Glossary of Astrology & other terms
ARA SAURI YOGA
Planetary combination between Saturn and Mars. It produces serious afflictions.
A planetary combination under which all planets occupy consecutive houses leaving the intervening cardinal houses vacant. The individual under this combination is happy, handsome, and is provided with much ornaments, gems and jewels.
[(Ardha = half) + (nari = female) + Ushwara = God)]. A concept suggesting polarization of primeval unity into active (male) and passive (female) energy forms and their mutual interaction in togetherness. This stage of cosmic manifestation is described in many ways in ancient religious literature. Mahadeva, the Supreme Lord, also known as Shiva (q.v.), is represented as half male and half female, denoting masculine and feminine energies to be functioning together. The Puranic stories refer to Brahma, as splitting himself into Brahma-Viraj (male) and Vach-Viraj (female) whose mutual interaction began human generation. Swastika represents the union of male and female I together in action producing motion. Sankhya philosophy postulates Purusha (Spirit) and Prakriti (Nature) together, resulting in over lasting manifestation in action. The cosmic evolution from the primeval subjective state to the gross terrestrial manifestation results from the inter-action of polarized energy forms represented as Ardhanarishwara. It is analogous to Jungian psychology of balanced personality; i.e., a harmonious blending of male and female principles in an individual.
Astrologically, the zodiacal belt is divided between male and female signs [as under Hora (q.v.) division]. Planets are also paired together, such as Sun-Moon, Mars-Saturn and Venus-Jupiter, while Mercury is the interconnecting link between subjective and objective groups of planets.
An invisible satellite of Mercury. It is theoretically worked out as follows: Assuming the duration of a day is 30 ghatis (q.v.), Ardhaprahara rises after 14 ghatis on Sunday, 10 ghatis on Monday, 6 on Tuesday, 2 on Wednesday, 26 on Thursday, 22 on Friday, and 18 ghatis on Saturday. This period is proportionately changed if the duration of daytime differs. During nighttime, this satellite rises after 26, 22, 18, 14, 10, 6, and 2 ghatis, respectively, on these days.
Meaning a latch, a bar, or a bolt used for fastening a door or the cover of a vessel. Figuratively, it refers to some-thing intervening as an obstruction. In Jaimini astrology (q.v.), it is used to describe the obstructing effect of an intervening planet. It assumes that planets and signs of the zodiac affect other planets and signs by their aspects. These influences can be nullified by the presence of certain planets at certain places relative to these planets and signs. Such obstructing planets are known as Argalas.
Respectable oblation to a god. A small boat-shaped vessel often used for an oblation of water. In mystic literature, the word is also used for the Ark or the womb of nature, the crescent moon, or a life-saving ship.
The worthy one deserving divine honors. A title given to fourth degree initiates" who have attained Nirvana (q.v.). An Arhat is one who has entered the highest path (of return) and is emancipated from the bondage of involuntary rebirth.
Meaning green, fresh, soft, moist. The 6th asterism extending from 660 44’ to 800 00' of the zodiac. Its presiding deity is Rudra, the planetary ruler is Rahu and its primary motivation comes from Kama, passion. Its basic attribute is Rajas (q.v.). It is symbolized by a human head. The asterism represents the thinking capacity in man.
The zodiacal sign extending from 00 00' to 300 00" of the zodiac. Mars rules over the sign, the Sun is exalted at 100 and Saturn is debilitated at 200. Aries is considered male by sex, a quadruped by species, and blood red in color. Its other characteristics are moving, fiery, barren or very few children, bilious in bodily humor, austere and sullied in appearance, rises from the hind part. Its abode is the surface of the earth containing precious stones and gems; it rules over minerals. The sign represents the first stirrings of cosmic ideation. It stands for the beginning of every creative impulse. In Vedantic philosophy, Aries stands for initial action, or Avarana Shakti, the veiling process. Its impulse is unsullied, noumenal in its original innocence containing within it all forms of evolutionary potential.
