miércoles, 31 de agosto de 2011


Dasa Systems
Dashas – A Primer

The body of jyotish depends squarely on the epic texts known as Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra (BPHS) which are essentially a comprehensive transcript of the dialogues between Muni Parashara and his acolyte Maitryaya. In 100 chapters, Parashara has captured nearly all of what traditional Jyotish is. There have been embellishments and additions and in some cases subtractions and variant opinions that have been provided by other doyens and even a significant portion of Parashara’s teachings have been attributed to what is known as Jaimini System. Jaimini system builds upon and elaborates a portion of the discourse. Without entering the quagmire of who came first and who adopted whose writings and similar never-ending controversies, most jyotishis would serve themselves better by avoiding getting embroiled into such debates and gratefully gain what they can from the writings of all of these great former astrologers; many of them being saints.

Phalita Jyotish or predictive astrology (that which shall fructify, or in other words bear fruit) deals with the important factor of karma which creates our destinies and also allows us to reverse the wrong-doings of earlier times through charity, penance, worship etc. Essentially, through developing right actions and right mental attitude. While the horoscope itself is essentially a snapshot of the heavens as viewed from the birthplace at the epoch of birth and holds important attributions and signatures of the incarnating soul, the planets do not stay frozen for our entire lifetime. Thus we incorporate two types of movements of the planets. One type is the direct movement which is studied as transits or gochara. The other type is a projected or progressed movement. These essentially are what is termed in Jyotish as dashas. These have been interpreted both as Dasha (surrounding conditions and states) as well as Disha (directions; the optimum plan of action).

One or Many

If one were to browse through BPHS one would see a few categories. There are dashas which are calculated based on the nakshatra such as Vimshottari, others are based on the rashis such as Chara dasha, while another popular dasha Kalachakraincorporates both the nakshatra and rashi. Aside from this classification, Parashara has indicated that some of the dashas can be utilized as general purpose and applicable to all, whereas other dashas are utilized when certain conditions are met with in a horoscope. For example, Panchottari dasa is utilized when someone is born in karka lagna and also has karka dwadashamsha rising in lagna.

Udu Dasha

Udu means the ‘flying’ as in a bird. The term is also utilized for nakshatras. Puristically, all nakshatra dashas are udu dashas, however, generally speaking vimshottari dasha is considered as the udu dasha. Vimshottari has been the primary staple dasa used by jyotishis in general. A minority of jyotishis have utilized other dasas too quite successfully and in recent times, Professor B. V. Raman, Mr. K.N. Rao, and more prolifically Sri Sanjay Rath and his disciples have been very instrumental in producing large bodies of work dealing with different dashas. In the case of many of the dashas, there are variant calculations prescribed and this then compounds with the other two uncertainties: which ayanamsha, which dasha year duration – and the situation becomes very complex. In astrology there is a major role played by what is known as the Law of Diminishing Returns. I have seen beginners and even more advanced jyotishis to use too many factors and techniques which make it very confusing for most. The illustrated cases are very impressive but when the same dasha or principles are applied to a few more randomly selected charts, the solid platform risks becoming a floating barge in the Jyotish Baitarini!


This stands for the ancient multicultural principle of Keep It Simple ‘Santon’! Since these articles are aimed at beginners, it would be more useful to learn a few dashas rather than a whole bag-full that would only cause mental indigestion. I have found two dashas, both belonging to the udu dasa group most useful. When the birth is insuklapaksha (bright half of moon, shukla prathama to poornima) vimshottari dasa must be used whereas if the birth is in krishnapaksha (Krishna prathama to amavasya) then ashtottari must be used. This is not to say that dashas such as chara, sthira, yogini, chakra, kalachakra and the rest of 32 dashas described in BPHS are to be ignored. But these must be taken up after gaining some confidence in vimshottari and astottari. Also, one must not rely on just articles in magazines or on the internet to consider themselves astrology literate. Internet articles in particular can be of the highest quality or questionable, therefore some prudent caution would not be out of place.

In subsequent articles we will go into more details about the methodology and other considerations and try to reduce if not eliminate the mystery around these very useful tools for timing of events.

Fundamental Basis

The basic premise behind dashas is simple and straightforward. Life is segmented into sections or periods which are represented by planets in the horoscope (nakshatra dashas) or the signs (rashi dasas). The orientation point for the nakshatra dashas (udu) is the natal moon. If we visualize that starting at moment of birth, the moon is progressing through the rest of the zodiac (at a speed lot slower than in transit, i.e., 2.5 days per sign) and as it passes through the different nakshatra, the planetary rulership changes. The planetary ruler is then considered to be the primary planet indicator during that period. Some of the dashas such as vimshottari and ashtottari have very long total duration, 120 and 108 years respectively and most individuals do not complete the full cycle. Others dashas such as yogini are shorter and one can have more than one cycle during a typical lifetime.

Vimshottari and Nakshatras

Vimshottari is related to the quantity ’120′ and the entire dasha cycle spans over 120 years. The two luminaries, five planets and the two lunar nodes that are considered by Vedic astrologers in delineations, rule over periods varying from 6 to 20 years each during the 120 years in this order: Ketu (S. node of Moon), Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu (N. node of Moon), Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. These rule for 7, 20, 6, 10, 7, 18, 16, 19 and 17 years respectively. Nowhere in ancient texts does one find the rationale behind the assignment of this order (other than saying that the order follows the order of nakshatras or lunar asterisms, on which the dasha system is based) nor are the individual durations rationalized. These ‘periods’ are different from the ones that are attributed to Ptolemy and Babylonian astrology, and therefore must be of a different origin and the product of a completely different line of thinking and derivation. Some experts have tried to group the different dasha periods by drawing the dividing line after the Moon (which being the satellite of earth is considered the nearest body to earth and the orienting point in the scheme) in the vimshottari dasha sequence, thus giving us two groups, constituted by:

a) Mars, Rahu, Jupiter and Saturn, their periods totaling to (7+18+16+19=) 60 years, and
b) Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun and Moon, their periods totaling to (17+7+20+6+10=) 60 years.

The above scheme places the ‘outer’ planets in the first group and the luminaries (sun and moon) and the “inner” planets in the second group, with each group containing one of the two lunar nodes. The vimshottari order is preserved, as well if the two groups are joined together (mars, rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, mercury, ketu, sun and moon being the order of vimshottari dasas!). The rationale behind the assignment of individual period durations in the vimshottari scheme is not known, but this sequence is interesting and intriguing, at the very least.

In vimshottari dasha the sidereal asterismal position of natal Moon determines the point at which one enters into or starts the 120 year cycle. The 360d zodiac is divided into 27 asterisms, each 13d 20m long. The first 13d 20m starting at sidereal Aries 0d, is ruled by Ketu with Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury and Venus following in the same order as that followed in the rulership assignment in the vimshottari dasha.

Each vimshottari dasha period (mahadasha) is subdivided into nine sub-periods, also known as antardasha or bhuktis. The first bhukti in any dasha is ruled by the dasha lord itself and is followed by the bhuktis of other planets. The first bhukti in the dasha of Sun would be ruled by Sun, followed by the bhuktis of Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu and Venus. Each sub-period can be further divided proportionately into antaras, pratyantaras, sukshmas etc. However, given the controversies regarding the most ‘accurate’ values for ayanamshas (precessional corrections for converting tropical longitudes into sidereal longitudes) and inaccuracies in reported birth times, the practical usefulness of finer sub-periods may be questionable.

Is Vimshottari a Progression?

Those who are familiar with western astrology would perhaps know that in that system the primary progression is based on a degree a year progression. Planets are considered as moving one degree ahead each year, thereby completing 120 degrees in 120 years. If you think for a moment, vimshottari is based on the moon moving through a set of nakshatras (120 degrees) in 120 years! However, in the finer Jyotish system of dasha, it is the moon that we consider as progressing at unequal rates through the zodiac. For example if at birth moon was at the beginning of Ketu’s nakshatra, the nativity will experience 7 years of ketu followed by 20 years of Venus dasha (moon is moving through Venus star). So although in longitude (degrees) the star of Ketu occupies the same segment in the zodiac (13d 20m or 800 minutes) as does the star ruled by Venus, the moon moves through the two at very different speeds, thus giving the different durations of the dashas. The following table will help clarify:

Asterism beginning at the following sidereal longitudes of Moon:

Deg min Deg min Deg min Asterism ruled by
000 00 120 00 240 00 Ketu
013 20 133 20 253 20 Venus
026 40 146 40 266 40 Sun
040 00 160 00 280 00 Moon
053 20 173 20 293 20 Mars
066 40 186 40 306 40 Rahu
080 00 200 00 320 00 Jupiter
093 20 213 20 333 20 Saturn
106 40 226 40 346 40 Mercury

Understanding the Alphabet – Nakshatras

Nakshatras are very useful in delving a bit deeper in the charts. Without understanding these, one’s handling of udu dashas would be shaky. There are many different ways in which these have been used, including, the presentation of effects experienced by those born with moon (and ascendant) in the different asterisms. Typically, the 360 degrees of zodiac can be divided into 27 segments which coincide pretty closely to the daily motion of the moon (or more accurately, the daily motion of the moon through a tithi. Each tithi is the time during which moon travels 12 degrees away from the sun, and since the sun is also moving through nearly a degree during the same period, the moon needs to move approximately 13degrees in order to maintain the 12 degree difference from sun.) The nakshatra is a segment that is 13d 20m long. There are 27 nakshatras in the zodiac. For muhurta (electional horoscopy) a sub-segment known as Abhijit is used by some jyotishis. Each nakshatra is associated with a fixed star (or two) and is listed in Dr. Raman’s book for beginners. Each nakshatra has four divisions, each 3d 20m long. These are known as padas and these quarters are identical to the navamshas, and are 108 in number in the zodiac. 108 Is a very special number that appears in Hindu practices in more than one way (for mantra repetitions and other rituals, etc.).

Nakshatras and Dashas

Nakshatras also have a special connection with planets. Each nakshatra is ruled by one planet in the order of vimshottari dashas. The first nakshatra beginning at Aries 0, known as ashwini, is ruled by Ketu. The next one, bharini, is ruled by Venus (whose dasha follows that of ketu), next come krittika ruled by Sun, rohini ruled by Moon,mrigashirsha (Mars), ardra (Rahu), punarvasu (Jupiter), pushya (Saturn) andashlesha (Mercury). The cycle then repeats in two sets, the next set of nine stars ruled by the planets ketu to mercury being: magha, purva phalguni, uttar phalguni, hasta, chitra, swati, vishakha, anuradha and jyeshta, and the third set comprisingmoola, purvashadha, uttarashadha, sravana, dhanishta, shatabhisha, purvabhadrapada, uttarabhadrapada and revati. Each set spans four signs, beginning with a fire, then earth, air and water sign.

