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BRIHASPATI / JUPITER

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ASTROLOGY

ASTROLOGY

 

 

Astrology is most ancient science known to mankind. There are three main branches of Astrology today namely INDIAN VEDIC ASTROLOGY, WESTERN ASTROLOGY AND CHINESE or EAST INDIAN ASTROLOGY. The term Astrology and Astronomy has been closely related. An astrologer is an interpreter of celestial phenomena and an Astronomer is a predictor of celestial phenomena. The study of astrology and the belief in it, as a part of Astronomy is first found in a developed form among the ancient BABYLONIANS, and from there directly or indirectly spreaded to other nations. It came to Greece about the middle of 4th century B.C and reached Rome before the advent of Christian era. In INDIA and CHINA astronomy and astrology developed largely independently. With the introduction of Greek culture into Egypt both astrology and astronomy were actively cultivated in the region of NILE during the Roman and Hellenistic periods. Astrology was further developed by Arabs from 7th to 13th century and in Europe of the 14th and 15th century the astrologers were dominating the royal courts. The Mayans of Central America and Aztecs also developed their own form of astrology.

 

Astrology can be divided into two camps, comprised of “NATURAL ASTROLOGERS” (i.e. astronomers) those who study the motions of heavenly bodies, timings of eclipses etc. “JUDICIAL ASTROLOGERS” study the correlations between the positions of various celestial bodies and the affairs of human beings. Today astrology has gained wide spread popularity with general public, as its detractors became more vocal against it.

 

Of all the planets five of them were recognized first ---JUPITER, VENUS, SATURN, MERCURY AND MARS---to name them in the order in which they appear in the older cuneiform literature. In later year’s mercury and Saturn changed places. These five planets were identified with the Babylonians GODS---Jupiter with Marduk, Venus with Goddess Ishtar, Saturn with Ninurta, Mercury with Nabu and Mars with Nergal. The movements of Sun, Moon and five planets were regarded as representing the activity of the five GODS in question, together with the Moon-God (sin) and the Sun God (Shamash).

Below is a partial list of some of the terms in Hindu astrology that appear to have a Greek origin.

Zodiacal Signs

Sanskrit

Greek

English

Sanskrit

Greek

English

Kriya
Tavura
Jituma
Kulira
Leya
Pathona

Krios
Tauros
Didumoi
Karkinos
Leon
Parthenos

Aries
Taurus
Gemini
Cancer
Leo
Virgo

Juka
Kaurpi
Taukshika
Akokera
Hridroga
Chettha

Zugos
Skorpios
Toxotes
Aigokeres
Hudrochoos
Ichthues

Libra
Scorpio
Sagittarius
Capricorn
Aquarius
Pisces

2. Planets

Sanskrit

Greek

English

Sanskrit

Greek

English

Hemnan
Asphujit
Heli

Hermes
Aphrodite
Helios

Mercury
Venus
Sun

Ara
Jeeva
Kona

Ares
Zeus
Kronos

Mars
(Jove)
Saturn

 

 

All of the above had Sanskrit equivalents which probably preceded the introduction of the above words into India, and which also eventually completely displaced these words of Hellenic origin.

The question of the debt or lack thereof of Hindu astrology to Hellenistic is an extremely controversial one. Many authors of the Hindu school would like to deny that there was any at all. This position is a bit hard to support given the above, and also given the very frequent references to the "Yavanas" who were Greeks or more precisely Greek speaking persons of various ethnic extractions.

On the other hand there are Westerners, of whom this author is not one, who believe that Hindu astrology comes entirely from the West (or more precisely Middle East). David Pingree in his study of the Yavanajataka does an extremely thorough job of cataloging the parallels between the astrology of that work and that of the Greeks and even he is forced to admit that there are many differences. However such differences do not require two different origins. All it requires is a period of isolation between two branches of a tradition after an earlier period of unity, such that the two branches can diverge, and one, the eastern, merge with native traditions already in place. While we do not insist that Hindu astrology is entirely or even principally an offshoot of Hellenistic astrology, it must be said that the required period of isolation did occur which could have caused a single tradition to become two.

 

 

 

 

 

BRIHASPATI JYOTISH KENDRA