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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



The interval between the reigns of two Manus. It consists of 71 Maha Yugas, equal to 306,720,000 years, (See Kala for details)


The embodiment of desire, Kama (q.v.).


Nivritti Marg refers to withdrawal of consciousness from material involvement; on Pravritti Marg, the ego gradually gets immersed in the Mayavic world of illusion. These two concepts are basic to all Indian teachings. The terrestrial existence provides sensual gratification which increasingly binds the individual to involuntary births and deaths, as well as to frustrations and sorrows. Initial turning point occurs with helplessness experienced at moments of intense pain when the heart bleeds and there is no escape. Increasing introspection and the growing urge to free oneself from the pain of despair and dissolution induce the individual to delve deeper into the mysteries of nature. At such moments, the reality of the path of withdrawal dawns on him. He begins to lead a life of righteousness and controls his involuntary responses. New realities begin to dawn on his consciousness. The path of spiritual unfoldment, over a number of years, takes the individual towards his deliverance. When he consciously begins to establish voluntary control over his life, he is placed on the path of withdrawal. His spiritual teacher, at the inner plane of his psyche, takes control over him. Many mystic experiences begin to take place in him. His life becomes very intense. Often his nervous and psychological strain increases. Yet there is much satisfaction on higher levels; a sense of fullness and purpose in life takes sway over him.


Accelerated direct motion.


A ray of light. One of the mind-born (q.v.) sons of Brahma. The father of Surya, Sun, and the direct ancestor of Maha,kashyapa. The Northern Buddhists at the Yogacharya School see in Marichi a Bodhisattva. Marichi is the chief of the Marutas (q.v.) and one of the seven great Rishis.


See Kuja.


Literally means the dead egg; Sun. The Puranic stories describe that when the 8th Sun was born, Aditi (q.v.). thought him to be a lifeless egg, so the name of Martand was assigned to him. A bird produced from seemingly lifeless egg. A Vedic name for Sun, Aditya, the Sun-God.


A planetary combination formed by Jupiter in a trine house from Venus, Moon in 5th from Jupiter, and Sun in a cardinal house in respect with Moon. The combination makes the person very rich and a successful businessman.


The storm god. The 49 sons of Diti (q.v.) who are also said to be the sons of Rudra and brothers of Indra, sons of the ocean, sons of heaven, and sons of the earth. They are armed with lightnings and thunderbolts, and ride on the whirlwind and direct the storm. The Marutas, according to Aurobindo, represent the progressive illumination of human mentality, until from the first obscure movements of mind which only emerge out of the darkness of the subconscient, are transformed into an image of the luminous consciousness of which Indra is the Purusha, the representative being.


Odd signs of the zodiac, viz., Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius.


The planet which indicates the relationship of the individual with his mother. It is important especially in Jaimini astrology. It is worked out as follows: the longitudes of planets in different signs are arranged in descending order after discarding the value (in degrees) of the sign. In this sequence, the planet fourth in order is known as Matri Karaka; the first one is Atma Karaka, the second one Amatya Karak (family relations), and the third one Bhratri Karaka (brothers). In Parashari astrology, Moon is universally considered as the Matri Karaka planet.


A planetary combination formed by malefic and benefices both occupying the 5th house, malefic in ascendant and in 9th house, and a malefic in either the 4th or the 8th house from the ascendant. A person born under this combination is compassionate, religious, intelligent and renowned. He becomes a renowned astrologer also.


Illusion, deception. Illusion personified as a female of celestial origin; creative illusion. Sometimes identified with Durga. (q.v.) as the source of spells, or as a personification of the unreality of worldly things. In common parlance, Maya stands for wealth, women, and transience. In Vedanta, it is the matter which veils spirit. Sankaracharya stated that everything from Mahat (q.v.), cosmic intelligence, which is the first to proceed from Prakriti (q.v.) down to the gross physical body is the effect of Maya. It always exists with Avidya (q.v.), ignorance. Blavatsky considers Maya as the cosmic power which renders phenomenal existence and the perception thereof possible.

Maya was also a Daitya who was the architect and artificer of the Asuras (q.v.). He dwelt in Devagiri Mountains, not very far from Delhi. His chief works were in the neighbourhood of that city where he worked for men as well as Daityas. He also built a palace for the Pandavas (q.v.).


Astrological predictions relating to the state. It deals with prosperity or decline, affluence or penury, foreign invasion, internal strife and such other details connected with the destiny of the government.


The 12th sign of the zodiac extending from 3300 to 3600 of the longitude. It is a feminine sign ruled by Jupiter and considered watery in element, mild in temperament, phlegmatic in bodily humor, Brahmin by caste, strong during night, and related with the northern direction. It is symbolized by a pair of fishes. Venus is exalted at 270 of it and Mercury debilitated at 150. The sign represents the feet of Kala Purusha (q.v.).

Pisces makes an individual work for humanity in general, and to rise above the common folk. He is never satisfied with his conditions. In adverse relationship with Mercury, Pisces makes the individual neurotic cynical, and psychologically unbalanced. In special relationship with Venus, it produces the worst trials for the individual, especially from women, worldly pleasures, and drugs. Syn: Anthya (end), Matsya. (fish), Pritharoma (fish), Prithujugma (double fish) and jhasa (warmth as well as a large fish).


An inferior planet like Venus since it is closer to Sun than Earth. Its mean distance from Sun is 60 million km, and its diameter is 4,850 km. Its axial rotation is the same as its sidereal period so that the same hemisphere is always presented to Sun. There are regions of permanent night on it, however there is a zone in between permanent night and permanent day, over which Sun appears to rise and set but no life is expected there.

Mercury is said to own Gemini (q.v.) and Virgo (q.v.); it is debilitated in Pisces at 150. It is friendly with

Sun, Venus, and Rahu, and is inimical with Moon, neutral with Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Sometimes Saturn is considered friendly with it. The proximity of Sun adds special significance to the planet. It is never more than 600 away from Sun. Unless it is too close to Sun, when it is considered combust thus depriving itself of its inherent qualities, an association between Mercury and Sun leads to Budha-Aditya Yoga (q.v.), which sharpens intellect. The occultists place much significance on this association as it, according to them, exalts the status of Mercury among the heavenly bodies. Blavatsky refers to this phenomenon as important so as to make Mercury the most eloquent and the most wise of all gods (SD. III. 41). The Puranas describe it as a son of Jupiter as well as of Moon. Soma, the presiding deity of Moon, had abducted and impregnated Tara, the wife of Jupiter, who gave birth to Mercury It had led to a war in heaven between the gods and the demons, and natural balance was restored only at the intercession of gods. Jupiter also accepted Mercury as his own son. Other Puranic stories refer to Mercury's changing sex several times and begetting several offspring both as a male as well as in a female form.

In predictive astrology, Mercury represents intelligence, commerce, and one's own brothers. It has a tremendous adaptive capacity. It has the most suitable aptitude for ministerial and diplomatic assignments. In yogic literature, Mercury is said to be connected with Vishudhi Chakra.

Syn:, Budha (learned), Chandraputra (son of Moon), Jna (the sentient soul, a wise person), Saumya (graceful), Boodha- (instructor, informer), and Atidirgha (very enduri


The cup, or lotus-vessel, whose each leaf is a Dwipa (island); the mystic mount, the house of gods. The Puranas describe the height of Meru mountain as 94,000 yojanas, 16,000 yojanas of which are rooted in Earth.

Meru is a name of a mythical mountain supposed to function as the centre, or navel, of Earth where swarga, or the abode of gods, exists. Geographically it is described as an unknown mountain situated north of the Himalayas. Traditionally, Meru is the 'Land of Bliss', existing since the earliest Vedic times. It is also referred to as Hemadri, the golden mountain, Ratnasanu, 'the jewel peak', Karnikachala, lotus mountain, and Amaradri or Deva Parvata, signifying the mountain of the gods.


The 3rd sign of the zodiac extending from 600 to 900 of it. It is ruled by Mercury and is symbolized by a man and a woman in close embrace, the male depicted with a mace and the female with a harp. Gemini is a masculine sign. It is airy in element, fierce in temperament, green in color, and related with the western direction. It belongs to the servicing class. Gemini is powerful during daytime and is said to dwell mainly in forests. It represents conflict, polarization, an urge for sensual experience, and intellectual curiosity. In Kala Purusha (q.v.), Gemini represents his neck, the upper portion of the chest and shoulders. It is his courage and valour as well as the impediments and difficulties on the path of evolution.

Gemini makes the individual self-centered, calculative, and fond of idealistic pursuits. In Yogic literature, it is considered the bridge as well as the separating agent between spirit and matter. In religious scriptures, the sign is represented by Ardhanareshwara, the deity having half female and half male body making together the unity.

Syn: Nriygma (a human couple), Dwandva (conflict, a pair of animals of different sexes, a fight between two persons), Yama (to restrain; the god of death; a twin), and Yuja (a yoke).


An ally, a Vedic deity, usually associated with Varuna, a regent of the ocean and of the western direction. Mitra in the Vedic pantheon was one of the seven earliest Adityas (q.v.) presiding over day, calling all to activity, beholding all with an unwinking eye, sustaining earth and sky. Mitra is the presiding deity over Anuradha, the 17th asterism, and Varuna is that of Satbhisag (q.v.). Aurobindo states that Mitra is the harmoniser, the builder, the constituent light, the god who effects the right unity, of which Varuna is the substance and the infinitely self-enlarging periphery. (SoV, p. 456.)


