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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



A group of 32 planetary combinations classified in 4 categories depending upon their commonality, viz., Akriti (shape)-20 combinations, Sankhya (number)-7 combinations, Ashraya (dependence)-3 combinations, and Dala (petal)-2 combinations.


Any navel-like cavity; a point of concentration, or of focus. According to the Puranas, the grandson of Priyavrata, son of Agnidhara and the father of Rishabha; it is also a name of Bharat who gave his name to Bharatvarsha, the present-day India. In Yogic literature, Nabhi is the seat of Manipur Chakra, the energy center located in the solar plexus.


A planetary combination formed by Jupiter in the 9th house, lord of the 9th house in the llth from Jupiter, i.e., 7th from ascendant, and Moon associated with Jupiter. The combination bestows on the individual born under it auspicious events in life, especially after the age of 25 years; he also receives many honors from the state and accumulates huge wealth.


Sound; cosmic vibrations. A mysterious integrated state of vibrations from which all other vibrations are derived. The primeval sound at the root of all manifested system. It is also called Shabda Brahma which means Reality considered as Sound.


Arteries. Three of these, viz., Ida, Pingla, and Sushumna intertwine around the spinal column. These are activated in yogic practices to arouse Kundalini (q.v.). These arteries are activated and blocks removed by Pranayama (q.v.) to obtain siddhis (q.v.).


Treatises compiled by ancient sages giving prognostications relating to different individuals. These treatises have recently come to light and become accessible to common man. Written on ancient palm leaves, they were deposited in ancient temple vaults. They are also known as Samhitas.

Some important Nadi granthas are known as Guru Nadi; Sukra Nadi; Markandeya Nadi; Nandi Nadi; Suka Nadi; Sudha Nadi; Saraswati Nadi; Dhruva Nadi; Satya Nadi; and Chandra Nadi. Among these Sukra and Dhruva Nadis are important ones; they give fairly accurate life history.


Antipodes. Fourth house in a natal chart represents Nadir.


A serpent. A sect of Indian sages roaming naked; they are believed to have acquired occult attainments due to their severe penance. Nagas are also fabulous dragons with a human face and the body of a serpent. They are said to dwell in Patala Loka (q.v.) and are custodians of esoteric wisdom. Ancient sages with spiritual wisdom were also known as Nagas.


Patala (q.v.). The realm where the Naga serpents dwell.


A planetary combination formed by the lord of the Navamsa sign of the 10th house lord occupying the 10th house along with the ascendant lord. An individual born under it receives his education specially after the age of 16 years. He finally receives state honors and riches. By temperament he is polite.


A planetary combination formed by the placement of the lord of 9th house in 3rd house inspected by Jupiter. It makes the individual physically well proportioned, good-natured and learned. His prosperity increases after the age of 6 years.


Seventh asterism from the birth asterism.


Destruction of all creation and of all lives that have a form, but not of the essence which remains in status quo, till the new dawn in Brahma Ratri, the night of Brahma. (See Kalpa)


Inherent strength of a planet as distinguished from Kala Bala or temporal strength.


Number of years assigned to different planets which is taken into account specially in the determination of ones longevity under certain methods of its calculation. Years allotted to different planets under it are as follows:

Moon: I year; Mars: 2 years; Mercury: 9 years; Venus: 20 years; Jupiter: 18 years; Sun: 20 years; and Saturn: 50 years.


Constellations, each spreading over 130 20' of the zodiac. Twenty-seven asterisms are identified, each with distinct attributes. (See Asterisms)


Asterisms, viz., Anuradha, Mrigashirsha, Swati, and Makkha. Their presence as birth asterism in any of the partners for marriage counteracts all inauspicious incompatibilities.


A planetary combination used in Tajaka system. It relates to the relationship between planets with different motions in close association. If the lord of the ascendant and the lord of the house whose result is being studied do not have mutual aspect but there is a fast-moving planet in between them, then the fast-moving planet in between them transfers the benefic influence of the anterior planet to the forward one.


