The purpose of the Vedic sciences is to promote Self-realization, and the spiritual disciplines of Ayurveda and Jyotish, Vedic Astrology, share their ancient roots. Ayurveda, which means knowledge of Life in Sanskrit, provides regimens to harmonize the mind/body constitution for optimal functioning. Jyotish, which means science of Light, is sacred Astronomy and is considered the eye of the Vedas. It is the science of time and the unfolding of karma. Jyotish reveals a map of timing, tendencies and habits. It allows us to elevate our awareness to rise above unconscious influences that bind us to suffering. Ayurveda and Jyotish are complimentary disciplines that bring us closer to experiencing our eternal nature.
Since ancient times Ayurveda and Jyotish have been practiced together. The five basic elements of creation (space, air, fire, water and earth) give rise to the doshas of Ayurveda–Kapha, Pitta and Vata. Disturbances in diet, weather and other factors create disturbances in the ayurvedic constitution of an individual and frequently result in ill-health. The planets and zodiac signs of Jyotish have associated doshas as well. Saturn and Gemini correspond to Vata, for example, and the Sun and Aires are classified as Pitta. Furthermore, each sign relates to a chakra and part of the body. An individual birth chart can reveal much about someone’s natural ayurvedic constitution. Planetary transits through the sky and planetary cycles can also create disturbances that affect an individual. As such, ayurvedic constitution and potential timing for health and disease can be gleaned through understanding Jyotish. Both disciplines offer helpful corrective measures and, in this way, Medicine and Astrology are linked. And, not surprisingly, some ayurvedic experts are also astrologers.
Take, as an example, someone with a Gemini Ascendant. The rising sign in Jyotish indicates the physical body and Gemini is a vata sign. The ruling planet then is Mercury which is also classified as vata. If Mercury is found in Libra, another air sign, an astrologer can safely assume there will be a strong vatic influence on the ayurvedic constitution. Much needed balance might be found if the Moon (mind) is in Pisces, a water sign, and Sun (vision) is in Virgo, an earth sign. When Mars, a fire planet, transits Leo, a fire sign (as is the case in the sky right now) more influences develop. For a Gemini ascendant, Mars rules the 6th house of disease, in fact, and temporary pittic disturbances would be likely. Rashes, digestive trouble, bleeding and headaches could be expected and actions could be taken to ameliorate discomfort, or at least, not to aggravate it. Understanding Ayurveda and Jyotish together can help us take responsibility for ourselves, let go of useless tendencies and avoid settling into a rut of painful experiences. The Yoga Sutras remind us that “pain that is not yet manifested is to be avoided.”