Liberation; release; escape from the involuntary chain of births and deaths. It also indicates the 'liberation' of an eclipsed planet. In Vedanta, Moksha represents a postmortem state of rest and bliss of the soul; the same as the Buddhist concept of Nirvana. Saturn is the Moksha-Karaka, or the liberating planet. Among the asterisms, Rohini, Mrigasirsha, Uttar Phalguni, Hastha, Purva Ashada, Uttara Ashada, and Revati have Moksha as their primary motivation.


The unity; the One. The one indivisible self which is the source of the objective, sevenfold human beings. A seed of the divine 'tree of life', containing within itself the potentiality of all the powers of that parent tree. In religious literature, it refers to the divine spark, from which all manifestation emerges. In human beings, it represents the unified triad, viz., Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or the duad viz., Atma-Buddhi which stands for the immortal part of man.


The root; the lowest edge or extremity of anything; a beginning; the foundation. The 19th asterism extending over 2400 00' to 2530 20' of the zodiac. It is ruled by Ketu. Its presiding deity is Nritti, the goddess of destruction. The asterism is symbolized by the elephant's goad or prod, as well as by a lion's tail. It is classified butcher by class, dog by species, demon by temperament and human by animal type. It is motivated by Kaina, the desire for sensual pleasure. It activates the basic urge for liberation.


Primordial matter. The original root, the germ, out of which all manifestation emerged. It is the Para-Brahmic root, the abstract deific feminine principle, undifferentiated substance, Akasha (q.v.). Literally, it means the root of nature (Prakriti), the manifest universe.


Root trine. The sign assigned to a planet where its benefic strength is greater than in its own sign but less than in its exalted position. Moon Trikona positions of different planets are as follows: Sun-Leo first 200; Moon-Taurus 30 to 300; Mars-Aries first 120; Mercury-Virgo 160 to 200; Jupiter-Sagittarius first 100; Venus-Libra first 150; Saturn-Aquarius first 200.


See Chandra. A satellite of Earth; is astrologically considered a planet. Situated at a mean distance of 238,840 miles from Earth, its mass is 1/81 of that of Earth, and its diameter is around 1/4 that of Earth. Its revolution period is 27 days, 7 hours, 431/4 minutes, which is also its axial rotation period. About 41 per cent of its surface is never visible from Earth.

Moon has no light of its own. Its visibility depends upon reflected sunlight. Throughout the world, many mythological stories have arisen about Moon (cf. IEA, MSVA). They all relate Moon with mind, awareness, poetic vision, and meditative illumination. Occultists and Tantrics have been greatly interested in its different phases and varying astronomical situations so as to harness the influences flowing from it.

According to Puranic stories, Moon arose from the churning of the ocean. The crescent is placed on the forehead of Lord Shiva. The Puranas also speak of Soma's, the presiding deity of Moon, abducting Tara, the wife of Brihaspati (Jupiter), which resulted in the birth of Budha (Mercury). Moon was married to 27 daughters (the asterisms) of Daksha Prajapati but he was extremely fond of Rohini (the asterism where Moon gets its exaltation).

The Vedas say that Moon carries the golden rays of Sun. In Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, Moon is described as the 'Insane Mother'. In the planetary hierarchy, Sun is the king and Moon is the queen.

Moon owns Cancer, is exalted in Taurus, debilitated in Scorpio, and its Moolatrikona position is in between V and 30' of Taurus. It is friendly with Sun and Mercury, and is neutral with Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. It is seriously afflicted by the nodes; Ketu in association with Moon intensifies the perversity of a person and Rahu arouses suicidal tendencies.

Moon is the cosmic mother. Solar energy incubates under her care prior to its being concretized in material form. There is a close relationship between Moon and the growth of life forms on earth. The procreative processes of plants, animals, birds, and human beings are, deeply affected by Moon. Our, emotional responses, and intellectual capabilities are closely linked with it.

In predictive astrology Moon plays an important role. Its birth-time placement in an asterism determines the planetary ruler ship over the individual. (See Dasa) If Moon suffers from Kemadruma Yoga (q.v.) or from Sakat Yoga (q.v.), the person suffers throughout his life. The presence of Gaja Kesari Yoga (q.v.) makes Moon highly auspicious. The auspicious nature of Moon is greatly strengthened by the occurrence of Anapha (q.v.), Sunapha (q.v.) and Durudhara Yoga (q.v.). If Adhi Yoga is present in relation with Moon, the person becomes very prosperous.

