādrapadamāsaḥ (Pūrvābhādrā / Uttarābhādrā)
- Āśvayujamāsaḥ (Aśvinī)
- Kārtikamāsaḥ (Kṛttikā)
- Mārgaśīrṣamāsaḥ (Mṛgaśīrṣā)
- Pauṣamāsaḥ (Puṣyamī)
- Māghamāsaḥ (Maghā)
- Phālgunamāsaḥ (Pūrvaphalgunī / Uttaraphalgunī)
- Names of Saṃvatsaras (Years) – There are sixty years which are styled as follows:
- Names of Nakṣatras(Stars) – There are twenty seven Nakṣatras (there is another Nakṣatra called Abhijit and its application is limited). Their names are:
- Names of Rāśis and Rāśyadhipatis (Houses of Zodiac and their Lords) – The Bhacakram or zodiac is of 360° and is divided into twelve Rāśis, each of 30°. One Graha rules one or two houses –
- Meṣaḥ (Aries) – Kuja (Mars)
- Vṛṣabhaḥ (Taurus) – Śukra (Venus)
- Mithunam (Gemini) – Budha (Mercury)
- Karkaṭakaḥ (Cancer) – Candra (Moon)
- Siṃhaḥ (Leo) – Ravi (Sun)
- Kanyā (Virgo) – Budha (Mercury)
- Tulā (Libra) – Śukra (Venus)
- Vṛścikaḥ (Scorpio) – Kuja (Mars)
- Dhanuḥ (Sagittarius) – Guru (Jupiter)
- Makaraḥ (Capricorn) – Śani (Saturn)
- Kumbhaḥ (Aquarius) – Śani (Saturn)
- Mīnaḥ (Pisces) – Guru (Jupiter)
- Names of Grahas (Planets) and their Mahādaśā (term) – There are nine Grahas in Jyotiṣam and for each Graha there is specific period to complete its transit –
- Ravi – 6 years,
- Candra – 10 years,
- Kuja – 7 years,
- Rāhu – 18 years,
- Guru – 16 years,
- Śani – 19 years,
- Budha – 17 years,
- Ketu – 7 years,
- Śukra – 20 years
- Nakṣatras and Rāśis – There are twenty seven Nakṣatras and each Nakṣatra has got four legs. In total, there are 27 x 4 = 108 Pādas; when divided by 12 Rāśis, each Rāśi would get 9 Pādas (108 / 12 = 9) –
Meṣaḥ Aśvinī (4), Bharaṇī (4), Kṛttikā 1 (1st pāda)
ii Vṛṣabhaḥ Kṛttikā (last three pādas), Rohiṇī (4), Mṛgaśīrṣā (first two pādas)
iii Mithunam Mṛgaśīrṣā (last two pādas), Ārdrā (4), Punarvasu (first three pādas)
iv Karkaṭakaḥ Punarvasu (last pāda), Puṣyamī (4), Āśreṣā (4)
v Siṃhaḥ Maghā (4), Pūrvaphalguṇī (4), Uttaraphalguṇī (1st pāda)
vi Kanyā Uttaraphalguṇī (last three pādas), Hastā (4), Chitrā (first two pādas)
vii Tulā Chitrā (last two pādas), Svātī (4), Viśākhā (first three pādas)
viii Vṛścikaḥ Viśākhā (last pāda), Anurādhā (4), Jyeṣṭhā (4)
ix Dhanuḥ Mūlā (4), Pūrvāṣāḍhā (4), Uttarāṣāḍhā (1st pāda)
x Makaraḥ Uttarāṣāḍhā (last three pādas), Śravaṇam (4), Dhaniṣṭhā (first two pādas)
xi Kumbhaḥ Dhaniṣṭhā (last two pādas), Śatabhishā (4), Pūrvābhādrā (first three pādas)
xii Mīnaḥ Pūrvābhādrā (last pāda), Uttarābhādrā (4), Revatī (4)
- Ayanas and Ṛtus (half-years and Seasons) – Following the transit of Ravi, the Saṃvatsara is divided into two Ayanas –
- Uttarāyaṇam – It starts when Ravi enters Makararāśi (Capricorn) and continues for six months. This period starts in the latter half of Pauṣamāsa (middle of January) – Makarasaṅkramaṇ Uttarāyaṇam is considered to be very auspicious time for performing Vedic rites and Saṃskāras like Vivāha (marriage) etc.