Each set of nakshatra, therefore, contains all four elements.

Nakshatra lordship and dispositorship is important and gives rise to a scheme whereby each planet is associated with another planet through a body or soul (essence) relationship. This sharira-jeeva relationship is described in details elsewhere in this manual. The intrinsic elemental nature or guna of a planet in a horoscope must be kept in mind as being associated with not only the sign but also the nakshatra it is in. The nakshatra rising in the east (lagna nakshatra) also adds a significant extent to the personality of an individual in addition to the sign rising and must be paid attention to. Similar considerations must be noted for the lunar asterism and the different nakshatras that the karakas or significators.

Other Building Blocks

Combining nakshatra attributes with those of the signs that they are associated with (attributes such as, elements, malefic/benefic nature, chara-sthira-dwiswabhav state, male-female nature, etc.) can help fine-tune many details and impart a richness and texture to the horoscope readings. According to some jyotishis, one can view the influences of the sign/rashi/constellation on a planet as its exterior, physical or coarse influence, while the influence of the asterism or nakshatra would determine the finer or mental nature of the planet. The navamsha sign in which the planet is placed would describe the intrinsic nature and motivations that act on the planet, in a sense the karmic signature. The three can also be described as the form, living essence and motive of the planet in a cosmic sense.

Next time we shall look at tara sambandhas and other factors influencing the planets that one would be examining while analyzing a vimshottari dasha. Only through an examination of a matrix of influences can one truly decipher the meaning of the astrosymbolizm of dashas and how they connect and work cooperatively with transits within the confines of the horoscope of the nativity.

After dasas have been calculated using tables that are given in all ephemeris or with a program (since most people use computers these days), the next question that faces the astrologer is, how to translate all these periods and planets into a reading? Some basic considerations that may be followed are:

First and Foremost

The mahadasha period determines the primary jurisdiction of effects that one might experience during the dasha.

After Dasha comes Bhukti

The results during the bhukti period would depend on the interaction between dasha and bhukti lords, mutual relationship, placement, attributes and strengths, etc., but a bhukti generally cannot give or take away what falls outside the jurisdiction of the dasha. The dasha effect generally supervenes and forms the boundaries of what is achievable. The only thing to watch out for is the bhukti lord is a yogakaraka and very strong. This sometimes makes it the primary determinant even surpassing the dasha lord.

Strength Prevails

The strength of the dasha and bhukti lords determine the extent to which the effects of these planets would materialize or be experienced by the nativity (jatak, one that is born).

Yogas Have a Say

Any special yogas or combinations formed by the dasha and bhukti lord in the natal horoscopes may materialize in their dasha and bhuktis or in the periods of the planets that are placed in the stars of the yoga-forming planets. For example, the mutual angular disposition of Jupiter and Moon results in gajakeshari yoga, a benefic combination for fame and success and gives a very steady level-headed mind set that is not swayed easily by sentiments. A person with stronger Jupiter and Moon would be more successful and higher-placed than another one with gajakeshari but with the two planets weak in the horoscope. Similarly, a person with gajakeshari in the 1st and 10th house is likely to experience a higher degree of success than one with the Jupiter and Moon in the 3rd and 6th signs from the ascendant (although the two planets are still in mutual angles). If the dasha and bhukti lords are mutually ill-disposed, such as in the 6th or 8th from the other, then their energies are not likely to be expressed in a harmonious manner. Somewhat similar to when the team members do not work in synch with each other! One factor to keep in mind though is what is known as rashidrishtis. The fixed (sthira) rashis aspect the movable (chara) rashis except the one next to them. So Scorpio will aspect Capricorn, Aries and cancer but would not aspect Libra. Similarly, Libra will aspect Aquarius, Taurus and Leo but not Scorpio. The mutable (dwiswabhav) rashis, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces aspect each other. They are all in kendras from one another and in general references made in yogas and other astrological combinations which refer to Kendra sambandha producing such and such effect is more pronounced when the planets are indwiswabhav rashi! Gajkeshari yoga that is formed by Jupiter and moon being indwiswabhava rashis is especially strongly expressed if the planets are benefic and strong otherwise.

Nature of Indicators

During a dasha (and to a lesser extent in a bhukti), influences of the planet/s are expressed according to the nature of the sign in which the planet is placed in the natal chart. Planets in cardinal (chara) signs generate restlessness, activity, outwardly directed expression, dynamism, the opposite effects are seen during periods of planets in fixed (sthira) signs. Mutable (dwiswabhav) signs generate ambiguity, bipolar responses and nervousness. The quadruplicity of the sign (all sidereal) must likewise be taken into account, particularly the way in which it interacts with the inherent nature of the planet. A fiery Mars in a fiery cardinal sign can express itself strongly and is very much in its own element. If it is not in a malefic house (6th, 8th or 12th from ascendant) or aspected by malefic planets, its periods signify a large amount of activity and personal growth and reshaping. Likewise, Moon in a watery sign would be able to express its effects more in the way it is supposed to. Moon in a fixed fiery sign would be very uncomfortable. This, incidentally, is perhaps the theme on which house ownerships, exaltation and debilitation are based.

KP and Asterismal Consideration

An important consideration to be kept in mind (the concept originating from Krishnamurthi Paddhati) is that the planet ruling over a period indicates the source of effect during its dasha or bhukti. If it is strong by rulership, position and association the effects during its period will be strongly felt and vice versa. The nature of the effect will be determined by the planet in whose star the dasha or bhukti lord is situated. The asterismal sub (which is the angular representation of the duration of bhukti in a dasha, considering the dasha duration to represent an arc of 13d 20m) indicates success or failure depending on its relationship (inherent and house-wise) with the asterism lord (indicating the effect during a dasha). The following example might make this more clear. In a horoscope, if Mercury is in Scorpio ascendant in the asterism of Mercury and sub of Venus. During the dasha of Mercury, the source of effects would be Mercury, the nature of effects experienced will be determined by the asterism lord, Mercury in this case and the houses ruled by it (8th and 11th) and occupied by it (1). Venus, the sub-lord is in the 2nd house and is in the 7th from the 8th house, 4th from 11th and 2nd from 1st house and Mercury. So, during the dasha of Mercury, the 8th and 11th house effects would flourish, while the 1st house will be moderately helped. This translates into numerous obstacles, gains from insurance or inheritances (8th), good earnings for one’s capabilities and a period of moderately good health and some personal growth (1). Mercury is an active planet but it is located in a fixed watery sign (Scorpio). It is strong in shadbal (strength determination), so the effects will be prominently felt. But since it is not in a very congenial sign, the native would have enormous restlessness without an opportunity for expressing it and things would move very slowly or not at all. There would be opportunities for spiritual and metaphysical experiences and growth. The intellectual as opposed to emotional faculties will be utilized more in these matters.

Planets are Known by the Company they Keep

Associations and aspects from other planets to the planets ruling the dasha and bhukti modify and modulate the effects of the period lords. As a general rule, friendly and benefic planets (natural benefics such as Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and waxing Moon, or benefic by disposition, such as planets ruling over angular and trinal houses from the ascendant) help move matters, malefics (natural such as Saturn, Mars or rulers of the 6th, 8th and 12th signs from the ascendant) exert the opposite effects. Sun and waning Moon and rulers of 2nd, 3rd and 11th signs from the ascendant have mixed effects, partly benefic and partly malefic. Some authorities consider the Sun as a cruel but benefic planet. Rahu and Ketu are shadow planets and assume the qualities of planets in whose sign they are placed in a horoscope. However, they generally tend to be malefic in nature. The nodes are in a class by themselves and different authorities have dealt with those in different ways. Some have assigned particular signs as owned by the nodes and signs in which they are exalted or debilitated, as is the case for other planets. Others have refrained to do so. My experience is that the nodes take on the attribute of their sign dispositor. Any planet which is in conjunction with the nodes loses its propensity to bring about effects and often expresses through the nodes in their dashas, bhuktis or transits. Nodes have a very significant influence on one’s life and nodal periods sensitize and expose one to influences beyond one’s immediate control. Perhaps these influences originate from actions in other time periods. They have been thought to signify karmic influences, Rahu signifying karma-generating actions (future karma) while Ketu signifies deeds already done and is more concerned with tying up of karmic loose ends.

One Swallow Does Not Make Summer

Dasha effects must not be studied in isolation. The reference to the natal chart is absolutely essential but they must be studied simultaneously with transits. The stars of the dasha and bhukti lords and of their asterismal dispositors represent sensitive zones during the dasha and bhukti. When these stars are transited by the Moon and/or Sun or other significant planets, the effect tends to fructify. The transit of the dasha and bhukti lords through different houses and stars should also be considered. There is some see-sawing that one can find in contemporary views, with some astrologers saying that the dasha supersedes transit influences, while there are a few who uphold the opposite view. The final vote is not in, obviously, but it would pay to closely study the transit of planets associated with the current dashas, vimshottari and chara. The latter dasha being not within the scope of this course may not be illustrated here or in future material pertaining to this course; however, the seed has been planted in your mind. Mastering vimshottari dasha, however, is definitely the first task one should perform. A very good compendium of rules and suggestions exists in a small booklet which includes both the Laghu and Madhya Parashari (companion booklets of Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra), translated by S.S. Sareen and published by Sagar Publications. The considerations take one a step beyond what is written in other classical texts.

Although most Jyotish texts, ancient and contemporary, focus a lot on laying out the attributes of signs, planets, nakshatras, houses and the effects of combinations of these pointers, the beginner in Jyotish is often left wondering about the sequence in which these must be tackled or what weightage must be given to each of those individually. To complicate matters further, recommendations sometimes vary from one author to another.

