Indeed, Sri Lanka is a country rich in many and more aspects. Firstly, it is a magical land in the Indian Ocean full of beautiful nature and wildlife. The vast beaches around the Island are at the top of the list of things to do in Sri Lanka. In addition, the greenish forests rich in biodiversity, and fabulous gardens enhance the interest in exploring it more. Besides, the Island of Sri Lanka is also a land rich with a great history, incredible culture and its attractions, and incomparable hospitality, well-known and adored worldwide. Among other such famous things in the country, Sri Lankan astrology takes a significant place popular among people locally and internationally.
Accordingly, in this article, we would like to unravel the world-famous Sri Lankan astrology, its history, importance, and future in this magical land of Sri Lanka.
What is Sri Lankan Astrology?
First of all, it is a must note that Sri Lanka is one of those Eastern countries where there is a significant place for astrology. There is a strong bond between astrology and the lives of people here, especially those who are traditional Sinhalese-Buddhists by birth. Nevertheless, there are many occasions where the non-Buddhists Sri Lankans seek the aid of astrology due to a number of valid reasons.
Besides, astrology is popular as ‘Jyothishya’ in Sri Lanka, which means ‘Science of the light.’ Most importantly, in Lankan astrology, the primary belief is that there is a connection between astronomical bodies and people’s destinies. However, that theory is based on scientific factors such as gravity and radiation. According to the birth time, date, and geometric area, a person will get a zodiac sign and a set of constellations (Raashi). Meanwhile, the time of birth means the time of the baby’s first cry. Sri Lankan astrological belief is the influence of the relevant constellations on the person’s life. Further, the astrological belief is that the motion of astronomical bodies/ constellations influences humans from birth until death.
Furthermore, in Sri Lankan astrology, another belief is that people get designated with different zodiac signs and constellations depending on the energy they have earned through previous lives. They are the well-known ‘Karmas.’ Karma means the good deeds or evil deeds that the people have been doing during their cycle of ‘samsara‘ or the previous lives.
Who are Astrologers?
An astrologer is a person who has gained education and knowledge in astrological science. It can be by inheritance from the family or by learning and practicing under a teacher.
Meanwhile, since astrology is related mainly to astronomy, and karma, genuine astrologers generally live with great respect to nature and spiritual life. In addition, they respect Gods and worship regularly in turn of their belief in their interconnection.
In fact, in Sri Lanka, many great astrologers help people with astrology in their daily life.
What does an Astrologer do?
People visit and seek the service of an astrologer on different special occasions in life. Few examples are the birth and prior to some challenging event of one’s life.
Subsequently, the astrologer prepares horoscopes and checks the style of positioning and movement of the Sun, Moon, and planets in the horoscope’s chart. Then, he predicts the future and even suggests ways to overcome adverse effects in the future. Moreover, he also helps to find auspicious times for remarkable work, such as starting a new business and a marriage, and there is a belief that commencing such work at the auspicious time brings better results.
Zodiac Signs in Sri Lankan Astrology
Zodiac signs are twelve unique signs in Astrology. Basically, each person has a zodiac sign in astrology according to the birth time, date and place. These signs have their ruling planets. Moreover, the characteristics of each zodiac sign are that of the related planet in the solar system.
Here are the twelve zodiac signs in Sri Lankan astrology and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
1. Aries (Mesha Lagna)
The strengths of Aries are being optimistic, courageous, confident, determined, enthusiastic, honest, and passionate. Further, weaknesses of Aries are being impatient, short-tempered, impulsive, aggressive.
2. Taurus (Wrushamba Lagna)
Strengths of Taurus are identified as being reliable, stable, patient, practical, devoted, and responsible. Moreover, being possessive, uncompromising, and stubborn are some of the weaknesses of Taurus.
3. Gemini (Mithuna Lagna)
The main strengths of Gemini can be highlighted as being gentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, and learning quickly. Besides, some of their weaknesses are being nervous, inconsistent, and indecisive.
4. Cancer ( Kataka Lagna)
The strengths of Cancer are being tenacious, highly imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, and persuasive. Further, some of their weaknesses are being moody, pessimistic, suspicious, manipulative, and insecure.
5. Leo (Sinha Lagna)
The strengths of Leo are being creative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, and humorous. Being arrogant, stubborn, self-centered, lazy, and inflexible are some of the common weaknesses among them.
6. Virgo (Kanya Lagna)
Significant strengths of Virgo are being loyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, and practical. Besides, they possess certain weaknesses such as being shy, overly critical of self and others, and ‘all work and no play’ happens to be a rule that they always follow.
