Vedic culture is a very ancient culture that goes back at least 5000 years. Vedic astrology is an integral part of Vedic culture, and it has been practiced for many centuries. There are 6 supplementary appendixes to the Vedas. These are called the Vedangas meaning, ‘limbs of the Vedas’. Jyothisha Vedanga – Vedic astronomy and astrology– is one among them. For 1000s of years, Venerable sages or rishis continued to maintain the Vedic astrology tradition for several thousands of years along with the Vedas. From time to time, parts of these have been extracted and added to the Jyothish Vedanga.
Vashishta, Bhrigu, and Garga were some of the great sages or rishis who were masters of astrology. They taught it to their disciples in the tradition of Guru parampara. Before Kali Yuga, which is the present age, began, in 3102 BC, Sage Parashara explored the various schools of Vedic astrology that were present during his time and distilled their essence into his Brahad Parasara Hora Shastra. He then taught it to Sage Maitreya, who was his disciple, who, in turn passed it on to his disciples. In this way, this divine knowledge endured through the ages. It is why the basic school of astrology that is practiced in India is called the Parashara school of astrology.
Parashara was one of the last rishis of the Vedic age. After him, it fell upon ordinary human beings to continue the tradition of Vedic astrology. The most famous among them were Satyacharya, and Varahamihira, who authored many important texts on astrology. After their time, other texts were written, and these also became classics of Vedic astrology. They include texts like Saravali, Jataka Parijata, Horasara, and Sarvartha Chinthamani. All these texts follow Parasara in their teachings.
Vedic astrology has 6 main branches:
Gola – positional astronomy
Ganitha – mathematical diagnostic tools used to analyze the results of gola
Jataka – natal astrology
Prashna – answering specific questions based on the time of asking
Muhurtha – choosing an auspicious time to begin something
Nimitta – study of omens and portents
Many sub-branches are also present, and sages who came after Parashara have written texts on all of them.
From India, Vedic astrology went to Persia. From Persia, it spread to Babylon, and from there to Greece, Rome, and Egypt. With the emergence of Islam, the Arabs too learned it. Interestingly, they imbibed both the Western/Greek and the Eastern/Vedic traditions.
In the West, astrology has not had a smooth journey. At times, it was in favor, and at other times, it fell out of favor. It vanished from Europe during the Dark Ages but came back during the Renaissance period. In the 1600s, during the ‘Age of Reason’, it again vanished only to reappear after a while. It has been around for 150 years or more since then. This historical disruption or lack of continuity is Western astrology’s biggest drawback. Its fractured history means that it lacks the continuity of learning or amassing of experience over the centuries, which characterizes Vedic astrology, which never disappeared in the first place. For this reason, western astrology has many blank spots, gaps, and lacunae. In contrast, Vedic astrology boasts an unbroken tradition that has endured for more than 5000 years. It is also supported and enriched by a large body of classical literature that is at the disposal of those who wish to practice it. On account of this, we can assume that Vedic or Indian astrology is the oldest school of astrology in the world. If you wish to know more about astrology then schedule for a online astrology consultation now.