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Your Birth Sign or the Janma Rashi

Many of us who have their horoscopes done according to the Indian system of astrology  (Jyotish ) are not aware that the Janma Rashi (or simply Rasi/ Rashi) is different  from the Sun sign which is widely popular in the West.
Astrology columns in the newspaper and magazines use this sign (Sun sign) to establish general personality characteristics.
Your Sun sign is NOT your Janma Rashi (Birth sign). And you should not mix up the two.
Sun sign is based on the placement of the Sun in the Zodiac at the time of your birth. This is what is widely followed in the West.
Your Janma Rashi is based on the placement of the Moon in the Zodiac at the time of your birth. This is what is followed in India.
 Here is a very very simple explanation of how your Sun sign is reckoned.









 The Earth has two major motions:-
 a) The rotational motion around its axis ( See figure 1, Stop the animation)
 b) Orbital motion of Earth around the Sun. ( see the animation )
As the Earth orbits the Sun, from our point of view, the Sun appears to move among the stars along a path called the Ecliptic. The 12 constellations (Signs- Aries, Taurus etc..) located along the Ecliptic are called the Zodiac. The Sun passes through about one constellation per month.
Earth orbits the Sun once every nearly 365.25 days, thus its average speed is nearly 1 degree per day; the result of (360/365.25). After one year (one complete revolution), the sun returns to the same star, starting another revolution.
 But what is that starting point?
There is some astronomy involved in assigning a "starting point", we will not discuss that astronomy. But that starting point is called Aries. Every year the Sun would come to this "starting point" around Mar. 21 and would remain in Aries for a month till around Apr. 19. Then it would move to Taurus around Apr. 20 and would remain in Taurus till around May 20. 
On your birthday, the Sun is in line with a Zodiacal sign which is called your Sun sign.( see example for Cancer in figure 2) .The Sun seems to have a pretty steady annual movement therefore a  lookup table can be prepared to establish the Sun signs.
Aries (Ram) Mar. 21 - Apr. Libra (Scales) Sep. 23 - Oct. 22
Taurus (Bull) Apr. 20 - May 20 Scorpio (Scorpion) Oct. 23 - Nov. 21
Gemini (Twins) May 21 - Jun. 20 Sagittarius (Archer) Nov. 22 - Dec. 21
Cancer (Crab) Jun. 21 - Jul. 22 Capricorn (Goat) Dec. 22 - Jan. 19
Leo (Lion) Jul. 23 - Aug. 22 Aquarius (Water Bearer) Jan. 20 - Feb. 18
Virgo (Maiden) Aug. 23 - Sep. 22 Pisces (Fish) Feb. 19 - Mar. 20

Moon Rasi or the Birth-sign or the Janma Rashi
On your birthday all of the planets are  in line with one or the other Zodiacal signs.
The Moon is also in line with a Zodiacal sign. This sign is called your birth sign  or the Janma Rashi.
However, the motion of the Moon is such,  that a standard lookup table can not be prepared. Astronomical calculations using your birth particulars ( date, time, place) are employed to find out the Zodiacal sign the Moon was  in line with when you were born.
The Zodiacal  sign that Moon occupies in your horoscope at the time of your birth ( calculated according to Indian system) is your Janma Rashi (birth sign).
A word of caution here : Both, Western and Indian system make use of astronomy to cast a  horoscope, however, you will find that your Indian style horoscope differs from the one  using Western method. Even the placement of Sun would not be the same in both the horoscopes.  Your Sun sign per Indian system  would be different from the Western one. Therefore to identify  your Janma Rashi you should have your horoscope done according to Indian sytem.

Moon is given far more importance in Indian system of astrology.
Astrology in India never remained in its own watertight segregated sphere. You will find plenty of references to astrology in Vastu ( Celestial Architect), Ayurveda ( Medicine) , Yoga, Tantra and even Commerce. Most of these reference has something to do with the position of the Moon,  and in an individual horoscope the position of the Moon has special name - Janma Rashi. 
For example the Janma Rashi helps determine Vastu compatibility with a house or property.
On mundane level position of Moon helps determine auspicious time pertaining to buying/selling/renovating.
Yoga has a whole branch of Pranayam called Shiv Swarodaya which is directly related to the phases of the Moon.
Ayurveda has references to how  medicinal properties of certain plants and herbs is related to phases of the Moon.
Moon has a very special place in Indian astrology. Therefore the sign it occupies in the horoscope ( and which now we know is called Janma Rashi)  takes on a very special significance.
Janma rashi has mysterious connection with the individual soul entering the womb and initiating the process of life.
And when a child is born, the name of the child is determined with the help of his/her Janma Rashi .
When the child grows , his/her  likes / dislikes, outlook on life, temperament and  preferences are reckoned by his/her birth sign..
Janma Rashi can help reveal whether you are intellectual type and further investigation can reveal you are on the left, right or center.
It can reveal a great deal about your hidden potential, your strengths and weaknesses. .
Janma rashi (along with  Janma Nakshatra - birth star) is used for match-making for the purpose of matrimony or companionship.
Janma rashi also determines what planetary periods ( Mahadasa) one would undergo in his/her life time.

Karma is a very profound concept in Indian philosophy. An individual's  horoscope is used to fathom the course of karmic destiny.
The birth sign or the Janma Rashi  plays a predominantly significant role in unlocking the patterns of karmic destiny.

Kailash Khandelwal or
Ph. : 770 576 3358