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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



A person who employs a priest or priests to perform yajnas (sacrifices and religious rituals) on his behalf and meets all expenses, including gifts and offerings (danam) to the officiating priest or priests.


A class of celestial beings created by Brahma who attend on Kubera (q.v.) and guard his treasures. They do not possess any special attribute, but are considered inoffensive and harmless creatures delighting in songs and dances.


Retainer; also called Dharmaraja, the king of justice. He is said to be the son of Vivaswat (the Sun) (q.v.). In the Vedas, Yama is the god of death. He is the regent of the southern direction, has green skin and is clothed in red. He rides a buffalo, armed with a ponderous mace and a noose to draw the life of victims.

In yogic literature, Yama stands for the fist step in the eightfold path of yogic discipline. In astrology, Saturn represents Yama.


An invisible planet; an upagraha (q.v.). Son of Jupiter and producer of auspicious results. Yama-Kantaka also refers to a duration lasting for about one-and-a-half hours to three hours, starting from 18, 14, 10, 6, 2, 26, and 22 gratis after sunrise, while during night time the order begins with 2, 26, 22 and follows the same sequence respectively for the weekdays, beginning with Sunday.


1/8th part of day or night time, each of which is assigned to a planet.


Longitude, meridian.


An instrument. Any device to obtain a result or to overcome any planetary maleficence.


A planetary combination formed by all malefic in 1st and 7th houses and all benefices in 4th and 10th houses. It makes the individual courageous and his mid-span of life is very happy.


The Greeks. The Puranas describe them as the descendants of Turvasu, who are associated with the tribes of north-west frontier. There were among the races conquered by King Sagara, one of the ancestors of Rama (q.v.) in astrological literature, reference is generally made to Yavanacharya who is believed to be the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of the Samoa Island.


The fifth king of the Lunar race, and son-in-law of Shukra (Venus) by his marriage with Devayani. Yayati possessed an amorous nature and is said to have transferred his decrepitude to his son in exchange for his youth. At the end, disenchanted with the life of indulgence, he returned youth to its rightful owner and retired to forests. I


A calendar year of 365 days (366 days in a leap year) commonly divided into 12 months, beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31. A lunar year is equal to 12 lunar months. Astronomical year, or equinoctial year, or tropical year is the interval between one vernal equinox and the next. One sidereal year is the time taken by the earth to complete one revolution around Sun, measured in relation to the fixed stars.


Combination. Deep and abstract meditation. Concentration of mind and contemplation on the Supr6me taken together resulting in one's union with the Universal Spirit. Yoga discipline is associated with Patanjali. As part of Samkhya philosophy (q.v.) yoga is one of the six Darshans or schools of philosophy in India.

Astrologically, yoga refers to planetary combinations and their special results, which affect the life of an individual. In traditional Indian ephemeris, known as Panchangam, yoga is also the name of a particular division of time, which are 27 in number. This time-division is different from the asterisms, which are also 27 in number.


A point located by adding the Nirayana (q.v.) latitude of Sun, Moon, and the beginning of the Pushyami Nakshatra, i.e., 930 20'. To get the Sayana longitude (q.v.) of the same, one has to add to it the Ayanamsa (q.v.) for the year. The point opposite to Yoga Bindu in a natal chart is known as Avayoga Bindu.


The special proclivities or significations of planets. These are considered in several ways. The general significations of different planets are as follows:

Sun: Atnia, general temperament, health, capabilities, and wealth.

Moon: Citta (consciousness), mother, happiness, prosperity, royal fayour, and wealth.

Mars: Valour, brothers, brothers' sons, diseases, abilities, land and landed properties.

Mercury: Buddhi, learning, intelligence, discrimination, mother's brothers, friends and colleagues.

Jupiter: Vidya, wisdom, knowledge, sons, wealth, and physical strength.

Venus: Kama-Vasana (sexual desire), wife, conveyance, ornaments, and general happiness.

Saturn: Longevity, misfortunes, and cause of death.

Rahu: Karmic impediments grandfather.

Ketu: Vairagya (renunciation), grandmother.

The planets also acquire special significations (karakattwa) in every horoscope. If the planets occupy their own houses, exaltation sign, or a friendly sign and are mutually related or are in Cardinal houses, they acquire auspicious significations. Planets in their exaltation sign placed in 1st, 4th, 7th and specially in 10th houses attain special significations.

