Philosophy of Jyotish
We have described Vedic astrology as a language, a language of divination. It can also be described as the science of Time because astrology is based upon the time of birth, or the time the question is asked, etc. It also describes how things will happen through the course of time. Indeed, the motion of the planets has been compared to a large clock with many hands. In Sanskrit, the chart is called the Kala-cakra, the Wheel of Time. It is of course, this Time aspect which is used for making predictions. Thus, Vedic astrology deals with the fourth dimension, Time.
Vedic astrology, as we have seen, is a gift of God and is part of the Vedic culture. All aspects of Vedic culture are deeply interconnected. It is impossible to truly understand Vedic astrology without becoming immersed in Vedic culture. The ultimate purpose of Vedic culture, and thus the ultimate purpose of Vedic astrology, is God realization and transcendence. In the great Vedic literature Srimad Bhagavatam (SB) there is a discourse in the third Canto between Maitreya Rsi and Vidura. (Maitreya Rsi is the disciple of Parasara Rsi, the great expounder of Vedic astrology. Indeed, the Brhad Parasara Hora Sastra is a conversation between Parasara Rsi and Maitreya Rsi.)
Vidura has taken Maitreya as his guru and asks him many questions. In the 10th chapter of the third Canto, we find the following verse:
"Vidura inquired from Maitreya: O my lord, O greatly learned sage, kindly describe eternal time, which is another form of the Supreme Lord, the wonderful actor. What are the symptoms of that eternal time? Please describe them to us in detail." SB 3.10.10
In this verse we see that eternal time is to be considered as one of the forms of the Supreme Lord. In the next several chapters Maitreya explains about time and several times mentions the intimate relationship between Time and God, Lord Krsna. For example, Maitreya Rsi states:
"By exhibiting His potencies, the Supreme Personality of Godhead adjusts all these different elements, keeping Himself within as the Supersoul and without as time." SB 3.26.18
The meaning is clear, that God exists within the heart as the Supersoul and He exists outside as the Time Factor. So here we see how Vedic astrology is interconnected with the main goal of Vedic culture -- God consciousness and transcendence. Thus, the real object of study of the Vedic astrologer is the Supreme Lord in His form as Eternal Time. We can now understand why Vedic astrology can be considered a spiritual discipline if it is done correctly.