Know your Dasha

In Astrology it is understood that at any point of time nature is governed by a planet and the position of that planet in the horoscope determines how the native will feel or behave. This chapter details the calculation of the planet acting at any point of time and the period for which the planet rules.

To predict the past present and future, saints evolved the system of "Dasha" or period. Any planet influences someone more than others at some point of time, than the other planet takes over and so on.

Many dasha systems have been described as many as 42. but the most common and -popular dasha system is "Vimshottari". As the name suggests, the complete cycle of dasha is of 120 years. All the nine planets take part in this system. The periods and the constellation assigned to them is as follows:

Table 1
Planet Constellation Year
Sun Krittika, U. phalguni, Uttarashada 6
Moon Rohini, Hasta, Shravana  10
Mars Mrigshira, Chitra, Dhanistha 7
Rahu Ardra, Swati, Satbhisha  18
Jupiter Punarvasu, Vishakha, P. bhadrapada 16
Saturn Pushya, Anuradha, U. bhadrapada 19
Mercury Ashlesha, jyestha, Revati 17
Ketu Magha, Mool, Ashwin 7
Venus P. phalugni, Purva Ashada, Bharani 20

At the time of birth of the native, the constellation occupied by the Moon determines which planet will rule at that time. The fraction of the constellation balance at that time determines the "balance of dasha", that is the time period for which the planet will rule after birth. After the end of the ruling period of that planet, other planets rule one by one in the cyclic order as listed in table 1.

Let us understand it by an example. In the model horoscope in the previous issue, we have date of birth 15-1-1970, time 4.30 A.M. and place of birth Delhi. on this date and time Moon's degree is Aries 90 36' , that is, it is in Ashwini nakshatra. Ashwini starts at 00 Aries and extends upto 13020' Of Aries. This way moon has crossed 90 36' of Aries and has 130 20' - 90 36' = 30 44' still to go. From table-I we find Ashwini is represented by Ketu having a period of 7 years. Hence the native was born when ketu was ruling and it had a balance of dasa.

30 44' x 7 years = 1.96 years

130 20' = 1 year 16 months 16 days

Adding this period to date of birth, we get ( 15 - 1 - 1970 ) + ( 16 - 11 - 1 ) = ( 1 - 1 - 1972 )

i.e. the native experienced influence of Ketu for 1 year 16 months 16 days from birth till 1 Jan. 1972. Thereafter, according to table 1, was under the influence of Venus for 20 years upto 1-1-1992; followed by Sun for 6 years upto 1-1-1998, then by Moon for 10 years 1-1-2008 and so on.

Note that the period of 1 year 11 months 16 days is called the balance of 7 years of ketu 20 years of Venus etc. are called dasha periods.

Thus we compute the dasha periods for nature as follows :

Balance of dasha : 1 year 11 months 16 days, of Ketu.
Date Of Birth 15        -        1        -        1970
   
Balance of Ketu 16        -       11        -        1     
  1        -        1        -        1972
Venus 20
  1        -        1        -        1992
Sun 6
  1        -        1        -        1998
Moon 10
  1        -        1        -        2008
Mars 7
  1        -        1        -        2015
Rahu 18
  1        -        1        -        2033
Jupiter 16
  1        -        1        -        2049
Saturn 19
  1        -        1        -        2068
Mercury 17
  1        -        1        -        2085

No one will be satisfied if we tell him how he will go through his next 10 or 20 years in nut shell. He would want to know the effects of events in detail. So the above dashas are further subdivided into sub periods or Antar dashas. During the planet's dasha, antar dasha starts from planet itself, followed by the same sequence as given in table I. The period is also subdivided into the same fractions as assigned in table No. 1. In brief sun rules for 6 years. Sun will have its own sub period first for 6x6/120 = 36/120 years = (36 x 12)/120 = 3 months 18 days

After this will come Moon's sub period. Moon represents 10 years out of total span of 120 years of Vimshottari dasa. So it will rule for 1/12th part of the total period of 6 years of Sun .

Thus Moon will have sub period of 6 x 10/120 = ½ = 6 months

In a similar manner we can compute sub periods of all the planets while major influence of other planet is there.

