In the Hindu view, the planets are not mere celestial bodies circling the Sun. They are also divine beings. Each is like a prism, conveying subtle energy from the far galaxies, thus impacting affairs on Earth according to its unique nature and location in the sky. The ancient science of space and time that understands and maps this influence is called jyotisha (literally science of light) or Hindu astrology.
Hindu Vedic astrology is based on the basic beliefs of karma and the reincarnation of the individual soul. It is a complete science of understanding ones past, present and future patterns of experiences, as well as personality traits and character. Your horoscope is an interpretation of the positions of the stars and planets at the moment of your birth, which form the unique karmic map of your birth chart.
Astrology is a part of Vedic self-understanding. We look to the stars to see ourselves better, to discover the mysteries that lie all about us and within us. In rita dharma, that heavenly cosmic orderliness, stars are more than massive conglomerates of molecules or fiery furnaces fleeting afar. They are entities, potent presences that affect us despite their distance. There are, of course, many Hindus today who pooh-pooh such notions. "Stuff and nonsense," they will cry, "What thoughtful person can accept that stars, so remote, influence life on Earth?"
But what thoughtful person, asks the astrologer, would deny the powerful tides dragged across our planet by a faraway moon, or gainsay the not-so-subtle solar forces that are the very stuff of life here? "Ah, but go out another few thousand light years and tell us what petty influences persist," our doubter might challenge. The jyotishi (Vedic astrologer), realizing the basic East/West difference in world views, attempts to help the skeptic understand the Hindu perspective. "In Eastern thought, particularly Hinduism, we conceive of all existence including the stars and planets not as being out there, but rather in here within the consciousness of each one of us. In other words, consciousness encompasses all of creation. The outside and inside are mirror images, and the essential nature of the cosmos is not that of multitudinous distinctions but rather the many-faceted expression of a one unified Reality. Thus we do not follow the mechanistic, externalized approach typical of Western thought."
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