Jyotisha is derived from the Sanskrit word Jyotisa which means a light, heavenly body. Jyotisha is the traditonal Indian Hindu system of astrology, commonly known as Hindu astrology, Hindi Astrology , Indian astrology and sometimes Vedic astrology.
Hindi astrology is mainly based on the works of medieval scholar Kalyanavarma, most notably the Bhrat Parasara Horasastra and the Saravali. These texts were later translated in English by N.N Krishna Rao and V.B Choudhari in 1963 and 1961 respectively. Among Vedas, the first recorded vedic text about astrology is Vedanga Jyotisha.
Jyotisha is one of the six vedangas, the six auxiliary discipline to support the ancient vedic rituals.
Although astrology has lost its ground in most academic circles,it still remains one of the most important facets of Hindu religion. Astrology affects Hindu Culture to such extent that newborns are traditionally named based on their Jyotisha charts. Holidays and many days in the calendar are also organised on the basis of Hindu Astrology.
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In 2001, Andhra Pradesh High Court passed a judgement resulting in many universities offering astrology among their subjects, this decision was later upheld by the Supreme court in 2004. Later, a petition filed to supreme court claimed that introducing astrology in university curriculum was a giant step backwards and it undermined all the scientific progress achieved by the country in past years.
This petition was dismissed by The Supreme Court stating that promoting study of astrology was not promotion of religion.