Derived from the Vedas, Vedic Astrology deals with the art and science of making predictions. There are many different branches of Vedic astrology.
The Study of Vedic Astrology
The Vedas treat astrology as a science, with many different disciplines of study. In Vedic astrology itself, there are varied specializations. However, the basics begin with three subjects:
Siddhanta: This subject deals with astronomy. Astronomy forms the basis for astrology since it helps track the positions of various celestial objects used in making predictions. So Siddhanta deals with the study of celestial objects and how to track them. Within this, Gola covers positional astronomy, determining the positions of different celestial entities, Ganita or mathematics is also studied for performing Analytics.
Samhita (Mundane Astrology): This deals chiefly with the collective, like a nation, culture, community, and society. This disciple looks at planetary positions, past events and a number of other elements. These are all analyzed to predict the destiny of nations, political leaders, business entities, etc.
Hora or Jatak Shastra: This deals with personal destiny. It involves drawing the natal charts of individuals and predicting future events in their lives. This is, in fact, the most common and popular form of astrology.
These are the basic subjects of study. There are many specialisations within vedic astrology.
The Many Branches of Vedic Astrology
Based on the three basic studies, you can specialize in different branches of Vedic astrology.
Samhita or mundane astrology, which focuses on the destiny nations, community, etc, forms the basis for this discipline. Astrologers who specialize in this field can make predictions about the financial future of a nation. They can also predict market movements. However, even if an astrologer gives you a hot tip about a stock, how effective it will be for you is dependent on your own Jatak or birth chart.
This is a specialization of the Jatak or Hora. Medical astrologers can study your natal chart and make predictions about diseases, illness you may suffer from, and so on. They can also predict what sort of treatments can be effective for you in treating different conditions. This branch of Vedic Astrology was most used by Ayurvedic Physicians. Even now, ayurvedic doctors use this system to some extent. They study your natal charts and other factors to determine when to start treatment, when to schedule a surgery, and so on.
Muhurta or Auspicious Time
This involves the analysis and determination of auspicious times for starting an important activity. An astrologer can study the astrology almanacs along with your natal chart and then suggest the best times for important events. This may include important occasions like starting a business, moving to a new house, constructing a house, and setting the time for marriage, etc.
Pashna or Questions Astrology
Prashna is one of the most interesting branches of Vedic Astrology. This is especially useful for those who don’t know their time of birth to draw the natal chart. In this case, the time of asking the question becomes the base for making predictions.
The moment thought or an issue enters your mind is considered the moment of conception. Likewise, the gestation period is the time you spend in debating the various merits and demerits about the idea in your own mind. The moment you ask the question is the time of birth.
The Astrologer calculates the position of planets and other factors at the time the question is asked. After a deep analysis of various elements, he comes up with an appropriate answer to the question. This is a very complex and difficult specialization in Vedic astrology.
Other Branches of Vedic Astrology
There are many other specialization besides the branches discussed above. Here are a few;
- Karbala/Ankjyotish; This deals with numbers and is similar to modern numerology
- Swara Shastra: In this phonetic astrology, predictions are made on the basis of names and sounds
- Nimitta Shastra: This focuses on the interpretations of, and predictions based on omens and portents
- Jaimini Sutras: This is a slight deviation from the conventional Parasara system of astrology. This system relies on Jaimini sutras. These are brief verses composed by Sage Jaimini, a disciple of Sage Parashara
- Nashta Jataka: This system specifically focuses on the reconstruction of lost natal charts or Jatakas
- Stree Jataka: This is a specialization that deals specifically with female natal charts or the jatakas of women
Vedic astrology is vast and complex. It is based on the science of mathematics and astronomy. Astrologers have to gain a deep knowledge about various celestial objects, track their positions at any given time. They have to make complex calculations and analysis before they make predictions. A highly trained and experienced astrologer can be very accurate in making predictions.
You can now study vedic astrology online. There are many institutions offering in-depth courses on the basic subjects as well as specializations. Do some research about the reputation of the institute and the teachers before you enrol.