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UNDERSTANDING THE PECULIARITIES OF VIMSHOTTARI DASHA
DR E S NEELAKANTAN

The dasha systems used in Vedic Astrology ,have as their primary purpose ,detecting the time of occurrence of events. Eventhough Maharishi Parasara, who put the astrological fraternity under an ocean of debt, by expounding subtle astrological precepts through his magnum opus Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra ,has outlined several dasha systems ,he chose to give the pride of place to the Vimshottari dasha system, mainly due to its efficacy in the age we live in (Kaliyuga) where evil deeds far outweigh good ones. ‘Proof of the pudding lies in the eating”- goes the oft repeated English adage. A large number of Astrologers as well as students of Astrology and users swear by Vimshottari dasa system.

Three factors account for the success of Vimshottari Dasa
i) It is fairly Simple and easy to comprehend.
ii) It gives correct results.
iii) It is more acceptable to users than other systems.

Though some Astrologers find Jamini Chara Dasa and Kalachakra dasa to be useful, in practice it is found that these dasha systems are secondary and more often used to supplement the lacuna in adoption of Vimshottara dasa, especially when the events in a person’s life seem to contradict the astrological indications.
The principal factors which influence the results of a dasha are (i) intrinsic qualities of the planet. (ii) placement from lagna. (iii) Relationship with other planets. (iv) Relationship with bukthi lord and (v) strength of the dasha lord
Before we proceed further, we need to understand what the word “relationship” means in an astrological sense or rather, how two planets could be related. Planetary relationships are of five types :
(1) Mutual aspect.
(2) Conjunction
(3) Mutual interchange.
(4) Being in quadrants to each other.
(5) Being in trines to each other.

The dasha lord is like a sovereign king while the bukthi lord is like an obedient courtier. If both are benevolent and have good relationship, then good results alone accrue. Two factors tend to influence the results of directional influences :
(i) Inherent qualities of dasha lord and bukthi lord.
(ii) Mutual relationship between dasha lord and bukthi lord.
The lords of 2 and 12 are considered “neutral” lords by writers of Astrology. As such the dasha of the 2nd or 12th lord will partake the nature of their sign dispositors. Let us say the lord of 12th is in the 10th while the 10th lord is in 9. The dasha of the 12th lord will prove auspicious as the sign dispositor (the 10th lord) is in an auspicious house.
Planets in 2/12 axis or 6/8 axis are considered as functional enemies or at least as “non- cooperative” planets. When the dasha and the bukthi lords occupy 2/12 or 6/8 axis, then their conjoined periods could give both good and bad results. The author of “Uttarakalamritam” has carved out an exception in the case of Venus and Saturn. These two planets tend to generate auspicious results when they occupy either the 6/8 axis or the 2/12 axis. Apparently, the natural friendship between Venus and Saturn compensates adequately for the lacuna in establishing a functional relationship. Further functional enmity between Venus and Saturn is actually desirable as Venus rules over comforts and Saturn rules over grief.The Sun and the Moon do not become malefic even if they own the 8th house. Some scholars in Astrology opine that neither ownership nor occupation of the 8th could be a detrimental factor for the Sun or the Moon to deliver auspicious results. Even if planets are strongly placed in auspicious houses, one will not tend to get the desired benefit unless the dashas operate at the appropriate time. The author of Laghu Parasari makes a satirical remark when he says ; “ Mules in Kashmir carry bundles of saffron on their back . They only experience the weight of saffron; the fragrance is of little use to them” (Laghu Parasari ,verse 78).Unless good dashas operate at the appropriate age ,the effects may not match one’s expectations.

In a particular sequence the dasha of a planet becomes inauspicious :
(i) If the 4th dasha is that of Saturn.
(ii) If the 5th dasha is that of Mars.
(iii) The 6th dasha is that of Jupiter.

The dasha of a planet which is headed towards exaltation is considered auspicious while the one heading towards debilitation proves inauspicious. According to Jataka Tattwa, the bukthi of the Jamini Atmakaraka proves inauspicious. The dasha of the planet owing the 3rd, 5th or 7th houses from Janma Nakshtra is considered to be inauspicious. When the lagna lord also happens to be the 6th or 8th lord, the benevolence attributable to its ownership over lagna will overpower the evil effects of ownership of a dustana. As such these planets should be considered should be considered as benefics , par excellence. Examples are Mars for Scorpio lagna and Venus for Libra lagna . A planet related to the Yogakaraka yields auspicious results in its dasha or bukthi . The dasha of an exalted planet proves inauspicious if it is debilitated in navamsa. Conversely a debilitated planet generates auspicious results while in an exalted navamsa . Planets give very good results if they have lots of bindus in their Ashtakavarga chart. The dasha of the 2nd or 7th lord from a bhava proves to be a Maraka dasha (killer dasha) and leads to destruction of the bhava. Rahu and Ketu tend to become auspicious if they get related to benefic planets or Yogakarakas and occupy quadrants or trines. Even if a planet is debilitated or combusted, the said planet will give good results in the second half of its dasha provided it occupies a benefic rasi or navamsa. Even a malefic planet will yield good results in its dasha or bukthi if it is related to a Yogakaraka.

A controversial view is canvassed by Kalidasa in Uttarakalamrita . If Venus and Saturn are both strong, being in exaltation, Vagottama or swakshetra and both equally powerful to cause a yoga then in their mutual dasha and bukthi, even a king equivalent to Lord Kubera would become a beggar seeking alms (Ibid , VI/29). In other words, strength of Venus and Saturn compled with a friendly mutual relationship is harmful, according to the author. This view of Kalidasa though appearing to be paradoxical is widely supported and favoured by learned scholars of Astrology, eventhough it runs contrary to the established theory on the subject.As mentioned earlier Kalidasa relies on the

The universally accepted view is that the dasha of the lagna lord is the best dasha that could possibly operate in a person’s life. The lagna lord is undoubtedly the foremost of the functional benefics in a chart. The apprehension Saturn would do harm is unfounded unless the dasha of Saturn has the trappings of a functional malefic in a chart. Venus dasha is supposedly one of the best dashas that can operate in one’s life but it should, in order to deliver best results neither have functional malefic content nor the evil attributable to Kendradipathya dosha. Saturn and Moon deliver their effects at the fag end of their dasha , Jupiter and Venus in the middle , Sun and Mars at their start, while Mercury could give its effects anytime in its dasha. There is a mistaken notion that Kuja dosha would operate only in Kuja dasha whereas the truth is that Kuja dosha can operate even at the Anthra or bukthi level or in the period or sub period of a related planet. The effect of weak planet , though benefic , is felt only in thoughts and dreams while the effects of Pancha Mahapurusha yogas are felt in the dasha of the concerned planets.Planets in “Seershodaya” signs give their effects in the beginning , those in “Prushtodaya” signs at the end while those in “Ubayodaya” signs give results in their middle. (By “ Prushtodaya” we mean Aries ,Taurus,Cancer,Saggittarius and Capricorn; ”Ubayodaya” refers to Gemini and Pisces;rest are “Seershodaya”) Mantreswara in Phaladeepika says that one should pronounce verdict on the outcome of a dasha after studying the principles laid down by Kalyana Varma in Saravali and the concepts discussed in Varahamihra Hora sastra . Saravali, Brihat Jataka and Phaladeepika are the Holy Grail for a scholar who wishes to divine the effects of a planet in its dasha.

The dasha of the 11th lord is good for wealth, not health. Since 11th is the 8th to the 4th house , it is bad for one’s mother. When Jupiter is in 7th house, its dasha at a younger age would give marriage ; if it comes in old age it would give maraka effects. Care should be taken to predict when Jupiter would give marriage and and when it would give death . Merely because a planet is a Maraka does not mean it would terminate life wherever it operates. The effects of a Maraka planet should be spelt out only after assessment of longevity through Pindayurdaya method. Even a weak planet could produce beneficial results if it is placed in an auspicious house such as 5 or 9, whereas the dasha of an exalted planet appears fruitless while occupying 6,8 or12.

One theoretical question I wish to raise and answer here . All dashas put together come to 120 years. If a person lives for more than 120 years what happens? The answer is that the dasha sequence repeats itself. It is said that in the birth chart of Sri Krishna, who was born in Rohini star, Mars is both a Maraka as well as a natural malefic. Sri Krishna lived up to a ripe old age. His Mars dasha should have operated while he was very young as it immediately follows Moon dasha. Sri Krishna had an accidental death (denoted by Mars) when Mars was operating in the second cycle. This means he should have lived for a few more years after completing the first full cycle of a Vimshottari dasha period of 120 years.

Śrī Kṛiṣhṇa Deva Rāya was an Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire who reigned from 1509–1529 CE. .He had a renowned courtier by name Tenali Rama.Tenali Rama remains one of the most popular folk figures in India today, a quick-witted courtier ready even to outwit the all-powerful emperor.By spinning a story around these two great personalities I will attempt to explain how dasha lords and bukthi lords function when they are related/unrelated to each other so that a serious subject like Astrology could be understood as easily as a Tenali Rama tale.

1. Both King Krishnadevaraya (symbolizing dasha lord) and Minister Tenali Rama (symbolizing bukthi lord ) are in court and attending to routine matters. All their decisions are properly taken and correctly implemented. When dasha lord and bukthi lord are both benefics and related to each other good results occur. If unrelated, comparatively lesser good results occur. Summing up,when dasha lord and bukthi lord are both benefics,good reluts occur ,whether or not thay are related.

2(a)King Krishnadevaraya is not in his best of moods. A “thief” is brought for trial and the king orders execution of the thief. Unfortunately for the “thief” Tenali Rama is on tour and and though really innocent, the “thief” has to face the consequences of a wrong order by the king. When dasha lord is a malefic, unrelated to the benefic bukthi lord , bad results occur.

2(b)In the above case let us assume Tenali Rama has just returned from his tour and the trial is on.By listening to the submissions Tenali Rama can judge the innocence of the thief.He is able to convince the king who immediately orders the release of the accused. A malefic dasha lord related to a benefic bhukthi lord yields good results or at least tones down the evil results,the reason being the ability of the benefic bukti lord to mitigate the malefic effects of the dasha lord due to the relationship that exists between them.

3.(a)Tenali Rama is on tour and another jealous person is deputing for him as minister. Some people who wish to have a tank dug for drinking water approach the king. They are upset as the minister deputing for Tenali Rama is an evil minded person and capable of sabotaging their plans. Fortunately they get a personal meeting with king Krishnadevaraya and he immediately orders that a tank be dug for the use of villagers. When the dasha lord is a benefic unrelated to a malefic bhukthi lord, good results occur.

3(b).A poet is summoned by king Krishnadevaraya. He orders that one hundred gold coins be given to the poet. The jealous minister intervenes and raises doubts about the poem. He tells the king that there are certain grammatical fallacies and requests the king to reconsider his decision. King Krishnadevaraya is in a fix but does not wish to offend either the minister or the poet. He orders that fifty gold coins be given to the poet . If the dasha lord is a benefic and related to a malefic bukthi lord, good results of a reduced nature accrue.
4. After the reign of Krishnadevaraya, the kingdom fell into the hands of the kings who were not interested in the well being of subjects. Astute ministers like Tenali Rama were hardly seen. Decision making became bad and subjects had to suffer. When dasha lord and bukthi lord are both malefic , bad results occur , irrespective of whether the dasha and bukthi lords are related or not.

5. (a) Let us assume that king Krishnadevaraya is going to hand over death penalty for a crime to the accused. If the “crime” is based on false accusation, then ideally the accused should go scot free. A minister like Tenali Rama could ensure justice. If Tenali Rama were on tour, the death penalty would get confirmed. Compare Tenali Rama to a Yogakaraka. If dasha lord is a malefic unconnected to a Yogakaraka bhukthi lord, extremely bad results occur.

