Digital Jyotish 1.5

by AstroIQ

review by Hank Friedman

Digital Jyotish is the newest professional-level Vedic astrology program available for PC's running Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and XP. It is comes with the ACS atlas data built-in, for auto-lookup of the coordinates and time zones for 250,000+ cities throughout the U.S. and the World. It can import files from other formats, including Solar Fire and QuickCharts. Version 1.5 has excellent file handling, making it easy to create folders for different categories of chart files (e.g. friends, clients, family, etc.) and to transfer charts between them. It even highlights and shows a birthday cake icon next to the names of people born on the present day.

Digital Jyotish is different from other programs in its highly visual and auditory interface. Charts can be viewed as three-dimensional (see Figure 1 - The Three Dimensional Chart), or with a choice of several wonderfully colored and textured backgrounds. The planets and houses that comprise a yoga are visually highlighted, and the map used in the astromapping section is photographic instead of two dimensional. One can similarly view highlighted with different colors depending upon which aspect type what planets and houses are aspected by any planet, using Graha, Rasi, Tajik, and/or Western aspects (and with the ability to see any number of these types of aspects simultaneously). Throughout the program, there are visual aids such as highlighting, graphs, color coding, and lovely diagrams (e.g. twelve beautiful types of Chakra charts, such as a lovely and useful Sudarshana Chakra(See Figure 2 - The Sudarshana Chakra), Sarva Chancha Chakra, etc.).

The program also includes the most extensive section on planetary remedies (upayas) of any Vedic astrology program. For each planet, you can see when to undertake remedial actions, see and hear several different chants (mantra), view yantra (mathematical square diagrams), learn about gems and how to use them for amelioration, and gain basic information on the nature of the planet. The chants are beautifully sung, with transliterations of the Sanskrit that can be followed. (You can also view but not hear the phonemes for each of the planets, and for the navamsha and nakshatra positions of the degrees for each house cusp and planet.)

Like most programs, Digital Jyotish is easily customized. You can set the ayanamsha, default location, definition of sunrise, the length of the Solar year and year for Graha and Rasi dashas, true or mean node, whether to include the outer planets, the chart style (North or South Indian or Western circle), use of symbols for planets (text, Sanskrit, or glyphs), and Iyer methods for D-11 and D-16.

You can also perform advanced customizations of Tertiary and Bhrigu progression methods, Vedha options, Gulika calculation settings, tajik varshapresh method, Ashtakavarga calculations, and even create new dasha systems by modifying any of the ten included systems, selecting the span of the dasha, the year definition, and the graha starting point.

After entering a chart, you can attach notes and life events to it. You can also easily create Solar Ingress charts (i.e. for when the Sun enters a new sign).

Version 1.5 adds the ability to design and save different screen layouts and customized printouts. You can choose from a large number of charts, tables, graphs, etc. for each field, including charts for Bhava, Chandra, and Surya kundalis, and 20 vargas, and add SarvaAshtakavarga values or Binnashtakavarga values for any planet, and/or highlighted Dagdha Rashis for any chart. The program offers dynamic dasha tables for 13 graha dashas and 9 rashi dashas, with the ability to click on any dasha and show up to 4 additional sub-periods (by date).

Perhaps most valuable for designing screens and printouts are the wide array of additional information fields that one can choose from. These include the more common tables such as Jaimini karakas, lordships, Panchang, alternate Lagnas, shad bala (and tables of other graha strengths such as Vimshopak), avasthas, ashtakavarga, and upagrahas; but also sets of tables for the methods of specific Vedic teachers. There are planet and house cusp tables for Krisnamurti work; Systems Approach placements, planet aspect, and MEP aspects for Choudhry-style analysis, and tables of yogi/avayogi, dagdha rashis, dasha yogi, graha samayam, and dasha chart information for any graha using Seshadri Iyer methods. Practitioners of these techniques will find the added tables very empowering.

Digital Jyotish analyzes any chart for the presence of yogas (based upon Dr. K.S. Charak's "Yogas in Astrology"), and shows each yoga, its interpretation, and highlights the relevant yoga-forming planets in the chart. You can print a report of the yogas, and use natural or functional malefics, and/or see only positive yogas. You can also view a list of all of the yogas used by the program (about 500, including variations), and their formation and delineation, which can be a very fine learning tool.

The program has specific and well-designed screens for working on Varshaphal, Prashna, Prediction, Muhurtha, Compatibility, and Astro Geography.