- Dakṣiṇāyanam – It starts when Ravi enters Karkaṭakarāśi (Cancer) and continues for six months. This period starts in the latter half of Āṣāḍhamāsa (middle of July) – Karkatakasaṅkramaṇam. For most of the Saṃskāras, this is not considered as auspicious period.
Generally, the Saṃvatsara starts somewhere between 20th March and 15th April.
The Saṃvatsara is divided into six Ṛtus, each consisting of two Māsas –
- Caitra and Vaiśākha = Vasantartuḥ
- Jyeṣṭha and Āṣāḍha = Grīṣmartuḥ
- Śrāvaṇa and Bhādrapada = Varṣartuḥ
- Āśvyuja and Kārtīka = Śaradṛtuḥ
- Mārgaśīrṣa and Pauṣa = Hemantartuḥ
- Māgha and Phālguna = Śiśirartuḥ
- Information related to Grahas – Information pertaining to various Grahas is summarized below following the chapter “Grahayoniprabhedādhyāyaḥ” of the book “Bṛhajjātakam”.
|Graha||Varṇa (Color)||Lingam (gender)||Varṇaḥ (caste)||Guṇa (character)||Ucca (zenith)||Nīca (nadir)||Mitra (friend)||Śatru (foe)||Sama (impartial)|
|i.||Ravi||red + dark||male||kṣatriya||krūra (cruel)||Meṣa||Tula||Candra, Kuja, Guru||Śukra, Śani||Budha|
|ii.||Candra||white||female||vaiṣya||sāttvika (soft)||Vṛṣabha||Vṛścika||Ravi, Budha||–||Kuja, Guru, Śukra, Śani|
|iii.||Kuja||red||male||kṣatriya||tāmasa (ignorant)||Makara||Karkaṭaka||Ravi, Candra, Guru||Budha||Śukra, Śani|
|iv.||Budha||green||neuter||vaiṣya||rājasa (passionate)||Kanya||Mīna||Ravi, Śukra||Candra||Kuja, Guru, Śani|
|v.||Guru||yellow||male||brāhmaṇa||sāttvika (soft)||Karkaṭaka||Makara||Ravi, Candra, Kuja||Budha, Śukra||Śani|
|vi.||Śukra||white||female||brāhmaṇa||rājasa (passionate)||Mīna||Kanya||Budha, Śani||Ravi, Candra, Kuja||Guru|
|vii.||Śani||black||neuter||śūdra||tāmasa (ignorant)||Tula||Meṣa||Budha, Śukra||Ravi, Candra, Kuja||Guru|
Rāhu and Ketu are called chāyāgrahas (shadow planets), i.e. not having any independent houses or power and offer the same results as the lord of the house in which they are placed. Further there is the categorization of Grahas as Śubhagrahas (auspicious planets) and Pāpagrahas (inauspicious planets) – Guru, Śukra, Budha and Pūrṇacandra are Śubhagrahas. Śani, Kuja, Ravi and Kṣīṇacandra are Pāpagrahas. Rāhu and Ketu are also Pāpagrahas but at times they rise to the occasion. It is only Budha, who becomes Pāpī when in company with a Pāpagraha. Starting from Kṛṣṇāṣṭamī till Śuklāṣṭamīit is Pūrṇacandra and Śuklāṣṭamī to Kṛṣṇāṣṭamī, it is Kṣīṇacandra. The former is strong and the latter is weak.
All the Grahas move in Pradakṣiṇa (clockwise direction) while Rāhu and Ketu take the Apradakṣiṇa (anti-clockwise direction). At times, Kuja, Budha, Guru, Śukra and Śani move in Apradakṣiṇadiśa and this is called Vakragati. Such a planet is weak and cannot render any help but may cause harm.
Grahadṛṣṭiḥ – Every Graha aspects the seventh Rāśi. In addition, Guru aspects fifth and ninth Rāśis; Kuja – fourth and eighth; Śani – third and tenth.
- Yogaḥ (Union) – The union of Ravi and Candra is called Yoga. There are twenty seven yogas. Eighteen of them are auspicious, i.e. render good results whereas the rest are considered as inauspicious –
- Karaṇam– Each half of a Tithi is called Karaṇ There are eleven Karaṇas. Of these, Śakuni, Nāgava, Catuṣpada and Kiṃstughna are called sthirakaraṇas (static). The remaining, i.e., Bava, Bālava, Kaulava, Taitula, Garaja, Vaṇik and Viṣṭi – are called Carakaraṇas (moving). The Sthirakaraṇas and Viṣṭi (Bhadra) of Carakaraṇas are not suitable for auspicious rites like vivāha (marriage). Pañcāṅgam, which literally means – ‘a book dealing with five aspects’, deals with Tithi, Vāra, Nakṣatra, Yoga and Karaṇa.
