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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



Mother of the world; one of the names of Shiva's consort. Among the zodiacal signs, Virgo (q.v.) generally stands for Jagadamba, especially in the sense of sacrificing oneself for the welfare of others.


Wakefulness. One of the four states of consciousness, the other three being Swapna (dream), Sushupti (profound sleep), and Turiya (the state in which the soul identifies itself with the Universal Spirit).


A celebrated sage; a disciple of Vyasa. He is said to have received Sama Veda from his master, and he gave the same to the world. He was also the proponent of Purva Mimamsa philosophy. (See Darshan) One system of astrology was also propounded by him. (See Jaimini Astrology) The name also stands for the patronymic of a certain order of Vedic seers.


A system of astrological prognostication associated with Sage Jaimini. But Jaimini is a patronymic referring to a special group of sages born during different periods but adhering to the same line of thinking. One, therefore, cannot be sure if the various works attributed to Jaimini were from the same Vedic source.

Astrological predictions under Jaimini astrology do not differ basically from others excepting with regard to certain special principles incorporated in it. Some of these special features are indicated below:

Jaimini astrology lays greater emphasis on Karakattwa (q.v.) and Karakamsa than in other systems. The relative distance traversed by planets in different houses determines their Karakattwa; in Parashari astrology, each planet has its unique Karakattwa. For example, a planet which has attained the highest longitude among all the planets disregarding the sign in which they are located becomes, under Jaimini astrology, Atma Karaka while in Parashari Astrology, Sun is considered so in all horoscopes irrespective of its longitudinal progress in a sign. Similarly, the planet which has moved the shortest distance in a sign under Jaimini system becomes Karaka for wife (or husband) whereas the natural Karaka for the spouse in Parashari astrology is Venus. While it is noted that Rasis (q.v.) and houses ar e identical in jaimini astrology, the Parashari system makes a difference between the two (cf. Bhava Kundali).

In Jaimini astrology, Arudha Lagna (q.v.), or Lagnarudha, is more important than ascendant (q.v.). Arudha Lagna is obtained by counting as many signs from the lord of the ascendant as this lord is removed from the ascendant itself. Other kinds of ascendants also exist under this system, e.g., Bhava, Hora, Varneda, Ghatika, and Nisheka. Aspects under Jaimini system are based on the nature of the zodiacal signs concerned. (See Aspects) Under the Jaimini system, the strength of a sign is reckoned on the basis of Karakattwa, occupation or otherwise of a sign by any planet, aspects of benefices, strength of the planet ruling the sign, flanking of the signs by planets and the placement of Atma Karaki planet in cardinal, Panaphara (q.v.) and Apoklima (q.v.) houses.

The Jaimini system emphasizes Nisheka, Adhana, or the conception time in a special way for working out the natal chart. This system also works out planetary ruler ship at a particular age (See Dasa System) on the basis of signs, the trine houses and the situation of the lords thereof. The duration of their ruler ship depends upon the distance between the sign and its lord. The sequence follows! the order of the zodiacal signs.

Several special concepts are frequently used in Jaimini astrology, which are specially referred only in it. Some of the important concepts thus used are mentioned below:

Argalas: A fastening latch; something intervening as an impediment; planets affecting the fructification or otherwise of another sign or planet. Planets in the 4th, 2nd, 11th, and 5th positions from an expecting planet (except Ketu) become Argalas. Lords which are in the 9th house from Ketu become Argalas for the sign which they own. When planets becoming Argalas are benefices, their results are auspicious; malefic in the position produce impediments. The Argalas produced by planets in the 4th, 2nd, 11th, and 5th positions get neutralised by the presence of planets in 10th, 12th, 3rd, and 9th respectively.

Arudha Lagna: Signs obtained by counting as many signs from the lord of ascendant as this lord itself is from the ascendant.

Atma Karaka: The planet having attained the highest longitudinal position after discarding its sign positions. The Karakattwas of planets attaining relative longitudinal position in the descending order refer to Atma (soul); Amatya (wealth, social status); Bhratru (brothers); Matru (mother); Putra (offspring): Gnathi (cousins); and Dara (spouse), the last having relatively the least advanced in any sign.

Hora Lagna: It is obtained as follows: Divide by 2.5 the birth time in ghatis (1 ghati = 24 minutes) after sunrise, add 1 (one) to the quotient and count as many houses as this number from Sun or ascendant depending upon whether the natal ascendant is an odd or even sign.

