How to Learn Astrology?

It is said, a Guru is required to learn Astrology. However, at RationalAstro, there are no Gurus, but Students keen to dive deep in the ocean of Astrology.

Basic Requirements

This image is a representation of the stellar combinations as viewed from the Earth. It exhorts a student to find ways and means to learn Astrology.
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No mortal person can ever have enough knowledge of Astrology to qualify as a Guru. Even if there would be any such mortal, there would probably not be a student worthy of becoming a disciple to such a Guru. For learning Astrology with a rational, logical and scientific perspective, one has to be a sincere, passionate seeker ready to walk alone. Anyone with even an average academic inclination can learn Astrology. Also, the essential requirements in learning Vedic Astrology are perseverance, discipline and ability to keep studying the subject consistently till one is alive.

Learner Vs Practitioner

Learning Astrology as an academic pursuit is one thing, and practising Astrology is another. As in any other subject of study, learning Astrology for academic interests requires one to be a consistent, sincere student. However, to be a competent practitioner of Astrology, a significant factor is intuition. Intuition is developed by having a good grounding in Human Psychology and behavioural sciences. Similarly, the practitioner needs to have a spiritual inclination, inner peace and contentment.

Important Caution while learning Astrology

When we start learning Astrology, we often get worried about the presence of unsuitable combinations in our chart. But as we keep learning, we learn that these destructive combinations were not a problem at all. In addition, please be aware that a planet in a rasi or in a house means nothing. There are several other attributes such as Drishti, strength, yogas, dashas, transits etc. that give results in totality. Ideally speaking, there is nothing harmful in any chart. It’s the contrary interpretations which are the problem. For instance, if we see Mars in 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 12th House in a Rasi Chart, we may instantly conclude that there is Mangal Dosh. However, as we delve deeper in  Astrology, we learn that in most horoscopes, the Mangal Dosha gets cancelled by way of 10 exceptions.

Take Criticism in Stride

It is also vital to remain unfazed by criticism of certain people who are in the habit of criticising anything (including Astrology) without even studying the subject. Shri B.V. Raman, a renowned Astrologer, in one of his books, narrates an unusual instance. Great Astronomer Edmond Halley, once entered Newton’s room and saw few books on Astrology in the room. Thus, he started criticising Newton on this. However, Newton interrupted him by saying “I have read the subject, you have not”. On similar lines, please do appreciate criticism from other students of Astrology who are into the subject and knows a bit about it. However, please ignore opinions of the rest of people who have neither read anything about Astrology nor are committed to trying to learn it.

Elementary Resources

This image represents reading and learning activity by a student. In the context of How to learn Astrology, this image points out to a learning scenario of the subject.
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Astrology is a continuous body of knowledge evolving for thousands of years. As a result, there are ample resources and books available to learn the subject. The following resources and books can serve as a good starting point:

1. “Jagannath Hora” version-8 (latest) freely available at www.vedicastrologer.org is the most comprehensive Astrological software ever produced. Kudos and respects to the dedicated work of Sri P.V.R. Narasimha Rao, the author of this software. This software has given direction to thousands of interested learners in Astrology across the World.

2. After installing the software, there is a button to download a free e-book on Vedic astrology by Sri P. V. R. Narasimha Rao. Please download the book and go through it. The book explains the fundamentals and the basics of Astrology clearly and concisely.

3. Similarly, there is another button to download MP3 Classes of Sri P. V. R. Narasimha Rao which he takes at Boston, USA. The classes exhaustively cover the practical application of astrological principals. It is one of the best resources to learn the subject.

4. Finally, one of the best resources is the bible of Astrology called the “Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra” (BPHS) by Maharshi Parasara. (Volume 1 and 2). One may follow the translation of BPHS by Sri R. Santhanam.

Books by Shri B V Raman

5. In addition to the above, the following publications authored by Sri B. V. Raman, a great astrologer of the 20th Century are a must-read:

a) How to Judge a Horoscope, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
b) Astrology for Beginners
c) A catechism of Astrology
d) Bhavartha Ratnakar
e) Graha and Bhava Balas
f) Hindu Astrology and the West
g) Hindu Predictive Astrology
h) A manual of Hindu Astrology
i) My Experiences in Astrology
j) Planetary influences on Human Affairs
k) Practical Horary Astrology
l) Prashna Tantra
m) Muhurtha or Electional Astrology
n) Astakavarga system of prediction
o) Studies in Jaimini Astrology
p) Three Hundred Important Combinations
q) Astrology in Predicting Weather and Earthquakes

Other Basic Books

6. Apart from the above, the following books will also prove to be worth reading for having a good grounding of basics in Astrology-
i. Brihat Jataka by Varahmihira translated by Sri B. Suryanarayana Rao
ii. Know about Astrology by Dr Shanker Adawal
iii. Practical Horary Astrology by Gayatri Devi Vasudev

7. On the remedial Astrology part, one of the best collection of Vedic Mantras is the ‘Mantra Pushpam’. Further, Audio recordings and texts of various mantras are also available on the website of Shri P. V. R. Narasimha Rao, Sri Sathya Sai Baba Book Trust and several other resources on the internet.

For the most part, the above list would be sufficient to start a journey in learning Astrology. Please don’t merely read these books but slowly understand and absorb their content.  Moreover, these books have to be revised continuously from time to time and applied to various horoscopes.

Blessings of Lord Ganesha

Image of a Statue of Lord Ganesha imparting serenity and calmness. One of the important answers to the question of How to Learn Astrology is to pay deep respects to Lord Ganesha each day before undertaking learning of Astrology
Photo by terimakasih0

For any learning-related activity, it is considered auspicious to invoke Lord Ganesha. One of the best ways to do this is the recitation of Maha-Ganesh Mantra. The auspicious Maha-Ganesh Mantra addressed to Brahaspati is taken from the Rig Veda Mandal-2, Hymn-23.01. Traditionally, we recite this Mantra before any learning activity is taken up. It is said that this mantra prepares the mind for intense learning and enhances concentration. Notably, it is especially beneficial to young children who spend a lot of their time in education and academics. Please commit 25 seconds and have a listen:

 

Om Tat Sat

Anish Prasad

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