The Fundamentals of Evaluating Dasa Effects

An Introduction to Dasa Analysis

by Hank Friedman

It is important to understand that there are two different dimensions to consider in evaluating the effects of a specific dasa in a person's chart: Universal Factors (which apply to everyone's chart) and Factors Specific to the Person's Chart. The reason that the Vedic predictive reports in computer software fail miserably in interpreting dasas is that they either only evaluate Universal Factors, or do a very poor job of interpreting the Factors Specific to a Person's Chart. [Note: the word "karaka" is used in Vedic astrology to mean significator, a planet that owns or signfies a specific life theme. E.g. Jupiter is the karaka of wisdom.]

1. Universal Karakas. (Static Factors)

As most students of Vedic astrology know, every planet has a large set of fixed correspondences, some of which may be activated during that planet's dasa. If a planet is very strong in the birth chart, then many of its fixed significances will be activated when its dasa runs. For example, someone with Mars in the 10th house in Aries or Scorpio is likely to be very Martian during the Mars dasa, with much energy and action and achievement, and perhaps also confrontations and other difficulties, if these are also indicated by Mars' position in the natal chart.

In most cases, however, a planet's general themes only manifest during a planet's period if they are supported by other factors in a person's chart.

For example, Venus is associated with marriage. During a Venus dasa, however, if Venus has no relationship with the 7th house or 7th lord, it may not result in a relationship during its run.

When there are supporting factors in the natal chart, on the other hand, the significations of a planet will manifest. The Sun is the karaka for Father. If the Sun is in the 9th house (or in 3rd house which is opposite to the 9th), or associated with or opposite to the 9th lord or with the Jaimini karaka of Father (the Pitru Karaka), or in the Ascendant in the D-12 (dwadashamsha) chart; then Father themes will be strong during the Sun's dasa.

2. Factors Specific to the Person's Chart (Temporal or Dynamic Factors)

It is, therefore, definitely necessary to evaluate dasas within the context of each person's own chart.

All of the following factors, when taken into account, can help in evaluating a dasa's effects: the dasa lord's strength, houses occupied and aspected, the houses it rules, the planets that aspect it and that it aspects, the yogas in which it participates, its dispositor and the planets that it disposes, its role as a Jaimini karaka, its avasthas (planetary states), its position in divisional charts, and the transits that occur by it and to it (natally).

Let's go over each of these one at a time:

A. The Dasa Lord's Strength. If a dasa lord has strength in the birth chart, e.g. in its own sign, exalted, retrograde, or dig bala, then during its dasa, its themes may emerge more strongly. Of course, its house rulership is crucial, because if a strong planet rules the 6th, 8th, or 12th house, its dasa may bring up major challenges. For example, in charts with Ascendants ruled by Venus (Taurus and Libra), Jupiter rules challenging houses, and during its dasa, significant issues may indeed arise, even if it is in its own sign in the birth chart.

B. House Placement and Aspects. The themes of the houses occupied and aspected by the dasa lord will all be activated during its dasa. If a planet aspects the 10th house, then career will be affected during its dasa. If a house lord also aspects (or occupies) the house it rules, then the house's indications will be even more activated during its period.

C. Houses Ruled. When a planet owns a house, the planet (usually) becomes the most important representative of the house's themes, its temporal karaka. For example, the lord of the 7th house has a huge influence on all partnership themes. Therefore, in evaluating dasas, always look at what house(s) a planet rules, because these areas of life will be significantly activated during its dasa.

D. Planets aspected by and aspecting it. Malefic aspects to the dasa lord, in the birth chart, can de-stabilize all of the themes that the dasa lord represents. Contrawise, benefic aspects on a dasa lord can support the dasa lord in effectively expressing its qualities. When a dasa lord aspects a planet, the house containing the aspected planet becomes even more affected than if it were empty.

E. Yogas. The more (positive) yogas a dasa lord participates in (assuming, of course, the necessary condition that at least one of the yoga-forming planets is strong), the more powerful, eventful (in a positive sense), and life-changing the dasa is. If a planet participates in several strong yogas, then one's life will be very productive during its dasa. Often a person's greatest achievements take place during the dasas of major yoga-forming planets.

F. Its dispositor and the planets it disposes. When a dasa lord (or any planet, for that matter) is not in its own sign, then its strength is strongly influenced by the placement of the planet that rules the sign it is in. This is especially true of exalted planets. A Venus in Pisces whose dispositor Jupiter is both combust and debilitated (i.e. in Capricorn) will actually be quite weakened by its dispositor's position, i.e. not give positive nor strong results during its dasa.

A planet is also, more subtly, influenced by the planets occupying the signs ruled by it. (E.g. planets in Capricorn or Aquarius will influence Saturn.) This "back-flow" effect, first introduced by the great late Indian astrologer J.N. Bhasin, is less influential, but still worth noting.

G. Jaimini karaka. According to Jaimini astrology, each planet signifies a specific person in one's life. That person may become more important during the planet's dasa. For example, a friend of mine, who had tried to conceive for years, had given up. Much to her surprise, she entered the dasa of the Jaimini karaka for children, and became pregnant, and completely involved in motherhood.

H. Avasthas. The specific states (youth, old, dead; awake, dreaming, etc.) that a planet is in also effect how conscious and deliberate one is during that planet's dasa, and how many results will manifest.

I. Planetary Positions in Divisional (Varga, Amsa) Charts. As I mentioned in my Iyer article at the following link (which readers should certainly read if they have not):

click here to read my Iyer article

planetary positions in divisional charts are very, very important in evaluating life themes for each area of life the division charts represent (children, career, marriage, health, etc.). In fact, they are usually more important than planetary positions in the birth chart itself.

J. Transits to and from the dasa lord. The transits to and from the dasa lord -- during its dasa -- will be of heightened importance. Many times, these transits will trigger actual events.

What we are really looking for, then, are congruencies. We are searching to find patterns that are reinforced by all of the factors affecting the dasa lord and influenced by the dasa lord, in order to ascertain the true effects of each dasa. We are working to grasp, grok, comprehend the gestalt of the network of influences and relationships each planet participates in.

A fine example is that of a friend's chart. In his birth chart, the fixed karaka of vehicles Venus happened to both aspect the house of vehicles (4th house) and associate with (conjunct) the lord of the 4th house, i.e. the temporal karaka of vehicles, Jupiter -- who also aspected the 4th house. During his Venus dasa, he bought and sold many, many vehicles.

After reviewing these different categories of influence with respect to a dasa lord, let your mind relax and "dance" with the information, let it "speak to you". Then the understanding of the specific meaning, purposes, and events and effects of each dasa will become much clearer. When our consciousness embraces the whole chart, with the Grace of God, the truth reveals itself.

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