Astrology

Astrology also has its origin in the Vedas, the major source of virtually everything for the Hindus, written thousands of years ago. Mesh (Aries), Brish (Taurus), Mithun (Gemini), Karkat (Cancer), Simha (Leo), Kanya (Virgo), Tula (Libra), Brishchik (Scorpio), Dhanu (Sagittarius), Makar (Capricorn), Kumbha (Aquarius) and Meen (Pisces) are the 12 signs of the zodiac, and in Nepali they are called Raashi. 

Astrology plays a significant role in a Nepali person’s life especially when it comes time to get married. The moment a child is born in Nepal, the exact time of birth is noted and given to the astrologer, who according to the position of the different planets in the solar system at that precise moment prepares a Cheena (horoscope). Cheena is a rectangular chart, which indicates the degree of influence of the planets from the solar world on the people born in a particular Raashi. Besides highlighting the positive as well as negative aspects of one's life that lead to achievements and failures, when it comes to facing difficult times, the Nepali people go to their astrologer with their Cheena for advice and act accordingly. 

An astrologer reading one’s Cheena, they say, can tell quite accurately what fate has in store for the person. A good astrologer also tells you your past thus gaining your confidence. Astrology plays a part in every step of a Nepali’s life as the Cheena is consulted for all rituals during the rites of passage ceremonies. Astrologers are consulted on various occasions like rice feeding, sacred thread and weddings. Usually Hindus do not marry unless the Cheena of the bride and groom are compatible. This may be changing slowly as more Nepalis opt for a love marriage. Almost all religious festivals in Nepal are governed by astrological readings. Tika during Dashain, Bhai Tika during Tihar, etc are occasions when the astrologers determine the auspicious hours for these festivities to take place. They also forecast the solar and lunar eclipses and their impact on people. Believers even determine when it is okay to start a journey or launch a business. Finally, when a person dies, his Cheena is taken to the crematorium or ghat along with his body.
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