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The Argument For the Tropical Zodiac in Vedic Astrology

I am a Vedic Astrologer and I use the Tropical Zodiac. To many this is very close to sacrilege and a contradiction in terms. This novel way of delineating the horoscope is gaining momentum and validity within the Hindu Astrological community. I am writing this article with the purpose of giving valid and logical reasons why the Tropical Zodiac of Rasis (Signs) is to be used instead of the Sidereal Zodiac of Rasis. “Of Rasis” is stated because it is quite clear that the Sidereal Zodiac is to be used when delineating Nakshatras.

What is the Tropical Zodiac?
In America, Europe and in ancient Greece, Persia and Egypt, the Tropical Zodiac is and was always used. The Tropical Zodiac measures 12 portions of 30 degrees each beginning from the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. The Vernal Equinox is the point where the Sun crosses the equator on its way North. This is the first day of Spring and is 0 degrees Aries. Thus, a portion of 30 degrees was given to Aries, 30 degrees to Taurus, 30 degrees to Gemini and so on for 12 Signs until 360 degrees are covered. When the Sun is at its farthest northern point and begins to move South, then it is the Summer Solstice and the Sun is at 0 degrees of Cancer. For example, if one has a Sun positioned at 12 degrees of Taurus, that means that one’s Sun is 42 degrees north of the celestial equator. If a person has their Sun at 24 degrees of Leo, then their Sun is 54 degrees South of the Tropic of Cancer and 36 degrees north of the equator. The same principle of measurement is applied to all the planets. Thus, the Tropical Zodiac is based upon the Sun’s longitudinal relationship to the Earth.

What is the Sidereal Zodiac?
In regards to Rasis or Signs, the Sidereal Zodiac is made up of 30 degree portions beginning with the Nakshatra of Aswini as measured from certain fixed stars. Since astrologers use different fixed stars to determine the first point of Sidereal Aries, we have different Ayanamshas. An ayanamsha is the difference between the vernal equinox (the Sun at 0 degrees Tropical Aries) and the first point of Sidereal Aries. The Sidereal Zodiac bases the measurement of Signs on the fixed stars as opposed to measuring Signs from the relationship of the Sun to the Earth as in the Tropical Zodiac.

The Argument for a Tropical Zodiac preethi zodiac mg 218
A rasi simply means a “heap of thirty”. That is all. Hindus use rasis in their calculations with all circles and arcs and it does not automatically infer that Zodiac signs are to be used. In about 100 A.D., a Greek astronomer by the name of Hiparchius, took the names of Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so forth and gave these names to the fixed stars starting with the first point of Aswini. This was a very grave mistake and would cause the science of astrology to be looked down upon from then on. The reason he named the constellations thus is because around this time, when the Sun was as the vernal equinox, or the 1st point of Tropical Aries, it was also at the 1st point of Aswini. Suddenly, with the help of Hipparchius, the birth of the Sidereal Zodiac of Rasis was about to be born. 100 A.D., according to Sri Yukteswar, was a time very close to the heart of Kali Yuga, the Dark Age, when important astronomical and astrological knowledge was lost and this included knowledge of the precession of the equinox. Since evidence clearly supports that the Hindus exchanged information with the Greeks and Persians, the names for the Fixed Stars were also exchanged and the Hindus named these star constellations the familiar Aries, etc. What is forgotten is that these star constellations already had names. They were the names of the Nakshatras and the names of the Chaldean and Chinese lunar mansions. The star constellations were and are the “realm of the gods”. “Swarga Loka” is the name of this heavenly realm. The story goes that they are the heavenly abodes of extremely pious beings that became “godlike” due to their austerities and were given a place in the heavens to influence the Earth. To name these stars after animals (the Signs) was a grave mistake with unfathomable ramifications.
At the same time the Hindus named their star constellations after the 12 Signs, evidence from several ancient texts shows they lost knowledge of the precession of the equinox and these measurements of 30 degrees each of the star constellations became FIXED and remained so up to the present day. Only with the help of astrologers that are also astronomers and that have studied the history of Astrology at this time, are we able to sort through this mess of the Rasis and the Sidereal Zodiac.

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