Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Branches of Vedic / Hindu Astrology

Vedic astrology (Aagam Shaastra / Jyotisha- futurity sciences) has three main branches or Skandas:

Siddhanta or Ganita Skanda (Astronomy): Astronomy & its application to astrology.

Samhita Skanda (Mundane astrology): Covers Mundane astrology, predicting important events related to countries such as war, earth quakes, economic cycles, political events, astro - meteorology, financial positions, electional astrology; house & construction related matters (Vaastu Shaastra), animals, portents & omens etc.

Hora Skandha : Predictive astrology, which is interpretation of horoscopes:

This branch has the following different sub sets or branches:-

Jaatak Shaastra / Hora Shaastra (Natal Astrology / horoscopy): Prediction based on individual horoscope.

Muhurtha (Electional astrology): Selection of beneficial time to initiate an activity to get maximum fruition from the life activities. Actions tend to produce results accoreding to the planetary configurations under which they are initiated. One muhurta is 48 minutes.

Swar Shaastra (Phonetical astrology): Predictions based on name & sounds.

Prashna (Horary astrology): Predictions based on time when a question is asked by querent / querist. Almost all questions are answerable from a horoscope calculated at the time of the question. A few famous classical works in this genre are Varahamihira’s Daivajna Vallabha, the Shatpanchasika of Prithyshas (Varahamihira’s son), Prashna Marga which is a complex work authored by an unknown jyotishi and Neeelakantha’s Prashna Tantra.

Nimitta: It is the interpretation of omens. This requires ones intuitions to be in full flow. It is very difficult to do this without direct instruction from a skilled ominologist. This is learnt only by oral tradition.

Ankjyotisha / Kabala (Numerology): A branch of astrology based on numbers.

Nastjaatakam (Lost Horoscopy): Art of tracing / construction of lost horoscopes.

StreeJaatak (female astrology): A special branch of astrology dealing with female nativities.

It is said that one conversant with all the above branches will never err in preditions. An almost impossible feat to achieve! Such an astrologer is a true daivajna (knower of Gods intention).

In our next post let's look at the styles of Jyotish.


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