The Five Principles

Sage Satyacharya discussed the five principles (pancha siddhanta) of horoscopy inSatyajatakam. These being:

Graha Sheela: Intrinsic attributes and behaviors of the planets;
Karakattwa: Intrinsic significances of the planets, karakatwa;
Nakshtra or Asterismal Position: Also known as tara sambandha whereby planets are considered from their asterismal placement from the natal lunar asterism (the star in which moon is placed at birth) or the 10th or 19th therefrom.
Ruler Star # Name Effect
Venus 01
111 Janma
Param Maitra
Sampat’ + moderately positive
+ moderately positive
- negative results
+ moderately positive
- negative results
+ moderately positive
- negative results
+ moderately positive
++ excellent
+ moderately positive
++ moderately positive
Let us consider that the Moon is in Aries 2d and thus in the star of Ketu in a chart The sequence of star-relationships in this specific example would be:

The relative positions from sign (rashi) and in stars would be an important factor to consider. For instance, a planet that is the bhukti-lord and in the 3rd star from the dasha-lord might find it difficult to facilitate positive results fully. The effects are modulated by the intrinsic or chart specific qualities of the planet such as strength, beneficence and participation in a particular yoga or arishta (-) as well as mutual location of major and sub-lords in the chart, etc.

Planetary Strength: This is based on the placement of the planets in a chart in signs and divisions, as well as the planetary states or awasthas.
Rulerships of Specific Houses in a Chart: This is very important in Jyotish and along with the dispositorship of signs (and stars) forms the crux of our system.
Essentially, one must realize that the following building blocks are used in a Jyotish analysis.

Rising sign - which orients and aligns the zodiacal circle of signs (impersonal) with the circle of houses in a given chart (personal), bringing the two together. There is a considerable lack of unanimity in what is understood and utilized by jyotishis as a house or bhav. In the experience of many a house or bhav would be represented by the entire sign placed in a house with reference to the first house or rising sign, regardless of where in the sign the rising degree (ascendant) might be placed. For instance, if the 28th degree of Cancer is rising, then the entire sign of Cancer would be in the first house or tanu bhav, the entire sign of Leo would be in the 2nd house or dhan bhav, and so on. This is known as the “whole sign as a house” system. Other house division systems in astrology include: equal house, Placidus, Regiomontanus, Zenith, Campanus, etc. Most are used in western or tropical astrology but Placidus is also used in Krishnamurthi Paddhati and some jyotishis utilize the equal house division (Sripati Paddhati).
House groups: The houses are next viewed in sets or groups,
i. Trines or Trikonas: The trines 1st, 5th and 9th are the most important benefic houses. Some consider the 1st as a weak trine or a weak benefic (the 1st is considered to be an angular house, as well). Since the first house represents the self and the ultimate decision maker in most things that we do, as well as the primary perceiver of reality as one experiences it first hand, this can be seen as the most important house in all considerations such as yogas and associations with other planets. I, therefore, vote for giving it a lot of importance in all delineations, for good and bad effects. The trines essentially form the tripod on which our life-experience rests upon. The 9th house indicates our past, going beyond this lifetime, our ancestral roots, our karma that is ripe and ready and which brought us to the present station in the journey of soul. Little wonder, therefore, that this is the house we look at for matters such as our luck, fortune and destiny, things over which we have little control, in this lifetime. The 5th, on the other hand, represents the future, the next generation (children), it also signifies ‘that’ which we have the capability of creating. This has implications greater than simply our innate creativity, but also includes the karma and actions that we create, now — deeds over which we have relatively ‘greater if not full’ control. So, in a sense, our 9th house indicates that which might be predestined, whereas, the 5th represents to some extent that which is within our free-will to create and accomplish. The 5th house is 3rd from the 3rd (house of initiative, actions, purushartha) and this again underscores the association of ‘free-will’ and the 5th house in a spiritual manner as opposed to the physical, worldly things. It must be realized that karma exists in a timeless realm, whereas, we experience it within the temporal constraints of our existence which gives us the perception of time as a linear entity. The 5th, though forward-looking and prospective in nature, is not entirely free from what is known as ‘purva-punya‘, effects generated by earlier deeds, which then appear as our current spiritual state and the Grace that we may receive through mantras, remedies, upaayes(which literally means procedural solutions). So, paradoxically, there is a timelessness link between the 5th and 9th houses in some ways.The first house represents the present — our current station. Since our current horoscope is linked strongly to the moment of our birth and is indeed a route map of this lifetime, it makes a lot of sense to study the 1st house carefully to see which houses, and signs it is connected with, in order to acquire an understanding of the direction that we originally intended to follow. It pays to remind ourselves from time to time that we as souls are the creators of our horoscopes and the designers of our destiny and so some of us may indeed choose to alter our course in life, at times. Leaving the spiritually advanced aside, most of us come to this lifetime to learn how to make spiritually correct decisions. The concept of being crushed and trapped forever in the concrete prison of fatalistic karma hastily interpreted from the ‘old’ age and the careless, carefree abandon of the new age are both extremes and both positions are perhaps illusory.
ii. Angles or Kendras: While the three trines represent our experiences in time (past, present and future), the angles, 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th are connected with and represent our surroundings and the people close to us, thus, from the 1st we see the nature of the self, the person closest to us, and our inner space. From the 4th we study our mother and all the places which generally represent as our secure resting places, our mother’s womb, the ancestral home, the native surroundings we were raised in, the sanctuary we return to each day, as well as our final resting place in this worldly journey.The 7th deals with all that which is truly a part of self but that we tend to project outside. It is that part of ourself that we continue to seek outside of us. The significant other, the externalized half, the other gender, our interactions with others outside of our circle are all covered by this angular house.Finally, there is the 10th which describes our work and occupational surroundings, and goes even beyond our daily mundane and worldly work, and describes the purpose, the major tasks that we bring to this lifetime, with us, the quality of supportive influences and people that help us attain this. According to Laghu Parashari Bhashya an accompanying text to Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, in the order of increasing strength the houses are: 1, 4, 7 and 10th the strongest.
iii) Trikas or Challenges: Our challenges, impediments and our losses are indicated by the 6th, 8th and 12th houses. These govern among many other things, VI: sicknesses and enemies, VIII: hidden parts of our self, our defects, our chronic obstacles — as well as our hidden strengths, and, XII: our losses, separations (detachments) and confining situations. In some senses, all of these houses have the ability to confine us, to subject us to regimentation and under controls that we are not naturally inclined towards accepting, and those things that help focus our awareness on specific issues and problems, in a worldly and also perhaps in a spiritual way. These houses bring us face to face with our vulnerabilities, showing us the fragile, human parts of our ‘selves’.One important basic principle of Jyotish involves treating any house that is being examined as the first or orienting house. The houses that are in trinal or angular relationship with the said house, represent the helpful influences to the matters ruled by the house that is being examined. Those houses that lie in the 6th, 8th or 12th from the house under study would adversely interfere with the fructification of this house. The 6th and 8th are particularly malefic in this type of consideration. This mode of studying a house is also applied when examining dasha effects. If the bhukti lord is well-placed from the dasha lord, the two can work harmoniously, and if these happen to be benefics and mutual friends in the horoscope under scrutiny, can lead to very desirable and positive results. Experience indicates that the major period lord is the more important one and if the sub-period lord makes connections with the major period lord (sign exchange or mutual reception, occupancy of the same sign, aspects, etc.) then the sub-period would show up the effects of major period lord. If such an association is not there, then the sub-period lord would show its independent effects, within the general boundaries of what is promised or indicated by the major period lord.
iv) Connecting Houses: The remaining three houses, 2nd, 3rd and 11th, deal primarily with our acquisitions and how we go about acquiring those. Through these houses, we connect and communicate with others, often in a materialistic and material sense. It must be mentioned that the 6th house also qualifies to be considered as a part of this triad, since it is also a upachaya or house dealing with earnings, growth and usually indicates acquisitions obtained while in service of others. Sage Satyacharya does not consider it as an ‘evil’ place for a house-lord to be placed in (see below). However, readers are advised to test this position which must not be taken too literally.
So, when viewing a chart we must first look at these four sets of houses, namely, 1-5-9, 4-7-10, 6-8-12 and 2-3-11. There are a few different ways of looking at these:

Strength: The simplest way is to look at the strengths of the houses and of their lords using the full-scale v/graha shadbal system. From a practical point of view, it is best not to have the 6-8-12 set excessively strong, as a general rule. It is best to have the trines, 1-5-9, strongest and balanced (equally strong!) in the chart. In Jyotish, planets can be in strong or weak, friendly or inimical signs — this is based on their nature and temporal placements and is taken into consideration as part of the classical strength determination.

Relative Placement of Ruler: The next thing to look at is the placement of the ruler from its own houses. A ruler placed in a trine or angle from its house would be able to help matters governed by the house. If placed in 6th or 8th from its house or in the 6th, 8th or 12th from the ascendant (1st house in radix), then the house under study is likely to suffer to some extent. Please note that a planet placed in the 12th sign from its own house is not necessarily a weakening influence, though it is so, when placed in the vyaya bhav or house of loss from the ascendant. In the same vein, unless otherwise weak or afflicted, the mere presence of the lord of the ascendant in the 12th house is not necessarily detrimental for the indications of the 1st house. This could be treated as an exception that applies to the first house. If lords of other houses are placed in the 12th from ascendant (the horoscope’s 12th house), the indications of those houses may suffer. Perhaps this is why when the lord ofdusthanas (trikas, bad places!), 6th, 8th and 12th are placed in the 12th house, these houses do not prosper and thus result in a net positive effect for the nativity in a worldly sense. This forms part of what is known as a ‘vipareet rajyoga‘ or paradoxical-regal combination!

Tri-fold Connectivity: The connectivity between the house, the house ruler and the dispositor must be reviewed. The dispositor is the planet that rules the sign in which a house ruler is placed. If Aries is rising and Mars is in Capricorn, then Saturn as the lord of Capricorn is the dispositor for the 1st house (and for the 8th, Scorpio in that chart, as well).

Executor or Karaka: Finally, we should routinely look at the executor or the significator for the house under review. These planets may be considered as the secondary rulers for a house. Although, only a few significators are listed in standard books, many more house-significations may be attributed to each planet. One can generate a list by associating the intrinsic attributes of the planets with areas and activities in life. Sun, for instance, is the significator for father, wood, light, energy, government, administration, bones, teeth, eye, eyesight, structure, and much much more (For more detailed discussion of these and other material suitable for the beginner please study my on-line article For Beginners in Jyotish

One can examine these planetary significators in two ways, firstly, by studying their strength and disposition as viewed from the perspective of the house they signify as well as the placement of the significators from the ascendant. The second way is to treat the house that holds the significator as the ascendant and viewing the relationship/placement of other planets therefrom, considering their natural benefic and malefic natures and properties.