Aries is primordial dynamic energy, the eternal fire inherent in every form of creation in its latency. It is capable of acting in destructive as well as constructive manner. It shows the primeval polarization of cosmic unity.
The Puranic stories describe Brahma, the cosmic creator, born under this sign.
Aries imparts activity, eagerness to venture in new directions and undertake new explorations, experience happiness in creative activities and take greater interest in action than in results.
The sign is supremely suited for asceticism, yogic practices and austerities. It arouses great urge for renunciation of material wealth. It exerts strong spiritual influence and often inspires the persons born under the sign to enter into religious discipleship. These persons are well meaning in their intentions, yet are extremely difficult to live with. Their social relationships are boorish, their married life strained, and professional career rough. Aries-born individuals are never satisfied. They desire to reach insurmountable peaks and feel independent. The sign produces radical changes and makes social behavior unpredictable. Aries produces too many contradictions in life.
Syn: Mesha (ram.), Vishwa (the universe), Kriya (physical action), Tamboor (a kind of musical instrument), Adyam (beginning), Vasta (goat, an abode), Pratham (primeval), Kshetram (sacred spot), Riksha (bear), Bhavam (an abode), Bha (delusion).
Meaning misfortune; unlucky omen. A planetary combination that produces unfavourable results and obstructs the fructification of auspicious ones. It accentuates illness, poverty, fatal accidents, and may even cause death.
Mitigation of unfavorable results expected by Aristha Yogas (q.v.). Three such alleviating combinations are (a) Mercury, Jupiter or Venus in a quadrant; (b) a strong Jupiter in ascendant, and (c) a strong ascendant lord in a cardinal house.
Planetary combinations producing misfortune. These combinations nullify auspicious results and produce hardships. Some of these combinations are listed below:
(i) Malefic (q.v.) associated with the 6th, 8th and 12th houses or their lords; (ii) Malefic aspects on a weak Moon; (iii) Sun, Mars, and Saturn in the 5th house; (iv) Mars, Saturn, or Sun in the 8th house; (v) malefic aspect on weak ascendant lord, Sun or at Moon; (vi) Sun, Mars, Rahu and Saturn in ascendant; (vii) exchange of signs between Jupiter and Mars; (viii) Mars and Saturn in the 2nd house while Rahu occupies the 3rd; (ix) Rahu in the 4th, and Moon in the 6th or 8th house; W Mars in the 7th, Venus in the 8th and Sun in the 9th house; (xi) Malefic in the 7th and 12th houses; (xii) Jupiter, Sun, Rahu and Mars occupy signs of malefic Planets while Venus is in the 7th house; (xiii) lord of ascendant associated with a malefic or flanked by two malefic, and a malefic positioned in the 7th house (it produces suicidal tendencies); (xiv) Saturn in the 8th house, Moon in ascendant, or alter-natively, Venus and Moon in the 6th or 8th House (it leads to stomach disorder or maimed limbs); and (xv) Moon and Mercury in the 6th or 8th house.
Meaning white, the bright or silvery color. The third Pandu Prince born, supposedly, of the radiance of Indra, hence he is also called Aindra, meaning, born of Indra.
Arjuna was brave as the bravest, a highly skilled archer, proficient musician, aristocratic in temperament, generous, tenderhearted, and chivalrous. His extraordinary skill in archery has identified him with the astrological sign of Sagittarius. He was taught military science by Dronacharya, the greatest teacher of ethics, royal manners, as well as in military science during the Mahabharata period. Arjuna won Draupadi, a daughter of the Panchal king Draupada, in an archery contest and thus married her at her swayamvar.* Fraternal feud led to Arjuna's exile and during this period, he received further instructions in the use of arms from Parasurama, the sixth avatara (q.v.) of Vishnu. During the period of exile, he married Ulupi, a Naga princess and by her he had a son named Iravat. He also married Chitrangada, a daughter of the king of Manipur, and from her he had a son named Babruvahan. He visited Krishna at Dwaraka and there he married Subhadra, the sister of Krishna. By her he had a son, named Abhimanyu. Later on, he obtained the bow 'Gandiva' from Agni (q.v.). He journeyed to the heavenly world, where he, on resisting the advances of Urvashi, the most beautiful celestial nymph, was cursed with (temporary) impotence.
