Vedic astrology is a relatively recent English term for the traditional astrology of the Indian subcontinent, natively known as Jyotiṣa. Earlier English terms are Hindu astrology and Indian astrology. Given its recent appearance, the term "Vedic astrology" is not found in the “Encyclopedia of Astrology” (1947) or the “Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology” (1983). Some believe that the term "Vedic astrology" is a misnomer as historical documentation suggests horoscopic astrology in the Indian subcontinent post-dates the Vedic period. While there is no mention of the term astrology in the Vedas, there is evidence of a rudimentary astrological concepts. Moreover, Jyotisha has been mentioned as the sixth limb of the Vedas in the ancient Vedanga Jyotisha.
The term "Vedic astrology" occurs in occasional usage during the 1960s and 1970s, but it only enters common usage from the 1980s in self-help publications on Ayurveda or Yoga. "Vedic astrology" appears as a name for Hindu astrology in dedicated works on the topic from the 1990s, beginning with David Frawley's The Astrology of Seers: A Comprehensive Guide to Vedic Astrology (1990),[ followed by numerous other authors. By the 2000s, the term had become a common synonym for Jyotisha in astrological literature. It also acquired considerable public exposure in 2001 when it was widely discussed in the media, during the controversy over the Government decision to promote the teaching of "Vedic Astrology" in Indian universities. The term replaces "Hindu astrology", which had been in use as the English equivalent of Jyotisha since the early 19th century.
In Indian universities
In 2001, the University Grants Commission of India issued a circular proposing that universities should offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in what it termed Vedic Astrology or Jyotirvigyan (i.e jyotir-vijñāna, lit. "astral science"). This was protested in the scientific community. A legal challenge, filed with the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, was dismissed in 2004; on subsequent appeal, this decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of India.
- Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, "Vedic Astrology or Jyotirvigyan: Neither Vedic nor Vigyan", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 36, No. 24 (Jun. 16-22, 2001), pp. 2113–2115 JSTOR
- David Pingree, "Jyotiḥśāstra", Jan Gonda (ed) A History of Indian Literature, Vol, VI Fasc. 4, Otto Harrassowitz - Wiesbaden, 1981
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, "Cosmology in Rigveda — the third premise", The Hindu, Jul 09, 2002
- Nicholas deVore, Encyclopedia of Astrology, New York, Philosophical Library, 1947
- Jean-Louis Brau, Helen Weaver and Allan Edmands, Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology, Mcgraw-Hill, 1983
Retrieved from Wikipedia on November 11, 2010.