|| ज्योतिष्मती प्रज्ञा ||
This is a humble attempt to bring forward the intricacies of Medical Astrology. Medical astrology or Chikitsa Jyotish has its sound scientific base in the Vedas and is at par with any type or form of medical research. This series of articles will broaden your understanding of the magnificent human body and its connection with the planets.
Astrology, Ayurveda, and Yoga
Astrology and Ayurveda are intricately connected with each other. In the form of Ayurveda, nature has provided a treasure trove of healing that takes into account a mind-body system both for the detection and treatment.
Astrology, Ayurveda, and Yoga are three interdependent branches of the ancient Vedic Knowledge laid forth by our much-revered seers and sages; together these practices create a deeper, richer, and transformative experience that promote holistic well-being of the individual. The ultimate goal of the three complementary disciplines is to lead mankind toward self-realization and liberation from the wheel of life and death through harmonizing the mind, body, and soul.
We must carefully distinguish between the primary purpose of these branches of Vedic knowledge. While Yoga, at its core, is an apparatus for ego- transcending spiritual practices that evoke divinity and vivid inner realization of the true self, Ayurveda is a science that was specifically laid out for healing purposes, it gives out specific instructions on diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance of health and is, therefore, also known as ‘yogic medicine.’
Yogic practices overlap with Ayurvedic principles to characterize the approaches of healing.
Nonetheless, the two Vedic systems share an inevitable connection, and together Yoga and Ayurveda are exercised to sustain a healthy body that is free of ailments and a healthy mind which is free of stress. An effective remedial course for a human being will entail not just the physical self but also the spiritual, emotional, and mental.
The interrelation between Ayurvedic principles and Yogic practices is such that without the knowledge of one, the fullest potential of the other cannot be realised. The third branch of Vedic knowledge, astrology, helps us understand our karma, accept our lives’ predetermined aspects, and transform the areas that exhibit a probability of change. The science of stars also allows an exploration of consciousness, to some, in a more fascinating way.
Astrology merges the gap between the physical body and the soul as it brings in the element of karma which causes a soul to take birth, further bringing in various elements related to the four purusharthas — like relationship, profession, creativity, religion which are represented by different houses in the astrological horoscope. These houses are analyzed jointly with the planets and signs and their significations, to interpret and study a horoscope. Health is one of the various facets of life indicated in the horoscope. The physical body is examined from the ascendant (1st house), ascendant lord, planets aspecting the ascendant and the significator of the first house, Mars.
For emotional makeup of an individual, Moon is examined with respect to its placement, zodiac sign, nakshatra and the influences it is subjected to in the natal chart. The fourth house also represents an individual’s mind and emotions, and thus, is analysed along with the moon to understand the matters related to feelings.
The soul comes under the domain of the Sun which signifies individuality, character, and will. Along with the Sun’s sign, house, nakshatra, the trinal houses, 5th and 9th are also examined to interpret the results pertaining to an individual’s soul and its orientation. The Ascendant, Moon and Sun in unison concretises the functioning and flow of life, depending upon their placement from each other and from the respective significators.
A wider consciousness that institutes a constructive, healthy, and balanced life remains at the centre of the three disciplines. Undertaking spiritual pursuits in the absence of a balanced physiological and mental state will lead to eventual blockades in one’s spiritual journey. Likewise, a lack of astrological guidance while pursuing the mystical path is likely to be obstructed by poor timing which invalidates the effects of one’s spiritual practices. Attempting to advance in activities related to one of the disciplines while neglecting the other two will result in ineffectiveness.
Integration of Astrology, Ayurveda, and Yoga is vital to procure alloyed regenerative, recuperative, and spiritual powers of the Vedic knowledge. The Vedic sciences are engineered to draw one inward, channelizing a state of reflective contemplation, awareness, and balance which gradually mends the mind and body. By healing, we are limiting ourselves to the physical application of Vedic sciences — the centralization of mind, awareness, and internal balance discharge mankind from all forms of suffering viz. emotional, mental, and physical.
Ayurveda originated from our ancient scriptures, dating back to the Vedic era. Atharvaveda, the fourth ancient book of the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism, illustrates the principles of Ayurveda that entail the effects of food, weather, medicine, and nature.
According to Ayurveda, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are three doshas, or functional energies, present in the human body; the constitution of the three doshas is determined when an individual is conceived in the womb. Vata which is constituted by space and air governs movement, Pitta which is constituted by fire and water governs metabolism, and Kapha which is constituted by earth and water governs assimilation.
Any imbalance in the basic attributes of these 3 doshas leads to various diseases, for which, Ayurveda enlists remedial measures that will promote robust health and vitality. The wide array of Ayurvedic treatment measures ranges from herbs to dietary supplements. At the core of Ayurvedic practices, we can a motivation for creating ease and harmony in the functioning of the body besides just curing ailments like sleep disorders, anxiety issues, and digestive troubles. Ayurveda aims at maintaining the already existing balance in the body by pacifying the one that is causing imbalance.
The treatment prescribed in Ayurvedic practices utilizes the knowledge of planets and zodiac signs which characterizes the overlapping of Ayurveda and Astrology. Through the knowledge of Ayurveda, we can time the disease, however, the remedy is provided through the application of astrological sciences. In order to examine a disease through the lens of Ayurveda, the planetary facets must be taken into consideration to concretize our findings and thus, reach an appropriate cure based in the pacification of the required planetary factors. Combing Ayurveda with Astrology allows insights into the matters pertaining to health, ailments, cure, and longevity. As per our classical texts, the combined force of these two disciplines is effective to the point of deciphering all forms, types, and kinds of diseases and prescribing treatment for the same.
A healthy bodily constitution is only possible when the three aforesaid doshas are in a state of equilibrium. Physical and mental well-being has been accorded tremendous significance in astrology as health is the driving factor behind all other yogas and auspicious combinations taking place in the horoscope. A man can only perform his duties peacefully and enjoy the happiness and comforts in his life when his breathing is sound, digestion is in place, blood flow is normal, and the mind is calm allowing clear thinking, joy, learning, and laughter.
Observing the rules of hygiene and laws of health that include inhaling fresh air, exercising regularly, intaking a nutritious and sattvic diet, bathing daily, practicing moderation and occasional abstinence from eating, drinking, and mating, thinking, speaking, and acting righteously in harmony, thinking positively, dwelling on constructive and peaceful thoughts and consciously changing the thinking pattern are said to be some of the Ayurvedic practices that shall be followed in order to attain good physical and mental health.
As laid out in Charak Samhita, “Dharmartha Kamamokshanam Arogyam moolam uttamam” (Health is the best thing in this world), a life with a healthy body is indeed an incomparable blessing as this body is the only tool that allows a man to perform his four purusharthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. In the absence of a healthy body, which is a result of past life deeds, attaining the four purusharthas will not be possible. The integrated knowledge of Ayurveda and Astrology helps in warding off the evil effects of unfavorably positioned planets, thereby harmonising the energies so as to promote healthy cooperation among the problem-causing factors. The above stated allows us to understand how Ayurvedic Astrology encompasses the spiritual dimensions of Ayurveda as well.
The material possessions are robbed of their magnetism and mystique in the absence of a healthy body and a sound mind, in astrology, all auspicious yogas are rendered ineffective in the absence of a strong lagna lord, moon, and lagna as the three in unison determines the health of an individual. The positioning of the lagna lord in the 6th, 8th, and 12th houses dramatically weakens the lagna, representing proneness to diseases, accidents (and accident-led diseases), and hospitalization, respectively.
The importance of the medical front of astrology can also be understood with regard to the overwhelming number of queries an astrologer receives pertaining to health, diseases, and longevity. The potential of Ayurveda and Astrology is not confined to physical health but also extends to the mental, emotional, and psychological well-being of individuals. The placement and condition of planets in a birth chart aid us in determining the karmic causes that are proliferating a particular kind of disease/number of diseases, and once the source has been identified, Ayurvedic principles can be put to use to address the mental, physical, emotional or psychological afflictions.