Some planets are karakas (special causative potential) for certain specific houses in a horoscope which are as follow (figures in brackets show the house numbers in which that specific planet has special influence):

Sun (1), Jupiter (2), Mars (3), Moon (4), Jupiter (5), Mars (6), Venus (7), Saturn (8), Jupiter (9), Mercury (10), Jupiter (11), and Saturn (12).

In Jaimini astrology, karakattwa depends upon the longitudinal position of the planets overlooking the signs in which they are situated. The planet occupying the most advanced position in this way becomes Atma Karaka. (See Karkattwa) A planet simultaneously owning cardinal and trine houses also becomes a Yoga Karaka planet in order to produce very auspicious results.


The meditative sleep. The great illusory energy of Vishnu and the illusory power manifested in Devi as Mahamaya, the great illusion.


Aphorisms of Yoga. A treatise on Yoga usually associated with Patanjali. It contains four sections, viz., (i) Samadhi (meditation), (ii) Sadhana (practice), (iii) Bibhuti (accomplishments), and (iv) Kaivalya (liberation). The rules for practicing yoga are dated from a very ancient time, even prior to Patanjali. The doctrine helped to a great extent even Lord Buddha. Yajnavalkya was an early teacher of this meditational practice, whose name is also associated with Shatapatha Brahmana of Yajur Veda, Brihad Aranyaka and several other works on the subject.


A sorceress. Yoginis are eight female demons attending on Durga (q.v.). The term also refers to a female practitioner of yoga.


Refers to a system of Dasas (q.v.). Yogini Dasa, which are eight in number, are Mangala, Pingala, Dhanya, l3hramari, Bhadrika, Ulka, Siddha, and Sankata. The prevailing Yogini Dasa at birth can be worked out by counting the number of birth-asterism, adding 3 to it, and dividing the total by 8. The remainder gives the Yogini Dasa to commence. The planets and the number of years assigned to them under this system are as follows:

Moon-1; Sun-2; Jupiter-3; Mars-4; Mercury-5; Saturn-6; Venus-7; and Rahu-8.

The number of years assigned to them for ruler ship is the same as in the above order, i.e., 1 year for Moon, 2 for Sun, 3 for Jupiter, and so on.


Womb and female generative organ. Alone Or in combination with Linga (q.v.), it is an object of worship for the followers of the Shaktas. The term also refers to a place of birth, origin or generative cause. The word is also used to indicate family, stock, race, birth, form of existence, or species as in the case of Manushya Yoni, i.e., human kind.


See Samkhya Yoga. Persons born with this combination in their natal chart are arrogant, drunkards and tend to begging.


Literally a yoke. An age. The exoteric classification gives 4-Yugas, viz., Krita or Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. The esoteric cycles regard Kali as the balancing point of greatest materiality in a series of 7 cycles retracing the Yugas until the age of regained innocence, Satya, is realised. Technically, a Yuga is a very small part of a kalpa (q.v.). 71 Maha Yugas form the period of the reign of one Manu which equals to 306,720,000 years. A Day of Brahma consists of 4,320,000,000 mortal years with an equal length of Pralaya or Night of Brahma. An Age of Brahma or Maha Kalpa equals 100 years of Brahma at 3,110,400,000,000 years each. The total is given as the period of a solar universe during its Manvantara, with probably an equal period of dissolution or rest. It is said that only about 5,000 years have so far advanced in the Kali Yuga of the Fifth Race, with 4,27,000 years pending. The periods spent in the subtler ages are enormously longer than those spent in the grosser. The Yugas apply to every division of manifestation from a planetary chain to birth and decay of a nation. There is a definite overlapping of racial Yugas. Ages, cycles, Yugas are not measured by physical changes but by stages of consciousness and many factors may affect the duration. Blavatsky indicates that all exoteric figures must be merely approximations, even if correctly interpreted. (See Manvantara, Kalpa and Kala)




A planetary combination formed by the lord of the 4th in 9th along with some benefic and Jupiter expecting it. A person born under this combination receives valuable gifts from the state and from persons in authority, and leads a happy and affluent life.


A planetary combination formed by all planets in ascendant, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th houses. It makes the individual religious, charitable, generous, and he performs many important rites.


The 9th year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsaras (q.v.) ruled by Brahma. Persons born during this year are generally afraid of their wives, afflicted by diseases but have dependable friends.