Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P-Q R S T-U V-W-X Y-Z
see also Ayanaansh; Jyotish-2; Jyotish in Ved; Nakshatra; Ratn in Astrolgy;
Jyotish or astrology is the part of Ved, Ultimate Truth, not of Maayaa. It is one of the six Ang (parts) of Ved = (1) Shikshaa - concerned with phonetics, (2) Kalp - the procedures for the performance of religious ceremonies, (3) Vyaakaran - grammar, (4) Nirukt - the etymological explanation of words, (5) Jyotish - the science of astronomy, and (6) Chhand Shaastra - concerning the meters or science of poetry.
Jyotish is called the Eye of Ved, because it gives us direct and tangible proofs of the Reality which are merely described by other Ang of the Ved. Jyotish gives us proofs of Karm of past lives resulting into the shape of our horoscope, it proves rebirths, existence of Soul (which carries our Karm from one life to another), etc. Jyotish Shaastra has three divisions : the Siddhaant, the Sanhitaa and and the Horaa. Varaah Mihir has written on all the three. In Kali Yug, Jyotish loses these qualities and becomes merely a money-making profession, nothing to do with Ved or its Ang.
Astrology. The term is applied as Ganit (mathematical) Jyotish to astronomy, and as Phalit (result) Jyotish to astrology. While Ganit Jyotish is a science, Phalit Jyotish is a belief. Astronomy was largely developed by Hindu, and astrology by Greeks. Indian works, such as Gaargee Sanhitaa acknowledge the contribution of Greeks in the field of Astrology. Some of the early works on Astrology were Gaargee Sanhitaa (c 230 AD), which incorporates a chapter called Yug Puraan written at a much later date; and the work of Aarya Bhatt (c 500 AD) who came with the cause of eclipses. Both borrowed material from "Siddhaant" which were treatises on Astronomy written during BC years.
Work in the field of Astronomy continued continuously. In c 540 AD, Varaahmitra wrote a
book on Astronomy calling it "Panch Siddhaantikaa"; and in c 1100 AD, the
astronomer Prince Jaya Sinh, the founder of Jayapur city, built five astronomical
observatories - one each at Dehlee, Mathuraa, Ujjayinee, Jayapur and Vaaraanasee. They
are popularly known as Jantar-Mantar.
Raashi (Zodiac Signs)
Surprisingly enough our Ved, especially Rig Ved, describes these Raashi in it. See the article "Raashi in Rig Ved" here.
Graha and Upagraha
It is interesting to note that the starting Nakshatra is different in our different scriptures.
What is Abhijit Nakshtra?
No Nakshatra is less than 56 Ghatee (28 Muhoort, or 22.4 hours) and more than 66
Ghatee (33 Muhoort or 26.4 hours). One Muhoort is of 48 minutes.
Pushya Nakshatra is a very powerful Nakshatra, even if it is in Paap Graha. Leave alone marriage, this Nakshatra gives desired fruit in all auspicious Karm.
Hindu Lunar Calendar
The names of Vaidik months of Hindu Calendar are - (1) Madhu/Chaitra, (2) Maadhav/Vaishaakh, (3) Shukra/Jyeshth, (4) Shuchih/Aashaadh, (5) Nabhas/Shraavan, (6) Nabhasya/Bhaadrapad, (7) Ishaa/Ashvayuja or Aashwin, (8) Urja/Kaartik, (9) Sahas/Agrahayana or Maargsheersh, (10) Sahasya/Paush, (11) Tapah/Maagh, (12) Tapasyaa/Phaalgun. These names get interchanged with solar as well as Lunar months in our Shaastra.
30 Days (Tithi) of Hindu Lunar Month - (1) Padavaa (Pratipadaa), (2) Doyaj (Dwiteeyaa), (3) Teej (Triteeyaa), (4) Chauth (Chaturthee), (5) Paanch (Panchamee), (6) Chhat (Shashthee), (7) Saatai (Saptamee), (8) Aathai (Ashtamee), (9) Naumee (Navamee), (10) Dashamee, (11) Gyaaras (Ekaadashee), (12) Baaras (Dwaadashee), (13) Teras (Trayodashee), (14) Chaudas (Chaturdashee), (15) Maavas (Amaavasyaa), (16) Poornimaa, or Poonam (Poornmaasee)
In ancient times the basic unit of calendar time was not the Solar day, it was the Lunar day, or Tithi. The approximately 30 Tithi formed a Lunar month of approximately 29.5 solar days. Thus one full Moon to the next full Moon is approximately 29.5 Solar days which is equal to 30 Tithi or Lunar days. Thus the Tithi is a little less than a solar day. Probably the Tithi was invented to avoid the complications of having to deal with the extra half day in the 29.5 solar day month. It however created other complications. The Tithi could begin at any time of a solar day so it was decided that the Tithi that prevailed at sunrise would be the Tithi for the whole current day.
The year normally consisted of 12 months, of 30 Tithi each and was 360 Tithi long. It usually began with the Chaitra (March-April) month, but in some systems the it began with the Kaarttik (October-November). 360 Tithi is only 354 solar days and the Solar year is 365.25 Solar days thus every second or third year an extra month was added. It is interesting to note that a 360 Tithi long year makes use of the very convenient number 360. Ancient Babylonians and ancient Maya people also used a 360 day year for their calendars, but they used Solar days rather than Lunar days.
The Solar calendar was imported to India in the time of Gupta (300 AD) with months named for the signs of the zodiac. The names of the months are a close translation of the Greek originals. Thus the months are Mesh (Aries), Vrishabh (Taurus). Mithun (Gemini), Karaataa (Cancer), Sinh (Leo), Kanyaa (Virgo), Tulaa (Libra), Vrishchik (Scorpio), Dhanu (Sagittarius), Makar (Capricorn), Kumbh (Aquarius) and Meen (Pisces.) The 7-day week was also introduced with the name of the day being the name of the planet which presides over the days as in the Greco-Roman system. In fact the order of the planets is the same as in the Greco-Roman system, a vestige of the ordering by ancient Babylonians.
Today in India all religious festivals are determined by their Lunar calendar date except Sankraanti which normally falls on 13th or 14th of the solar calender. For example Deepaavalee, the new year festival, celebrated all over India, occurs on the New Moon which begins the lunar month Kaarttik (usually occurring in October or November).
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 05/14/13