When his eldest brother, Yudhishthir, lost the kingdom in gambling, the five brothers went into exile for 13 years, including a year of incognito residence. During this period, Arjuna went on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas to propitiate gods and to obtain from them celestial weapons for use in the anticipated war against the Kauravas. On this occasion, he fought with Shiva (q.v.) who appeared before him in the guise of a mountaineer, but Arjuna having found out the true character of his adversary, worshipped him, and obtained from him the Pashupata, one of the most powerful weapons. Indra carried Arjuna to his capital Amaravati where Arjuna spent some time improving his military skill and use of weapons. At the instance of Indra, he went to fight against the daityas (q.v.) of the sea and vanquished them. On his return, Indra presented him 'with a chain of gold and diadem and with a war shell, which sounded like thunder.' During the thirteenth year of exile, when he was expected to live incognito, he entered into the service of the king Virata, disguised as a eunuch (the nemesis of Urvasi's curse), and acted as a music teacher to Virata's daughter Uttara. Towards the concluding period of his incognito residence, he took a leading part in an assault on the side of King Virata and defeated his enemies, thus winning the lasting friendship of the king, which proved very useful in the course of his fight with the Kauravas. When the Kauravas, at the end of the Pandavas' exile, refused to return their kingdom, preparations for the Mahabharata war began and Arjuna secured the personal assistance of Lord Krishna as his charioteer. Before the actual battle began, Arjuna became despondent at the futility of the impending bloodshed. Krishna, then, related the famous Shrimad Bhagvada Gita to Arjuna in the battlefield in the presence of both the armies of Kauravas and the Pandavas.
The Mahabharata war lasted 18 days. On the tenth day, Arjuna wounded Bhishma mortally. He killed many of his adversaries, including Jayadratha and others. On the seventeenth day, he was stung by some reproaches of his eldest brother Yudhishthir and he would have killed him had not Krishna interposed; on the same day he miraculously escaped being killed by Karna (Arjuna's mother's son from the Sun-god before her marriage to his father Pandu) but an accident to Karna's chariot gave Arjuna the opportunity of killing him. After the victory following Yudhishthir's Ashwamedha horse, Arjuna, besides fighting and conquering many kings, also had an encounter with his own son Babhruvahana at the city of Manipur; there he was killed by his son but was restored to life by a Naga-charm supplied by his wife Ulupi. Arjuna was subsequently called to Dwaraka amid the internecine struggles of the Yadavas, the descendants of Krishna. There Arjuna performed the funeral rites of Vasudeva, the father of Krishna, and of Krishna himself. While he was escorting the wives of Krishna to their abode, he was humiliated and defeated by wayside marauders, which proved to be not only a great disappointment for him but also an eye-opener. He realized that all his powers, which were given to him by Lord Krishna, no longer existed after Lord Krishna's death. He was now a commonplace entity. Soon afterwards, he retired from the world to the Himalayas, where he perished in the snow along with his brothers and Draupadi.
(*Swayamvar is an ancient ceremony where marriageable maidens, brides-to-be, stipulated certain conditions, and any individual who could fulfill and accomplish them, could marry the girl as a result.)
Meaning, a ray of light, a flash of lightning. Sun; Sunday.
Meaning, to strive, obtain, desire. The word means 'significance' specially of attaining worldly objects, such as riches, prosperity, etc. Artha is also one of the four ends of human life, the other three being Dharma (righteousness), Kama (passion, sexual urge, intense attachment), and Moksha (liberation from the cycle of births and deaths, Nirvana (q.v.), release). Artha is the primary motivational impulse of Bharani, Punarvasu, Makkha, Swati, Jyestha, Shravana and Purva Bhadrapada asterisms.
