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Dashas - A Primer 4
|by Rohini Ranjan|
Krishnamurthy’s Theory: K.S. Krishnamurthy, from all accounts, was an uncannily accurate astrologer who developed an interesting system popularly known as Krishnamurthy Paddhati or K.P. as is popularly known. He primarily used it for horary or prashna Jyotish but the principles work in natal or phalit Jyotish as well. Very briefly: His system utilized the planets ruling the weekday, the asterism that the Moon is in at the time of asking of the question and the ascendant rising at that instant. The system was claimed as capable of providing highly accurate readings and Krishnamurthy acknowledged having received the 'method' in the form of a divine inspiration from his Ishta Devta Uchchista Ganapathy. He chose to use the western placidian house divisions with these sidereal charts, a major divergence from classical vedic astrology; moreover, he placed the rising degree at the beginning of a house and not in the middle as is practiced by other jyotishis. His 'system' also had another interesting feature. Since the zodiac can be divided into 249 divisions, each ruled by a sign-lord (one per 30 deg), star-lord (one per 13 deg 20 min) and a star-sub-lord (variable dimensions, 40 min to 2 deg 13 min 20 sec), he often asked clients to provide a number between 1 and 249 which he used to determine the ascendant in a chart drawn for the moment of the query (planetary longitudes were calculated for the actual current moment). A client providing a number that was outside this range was told that the venture would not be a success!
Subdivisions: The KP subdivisions are essentially a way of viewing the vimshottari bhukti or antardasha in terms of nakshatra longitudes. We all know for example, that, if moon is just entering krittika, at birth, the child will begin life with sun’s dasha. If the moon has just entered krittika the child will have sun dasa and sun bhukti at the beginning of life. If the birth moon is a bit more advanced, the child will begin life with sun dasa and moon bhukti and thus depending on how advanced the moon is at birth in krittika, the first bhukti could belong to mars, rahu, Jupiter, etc. Now view these segments of krittika as subdivisions, with the first segment ruled by sun (sun bhukti), next one ruled by moon, the third by mars and so on. The dimensions of the segments would be proportional to the proportion of the bhukti to that of the dasa (nakshatra). Looked another way, Venus dasa rules for 20 years whereas moon dasa rules for 10 years. Both moon and Venus nakshatra would have nine segments each ruled by the nine planets, however, each segment in Venus dasa would be twice as large as the segment ruled by the same planet in moon dasa. According to Krishnamurthy the nakshatra dispositor of the dasa lord defined the nature of the result whereas the dasa lord was treated as the source of the effect. The ‘sub’ then determined the positive or negative outcomes, gain or loss of the effect. So, for illustration let us say a person is undergoing the dasa of the lord of 10th house which is in the nakshatra of the lord of 11th. This would be interpreted as the source (tenth = workplace) giving the effect of 11th (raise or bonus) with the subdivision indicating a gain or a denial of a raise. The relationship between the dasa dispositor (effect) and the sub-lord would have a say in whether the effect will be positive or negative. So in our example if the sublord is placed in a trika sthan (6, 8 or 12) from lagna or from the dasa dispositor would indicate a loss but placement in 1, 5, 9 would indicate the individual getting a raise. In actual experience, the effect being defined by the dasa dispositor works out more reliably than the role of the sub-lord in birth charts. Some individual, on the other hand, have demonstrated very good results when using KP in a horary application, much better than in natal horoscopy, much in keeping with what Krishnamurthy originally proposed and utilized this very interesting technique.
Through this method, Krishnamurthy revived a very important fundamental concept on the Indian astrological scene, that of the role of asterisms in chart analysis and particularly by refining the use and improving the usefulness of the vimshottari dasha system of timing. He must be commended for that, even though his system remains a somewhat controversial approach for many main-stream jyotishis.
