Astrology Services Home

Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



Titans; Descendants of Diti, a daughter of Daksha, and Kashyapa, a Prajapati (q.v.) and grandson of Brahma. Daityas were a race of demons and giants who lived in Sutala, which according to the legends, is one of the 14 lokas (q.v.). They were gigantic in form and were moved by intense sensual passion. Yet they were greatly devoted to their deities, followed Vedic rituals, undertook severe penance, and offered incredible offerings to them. Hiranyakashipu, Prahalad, Ravana, Sishupala, Virochana and Bali were some renowned daityas.

Very often, the daityas were at war against the gods and interfered with their religious ceremonies; they were often victorious and the gods had to invoke divine dispensation to wrest back power. The daityas cooperated with the gods in churning the ocean to obtain the nectar from it, but the gods did not wish to share it with them. Rahu and Ketu (q.v.) surreptitiously mingled with the gods and partook a bit of it, which made them immortal.

Esoterically, daityas represent resistance to spiritual forces; they enable externalization of latent faculties. In this way, they represent the opposing power required to maintain natural equilibrium and harmony. Demon est deus inverses (Daityas are gods inverted). According to Blavatsky, the daityas are demons in an adverse sense; in truth, they are identical with certain asuras (q.v.) the intellectual gods and opponents of meaningless rituals. They are antagonizing, blind forces in nature, expressed as reaction, opposition, and contrast, evil for some, good for others. Psychologically, they play an important role in discovering the concealed psychological weaknesses of neophytes before they qualify for Initiation (q.v.) in hidden mysteries.


Able; competent; intelligent; skilled. The Puranic being who represents creative power, a form of Brahma. He is described in detail, in almost every religious treatise in India. These descriptions often elude the readers unless the esoteric references are well understood.

The Rig Veda makes Daksha spring from Aditi (q.v.) and Aditi from Daksha. To ' explain it, Roth made Aditi as eternity, and Daksha represented the spiritual power, the male energy which generates gods in eternity.The Shatapatha Brahmana identifies Daksha with Prajapati, the creator. He is considered to be a son of Brahma, one of the mind born offsprings, and is regarded as their chief. On another occasion, he is regarded to be a son of Aditi, one of the Adityas (q.v.) and also reckoned among the Vishwadevas (q.v.).

The Mahabharata makes Daksha spring from the right thumb of Brahma, and his wife from his left. Almost every Purana gives important status to Daksha in human evolution. The names of his wife are variously given, e.g., Prasuti, who was a daughter of Priyavrata, and granddaughter of Manu. Daksha married Virini when he took birth as a son of Prachetasa and Marishi; Asikni, a daughter of Panchjanya, is also said to be his wife, from whom he produced 10,000 sons. From Prasuti, Daksha had, according to various statements, 25, 50, or 60 daughters, the last being the most extensively held view. Of these, ten married Dharma, thirteen Kashyapa, from whom were born gods, demons, men, birds, serpents, and all living beings. Twenty-seven of Daksha's daughters were married to Soma, Moon, and these became the asterisms (q.v.). One of the daughters of Daksha, Sati, was married to Shiva who immolated herself at her father's yajna when due honor was not accorded to her husband, and this led to a catastrophe and Daksha's head was severed and thrown into the fire, but later replaced by that of a ram. The other daughters of Daksha were married to Aristnemi, Bhrigu's son Venus, Krishashva, and Angira.

In another Manvantara, when Daksha was born as a son to Prachetasa, he had seven sons, viz., Krodha (anger), Tamas (sloth, inertia), Dama (self control), Vikriti (distortion), Angiras (a Vedic sage), Kardama (sin), and Ashwa (a horse, a horse like human race, and the number seven).

According to Blavatsky, the various stories about Daksha make him a personification of creative forces acting on all planes. He has spiritual power and, according to her, a male form of energy that generates gods in eternity.


Autumn equinox.


An aspect of Shiva. A mystic functionary situated, according to legends, around the Tropic of Capricorn, and guiding the influx of spiritual forces to earth. The nodes of Moon are said to be intimately connected with him.


The beginning of the southward sojourn of Sun after the summer solstice.


See Sankhya Yoga. It makes the individual sharp witted, rich, and renowned.