Table 2 : Vimshottari Sub Periods

Planet Sun Moon Mars Rahu Jupiter Saturn Mer Ketu Ven
Year 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Month 3 6 4 10 9 11 10 4 0
Day 18 0 6 24 18 12 6 6 0
Sub periods of Moon Dasha
Planet Moon Mars Rahu Jupiter Saturn Mer Ketu Ven Sun
Year 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0
Month 10 7 6 4 7 5 7 8 6
Day 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sub periods of Mars Dasha
Planet Mars Rahu Jupiter Saturn Mer Ketu Ven Sun Moon
Year 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
Month 4 0 11 1 11 4 2 4 7
Day 27 18 6 9 27 27 0 6 0
Sub periods of Rahu Dasha
Planet Rahu Jupiter Saturn Mer Ketu Ven Sun Moon Mars
Year 2 2 2 2 1 3 0 1 1
Month 8 4 10 6 0 0 10 6 0
Day 12 24 6 18 18 0 24 0 18
Sub periods of Jupiter Dasha
Planet Jupiter Saturn Mer Ket Ven Sun Moon Mars Rahu
Year 2 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 2
Month 1 6 3 11 8 9 4 11 4
Day 18 12 6 6 0 18 0 6 24
Sub periods of Saturn Dasha
Planet Saturn Mer Ketu Ven Sun Mon Mars Rahu Jupiter
Year 3 2 1 3 0 1 1 2 2
Month 0 8 1 2 11 7 1 10 6
Day 3 9 9 0 12 0 9 6 12
Sub periods of Mercury Dasha
Planet Mer Ketu Ven Sun Mon Mars Rahu Jupiter Saturn
Year 2 0 2 0 1 0 2 2 2
Month 4 11 10 10 5 11 6 3 8
Day 27 27 0 6 0 27 18 6 9
Sub periods of Ketu Dasha
Planet Ketu Ven Sun Moon Mars Rahu Jupiter Saturn Mer
Year 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Month 4 2 4 7 4 0 11 1 11
Day 27 0 6 0 27 18 6 9 27
Sub periods of Venus Dasha
Planet Ven Sun Mon Mars Rahu Jupiter Sat Mer Ket
Year 3 1 1 1 3 2 3 2 1
Month 4 0 8 2 0 8 2 10 2
Day 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

To compute the table 2, the basic formula is :

Sub period of a planet = (period of major planet x period of sub planet/120 years.)

Since 1 year contains 12 months, the above formula reduces to

Sub period = (period of major planet x period of sub planet/10) in months.

We multiply the two periods and put a decimal after one digit from the right. The whole number so obtained gives in the months for the antar dasha and the traditional part multiplied by 3 gives the number of days for of the sub period.

Sun's sub period in Maha dasha of Sun will be 6 x 6 = 36 putting decimal It is 3.6 months.

By multiplying decimal part by 3 we get 3.6 x 3 = 3 months 18 days

Sub-Sub Periods : For further refining the results, we can divide the sub periods into sub-sub periods (Pratyantar Dasha) and sub-sub-sub periods (Sookshma Dasha) or even further adopting the same procedure as for sub period. The formula for sub-sub period will be :

Sub-sub period = (Period of major (Pratyantar Dasha) planet x period of sub planet x period of sub-sub planet) /(120x120) years = (Period of major planet x period of sub planet x period of sub-sub planet) / 1200 months

Sub-sub-sub period = (Period of major (Sookshma Dasha) planet x period of sub planet x period of sub-sub planet x period of sub-sub-sub planet)/(120x120x120) years. = (Period of major planet x period of sub planet x period of sub-sub planet x period of sub-sub-sub planet)/ (1200x120) months. = (Period of major planet x period of sub planet x period of sub-sub planet x period of sub-sub-sub planet)/ 40 days

The smallest sub-sub-sub period is of Sun-Sun-Sun -Sun, which is (6 x 6 x 6 x 6)/400 If we go one step deep we get Prana dasha of Sun-Sun-Sun-Sun-Sun = 3.24 x 6 = .162 days = 4 hours. only 120

Though mathematically it seems to be viable to go even further down the step, however these, calculation is highly susceptible to errors because of inherent errors in time of birth and we do not suggest at all to go beyond 5 levels. Even 5th level is normally inaccurate enough to make it absurd. 1 minute of time causes 30" = 1/2 of error in Moon. This shifts the dasha of sun by

( 6 years x 365 days x 24 hours 1) / ( 130 201 x 60 2 ) = 33 hours

Whereas the entire pran dasha of Sun is only x 4 hours, the difference of 33 hours further gets amplified to 110 hours, that is 5 days if the Moon is in the constellation of Venus at the time of birth.

Note : While computing dasha dates we add days to days, months to months and years to years. If days are more than 30, we take a carry over of 1 to months and similarly if months are more than 12 we take a carry over of 1 to year. Here we do not take into account the actual number. of days in a month.

It seems that we are taking a year as 360 days only - 12 months x 30 days per month. However, this is a wrong understanding. Actually, we are dividing the year into months by multiplying by 12 and further converting into days by multiplying of 30. we add up in the same manner. So it is not correct to add by taking actual days of months into consideration. This simplicity of calculation takes the year as 365.25 days. The actual dates computed by rigorous calculations by taking actual days of the months and by this simple method differ only by a few days; accurate practically for all astrological purposes.

For a thought : There are many inherent problems with dasha calculation. Dasha changes very fast with the absolute value of Moon's position. It does not depend upon any other value and doubt in the value of ayanamsa makes it almost useless. Secondly, there are so many dasha systems and it is not known which dasha should be applied when. Thirdly, the periods assigned to different planets seem to be quite adhoc and no reasoning is available anywhere. This makes the dasha system very doubtful and the transit of planets seems to give a much better method of timing an event. Yet, it is difficult to deny the system of dasha. often it seems to be giving results with undoubted accuracy.