Other Considerations: Other considerations and ways of examining the planetary associations and relationships also exist. These include their placement in nakshatras, i.e., the stellar division of the zodiac, and the considerations of the ‘body’ (sharira) and “spirit” (jeeva) dispositors. Divisional charts, particularly the nonile or novile harmonic — navamsha, is examined in several ways to judge the connectivity between planets and signs. There are many other esoteric and practical techniques that can be utilized to define and examine the ways in which planetary indicators associate with each other and connectively manifest their energies. These are fairly advanced considerations and techniques that lie ahead in your path as a jyotishi.

Scoring System: According to Satyacharya, a bhav or house would be strengthened by the following:

When the lord of the bhav is placed between (flanked by) benefic planets. This is also called ‘shubha kartari‘ yoga.
2. When the lord of the bhav receives aspect from benefic planets.
When the lord of the bhav is strong by virtue of being in exaltation,moolatrikona, its own, or friendly sign.
When the lord is placed in an Upachhaya sthana from lagna. These are the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 10th or 11th houses from lagna.
When the lord of bhav is in an angle (kendra) from the lagna or lagna-lord.
When the lord of bhav is in a trine (1, 5, 9) from lagna or lord of lagna.
For each of the above, a planet can receive a score of 1 or 0. In item 5 and 6, scores of 0.5 to be assigned for each of the considerations, 0.5 from lagna and 0.5 from lord of lagna.

On the other hand, a house is weakened in the following situations:

Lord of bhav is flanked by malefics in the 12th and 2nd house from it (papakartari yoga).
Lord of bhav receives aspect of malefics
The lord of bhav is weak in strength by being in debility, or in inimical signs
The lord of the house is combust.
The dispositor of the lord of a bhav (the lord of the sign that holds the lord of bhav under scrutiny) is weak, debilitated, or in inimical sign.
The lord of the bhav under study is in the 8th or 12th house from the lagna or from the lord of lagna.
For each of the above there can be a score of -1 or 0. In item f, a score of -0.5 for each of the considerations: lagna and lagna lord.

Looking at the tenth house, we see that:

The lord mercury is not flanked on both sides (0)
The lord does not receive aspects from benefics (0)
The lord is in the sign of a neutral (0)
The lord is not placed in an upachaya (0)
The lord is not placed in an angle from the lagna (0)
The lord is not placed in a trine from the lagna or its lord (0)

Total benefic points = 0

On the malefic side of the equation,

The lord of 10th bhav is not flanked (0)
The lord does not receive aspects (0)
The lord of the 10th bhav is neither weak nor strong (0)
The lord of the house is not combust (0)
The dispositor of the 10th lord mercury (Moon) is not strong (-1)
The lord of the bhav is in the 8th from lagna (-0.5)
but not from the lord of lagna (0)

Total points = -1.5

The points a planet can obtain can range from -6 to +6. We can add 6 to the scores obtained to convert the range into positive numbers and this would result in a percentile range from 0 to 12. In our example the sum total that the Sun in this chart gets is:

0 + (-1.5) +6 = 4.5. This corresponds to a percentage of 37.5% indicative of difficulties in reaching full potentials insofar as the 10th house is concerned.

While numerical measures such as these help one, it must be noted that they must not be taken as the final value. For instance, in this scheme, we have not taken into full consideration things such as composite shadbal, vimshopaka and nakshatra effects, etc. The numbers derived here serve as starting points and must be modulated with proper judgment.

The Proof of the Pudding

Without digressing too much from the subject matter at hand, this may be a good time to look into why we are putting so much effort into learning the dashas and their wonderful reminder to us that the Universe is indeed connected! That, I think, is the most beautiful reassurance that astrology was meant to give to us! It is unimaginable otherwise why the distant planets going about their business of circling around the sun have such profound impact on, concordance with, and relevance to the billions (at least on our planet) of human lives through the language of astrology.

This chart is of Benazir Bhutto and while there shall always remain the niggling doubt as to which one is the correct chart and so on in this chart that I provide an intriguing consonance between her ill-fated career and assassination, and the signature of the Jyotish indicators is highlighted and can be used as a somber and somewhat macabre illustration of the principles that underlie the human experience.

In her case, rahu is a strong maraka since it is placed in the 2nd house with gulika. Sun and mars too are indicative of the same being placed in the 7th, the other maraka house which also happens to be the badhaka house in her chart. On the ill-fated day of 27th December 2007 when she faced her destiny – the vimshottari dasha of Saturn-Jupiter-sun was in effect. Saturn is in the star of mars and aspecting it fully. Jupiter is the lord of first house but in the house of enemies and in the star of moon the lord of the 8th house and longevity. Without the falsely misplaced optimism and sense of purpose would she have dared to go so unprotected amidst the very crowd that had earlier made an attempt to kill her. The anthara lord is sun who too is placed in the 7th and thus the maraka house and in the star of rahu who is placed in the 2nd (maraka house) with gulika an extremely evil upagraha. At the time of assassination, look at the transits! Jupiter and sun are in the 7th house with the natal lord of lagna in the chart of the moment! And Saturn is right across from the strong maraka rahu as per the natal chart. The death came by as she was travelling (3rd house) during a moment of extreme confusion (ketu placed with Saturn). In this case the two dasha markers, Jupiter and sun were also placed in the 7th which is a badhakasthana. To top it all, the weekday was Thursday ruled by Jupiter and the hora at the moment belonged to: Mercury which rules over maraka sthana, and is the ruler of the rising moment at the ill-fated event and in natal chart is placed in the 8th in the rahu ketu axis. Rahu as touched upon earlier is a strong maraka and with gulika placed in the 2nd house which signifies death. Most intriguing!


When it comes to dashas, Jyotish is resplendent with dashas that offer directions to the nativity as to the sign of times and to act appropriately – not just for personal and materialistic benefits which is certainly possible, but for lasting spiritual growth. That too is possible! Dashas are available to the jyotishi that utilize the asterismal perspective and others that utilize the rashis. Vimshottari the commonest is asterism-based, as is ashtottari and yogini which are very different from how they utilize the nakshatras. There are also rashi dashas such as chara and there are dashas like kala chakra which are based both on asterisms and rashis – a bridging of the two factors that have found many followers recently.

Truth be told, no dasha is perfect! Why else would the sages describe so many? Some jyotishis recommend using more than one, or several dashas in tandem and while it has been accomplished successfully by a few, the plethora generally has proven to be confusing for many beginners (for whom this series is meant).

Conditional dashas as described in Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra are really meant to be utilized by researchers since the few slokas in which each of the dashas have been described do not do justice to any of those individually.


has therefore remained the mainstay for many jyotishis, certainly at the beginning until they are ready to incorporate more. I have found it useful to work with Vimshottari and Ashtottari dashas for individuals based on a simple hint given by G.C. Sharma in his translation of Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra. Vimshottari was recommended for those born during the Shukla paksha while Ashtottari was recommended for those born during the Krishna paksha. Some have further teased it into night births and day births.


In my recently published article on actor Leo Dicaprio (EST: November 2008 issue) I have demonstrated how Ashtottari dasha can be utilized. The basic premise seems to be that one born in krishnapaksha has a slightly shorter lifespan hence utilizing a dasha of 108 years. This cannot be taken too literally because lots of people born in shuklapaksha die young while those in krishnapaksha live longer. And overall, there are not too many that live to be even 108 years, let alone 120! It is even more interesting to note that while ketu gets a period allocated to it, Ashtottari only allocates periods to rahu and ketu is missing. The utilization of nakshatras is different from Vimshottari also and nakshatras are utilized in groups or clusters of 3 or 4 stars alternately, as opposed to the sequential cycles as in Vimshottari, also the janma nakshatra of Sri Ram, Abhijit is utilized in the ashtottari scheme.

Vimshottari Rulership (YY) Nakshatra Ashtottari Rulership
Ketu 07
Venus 20
Sun 06
Moon 10
Mars 7
Rahu 18
Jupiter 16
Saturn 19
Mercury 17
Ketu 07
Venus 20
Sun 06
Moon 10
Mars 7
Rahu 18
Jupiter 16
Saturn 19
Mercury 17
Ketu 07
Venus 20
Sun 06
Moon 10
Mars 7
Rahu 18
Jupiter 16
Saturn 19
Mercury 17 Ashwini
Revati Rahu 03 – 00
Rahu 03 – 00
Venus 07 – 00
Venus 07 – 00
Venus 07 – 00
Sun 01 – 06
Sun 01 – 06
Sun 01 – 06
Sun 01 – 06
Moon 05 – 00
Moon 05 – 00
Moon 05 – 00
Mars 02 – 00
Mars 02 – 00
Mars 02 – 00
Mars 02 – 00
Mercury 05 – 08
Mercury 05 – 08
Mercury 05 – 08
Saturn 02 – 06
Saturn 02 – 06
Saturn 02 – 06
Saturn 02 – 06
Jupiter 06 – 04
Jupiter 06 – 04
Jupiter 06 – 04
Rahu 03 – 00
Rahu 03 – 00
When to Use Which?

Other than the lunar paksha as the determinant for choosing Vimshottari over ashtottari, Parashara has also indicated that if Rahu occupies an angle or trine from the lagnesha, then ashtottari may be utilized. An exception would be if rahu is in the ascendant. In addition to this BPHS also indicates that for night-births in shuklapaksha (bright phase of moon) and day-births in Krishnapaksha (dark phase of moon), ashtottari can be used. These ‘conditionalities’ are given in BPHS as suggestions as opposed to firm directives. The text indicates that it is what others have utilized and Parashara was merely including these for completeness sake. Some jyotishis have taken this to mean that Parashara was not recommending that Ashtottari be used over vimshottari which has been clearly recommended (as also a few other of the many dasas described in BPHS, thereby leaving room for experimentation. The third directive (Vimshottari for suklapaksha day births and krishnapaksha night births while Ashtottari for the converse situations) has more merit as experimentation indicates. Sometimes when both ashtottari and vimshottari point in the same direction, effect-wise it represents a stronger likelihood.

Paraplegic Case

This young man sustained injuries and became paraplegic losing the functionality in all limbs. Scorpio rises with lagnesh mars with rahu and neechastha venus in the 11th house. Venus does get cancellation of debility due to mercury being in kendra from moon and lagna. Since the birth was in Krishnapaksha, this would be a candidate for using Ashtottari (rahu in kendra from lagnesh, Krishnapaksha birth during the daytime). The seriousness of the accident and consequences sustained on Wednesday the 22nd August 2007 are very unfortunate and grave.


