Jyotisha is one of the six ancient Vedangas, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas The term Jyotisha also refers to Hindu astrology. This field of study was concerned with fixing the days and hours of Vedic rituals or in other words "Time Keeping" The person who learns this science is called a jyotisha or an astrologer. And the predection or foretelling past and future events is one of the part of this time keeping science.

So I am interested in the rules of this Jyotisha Shastra and my current questions are -

  • What technical concepts a good astrologer should throughly understood?
  • What other good qualities besides these an astrologer should have?
  • Who is true Astrologer according to Jyotisha texts.?
  • 1
    Excellent Q/A discussing the expected qualities of Jyotishi according to Jotisha itself!
    – Pandya
    Dec 27, 2017 at 11:39
  • 1
    haha yes , this is just my honest attempt to tell how strict this field is in terms of rules and regulations and how complicated it is in terms of technicality , to the community and to the people. Unlike we generally thought about it. Making predictions and horoscope is is just a tiny and last part of it , mostly we are more interested in that part only. But actually its highly technical field and requires some special capabilities like good mathematical skills and the person should aslo be a good observer. Dec 27, 2017 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


Brihat-Samhita is a encyclopedic text by author Varahamihira .The book discusses some subjects including astrology, planetary movements, eclipses, etc.

This topic is discussed in Brihat-Samhita Adhaya two , which is called "Samvatsara Sutra Adhaya" (सांवत्सर सूत्र अधाय) - The Astrologer. This is how the book describing them..

Here are some technical terms related to motion of planets , their distances etc. which a astrologer should be well familier with.

चतुर्णां च मानानां सौरसावननाक्षत्रचान्द्रणामधिमास-
कावमसंभवस्य च कारणाभिद्न्य: ||Shloka 5||

He should be also familier with four kind of measurments of time viz. saura (solar) : Savan , (a duration (day) intervening between the first rising of any perticular planet or star and its corosponding next rising ; Nakashtra (steller calculation in terms of lunar months ,Tithis etc. with the occurance of Adhimasa or inter-calary lunations and intercalary days.

सुर्यदिनां च ग्रहाणां शीघ्रमन्दयाम्योत्तरनीचोच्चगतिकार-णाभिद्न्या: ||Shloka 9 ||

He should also be conversant with the causes that lead the planets from the sun onwards to proceeding different kind of motions - rapid ,slow ,southerly ,northerly ,towards apojee , periee etc.

प्रत्येकग्रहभ्रमणयोजनकक्षाप्रमाणप्रतिविषयोजनपरिच्छेदकुशल :||Shloka 11||

He should in the case of every planet be able to calculate its distance (in yojana) from the Earth and length of its orbit.

Here its said that a true astrologer is who understands the spirit of text and should not oppose to that, a true astrologer is one who is well in is mathematical as well as other concepts related to grahas and nakshatras. AS discussed in other verses.

नानाचोद्यप्रश्नभेदोपलब्धिजानितवाक्सारो निकषसन्तापाभिनिवेशै:|
कनकस्येवाधिकतरममलीकृतस्य शास्त्र्यस्य वक्ता तन्त्रज्ञ्नो भवति ||Shloka 13||

He is a true Astrologer who is able to understand the objections and points of differences and meet them in clear and convincing language thus proving the truth of the science in its pristine purity.

And not only the text discusses the technical capabilities a astrologer should posses but like How should he live in society , how to react among people and how he emotionally should be etc.

तत्र गुणा: | शुचिर्दक्ष : प्रगल्भो वाग्मी प्रतिभावान् देशकालवित् सात्विको न पर्षद्भिरु: सहाध्यायीभिरनभिभवनिय: कुशलो व्यसनि शान्तिकपौष्टिकाभिचारस्नानविद्यभिज्ञो विबुधा - र्चन व्रतोपवासनिरत : स्वतन्त्रच्श्रर्योत्पादितप्रभाव: पृष्टाभिधाय्यन्यत्र दैवात्ययात् | ग्रहगणितसंहिताहोराग्रन्थार्थवेत्तेति ||Shloka 3 ||

The following are the good qualities of an astrologer. He must be clean and active , bold and eloquent , have readiness of wit , fully conversant with the details of time and place and sincere in disposition. He should not be timid in an assembly , should not be overpowered by his fellow students , must be well trained , should understand heart of others ,should be free from vices , must be conversant with art of propagation , with hygiene , magic and ablutions ,should be engage in worship of devas ,should be observer of fast and penance,should be endowed with great power resulting from the wonderful achievements of his scientific knowledge , should be capable of answering questions put by others ,and voluntarily suggesting palliatives and remedies regarding things other than visitations of God. He should also be thoroughly conversant with works dealing with calculations of the positions etc. of planets ,samhita , Horoscopy and their sevral details.

It's even said that the person who studies the joytish shastra with it's mathematical part very well and through heart , his predictions will never prove ineffective.

जगति प्रसारितमिवालिखितमिव मतौ निषिक्तमिव ह्र्दये |
शास्त्रं यस्य सभगणं नादेशा निष्फ़लातस्य ||Shloka 5||

He has got a clear grasp of the astrological science inclusive of the mathematical portion as if it were spread before his eyes in the world and engraved in his intellect and embedded in his heart the predictions made by him will never prove ineffective.

  • "...remedies regarding things other than visitations of God" - why this exception? "thoroughly conversant with works dealing with calculations of the positions etc. of planets" - this means when new planets like Uranus Neptune and Pluto are discovered they need to update their science? They should be closely following images from Hubble telescope or new NASA planetary missions like Juno. Are moons orbiting planets considered grahas? E.g., Jupiter has about 69 moons, and Saturn about 62. Don't you think this Brihat-Samhita is very outdated? Dec 28, 2017 at 23:42
  • Yes , the exception i think is because the other texts are talking about visiting god and vrata-Vaikalyas etc. And as mentioned in many places in the book this is also a science of Horoscopy i.e influence of positions of planets and constellations on our lives as well as their positions in our janma-Kundali , so a astrologer should be well aware of the solutions \ remedies of the problems prescribed in branch of astrology ,which are not generally discussed in other texts like puranas etc. and are different than these texts. Dec 29, 2017 at 5:54
  • @sv. - I will give you some verses from puranas to explain the above point in some time :-) Dec 29, 2017 at 6:03
  • @sv. - I dont think its outdated because every BRANCH of science as well as religion ,philosophy evolved with time , and new concepts , findings were added and knowledge got refined. But that does not mean the older notions were outdated (technically yes) but the new knowledge of today is evolved on the foundation of older knowledge itself ,as new instruments were discovered . We see this in older texts of astronomy .- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_astronomy Dec 29, 2017 at 6:11
  • Only earth's Moon is taken into account because it is closer to the human body. Pluto / Neptune doesn't influence much because of their larger orbits. Doesn't change their position frequently. @sv. Dec 30, 2017 at 10:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .