The asthakavargas is a unique way of dividing each of the 12 rasis into eight sub divisions, based on the influence of the lagna and the 7 main planets on these 12 rasis. Rahu & Ketu are omitted in asthakavargas. Based on their individual positions in a horoscope, the lagna and the 7 main planets, contribute certain positive and negative influences on the 12 signs of the horoscope. These influences are called bindus and rekhas, which are positive and negative points. There is a confusion and controversy between South Indians and North Indians about the bindus and rekhas and which of them is benific and malefic. So lets simply call them positive points and negative points to avoid confusion.
For AV purpose each rasi is divided into 8 parts called Kakshas. Each kaksha has a span of 3:45′. The 1st kaksha of each rasi is ruled by saturn, the 2nd by jupiter, 3rd by mars, 4th by sun, 5th by venus, 6th by mercury, the 7th by moon and the 8th by the lagna. Mainly 3 types of Ashtakavarga charts are used to study the effects of the planets.
The 1st type are the Bhinnashtakavarga charts, prepared for the lagna and the 7 planets – total 8 charts are made. In the picture above we have given the Bhinnashtakavarga chart of sun – to the left side. The rasis are marked horizontally by the respective rasi numbers, i.e., 1 for Aries, 2 for Taurus etc. The 8 Kakshas are to be seen vertically. A Bhinnashtakavarga kaksha of any rasi can contain only one point. If a positive point is contributed by any planet in a kaksha it is marked by 1, if a negative one then by 0. So we can see that in the chart of the Bhinnashtakavarga of sun, in the sign Aries (under 1), saturn has contributed a positive point in the first kaksha, jupiter has contributed a negative point in the 2nd kaksha and so on. The total positive points contributed in Aries are 4. We can see the other signs similarly. The Bhinnashtakavarga charts of planets are very useful to study the transit effects of planets. For example sun transits a rasi for one month. But the results he gives are not uniform throughout the month. He produces good results while transiting the Kakshas where there is a positive point and if negative point is there he gives bad results. In this case while transiting the 1st kaksha of Aries, from 0 degrees to 3:45′, he gives good results as saturn has contributed a positive point there. In the next kaksha, from 3:45 to 7:30′, where there is a negative point contributed by jupiter, he gives bad results. As Aries has 4 positive and 4 negative points in suns BAV chart, suns transit results in Aries for the native of this chart are 50% good and 50% bad. When the sun transits Libra for one month its results are very bad as it has only 2 positive points. Suns transit of Sagittarius is the best with 6 PP. So a rasi with 4 good points gives medium results, better with more and worse with less.The good or bad effects will have a relation with the planet contributing the point, either positive or negative. They will have a link to its nature, house ownership etc.
In similar fashion with the help of the BAV charts of the other planets we can study their transit effects.The sarvasthakavarga chart, to the right of suns BAV chart, is the combined detailed summary of how many positive points each of the 7 planets and lagna are contributing in all the rasis.
The Samudaya Ashtakavarga chart bellow gives a brief at a glance idea of how many total good points are there in each house. Houses with 25 or more produce good results when planets transit them. If the points are below 25 then the results are negative.
Ashtakavarga has many more applications. While analyzing the effects of a house, by studying how many total good and bad points are there, contributed by which planets, etc give several clues about the house effects. While studying the effects of a planet placed in a particular house, by studying in how many degrees he is placed in that house and in which planets kaksha, the points contributed by the planets in the kaksha, give us us predictive clues as to the planets nature results etc. Ashtakavarga is also employed to study longevity of a native by doing several complicated mathematical calculations and by doing trikona reductions etc. Even for those who know astrology, the Ashtakavarga is an advanced application.
After analyzing the strengths and conditions etc of the planets, one is in a position to know what kind of results they are going to give. But when the results are going to fructify can be learnt only by studying the dasas and the transits of the planets.
The dasas are the ruling periods of planets. There are more than 50 different types of Dasha systems, but the most popular and accurate one is the Vimshottari Dasha system. We are explaining this system.
At the time of your birth, the star constellation in which your moon is placed in your birth chart, and the degrees in which it is placed, determines which dasas will be in operation during your life. The following chart illustrates, as per your nakshatra, the dasa with which your life starts, the span of each dasa and the sequence of dasas.
Sun Dasha is 6 years
Moon Dasha is 10 years
Mars Dasha is 7 years
Rahu Dasha is 18 years
Jupiter Dasha is 16 years
Saturn Dasha is 19 years
Mercury Dasha is 17 years
Ketu Dasha is 7 years
Venus Dasha is 20 years
As the Vimshottari dasa follows a 120 year cycle one will not experience the mahadasa of all the planets in ones life. Depending on by how many degrees, moon has traveled in the nakshatra at the time of birth, the first dasa gets reduced proportionately. In every mahadasa of a planet there are sub divisional dasas of other planets called Antardasas. The first antardasa is that of the mahadasa planet, followed by the other planets in sequence. Following the same principle, the antardasas are further sub divided into Pratyantardasas and so on till we can arrive at the dasas at a daily basis or even hourly basis. The chart of the dasas of the example horoscope, given here to the left illustrates this.
The predictions and the timing of events is done by taking into account the planets involved in the dasa, the antardasa, pratyantardasa etc., their strengths, nature etc. as studied before. The following principles are kept in mind while analyzing a horoscope for dasa effects.
Let us say that we want to see when the native will get a house. The 4th house rules the house and property related matters. Hence examine the 4th lord, in whose house he is placed, with whom he is placed, who is aspecting him. Then examine the planets placed in the 4th house or the planets aspecting the 4th house. Then the placement of the above in the Vargas, their strengths etc and whether well placed in houses or not and whether involved in any raja yoga combinations etc. When the native is going through the dasa or antardasas of any of these favorably placed planets, good results for the house can be expected.However the timing of event cannot be done only on the basis of dasa. The Gochara or the transit of planets must also be studied. Some times in spite of favourable results, if the Gochara is very adverse then the favourable results may not take place and vice versa.
Prashna or Horary Astrology
The Prashna branch is another unique division of Vedic Astrology. When a person asks a question to an astrologer, based on the time at which the question is asked, a horoscope is made for that time and date. With the help of this chart the astrologer predicts about the events that are going to take place. There are several types of Prashna systems and it is almost a separate science by itself. Normally the Prashna chart is studied along with the birth chart to give an additional dimension to predict the results correctly.
Gochara or Transits
The Gochara or the constant transits of the planets in the zodiac is the other instrument used by the astrologers to time an event. The position of the planets in your birth chart is fixed. These planetary placement and the dasas you are going through as per your birth chart give you one set of parameters to judge the events. At the same time the planets in heaven are constantly on the move. At any given time how these planets are positioned vis-à-vis the 12 houses and the 9 planets in your chart also has a major bearing on your destiny. It is said that the natal chart and the dasas are what you have inherited from your past and the gochara is the interplay of the present with your past. The 1st, and the most important study of the positions of the 9 planets transiting in the zodiac, is done from the janma rasi or the position of the moon in ones natal chart. After that their positions from all other planets, houses etc of ones birth chart. Based on these positions, the gochara shastras give the detailed results.
Let me explain this with the help of the example chart and the Gochara planetary position chart as on today, 16-4-03.
For the native of this chart as shown in the picture above, the gochara planetary positions as shown in the charts below, is as follows.
His Janma rasi, or the sign in which his moon is positioned in the birth chart (above), is kumbha or Aquarius. In the gochara chart (below) sun is positioned in Aries or Mesha. Hence counted from his Janma rasi, sun is in the third house in gochara. Similarly mercury is also in the 3rd from his natal moon. Rahu is in the 4th from moon, saturn in the 5th, jupiter in the 6th, moon in the 8th, Ketu in the 10th, mars in the 12th and venus is in the Janma rasi. Similarly note the positions of these planets from his lagna, i.e., sun and mercury in the 6th etc. Similarly the positions of the 9 gochara planets from the natal position of sun, then mars, then mercury etc.