- Cruel and Gentle Grahas
- Tiers of Prediction
- Karakas and Vargas
- Karakas in Bhavas
Cruel and Gentle Grahas
Grahas are either inherently Saumya (gentle) or Krura (cruel). The Saumya Grahas are Jupiter, Venus, Mercury if alone or with another benefic, and the waxing Moon. If Mercury is with a Saumya Graha and a Krura Graha in the same Rasi, then the closest Graha in degrees to Mercury will give him his status as either gentle or cruel. The cruel Grahas are Saturn, Mars, the Sun, Rahu, Ketu, Mercury if with a cruel Graha, and waning Moon. A waxing Moon is brightening or is between 0 and 180 degrees from the Sun. A waning Moon is darkening and is between 180 and 360 degrees from the Sun, at which point it is deemed cruel.
All of the things Karakas produce are inherently beneficial. When the Karaka is deficient in Ishta, then it cannot produce its inherent significations
satisfactorily. Cruel Grahas also produce very desirable things. For example,
Saturn does not produce depression; Saturn produces focus, perseverance and the ability to withstand suffering. It is only when Saturn is weak in Ishta that it cannot produce perseverance and fortitude. When negative things happen within the life of a native with a weak Saturn, that native will not have the fortitude to withstand depression and will succumb.
The difference between gentle and cruel Grahas is this: gentle Grahas spread around all of their goodness (Ishta) and keep all their negativity (Kashta) for themselves. Cruel Grahas give away all of their negative qualities (Kashta) and retain the goodness (Ishta) for themselves. In this sense, Grahas are very much like people. Mean, cruel people will dissipate their negativity to anyone within their sphere of influence and will retain their goodness for themselves. One could even say that cruel Grahas are sadistic. Pleasant, kind people will spread their goodwill and keep their negativity to themselves.
An example of how this works is that Saturn produces longevity, which is a good thing, but if Saturn has a lot of ill or a high amount of Kashta and low Ishta, then the longevity is curtailed, because Saturn cannot produce it very well. At the same time, Saturn will also be spreading around its negativity to gentle Grahas, harming their ability to produce their significations. Saturn represents discipline and focus. When Saturn is giving away a lot of its Kashta to other Grahas, then Saturn does not have enough Ishta to provide or create a determined focus. Therefore the person’s focus and determination will suffer.
In summary, the gentle Grahas spread their goodness (Ishta) through aspect or position and keep the negativity (Kashta) for themselves. In contrast, the cruel Grahas give away all of their Kashta but keep the Ishta for themselves.
Any ill to the Karaka shows, more often than not, the problems that are most paramount in a person’s life. The Karakas are the most effective and simple to utilize in predictions. They are the cause, the beginning of their significations; therefore any ill to these Karakas show substantial problems to a Karakas’ significations from the very beginning.
For example, the Ishta of Jupiter is the foundation of Jupiter to produce children, husband, guru, brain, liver, wealth, etc. A weak Jupiter will have difficulty producing these things and there will be inherent problems regardless of the Rasi or Bhava placement of Jupiter.
The average Ishta for a Karaka is 30 Virupas. Anytime a Karaka has less than 30 Virupas, there will be some problems or lack with that Karaka. Ishta/Kashta is the most important thing to assess when deciding on remedies for afflicted Karakas.
Tiers of Prediction
Three tiers or layers exist when making predictions. Imagine the sky. In the sky, the Grahas are interacting with each other. At one point they are opposite each other, at one point they are conjunct, at one point they are squared each other, etc. The Grahas are operating and influencing each other by simply going through their orbits. At this point, they are merely influencing each other; they have not been brought down to Earth Grahas interacting with each other in the sky represent the factory. Within the factory, the Grahas are producing their natural and inherent significations. In this role, the Grahas are called Karakas. The factory can produce well-made, sturdy equipment or it can produce faulty, deficient equipment. Whether the factory produces a well-made automobile depends on the Ishta and Kashta of Venus. Similarly, whether the factory produces a sturdy home depends on the Ishta and Kashta of Mars.