A small hour glass shaped drum like musical instrument which produces sound when twisted by the wrist. Two strings are attached to its middle, which, when shaken, strike at both the ends producing sound. A damaru is generally held by Kapalikas, the mendicants who hold a skull in their hand; the jugglers make use of it to make captive monkeys and bears dance to its rhythm. Its religious significance arises from the belief that Lord Shiva holds a damaru in one of his hands. In this context the damaru symbolizes time and rhythmical cosmic movement to its musical accompaniment. A damaru represents many aspects of Cosmo genesis: sound released from void makes manifestation possible; polarization of a point leads to duality, involution and evolution, subjective and objective manifestation, in the direction above and below. The polarization further leads to triangularisation, making trinity to emerge and thenceforth further creative impulses are generated.




An auspicious planetary combination formed in several ways. If Venus aspects Jupiter placed in the 3rd house, while the lord of the 3rd is in exaltation, Danda Yoga is formed.

Alternatively, it takes place when all planets are placed only in Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces signs. Danda Yoga makes a person respected, very rich, an able administrator, and a pious person.

An inauspicious combination under the name is formed when all planets occupy only the 10th, 11th, and 12th houses; it makes the individual depraved, dependent on others for livelihood, and discarded by his kith and kin.


Planetary combination producing indigence and personal infirmities. Many such combinations are given in astrological texts. Some of the important ones are mentioned below:

(i) Jupiter as lord of the 8th house or the 1st house exceeds the strength of the lord of the 9th house, and the lord of the 11th house is neither placed in a cardinal house nor is combust.

(ii) Debilitated and combust Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, or Mercury occupies the 11th, 6th, 12th, 8th or the 5th Bhava.

(iii) Saturn in 9th house aspected by malefic planet(s) while Mercury is associated with the Sun and occupies the Ascendant and has Pisces Navamsa.

(iv) Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Mars occupy in any order 8th, 6th, 12th, 5th, and 10th Bhavas, and the lord of the 12th house, weakened by Sun's aspect, has greater strength than the Ascendant lord.

(v) Depressed Venus, Jupiter, Moon, and Mars occupy any four of the 1st, 10st, 11th, 6th, 7th , and 8th Bhavas.

(vi) Venus in Ascendant in its debilitation sign, while Jupiter, Mars, and Moon are also in debilitation.

(vii) The ascendant is in a cardinal sip, while the rising Navamsa is aspected by Saturn and depressed Jupiter.

(viii) In the above combination (No. vii) even if Jupiter is in the 6th or the 8th Bhava in a sign not belonging to itself, the same result follows.

(ix) Ascendant in a fixed sign, malefic in cardinal and trine houses in strength, and angles devoid of benefices make the individual to subsist on alms.

(x) Night time birth, ascendant in a cardinal sign, weak benefices occupy angles and trine, and malefic not in cardinal houses will make the individual absolutely poor.

(xi) Debilitated malefic will make the individual indulge in unethical acts, but debilitated benefices will succeed in keeping his sins concealed; Jupiter for Aries ascendant posited in the 10th house, or Mars for Pisces in the 5th will make the individual lead a disgraceful life

Persons born in Daridra Yoga suffer deprivations of different intensities and meet unlucky and trying conditions of life. Their sorrows arise not only from indigence; their organs may be defective, their nature may be crafty, their speech unpleasant and they may be addicted to lust and gluttony. They earn by foul means. Their social life is dishonourable. They meet unexpected failures in life.


Sight; understanding; intellectual insight; a system of philosophy. Six systems of Indian philosophy, or Shad Darshan. These are based on the assumption that nothing comes out of nothing ex nihilo nihil fit so there is a beginning, and all have one and the same ultimate destiny, the emancipation of the soul from future births and existence, and its absorption into the Supreme Soul. The Shad Darhsan reaches these conclusions through different paths of intellectual enquiries, viz., Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa, and Uttar Mimamsa.

Nyaya, associated with Vatsyayana, is a system founded by Gautam. The word Nyaya means propriety, justice, appropriateness of conclusions. The school under this name is also called the Logical School. It refers more to the appropriateness of methodology rather than to its subject matter. It is also said to represent the sensational aspect of Hindu philosophy, because it has more pointed regard to the five senses than the other systems have and treats these external manifestations more frankly as a solid reality. Dowson considers it as the esoteric school, as the Vedanta is the esoteric. It aims to establish the nature of the Absolute, purely based on logic and reasoning.

