Introduction to Raashi.

The zodiac signs are called Raashi in Jyotish. Raa (as pronounced in fRAnce). Shi (as pronounced in SHE). The word is said to be derived from Ram and his spouse Seeta. As also from Rahu and Sikhi (Sikhi is another name for Ketu). Raashi also means a heap. Here it means a heap of stars or a cluster of star forming a particular zodiac sign. The whole zodiac belt is divided into twelve equal parts of 30 degrees each (a circle of 360 degrees divided by twelve). The Zodiac belt- Bhaa chakra. It was observed that the increase and decrease in daylight was due to lateral motion of the sun from north to south and vice-versa. The Zodiac belt in the celestial sphere extends to about 8° on either side of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun among the stars. The width of the zodiac was determined originally so as to include the orbits of the Sun and Moon and of the five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) that were known to the people of ancient times. Diagram 1:


22.5 °

22.5 °

Simplistically speaking this means that from each of the four points if we imagine Vishnu taking three steps then we get the twelve signs of the zodiac. And here is the most important part of Jyotish. Spring equinox point. Hence in one year or one complete rotation of the Earth around the Sun gives us four points. Autumnal equinox is vice-a-versa. Extreme south point or the Winter solstice.XXII. 2. 1. Meaning in three steps Vishnu covered the whole cosmos. Now we have four points. Extreme north point of Sun or the Summer solstice. The Vernal equinox is also called spring equinox. Autumn equinox.XVIII states: trini pada vi chakrame vishnur gopa adabhyah ato dharmani dharayan In three great strides Vishnu the protector. the day and night were of equal length. The Rig Veda I. Here again. when the Sun is exactly at the center of these two extreme points. The Vernal equinox is at the centre or mid point while traveling from south to north. Similarly. 4. There are two equinox in a year. “Dakshin” means south and “Ayana” is movement. Diagram 2: . 3. by which we get four divisions of the zodiac (Bhaa chakra). This is termed as equinox. the Sun’s movement from extreme north point towards extreme south point is called the Dakshinayana. Here “Uttar” means north and “Ayana” means movement. The Sun travels from extreme south point towards extreme north point is called.It was further observed that. Uttarayana’. Each division is of ninety degrees. who is undefeatable upholds the perennial principles of sanaatan dharma or eternal righteousness. One is the vernal equinox and the other is the autumnal equinox.

then we have to understand a few things.NORTHERN EXTRME POINT Of SUN SPRING EQUINOX Point Earth AUTUMN EQUINOX Point SOUTHERN EXTRME POINT Of SUN NORTH But if we really want to understand what the above mantra means in Astrological perspective. The mirror opposite to him will reflect this. Suppose 123 are the three steps taken by Lord Vishnu We put two mirrors facing each other and Lord Vishnu takes three steps between these two mirrors. He takes the second step and covers the second sign. How can we see infinity? Simply place two mirrors facing each other perfectly. then the third step on the third sign. It will be reflected in the mirror like this: 321 123 321 | | . One at the vernal equinox point and the other at the solstice point. The cosmos is infinite. If you can visualize this properly then you have learnt a great secret of Jyotish. Here you need to have a very good visualization. Each will reflect the other reverse order. as also the mirror behind but. Vishnu takes the first step and this is Mesha. Let us imagine two mirrors facing each other. placed in a straight line.

The Mirrors will reflect each others image like this: 123 321 | | |321|123 This is the same as the original three steps of Lord Vishnu and completes the cycle. Forget for a moment the original steps taken by Lord Vishnu. that which is finite in the infinite.Now imagine the reflection of the images of the mirror in each other. Diagram: MIRROR MIRROR 1 2 1 2 3 3 This is how the twelve Raashis are made. This concept has great use in Jyotish even in advanced stages and it is better that the learner gets it very clear in his mind right now. Or In other words. Q1: What does the word Vishnu mean? Q2: Which story in Hindu mythology depicts these three steps? Q3: Is the day and night really equal on the day of equinox? Why is it so? 3 2 1 .