Ascended. (See Arudha Lagna)
Arudha refers to the relative distance of a sign as the lord of the sign is from the sign it owns. Arudha lagna is also known as Pada lagna, a term frequently used in Jaimini astrology. It is worked out by counting the same number of signs from the ascendant lord as it (the ascendant lord) is from the ascendant. For example, if the ascendant is Leo and the Sun is placed in Scorpio, four houses away from the ascendant sign Leo, Arudha lagna will be four houses away from Scorpio where the Sun is placed. In this case Arudha lagna will be Aquarius.
Rosy red, the morning hue; the color of dawn. The dawn is personified as the charioteer of the Sun. While driving the chariot, Aruna sits facing the Sun rather than the horses. Aruna is of a later origin than the Vedic Usha. He is said to be a son of the Sage Kashyapa and Kadru.
One of the 7 rays of the Sun which, according to the Kurma Purana, nourishes Jupiter.
The presiding deity over the twelfth asterism, Uttara Phalguni. A Vedic deity whose interaction with Varuna, Mitra, and Bhaga enables a seeker to reach one indivisible light. Before a human being attains this position, he needs mighty strength, perfectly guided happy inner upsurgings, and constant endurance to reach his goal. Aryaman has the function of strengthening the endurance of the seeker. In all human endeavors, there is stress and strain of efforts, there is struggle. The resolution of conflicts on the path enables the individual to transcend narrowness (an aspect of Varuna) and establish harmony (Mitra). It requires intense austerity, penance, and mastery' over one's psychic reactions. It is through Aryaman's guidance and assistance that success in efforts is accomplished. Aryaman is the embodiment of endurance. The physical body, i.e., the jar, requires thorough baking before the nectar of immortality can be poured in it. This baking is done by the heat and austerity of Aryaman. Aurobindo states that Aryaman sums up in himself the whole aspiration and movement of man in continual self-enlargement and self-transcendence to his divine perfection. Dowson considers Aryaman as 'a bosom friend'. According to him, Aryaman appears in religious literature as the chief of the Pitris (q.v.); one of the Adityas, and one of the Vishwadevas. The Puranic stories make him to be an offspring of Aditi (q.v.).
The system of astronomy founded by Aryabhatta in his work bearing his name. Aryabhatta is considered as the inventor of algebra; two of his works, viz., the Dasagiti Sutra and Aryashtasata published now under the title Aryabhattiya were extensively known throughout the contemporary world. Aryabhatta was born at Kusumapura (Patna) in A.D. 476, and his first astronomical work was composed at the age of twenty-three.
The land of the Aryans, synonymous with India. But more specifically it is the tract of land between the Himalayas and the Vindhya range and from the eastern to the western seas.
[(a = non) + (sat = truth; the immutable, eternal, the one real banes)]. A metaphysical concept referring to 'non-being' rather ‘nonbe- ness'; the incomprehensible nothing-ness. A synonym of matter, Prakriti (q.v.). The unreal or the objective nature is regarded as illusion, nature, or the illusive shadow of its one-true-essence.
Lagnam (sk.). Meaning, an auspicious moment; decisive moment; time of action. The point on ecliptic (q.v.) rising at the eastern horizon at the time of birth or occurrence of an event. The zodiacal sign at the time of birth.
In a horoscope, an ascendant represents general personality, opportunities in life, and the basic impulse motivating the individual. It indicates the physical appearance, general health, early years of one's life and the inborn vitality with which the individual meets life's challenges.
Jaimini astrology considers 6 kinds of ascendants, viz., Arudha or Pada; Bhava; Hora; Varnada; Ghatika; and Nisheka. All these are worked out differently and are intended to describe different aspects of the individual.
ASCENDANTS, TABLE OF
A table giving longitudes of different zodiacal signs rising at the ascendant corresponding to each sidereal time (q.v.).