- Muhūrta – It is of forty eight minutes of duration and the auspicious one is called Sumuhūrta whereas the inauspicious one is called Durmuhū Pañcāṅgam clearly marks both Sumuhūrtas and Durmuhūrtas. The latter occur on a regular basis. A list of Sumuhūrtas in the year in provided in detail in the Pañcāṅgam.
- Varjyam– Literally it means ‘to be given up’. The inauspicious time computed based on Nakṣatras and their duration, is called Varjyam. This is also clearly stated in the Pañcāṅgam on a regular basis.
- Grahagatiḥ (Transit of Planets) – Bhūgolādhyāya of Sūryasiddhānta explains the transit of Grahas as shown below:
Ravi, Budha and Śukra take one month to cross a Rāśi; Kuja, forty five days; Guru, twelve months; Śani, thirty months; Rāhu and Ketu, eighteen months each; and Candra, two and a half days.
Astaṅgatatvadośa or Mauḍhyam – If any Graha is there with Ravi, then the Graha is called Astaṅgata (set) and such a Graha cannot be effective. The Doṣa (defect) is popularly known as Mauḍhyam. Gurumauḍhyam and Śukramauḍhyam are very strong and there cannot be any Sumuhūrta during that period.
Nakṣatras and Mahādaśas – The Mahādaśa of a Graha for a person born in a Nakṣatra is decided as per the table given below:
- Kṛttikā , Uttaraphalguṇī , Uttarāṣāḍhā — Ravimahādaśā
- Rohiṇī, Hastā, Śravaṇam — Candramahādaśā
- Mṛgaśīrṣā , Chitrā , Dhaniṣṭhā — Kujamahādaśā
- Ārdrā, Svātī, Śatabhishā — Rāhumahādaśā
- Punarvasu , Viśākhā , Pūrvābhādrā — Gurumahādaśā
- Puṣyamī, Anurādhā, Uttarābhādrā — Śanimahādaśā
- Āśreṣā, Jyeṣṭhā, Revatī — Budhamahādaśā
- Maghā, Mūlā, Aśvinī — Ketumahādaśā
- Pūrvaphalguṇī, Pūrvāṣāḍhā, Bharaṇī — Śukramahādaśā
The duration of each Nakṣatra will be somewhere between 55½ to 66½ Ghaṭikas.
- Jātakacakram(Horoscope) – The day starts with Sūryodaya (Sunrise) and each day all the twelve Rāśis complete one round. The Jātakacakram is nothing but a reflection of a person’s karma (nemesis), i.e. Pāpa (sin) and Puṇya, he accrued during the last incarnations (the total sum is called sañcitakarma and the amount he gets in each incarnation is called Prārabdhakarma). The Śubhagrahas denote the Puṇya and the Pāpagrahas, the Pā The natal details of a person, i.e. date, time and place of birth, are essential to build the Jātakacakram of a person (native). Counting from Sūryodaya, with the help of Pañcāṅgam, one has to check as to which Rāśi is running at the time of birth of the native and the same is called Lagnam (Ascendant). The data as to which Graha is in which Nakṣatra and Rāśi is provided in Pañcāṅgam. The names of Grahas are to be written in respective Rāśi of Jātakacakram. There are chiefly two kinds of Jātakacakram in vogue – Savyacakram (clockwise) and Apasavyacakram (anti-clockwise).
The Bhacakram (zodiac) is of 360°Bhāgāḥ (degrees) and divided into twelve. So each Rāśi is of 30 Bhāgāḥ. Further, the Rāśi is divided into three equal parts called Drekkāṇam and it consists of 10 Bhāgāḥ. Today one need not refer to Pañcāṅgam to build a Jātakacakram. There are a couple of sites on Internet, which, if fed with natal details of the native, would provide all the details, including Jātakacakram, within no time.
The following is the Jātakacakram of the author of this Article, who was born at 3 pm on 11-11-1954 at a town called Amalāpuram, in the state of Andhra Pradesh (Sīmāndhra) in South India Different aspects of life can be predicted following the Grahasthiti (planetary position) but the Jyautiṣka (Astrologer) should be one who leads an ascetic life and have Vākśuddhi (purity of speech).
Lagnam, the house of Ravi in daily routine, tells about the body of the native, while Candrarāśi deals with the mind. So, one should calculate from both Lagnam and Candrarāśi, estimate the strengths and weaknesses of Grahas. Rāhu and Ketu are always in the seventh place from each other.
The Uccarāśi (zenith) and Nīcarāśi (nadir) of a Graha will be the seventh Rāśi from each other. If Ravi and Candra are in seventh Rāśi from each other then the day of birth is Pūrṇimā (full-moon-day) and if they are together in the same Rāśi, then it will be (roughly) Amāvāsya (new-moon-day).
- Kārakatvam of Rāśis (aspects dealt with by houses) – Here is a guide that is useful in identifying the Rāśi in a Jātakacakram for an aspect of life –
- Lagnam (first house) – Ātmā (soul), Prāṇa (life), Deha (body), Rūpa (form), Śiras (head)
- Dvitīya (second house) – family, wealth, speech, face, eyes.
- Tṛtīya (third house) – younger brothers / sisters, throat, ears, boldness, eating, taste.
- Caturtha (fourth house) – mother, education, comfort, house, lands, vehicle, relatives etc.
- Pañcama (fifth house) – children, intellect, stomach, happiness, cognition (Jñānam), ministerial work, dexterity, scholarship etc.
- Ṣaṣṭha (sixth house) – Enemies, disease, debts, worry, thieves, obstacles, danger, sin, pain.
- Saptama (seventh house) – Wife / husband, sports, sex, enjoyment, tourism, conjugal relations.
- Aṣṭama (eighth house) – longevity, death, sin, penis and anus.
- Navama (ninth house) – father, God, teacher, Dharma, fortune, mantra, Puṇya, auspicious things, tapas.
- Daśama (tenth house) – Karma, general behaviour (called Rājyam, so the place is called Rājyasthānam), business, command, ego, royalty, respect, livelihood, truth.
- Ekādaśa (eleventh house) – elder brother / sister, income, profit, sannyāsa (mendicant), mundane matters.
- Dvādaśa (twelfth house) – expenditure, destruction, loss, wastage, poverty, leanness of body, hell, heaven.Similarly each Graha is associated with certain aspects of life.
Ṣaḍvargabala (The strength of Ṣaḍvargas) – Six factors, viz. Rāśi, Hora (either half of Rāśi), Drekkāṇa (one of the three parts of Rāśi), Dvādaśāṃśa (one of the twelve parts of a Rāśi) and Triṃśāṃśa (one of the thirty parts of a Rāśi) are to be studied in order to offer predictions
Kujadośa (The defect caused by Mars) – Kujadoṣa, also called Māṅgalikadośa, is very important while deciding the compatibility of the Jātakacakrams of a bride and bridegroom –
धने व्यये च पाताळे जामित्रे चाष्टमे कुजः।
स्त्रीणां भर्तृविनाशाय पुंसां भार्याविनाशकम् ॥
dhanevyaye ca pātāḷejāmitrecāṣṭamekujaḥ।
kujaḥ = Mars, dhanepātāḷejāmitreaṣṭamevyaye ca = in second, fourth, seventh, eighth and twelfth houses (would be), bhartṛvināśāya = for husband’s destruction, strīṇām = in the case of ladies,bhāryāvināśakam = for wife’s destruction, puṁsāṁ= in the case of gents.
In the Jātakacakram, if Kuja is placed in second, fourth, seventh, eighth and twelfth Rāśis from Lagna or Candrarāśi or Śukrarāśi, then it is called Kujadośa. Such a defect would cause problem for husband or wife as the case may be.
If there is Kujados.a in both the Horoscopes of bride and bridegroom then the Kujados.a in both the Horoscopes becomes null and void, ie they can be married. On the other hand, such a Kuja does not commit any harm to those born in his own houses, viz. Meṣa, Vṛścika;Uccarāśi, viz. Makaram; friends’ Rāśis, viz. Karkaṭaka, Siṃha, Dhanus and Mīna.
Tārābalam (Strength of Tārā) – The number of Nakṣatras, when counted from Janmanakṣatra (birth star) to Nityanakṣatra (regular star) as per Pañcāṅgam, is to be divided by nine. If the remainder is one it is Janmatāra, two Sampattāra, three Vipattāra, four, Kṣematāra, five Pratyaktāra, six Sādhanatāra, seven Naidhanatāra, eight Mitratāra and nine Paramamitratāra. Among them, the second, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth Tāras are auspicious.
Vadhūvaraguṇasammelaṇam(Chart of Points between the Nakṣatras of Bride and Groom) – The Guṇas between Nakṣatras of Bride and Groom should not be less than eighteen to have good conjugal relations. The chart showing the count of guṇas is given at the end of this Article.
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