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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



The asterism occupying 2700 40' to 2800 54' 13" of the zodiac. It is represented by three stars, which includes Vega, the brightest star of the northern hemisphere. A name of Vishnu, Krishna acknowledges it to represent him. Brahma presides over the star. It is important in Muhurtha (q.v.) determination.


Meaning dignified, proud; also personifies Agni, fire, who is said to be the eldest son of Brahma. He has three sons, viz., Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi from his wife Swaha (q.v.). Abhimani also means a planet in strength and moving towards its exaltation sign.


A spiritual teacher. One who invests a boy with the sacred thread and instructs him in the Vedas. When affixed to proper names (as in Sankaracharya) it means learned and venerable.


Meaning cover, concealment. Special aspect (q.v.) of Jupiter and Venus. Kapil Nadi, a classical text on astrology suggested Jupiter to have 3rd and 11th aspects as Achchadana, while Venus gets it as its 5th aspect.


Meaning firm, imperishable; often refers to Vishnu.


Also known as Nisheka Lagna. Ascendant at the moment of impregnation.


As a prefix it means the chief or the presiding deity.


Very close friend.


An auspicious planetary combination formed by benefices in the 6th, 7th and 8th houses from the Moon sign while Mercury is not combust (q.v.) and Jupiter does not form Sakata yoga (q.v.). It makes an individual polite, trustworthy, affluent and capable of defeating his adversaries.


The sign occupied by the Sun in a natal chart.


Meaning Beginning. The Original Cause; the parent source of the nominal impersonal self. The initial phase of illusory manifestation produced by Avidya (ignorance). H.P. Blavatsky stated Adi to stand for the one on the unreachable plane of absoluteness and infinity, on which no speculation is possible, while Aditi (q.v.) stands for the one on the plane of emanation. Adi is eternal, absolute, and immutable while Aditi is a reflection of Adi. The Vedas used Adi in the sense Brahma was used in subsequent scriptures. Buddhists refer to Siddhartha Gautam as Adi Buddha to imply him as the first or the Supreme Being.

In astrology, Adi represents the Sun being the primeval cause of the solar system. Among the zodiacal signs, it stands for Aries, and among the Lunar Mansions (q.v.) Ashwini is considered Adi, while in a natal chart, Adi stands for the ascendant.


The first-born; Brahma, the primeval element.


The chief deity of Southern Buddhists. The abstract principle of all Buddhas. Siddhartha Gautam is also referred as Adi Buddha to imply him as the first or the Supreme Being.


Original perception. Pure Consciousness.


[(Adi = first) + (Nidana = rope that binds, cause)]. The original cause.


Primeval divine fire. The female creative power. An aspect of every male deity.


Meaning Free unbound. Boundless heaven as compared with the finite earth. A Vedic goddess representing the primeval generator of all that emanated. The eternal space of boundless whole, the unfathomable depth signifying the veil over the unknown.

The Rig Veda describes it as the father and mother of all gods; it is named Devamatri, mother of all gods, or Swabhavat, that which exists by itself. She is frequently implored for blessing children and cattle, for protection and forgiveness.

In the Yajur Veda, Aditi is addressed as the support of the sky, the sustainer of the earth, the sovereign of this world, and the wife of Vishnu.

The Vishnu Purana describes Aditi, the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Kashyapa, to be the mother of 8 Adityas (q.v.), including Vishnu and other shining ones.

According to the Matsya Purana, Indra gave to Aditi a pair of earrings that were produced by the churning of the ocean. Several Puranic stories refer to these earrings being stolen and taken to the city of Prag Jyotish by the Asura king Naraka, from where they were brought back and restored to Aditi by Krishna.

Occult tradition establishes a close resemblance between Krishna, Aditi and the Cosmic Mother principle.

Aditi gave birth to 8 Adityas (q.v.), of whom the 8th one, Martand, the present Sun of the present solar system, was cast away as a 'dead egg'. In the Mahabharata there is a reference to Devaki who bore eight fetuses, of which seven were destroyed by Kamsa while the eighth one, which was Krishna, was transported to Gokula by her husband, Vasudeva. In such legends, Devaki, the mother of Krishna, is represented as a new birth, or manifestation of Aditi, and Krishna of the Sun connected with the origin and nourishment of the earth.

