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Vedic Astrology

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Astrology is the primary Vedanga or limb of the Vedas, as through it the right timing of actions can be determined. It is called the science of reason or causes "Hetu Shastra" as through it we can discern the karmic patterns behind events. Another name for it is "Jyotish", the science of light, as it deals with the subtle astral light patterns which inform and sustain our physical being and determine our destiny in life.

Vedic astrology is not just another system of astrological interpretation. Its purpose is not just to tell us what our destiny is via the stars. It does not leave us helpless before fate but shows how we can use the planetary energies operative in our lives in the best possible way. It also has a practical side, its Yoga. This is its series of remedial measures aimed at purifying our subtle or psychic environment, balancing our planetary influences and maximizing our karma. Its methods include the use of gems, colors, mantras, deities, rituals, herbs and foods. Hence a competent Vedic astrologer can provide us with tools to harmonize our entire being with the stars and align us thereby with the beneficent forces of the entire cosmos. Astrology is the basis for a total examination of our life on all levels, inner and outer.

We all clean our bodies and our houses on a regular basis. Yet few of us know how to clear our psychic or mental space. Things as the use of rituals, mantras and the science of astrology help us to do this. The foremost of these psychic influences we have to deal with is that of the planets. Vedic astrology teaches us to see these influences and gives us the means of promoting those which are beneficial and warding off those which are harmful.

Modern science deals with the sensory perceivable and measurable world. Astrology deals more with the astral world than the physical, with the energy behind form rather than the forms themselves and with the energy of the mind more so than the energy of matter.

Classical Vedic astrology uses the seven visible planets; the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, along with the two lunar nodes, the north and south nodes, Rahu and Ketu.

The effects of the distant planets is not as crucial. Many of their effects can be discerned through the functioning of the lunar nodes. Yet though Vedic astrology uses fewer planets it requires more calculations than a regular western astrological chart as it goes into much more detail in regard to the location and strength of the planets. Vedic astrology uses the twelve signs and twelve houses and planetary aspects, much like western astrology but with some differences, particularly in regard to the aspects.

Excerpted from David Frawley : From the River of Heaven.

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