The 50th year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsara (q.v.). It is ruled by Rudra. A person born during the year is surrounded by offsprings, relatives and friends. He is greedy, quarrelsome, and afflicted with sorrow and deprivations.


A planetary combination formed the exaltation of the lord of the Navamsa sign in which the lord of the 9th house is placed and is in association with the ascendant lord. It makes the individual powerful after 7 years of age. He receives many state honours and is interested in the scriptures.


A planetary combination formed by the placement of the lord of the 5th house in the 9th house while the lord of the 11th house occupies the 2nd house along with Moon. The combination makes the individual very creative and an excellent orator. Many heads of state pay respect to him.


Twenty-sixth year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsara (q.v.) ruled by Vishnu. A person born during this year is loving in disposition, supportive to his family members and honoured by the state,


A planetary combination formed by two planets in each of the two signs and one planet in each of the three signs. It bestows affluence and long life.


Bull of Lord Shiva. The Vayu Purana describes it as a son of Kashyapa (q.v.) and Surabhi. It symbolises the second zodiacal sign, Taurus, and stands for Procreative potential. Before entering a temple of Lord Shiva, the devotees are required to pay obeisance to it.


A divine sage, a Devarishi. One of the mind-born sons of Brahma (q.v.). Narada, like the other Kumaras (q.v.), refused to participate in generative creation.

He was the inventor of the veena, the lute, and is regarded as the celestial singer. He was a great devotee of Krishna. His Bhakti Sutras, the aphorisms of devotion, are still considered a classic for devotees on Bhakti Marg, the Path of Devotion, important for self-enlightenment and liberation.

Narada, for his refusal to obey Brahma, was cursed that he could not stay for more than a few moments at any place though he had the freedom to move wherever he liked, including the Deva as well as Ptala Lokas. He was a messenger of gods to men and vice versa.

Narada is said to promote discord wherever he goes, but the ultimate object of the disturbances thus caused is to reveal either some Divine truth or to produce some psychological orientation in the life of the person concerned so as to make him spiritually advanced,


Infernal region, the hell. A place of torture where the souls of wicked persons are sent. Manu enumerated 21 kinds of hells.

It is also the name of an asura, a demon, who was a son of Earth and had stolen the earrings of Aditi (q.v.).


The son of Nara, the original or the primeval man. The creator of Brahma (q.v); he was called Narayana because the waters (nara) were his first ayana, the place of motion and rest.

A name of Vishnu, the primordial saviour. (See Vishnu and Avatara)


A planetary combination formed by the ascendant lord and Jupiter placed in the 4th house, Moon associated with the lord of the 7th house, and the ascendant aspected by a benefic. An individual born under this combination is very charitable, rich, well-proportioned yet stocky in constitution. He gains repute after the age of 33 years.


Dancing form of Lord Shiva.


A planetary combination formed by all planets occupying consecutively the first seven houses without any gap. It makes the individual earn his livelihood from professions connected with navigation, fishing, import-export, and international commerce.


One-ninth division of a sign. Planetary position in these divisions significantly affect the disposition of planets in the natal chart. Each of these divisions is ruled by a planet which need not be identical with the planet owning the sign. If a planet occupies the same sign in the natal and the Navamsa charts, it attains great benefic power and is known as Vargottama.


Nine precious stones, viz., ruby, related with Sun; pearl, related with Moon; coral with Mars; cinnamon ruby or hessonite, also known as gomedh, related with Rahu; yellow sapphire or oriental topaz, also known as pushpa-paraga or pokharaj, related with Jupiter; blue sapphire or neelam, with Saturn; emerald or panna with Mercury; Cat's Eye with Ketu; and diamond, related with Venus.


Debilitated (q.v.).