Aditi is variously represented in Indian occult literature. Besides being the goddess who mothered 8 Sun gods, she even represents Prithvi, the mother earth, Vach, the goddess of speech who articulates noumenon into creative impulse, and in southern Buddhist schools, she is identified with Akasha, the all-pervading substratum of all manifestation, and with Nirvana, liberation. She represents the Great Deep, the primeval waters of space, the chaos, and the celestial Virgin Mother of all the visible and invisible universes, and the primordial light, which provides life and substance to every form of creation. Aditi is symbolized as the central point in the Sun symbol.

Aditi presides over the 7th asterism, Punarvasu. Mees states that Aditi has six or seven forms as applying to six or seven spheres or twelve forms referring to the stages of spiritual path connected with the twelve signs of the zodiac. Blavatsky refers to it as the Vedic name for Mulaprakriti (q.v.). She even considers Aditi as the mother of gods, or Sheikinah, the eternal light; in the world of spirit, the great deep and chaos, or the primordial substance in its first remove from the unknown in the manifested cosmos. Aurobindo states that Aditi is 'both the cow and the general Mother; she is the Supreme Light and all radiances proceed from her. Psychologically, Aditi is the supreme and infinite consciousness, represented as mother of the gods.'


Meaning, born of Aditi. Born as Vivaswan, a son of Kashyapa and Aditi, Adityas are divine intelligence supervising and maintaining the cosmic evolutionary process. They are also known as Suryas, Vasus, and by several other names. The root number 33 in Hindu occultism stands for the 12 Adityas, 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, and 2 Ashwinis, all presenting different aspects of the same primeval impulse.

Adityas represent the creative expression of the primordial effulgence of life. Brahma is said to have created them for assisting him in his evolutionary task but they refused to do so considering it to be an impure involvement. An infuriated Brahma cursed them to be born repeatedly at the beginning of every Kalpa (q.v.). They are also called Ajitas, Tushitas, Satyas, Haris, Vaikunthas, Sadhyas, and Adityas on different occasions.

Aditi is said to have given birth to 8 Adityas, 7 of whom she gave to the gods, and they became different planets. The eighth one, named Martand, was thought dead and was cast away. It became the Sun of the present solar system. The Puranic stories mention the Sun (Vivaswan) to be married to Tvastri (Sanjna), daughter of the celestial architect Tvastra or Vishwakarma. But she was unable to bear his effulgence, so having left her shadow, Chhaya, to look after him she went to her father, who sheared much of the Suns radiance. From the fragments thus chipped off, the discus of Vishnu, the trident of Shiva, the weapons of Kubera, the lance of Kartikeya and such other deadly weapons of several other gods were formed.

The Sun, or the Aditya, is supposed to have a large family. He has three wives, viz., Sanjna, Ragyi, and Prabha, besides Chhaya, formed from the shadow of Sanjna. A king named Raivat was born of Ragyi, Prabhat was born of Prabha. From Sanjna the Sun had two sons, viz., Vaivasvata Manu and Yama, and a daughter called Yamuna. Yama and Yamuna are said to be twins. From Chhaya, the Sun begot Savarni Manu, Sani (Saturn) and Vishti. The two Manus are related with racial evolution and social reorganisation of different human races during the different periods of manifestation or Manvantara.

Yama became the god of death, and Sani is the planet related with death. Yama presides over the planet Saturn. Yamuna avid Tapti are two important rivers of north and south India. Vishti is a very fierce-looking demoness, connected with Time. Away from her husband, Sanjna assumed the form of a mare and began wandering in the universe. When the Sun became aware of the deception, he assumed the form of a horse and, having found her in her new form, produced the two Ashwini Kumars (q.v.).

There are many stories of the Sun's seductions. The Sun begot Karna from Kunti before she was married to Pandu. It was supposed to be an immaculate birth, without destroying her virginity. Karna became a hero of the Mahabharata and in many ways excelled Arjuna in bravery and military skill. It was difficult to vanquish him until he removed his armour on his own volition. The Sun also fathered Sugriva, the monkey chief who helped Rama trace and retrieve his abducted wife Sita, from the clutches of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Sugriva also provided the necessary monkey army to Rama in his fight with Ravana. It is said that Aditya gave the Syamantaka jewel to Satrajit, the father of Krishna's wife, Satyabhama.