Within the human body, Mercury produces the skin. Mercury can produce healthy, blemish-free skin or it can produce skin that is prone to rashes, skin cancer, acne, etc. Most of the chronic problems that people experience are due to inadequacies of the Karaka producing its natural significations. The Karaka is the producer of something, it is the beginning. If the Karaka cannot produce its significations sufficiently, then it has problems right from the beginning, or to use the previous metaphor, it has problems right out of the factory.
The 2nd tier of prediction is the Grahas within the Rasis. The Rasis or Signs are born by the relationship of the Sun and the Earth; therefore it is the beginning of the Grahas influencing the Earth when the Rasis are brought into the equation. Karakas in Rasis show the qualities of the thing produced. Rasis give the color, texture, place, psychological aspects and many other details of the thing produced.
The 3rd tier of prediction relies on the Bhavas or houses. The Bhavas are determined by the Ascendant which is the degree of the Rasi on the Eastern Horizon at the time of birth. Grahas are influencing their Bhava placement and the Bhava placement is influencing the Graha or Grahas. The point directly overhead at the place of your birth is the mid-heaven or 10th Bhava cusp. The point directly below is the Nadir or 4th Bhava cusp and the point on the Western Horizon is the Descendant or 7th Bhava cusp. The existence of Bhavas is completely dependent upon the Earth; there can be no Bhavas without the Earth’s planes.
For the technique of predicting with Grahas as Karakas, the 1st tier of prediction is primarily used, where the Grahas are interacting and forming planetary aspects with each other in the sky. Secondarily, the 3rd tier of prediction, namely the Bhava placement, is also used.
The technique is derived from a triplet of Sutras found in Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra:
“The Sun is the father of all offspring and the Moon is similarly the mother. A Paapa aspecting or joining, or the Sun situated between Paapas is known to certainly harm the native’s father. The Paapas standing in the Sun’s 6th and 8th Rasis as well as the 4th, without Saumyas, indicate harm to the father. Similarly the position of Paapas from the Moon should be considered too ill the mother. Judge the strength and weakness to determine illness or death.”
Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra: Aristhas, 43-45
Vargas are called ‘divisional charts’ in Western Astrology. As mentioned previously, all Karakas produce something that is desirable. Saturn is trying to produce longevity, which is certainly desirable. Jupiter is trying to produce all of its significations, i.e., wealth, children, husband, guru, happiness, wisdom, etc. Jupiter can make a person wealthy but give them no children. The reason there is differentiation of what a Karaka actually produces in a horoscope is because of the Varga charts. In Vedic Astrology, you cannot make any serious, accurate predictions without Varga charts.
When you look at a horoscope or Rasi Chart, you are seeing a Rasi chart of everyone born within a roughly two-hour period in a specific place. Of course, everyone born within that 2 hour period has vastly different lives. Vargas, especially the higher-numbered Vargas, differentiate people born within minutes or even seconds, of each other.
Each Varga relates directly to a Bhava. Each Karaka means different things in different Vargas. For example, Jupiter means brain and liver in the Rasi, because the Rasi is the body according to Parasara. Jupiter produces children in the Saptamsa, the 7th Varga because the 7th Bhava rules conception. Jupiter produces wealth in the Hora Varga, the 2nd divisional chart, because the 2nd Bhava rules wealth.
Another example would be Mars producing your home in the Chaturtamsa, the 4th divisional chart, because the 4th Bhava rules the home and real estate and Mars rules the home and real estate. Mars produces the siblings, except for the eldest, which is produced by Saturn. The 3rd Bhava is the house of siblings, so we would look to the 3rd divisional chart, the Drikkana, and Mars in the Drikkana, for our siblings.
According to Parasara, there are 16 Vargas used for predictive purposes. With these 16 Vargas, we can predict anything we might have to. There are other Vargas, but for purposes of predicting with Grahas as Karakas, the following 16 Vargas mentioned by Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra should be used.
