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Ashtakavarga

Analyzing a chart and making correct predictions requires mixing many different principles and making fine compromises and judgments. Sage Parasara said that it is difficult for even great Maharshis. In Kali Yuga41, human beings become sinful and the sins kill their intelligence. Parasara said that the intellectual pygmies of Kali Yuga cannot cope with too many complicated principles and presented ashtakavarga as a simple technique that lets them make reasonable predictions without much fuss. Ashtaka means “consisting of eight” and varga means “a group”. Ashtakavarga is the system of analyzing a chart with respect to a group of 8 reference points. When we analyze the positions of planets with respect to lagna, we have the concept of good and bad placements. For example, Jupiter in the 9th from lagna will be well placed and Jupiter in the 3rd will be badly placed. Mars in the 3rd from lagna will be well placed and Mars in the 9th will be badly placed. However, lagna is not the only reference point in a chart. We have Sun and Moon. In fact, all the planets serve as reference points in a chart and they represent the sources of various energies that are present in a native. Based on the houses in which different planets are placed in transit, they can be benefic with respect to some energy sources and malefic with respect to some. If a transiting planet is benefic with respect to more energy sources, then it brings good results. So ashtakavarga is essentially a system that tells us the benefic positions of lagna and seven planets with respect to each other. This can be used to analyze the strength of a natal chart, but it is much more important in analyzing transits.

 

1.2 Benefic and Malefic Houses

The benefic and malefic houses for Sun with respect to all the 8 references are given below.

Table : Definition of Sun's Ashtakavarga  From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

2nd 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

3rd 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1

4th 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1

5th 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

6th 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1

7th 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0

8th 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

9th 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0

10th 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1

12th 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1

In Table, an entry of 0 denotes a malefic position or a “karana” or a bindu (dot).

An entry of 1 denotes a benefic position or a “sthana” or a rekha (line)42. To understand how to read this table, let us go to the column titled “Merc” in Table 19.

This shows benefic houses for Sun to occupy, with respect to Mercury. The 1st and

2nd houses have 0 and the 3rd house has 1. So the first 2 houses from Mercury are malefic for Sun and the 3rd house is benefic for Sun. Table 20-Table 26 give the benefic and malefic houses of Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and lagna (respectively).

 

Table: Definition of Moon's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0

2nd 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

3rd 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1

4th 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0

5th 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0

6th 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1

7th 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0

8th 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

9th 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

10th 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

12th 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Table: Definition of Mars's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1

2nd 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

3rd 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1

4th 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

5th 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

6th 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1

7th 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

8th 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0

9th 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

10th 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

12th 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

148 Vedic Astrology: An Integrated Approach

Table: Definition of Mercury's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1

2nd 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1

3rd 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0

4th 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1

5th 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0

6th 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1

7th 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

8th 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1

9th 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0

10th 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

12th 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

Table: Definition of Jupiter's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1

2nd 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1

3rd 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0

4th 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1

5th 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1

6th 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1

7th 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1

8th 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

9th 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1

10th 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1

12th 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Table: Definition of Venus's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1

2nd 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1

3rd 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1

4th 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1

5th 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1

6th 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0

7th 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

8th 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1

9th 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

10th 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0

11th 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

12th 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

Table: Definition of Saturn's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

2nd 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3rd 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1

4th 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

5th 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

6th 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

7th 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

8th 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

9th 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

10th 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

12th 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0

150 Vedic Astrology: An Integrated Approach

Table: Definition of Lagna's Ashtakavarga From House

Sun Moon Mars Merc Jup Ven Sat Lag

1st 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0

2nd 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0

3rd 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1

4th 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0

5th 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

6th 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1

7th 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

8th 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0

9th 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

10th 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1

11th 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1

12th 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Readers without a computer program should memorize these tables. To the modern reader who is overly dependent on computers, memorizing these tables may seem like a daunting task. As our dependency on technology increases, several skills of our brain are left either unused or undeveloped and those skills slowly vanish. Computing ashtakavarga by hand is not as difficult as it may seem to be. In fact, even today, some people in India compute all the ashtakavarga tables by hand in a matter of a few minutes.