7. Libra (Thula Lagna)
The strengths of Libra are being cooperative, diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, and social. Being indecisive, avoiding confrontations, and carrying grudges, are some of the common weaknesses among them.
8. Scorpio (Wrushchika Lagna)
The strengths of Scorpio are being resourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, and friendly. However, they possess a few common weaknesses such as being distrusting, jealous, secretive, and violent.
9. Sagittarius (Dhanu Lagna)
The strengths of Sagittarius are being idealist, generous, and having a good sense of humor. Still, they would show certain weaknesses such as being over-promising, impatient, and thoughtlessness in speech
10. Capricorn (Makara Lagna)
The significant strengths of Capricorn are being responsible, disciplined, self-controlled, and organized. Besides, they would also show weaknesses such as know-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, and expecting the worst.
11. Aquarius (Kumbha Lagna)
People who have the Aquarius sign are strong with the strengths such as progressiveness, originality, independence, and humanitarian. Further, running from emotional expression, being temperamental, uncompromising, and unfriendly are some of their common weaknesses.
12. Pisces (Meena Lagna)
The strengths of Pisces are being artistic, intuitive, gentle, and wise. Besides, trusting excessively, getting sad easily and, hardly preferring reality are some of their weaknesses.
Indeed, people display the qualities related to their zodiac sign which is one reason to believe in astrology in Sri Lanka.
Rashi or Zodiac Constellations in Sri Lankan Astrology
As discussed early, there are also zodiac constellations in Sri Lankan astrology. They are namely ‘Rashi’ in Sinhala. ‘Rashi’ means a place where the moon is positioned at the birth of an individual.
Meanwhile, below is the list of zodiac constellations (Raashi) in Sri Lankan astrology, their ruling planets.
- Ravi ruled by the Sun – Stands for the willpower, medicine, creativity, employments, father, management, Karma
- Chandra ruled by the Moon – Mood and feeling changes both in the character and mind, spiritual life, mother, phobias, kindness, women
- Kuja ruled by Mars – Encouragement, willpower, angry, jealousy, fighting, property destroyed, punishments, lust
- Budha ruled by the planet Mercury – Tells about knowledge, talents, education, noble life, mind power, guardian angels
- Guru whose ruler is Jupiter – Respect to religion, calmness in mind and body, money, sense, banking
- Sikuru ruled by Venus – Love, marriage life, hobbies, friends, artistic work, aesthetic work, new relationships, flowers
- Shani, whose ruler is Saturn – Pains, sadness, separations, sicknesses, uproar with others. virus diseases, job
- Rahu /Capet Dragonis – Overseas travel, wrong decisions, insaneness in mind, reputation, aging, politics, internet, fame
- Ketu/Cauda Dragonis – Loneliness, ghosts and phobias, properties lost, skin diseases, education
- Indra ruled by Uranus – Industrial, factories, banning, strikes, gas, machinery, electricity, pollution, technicians
- Waruna ruled by Neptune – Marine, oceans, diving, submarines, new age spirituality, modern medicine, vaccinations, microbiology
- Yama ruled by Pluto – Atomic, space technology, modern astronomy, nuclear weapons, quantum physics, nanotechnology
Thus, after determining the relevant Raashi and the zodiac sign, an ‘Astrologer’ prepares a chart for an individual. So it is by placing the details of Raashi in each square according to the birth details. This particular chart is namely the ‘horoscope’.
History of Sri Lankan Astrology
The history of astrology runs back as far as the factual history of Sri Lanka. Consequently, people say that there were writings related to astrology formulated by King Ravana during ancient times. One such text was ‘The Ravan Samhita.’ It was a text by Ravana after the narration of Shiva.
Meanwhile, astrology in Sri Lanka was also famous during the Kingdom eras, especially during Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, and Kotte eras. The growing interest in the Kings on astrology was the reason. The Kings looked for the assistance of mathematical predictions and auspicious times in astrology before each challenging situation related to their lives and the country. Astrology was then closely related to chants (called ‘Mantra’ in Sinhalese).
Especially, those who were good at astrology were the Buddhist monks. Then gradually, Ayurveda doctors and teachers learned it. The titles called ‘Neketh Raala, Ganithaya and Gurunnase’ in the ancient folk stories provide evidence for such characters in ancient Sri Lanka. These people who had the astrological knowledge and schools that taught astrology in Sri Lanka were popular as ‘Jyothishaya Gurukula.’ The facts concerning this science have been recorded in the Ola leaves in the olden days. However, some of these Ola leaves still exist with the very old-aged Ayurvedic doctors and Buddhist monks. Nevertheless, as they are of high historical value and contain the original chants and formulation, most of the people who belong to them do not reveal or share them with outside parties. Instead, they let it descend in their own families by inheritance, generation to generation.