Venus, moon and mars hold sway over the day. Venus represents 7th and 12th house and is placed in the 8th from its nakshatra dispositor moon. Lagnesh mars is also in same nakshatra and the 6/8 relationship is not a good omen. Moon is involved in the dasa scheme. From the ashtottari nakshatra scheme (see Table), both are in hasta nakshatra which is associated with mars and thus represents accidents, injuries etc. Notice too that venus, mars and rahu the latter signifying sudden events, accidents are placed in the pada of 9th house. The ninth is badhaksthana in Scorpio and therefore the pada of that house will have a negative connotation as well. Jupiter the great benefactor is actually placed in the 9th house (badhaksthana) and forming a 6/8 relationship with its dispositor moon (also represents a rashi sambandha with planets in chara and sthira signs associating with each other) and was not helpful, other than perhaps not killing the individual by virtue of being a maraka and ketu’s dispositor. On the day of transit, a wednesday ruled by gnatikaraka mercury, retrograde venus was transiting the badhaksthana, Saturn was within few degrees of its natal position, with sun and mercury (few days after his birthday) across from natal moon and rahu right over the natal moon.


Major lord Jupiter in badhaksthana, 6th from its dispositor in shani’s nakshatra, rahu and mercury too involved. Atmakaraka Rahu and gnatikaraka mercury are negative indicators and the sudden injuries and dire consequences show up in this dasa scheme too, an indication of how destiny shows up strongly in charts when something inevitable has to occur.


As described both indicators of the dasas were transiting key positions. Jupiter and moon in lagna, the later in debility aspected by mars from the maraksthana, rahu transiting the moon and Saturn its natal position, while venus transits the badhaksthana, too many coincidences to be called such.

Recovery is likely to be very slow with signs of improvement during the period of mars after September 2009 (Vimshottari) and more sustained improvement after February 2010 when mars rules the bhukti in Ashtottari. The current transit of Jupiter in atichara gati (acceleration), neech rashi is not a good period and hope will dwindle.

Cautionary Note for Readers

Since many beginners would be reading and learning from this series, I must reiterate to them the fact that while sages have indicated different dasas, one must learn the dasa applications one by one and it is safest to first use Vimshottari ONLY which BPHS has recommended for all charts and when familiarity has been gained, then to move on to include or consider dasas such as Ashtottari, Jaimini system dasas, yogini etc. Otherwise there could arise confusion. This portion of this series was just to introduce readers to the possibilities beyond Vimshottari and illustrate how different dasas can co-operate and indicate similar trends.



A planet is angry when combust by the Sun. Kopa also means the state of being in contradiction with, or incompatible with. A planet is combust when it is in such close proximity to the Sun that it becomes invisible. The Sanskrit name for this is Asta which means “setting.” Following are the degrees, from the Sun, wherein a planet becomes combust:

Moon: 12 °
Mars: 17 °
Mercury: 14 °, 12 ° when retrograde.
Jupiter: 11 °.
Venus: 10 °, 8 ° when retrograde.
Saturn: 15 °.

The closer the planet is to the Sun the greater the effect of the combustion.The planets outside the Earth’s orbit have a similar cycle as that of the new Moon waxing to full Moon and waning to dark Moon. The cycles of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn begin at their conjunction with the Sun. They then orbit until they are opposite the Sun, at which time the Earth is between the Sun and the planet, who is now retrograde. At this point the planet is closest to Earth, the avastha is Shakta- powerful. The planet then begins to approach the Sun until it is combust, setting in respect to the Sun. At this point the planets are furthest from the Earth and made invisible by the Sun; they have spent their shakti (power), and now find themselves weak. Weak, they are not competent to fulfill their respective duties and get frustrated, angry, and resort to base means. Another name for the avastha of a combust planet is Mushita- robbed. The two planets inside Earth’s orbit, Mercury and Venus, are combust when in, or near, inferior and superior conjunction; that is, when they are closest and furthest from the Earth respectively. The difference of a combust planet during superior conjunction from that of a combust planet during inferior conjunction is an area of research. When Mercury or Venus are combust at superior conjunction they are actually behind the Sun, actually setting. Not only are they obscured by the rays of the Sun, they are also behind the body of the Sun. When they are combust at inferior conjunction (when they are between the Sun and the Earth) they are not actually setting; though they are obscured by the light of the Sun they are not actually hidden by the body of the Sun. In my opinion therefore, Mercury or Venus being combust when retrograde is not so severe since they are not actually setting behind the Sun. In my experience I have found that when Mercury or Venus are combust and not retrograde, the qualities of the planet are hidden and weak. When they are retrograde and in combustion range I have found their qualities to be very pronounced. I therefore give emphasis to the Shakta Avastha when a planet is retrograde and combust. Psychologically, combust planets give rise to feelings of vulnerability and insecurity, which are the result of ego attachment. Just as the Sun is the center of the solar system with planets revolving around him, the natal Sun is the self whom the other planets serve and assist in the world through the use of their different abilities. When one of them is combust, the self has become so attached to the functions represented by the planet, that they can only be used in a dysfunctional manner. The issues revolving around combustion develop in this lifetime as a result of experiencing continual failure when attempting to use the functions of the combust planet. These feelings of failure are usually the result of associating with the father, as the Sun represents the father, or the person indicated by the house the Sun rules, or by those represented by the house wherein the combustion takes place. Another name for the avastha of a combust planet translates into failing. Whether one feels robbed, or failing, as the result of combustion, the resulting avastha is always Kopa, angry and frustrated. Combust planets are hidden by the Sun, the vulnerabilities indicated by them are just as well hidden. The malefics tend to hide their vulnerability by excessive displays of their traits. Benefics tend to hide their vulnerabilities by acting unconcerned, or nonchalant, as if it is not important enough to bother with. In order to understand the specific characteristics of each planet in combustion it is hoped the following will be helpful:

Moon Combust
The Moon is the manas, the sense mind, through which the Sun, the soul,
experiences itself as the reflection of the world. When the Moon is combust,
it is dark, there is no reflection; the native feels frustrated from not
being able to enjoy themselves as the reflection of the world. The Moon is
the social planet, whenever we do something with another we are actually
only relating to ourselves, the other is merely a reflection of our self,
therefore the native also suffers on account of being unable to enjoy their
reflection as others. The combust Moon always indicates a lack of need
fulfillment, and resulting frustration, in the areas it influences.

Mars Combust
When Mars is combust the self is over identified with the function of
strength, will and power. The native feels that they must be the strongest,
most powerful, or right in order to feel secure. This generally creates a
need to prove that they are strong and powerful. Their over identification
with and attachment to power and their need to validate themselves through
the use of it generally causes a lot of power struggles with others. With
those that are more powerful than them or when confronted by a great
obstacle they generally lack courage. Combust Mars is angry due to being
frustrated in making happen what they think should be.

Mercury Combust
When Mercury is combust the individual experiences feelings of
vulnerability when making requests. The self is identified with the function
of speech and feels hurt and rejected when his requests are slighted or
denied. The ego is fearful of having its request denied and therefore
feeling rejected on a personal level. Even legitimate requests such as
asking for a well-deserved raise, requesting from loved ones and returning
an item to a store become difficult. After some time the individual feels
taken advantage of and unfulfilled at which time anger and resentment set
in. The individual must recognize that they must take direct responsibility
for getting their needs and desires met by communicating them clearly and
strongly. They are generally only able to communicate their desires and
needs more overtly through hints, or in a joking manner. Combust Mercury
presents the most trouble in personal relationships where a clear
communication of needs and desires is important for maintaining harmony and
in business affairs where money must be asked for. In essence, when Mercury
is combust the native is angry because they are unable to maintain a fair
exchange with others. Generally the issues revolving around a combust Mercury develop in this lifetime when the native, as a child, felt rejected when making requests for things from the father, and the father answering something like this, “What do you want that for, it’s stupid, a waste of money, etc.”

Jupiter Combust

When Jupiter is combust the native feels that they are unable to meet a
set of ideals which their ego considers necessary for spiritual blessings.
The self is attached to the need for perfect and noble behavior in order to
be worthy of God’s grace. They are unable to accept themselves with their
own imperfections and feel that God will not either. There is little room
for self-forgiveness and a resulting lack of faith in God’s interest in
their personal welfare. They may easily believe that others can receive Gods
blessings, but that they are unable to believe that they themselves can.
This creates a feeling of purposelessness in their activities, including
their spiritual activities, because they feel that no matter what the effort
they are still imperfect and therefore worthless in God’s eyes. In essence
when Jupiter is combust the native is angry at religion or God for making it
impossible for them.
Generally the issues revolving around a combust Jupiter are developed
as a result of experiencing some belief system that was presented in a
dogmatic fashion. This belief system or the manners in which it was
presented, would not have allowed for the normal feelings and desires which
all humans have. Being of perfect behavior, word and thought would have been
stressed with no practical methods being taught to control the mind and
transcend desires. The individual would then be left in despair, without
hope for any possible salvation.
Another consideration of Jupiter’s combustion is that the native will
feel insecure about their knowledge or wisdom. This will cause them
frustration and anger when confronted by something they do not understand.
Rather than admit that they do not understand they are more likely to act as
if it is unimportant at the moment and try to sneak out of dealing with
their lack of understanding.

Venus Combust
When Venus is combust the native is unable to exhibit the healthy pride
necessary for diplomacy. Diplomacy is the tool of healthy pride that
respects others as well as the self. Combust Venus indicates poor diplomatic
abilities, the result of vulnerable pride. They therefore suffer abuse on
account of other’s behavior towards them which results in anger and frustration.
Another consideration when Venus is combust is that the native
experiences feelings of vulnerability when expressing love and affection.
The self is identified with the function of expressing love and affection to
the degree that if their affection is not received and validated fully they
feel rejected. This may make an individual seem rigid or indifferent in
expressing love and affection. In essence, when Venus is combust the native
is angry because they are not getting the love and attention they desire.
This tendency is generally developed when the native, as a child, either
gave a hug or said, “I love you” to the father, or another, without having
the affection or words returned, either because the parent was busy or did
not have the capacity to do so.

