Jyotish is the oldest system of astrology in the world. It's derived from the Sanskrit word "jyoti" which means light. As the pure light of scientific knowledge, the word Jyotish implies studying a person's character, health, habits and even the future on the basis of his or her birth chart.
In western cultures, it is often referred to as Indian, Vedic or Hindu astrology. The awareness about Jyotish can be traced back to the Vedic civilization in northern India. Jyotish is a part of the Indian Vedic Scriptures, proof of which is easily available in the centuries old manuscripts and translations.
Jyotish is practiced by a skilled astrologer by calculating the positions of the planets and other celestial bodies with regard to a person's birth or happening of an event. In essence, it depends on the time, date and place of birth or the event. The results, if calculated accurately, lead to generation of numerous tables and charts that only a skilled astrologer can study and derive useful information from. The rules of interpretation of these charts are also based on the study done by ancient sage-scientists. Normally, such a study takes about 10-15 hours to complete and is followed by a decision about appropriate remedial actions that can be taken to enhance the person's life.
In Jyotish, we don’t think of people in terms of their sun sign, as we do in tropical astrology. Instead, we enter the chart through what is called the “ascendant,” the constellation that is rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of a person’s birth. This sets up the relationship between the planets at the time of birth to the event of the birth and gives clues about an individual’s personality, physical body, and the way the person presents themselves to the world. We think of a person first in terms of the ascendant.
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