Visuvamsa (sk). A coordinate to locate a celestial body. It represents the arc of the celestial equator (q.v.) measured eastward from the vernal equinox to the foot of the great circle passing through the celestial poles and the given object on the celestial sphere expressed in degrees, hours, etc.
The 20th asterism extending from 2520 20' to 2660 40' of the zodiac. It is ruled by Venus, its presiding deity is Aapas, the water god, and its primary attribute is Sattwa (q.v.) and the basic motivation comes from Moksha, liberation. It is considered Brahmin by caste, monkey by species, man by temperament. It represents the eastern direction. It is an auspicious asterism producing God's grace, pride and suitable conditions for spiritual growth. (See also MSK pp. 229-31.)
The 21st asterism, which extends from 2660 40' to 2800 00' of the zodiac, is an extension of the previous one, viz., Purva Ashada, and both together form the complete unit, yet there are subtle differences between them. Uttara Ashada is ruled by Sun, and Vishwadeva is its Vedic deity. Its primary attribute is Sattwa, and basic motivational impulse is also Moksha, liberation (the same as the previous asterism). It is, however, categorized as a warrior by caste, mongoose by species, but man (the same as the earlier one) by temperament. It represents the southern direction. It is a spiritualizing influence: it arouses humility, self-centeredness and deep-rooted sensitivity to cosmic unity. (See MSVA, pp. 232-34)
The 9th asterism containing 5 stars symbolizing a serpent extends from 1060 40' to 1200 00' of the zodiac. It is one of the most mysterious asterisms capable of imparting highly spiritualizing influence as well as the most depraved mentality. The asterism is ruled by Mercury. Its presiding deity are the Nagas (q.v.), the serpent custodians of spiritual wisdom. Its primary attribute is Rajas (q.v.) and the basic impulse is spiritual magnetism.
As the Moon is related to human psyche and the changes within it, and Mercury is concerned with intelligence, so are these planets closely related with this asterism; they endow it with great potential for mental development. Ashlesha imparts intellectual and mental development enabling those whom it affects to very much change their perception of life. These changes occur in the most unexpected ways which make the individual experience radical transformation in its thinking and relationships.
Meaning Krura, cruel, or a malefic planet such as Saturn and Rahu.
Hermitage of a sage, or a monastery for ascetic contemplation. One of the four stages in the life of an individ-ual as divided under the law of Manu, specially so in the case of a Brahman. These four ashrams or stages are (i) Brahmacharya, when the individual spends his time as a student under a spiritual preceptor, (ii) Grihastha, in which he is married and spends the life of a householder, (iii) Vanaprastha, the anchoret or the dweller of the woods who, having discharged his duties as 'a man of the world', retires to the forest to devote himself to self-denial and religious meditation, and (iv) Sanyasa, the religious mendicant who wanders about and lives with complete indifference to the mundane world and intent upon humanitarian work and final absorption, Moksha.
ASHWIN/ASHWINAU/ ASHWINI KUMAR
The 1st asterism extending over 130 20' of the zodiac. It is related with the Sun in many ways: the two ascetics represented by the asterism are said to be born of the Sun and his estranged wife Tvastri, when they had assumed the form of a horse and a mare. The various appellations, e.g., Abdijan (ocean-born), Pushakara-srajan (wreathed with lotus), Badav-eyan (sons of the submarine fire) indicate their mystic character.
The Ashwini Kumars are said to be born of the Sun and the sky and are known as Dasra (the destroyer) and Nasatya (untruth). They are drawn in a three-wheeled chariot and the charioteer's seat is -divided in three sections. In the Vedas, they are described as two deities, very young and handsome in appearance, bright and of golden brilliance, agile, swift as falcons, possessed of many forms, riding in a golden car drawn by horses or birds, as harbingers of Usha, dawn. They are the earliest bringers of light in the morning sky. They are hymned as the physicians of heaven who restored the sage Chyavan to youth and had prolonged his life when he had become old and decrepit. In the Mahabharata, they are described as the parents of the Pandu princes, Nakula and Sahadeva.