Saturn Combust

When Saturn is combust the native feels overwhelmed and overburdened
with life, as if they were never given a fair chance. One generally lacks
discipline and perseverance to do all that they are required to do and would
rather complain or find another, easier way out of their responsibilities.
They generally exhibit bitterness and resentment. They are generally unable
to give of themselves unless they know that they will derive some benefit.
In essence, when Saturn is combust the native is angry at the world at large
for the burdens that are a part of it. Another tendency of a combust Saturn is a native who works extremely
hard to validate themselves, but never feels validated by their activities
and as a result becomes full of frustrated hate and jealousy.
These tendencies are generally developed in this lifetime by some
responsibility being forced upon the native at an early age when they were
to young to handle it, and without proper validation for their


Kaal Sarpa Yoga is one of the most feared and discussed yogas in Vedic astrology. Whilst its classical reference is uncertain, it’s equated to the nabhasa yogas as it has an overriding effect on the chart much like the nabhasa yogas.

The Kaal Sarp Remedies for this among astrologers, today range from wearing gemstones of all planets to making a pilgrimage to the Kala Hasti temple in Andhra Pradesh, India.

The yoga is said to envelope the native in a life of bondage, with little success arising in life, until the yoga matures at the age of forty. To add, the yoga has been given different names of the divine serpents, depending on the twelve different ways the yoga can form. With the wide range of remedies available, and a much wider range of confusion, the tradition of Sri Achyuta Dasa teaches the following:

Traditional teaching: Kala Sarpa yoga is formed when all the planets are placed in between the two nodes of the moon: Rahu and Ketu. Thus the nodes, splitting the zodiac in half, would have all the planets placed in the signs in-between Rahu to Ketu, or from Ketu to Rahu. This is known as kaal sarpa yoga. There are however two variations of this yoga. The node which is in-front of the planets is said to be the head, and if this head is Rahu, the yoga is known as Kaal Sarpa yoga. However if this head is Ketu, then the yoga is Kaal Amrit yoga.

The difference between the two is obvious from their names:

Kaal Sarp yoga will push one into a life of sense-objective experience, in other words, a materialistic life.
Kaal Amrit yoga instead puts one on the path of spirituality.
Whilst either would seem attractive depending on personal preference, the yoga torments the native’s life before giving the above path. The native lives a life of bondage and torment between the two extremes of material life and spirituality until the appropriate age. The area of bondage is indicated by the house joined by the nodes. How the bondage manifests must be ascertained through the analysis of the nodes from lagna, arudha lagna, karaka lagna, etc.

Axis Area of bondage
First/seventh Fame, name, health, character, aspirations/relationships and partnerships
Second/eighth Wealth, family/debts and diseases
Third/ninth Strife, aggression/higher education, world view
Fourth/tenth Home, property, happiness/work and profession
Fifth/eleventh Children, subordinates, supporters and lack of the same, future planning
Sixth/twelfth Diseases and recovery of illness, as well as enmity
The bondage experienced by the native is the superimposition of maya onto the person in an overwhelming way. As a result the satya or truth of the chart (surya and chandra) becomes deterred in the native, to the extent of the native following an agenda different from that suggested by the chart. The head of the yoga being either Rahu (kaal sarpa) or Ketu (kaal amrit) will suggest which agenda.

Just as the light of the Sun removes darkness, so also truth dispels untruth and can break the kala sarpa/amrita yoga. The houses of truth are the first and seventh houses, which symbolize the entrance into this world and exit here from, respectively. Planets placed in the first or seventh from the respective node, or in the first or seventh from the lagna will thus be able to break the yoga and establish truth.

House/Rasi Naga
First/Aries Vasuki
Second/Taurus Kacanira
Third/Gemini Takshaka
Fourth/Cancer Sahajanya
Fifth/Leo Elapatra
Sixth/Virgo Sankhapala
Seventh/Libra Dhananjaya
Eighth/Scorpio Airavata
Ninth/Sagittarius Mahasankha
Tenth/Capricorn Karkotaka
Eleventh/Aquarius Kambhala
Twelfth/Pisces Asvatara
If the planet breaking the yoga is malefic, then the experience of the truth is quite terrible and can lead to sorrow or general unhappiness in life. Contrary to this a benefic planet doing the same, will give a pleasant and happy experience upon the realization of truth, and escape from bondage.

In case of kaal sarpa/amrit yoga, the astrologer should always advise remedies of the benefic planets breaking the yoga, otherwise the success of the native will be obstructed continuously in life. If no benefics seem to be breaking the yoga, the strengthening of the most auspicious among the two gurus: Jupiter and Venus should be advised, as these two Gurus can lead the native out of the bondage of the yoga.

Specifically, it’s said that the kaal sarp yoga, with Rahu as its king, eclipses the Sun who in turn needs the saving grace of Brihaspati/Jupiter. Similarly, the kala amrita yoga, with Ketu as its king, eclipses the Moon, and Shukracharya/Venus is the saving grace. Yet, in either case both the gurus Jupiter and Venus, must be asessed to find the saving grace in the chart.

Graha Mahavidya Nama Mantra
Sun Matangi om matangyai namah|
Moon Bhuvanesvari om bhuvaneshvaryai namah|
Mars Bagalamukhi om bagalamukhyai namah
Mercury Parasundari om parasoundaryai nama|
Jupiter Tara om tarayai namah|
Venus Kamalatmika om kamalatmikayai namah|
Saturn Dakshinakali om dakshinakalike namah|
Rahu Chinnamasta om chinnamastayai namah|
Ketu Dhumavati om dhumavatyai namah|
Having ascertained the saving grace in the chart, the Mahavidya of the particular devata must be prescribed as worship to the native. The Mahavidya will remove the avidya experienced by the native due to the kaal sarpa/amrit yoga, and ensure the welfare of the native.

Hereunder I, the scribe, submit my personal experiences with the application of these principles, and the ‘unlocking’ of the kaal sarp yoga.

Chart 1: Vidakovic, Bojan

In the given chart, all the grahas exist between the nodes. Rahu heads the grahas, and thus the yoga is kala sarpa yoga. Rahu is placed in the lagna and being the sixth lord can show enmity and disruption within the family. Karaka for the sixth house and relatives is Mercury and is placed in the ninth from Rahu showing durbhagya and bad planning. This would especially be with regards to paternal relatives, i.e. paternal uncles, etc. and these will be mainly financial issues as Rahu is the culprit and enemy of dhanakaraka Jupiter. As a result of which though the native’s paternal family was of a considerable good standing and financially sound, they lost a considerable amount of money invested in their businesses, and their wealth was squandered on bad investments.

The timing can be ascertained from the progression of Guru. Jupiter’s vimsottari length is 16 years, and based on its placement we can progress the planets forwards or in reverse. Jupiter is placed in the tenth which will be the 16th year of the native. Progressing backwards to Ketu’s house, we will arrive at the 13th year as being that of the instigation of the kala sarpa yoga. The financial problems occurred mainly due to the inflation arising during the wars in Yugoslavia during the early 90’s, which was during the natives early teens from 12-15 years of age.

Jupiter’s house Age
Tenth 16th
Ninth 15th
Eighth 14th
Seventh 13th
This put the native’s family into a tight financial situation for a long time, and with the yoga occurring along the first/seventh house axis it also negatively affected the natives aspirations whilst growing up, leading to a more escapist and hippie-type behavior.

When the 19th year came and Jupiter progressed over Rahu, the native began taking on a more spiritual interest in life and learnt to meditate. Despite the kaal sarp yoga’s grip over the material prosperity, the Moon is placed in trines to Ketu in the natal chart and shows a strong spiritual bent of mind in the native, and shows a spiritual person gripped by issues of material instability. Though studying foreign languages and financial administration, the native left their studies prematurely due to lack of interest.

However, despite the native’s background the placement of Rahu in the ninth from arudha lagna would not deny support to him. The native’s father offered to start a joint business of selling lamps (Mars lords the eleventh from arudha lagna showing source of gains). The offer came and the business was implemented during the vimsottari period of Mercury dasa, Rahu antaradasa. The business continued for a bit over a year, but by the end of Rahu antaradasa the business had to declare financial bankruptcy. So even whilst trying to support, the negativity of the kaal sarp yoga again bound the person further into financial problems.

At this juncture the native approached this scribe seeking to move abroad in seek of greater opportunities. Though realizing that such a request could be somewhat unrealistic keeping in mind the kaal sarp yogas placement, this scribe analyzed that the next antaradasa of Jupiter looked extremely fruitful. As no planets join either of the nodes, nor the first or seventh houses, the remedy is only through the two gurus: Jupiter and Venus.

Vimsottari Dasa (started from Moon):Merc MD: 1994-03-01 (9:07:51 am)Antardasas in this MD:Merc: 1994-03-01 (9:07:51 am)Ket: 1996-07-30 (11:45:14 am)Ven: 1997-07-27 (2:40:03 pm)Sun: 2000-05-25 (1:25:06 pm)Moon: 2001-03-31 (7:18:40 am)Mars: 2002-09-03 (8:08:48 am)Rah: 2003-08-31 (11:52:45 am)Jup: 2006-03-16 (11:00:40 am)
Sat: 2008-06-22 (7:59:12 pm)

Jupiter is lord of the badhaka house promising foreign travel and being joined the ninth lord Venus in the tenth house, it promises great success in all works and the opportunity to escape the bondage of the kala sarpa yoga. The twelfth from the karaka lagna (Atmakaraka) shows the bondage experienced in this life, and being that Venus itself lords this and is joined benefic Jupiter, it promises the blessings of Vishnu to arrive in the dasa.

Jupiter is also seventh lord and being joined Atmakaraka Venus it shows an excellent wife with strong character, and blessings arising from the same. It’s quite apparent from the chart that the wife would be quite instrumental in bringing the blessings of the dasa, and that she will do so through the blessings of Jupiter – Sri Tara Mahavidya.

This scribe asked the native to wait until the dasa of Jupiter arrived before making a decision about foreign settlement. Also it was predicted that not only would foreign voyage be possible during Jupiter antarada?a, but because Venus was the second lord placed in the tenth, the native would become the head of an organization (simhasana yoga) and it would be one linked to spirituality (Atmakaraka), education/knowledge (seventh lord – Siva) and the community (fourth lord – Vishnu). The blessings of elders and preceptors was also quite apparent due to the ninth lord being joined Jupiter. However, a warning was given to the native that with all these blessings, the native may find himself travelling away from their spouse because these benefics were placed in the sixth from arudha lagna. This was quite apparent as Venus in the tenth house promotes travelling for work.

True to the prediction, 3 months into the advent of Jupiter antaradasa, the native was appointed as a principle teacher of astrology within his organization, and later went on to head the organization. He earns through his astrology practice which requires him to travel away from home for a few days of the week to tend to clients (seventh lord), of which ladies are the greatest supporters (Venus,) and students (Venus-Mercury parivartana) in the various parts of the country. With this the native was also given the opportunity to travel abroad, but instead of settling in a foreign country decided to settle in a different town south-east (Venus) from their home.

These blessings all came in full to the native due to the blessings of Sri Tara. As ascertained above, the wife could be instrumental in bringing these blessings, and for the sake of analysis the wife’s chart is presented below.

Chart 2: Vidakovic, Maja

Just as in the case of her husband, this lady also has kala sarpa yoga, showing how birds of the same feather do in fact flock together. In this case the yoga is along the fifth and eleventh house axis showing how the main issue is due to the children, supporters, etc. Jupiter is placed in the twelfth from Rahu and can show loss or a similar event occurring.

Progressing Jupiter forward in a similar manner as above, we find that Jupiter arrives at its 17th year (16 years completed) when Jupiter touches Rahu. At this juncture an unfortunate incident happened which changed the ladies views of having children. This also set the scene for the kala sarpa yoga to start and for another 12 years (Jupiter’s full progression), the native though being in a stable relationship had a highly unsettled life. The native travelled a lot during this time but was finding it difficult to settle down in one place, and issues of income also were great concerns.

Saturn is joined Rahu and as a remedy also shows the following of sorrow afterwards, and hence cannot be advised as a remedy. Four planets join in the lagna, and do show the opportunity for the remedy, but this also forms pravrajya yoga and can cause the native to renounce life all together. Jupiter is the only one fit to really break the k?la sarpa yoga, and the native was advised by her Guru to take up the worship or Sri Ekajati Mahavidya– one aspect of Tara

The lady took up the worship very seriously and through continuous and intense worship she got married and settled down in her 27th year, despite several financial concerns on the husband’s part. She did this following the completion of a university degree which had taken her seven years to finish. One year later the yoga reached its completion when in her 28th year, after almost the full circle of 12 years from the yoga’s instigation, she was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, who was symbolically named ‘Tara’.

The natives 29th year arrived about 3 months back, with the pleasant news of new and stable property, good financial standing and happy family life, showing how the kaal sarpa yoga’s full circle of 12 years has been completed.

Chart 3: Krgovic, Zeljko

The native of the given chart is also born with kala sarpa yoga. All planets are between the nodes, and Rahu leads the pack. Rahu is in the ninth house, and we can infer that the main issues will be that of 1) father, 2) dharma, 3) guru, 4) luck/bhagya and 5) education. Rahu is the Atmakaraka as well, and a strong spiritual bent on life will be seen through the kala sarpa yoga.

The Sun is the karaka for father and is placed in the ninth from Rahu. This doesn’t show loss, but can show problems in the relationship with father, and Rahu specifically highlights the issue being due to not listening to or rejecting father’s advice. Further, Rahu is involved in the conjunction with three other planets, among which two are the dire malefics Mars and Saturn, showing that the relationship with father can also be colored by anger (Mars) and sorrow (Saturn) respectively. As a result of which the native had considerable disagreements and fights with their father, mainly on topics of livelihood. Many of which the native was quite headstrong in his decisions, and let to more problems. These planets are notably in the fifth from arudha lagna showing that the native can attract wrong support and associations in life.

Thankfully the trinal placement of the Sun promises no break in the relationship between the native and their father, but since Rahu is the Atmakaraka it can also show that a considerable shock may be experienced by the native during these times, and will mark a change in attitude of the native… The lessons of the Atmakaraka are always learnt well, after which the native either accepts their punishment and becomes God-fearing, or refuses to accept their punishment and become vengeful and bitter towards the world and God.

Jupiter is the karaka for Guru and higher education and is joined Rahu and the other malefics. This can show differences with the Guru as well as disjointed education and particularly in matters of character, health and personality, which will be the main issues of the native. Here it should be learnt that our close friends, loved ones and even the worst enemies hold no flaws as they also are souls living a material existence. Instead the flaw is in our own karma, which causes us to experience the karmic punishments through our mutual associations with each other.

Jupiter is joined the node, and shows that the 16th year itself can instigate the kala sarpa yoga. During this time the native had been quite unruly, and the influence of friends as well as the disinterest in education and other related matters took to a new height.

The eighth lord from Atmakaraka shows the punishment of Siva, and in this case is Jupiter who is afflicted in the mentioned yoga. The sixth lord from Atmakaraka shows the sins which created us and acts like Brahma in the chart. When the two are joined in a malefic yoga, it surely promises swift and intense punishment due to our own failings, just as Siva burnt one of Brahmas heads when Brahma was committing the sin of taking his own daughter as a wife.

The effects will definitely be felt on the native since Jupiter is also lagna lord. The years of the planets joined Rahu will reveal some important incidents:

Mars rules the 7th year (vimsottari), and its higher multiple is the 14th year (2×7) was when the native had an ear operation and later some severe stomach problems (Leo) which till today are undiagnosed.

Saturn rules the 19th year (vimsottari length – Brahma) during which the native was hit by a car, and then hospitalized for 3 weeks (Mars), and then was bedridden for 3 months at home. Saturn and Mars with the nodes inevitably gives physical suffering from the effects of the Sarpa Dosa. Specifically Saturn is the stranglehold of the snake as Mars is its bite. The most severe damage was to the hand (3rd/9th axis affects hands and legs, especially when Saturn or Rahu afflict the Sun) which required considerable amount of surgery to bring back some of its function.

When Jupiter progressed over Ketu, the native’s life took a turn for the better. This was during the natives 22nd year during which he began meditating, and became very spiritual and God fearing. However, with all the malefics in the ninth house, the adharma they caused was surely going to continue the bad luck in his life. This showed up in problems in getting stable employment, and the native gave up his education as well.

Notably education is of considerable issue in cases of kala sarpa yoga, as the karaka for the higher education is Jupiter, who is a dire enemy to Rahu.

Luckily the native was given initiation into the worship of Sri Tara in his 27th year, after considerable worship with guru-mantra over one year’s time. Following the initiation into Tara sadhana, the native is now the main bread earner in the family, and runs a stable astrology consultation practice along with teaching. He has regained much of the strength of his hands. He has also entered into a long term relationship, and recently his 28th year has also begun coinciding with the hope of the entering into a more permanent bond. Today he is married, well settled in his astrology career and has a son.

Chart 4: Larsen, Branka

The planets reside between the nodes in this case, yet unlike the previous cases Ketu leads the planets thus forming kala amrit yoga. This is formed along the second/eighth house axis showing the bondage being mainly that of money, family, debts, inheritance, disease, deaths, etc.

The native’s family saw considerable sorrow during the Yugoslavian wars, particularly including the loss of mother, paternal grandmother and grandfather. Due to the same war a large land-inheritance had been deprived of the native. We see that from the fourth lord Jupiter, Rahu in the twelfth from it shows some type of loss. Mars in the eighth from the fourth house can suggest loss of land or property.

Ketu is the head of the yoga and being in the second and having the karakas for wealth (Jupiter) and family (Moon) in the eighth from it showed the particular issues arising. Just as in the previous cases again the education was delayed as it took seven years to complete it.

Where we used Jupiter to specifically time the length and major events of the kaal sarpa yoga, we will use Venus for the same purpose in the case of kaal amrit yoga. Venus is joined Rahu showing that the 20th year was a major highlight in the person’s life, or the 14th year when Venus progressed over Ketu. It was in the 14th year when the native lost their mother during the raging wars in Croatia.

Ketu is in the sixth from Amakaraka Jupiter, showing that the reason for these issues are due to inherent ripu/sin. Ketu is also the fourth lord from Jupiter showing that the anger of the divine mother also played an important role in the family’s devastation. Jupiter is lagna lord as well, and with a planet in the sixth from it, it does show that these incidents left a scar on this lady’s memories, as she had been instrumental in discovering her mother’s remains.

Venus is also the only planet breaking the kaal amrit yoga by being joined one of the nodes, showing the sister, aunt or even of marriage are important ties to ensure the bonds of the kaal amrit yoga are broken. Thankfully the maternal aunt played the role of a supporting mother and also helped the lady engage in more spiritual practices; showing how Venus always played an important role in breaking the bonds of the kaal amrit and leading a more spiritually aware life.

Yet, the native did not live close to their aunt and was required to travel to keep this connection alive. A large spiritual support group (spiritual family-second house) was instead instrumental in her further spiritual awakening.

However, it was not until one year before the full cycle of 12 years reached its completion in her 25th year, when she met her husband to be. The lady was given initiation into Sri Kamalatmika Sadhana in her 25th year, and subsequently one month after completing the first 40 days of sadhana, the lady met her husband to be. Venus receives digbala from the arudha lagna, and thus the south-eastern direction would be very auspicious to travel in. She did so and after one and a half year she was proposed to and married in her 27th year. Her financial insecurities were then solved, and she has seen a much happier relationship with her family due to her marital bond.

Chart 5: Author

Tales of the kaal sarpa/amrit yoga are always best told through personal experience. As seen from the chart of this scribe, all the planets are placed between Rahu and Ketu, and Ketu leads the pack of planets causing kala amrita yoga. The yoga occurs along the third/ninth axis showing that the issues of dharma, father, higher education and thus career would be the problem, just as in the third case example. Just as in the previous case Sun is in trines to Rahu in the ninth showing that the native would disregard the father’s advice, yet be very respectful towards father as Atmakaraka is in the ninth house.

Mars and Saturn don’t influence the ninth through conjunction, but ninth lord is joined Saturn showing disappointment on part of the father. This scribe after completing his secondary education was unmotivated to continue his studies. Instead he sought to further his understanding of spirituality, and was considering all other studies as useless. The fourth house is the seat of formal (apara) studies and its lord Saturn is combust by its conjunction with the Sun in navamsa. Since Rahu also lords the fourth house in rasi the scene is set for disillusionment in formal studies, especially since the karaka Mercury is placed in the fourth (education/studies) from Rahu.

The issues took its height in his 21st year (Venus progression over Ketu), where after completing a mediocre year in software programming, this scribe decided to discontinue his studies and learn Jyotish and other occult studies, much to the parents dismay. Here we see that whilst the formal studies (fourth house) discontinued, instead the informal ones (fifth house) continued. Fifth lord is Jupiter joined Mercury which is a yoga for learning from the tradition (Jupiter). This occurs in the twelfth house and the native travelled abroad to learn Jyotish and tour the world for conferences. Mercury and Jupiter are the twelfth and sixth lords from Atmakaraka and shows the blessings of Vishnu and Brahma would be on the native in this pursuit, but the involvement of Brahma shows that this decision was made out of weakness, and that this scribe at that time felt burdened by his formal studies and sought to avoid the harsh truth that he had made some large blunders in his studies.