Karakamsa: Navamsa sign occupied by Atma Karaka planet.

Pranapada: A sensitive point used for rectifying the birth time. It is worked out by adding twice the birth time in vighatis (1 vighati = 24 seconds) to (a) the Sun's longitude, or M to the Sun's longitude plus 2400 or (c) to the Sun's longitude plus 1200 depending on whether the Sun is in a cardinal, fixed, or common sign. Discard the multiples of 3600 to obtain the Pranapada for a natal chart.Upapada: The sign as apart from the 12th lord as the latter is from the 12th sign itself. 


One of the Saptarishis (q.v.). He was a descendant of Sage Bhrigu, and was a Brahman by birth. His father was Richika, a Brahman, but his mother, Satyavati, a daughter of King Gadhi, was a Kshatriya by birth. The Vishnu Purana describes a mix-up related with the birth of Jamadagni and Vishwamitra. When Satyawati was pregnant, Richika prepared a mess, pulpy food prepared with rice and milk and imbued with sattwic radiance so that she could have a son with the qualities of a Brahman; he prepared another mess for Satyavati's mother with the magnetism of a Kshatriya, qualifying her to have a son with the character of a warrior. At the persuasion of her mother, the women changed the messes, and so Jamadagni, the son of Richika, was born a warrior-Brahman, and Vishwamitra, the son of Kshatriya Gadhi, was born a priest. Jamadagni engaged himself in intensive studies and obtained the entire knowledge of the Vedas. He married Renuka, the daughter of King Prasenajit, and had five sons, the youngest being Parasurama (q.v.). Jamadagni once found that his wife, on seeing some nymph couples sporting and dallying in the water, where she had gone to have her bath, had felt envious of them and had fallen from perfection of purity and thus shorn of her sanctity. He asked several of his sons to kill her, but none except Parasurama obeyed him. The deed assuaged Jamadagni's anger, and he granted him (Parasurama) a boon. Parasurama begged that his mother be restored to life in purity and that his brothers regain their natural conditions. All this was granted. Jamadagni had acquired Surabhi, the sacred cow, by his penance. The cow was taken from the ashram by King Kartavirya while the sage and his wife were away. On learning of this, Parasurama killed the king, but the sons of Kartavirya killed Jamadagni. His basic teaching was that one must renounce one's acquisitions though possessing the capacity to acquire them again and retain the same.


(Anu = minute, atomic; anujanma = essence of origin; Tri = three; trijamna = thrice born). These terms are shortened expressions to describe the planets occupying the Moon sign (janma), the 5th from the Moon sign (Anujanma), and the 9th from the Moon sign (Trijanma).


The king of birds and of the feathered tribe. The Ramayana describes him as the son of Garuda (q.v.); the Puranic stories make him a son of Aruna, the forerunner of the Sun. Jatayu helped Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, by fighting with Ravana when he was carrying away Sita, and was mortally wounded by Ravana in the fight. He died after disclosing to Rama the whereabouts of Sita and Ravana. His last rites were performed by Rama and Lakshamana. Jatayu is described as a close friend of Dasharatha, the father of Rama. It is said that Jatayu had helped Dasharatha when the latter had gone to the sky to recover Sita, when she was carried away by Sani (Saturn). The king's carriage was consumed by a glance from the eye of Sani, but Jatayu had caught hold of the failing king and saved him [See Dowson] Esoterically, Jatayu and Garuda both are related with the cycle of Time.


The 28th in the cycle of 60 Samvatsara (q.v.). It is ruled by Vishnu. Persons born during this year are victorious in wars, blessed with a wife, associated with faithful friends and successful in business enterprises.




A term considered almost synonymous with life. Blavatsky treats it as equivalent to Monad, or Atma-Buddhi. It is the nucleus of potential vitality with intelligence in it. It is variously referred to as the life-breath, the vital breath, and the principal of life. It refers to the individual or personal soul enshrined in the human body and imparting to it life, motion, and sensation, and it is in this sense distinguished from the Supreme Soul, Paramatma.