The Varshaphal screen (which the menu calls Tajik, and is the Vedic Solar Return) displays the annual chart with either the transit or the natal chart placed around it, plus a navamsa and a varshaphal bhava chart, and tables of Panchadikaris, PanchaVargya, Harsha, DwadashaVargya, and the year lord and the Muntha. On additional sections (which you get to by simply clicking on different tabs at the top right of the screen) are the Varshaphal yogas, Tripataki chakra, a dasha table (with the choice of Mudda, Patyayini, Hudda, Yogini, or BalaRama methods), a table of Sahams, and a screen showing the Masa Pravesh and Din Pravesh charts and planet positions. On the Varshaphal screen you can easily move to different years/ages.

The Prashna function has two parts. When you first click on Prahna, the software asks you for the question being asked. You can use the chart of the moment, or the Classical or the KP number system (selecting a number), and choose a location for the querist. The software then takes you to a second screen, showing the prashna chart, D9, Chandra Kundali, a Prashna chart for the client, a KP house cusp table, a scrollable list of sahams, and on additional screens a reduced Vimshottari dasha listing, a TriSphuta dasha listing, and a Sarvato Bhadra Chakra.

The Predictive section is perhaps one of the most powerful and diversified areas of Digital Jyotish. On the left half of the screen is a uniquely designed biwheel that has many purposes (see Figure 3 - Digital Jyotish's Biwheel). You can use it to watch the transiting or progressed planet move into and out of signs and favorable and unfavorable bindus (marked by a color change), manually stepping forward and backwards in time by increments of an hour, day, week, month, half year, or full year. You can also use it to see the positions of the transiting planets around the birth chart for any dasha, bhukti, antardasha, etc. This is incredibly useful.

The transit portion of the Predictive screen has many, many options. You can view a Rasi table of the vedhas & murti changes over time & see brief interpretations of transits; the Nakshatra transits show the Tarabala, Latta, Anga, and results; the Kaksha tab highlights the kakshas formed by each planet and indicates the total number of kakshas; the Bindus tab similarly shows each planets bindus and the total bindus for each time interval; the Systems Approach transits screen allows you to set a percentage cutoff and shows you the transits that exceed this percentage; the Sun/Moon section shows the lunation positions and affected planets; and finally the Kota Chakra displays the transiting planets in harmonious or disharmonious positions (See Figure 4 - The Predictive Mode Functions).

Additionally, the Predictive screen offers an expandable dasha listing to 5 levels with a button that allows you to view five dasha charts (for the grahas ruling each level), and shows the dasha point. The progressed tab allows you to select from Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, or Bhrigu progressions for any date, and displays the progressed rasi and navamsha charts.

In the Muhurtha section, you can select a good time for specific activities. The software displays a rasi chart and any two divisional charts, and indicates the tithi, karana, yoga, hora, and planetary positions. Additional tabs show general yogas, the benefic/malefic nature of the tithi, nakshatra, lagna, yoga, etc. for education or marriage, and the rising and setting times for the planets (with the yogi and dagdha rashis noted). What makes this tool useful is that it is easy to shift the chart forward or backwards in time by time increments, or by lagna, navamsha lagna, Moon sign, or Sun sign.

In its Compatibility module, Digital Jyotish displays a beautiful Vedic-style biwheel, a table showing relative house positions between both people's planets, the ability to compare navamshas (or either rashi to the other's navamsha), and kuta tables for any planet, lagnesh, the Atmakaraka, the 7th cusp or lord, or the DK, and includes the Beeja or Kshetra Sphuta. It also displays (and offers a unique interpretive report on) two types of composite charts.

I reviewed Digital Jyotish's Astro Geography section in my most recent Mercury Direct software review (in the May/June 2003 issue of The Mountain Astrologer). To summarize, the program displays a photographic map of the World (and with version 1.5 can display any continent), showing the planet rising, setting, culminating and anticulminating lines, with the ability to turn on and off individual planet lines, and to include the lines outer planets. You can select a specific city, and the program shows a circle around its location. Best of all, as you move the pointer over the map, the screen shows the changing position of the angles, shad bala values, and a local rasi chart, and changes to the sarvashtakavarga values or to any varga chart.

Digital Jyotish is a fine and distinctive new professional Vedic astrology program. Newcomers to the field will love the visual representations of aspects, yogas, chakras, etc. Those wanting to learn to apply remedies can chant along with the beautifully sung mantras. And advanced practitioners will now have access to techniques that were all-but-impossible to calculate by hand. Thank you, the authors of this multimedia and powerful Jyotish program.

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