As Martand, Aditya received from his mother the earrings obtained from the churning of the ocean which enabled him to maintain stability during his constant strife with his brothers. In the form of a horse, Aditya communicated Sweta Yajura Veda to Yajnavalka. Blavatsky describes Aditya as "neither Sun, nor Moon, nor stars, but the eternal sustainer of the luminous life which exists as it were behind all the phenomena." She further says: the Radiant Child of the Two, the unparalleled refulgent Glory-Bright Space, Son of Dark Space, who emerges from the Depths of the great Dark Waters. He shines forth as the Sun, he is the Blazing Divine Dragon of Wisdom. Behold him lifting the Veil, and unfurling it from East to West. He shuts out the Above, and leaves the Below to be seen as the Great Illusion. He marks the places for the Shining Ones, and turns the Upper into a Shoeless Sea of Fire, and the One Manifested into the Great Waters."


[(A = not) + (Dvaita = duality)]. The non-dualistic school of Vedantic philosophy founded by Sankaracharya stressing the Supreme as one and the only one causeless cause of all. A philosophical system of absolute monotheism.


Adverse planetary effect. It arises in many ways, e.g. (1) placement of planets in the 6th, 8th, and/or 12th houses or their ruler ship of these houses; (2) association of a house or a planet with malefic Saturn, Mars, or Rahu; (3) occupation of Badhaka (q.v.) planets in a house or their association with any other planet; (4) Combustion (q.v.) of a planet; or (5) association of Sun with Saturn, Rahu or Ketu. Affliction is also caused to a planet if it occupies an inauspicious asterism.


[(Aga = the immovable, a mountain) + (Asti = thrower); (Aga = pitcher) + (Asti =to exist)]. An ancient patron saint of Vedic astrology associated with the star Canopus. Tradition claims him to be still living in the South Indian hills where he went to teach science and literature and to revive occult teachings. Some spiritualists believe him to be middle-aged with Grey hair, often coming into physical contact with the disciples, though precluded from the purview of visitors. Yet he is said to be as old as the Vedas. Many hymns in the Rig veda are attributed to him. He and Vashishtha are said to be the offspring of Mitra and Varuna (q.v.) whose seed fell from them at the sight of Urvasi, a celestial nymph. Lest the vital energy thus released be wasted, it was preserved in an earthen pitcher and at the appropriate time, born as a fish of great lustre'. As he was very small when he was born, not more than a span in length, he was called Mana, meaning a standard measure.

It is said that Agastya drank the entire ocean when it did not stop giving shelter to fugitive demons. He pushed down the Vindhya mountains when they insisted on obstructing the path of the Sun. He devoured the demon Vatapi and burnt to ashes his brother Ilwala, because they were destroying the Brahmin priests.

In the Ramayana, he is said to have received Rama, his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshmana at his hermitage and presented Rama with the bow of Vishnu, the arrows of Brahma, the quiver of Indra, and an invincible sword. He also presented him with a rare jewel obtained from the dead king Sweta.

Agastya redeemed his ancestors, suspended by their heels, by begetting a son, which he did by marrying a girl whom he had formed out of the most graceful parts of different animals. The sage is also said to have been related to the Rakshasas through his previous birth.

According to Blavatsky, Pulashya, a Prajapati or a mind-born son of Brahma, who was the progenitor of Rakshasas, had in a former birth a son named Dattoli, who was later known as Sage Agastya. Dattoli alone has six more variants to it, or seven meanings. He is called Dattoli, Dattali, Dattotti, Dattottri, Dambhobhi and Dambholi. These seven variants have each, according to Blavatsky, a secret sense, and refer in the esoteric commentaries to different ethnological classifications, and also to physiological and anthropological mysteries of the primitive races.


Meaning (i) fire, god of fire, viz., Vaishvanara in the Rig Veda; (ii) personified primordial light, Bhuranya, the rapid carrier of Divine Spark; (iii) first emanation in the triple manifestation of spirit, force, and matter; (iv) central spiritual Sun, and (v) the electrical fire of life. One of the most ancient and most sacred objects of Hindu worship, Agni appears in three phases: G) as Sun in heaven, GO as lightning in midair, and (iii) as ordinary fire on earth. Agni is one of the three great deities in the Vedas, viz., Agni, Vayu (or Indra) and Surya, who preside on earth, air and sky, respectively, and are equal in dignity. Agni is considered as the mediator between men and gods, as protector of men and their homes, and a witness to their actions. Agni is one of the Panch Bhutas (q.v.) and represents the primordial fire which carries forth life essence in all forms of manifestation. It exists in them, either in latency or expressed in their actions.

In the Puranas, fire in pre-manifestation state represents Shiva as a shaft of light which Brahma and Vishnu together were unsuccessful in exploring and locating its source. Brahma is also said to be the progenitor of fire as one of his sons married a daughter of Daksha and produced 49 types of fire. According to another story, Indra, an offspring of Kashyapa and Aditi, is considered identical with Agni as well as the Sun.

Agni emanated from the mouth of the Supreme; he later manifested the cosmos and revealed the sacredness of the Vedas. His carTier is a ram (which also means the first asterism, Aries). Agni had three sons, Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi, who were condemned by Vashistha to be born repeatedly. They appear as Vidyuta (electrical fire), Nirmatya (fire produced by friction) and Suchi, as the solar flare. From Pavaka was born Kavyavahana, the fire of Pitris (q.v.; from Pavamana was born Saharaksha, the fire of the Asuras or the demons; and from Suchi was born Havyavahana, the fire of the gods. The three sons of Agni had 45 sons, so the family had altogether 49 persons identified with the 49 fires. They produced physical, psychic and spiritual energies in men by their permutations and combinations.

Agni is represented as having seven tongues, each of which has a distinct name and function. He has four hands and is borne in a chariot drawn by red horses, and the seven winds are the wheels of his car. He is accompanied by a ram, on which he is sometimes represented as riding. The seven flames of fire are named Kali (black), Karali (fierce), Manojava (mind-swift), Sulohita (blood-red), Sudhumravarna (smoke-coloured), Vishwaruch-devi (universally attractive), and Sphulingini (scintillating). They are the seven channels of cosmic, mundane and human evolutions; they represent the seven rays of the Sun, represented by seven horses of its chariot, or the seven heads of a single horse in it. The seven channels each with seven subsidiary currents make a total of 49 fires which move in both outgoing and in going directions. The fire manifests as Prana (q.v.), the vital life force in the physical body; as Kama, sexual passion in man's emotional nature; Manas, as the thinking principle in his mind-body; and Tapas, penance with austere sacrifices at the spiritual level. The total sacrifice of one's everyday life for one's divine nature or for the Supreme Being is represented by Swaha, the sacrificial fire. The fire aroused by Pavamana forges a union between thinking principle and Buddhic consciousness, thereby leading to an illumined mind which unfolds higher spiritual attributes in man.

The Sun is the visible symbol of cosmic fire functioning in the solar system; it vibrates at the highest spiritual level in man. Mars represents fire at the physical level, imparting to it the necessary vigour, enthusiasm and initiative. Jupiter absorbs the life force radiating from the Sun, and distributes it throughout the body for sustaining and protecting it from any untoward calamity. Agni presides over Krittika (q.v.) and Vishakha (q.v.) asterisms and is also related to Aridra (q.v.), Hastha (q.v.) and Purva Bhadrapada (q.v.). Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are fiery zodiacal signs.

The importance of fire and therefore of the stellar impulses linked with it in manifestation and everyday existence was emphasized by H.P. Blavatsky as follows:

The Spirit beyond Manifested Nature is the fiery Breath in its absolute Unity. In the manifested Universe, it is the Central Spiritual Sun, the electric Fire of all Life. In our System, it is The visible Sun, the Spirit of Nature, the terrestrial God. And in, on and around the Earth, the fiery spirit thereof-Air, fluidic Fire; water, the liquid Fire; Earth, the solid Fire. All is Fire . . . The primitive names of the Gods are all connected with fire, from Agni. (S.D., III. pp. 122-23)


Born out of fire; Kartikeya (q.v.).


Oblation to and maintenance of the sacred fire.


The priest who served the fire god and performed Agni Hotra every morning and evening as a duty enjoined upon the householders, offering Homa, oblations, to it.


A sage, a son of Agni, and an ancient writer on medicine.


The most beautiful woman created by Brahma and given in marriage to Gautam (q.v.); He returned her undefiled even when she was kept under his charge for more than a year. Indra, in the guise of Sage Gautam, seduced her. Gautam, on discovering it, cursed Indra to have a thousand female generative organs on his body, which later, at the intercession of the gods, was changed to a thousand eyes. But Indra once again seduced Ahalya and this time the sage turned Ahalya into a stone. She was redeemed thousands of years later when she was touched by the feet of Rama. There are many, variations of this story. According to one, Gautam expelled Ahalya from his hermitage and deprived her of her, prerogative of being the most beautiful woman in the world. According to another story, he made her invisible, to be restored to her physical form only by the touch of Rama's feet.

This episode of Ahalya's seduction by Indra is explained mythological as Indra (Sun's carrying away the shades of night, as the name Ahalya also means and signifies night.

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