Ancient Ayurveda and Astrology
The reason for ayurvedic doctors to learn and practice astrology in Sri Lanka was that they found a relationship between astronomical bodies and people’s health. Undoubtedly, it is also why John Davy- a famous doctor and a chemist between the 16th –17th centuries, had highlighted Ceylonese as the ‘Scientific physicians’ in his book called “An Account of the Interior of Ceylon” (1821).
What is Astrology Used for in Sri Lanka?
Astrology is such a tremendous mathematical science descended over centuries in the country that; the Sri Lankans use it on many occasions. In fact, astrology becomes one of the primary requirements of Sri Lankan people in matters related to personal life, professional life, businesses, or other spiritual issues.
Moreover, let us give you a quick overview of these occasions where people use astrology from the birth of a child until death, as follows.
1. Astrology at the Birth of a Child
Firstly, at the child’s birth, the parents meet an astrologer to make a birth chart or a horoscope for the child. The astrologer requires some details of the child’s birth for this purpose. That is the birth time, date, and geographical location. Then, the astrologer prepares the birth chart, which expresses the effects of the astronomical bodies on the child’s present and future life that he or she has inherited according to the merits and sins of the child’s or her previous births. At this time, the astrologer also suggests the auspicious Sinhala characters/letters that are good to begin the name of the child. Naming the child using those characters indicated is believed to bring good luck to the child’s life.
Subsequently, the parents protect this birth chart or the ‘Kendaraya’ in Sinhalese terms until the child grows to an adult. After the child becomes an adult, parents hand it over to the child. In the time between, during special occasions of life, the parents take the birth chart to the astrologer. A good astrologer reads and checks the current positions of the astronomical bodies related to the chart and scientifically predicts the effects for the child’s life to be expected. Meanwhile, the purpose of reviewing it is to check if it is a good time or a wrong time to perform that particular thing and to take remedies to protect the child from any evils and bad luck. Subsequently, the astrologer himself proposes preventive methods based on religion and other unique ways, which will be discussed later in the article.
2. Astrology at the Sinhala and Hindu New year
Secondly, Sinhala and Hindu New year is another time when astrology is given an important place in Sri Lanka. It is an occasion celebrated by the Sinhalese and The Hindus of the country. Further, Sinhala and Hindu New year is usually on the 13th and 14th of April each year.
Several special events take place during this celebration. The Sri Lankan astrologers set the auspicious time, and deliver those to the Department of Cultural Affairs in Sri Lanka, and then the government announces them.
A few of those events are; dawn of the New year, lighting the stove, preparing milk rice, having food, performing transactions, and also departing for work and business for the first time in the new year. Moreover, all these events are performed at a designated auspicious time to make the New year fortunate for people. In addition to the auspicious time, another thing defined is a promising direction according to astrology. However, said auspicious times and directions change yearly based on the position of the planets and other astrology-related astronomical bodies in the particular year.
3. Astrology in Sri Lankan Marriages
Thirdly, another occasion where astrology comes into a discussion is at traditional marriages of Sri Lanka. The eligibility to perform a marriage between two people is mainly based on the matching of their horoscopes. Moreover, in conventional marriages, before the first meeting of the couple, the parents of the two parties take their horoscopes to an astrologer. It is to check if they are matching to lead a life together. Meanwhile, in the horoscope matching, the astrologer checks for 20 aspects in the horoscope. They are called ‘Porondam.’
Twenty Porondam Related to Marriages in Sri Lankan Astrology
Let us now see the twenty aspects or twenty Porondams checked and matched in the couple’s horoscopes before their marriage in Sri Lanka.
