Astrology in India

  • Vijaya Narayan Tripathi
Reference work entry

In India, astrology, Jyotiṣa, is defined as Jyotiṣam sūryādi grahāṇām bodhakamśāstram, the system which explains the influences of the sun, moon, and planets.

Indian astrology came explicitly to light around 1200 BCE, when the monk Lagadha compiled the Vedānga‐Jyotiṣa on the basis of Vedas, in which lunar and solar months are described, with their adjustment by Adhimāsa (lunar leap month). ṛtus (seasons), years, and yugas (eras) are also described. Twenty‐seven constellations, eclipses, seven planets, and twelve signs of the zodiac were also known at that time.

In the period from 500 BCE to the beginning of the Christian era some texts were written on the subject of astrology. Nineteen famous sages composed their Siddhāntas (texts). Candra‐prajnapti, Sūrya‐prajnapti, and Jyotiṣakaraṇḍaka were written. The Sūryasiddhānta, the ancient text of Indian astrology, was composed around 200 BCE.

In the first five centuries of the Christian era, there were some important contributions by Jain...

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  • Vijaya Narayan Tripathi

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