The system is essentially not very different from that used for delineating any other chart as per jyotish parlance. The chart is drawn by using either the numerical representative for the ascendant, or for the epoch of the query. The planets in both cases are calculated for the moment of making the query. A list of significant planets are drawn; the planet ruling over the weekday, the lords of the signs, stars and subs of the rising degree (ascendant) and the Moon. The ascendant is taken to represent the client while the seventh house represents the astrologer. When the astrologer also happens to be the querist (self-prashna), it is interesting that at times this is indicated in the chart itself in terms of 'connectivities' between the two representative houses. Next, the house/houses pertaining to the question are examined and these are checked to see if they agree with the significant planets. The success or failure of the undertaking then would be indicated by the mutual agreement or disagreement between the planets. Things such as friendship (or lack thereof) between the planets concerned, their association with each other by aspect, any beneficial combinations (yogas) between relevant planets and the strength of the planets are taken into account. An examination of the vimshottari dasha is then made and this is used, in addition to transits of the significant planets and stars for estimating the timing. Situations where the indicators are fewer and clear, the outcome can be expected to be better predictable. If too many conflicting influences exist, there is usually reason to believe that the issue is riddled with problems. In his writings, Krishnamurthy gave numerous examples of things such as long-distance phone calls that he tested his system on. This might amuse the modern reader who is used to dialing a number and expecting to get through right away. But in India of years ago, decades before direct dialing became available, one had to place a call by 'booking' it through an operator and then wait and wait and wait, often at the post-office because most people did not have personal phones. It was a big deal for most and Krishnamurthy used it to test his system. Perhaps we can emulate Krishnamurthy’s experiment with our postal-mail, these days!
Krishnamurthy enumerated in his 'Readers', houses that are involved in determining and examining different areas/issues in life. I am presenting a tiny sampling here which may be utilized in addition to the more extensive lists presented elsewhere in this manual, taken from standard mainstream jyotish texts, all of which can also be used for horary purposes:
The KP Indicators: Once an indicator is decided upon, its placement in the horary horoscope is examined and basing on the positions and the mutual relationship between the star and sub-lords, success or failure is assessed. Generally, if the sub-lord is in an angle or trine from the houses ruled by the star-lord, success is indicated, whereas, if the sub-lord is in the 6th, 8th or 12th from the house under examination, then delays, obstacles and failure may be expected. Sometimes, the nature of the signs and planets involved gives a clue about the rapidity with which the issue would progress to a culmination. Fixed signs, earthy influences, retrograde planets and planets such as Jupiter (if malefic) and Saturn generally indicate delays, Sun, Venus, Mars (if benefic), Moon and Mercury represent speedy progress. The nodes (Rahu and Ketu) add unpredictability and suddenness, and generally result in uneven progress in the matters at hand.
When the question is posed, it is recommended that there should not be any distraction and the querist should meditate on the question for a while, examining all known aspects of it before verbalizing the question. Clarity, sincerity and seriousness of intent when posing the question is probably rewarded with answers that are of a kindred nature. The reasoning behind this is remarkably similar to that applicable to other kinds of divinatory procedures. The sincerity of the querist must first be examined in order to determine if the chart would hold well and represent the process adequately or not. If the two houses (1 and 7) are strong and well connected, then the communication could prove to be fruitful. A similar positive connection between the first house (querist) and the house representing the matter under query are strongly connected then the query was sincere and has a higher chance of being analyzed positively. This is important, because even if the query is about an important matter, the querist may not believe sufficiently in astrology or the astrologer and this would be reflected in the chart and could lead to a 'noisy' imprecise reading. The likelihood of this is much lower in a professional situation where a cost is involved and the idly curious are screened out to a large extent. It is not very useful to do an after the fact (post mortem) analysis of a horary epoch. This is because the transits under which the analysis would be carried out would be different from the original epoch and would influence the reading. Both the astrologer as well as the nativity must together be in the same astrological environment (horary epoch transits) for the horary phenomenon to work efficiently.
Scholars in Jyotish and many teachers have maintained for at least within the last 60-70 years of published Jyotish literature that there are two distinct systems in Jyotish, one following the teaching of Parashara Rishi and the other of Jaimini Rishi. It is of interest that neither of them refer to the other in their writings as far as I know, although mention of other sages and pioneers in Jyotish does exist in their works. This makes it difficult to wonder if they were contemporaries or figures that appeared in historical sequence. What is notable, though, is that Jaimini’s writings do not touch upon so called Parashari methodology at all, whereas a fair amount of what would constitute Jamini system appears prominently in Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra. People have expressed their discontentment at Jyotishis and particularly researchers using both methods simultaneously during the same reading or examination. While on the one hand, not doing so would simplify matters and arguably hone the acuity and focus of the method used, on the other hand, such discrimination would understandably lead to the incompleteness of such a delineation. Astrology is best dealt with a multifactorial, matrix type approach and as long as the jyotishi is not ‘picking and choosing’ in a hurry and mixing logic and intuition and all that exists between these two faculties, the result should be richer than using only one system in isolation. Completely aside from personal viewpoints, it is difficult to comprehend or even assume that the very same planet, such as mars that is the lord of 4th and 11th, for instance and also Jaimini putrakaraka plus many other inherent roles (karakatwas) would fulfil one role but not the other. This is where one must intelligently apply the ‘roles’ that planets play because in a given situation (desh, kal, paristhiti: locality, temporality, situational circumstances), they would express only one or a few sides of their portfolio and not everything at the same time. After all a mother who is also working outside her home does not entirely cease to be the ‘mother’ in office, or the boss at home!