“Now I tell you of the considerations or uses that are to be made of the 16 divisions of a sign. From the Lagna or Ascendant is to be considered the physique, from Hora wealth, form Decanate happiness through coborn (brothers), from Chaturthamsa fortunes, from Saptamsa sons and grandsons, etc., from Navamsa wife from Dasamsa effects of great importance, from Dwadasamsa parents, from Shodamsa should be known benefits and adversities through conveyances, from Vimsamsa worship is to be known, from Chaturvimsamsa learning, from Bhamsa strength and weakness, from Trimsamsa evil effect, from Khavedamsha auspicious and inauspicious effects, and from Akshavedamsha and Shashtiamsa should be considered all indications.”
–Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra: Division Consideration, 1-8
Sun Produces in Varga
Body in a vehicle Shodamsa
Consistency of Fortune Chaturthamsa
Creative Energy Saptamsa
Government Service Dasamsa
Sva Dharma Navamsa
Father’s Influence Dwadasamsa
Moon Produces in Varga
Character of One’s Heart Rasi/Trimsamsa
Receptivity to Fortune Chaturthamsa
Spiritual Receptivity Vimsamsa
Mars Produces in Varga
Mineral Wealth, (Gold, Gems) Hora
Capacity to Accomplish Hora
Compromise in Marriage Navamsa
Logic and Research Siddhamsa
Brother/Sister in Law Navamsa
Mercury Produces in Varga
Journeys in Vehicles Shodamsa
Spiritual Discernment Vimsamsa
Initiatory Instructions Siddhamsa
Learning by Rote Siddhamsa
Artistry, Craftsmanship Bhamsa
Maternal Aunts/Uncles Dwadasamsa
Business Partners Rasi
Occult Knowledge Siddhamsa
Managerial Capacity Hora
Finance/Capital Gains Hora
Long-Term Investments Hora
Jupiter Produces in Varga
Paternal Grandfather Dwadasamsa
Inheritance, Other’s Money Hora
Paternal Grandmother Dwadasamsa
Charitable Contributions Hora
Venus Produces in Varga
Wealth of Jewelry Hora
Works of Art Hora
Pools, Lakes Chaturthamsa
Physical Care, Nurse, etc. Trimsamsa
Maternal Grandmother Dwadasamsa
Hospitals/Nursing Homes Rasi/Trimsamsa
Maternal Grandfather Dwadasamsa
Saturn Produces in Varga
Fall from Position Dasamsa
Elder Sibling Drikkana
Rahu Produces in Varga
Medical Drugs Rasi/Trimsamsa
Technical Skills Bhamsa
Patala (Netherworld) Chaturthamsa
Maternal Ancestry Dwadasamsa
Addictive Drugs Rasi/Trimsamsa
Ketu Produces in Varga
Paternal Ancestry Dwadasamsa
Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra states that the 11th, 6th, 8th, 12th, 3rd, and 2nd Bhavas are cruel. The auspicious Bhavas are the angles and trines, namely the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Bhavas.
If a Karaka occupies an angle or a trine, it can withstand a lot of cruel influence. In the 1st, 5th and 9th Bhavas, significations of a Karaka flourish; those things produced by the Karaka come quite easily and effortlessly. If a Karaka occupies an angle, namely the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th Bhavas, the significations of that Karaka are very powerful and highly noticed in the person’s life. The implications may not manifest as easily as if the Karaka was in a trine, but the implications will manifest powerfully and effectively.
The Dusthana Bhavas, namely Bhavas 6, 8, and 12 will always cause problems with the Karaka. The 6th Bhava is the Bhava of obstacles, delays, enemies and health issues. When a Karaka occupies the 6th Bhava, its significations within a person’s life are delayed and obstacles must be overcome. Since the 6th Bhava is also a ‘growing Bhava’ as the person gets older, the significations of the Karaka occupying the 6th Bhava develop more easily and readily. For example, if the Sun occupies the 6th Bhava in the Dasamsa, then success in the career will be delayed and the native will feel as if there is an enormous amount of competition. As the native matures, his career success and ability to influence those around him will grow. Another example would be Jupiter occupying the 6th Bhava in the Saptamsa, then having children will be delayed, the children may have health problems and/or the children are very stressful and difficult for the native.