The planetary combination for the cancellation of adverse effects of a debilitated planet. The cancellation enables the person to attain the status of a king. The combination is formed in several ways, such as (i) a planet at birth in its depression has the lord of that sign, or that of its exaltation sign in a cardinal house either with respect to ascendant or Moon sign; (ii) the lord of the Navamsa occupied by the depressed planet at birth posited in a cardinal house, or in a trine house with respect to the ascendant while the ascendant lord itself is in a Navamsa owned by a movable sign -


[Nidana = A rope for tying up a calf]. The first or essential cause. Diagnosis of a disease. According to Buddhism, the 12 causes of finite existence, each one arising out of the other progressively are Avidya (ignorance), Samskara (proclivities), Vijnana (consciousness), Namarupa (name and form), Chadyatana (the senses and their objects), Sparsha (contact), Vedana (feeling), Trishna (thirst), Upadana (clinging), Bhava (becoming), Jati (caste, birth-categorisation), and Jaramaranam (old age and death).


Treasure; that which is considered as precious. Nine Nidhis in the safe custody of Kubera (q.v.) are Mahapadma (Divine lotus), Padma (Lotus), Shankha (Conch-shell), Makara (Crocodile), Kachhapa (Tortoise), Mukund (Quick silver), Kund (jasmine), Neelam (Blue sapphire), and Kharva (a Dwarf). Each of these has a guardian spirit and is worshipped by the Tantriks.


Fixed or sidereal zodiac. It does not take into account the degree of precession in fixing the position of planets. This is the system used in oriental or Vedic astrology.


Without attributes. TI-te Supreme Being devoid of any quality.


Literally, a 'transformed body', yet it is a state not having any objective existence. As a Nirmankaya, the man leaves behind him only his physical body, and retains every other 'principle' save the kamic one because he has annihilated this for ever from his nature, during life, and it can never be resurrected in his post-mortem state.

The third great vesture in northern Buddhism assumed by Buddhas who would reincarnate to save the world. The path of those adepts who remain the Guardian Wall of humanity. They do not give up their permanent atoms (nuclei of the bodies which operate on different planes), so that they can, when needed, appear into physical form at will. This term is also used loosely for the whole hierarchy of adepts who remain in physical form to help and guide the world.


Death and destruction personified as a goddess. Regent of the southwestern quarter. The presiding deity of Moolam, the 19th asterism.


Vedic glossary of difficult words. The only work of the kind now known is that of Yaska, a predecessor of Panini, the Sanskrit grammarian. Nirukta consists of three parts, viz., (i) Naighantuka, a collection of synonyms; (ii) Naigama, a collection of words peculiar to the Vedas, and (iii) Daivata, words relating to deities and sacrifices.


Liberation from the cycle of involuntary births and deaths. Reunification with the Supreme Spirit. In Buddhism, absolute extinction of the individual from his earthly existence and merging the individual's separate consciousness with the universal life force. In Vedantic philosophy it corresponds to Kaivalyam.


The ascendant of the moment of impregnation leading to conception.


The zodiacal signs powerful during night. The first four zodiacal signs from Aries, and the 9th and 10th signs are nocturnal ones whereas the others are diurnal signs.


A planetary combination formed by the lord of Navamsa sign of ascendant associated with the lord of Moon sign and the lord of the 10th house aspecting it. An individual born under this combination occupies a very high status in society and is much renowned. The Yoga fructifies early in life.


It is that part of the precessional motion of the pole of Earth's equator which depends upon the periodic motion of Sun and Moon in their orbit round Earth. The periodic oscillation observed in the precession of Earth's axis and the precession of the equinoxes. It is periodic in nature equal to a 19-year cycle.


Assignment of various parts of the body to different deities usually accompanied with prayers and corresponding gesticulations.


[justice]. One of the six systems of Indian philosophy founded by Sage Gautama (not to be confused with Gautam Buddha). A system of philosophy based on logical deductions based on a complete set of syllogisms. It consists of Pratigya (promise), Hetu (causation), Udaharana (example), Upanaya (application of special case in question), Nigamana (quotation of a word from the Vedas, or the conclusion of a syllogism, deduction).