As a pseudoscience, astrology observes the movement and relative position of stellar objects to divine information about an individual’s present and future life. The word “astrology” is derived from the Latin word “astrologia” and can be translated as the “study of the stars.” The meaning of the word was later changed to “star-divination.”
Dating back to the 2nd millennium BC, astrology is the part of many cultures even now. People from all around the world consider astronomical events for predicting terrestrial occurrences. Some of the very first societies referring to astrology were Indians, Chinese, and Maya. They were the ones who created the system for predicting various events based on celestial observations.
Astrology remains relevant in most of the countries. One of the countries using astrology for divinatory purposes on many occasions is India. Hindu astrology, also known as Vedic astrology, is one of the systems of astrology characteristic to India. The system is still very influential in the modern lives of Hindus.
Due to the relevance of the issue of astrology being so widespread in India, the article will explore the origins and history of Hindu astrology, its uses in modern-day India, and the reasons why astrology remains super popular even in the 21st century.
The Origins and History of Astrology in India
India has a very old tradition of observing celestial objects. Knowledge of Indian astronomy might have been gathered even before the emergence of written texts. Similarly to many other civilizations, Indians have also been looking at the sky to observe the movement and relative positions of the stars. While modern people think that religion and science are completely contrasting areas, ancient people, including Indians, believed that they could complement each other. They utilized their religious beliefs and scientific knowledge to accomplish goals and make discoveries.
The main reason why Indians, as well as other societies, started observing the sky was that they needed to know how the weather and environmental conditions were going to be. The prior knowledge of good or bad weather would allow people to plan their day accordingly. The only way for them to predict the weather was to observe the position of the stars. Later, orientations of different stellar objects were associated with numerous religious events. How people used the information obtained through celestial observations is that they would make some calculations and determine the exact date and time for various religious rituals.
As astrology developed in India, people started confusing astrology with Jyotisa. Even if you use Google to search for the term, the results will say that Jyotisa is now used as the term referring to traditional Hindu astrology. The fact is that Jyotisa might not specifically be the same as astrology. If we consider astrology as the practice of observing the stars and making the predictions, then Jyotisa and astrology can carry the same meaning. On the contrary, if we refer to astrology in terms of 12 zodiac signs that are used to determine personality characteristics and to define how your life is going to progress, then it means that Jyotisa and astrology are slightly different practices.
As a matter of fact, Indian astrology, as we perceive it today, was brought by the Greeks to India. That is why the two terms (Greek Astrology and Indian Jyotisa) are commonly misinterpreted.
Another distinction between Greek astrology and Indian Jyotisa is that they observe a year differently. While Greek astrology uses tropical year for its observations, Jyotisa relies on sidereal astrology. Tropical astrology refers to the time the Sun needs to return to its initial position, as one sees from the Earth. On the other hand, sidereal astrology considers not only the time that the Earth needs to revolve around the Sun but also the time required for the Earth to spin on its own axis.
Vedic Astrology in the Modern Lives of Hindus
As we have discussed in the previous section, Jyotisa is the traditional version of what is today known as Indian astrology or Hindu astrology. More recently (in the 1970s), the term “Hindu astrology” was changed to “Vedic astrology.” The term “Vedic” comes from the Vedic period and was adopted since the astrological system of the Indians was significantly influenced by Hellenistic culture (Greek culture). The terms Hindu astrology, Indian astrology, and Vedic astrology can be used interchangeably.
Note that Vedic astrology and Western astrology are two different divinatory practices. It is believed that Vedic astrology provides much more accurate and reliable predictions compared to traditional Western astrology. For that reason, Vedic astrology has influenced Western societies and gained prestige across the globe.
Astrology plays an important role in the modern lives of Hindus. Even in the 21st century, newborn names are chosen considering their Jyotisa charts, known as Kundli. You can create your Vedic astrology chart for free on vedcastrology.us.com. All you need to do is to enter your name, date, time, country, and city of birth.
Lots of Indian people make major decisions by looking at their astrological charts. They plan marriages, holidays, business meetings, and almost any other activity based on astrological predictions. This can be explained by the fact that their ancestors believed very much that astrology could lead to a better life and a much more successful future.
Since astrology plays an important role in the lives of contemporary Hindus, there are numerous well-known Indian astrologers. While most of them specialize in Vedic astrology, there are astrologers following other occult practices, including but not limited to Palmistry, Tarot card reading, Numerology, I-Ching, and Kabbalah. You can learn more about the top 10 Indian astrologers by following the link to Agc Consult’s article on YourStory.
Why Is Astrology So Popular in India?
Despite the technological advancements and scientific discoveries, Hindus still appreciate astrological predictions. India can be considered as the country that takes astrology way more seriously than other countries and regions. The list of 5 countries taking astrological predictions too literally includes India, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Great Britain.
But why is astrology so popular in India even now?
The reason for the popularity of astrological practices can vary. Some of the most relevant issues that make the pseudoscience so popular in India are discussed below.
Astrology is super popular in India because it is one of India’s oldest traditions. Indians simply value the practice their ancestors used for making predictions. Besides, Vedic astrology is considered to be pretty accurate and trustworthy, meaning that Hindus have the reason to believe in the credibility of astrological predictions.
Typically, Indian people passed on their beliefs to preceding generations and taught them how astrology could guide them through difficult phases of life. When you know that your parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents believed in astrology, you might just believe in it without doubting its reliability.
Due to so many divorces and unhappy families, people in India refer to astrologers who can generate compatibility reports. Parents who are worried bout their child’s future try to help them find the right person based on zodiac signs, elements, and corresponding astrological predictions.
If the parents manage to find a good match for their son or daughter, they start believing in astrology even more. Then they realize how useful Kundli charts actually are. After telling their family members and friends about how astrology helped them find a suitable partner for their son/daughter, the relatives also start regarding astrological predictions as reliable sources of information.
Consequently, the use of astrology for making the marriage more successful becomes a tradition, and new generations simply repeat what their predecessors have done. This is one of the main reasons why Indians are fascinated astrology even in the 21st century.
The final factor that makes astrology so popular worldwide is the existence of personal insecurities. India is not an exception. When we are worried about something but do not exactly know how to solve the issue, we might refer to divinatory practices, such as astrology. While observing the stars and creating personalized charts, you will see that different phases that you are going through in your life can be explained by the orientation of certain celestial objects. This allows you to think that you are not the one causing the trouble. Instead, these events are provoked and influenced by the stars and planets.
The main reason why astrological predictions are super popular not only in India but also in the entire world is that we are just trying to find some answers to uncertain or even mysterious events in our lives. When we face challenging situations, we might think of referring to a psychic to receive guidance and achieve spiritual wellness. The same happens in the case of astrology. We read daily horoscopes or consider personalized charts to find solutions to unexplained incidents.
The major thing that makes astrology much more popular in India than in other regions is that astrological predictions are rooted in ancient India. Astrology has a significant influence on Hinduism and has been the part of Hindus ever since they were born.