(b). In the above scneario a minister with average intelligence could at least get the death penalty converted into a life term by convincing the king. (Compare the minister with average intelligence to a benefic) Hence in the dasha of a malefic ,bad results occur in the bukti of unrelated benefic while very bad results occur in an unrelated Yogakaraka bukti

(c)Please note the difference in the two scenarios discussed above.Given that a dasha lord is bad ,an unrelated Yogakaraka yields far more disastrous results compared to an unrelated benefic .What could be the reason?The answer is simple.When two planets are unrelated they become functional enemies.Functional enmity with a Yogakaraka is the worst case scenario and functional enmity with a benefic is not that bad .Functional enmity with a Yogakaraka renders the dasha lord highly malefic in nature.Hence the conjoined period of a planet and an unrelated Yogakaraka yields bad results.

There is one principle which I wish to state here ,which is not clearly mentioned in books on Astrology.When a planet has functional enmity with a Yogakaraka it can be considered as a “ deemed malefic”;thus even a natural benefic which is so placed becomes a “ deemed malefic”.This is the logical corollary to the rule that even a natural malefic yields good results in its bukti if is related to the Yogakaraka.(Phaladeepika,Chapter 20,Verse 48).Since this rule is not stated explicitly in textbooks on Astrology ,I thought I would put it in black and white ,so that it clarifies the ambiguity which is now prevalent among scholars .I offer this view as my humble opinion rather than as a new proclamation on the science.
With these words we move over to our discussion on case studies
Chart 1 belongs to the noted Hollywood film star Roger Moore.He was born in London, UK at 00:45 A.M..on 14th October, 1927.Though Roger Moore made his advent in Bond movies after Sean Connery, he is elder to Sean by about three years and is also the oldest of all the Bond heroes. He is, perhaps, best known for his role as the British Secret service Agent, James Bond, in the movies he acted between 1973 and 1985. Moore played Bond in Live and Let Die (1973); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985). Clues to his meteoric rise in movies could be traced in his birth chart. The Lagna lord Moon is exalted forming an opposition with the 7th lord, Saturn. A Parasari Raja Yoga is formed by the mutual aspect between Mars (as lord of 10) and Jupiter (as lord of 9). (Vide Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, chapter 41/28). Retrograde Jupiter as originator of Lakshmi Yoga occupies own house and exalted navamsa. Jupiter is in Lagna in dasamsa. Naturally, it was Jupiter which catapulted Roger Moore to dizzy heights while Moon bhukti was in operation in 1973. As discussed the dasha lord can decisively take a person to dizzy heights even when it operates without receiving any support from an unrelated bhukti lord,which is proved true in Moore’s case. Roger Moore announced his retirement on 3rd December 1985 in Saturn dasha, Venus bhukti. Venus in Leo is in the house of its enemy and is in debilitated navamsa. The aspect of Saturn on Venus and its conjunction with Gulika were not proving to be of help. Since Saturn and Venus are in mutual quadrants,their conjoined periods could do little to the chartholder in view of the rule laid down in Uttarakalamritam by Kalidasa which is evidenced by Moore’s chart.However, Roger Moore’s chart has several redeeming features and is power – packed to lift him to the galaxy of all – time greats.
Chart 2 belongs to Steve Jobs,the American inventor, entrepreneur and pioneer of Personal Computer revolution.He was born in San Francisco, USA at 7.15 P M on 24th February, 1955. In his chart Venus dasha started in 1981. It was in 1985, Job founded NeXT computer. In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT computer for 427 $ millions. This event took place in Venus dasha and Saturn Bukti, with Venus owning 10 and Saturn owning 7 (10th from10th). The fact that Venus in 5 and Saturn in 3 are unrelated to each other led to his spectacular success in their conjoined periods ,which is yet another proof of the dictum propounded by Kalidasa in Uttarakalamritam .

Steve Jobs

Roger Moore

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