The Indian religious scriptures frequently use the terms Paramatma, Atman,Jivatma and Jiva, each of which has a definite connotation. These terms assume that cosmic ideation occurs at many levels, and extending in several directions. Parmesh Shakti of the Supreme Lord, also called Avyakta (unmanifest), is the invisible core from which every aspect of manifestation is spilled out. Human individuals also owe their existence to it. The life and light of the Supreme Self in its primeval purity has been preserved during the course of evolutionary process, even in the individual self, whence it is known as Atman. The former is the flame and the latter, its scintilla.

Self-awareness is an attribute of Atman, but this pristine intelligence is veiled in various material sheaths. Yet, at the highest subjective level of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, it projects itself as Jivatma, the fragmented self which maintains its identity in spite of its repeated births and deaths.

In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is called Jiva and is vitally related with Pran Vayu which energizes the body and protects it from physical and other ailments.


Knowledge; sacred knowledge, especially derived from meditation. Higher truth, religion or philosophy which teaches man how to understand his own inner nature and transcend the limitations produced by matter, and reunite with the supreme spirit. Jupiter is related with the knowledge of religious philosophy and rituals. Mercury is concerned with mundane intelligence and head learning. Saturn and Ketu lead to the realization of spiritual truths and understanding of deeper cosmic laws.


Syn: Brihaspati, Jiva, Angira (a Vedic sage), Deva Guru (preceptor of gods), Vachaspati (the lord of speech), Jijya (worthy of respect, adoration), Prashantha (serene, composed), Trideveshavandya (worthy of veneration by the three lords of gods). (For details See Brihaspati)


The 18th asterism extending from 2260 40' to 2400 00' of the zodiac. It consists of three stars symbolizing an earring. It is ruled by Mercury and is presided by Indra, the king of gods in the celestial world. Its primary motivation comes from Artha, directed activity. It is classified a farmer by class, deer by species, demon by temperament, and insect by type. It is related with the Western direction.

Jyeshtha prepares the individual for a new kind of divine influx. It induces psychological exploration often accompanied by material deprivation. The asterism produces arrogance in ordinary individuals, but those who are spiritually advanced, find the asterism very helpful in their inner unfolding.


Astronomy: the science of light and the stellar world. One of the Vedangas, the limb of the Vedas.

The word Jyotish is rooted to the Supreme Light emanating from Brahma (q.v.). At the inner sacred level, it is the spiritual teaching concerning cosmic evolution, which includes the growth and unfolding of man. The Vedic seers treated astrology or Jyotish as the esoteric foundation of divine wisdom on the basis of which human beings at different levels could find light for their spiritual development.

Jyotish is broadly classified into two categories, viz., G) astronomy dealing with the mathematical aspect of planetary and other movements of celestial bodies, and 60 astrology related with the prognostication of the future based on stellar conjuncture and the movement of planets. The former is divided into (a) Siddhanta (theory) which deals with the rules for determining the planetary position ever since creation, (b) Tantra, which gives these rules during the present Kali Yuga (q.v.), and (c) Karan, which provides rules for determining the current position of planets during the current period. Predictive astrology includes (i) Hora or Jataka predictions, in its application to the fate of individuals from the moment of their birth to their death based on planetary positions either at the time of conception, or nativity, (ii) Muhurtha, or electional astrology, showing the auspicious time for undertaking a new activity such as marriage, construction of houses, temples, forts, etc., or undertaking journey, schooling of children, etc., (iii) Prashna, or horary, under which answers are given to spontaneous queries at any particular moment of time, (iv) Medaniya, or national (state) astrology, under which the fate of nations, kings and rulers are prognosticated, and (v) Samhita, or the mundane astrology, which is concerned with natural calamities, e.g., earthquakes, droughts, floods, omens, etc. Certain branches of astrology also deal with physiognomy and astrological implications of vibrations of different parts of the body. Some astrologers, who have acquired esoteric knowledge of in-and out- breathing, predict future events and answer queries based on it. Medical astrology is a special branch of stellar science which is currently becoming popular: it shows the relationship between various ailments, both physical and psychological, and planetary positions.

Currently three systems of Vedic astrology are in vogue. They are (a) Parashari System, (b) Jaimini System, and (c) Prashna Marg. The Parashari System is the most popular one while Jaimini System approaches the same task primarily from Karakattwa (q.v.) of different planets. The Prashna Marg lays down rules for predicting the future depending upon the planetary positions and prevalent omens at the time of the query. Some serious studies of Vedic astrology are presently concerned with discovering the relationship between yoga literature and the ancient system of astrology with a view to channeling stellar influences for human spiritual development.