Astrology is one of the most ancient aspects of human knowledge. It was practiced in all the great cultures of the past and formed a vital part of almost all major religions. In the East, especially in India, astrology has been in use since times immemorial, permeating all aspects of social, cultural and religious life.
In recent years, Vedic Astrology or Jyotish, has gained strong recognition in the West as a system that offers many unique features. The Sanskrit wordJyotishmeans “divine light” or “the light of pure consciousness”. It is rooted in the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of humanity, and its first proponents were the Vedic seers, enlightened beings, whose consciousness was able to uncover the laws that connect individual and cosmic life. Along with many other aspects of Vedic wisdom, tradition holds that astrology is a kind of revealed knowledge. The ancient sages were said to grasp the essence of astrology through an intuitive cognition that flashed unto their minds in deep meditation.
Vedic Astrology Main Concepts
Vedic Astrology is based on two main concepts. The first is that the laws of nature that govern the macrocosm are the same ones that govern the microcosm of the individual. The second is that everything in the universe is connected with everything else. Therefore, whatever happens “up there” in the cosmos, is reflected in a billion individual lives “down here” on Earth.
Modern Science Interconnectedness
The idea of such a deep level of interconnectedness is not foreign to modern science either. Quantum physics has discovered that there are levels of nature where all the forces and particles behave as if they formed a single unified field. In a similar vein, Vedic wisdom regards creation as a process that starts with pure consciousness, an infinite field of intelligence without any division of time, space, forms or relations. At the beginning of creation, consciousness begins to know itself and becomes divided into the triad of Knower, Known and Knowing. Consciousness while remaining pure consciousness assumes the role of the subject, object, and process of knowledge. The infinite combinations and permutations of this triad give rise to an orderly universe, in which every step of transformation can be known, both on the universal and individual level. Astrology connects individual entities with the big picture, and its rules and laws help us find the past, present, and future of whatever exists in space and time.
When someone is born on this earth in a particular time, one carries a “snapshot” of the heavens with oneself that reflects one’s traits, personality, and the steps of one’s life-path. In a somewhat simplified way we can compare this to an assembly-line in a factory. Many products are traveling on the line, each reflecting different stages of being assembled. Looking at these semi-finished products, an expert eye can immediately assess in what stage of production they are, what processes of assembling they have gone through, and what stages they still have to complete. Similarly, an expert astrologer can tell from a horoscope where one is in one’s cosmic journey, what experiences and knowledge one has brought from previous lifetimes, and what tasks are waiting for him in this life.
Jyotish Tied with Spiritual Side of Life
Jyotish, being the science of consciousness, is inseparably tied with the spiritual side of life. First and foremost, the role of intuition is vital in astrology, since a reading is correct only if the intuition of the astrologer is refined enough to tap into the unified field of infinite correlations. The science of Jyotish is like a very special software that requires a powerful hardware to function properly. Otherwise a reading will be like an HD movie that we want to play on an old and slow computer: it will give a distorted and deficient picture. This is the reason why the great teachers of astrology emphasize regular meditation and a pure (sattvic) lifestyle.
On the other hand, Jyotish can make one’s earthly journey smoother and less afflicted by the results of negative karma. Vedic Astrology is strongly connected with Yagyas, i.e. Vedic ceremonies, sacrifices, and other spiritual measures that strengthen the evolutionary and neutralize the harmful trends in life. Certain negative factors that appear in the birth chart can be avoided or alleviated through Yagyas, and in the same way, the effects of weak but positive planets can be strengthened to be fully supportive, and harmful effects can be mitigated. These effective remedies are completely unique to Vedic Astrology.