The tropical zodiac starts at a point where the equinox (spring) occurs and this is the starting of Aries. ‘Nir’ means without and ayana means motion. But if you are able to observe the equinox point somehow.t the background of the fixed stars. It is fixed w. which means moving zodiac). The rate of the precession is about 50. Jyotish uses the Sidereal zodiac or the ‘Nirayana’ system. This software uses the Lahari ayanamsha by default.The Precession of the Equinox. Use it to make your own chart (stick to the Rashi chart for now) by entering your birth data.To do: Learn and find out more about the orbital motion and the axial rotation of the Earth and its effect on the seasons. In simpler words If we look up and see a star at exactly midnight on March 21st and come back to the same spot 72 years later again on March 21st exactly at midnight the star will seem to have "moved backwards" (1 degree).3 seconds of arc per year or 1 degree every 71. but now there is a great difference between the two. At some point in time the two zodiacs coincided. so basically it means fixed zodiac.The value is taken differently by different authorities in Jyotish and it is a very controversial subject. It is totally free and the best Jyotish tool you will find. We will be using this software for all our Jyotish calculations. This system is widely followed in the western countries. you will observe that the point does not coincide exactly at the same point in the background of the stars but precedes it or the fixed point in the background of stars is receding (going backwards). To do: Download the free software ‘Jagannath hora’ and install it in your computer.6 years. we will be using the Sidereal zodiac (Nirayana) and Ayanamsha we will follow is the ‘Chitra paksha’ or Lahari’s Ayanamsha for the entire length of this course. . This value is called the ‘Ayanamsha’ (Aayanamsha). against the background of the stars then. Tropical and Sidereal zodiac. Not going into too much technical detail. This phenomenon is called. The help file is a veritable Jyotish course in itself. Whereas the Sayana zodiac (tropical) is not fixed but moves (‘Sa’ means with and ‘ayana’ means motion.r.

We are taught that the first thing to do when looking at a chart is to bow before it because it is a representation of Lord Vishnu. The Raashi chakra is personified as the Kaal purusha (Time personified) in some traditions and as Lord Vishnu in the tradition i have learnt.Limbs of the body and Raashi chakra. .

P (Predictive principle): Beneficial planets connected to the houses/signs indicate proper growth and/or protection to the body part while malefic planets connected to such houses/signs indicate improper growth and/or damage to the body part. Kark=Heart Simha=stomach. Note: When ever a predictive principle is given. But suppose Vrishabha is in the fifth house then. that person to whom the horoscope belong may have some weakness/scar visible on the face. the person may have some internal problem in the stomach. Like some digestive problem etc. the body parts are also studied from the bhava (twelve houses) reckoned from the lagna (ascendant). The body part indicated by the houses from lagna corresponds to those reckoned from Mesha or the Kaalapurusha.The Raashis starting from Mesha onwards have the limbs of the Lord mapped onto then in the following manner. Mithuna=Arms. Vrishabha= Face. Meena=feets. Shani and Rahu in Vrishabha then. In general. Makara=Knees. we will use the short form as 'P. Kanya=Hips. For individual horoscopes. damage to body parts from external agents or sources is indicated by the raashi (signs) of the Kaalapurusha while damage or malfunctioning of body parts caused by internal agents or sources is indicated by the houses reckoned from the lagna. Kumbha=Shank and ankles. P. Example: Suppose a horoscope has Mangal. This has uses also in horary (Prasna Shastra). .P' and the principle itself will be given in bold green. Mesha = Head. Tula=space below the navel (sexual organs) Vrischika= Hidden parts (Procreative and Anus) Dhanus=Thighs.