In addition to Vimshottari dasha which is used by nearly everyone by default, although in this series I have also shown situations where Ashtottari one of the many conditional dashas in BPHS might be more appropriate, scores of other possibilities exist. In recent years several reknowned jyotishis and their students and followers have done a lot of research and demonstrated how the different conditional dashas can be utilized in daily practice. The fact remains though that for most beginners, juggling more than one or two dashas can generally produce confusion due to multiplicity of overwhelming and often conflicting information generated by such an approach. It is to be noted that even those who use just one dasha are still dealing with the complexities of transit influences, combined with the annual horoscopic considerations and several vargas pointing in different directions and the tri-oriented sudarshana kundali (predictions based on the lunar, solar and lagna charts overlapping one another). The complexity is already substantial. My advice, therefore, would be to work with one or two dashas at a time and then proceed towards learning more.
While too many different techniques applied at the same time can be confusing and produce the opposite effect than desired, one should try and develop the habit of utilizing a multi-pronged approach when analysing a chart. Unfortunately, when a delineation is written out, it gives the impression that a given factor is the ‘clincher’ in a given case. Be it a mahapurusha yoga or KSY or combustion or low ashtakvarga scores or transits etc, however, in truth it is the multiplicity of pointers that add to the weight of evidence as it is called. One should therefore factor in these and other pointers and when they add up, these often point to situations where a positive or negative effect may be anticipated. The only way to arrive at that level is to keep practicing with real chart. Reading yet another book, article or internet discussion is simply not going to do it! Reading a chart properly may take at least 2 hours although a full-scale reading takes a lot longer. Now if one were to analyze two charts per day (assuming that they have to work to earn a living, eat, sleep, watch TV etc) they would probably be analyzing about 400 or so charts a year. Over a period of 10 years they would have sampled 4000 charts. It sounds like a large number, but there are about 6.8 billion individuals at a given instant. 4000 Represents only 0.00006% of the population! The experience and familiarity is simply not enough to avoid hit and miss analysis.
Many beginners these days must be getting very confused when they read messages and readings on the Internet where the same chart that is being read by a variety of jyotishis (often with different backgrounds and levels of experience) to address the same question or issue and even seasoned astrologers come up with different explanations and even outcomes. One justifiably becomes discouraged, sceptical and cynical when encountering such variations. Often the ‘tone’ of confidence in what one jyotishi writes, as opposed to another is also interesting to observe. Some would tend to give the impression that astrology is a black or white pronouncement. That if you get the right ayanamsha, the right zodiac in some instances, the right dasha, then everything should work uniformly and perfectly! While a comforting thought, realistically, such is not the case. To the research-minded astrologer, such variability and variations on the theme indicate a fertile potential for search, research and exploration, for others it can be unsettling and some even get defensive about it all. This is the biggest mystery within Jyotish! In each horoscope there are so many hints which are differently revealed or touched upon when different minds (of jyotishis) apply themselves to a given chart. It is also interesting to observe that while some individuals tend to be rather terse and give a yes/no kind of answer, others elaborately try to weave a sequence of happenings or descriptions of a process. The personality, background, and other individual qualities of the astrologer perhaps enter into the process and define the output. Jyotishis like other human beings can be good communicators, or poor communicators, brilliant and clear or not. All of these and more factors lead to the colourful variegated flavours that show up when different astrologers read the same chart. In the past this was revealed or observed infrequently and rather locally, in study groups where astrologers met and discussed or through the slow sequence offered by magazines which came out once a month or even less frequently. Internet has made that obsolete and with the Jyotish lists and fora and discussion groups, a lot of such interaction happens more rapidly and makes it that much more interesting and intriguing. Unfortunately, it has its negative aspects too and honest discussions often do not take place. Back in the very early 80s when I was a young man, not quite 30 and arrived in North America, telecommunications was in its infancy, as was personal computer usage. I was fortunate to very quickly guess the potential of both on astrology and astrologers and even though livelihood and other mundane considerations were critically important, I set aside chunks of time a few times each week to explore these computer-clubs. My first reward was in being able to put together for myself a software using BASIC which allowed me to create a chart within a minute as opposed to 60-90 times the TIME it took me to draw a detailed chart using proportional log tables and so on. What a wonderful boon it was! Of course later on commercial software became available and made it on the one hand easier but on the other hand a bit of a headache due to errors in programming and erroneous techniques that got incorporated in most software in the early nineties and ongoing! The Bulletin Board Systems and their successors, like Compuserve for a and Delphi and Genie etc brought opportunities to discuss, collect and share charts with others interested in astrology and it really enhanced my experience and boosted my confidence. Of course, one must be very careful and critical of what the currently flooded internet represents, as has been touched upon in my articles in EST and elsewhere.
