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Jyotisha is the Sanskrit name for Indian astrology and astronomy, which literally means the "Lords of Light" and by extension, "the study of light"---both light from the sky and from one's inner "sight".  It is a model of reality which interprets the observed conditions of the cosmos at the time of an event--such as birth--in order to provide insight into the nature of that event and its subsequent trajectory.

India is unique among the world’s great civilizations for the development, refinement and maintenance of many different divinatory models which are unsurpassed at providing a breadth of vision for describing past, present and future. Spanning the bridge of time Jyotisha has been passed on from teacher to student for literally thousands of years and is still alive and well in India as a vibrant and living tradition.

The Veda

Jyotisha stands at the forefront of Indian divination systems and is known as the “eyes of the Veda”.  The Vedas (knowledge) are the great cognitions of the ancient Rishis (sages) which are the foundation of the Indian culture and philosophy that holds at its core the knowledge of Brahman – the eternal pure spirit that underlies all beings, all objects and all experience.  Jyotisha itself is a Vedanga – one of six limbs of the Veda that support and sustain the precious knowledge and allow it to be re-cognized generation after generation.   

This knowledge supporting the Vedas is often personified as a living a being – a Vidya with whom a personal relationship is cultured.  For Jyotisha, it is the Jyotir Vidya – the Lore of Light, a Vidya who can be realized only through the oral tradition under the direction of a qualified teacher.  It is the dynamic dialogue between teacher and student that cultivates the judgment of the student so that the subjective growth and means of gaining knowledge becomes a fitting match to the objective mastery of all the tools and principles of the discipline.


Jyotisha is unique in its capacity to be universally applicable to any time, place and individual. It is for this reason that Jyotisha is therefore relevant in guiding each and everyone of us towards greater understanding of our place in the cosmos, so that we may better know who we are, where we come from and where we are going. 

Karma Phala

Jyotisha is a powerful tool in illuminating what may previously have been an “unseen” chain of cause and effect and thus allows an individual to understand and ultimately find alignment with the trajectory of one's life path.  The ability to see the patterns of karma of an individual or a particular situation is likened to the ability to hold up a mirror and become aware of what really is the greater truth. "Karma" actually means action and "phala" means the result or outcome. The knowledge that this "mirror" can provide then becomes a starting point for constructive change and re-alignment of our challenging life dynamics or for maximizing our already promising outcomes.


Like all classical Indian subjects, Jyotisha is truly a beautiful study that embraces many other disciplines and develops in its followers a unique blend of logic, intuition, pragmatism, analysis and synthesis.  Indeed, Jyotisha is a "sadhana", a spiritual path that can transform one’s life permanently.

© Vedic Vidya Institite 2005