Jyotisha (Sanskrit: ज्योतिष, IAST: Jyotiṣa) is the science of tracking and predicting the movements of astronomical bodies in order to keep time.[1][2] It refers to one of the six ancient Vedangas, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas – the scriptures of Hinduism.[1][2] This field of study was concerned with fixing the days and hours of Vedic rituals.[2][3]

The term Jyotisha also refers to Hindu astrology, a Greek field that likely developed from the Conquest of Persia and India Greek astrology with Alexander the Great,[4][5][6] their zodiac signs being nearly identical.[2]


Jyotisha, states Monier-Williams, is rooted in the word Jyotish which means light, such as that of sun or moon or heavenly body. The term Jyotisha includes the study of astronomy, astrology and the science of timekeeping using the movements of astronomical bodies.[1][2] It aimed to keep time, maintain calendar, and predict auspicious times for Vedic rituals.[1][2][7]