The 8th Bhava is the Bhava of the ‘flaw’. Any Karaka occupying the 8th Bhava will have inherent flaws and could break at any moment. The 8th Bhava causes major ups and downs in regards to the implications of a Karaka. The 8th Bhava is also the Bhava of battle or war, so any Karaka here will require battles to keep it functioning. If Jupiter occupies the 8th Bhava in the Saptamsa, then the person’s children will have inherent flaws and it will be a constant battle for the native to keep a relationship with them. The children’s’ lives will be a roller coaster of ups and downs. If Jupiter is in the 8th Bhava of the Navamsa of a female native, then the native’s husband will have inherent flaws. He could have severe health problems, mental instability or be accident prone. If Jupiter occupies the 8th Bhava in the Hora, then the native’s finances have many ups and downs, however they could receive a substantial amount of wealth from their partner or from inheritances.
When a Karaka occupies the 12th Bhava, the ability of the Karaka to produce its significations is greatly diminished and the significations of that Karaka will be lost or the person cannot consciously access those significations. If Jupiter occupies the 12th Bhava in the Saptamsa, then it is highly likely the person will be separated from their children. Jupiter in the 12th Bhava of the Navamsa and a female native will likely be physically separated from her husband sometime during their marriage.
The 2nd Bhava signifies things that need care and attention, such as one’s possessions, family, friends and wealth. The 2nd Bhava represents those things that we are responsible for. When a Karaka occupies the 2nd Bhava, then the significations of the Karaka are a responsibility rather than a joy. For example, if the Sun occupies the 2nd Bhava in the Dasamsa, then the success of the career feels like a responsibility to the person. The success that comes from the career does not make the person rejoice, nor give them satiation because the career success needs constant attention and care.
The 3rd Bhava is the Bhava of competition, self-effort and skill. If a Karaka occupies the 3rd Bhava, then an unceasing effort must be made to realize the significations of the Karaka in a positive way. The 3rd Bhava is the Bhava of the siblings. Children constantly compete with their siblings for their parents’ attention, toys, friends, resources, etc. It is no wonder, then, that the 3rd Bhava will require a continual focus and effort, exactly the reason Parasara describes the 3rd Bhava as ‘cruel’.
The 11th Bhava is a cruel Bhava as well and is the least likely Bhava to be described as cruel. With regards to the nearest angular Bhava, the 11th Bhava is the 2nd from the 10th Bhava, signifying gains from the career. The 11th Bhava rules titles and advancements, ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ so to speak. The things the 11th Bhava represent are things that must be earned after much toil. In this Bhava, things do not come easily, there is effort and sweat put into earning what the 11th Bhava represents. When a Karaka occupies the 11th Bhava, the implications of that Karaka must be earned. In the scheme of Bhavat Bhavam or ‘the Bhava from the Bhava’, the 11th Bhava is the 6th from the 6th, meaning it carries secondary implications of the 6th Bhava, the Bhava of obstacles and delays. In climbing the heights of career or social status, there is a lot of work and effort involved. Continuing to apply the concept of Bhavat Bhavam, the 11th Bhava is the 12th from the 12th Bhava, implying there will be expense and a sense of giving up something to realize the implications of the 11th Bhava. For example, if Jupiter occupies the 11th Bhava in the Hora, wealth will be earned after putting forth the necessary effort. The 11th Bhava is also a ‘growing’ Bhava, therefore Karakas placed here will flourish more and more as the native grows older.
Even if a Karaka has a lot of Ishta, or goodness, there will always be problems with a Karaka producing its effects if it occupies a Dusthana Bhava in a Varga.