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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Jātaka literally means ‘map of celestial objects at the time of birth’ and shows the position of the various planets and the stars at the actual birth time of a human being.

The Jātaka or the horoscope[1] is the basic diagram for all the astrological calculations. Fixing the positions of the planets at the time of birth and drawing the horoscope is an intricate process. It can be done only by expert astrologers with the aid of almanacs accurately prepared by competent persons.

The stars and the planets in the universe have a bearing on the lives of human beings and this belief exists in all the cultures of the world. The science that has evolved and developed this belief is known as astrology or ‘Jyautiṣa or Jyotiśśāstra’.


  1. Horoscope is also called as ‘kuṇḍali’.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore