History of Astrology






Indian Astrology


In Bharat India, records exist today which point to a highly developed knowledge of astrology as far back as 6,500 BCE and actual manuscripts are still extant which were written circa 3,700 BCE.
One of the earliest authors of Vedic astrology, copies of whose work are still to be found, is Pita Maha who wrote a treatise on astrology called "Pita Maha Siddhant" circa 3,000 BC.

Hindu astrology (also known as Indian astrology), more recently Vedic astrology, also Jyotish or Jyotisha, from the Sanskrit "jyotiṣa" (light, heavenly body) is the ancient Indian system of astronomy and astrology.

It has three branches consisting of:

Siddhanta: Indian astronomy.

Samhita: Mundane astrology, predicting important events related to countries such as war, earth quakes, political events, financial positions, electional astrology; house and construction related matters, animals, portents, omens etc.

Hora: Predictive astrology in detail.
The Bṛhat Parasara Horsśastra is considered to be the most comprehensive extant work on natal astrology in Hindu astrology. Its oldest printed version is a composite work of 71 chapters, in which the first part (chapters 1-51) dates to the 7th and early 8th centuries, and the second part (chapters 52-71) dates to the latter part of the 8th century.

The foundation of Hindu astrology is the notion of bandhu ( Sanskrit for relation or binding, which are the connections that, according to the Vedas link the outer and the inner worlds) of the Vedas (scriptures).
In essence, this is the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Practice relies primarily on the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western (Hellenistic) astrology in that an ayanamsa (Sanskrit term for the longitudinal difference between the Tropical and Sidereal zodiacs) adjustment is made for the gradual precession of the vernal equinox.
Hindu astrology includes several nuanced sub-systems of interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (nakshatras).

There are six main branches of Vedic astrology:

Gola -- positional astronomy

Ganita -- mathematical diagnostic tools for analyzing the results of Gola

Jataka -- natal astrology

Prasna -- answering specific questions based upon the time the question is asked

Muhurta -- selecting an auspicious time to start something

Nimitta -- omens and portents.


The Vedanga Jyotisa is an Indian text on Jyotisha (astrology and astronomy), redacted by Lagadha (Hindu astronomer and astrologer) circa 1300 BCE.
The text is the foundation for the Vedanga discipline of Jyotisha. It is a small tract on Astronomy appended to the Vedas, and is the oldest astronomical work in Sanskrit.
The text describes rules for tracking the motions of the sun and the moon.
In the Vedanga Jyotisha, Lagadha praises Jyotisha as the crowning subject in the ancillary Vedic studies of human enlightenment.
The Vedanga Jyotisha is available in two recensions: one of 36 verses associated with the Rig Veda and another of 45 verses associated with the Yajurveda. There are 29 verses in common between the two.

The documented history of Hindu astrology begins with the interaction of Indian and Hellenistic cultures in the Indo-Greek period.
The oldest surviving treatises, such as the Yavanajataka or the Brihat-Samhita, is thought to have been written around 120 BCE in Alexandria.

The Yavanajataka (Sayings of the Greeks) was translated from Greek to Sanskrit by Yavanesvara (Indian astrologer) circa the 2nd century CE, under the patronage of the Western Satrap Saka king Rudradaman I, and is considered the first Indian astrological treatise in the Sanskrit language. Another classic astrological text from the same time period is the Saravali by Kalyanavarman.

Varaha Mihira, a famous astrologer in the court of The Great king Vikramaditya in the year 57 BCE, wrote a number of well known vedic texts on astrology. Among them was the Brihat Jataka, Brihat Samhita, Laghu Jataka and Yogayatra. He also wrote the famous text; Daivagya Vallabha, which deals with prashna or horary astrology.
Varaha Mihira the first one to mention in his work "Pancha Siddhantika", based on the ancient Siddhantas, that the ayanamsa, or the shifting of the equinox is 50.32 seconds.

Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, (Parashara’s Monumental Astrological Scientific Text) is quite a mysterious text. It wss written as a recorded dialogue between the Rishi Parashara and his disciple Maitreya. The date for this text varies greatly from 3700 BCE forwards. Your guess is as good as any. Vashishtha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. And he is the only mortal besides Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him.

The Yavanajataka (Sayings of the Greeks) was translated from Greek to Sanskrit by Yavanesvara (Indian astrologer) circa the 2nd century CE, under the patronage of the Western Satrap Saka king Rudradaman I, and is considered the first Indian astrological treatise in the Sanskrit language. Another classic astrological text from the same time period is the Saravali by Kalyanavarman.

During the tenth century, Bhattotpala wrote the well known astrological text, "Prasanagnana" (Horary branch of Astrology). This text consists of topics such as how to predict the future through Omens; the effects of the Bhavas; the Ascendant, its nature and the aspect of planets; planetary effects with regard to their respective positions, and so forth.



Astrology Section