- Neketh Porondam – The intentions, understanding, opinions, view about life, education
- Ghana Porondam – Personality, kindness, generosity, rigidness
- Mahendra Porondam – Children, their health, knowledge, happiness
- Sthree Deergha Porondam – The peacefulness, intimacy, honesty
- Yoni Porondam- Sexual satisfaction, physical similarity
- Raashi Porondam – The emotions, inner and external qualities
- Raashi Adhipathi Porondam –The relationship as husband and wife with the external society, how best they can act together
- Vashya Porondam – The deep love towards each other, innate love, affection, attraction, sustainability
- Rajju Porondam – The physical bond, if body parts match and tempt each other
- Vedha Porondam – Inter-relationship, strength, friction
- Vruksha Porondam – Fertility issues
- Ayusha Porondam – The lifespan of the couple, the length of their love relationship
- Pakshi Porondam – The mentality of the couple, the similarity between them, and the ability to share
- Bhuutha Porondam – In Sri Lankan astrology, solid, liquid, energy, gas, and sky are called the five great demons. The astrologer checks the similarities of the body ingredients of the couple based on those five great demons
- Gothra Porondam – This is similar to the match-making of the casts
- Varna Porondam – Matching of the two families of the couple through a mathematical analysis
- Linga Porondam – The care, love, and sexual satisfaction. It is similar to the Yoni Porondam
- Naadi Porondam – Mismatches of blood group and genes
- Dina Porondam – Success expected together during day-to-day activities
- Graha Porondam – Effects of the destiny and the Karma of previous births.
After checking these 20 Porondams, the astrologer gives a percentage for the match. If that percentage is more than 50%, the couple is acceptable to marry. 95% of marriages matched in this way turn out to be successful, whereas few become unsuccessful even after horoscope matching.
4. Other Events in the Marriage where Astrology is Used
Furthermore, after the marriage is fixed based on the horoscope, the marriage ceremony takes place. A traditional Sri Lankan marriage ceremony is also performed based on the auspicious times given by the astrologer. Primarily, when the marriage date is fixed, the astrologer suggests auspicious times for each event in the ceremony. Then, the couple leaves their parent’s houses at an auspicious time. After that, at the ceremony, the couple gets on to the Poruwa at an auspicious time. Subsequently, a registrar registers the marriage officially and legally at a particular time suggested by the astrologer according to astrology. Finally, the married couple leaves the ceremony for the honeymoon at an auspicious time too. These special events in life take place only one time in life. Thus, according to astrological belief, performing them at an auspicious time makes life successful, brings prosperity, and prevents any evil effect.
5. Indul Katagema (Feeding Food for the First Time)
Generally, at around six months a child is ready to have solid food after being fed breast milk six months from birth. So, the feeding of solid food for the first time in a child’s life is called in Sri Lanka as ‘Indul Kata gema,’ which is performed at an auspicious time. Sri Lankans believe that doing ‘Indul Kata gema’ at an auspicious time brings good health and success to the child in his life ahead.
6. Akuru Kiyaweema (Reading Letters for the First Time)
Another instance where astrology is used in Sri Lanka is when the child is ready to attend preschool. Before the child reads his or her first letters in the Sinhala alphabet, the parents perform a ceremony called the ‘Akuru Kiyaweema ceremony.’ The child reads his /her first letters at an auspicious time in front of Lord Buddha and the other God statues. This act intends to add blessings to the child’s education and academic life and wish success in learning and studying.
7. Kotahalu Mangalyaya (First Occasion of Menstruation)
This is another instance where Sri Lankan astrology has a special place in people’s lives. In Sri Lanka, the first occasion of menstruation or the menarche of a teenage girl is called the child’s arrival into the adult world. The reason is this occurrence marks the eligibility of the child to become a mother.
Thus, this event is also celebrated by most Sri Lankans. The parents seek an astrologer’s service at this time to obtain an auspicious time to bathe the girls for the first time after the menarche. After checking and calculating the birth chart of the particular girl, the astrologer advises the parents with an auspicious date, a time, and a color of a dress to be worn by the girl after bathing. Then the girl is kept indoors until the arrival of the auspicious date and time, preventing outsiders from seeing her during this period. Meanwhile, a new dress is stitched in the color as advised by the astrologer. Then, the girl is bathed on a particular date and time, after which there are several rituals performed wearing the new dress in color suggested.
In Sri Lankan astrology, the belief is that performing these rituals at an auspicious time would bring safety, good health to the girl, and blessings from the God Paththini to lead a life free of evil.
What is the Meaning of Rahu Kaalaya?
It is a period that arrives in each passing day between sunrise and sunset.
Generally, it lasts for 90 minutes. According to Sri Lankan and even Hindu astrology, Raahu time is a time that is not auspicious or brings success. Thus, people who believe in astrology avoid that period when performing particular tasks.
The Raahu time changes daily. You could get to know the Raahu time or ‘Rahu Kalaya’ designated for each day from an astrologer. At present, it is readily fed and freely available on the internet for easy access too.
Gems used in Sri Lankan Astrology
Primarily, as we mentioned earlier, astrology is one science based on nature and mathematics. However, as the changes in nature affect humans on earth, some other things from nature are used to avoid or dilute any adverse effects. Gems are one such example. Let us find out the reason for this, which is just amazing!
In fact, there is an energy field that originates from each living thing on the earth. It is where the energy, emotions, habits, and beliefs of a living thing are embedded. Thus, if one person has negative habits, emotions, and patterns, there is a method of changing them and turning them positive from negative with the help of the energy pattern of gems.
For example, if a person is expected to experience some difficulty /evil according to the horoscope. In such instances, the astrologer suggests a type of gem to be worn in a ring or a pendant on a necklace. That gem should touch the person’s skin. Then, by wearing it over a while, the power vibrated by the gem is absorbed by the aura of the person. Thus, it protects the individual aura against other external vibrations which are harmful. Also, people wear gems to decrease deficiencies and also to increase efficiencies too.
Furthermore, the type of gem to wear depends on the kind of deficiency or effect the individual has from the motion of astronomical bodies.
Thus, here is a list of gems that are astrologically important. Each of these gemstones has a unique power that helps increase efficiency or decrease the deficiency of an aura.
- Pearl and moonstone
- Red coral
- Green tourmaline
- Yellow sapphire
- Blue sapphire
- Hessonite garnet
- Cat’s eye
Birth Stones in Sri Lankan Astrology
In Sri Lanka according to astrology, there are some gems that are known as birthstones as well. People wear birthstones according to their birth month and the zodiac sign.
Their details are as follows.
|December||Sagittarius, Capricorn||Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite|
Navarathna Gems in Sri Lankan Astrology
‘Nava’ in Sinhalese is nine, and ‘Rthna’ in Sinhalese is gems. So, Navarathna means the Nine gemstones. Thus, it is a collaboration of nine powerful jewels fixed in a ring. According to astrological belief, people who wear the Navaratna ring receive good fortune because each gem in the group intensifies the positive rays of each planet they represent.
Then, here are the nine gems that include in a Navarathna ring.
- Emerald or Green tourmaline
- Yellow sapphire
- Cat’s eye
- Blue sapphire
- Hessonite garnet
- Ruby or Coral
However, any person cannot wear Navarathna rings due to the price of gems.
Do Sri Lankans Believe in Astrology?
Indeed,Most Sri Lankans still seek the aid of astrology in their day to day life. The reason is, there are instances where astrology predictions have become confirmed in people’s lives. While around 10% to 15% non-Buddhists here believe in Sri Lankan astrology, the Sinhala Buddhists in the country are the majority of those who strictly believe in this science. Mostly, the older generation. When it is a marriage, the elders of the two parties match the couple according to their birth charts. Thus, there are instances where the parents stay against love marriages if the horoscopes do not match.
Meanwhile, there is another set of people in Sri Lanka who do not believe in astrology. Most of the non-Buddhists and the educated radical Buddhists belong to this group. Mostly, the people belong to the new generation. They challenge astrology and try to live to prove that astrology is not always accurate. However, astrological predictions can also be different based on a person’s good deeds and evil deeds. Thus, there are enough examples where astrological predictions have turned out to be false. But, it does not prove that astrology is a myth.
Also, there is another group of people who believe in Sri Lankan astrology. But, this group does not strictly or full-time adhere to the predictions of astrology. For example, at the child’s birth, they check for the best letters to name the child and prepare a horoscope. Then, at a marriage, they check for Porondam and do the rituals based on the auspicious times suggested by the astrologer. However, they do not check the horoscope from time to time and take remedies but accept what comes in their lives as believers of Karma.
Future of Astrology in Sri Lanka
Indeed, while looking at the place for astrology in Sri Lanka, it is imperative to check the future of astrology in Sri Lanka. Since many people believe in Sri Lankan astrology as a science, we can predict a growing demand for astrology on the Island in the future too.
However, while many well-educated or genuinely inherited astrologers are there in Sri Lanka, few who serve as astrologers purely for financial intention are thus not reliable. They tend to mislead and deceive their clients. Consequently, this situation is a threat for Sri Lankan astrology. In addition, it also makes astrology subject to arguments in Sri Lankan society and becomes controversial, owing to the quality of service provided.
Nevertheless, if genuine astrologers continue to be reliable and provide a quality service, the future of astrology In Sri Lanka would have a secured place. Thus, it will remain a living science on the Island, being popular locally and internationally.
The Bottom Line
After all, whether you believe in Sri Lankan astrology or not, the fact that it is a wonderful science for life cannot be ignored. Besides, astrology indeed plays an important role in shading the Sri Lankan culture. Hence, despite our belief, it is important that we respect it, and appreciate it.