Unfortunately, Rahu is in the sixth from arudha lagna and being the Atmakaraka can make a person take very strong and fanatical stands with the excuse of God and spirituality as their backing.

During the sabbatical this scribe was fortunate enough to learn various sadhanas which he practiced diligently under his Guru’s guidance. Rahu in the ninth house as Atmakaraka will always protect the Guru, just as Saturn Atmakaraka in the lagna will always ensure strong spiritual ideals and make the person a brahmana doing good for society. These sadhanas were taught to this scribe with specific focus on breaking the kala amrita yoga in his chart.

Here is the analysis of these remedies:
Agni sadhana: Sun represents the deity Agni according to Parashara, and among the planets breaking the kala amrita yoga, only Sun in the lagna is doing so. During this time the native understood the need for him to write articles more seriously and compile them for the sake of teaching. Sun is the tenth lord and thus knowledge of karmayoga is granted as a result. As Agni is the Adhi-devata of the Sun, it promises the beginning/initiation (adhi=first) of all works/karma.

Bagalamukhi sadhana: Mars represents the deity Bagalamukhi and with the exchange between Sun in the lagna and Mars in the tenth house, the native was initiated into this sadhana to imbibe this scribe with more discipline and character. It was a tough sadhana but paid of in a great way to give this scribe a better direction in life, especially in matters of education and career. It was due to this sadhana that the native became more settled in life and also decided to finish his education.

In matters of the ninth house and education Jupiter’s blessings are required. When progressed Jupiter arrived at Rahu during the 25th year, this scribe entered into a serious relationship and felt the need to complete his formal studies. A book was also written and published during this time, and a stable astrological practice continued as a result. This scribe married one year later and is doing very well in his studies seeking to finish in the near future.

The full completion of Venus’ twelve year cycle of the kala amrita yoga is expected to come in the 32nd year of this scribe.

Endnote on Kaal Sarp Yoga and Kaal Amrit Yoga
As evident, most of the cases of kala amrita/sarpa yoga cause delays and in some few cases also a complete denial of professional pursuit, until the issue is remedied. The cases cited above are the lucky ones, whilst many soul’s lives are quite trapped by the yoga and have yet to find any relief or stability in their life as a result. Due to the intense grasp of the nodes on the chart, some say that the leading node in the yoga (Rahu for kala sarpa, and Ketu for kala amrita) act as a temporary Atmakaraka until the yoga reaches its culmination.

It should be observed however that the kala sarpa/amrita yoga actually eclipses the soul/Atmakaraka temporarily and for this reason the Atmakaraka appears to be one of the nodes. In fact what is really happening is that just as Vishnu upholds the Atma in the form of an Atmalinga and sustains its existence, Ananta/Sesa naga upholds Vishnu. Thus just as if Vishnu were to remove the sustenance of the atma, it would die, so also if Ananta were to turn his head away then even Vishnu the Ista devata cannot help. This is the essence of the kala sarpa/amrita yoga.

Ananta is worshipped by ALL the Mahavidya, hence all those planets joined the nodes, or first/seventh houses actually are the Mahavidya helping the native out of the grasp of the kaal sarpa/amrit yoga. Worship of the Mahavidya is thus essential to ensure the foundation for good things to come in life. The native sees their worship of the Ista devata prospering and all the happiness in life is secured.

Taking this knowledge to heart we must realize the importance of our own mother in flesh and blood, and how her blessing is in fact a manifestation of the Mahavidya through our karma. So do well in remembering your mother once in a while and asking for her blessing. om matre namah.

||om tat sat||

Courtesy:- SJC Guru Visti Larsen - Personal Guru and excellent Astrologer



The student of vedic astrology comes across the word ‘karaka’ quite often in various contexts. In fact most standard texts devote an entire chapter for the ‘karaka’ . For instance Parasara’s magnum opus the ‘Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra’ has an entire chapter titled ‘kaarakaadhyaaya’ . Even the dasa delineation depends on how accurately one identifies all the karakas involved. Every prediction is based on these karakatwas. In fact any successful astrologer will tell you that your understanding of the chart is directly proportional to how thorough your knowledge of the karakas and their appropriate use is.

The word Karaka means a ‘significator’ or “one who causes”. Karaka of a matter is the significator of that particular matter and signifies / causes events related to that matter. Significators can be classified according to various criteria.

Significations may be Natural or Acquired
Natural significations of planets are permanent or fixed in a way and are based on their innate nature. For instance Sun is the karaka for the soul, Moon for the mind, Mercury for the intellect, Mars for courage and Jupiter for children. The detailed natural significations for various planets are given elsewhere.

Planets acquire the power to signify a matter by virtue of their lordships and positions too. These significations are Acquired and change in each chart. For instance the lord of the first house (who ever the planet maybe) acquires signification over all the matters governed by that house. Likewise the second lord acquires signification over matters governed by the second house such as speech, possessions, food/diet etc. The detailed l significations for various houses are given elsewhere.

Acquired or Temporary or Variable karakatwas of planets are defined in another way too in Jaimini system. The Charakarakas of Jaimini are discussed elsewhere in this article.

The above is the simplest and most basic approach to a karaka. As the student progresses, he/she will come across a more in-depth approach to the concept of karakas.

In accordance with tradition, Somanatha Misra writes in Kalpalata (his vrtti on the Jaimini Sutras ) that Karakas are of many kinds ( Kaarakaa bahu vidhaah ) and then deals with the following

Five kinds of karakas
• Karaka

• Atmakaraka

• Swakaraka

• Dasakaraka and

• Bhavakaraka.

Among these five, Jain astrologers are said to favour Atmakaraka and Swakaraka . Atmakaraka is the most favoured planet in Jaimini system and its extensive use is a unique feature of Jaimini astrology.

Swakaraka is the most dependable of all in determining the results of a chart though one should study the chart with reference to other kinds of karakas too. I will deal with the ‘swakaraka’ later. First let me define each of these karakas.


Atmakaraka is the planet that has advanced to the highest degree in any sign. I have written more on the charakarakas and atmakaraka elsewhere in this article.


Dasakaraka is the planet whose influence is prominent during a particular dasa. The lord of the dasa (in a planetary dasa) is the single most influential planet for that particular dasa. But planets conjunct or aspecting or aspected by the dasa lord too influence the dasa. In a rasi dasa, planets in that rasi as well planets involved in aspects with the rasi also determine the results. All such planets become the Dasa karakas in some manner though the Dasa lord is the single most influential planet as the Dasakaraka. Simply put for most practical purposes Dasakaraka is the planet whose dasa is operating.


Bhavakaraka is the significator of a house. Bhavakarakas are of two kinds:

Permanent ( Nitya ) and Temporary ( Anitya )

Nitya (Permanent) bhavakarakas :

The permanent significators for the twelve houses are fixed for all charts. Hence the name Nitya indicating ‘permanent’. These are:

1 st house: Sun

2 nd : Jupiter

3 rd : Mars

4 th : Moon, Mercury

5 th : Jupiter

6 th : Mars, Saturn

7 th : Venus

8 th : Saturn

9 th : Sun, Jupiter

10 th : Sun, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter

11 th : Jupiter

12 th : Saturn

Though the above list is supported by standard works such as Phala Deepika, Sarvartha Chintamani, Jataka Parijata etc, Parasara mentions only one planet as the significator for a house. According to the BPHS only Moon is considered for the 4th house, Mars for the 6 th , Jupiter for the ninth and Mercury for the tenth. Who is correct? Depending on the context both versions are correct. For instance Mars is the significator for the sixth if one is referring to enemies. But for other general indications Saturn is also appropriate.

Anitya (Temporary) bhavakarakas:

As already stated a temporary significator of a bhava (house) is a planet that acquires the power to signify matters governed by that house by virtue of its lordship, position, aspects etc in the chart under question. So the lord of the second house, planets in the second house and planets aspecting, all these become the bhavakarakas for the second house in a particular chart.

Jaimini makes a distinction between Sthira (Fixed) and Chara (Variable) karakas.


As indicated by the name, these significations of a planet are fixed or permanent in nature. For instance Sun is the karaka for the soul, Moon for the mind, Mercury for the intellect, Mars for courage and Jupiter for children. These are to be learnt from other standard texts. Most texts agree on a majority of the common significations in a general way. The detailed natural significations for various planets, based on standard texts, are given in another article. Here I will confine myself to a few important differences.

Generally it is acceptable to take the Sun as the karaka for father and Moon for the mother. But certain authorities make a distinction between night and day births.

In Brihat Jataka, Varahamihira suggests that Sun is the significator for father and Venus for mother in case of day birth. Likewise Saturn is the significator for father and Moon for mother for night births. Parasara has something else to suggest though it has no distinction between day and night births. The stronger one between Sun and Venus is the significator for father, while the stronger one between Moon and Mars is the significator for mother.

My own observation is that Varahamihira is more accurate in this regard. One thing should be kept in mind though. In spite of considering Venus and Saturn too for the mother and father according to day or night birth the general signification of Sun for father and Moon for mother should not be ignored. It works well in practice.

As for Parasara’s suggestion, it could be reframed. Though it does not seem appropriate to take the stronger one between Sun and Venus for father, Venus does have a role in another way. Venus is the significator for ‘shukla’ or ‘semen’ and in that sense indicates the male fecundity factor. Likewise Mars is the significator for ‘sonita’ and in that sense indicates the female fecundity factor at least. Perhaps this may have a bearing on the conception chart. Since no valid research or study has been done on conception charts by anyone so far, I will not speculate.

It is accepted by all that that Venus is the karaka for ‘beeja’ (seed) and Mars for the ‘kshetra’ (field), a concept that has been used by Mantreswara in calculating the ‘beeja sphuta’ and ‘kshetra sphuta’ in assessing the fecundity/fertility factor. The sphuta is calculated in a male chart by adding the longitudes of Sun, Venus and Jupiter. In a female chart it is done by adding the longitudes of Moon, Mars and Jupiter. Jupiter is the fixed karaka for children for all charts. Additionally Sun, Venus for males and Moon, Mars for females are taken by Mantreswara in accordance with the above mentioned logic. Parasara’s suggestion too could be founded on a similar principle and could be useful in a different context. But for all general purposes SOME believe Varahamihira is more acceptable while the standard significations of Sun for father and Moon for mother should be kept in mind at all times.