Vedic Astrology: Introduction to Jyotish or Indian Astrology

Vedic astrology is nothing but the technique of knowing and predicting the past, present and the future of an individual, based on the planetary configuration that was present at the time of the birth or the planetary configuration that exists at the exact time of questioning.

Vedic astrology originated and flourished in ancient India. It is also called as Hindu astrology, Indian astrology or the Jyotish. The entire foundation of the Indian astrology is based on the movements of the Planets along the cosmic zodiac.

The exact planetary configuration that was present at the time of birth of the individual is recorded in the form of a chart called the birth chart, horoscope or a Kundali. So basically the birth chart gives you the snapshot of the sky indicating the exact placement of planets and stars at that particular time.

Types of Vedic Astrology Birth Charts or Kundali

According to Vedic astrology, the heavenly bodies like stars and planets are moving in a circular path of 360 degrees known as Zodiac or Bhachakra.

In Jyotishya, there are three main types of birth charts or Kundalis being used in India, in recent years.

  • South Indian Style Birth Chart
  • North Indian Style Birth Chart
  • East Indian Style Birth Chart

Among these three charts, the south Indian and the north Indian styled birth charts are the most used ones.

Below we have given a birth chart of Lord Sri Rama that was created using the data available in the ancient scriptures representing the approximate date of birth. This is for informational purpose only and may not be exact.

vedic astrology birth chart
Bhagavan Shri Rama’s Birth Chart

The horoscope can be seen in both the South Indian and the North Indian styles above.

These 12 houses given in the chart are nothing but the pictorial representation of the Zodiac along with the houses, planets and the Rashis/signs.

ºThe difference between the north Indian and the south Indian horoscopes is given below,

BTW the difference lies only in the presentation of these charts. The methods of analyzing, assessing and predicting are one and the same, in both of these Vedic astrology charts.

To correctly read the horoscope and predict the events in a person’s life, it is of utmost importance to prepare the perfect birth chart using a very accurate birth date, time and the place of birth.

If there is any data discrepancy in one or more of these, the correct assessment of the horoscope may not be possible.

The Zodiac

As mentioned earlier the Zodiac is a circular path of 360º along which the heavenly bodies like the stars and the planets move.

This whole zodiac is divided into 12 equal parts of 30 degrees each as shown in the picture above. This each 30-degree block is called a House or a Bhava and is represented by a Rashi.

In Vedic astrology, both the House and the Sign are of 30 degrees.

There are totally 12 Rashis or Signs used in Indian astrology. Each Rasi is ruled by a planet and each planet is associated with a star or a Nakshatra.

There are 27 Nakshatras and 9 planets.

12 Rashis In Jyotish

1.Aries (Mesha)

2.Taurus (Vrashabha)

3.Gemini (Mithuna)

4.Cancer (Karka)

5.Leo (Simha)

6.Virgo (Kanya)

7.Libra (Tula)

8.Scorpio (Vraschika)

9.Sagittarius (Dhanu)

10.Capricorn (Makara)

11.Aquarius (Kumbha)

12.Pisces (Meena)

9 Grahas (Planets) In Vedic Astrology










Rahu and Ketu are not exactly the planets but are North and South lunar nodes. Rahu and Ketu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere.

27 Star Constellations or Nakshatras in Vedic Astrology

As mentioned earlier there are 27 Nakshatras or star constellations. They are as follows.

  1. Ashwini
  2. Bharani
  3. Krittika
  4. Rohini
  5. Mrigashira
  6. Ardra or Aridra
  7. Punarvasu
  8. Pushya
  9. Ashlesha
  10. Magha
  11. Purva Phalguni
  12. Uttara Phalguni
  13. Hasta
  14. Chitra
  15. Swathi
  16. Vishakha
  17. Anuradha
  18. Jyeshtha
  19. Mula
  20. Poorva Ashadha
  21. Uttara Ashadha
  22. Shravana
  23. Dhanishtha
  24. Shatabhisha
  25. Poorva Bhadrapada
  26. Uttara Bhadrapada
  27. Revathi

Each Nakshatra or the constellation is ruled by a planet.

Planetary rulers of Nakshatras/Constellations

Ashwini, Magha and Moola nakshatras are owned by Ketu. Bharani, Purva Phalguni and Purva Ashadha are ruled by the planet Venus. Krittika, Uttara Phalguni and Uttarashadha are ruled by the Sun.

Moon rules over Rohini, Hastha and Shravana constellations. Mrigashira, Chitra and Dhanishtha are owned by Mars. The shadow planet Rahu is the lord of Ardra, Swathi and Shatabhisha.

The good old Jupiter rules over Punarvasu, Vishakha and Purva Bhadrapada. The Saturn is the lord of Pushyami/Pushya, Anuradha and Uttara Bhadrapada. And finally, Mercury rules over Ashlesha, Jyestha and Revathi.

17 nakshatras in vedic astrology

Difference Between The South Indian and North Indian Birth Charts/Horoscopes

The difference is only in the representation. In this north Indian chart, the numbers 1 to 12 are representing the house numbers.

north indian horsocope

Meaning, the no.1 represents the 1st house, no 2. the second and so on. In the north Indian horoscope, the house or the bhava always remains the same, which means that the 1st house shown in the above picture is always considered the 1st house, no matter which north Indian birth chart you are looking at. The first house is the same for you, me and Donald Trump.

But the Rasis keep changing in the North Indian horoscope. For example, in one birth chart, the 1st house may be represented by Aries or Mesha while in the other the 1st house may be represented by Makara or Capricorn.

Now is a South Indian horoscope, this is different. Here the Rasis/Signs are always the same but the houses keep changing. See the picture below for a better understanding.

south indian horoscope

In the above horoscope, the numbers represent the Rasis or Signs. The No.1 represents the 1st Rasi/Sign which is Aries, the No. 2 is the second Sign Taurus, and so on.

In south Indian birth charts, the 1st box is always the 1st Sign (Remember how the 1st box is always the 1st house in the north Indian chart). The houses keep changing in the south Indian kundalis. In one person the 1st house may start from the Cancer sign while in the other the 1st house may be in Pisces.

2 thoughts on “Vedic Astrology: Introduction to Jyotish or Indian Astrology”

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