It is ruled by Shukra. Primarily. In the modern context it is the garage. stock market and areas where traders sell their valuable merchandise are indicated by Tula. shallows and marshy places. green fields ready for harvest are indicated by Kanya in addition to living rooms of women. and such places where people meet for entertainment. Kanya: is symbolized by a woman standing in a boat with a lamp and corn. while the man wields the gadaa (mace or metal club). Tula: is symbolized by a person carrying a balance. It is ruled by Surya. cremation grounds. Karka: is symbolized by a crab. burial grounds. The lair of the scorpion is near filthy places. Places where vessels are kept like the kitchen or store rooms. Simha: is symbolized by a lion. parking lots and the battle field. It indicates rivers. It indicates plateaus.Description of signs and its ruler or lord. pleasure haunts. It is ruled by Shani. plains. Kumbha: is symbolised by a man carrying a water pot. dolphin) and the head of a deer. Deep wells and such places where the water is very stationery (Scorpio is a fixed sign) and can become poisonous are also indicated. farms.shark. It is ruled by Budha. Vrischika: is symbolized by a scorpion. forests and such other Placed inhabited by quadrupeds. the love god and the vehicle of Varuna. drainage system. Mesha: is symbolized by a ram. Mithuna: is symbolized by a couple. Gambling dens. Dhanus: means a bow and is symbolized by a man who having a horse body below the torso and carrying a bow. This symbol divides the sign into two parts where one half is human and the other is animal (horse). Gardens. Rivers are indicated by the sign while others opine ponds & lakes. cowshed. . It is regarded as the emblem of Kaama deva. Makara: is a kind of sea-monster with the body of a crocodile (other views . Horse stables or barracks for war elephants and chariots are indicated by Dhanus. It is ruled by Chandra. bazaar. It is ruled by Budha. Meena: consists of two fishes in an inverted position with their tails conjoined to the head of the other indicating revival after a fall or the power of rejuvenation. It is ruled by Shani and Rahu. Mountain caves and dense jungles is the abode of the lion. Vrishabha: is symbolized by the bull. All markets. The sea. bars. it is the cradle of all civilizations and indicates sand banks as well where crabs dwell. warehouses and other storage places are indicated by Kumbha in addition to toilets and latrines where water has to be carried for cleansing. manholes. noxious reptiles prefer swampy and dirty areas and poisonous snakes live in underground holes in secluded places. Pasture lands. It is ruled by Mangal. It is ruled by Guru. It is ruled by Shukra. It indicates hills and places having mineral wealth and precious stones. It is ruled by Mangal and Ketu. The woman is carrying a veena (stringed musical instrument carried by Sarasvati (the Goddess of learning).

The next sign from Simha is ruled by Budha. Important: Many people don’t accept dual lordships for vrischika and Kumbha. And so on for the other signs as per the order of planets in the Solar system. So the final lordships will be as below: . Shani Surya (Chandra) Surya Guru Mangal Shukra Budha See Simha ruled by Surya and Kark ruled by Chandra replacing Surya because of polarity principle. but we will take them to be lorded by both Mangal and Ketu for Vrischika and Shani and Rahu for Kumbha.these are the two luminaries. An easy way to remember the Lordships (Raashi adipati) is: We already know the Solar system and the order of the planets from Sun (Surya). spiritual retreats. Forget or ignore earth and you will get the following lordships (two raashi for each) Guru Mangal Shukra Budha Shani Lordships of signs Raashi Adhipati.large rivers are indicated by this sign as well as places of rejuvenation and cure like hospitals. The places ruled by the Raashis are the background where events happen. Same way the next sign in reverse from Karka is ruled by Budha. Sun (Surya) Mercury (Budha) Venus (Shukra) Earth (Prithvi) Mars (Mangal) Jupiter (Guru) Saturn (Shani). It is ruled by Guru.

Sthira (fixed) and Dwishbhaava (dual) in nature.Guru Mangal Shukra Budha Shani Rahu Lordships of signs Raashi Adhipati. The [twelve] signs reckoned from Mesha are successively Chara (movable). This means Mesha is Chara. The following diagram will make this clear. Vrishabha is Sthira. . Shani Chandra Surya Guru Mangal Ketu Shukra Budha Mobility of the Raashis. Chara Movable Dwishbhaava Dual Sthira Fixed Chara Movable Sthira Fixed Dwishbhaava Dual Chara Movable Sthira Fixed Dwishbhaava Dual Chara Movable Pundit Sanjay Rath gives the following explanation for the mobility of the Raashis (Plural of Raashi). Dwishbhaava Dual Sthira Fixed Mobility of Raashis. Mithuna is Dwishbhaava and this is repeated again cyclically for other remaining Raashis.