Vaiseshika was founded by Sage Kanada. He was a contemporary of Gautam. This school is supplementary to Nyaya. The two are often classed together. It assumes fewer predicables of the Absolute and lays special emphasis on specialities (Vishesa, the term to which the system owes its name, means special). It bases its approach to the Ultimate on the atomic theory of the universe. It teaches the existence of a transient world composed of aggregation of eternal atoms, an endless number of souls, and a fixed number of material principles. Their correlation and interaction of primordial cosmic evolutions take place without any directing force. They operate by a mechanical law inherent in the atom. It is a very materialistic approach to the manifest existence, yet it recognizes a Supreme Being.

Sankhya, literally 'relating to number', is based on the teachings of Sage Kapila. It discourses on numerical categories and the 25 tattwas representing the forces of nature in various degrees. It explains the integration of 24 elements with Purusha, the Spirit, modified by the three gunas, viz., sattwa, rajas, and tamas; teaching the eternity of Pradhana, primordial homogeneous matter; the self transformation of nature; and the eternity of human Egos. Sankhya and Yoga are often classed together, but Sankhya seems atheistical while Yoga is manifestly theistical. Sankhya's chief goal is to establish the way to final emancipation which can be accomplished by release from the attributes and tattwas leading to the emancipation of Purusha or Soul from the fetters of phenomenal existence. A true understanding of the relationship between Purusha and Pradhana leads to the release.

Yoga, popularly associated with Patanjali, is the doctrine which owes its origin to still an earlier sage, Yajnavalkya, the writer of Satpatha Brahmana of Yajur Veda, the Brihad Aranyaka, and other famous works. Yoga aims at unification of an individual with the Supreme Spirit and at control of the modification of the mind in order to attain self realisation. It lays down the eightfold path to the final attainment of Nirvikalpa Satiiadhi, when the separation of the individual is eliminated and the yogi realizes his identity and merges in the Supreme. Tremendous psychic powers are attained during this unfolding, or self-realization.

Purva Minimamsa was founded by Jaimini and Uttara Minimamsa is associated with Bhadrayana Vyasa. Uttara Mimamsa is also called Vedanta, whose most prominent apostle was Sankaracharya. The term Vedanta means the end, or goal, of the Vedas. Minimamsa means deep reflection, inquiry, investigation. The object of both these schools of philosophy is to teach the art of reasoning with the express purpose of aiding the interpretation of the Vedas, not only of the speculative but also of its practical portion. The principal doctrines of Vedanta are that God is the omniscient and omnipotent cause of existence, continuance and dissolution of the universe. Creation is an act of his will, and he is both the efficient and the material cause of the world. On consummation, all beings and things merge into him. He is the sole existent and universal soul, and besides him there is no second principle; he is adwaita, without a second. An important contribution, of Vedanta is the doctrine of Avidya, the Mayavic illusion, which blinds one to the reality of the Supreme Self.


Also known as planetary direction. It refers to the system according to which planetary ruler ship at any specific period of one's life is worked out. It shows the time when effective results of any planet, according to its natal position, can be experienced. Parashara enumerated 42 such dasas. The specific system applicable to any horoscope depends upon special planetary combinations in the chart. The basic consideration in all these systems is Moon's natal position in an asterism. On this basis the cyclical order of the periodicity of planetary ruler ship is worked out. Each planet is assigned a certain number of years for its ruler ship, and this number differs from one system to another. The following are some of the extensively used systems:

(i) Vimshottri: It has a total of 120 years, of which Sun is assigned 6 years; Moon, 10 years; Mars, 7 years; Rahu, 18 years; Jupiter, 16 years; Saturn, 19 years; Mercury, 17 years; Ketu, 7 years; and Venus, 20 years. This planetary sequence is adhered to in the system. The first dasa is of Ketu when Moon occupies the very beginning of the first asterism, viz., Ashwini.

(ii) Ashtottri: It has a total duration of 108 years. In this system, Sun has a duration of 6 years; Moon, 5 years; Mars, 8 years; Mercury, 17 years; Saturn, 10 years; Jupiter, 19 years; Rahu, 12 years; and Venus, 21 years. There is no rulership for Ketu under this system.

(iii) Shodashottri: It has a complete planetary chain of 116 years.

(iv) Dwadashottri system has a total of 112 years.

(v) Panchottri has a complete cycle of 105 years.

(vi) Shatabdika has a planetary chain of 100 years.

(vii) Chaturashitisama dasa has a planetary chain of 84 years.

