Hindu/Vedic Astrology is a term that refers to Jyotisa/Jyotisha, which is the sixth part (6th anga) of the Vedas. It is a study of influence of planets on every human being based on the planetary position at the time of their birth. Every soul takes birth again and again on the basis of its own Prarabdha until the good karmas and bad karmas become equal and the soul attains salvation.

The base of the Hindu Astrology lies on many classical texts written by the Great Indian Sages at different times. However, Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra is referred to be as the root of Hindu Astrology, and the Maharishi Parasara has given us the 12 Rasis, 27 Nakshatras, 9 planets, 16 Vargas, and various Dasas, which are used to predict the life events.

12 Rasis

In Hindu Astrology, the zodiac wheel of 360° is divided into 12 rasi (signs) covering 30° each. The said 12 rasis (signs) of the zodiac wheel are; Mesha (Aries), Vrishabha (Taurus), Mithuna (Gemini), Karka (Cancer), Simha (Leo), Kanya (Virgo), Tula (Libra), Vrishchika (Scorpio), Dhanu (Sagittarius), Makar (Capricorn), Kumbha (Aquarius), and Meena (Pisces).

27 Nakshatras

The zodiac is further divided in 27 Nakshatras, each covering a span of 13°20’. Each nakshatra covering a span of 13°20’ is also divided into 4 equal parts known as ‘Pada’or ‘Charan’ of 3°20’ each. The 27 Nakshatras are;

Ashwini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigshira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, Poorva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishakha, Anuradha, Jyestha, Moola, Poorva Ashada, Uttara Ashada, Shravana, Dhanistha, Shatbhisha, Poorva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada, Revati.

 9 Planets

There are 7 key planets and 2 shadowy planets, which includes, Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangal or Bhaum (Mars), Buddha (Mercury), Brihaspati or Guru (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (North node of Moon), and Ketu (South Node of Moon).

Out of 7 Key Planets, each planet owns two rasis of the zodiac wheel except Surya and Chandra. The two Shadowy planets i.e., Rahu and Ketu don’t own any rasi. However, Rahu represents Saturn, and Ketu represents Mars.

PlanetOwn Rasi
Mangal or Bhauma (Mars)Mesha and Vrishchika
Shukra (Venus)Vrishabha and Tula
Buddha (Mercury)Mithuna and Kanya
Chandra (Moon)Karka
Surya (Sun)Simha
Brihaspati (Jupiter)Dhanu and Meena
Shani (Saturn)Makar and Kumbha

Each planet also rules over 3 Nakshatras, which are as follows;

PlanetNakshatra
KetuAshwini, Magha, Moola
Shukra (Venus)Bharani, Poorva Phalguni, Poorva Ashada
Surya (Sun)Krittika, Uttara Phalguni, Uttara Ashada
Chandra (Moon)Rohini, Hasta, Shravana
Mangal or Bhauma (Mars)Mrigsira, Chitra, Dhanishtha
RahuArdra, Swati, Shatbhisha
Brihaspati (Jupiter)Punarvasu, Vishakha, Poorva Bhadrapada
Shani (Saturn) Pushya, Anuradha, Uttara Bhadrapada
Buddha (Mercury) Ahslesha, Jyestha, Revati

16 Vargas

The term Varga refers to the English term division. In Hindu Astrology, a Rasi Chart (The natal birth chart) is further divided into 16 different divisions, which are used to foretell the life events related to different aspects of a life. The following are the 16 vargas given by Maharishi Parasara.

VargaChartWhat it foretells?
RasiD-1Body, Personality and General Matters
HoraD-2Wealth
DrekanaD-3Co-born, and Diseases
ChaturthamsaD-4Property and Education
SaptamsaD-7Children/Progeny
NavamsaD-9Marital life, Strength of Planets, Dharma and Relationships
DasamsaD-10Profession
DwadasamsaD-12Parents
ShodasamsaD-16Vehicles
VimsamsaD-20Spiritual Pursuits
ChaturthvimsamsaD-24Knowledge and Academic Attainment
Saptavimsamsa D-27Strengths and Endurance
TrimsamsaD-30Aristhas or Misfortunes
KhavedamsaD-40Do’s and Don’ts of life
AkshvedamsaD-45Do’s and Don’ts of life
ShastamsaD-60Karma and Destruction

Dasa

Though Maharishi Parasara has given us various dasas, out of which many are conditional dasas which are used only if certain preset conditions are met in the birth chart. But in general, only a few of them are used by the Astrologers. The widely used dasa is Vismshottari Dasa.

Vimshottari Dasa covers a span of 120 years. These 120 years period is divided in unequal 9 planetary periods, and it’s order starts with Ketu, which is then followed by Shukra (Venus), Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangal (Mars), Rahu, Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shani (Saturn), and Buddha (Mercury) respectively.

The duration of Mahadasa (Major Period) of 9 planets is listed below;

PlanetDuration of Mahadasa in Years
Ketu7
Shukra (Venus)20
Surya (Sun)6
Chandra (Moon)10
Mangal (Mars)7
Rahu18
Brihaspati (Jupiter)16
Shani (Saturn)19
Buddh (Mercury)17

The commencement of Vimshottari dasa in one’s life is decided on the Janma Nakshatra, which is the nakshatra the Chandra (Moon) is in at the time of birth. For example; if at the time of birth, Chandra is in Chitra Nakshatra, the Vimshottari dasha will commence from Mangal. However, the balance of dasha of Mangal is to be calculated by keeping note of the remaining Chitra nakshatra degree that Chandra has to travel.

In Vimshottari Dasa, the Mahadasa is subdivided into 4 sub-periods, which are listed below.

  1. Antara dasa
  2. Pratyantara dasa
  3. Sookshma dasa
  4. Prana dasa

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