Ashwins, as an asterism, consist-ing of 3 stars, are symbolised in the form of a horse. The zodiacal sign Aries in which it occurs, is ruled by Mars but the asterism itself is ruled by Ketu. Its presiding deities are the two Ashwini Kumars. Its primary attribute is Rajas, and its basic motivating impulse is Dhanna, righteousness. It is classified as a merchant by caste, horse by species, and a god by temperament. It represents the south direction. The asterism imparts regenerative potential, leadership and 'thirst for sensation. The Sun is exalted in this asterism.
Blavatsky sums up the characteristic of the Aswinis -by describing them as the two Vedic deities, the twin sons of the Sun and the sky, the bright harbingers of the dawn, who prepare the way for the brilliant dawn for those who patiently wait through the night. They are the physicians of the heaven world inasmuch as they heal every pain and suffering and cure all diseases. They are the ocean-born, or Abdijan, crowned with lotuses. The Aswinis represent the transition from darkness to light, cosmically and metaphysically.
Meaning Drishti (sk), sight. Transference of planetary influences to another planet or house division as a result of their situation in relation to each other. Every planet casts direct aspect on planets located seventh from itself. Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn possess additional aspects, too. Jupiter aspects 5th and 9th additionally; Mars aspects 4th as well as 8th; and Saturn aspects 3rd and 10th besides their usual 7th aspect. These are full aspects; planets have three-quarters, half and a quarter aspects, too. These determine the strength of the impulse produced by their location. Full aspect produces 100 per cent result, three-quarters 75 per cent and a quarter aspect produces only 25 per cent of the inherent results of the planet aspecting.
Usually the aspects cover the entire house division on which the planet casts its aspect, yet the concentrated impact is restricted to a narrow range which differs for different planets. The range of concentration is known as Deeptamsa which is ±100 for the Sun; - ± 50 for Moon; ± 30 30' for Mercury; ±30 for Venus; ±40 for mars, ±40 30' for Jupiter and ±40 30' for Saturn.
Nodes do not have any aspect but some authorities assign them full aspect on the 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th houses, 3/4 aspect on 2nd , and 10th and 1/2 aspect on 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 8th houses.
Table 1 shows aspects of various planets. Jaimini astrology considers aspects based on the relationship between different signs. Planets located in any sign acquire the aspect assigned to them.
A relationship produced by the position of two or more planets in the same sign or house. (Also see Asthamana.)
Aspects of Different Planets
Meaning eightfold categorization. It depicts eightfold strength of planets excluding the nodes of the Moon but including the ascendant. It is worked out according to certain well-established rules for measuring the planetary strength. The strength of each planet depends upon the location of other planets and the ascendant in relation to it.
Eight full points are assigned to each planet. They can obtain strength varying from zero to 8 points which, plotted on different signs in a chart, determine the possibility of a transiting planet in inducing auspicious or otherwise effects during its sojourn in a particular sign. Four or more benefic points lead to the fructification of benefic results and elimination of any malefic effect of the planet's transit in that sign.
Also known as Nakshatras (sk) and lunar mansions. A portion of the zodiacal circle of 3600, beginning with 0' Off of fixed signs (q.v.) divided into 27 divisions, each of which division measures 130 20', represents one asterism, or Nakshatra. An additional asterism, viz., Abhijit, is sometimes added in between the 21st and 22nd ones, which alters the magnitude of some of these asterisms. The asterisms are powerful centers of radiation. Moon has special relationship with them. Its position in an asterism determines the ruler ship of planets over different periods in an individual's life. (See Dasa system)
Kashta = eight) + (disha = direction)]. Eight cardinal points; the eight-faced space. An imaginary division of space represented as an octagon (and at other times as a dodecahedron though it is not technically correct to do so).