The A very, very warm welcome to the Holistic Astrology Podcast from Bhagyashree Holistic Astrology. This is Season 1, Episode 4, and today we will discuss the Hindu view of the cosmic skies, how the universe originated, how rashis or signs are divided and how we look at astrology. Let’s get started.
According to Hindu cosmology, we are living in a three dimensional reality within a 10 dimensional space. This is often called the ‘dashangul’ space . The universe originates from Ma Bhagwati. You can call her Para Prakriti and Aadidevi as well. She is frequently depicted as MahaKali too. The Para Prakriti is the movable, female, mutable principle while the Param Purush is the immutable, fixed, male principle. In essence, both Purush and Prakriti are the same but in function, they are slightly different.
The universe originates because Para Prakriti decides to create a reality to amuse herself and the Param Purush. At the beginning of the universe, everything was ‘Apah’ or the cosmic water. In that immense cosmic ocean lay an infant, floating around on a Banyan leaf. He opened his eyes in amazement and asked- who am I? What am I doing here? He heard a voice or akashvani- a beautiful, melodious voice of the Para Prakriti.
He meditated and eventually Brahma appeared on a Lotus that emerged from his navel. Shiv also appears and together, the Hindu trinity of Gods, search for meaning in an endless, shapeless universe. It is then that the Para Prakriti appears before them and takes them on a tour of endless universes with countless Brahmas, Vishnus and Shivs. It is then that meditation and worship of the Para Prakriti eventually brings them light and they go back and create their abodes. Of these, Brahma is tasked to create the universe.
This is the shortest possible version of the creation story of the universe in Hindu thought.
When the ancient Indian seers looked up at the sky, they were amazed to look at the constellations and how they could look like various animals. They, then decided to give them names, understood more about the stars in those constellations, learned about how light travelled from the stars and planets and plotted a great system of cosmology called Astrology.
This system divided the sky into 360 degrees. Remember, the Earth is round for us. We call it Bhu-Mandal i.e. the round Earth. We call the sky Akash-mandal i.e. the round sky. These 360 degrees are grouped into 30 degrees, each of which is called a rashi or sign. The first of these is Aries, second Taurus, third Gemini and so on.
Each rashi is further divided into Nakshatras. Each nakshatra is about 13 degrees and 20 minutes and they overlap between rashis. Nakshatras provide a deeper look into a person’s pysche and are most closely related to the moon. It is often said that the 27 nakshatras are the 27 wives of the Moon. The moon, always moving quickly between these nakshatras, is duty bound to divide his time equally among his wives.
When you are born, the Indian astrological system pays special attention to the sign and nakshatra of your moon. It can not only give a deeper look into your subconscious mind but could also connect you with past life karma and current life challenges.
There are two main things we look at while making a kundli/birth chart for people. The first is the Lagna, also known as Ascendant or Rising Sign. The second is the Moon and its placement in a particular nakshatra.
The unique challenges that you face in life will be decided via these placements. Apart from these, the placements of other planets in different signs and nakshatras and their degrees is also important.
Now there are several methods to make astrological predictions. There is the Parashari methods, the Jaimini methods, the KP Cusps, even Laal Kitab. Apart from that, several other astrologers have provided a rich literature on learning astrology and applying it for practical purposes. In general, a student begin with the Brihat Parashari Hora Shashtra which is one of the most referenced books when it comes to Astrology.
It is very important to understand that Indian astrological systems are not just about looking at the night sky, highlighting constellations and inferring meaning to them. These concepts are deeply interwoven into our cosmology, mythology, religion, lifestyle and with other popular systems like Vastu, Ayurveda, Mantra, Yantra, Tantra and Ratna systems.
One episode will never be enough. So come back next week as we talk more about Ascendants or Lagnas.