Software comes to the aid of rectification
Dashas have always had a very important function: in rectification of birth times! The technique is simple. Armed with a series of significant events and their dates/times, the astrologer checks those against the prevailing dasa periods and by moving the stated birth time ahead or behind the first one stated tries to find one where most or ideally ALL events match up. The process sounds a lot simpler than it is and can be quite nerve racking! It may seem easier to do this if one is determined to use rigid factors such as ONE ayanamsha, ONE type of ‘year’ (solar, lunar, synodic, savanmana), and one or two types of dashas! If you are toying with different ayanamshas and other variables, imagine how complicated the process can become! Even if you are using software like Parashara’s Light that allows one to line up dashas (different kinds, pick one!) with the events against birth time intervals that can be changed (fig 1).
The birth time intervals ranging from 1 second to one hour can be changed by zooming in or out, the dashas can be changed as well to get a different ‘perspective’. The choice is limited to three dashas for the rectification screen but wisely chosen by Geovision. There is something special about these three dashas: Vimshottari, Ashtottari and Yogini and if used wisely, most of the field of possibilities can be covered by most jyotishis.
Some considerations: Usually, it is best to select events which are significant and somewhat destined. For instance the following types of events can be utilized for rectification:
For the current example, two significant events chosen for illustration were the first travel abroad and the birth of daughter. Both are fairly significant events as all would agree. Neither was a planned event in a sense, at least not in the timing of it and both represented important desires and milestones for the nativity,
Now, I will present a pot-pourri of a couple of short examples that touch upon the role that some of the fundamental astrological factors play when we consider dasas.
After the Vimshottari saturn dasa started in March of 1992 the first symptoms appeared. The native had recently been divorced and was working very heavily, very irregular in diet, eating lots of fatty junk food and enormous quantities of coffee to remain alert. Over the next decade, symptoms of a vague nature arose and subsided as often is the case with multiple sclerosis. In 1999 the lightheadedness worsened and around that time he had a series of sinus infections and severe allergies. Around mid-2003 numbness of feet appeared. Then hands and arms. MRI was repeated and revealed MS lesions in the spinal cord and brain. Then followed a phase of depression and finally in 2004 the nativity began to make lifestyle changes (low fat diet, yoga, meditation) and ayurvedic treatment and remains stable so far. Venus is darakaraka and is lord of the 7th. Its placement with rahu in a mercurian sign and placement of gulika in the 7th house gave malefic results for marriage which dissolved. Jupiter is in nakshatra of venus and became the executor of the effect. The bhukti was of rahu which as we have seen is afflicting venus. Rahu is in own nakshatra and brought on the negative influence. Saturn dasa brought on the self-destructive life style but also enormous work-related success. All of these coincided with his sadesati that started in 1990 and ended in 1998. Once saturn entered the lagna in debility (late 1998) his symptoms worsened coinciding with the joint period of saturn and venus. When saturn crossed venus and rahu (Saturn-moon) the lesions were detected and diagnosis established. This coincided with the depressed phase thereafter which is often seen when saturn and moon are conjoined. Repeated sinus infections and allergies are also seen when saturn and moon are joined. In this case both are in rahu's nakshatra and also placed in the 11th house which is badhaksthana in this chart. Superficially, saturn should not cause so much problems because it is in moolatrikona and strong lord of 10th and 11th. its association with rahu (nakshatra dispositor) and rahu being associated with saturn and moon in navamsha and again in shastamsha (where saturn rules the 6th and 7th houses) resulted in it giving mixed effects - good for work and earnings and hard work and a devastating disease. The coincidental adverse transit influences (sade sati, then transit through mesha lagna then crossing venus and rahu triggered all the changes. During Saturn-mars the nativity came to terms with reality and made the necessary changes. mars as lagnesha placed in lagna (moolatrikona) began in July 2004 and situation stabilized.
14-feb-1996 first marriage in court:
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