In a sense. The cross country runner wins if he is able to maintain his pace at a uniform balanced level throughout the long run while the 100 meter race is won if the runner can pump in a huge burst of energy. The word sthira means fixed and implies low energy. chara raashi are more mutable as they are movable signs. In Prasna (Horary) it is used to see the lost object distance or about the whereabouts of a missing person or thief. Sthira is in the city and Dwishbhaava is inside the country itself. the cars in the different lanes are ‘cooperating’ with each other or working mutually to maintain their relative speeds at high. If the combination (Yoga) is formed in Sthira Raashi then it is difficult to overcome. The cars traveling at middling speeds will stick to the middle lane. The word dwishbhaava means having a dual nature’ and indicates balanced energy level. it is relative to the observer on earth. Compare two runners who run a cross country race and a 100 meter race. . It is natural that the fast cars will fall into the right express lane while the slow cars will stick to the safe left lane. The use of this for judging the longevity will be shown later in the course. All motion is relative to another and in the context of horoscopy. middling or low levels respectively. If a bad combination (Yoga) is formed in a Chara Raashi then it can be easily overcome by corrective behavior or remedies. deceleration to the stage of stopping and the power of destruction. If they cooperate and drive at a uniform ‘fast’. The cross country runner should have stronger dual signs indicating his running style while the 100 meter runner should have movable signs indicating his style. Imagine a three-lane highway with cars at various speeds traveling in it. Some astrologers use the word mutable’ or changeable for the dual signs and this is definitely not correct from the Jyotish viewpoint. In fact. they will reach their destination (analogous to achieving their objective) without an accident. ‘middling’ or ‘slow’ speed respectively. It has also uses in judging the longevity of the native . It is also used to judge whether a remedial measure will be effective or not. Sthira shows low energy level and short life and Dwishbhaava shows middle level of energy and middle life. acceleration and the power of creation that goes along with excess energy. If it forms in the Dwishbhaava Raashi then with some efforts it may be overcome. In an ideal state his can mean a body in perpetual motion. Chara is far away foreign lands.‘The word chara means movable and implies excessive energy.’ Another use is to see the distance (Say for travels).with Chara showing high level of energy and full longevity. Accidents are prevented if these cars stick to their lanes.

Colors of the Raashis The Raashis are also said to have certain colors. the colors of the Raashis are given below in a tabular form. Raashi Mesha Vrishabha Mithuna Kark Simha Kanya Tula Vrischika Dhanus Makara Kumbha Meena Color Blood red White Green Pink Off white (Khakhi) Grey Black Yellow Gold Blue Violet Sky blue Color .

Odd and even Raashis Raashis reckoned from Mesha onwards are alternately male and female. This is as effective as wearing a costly gem stone at not even one percent cost. which shows the nature to be harsh or gentle respectively. Male & female is an inner attribute of being harsh and pushing or mild and passive. So please learn it to make it such a part of you that the colors of the Raashis are always at the tip of your tongue. They do not per see represent the sex. Such innumerable uses can be found and made use of. Why do you think all my Titles for the Lessons start with green? Well you see my Guru is placed in Mithuna and i am teaching here (The graha Guru is the teacher in the planetary cabinet). Count the signs from Mesha and the odd signs (visama Raashi) are said to be male in their ‘inner nature’ and harsh in their behavior.Colors of the Rashis These colors of the Rashis are very useful while deciding the colors to wear when wanting to activate certain combinations present in a horoscope (Kundali). They are go-getters and can be very . This is a very useful and cost effective remedial measure. The rising Raashi (Lagna) leaves this imprint on the inner nature and attitude. we will learn about this in detail as the course progresses. Guru is also the lord of my Lagna (first house).

Khumbha and Makara. All odd signs except Mithuna and Kumbha are Male Raashis. Dhanu. These are the fire and air signs of which the fire signs can be more harsh and ‘burning’ whereas the air signs can be slower to react but very harsh in their continued aggression (The elements of the Raashis will be given later). These are Mesha. siblings. and Kumbha. The second mirror reflects from Meena. All even signs except Kark and Meena are Female Raashis. Mithuna) are called VISHAMA PADA Raashis.pushing to achieve their objectives. Mithuna and Kumbha are Female Raashis. Odd footed (Vishama Pada) and Even footed (Samapada). These are the water signs – Kark. They are passive in their attitudes and behavior. So Mesha starts with right foot and hence these three Raashis (Mesha. Kanya. The reflections of these start with Kanya and Meena but. Vrischika. again the count is reversed. Vrischika. Mithuna. Sex of the Raashis. The various meaning of Guna: guNa merit guNa quality . The water signs are more passive than the earthy Raashis. Simha. 1st step is right foot so the second will be left foot and the third step will be again right. Dhanus) are again direct and right footed hence they too are Vishama pada. Tula. The remaining three Raashis (Tula. it will be the left foot first because right is reflected as left in a mirror and the count is also reversed going from Kanya to Simha and then to Kark. These Six Raashis are called Samapada Raashis (Even footed). The word Guna requires an explanation. Kark and Meena are male signs. To see the sex of people (children. In the first post in this lesson you learnt about the foot steps of Lord Vishnu. The even numbered signs (sama Raashi) are female in their inner nature and are not harsh. Meena and the earth signs – Vrishabha. Guna and Tatwa of Raashis. business partners etc) the Raashis are classified as follows. Vrishabha. Makara.

Purusha is neither produced nor does it Broadly. Purusha Purusha is the Transcendental Self or Pure Consciousness. Metaphysically. above any experience and beyond any words or explanation. Samsaara or bondage arises when the Purusha does not have the discriminate knowledge and so is misled as to its own identity. and is limitless and unrestricted by its physical body. It remains pure. and ignorance respectively. enlightening rajas (passion) – motivates us to create. passion. sustenance. “nonattributive consciousness”. the Samkhya system classifies all objects as falling into one of the two categories: Purusha and Prakriti.which is actually an evolute of . Prakriti Prakriti is matter. confusing itself with the physical body .wikipedia. free. They are: sattva (goodness) – pure. foulness. the chief quality of all existing beings sattva. temporary. imperceptible. rajas. goodness. Each sentient being is a Purusha. All physical events are considered to be manifestations of the evolution of Prakrti. Matter is inert. and unconscious. A short introduction to the Sankhya philosophy is warranted here. deluding.e. It is absolute. acquire and enjoy tamas (ignorance) – dirty. It is composed of three qualities (gunas) corresponding to creation. and tamas i. and unknowable. Metaphysics of Samkhya From here: http://en. and destructive. degrading. elevating.guNa talent guNa virtue guNa good result guNa credit guNa use guNa efficacy guNa efficacy guNa advantage In Sankhya system (A philosophical system of India) it means an ingredient or constituent of Prakriti. and darkness. or primal Nature (from which all physical bodies are derived). Samkhya maintains a radical duality between spirit/consciousness (Purusha) and matter (Prakrti). or virtue. independent. and destruction.

Nature of Duality: According to Samkhya. Rajas . The cause under consideration here is Prakriti or more precisely Mula-Prakriti (Primordial Matter). It is also a state of equilibrium amongst the Three Gunas. According to Satkaryavada. Here Purusha stands for the ‘Supreme Self’ and Prakriti stands for ‘Matter’. Cause and effect are seen as different temporal aspects of the same thing . the effect pre-exists in the cause. It is pure potentiality that evolves itself successively into twenty four tattvas or principles. All macrocosmic and microcosmic creation uses these templates. The twenty four principles that evolves are Prakriti . also called "primordial Matter". This is how the cycles of evolution and dissolution follow each other. Purusha (Self) is the first principle of Samkhya. In dissolution the physical existence. The evolution itself is possible because Prakriti is always in a state of tension among its constituent strands Sattva . Tamas .a template of balance or equilibrium. Parinama denotes that the effect is a real transformation of the cause. Sankhya theorizes that Prakriti is the source of the world of becoming. Theory of Existence: The Samkhya system is based on Satkaryavada.a template of inertia or resistance to action. Evolution is followed by dissolution. More specifically. In evolution.a template of expansion or activity.the effect lies latent in the cause which in turn seeds the next effect. Prakriti is transformed and differentiated into multiplicity of objects. all the worldly objects mingle back into Prakriti.Prakriti.The most subtle potentiality that is behind whatever that is created in the physical universe. . Prakriti is the second. the efficient cause of the world is Purusha (Avyakta or Absolute) and the material cause is Prakriti. The spirit is liberated when the discriminate knowledge of the difference between conscious Purusha and unconscious Prakriti is realized. which now remains as the undifferentiated. The Samkhya system is therefore an exponent of an evolutionary theory of matter beginning with primordial matter. primordial substance. Samkhya system follows the Prakriti-Parinama Vada. the material principle of Samkhya.

this contains within it the aakash also. pure potentiality. which is air (vaayu). In Jyotish the chara Raashis are said to have Rajas guna. Agni (fire ) produces heat which also is complimented by coolness (polarity) this is water (Jala).The organs of action are hands. Ahamkara or ego-sense – is the second product of evolution. It is responsible for the selfsense in living beings. taste. even though due to the absence of discriminate knowledge. along with the Ahamkara. Manas or "Antahkaran" evolves from the total sum of sattva aspect of Panch Tanmatras or the "Ahamkara" Panch jnana indriyas or five sense organs . Mahat is also considered to be the principle responsible for the rise of buddhi or intelligence in living beings. The Sthira Raashis are of Tamas Guna and The Dwishbhaava Raashis are of Satva guna.also evolves from the sattva aspect of Ahamkara. The spirit who is always free is only a witness to the evolution. prithvi contains within it all the preceding four elements in it. This is the grossest aspect of the physical universe. then comes movement. They evolve from the rajas aspect of Ahamkara. this again contains within it all the preceeding three elements.The five elements are said to evolve from the "tamas" aspect of the "Ahamkara".Mahat – is the first product of evolution from Prakriti. vocal apparatus. next comes fire (Agni) caused due to the friction produced by movement. touch and hearing Each of these Tanmatras is made of all three Gunas.. it misidentifies itself with the manifest. smell. . They are the subtle form of Panch Mahabhutas which result from grossification or Panchikaran of the Tanmatras.Prakrti evolves for the spirit in bondage. water and earth evolving in that order with each succeeding elements containing the preceding ones in them. legs. air. Panch mahabhuta or five great elements are ether. Panch karma indriya or five organs of action . The evolution of primal Nature is also considered to be purposeful . urino-genital organ and anus. fire. The Guna of Raashis. this contain within it aakash as well as vaayu. Too much coolness solidifies and this is the earth (Prithvi) element. It is also one's identification with the outer world and its content. The Tanmatras are sight. "Panch Tanmatras" are a simultaneous product from Mahat Tattva. Like Ether or space (aakash) is the prerequisite for any thing to exsist.

Kanya. The over lord of Raashi: Surya is the overlord of Raashis and the Raashi chakra. He has twelve forms and collectively they are called the Dwaadasa Aadityaa. Jupiter is the greatest natural benefic and represents ‘God’ in all signs simply for the fact that it is the governor of the aakaash tattva that makes all the other signs and planets work in harmony for all purposes. Each Raashi has a positive and negative traits in them and to overcome the negative traits of each Raashis as also to overcome physical suffering in the form of disease etc it is better to worship Surya in the various form he takes for each Raashi. the Raashis Mithuna. Simha. All Raashis have aakaash tattva in them that keeps them together and makes them work in harmony. The whole of bhaa chakra (zodiac) is said to be of Aakaash tatva. Vrischika and Meena have a predominance of jala (water). Makara have a predominance of prithvi (earth). Find the representation of the Aakaash tattwa in the picture. . Q3: After how many Raashis do the Gunas repeat? Q4: After how many Raashis do the Tattvas repeat? To do :Look at the picture of Sri Vishnu given above in a previous post and in his four arms you will see him holding weapons and other things. The Raashis Mesha.If you have read the mobility post in this lesson you will understand why this is so. The Tatvas and raashis. Tula and Kumbha have a predominance of vaayu (air) while Vrishabha. Try to correlate the five tattwas with them. list them and find who corresponds to which guna. Q1: List out the twenty four tattvas of Sankhya Philosophy. Q2: The three gunas correspond to the three main deities of the Hindu pantheon. Dhanu have agni (fire) in predominance. All signs have the panch (pronounced as punch and meaning five) tattva in them with a dominance of one of the other four tattva (excluding aakash). the Raashis Kark. Surya is the overlord of the Raashis in the form of Aadityaa.

The mantras for worshipping are derived from the Surya mantra: Om Grinih Suryaaditya Om. . Some have given a different order of names but we take the above as authentic.Dhata Aryama Mitra Varun Vishnu Indra Dwaadasa Aadityaa Tvastha Vivaswan Bhaga Anshuman Parjanya Pusha These names are as per Vishnu Purana.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.