In all these dasas, Vimshottri dasa is the most widely accepted and used system. In certain parts of India Ashtottri dasa system is also employed to a limited extent.


The last portion of a planetary ruler ship. This duration is often inauspicious.


One-tenth division of a zodiacal sign' Each of it consists of 30 with different planets ruling and different Vedic deities presiding.


A planetary combination formed by Jupiter in ascendant, Venus in 4th house, Mercury in the 7th, and Mars in the 10th house. It makes an individual very affluent and generous.


Adopted child.


Also known as Neecha. It represents the weakest position of a planet. At this position the auspicious effects of the planet are eliminated unless cancelled by Neecha Bhanga Raja Yoga (q.v.). The planets are debilitated as follows: Sun in Libra, 100; Moon in Scorpio, 30 Mars in Cancer, 280 Mercury in Pisces, 150; Jupiter in Capricorn, 50; and Venus in Virgo, 270; and Saturn in Aries, 200. Debilitation of a planet occurs 1800 away from its exaltation point.


One-third portion of a zodiacal sign, equal to 10' each.


Kranti (sk). The angular distance of a heavenly body from the celestial equator measured on the Great Circle, or Meridian, passing through the Celestial Pole and the body. Declination of stars changes very slowly due to the effects of the precession of equinoxes (q.v.) whereas that of a planet changes markedly over a short period.


Range of an expecting planet; the focal point of an expecting planet; the orb within which the aspect of a planet can be effective. The 7th house aspect of a planet means transference of its influence to the 7th house from which the planet is situated. It implies transference to the entire range of 300 of the house. In actual practice, it is not so. A planet placed towards the end of a sign does not effectively aspect a planet located towards the beginning of the seventh sign from it, though it is generally stated to be doing so. Deeptamsa indicates the area of maximum impact of an expecting planet. It is 150 for the Sun, 120 for Moon, 80 for Mars, 70 for Mercury, 90 for Jupiter, 70 for Venus, and 90 for Saturn. The area of maximum impact extends over 1800 Deeptamsa.


A term used in Kala Chakra Dasa (q.v.). If differs for different quarters of an asterism. (Different related concepts are described in detail under Kala Chakra Dasa)


The house opposite to ascendant. It represents the western direction in the sky, the region where the planets set down the horizon. In predictive astrology it represents the 7th house.




Position of a planet opposite to the sign of its ruler ship.


Also known as Devarshis. The sages of the highest order. Either they are mind born sons of Brahma, e.g., Narada, or those who have, by their austerities, attained the exalted status of demigods. They dwell in the region of gods.


Shining ones. Gods dwelling in Indra's kingdom.


Divine wisdom. A term used by Narada (q.v.) which he included among the various subjects when he told Sanat Kumar what he had learnt to prove his preparedness/eligibility for receiving further instructions from him. The nine subjects mentioned on this occasion, besides the Vedas, were history (including Puranic stories), grammar and philosophy (Nirukta), the knowledge of helping the Pitras (q.v.) and ancestors, mathematics, the science of manifestation, the knowledge of hidden wealth (Nidhi), logic and debate, ethics and Devavidya. The last implied either the secret of existence and functioning of 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas, vidyuta (electricity), and the gods of the oblations of yajnas totaling 23, or the working of these gods which refers to the laws and their operations relating to physical sciences.


A divine being; god. Devata includes many grades of celestial beings from the highest cosmic powers to a large number of beneficent inferior nature spirits.


Of divine birth. A general name for those who belong to the realm of gods.


A planetary combination formed by ascendant placed in a fixed sign, ascendant lord in 11th, the lord of 11th in ascendant, and the lords of 2nd and 10th houses in mutual exchange. This combination is powerful in making the individual extremely beautiful (handsome like Indra), loved by pretty women, owner of vast wealth and villas. He attains a very high social status.


The female cosmic power. She is worshipped both in her mild forms (i) representing Uma, the light; Gauri, the brilliant; Jagatmata, the mother of the world, and so on; and (ii) in her fierce forms such as Chandika, the fierce; Durga, the terrible, or the unconquerable; Kali, the black, and so on. Various names had been given to this power and it is worshipped for obtaining quick divine favors.


Daughter of Shukra (Venus), and wife of Yayati, a mythological king of ancient India.


The planet producing wealth, viz., Jupiter.


Planetary combinations for wealth.

More Astrological Terms With Alphabet D >>>