Moon is the protective, motherly influence which guides life at different phases of growth and development. It provides periodicity to existence and the capacity to merge with the Life Universal. Related with Ajna Chakra (q.v.), Moon enables yogis to attain enlightenment.


A kind of drum or tabor. The symbol representing Dhanistha asterism.


Benefic situation of Mercury


A planetary combination formed by the placement of Navamsa lord of the 8th house in an auspicious sign along with some auspicious planet, and the lord of the 9th house in exaltation. It makes the individual respected, rich, immensely charitable, and powerful in personality.


The 5th asterism extending from 530 20' to 660 40' of the zodiac. It is ruled by Mars. It is classified as farmer by class, serpent by species, godly by temperament, and first half as quadruped and the second half as human by animal type. It is related with the southern direction. Its presiding deity is Soma, the god of the mystic nectar. Its primary motivation comes from Moksha, liberation. The asterism provides great sensitivity and enables the individual to receive inner enlightenment.


Death. A name of Yama, the god of death.


Producer of death. Saturn is Mrityu Karaka planet. (See Karaka.)


A system of planetary ruler ship primarily used in Tajaka system (q.v.) of astrological prediction, related with progressed horoscopes. It is a system very different from the one used in the Parashari system, which is the most popular system prevalent presently under the Vedic or Hindu system of astrological prediction, though both of them base themselves on birth asterism for the calculation of planetary ruler ship.

Under this system, the number of birth year i.e., the age of the person in years is added to the serial number of the asterism at birth. From the sum, 2 is subtracted, and the result is divided by 9. The remainder indicates the planet ruling over the specific birth year.

1 =Sun; 2 =Moon; 3 = Mars; 4 = Rahu; 5 = Jupiter; 6 = Saturn; 7 = Mercury; 8 = Ketu; and 9 = Venus. Planetary duration and the sequence is given below:

Sun = 8 days; Moon = 1 month; Mars = 21 days; Rahu = 1 month and 24 days; Jupiter = 1 month 18 days; Saturn = 1 month and 27 days; Mercury = 1 month and 21 days; Ketu = 21 days; and Venus = 2 months.


The moment. An auspicious moment for starting an enterprise. In classical (archaic) reckoning, one muhurtham is equal to 12 kshanas, while one kshana consists of 30 kalas. One kala is equal to 30 kasthas, while one kastha equals 18 winks of the eyelids. In present-day astronomical calculations, one muhurtham equals 48 minutes.


A planetary combination formed by Jupiter in the 9th house from the sign occupied by the lord of the 9th house, a benefic posited in the 9th house from Jupiter and Saturn in the 10th house from the ascendant. A person born in this combination possesses farms and forests, becomes a leader of tribal people, and is erudite. He is learned, yet cruel by temperament. His prosperity begins quite early in life.


An energy center, chakra (q.v.), located at the base of the spinal cord. It is said to radiate energy in four channels, making the cornucopia like a disc, which appears divided into four sections with a hollow space in between them. When activated fully, it is fiery orange-red in color; an orange-red ray flows from it to the generative organ, energizing sexual urge. It also enters the bloodstream and sustains the heat of the body. It is the seat of Kundalini Shakti (q.v.).


The urge to strive for emancipation from the cycle of births and deaths, and the bondage of karma (q.v.). Sankaracharya considers it one of the three rare attributes attained only by the grace of gods, the other two being humaneness (Manusyatwam) and the protective guidance of the Adepts (Maha-Purusha Ashraya). [See also, Mokshal


The branch of astrology which deals with matters relating to the state or the nation collectively. It deals with events such as war, pestilence, famine, inter-party rivalries, rebellion, emergence of dictatorship and such other general matters.


A concept used in Tajaka (q.v.) for determining planetary ruler ship at any period of life. It is needed in annual horoscopy. Muntha is worked out in relation with the ascendant sign at birth. The number of years elapsed since birth is added to this sign number and the sum is divided by 12, the quotient is ignored and the remainder gives the sign which Muntha occupies during the year in the natal chart. It is treated like a planet for annual predictions.


Another name of Isarafa Yoga (q.v.). A planetary combination in Tajaka (q.v.). It is produced if slow and fast-moving planets are near each other but the fast-moving planet is ahead, even by a single degree, of the slow moving one. Malefic planets thus involved destroy auspicious effects present in the chart, while the benefices augment the results.


A planetary combination formed by all planets placed in fixed signs (q.v.), or alternatively, Rahu in the 10th house, the lord of the 10th house in exaltation and expected by Saturn. It makes the person born under it very rich with immovable assets. He becomes an advisor to the government or a powerful commercial organization; he occupies a high status in administration.


They are also known as Dwiswabhava Rasis or common signs. These signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.


Another name of Ithashala (q.v.).

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