Maharshi Parasara has given invaluable advice regarding the criteria for choosing the appropriate Udu dasa. This has been substantiated in works like Dasadhyayi and Jataka Parijaata. However one shall stick to the authority of Parasara.
The Best Dasa
Vimsottari dasa is like the icing over the cake of Vedic Astrology. It is the single greatest gift of the Maharishi’s for the welfare of people in Dark Age of Kali especially since the maximum longevity of man during this Dark Age is 120 years (Vimsottari means 120 which is the maximum period of the Vimsottari Dasa scheme). Parasara opines that this is the best of the Nakshatra dasa (and perhaps the best for all purposes). Thus, our first natural choice is Vimsottari Dasa unless other special conditions of at birth prevail.
Conditions for Ashtottari Dasa
Criteria – 1
Lagnesat kendrakonasthe rahau lagnam vina sthite
Ashtottari dasa vipra vijneya raudrabhaditah BPHS 48.17
Translation: O! Brahmin, Rudra teaches that “if Rahu is placed in a quadrant or trine from the sign occupied by the Lord of the Lagna, Ashtottari Dasa shall apply”.
Parasara has given a very specific rule (Criteria – 1) for the use of Ashtottari Dasa (108 years) by stating that Rahu in a quadrant or trine from the Lord of the Lagna determines the applicability of Ashtottari Dasa, subsequently he gives another advice (Criteria – 2) for determining the applicability of Ashtottari Dasa.
Criteria – 2
Krsnapakse diva janma suklapakse tatha nisi
Tada hyastottari cintya phalarthanca visesatah BPHS 48.23
Translation: If the birth is at day in Krsna Paksha or at night in Sukla Paksha, the use of Ashtottari Dasa is advised for determination of all results.
If these advice are to be taken at face value, then by implication the Vimsottari Dasa would apply only if birth is at night in Krsna Paksha or at day in Sukla Paksha. Considering Criteria – 1 and 2 together, Ashtottari dasa will be applicable in 25% charts. Thus, Vimsottari dasa is applicable in about 75% birth charts. Summing up, check the following:-
1) Whether the Rahu is placed in a Kendra or Trikona from Paka Lagna (i.e. the sign occupied by the lord of the Lagna).
2) Whether birth at day time is in Krsna Paksha, OR whether birth at night time is in Sukla Paksha.
3) If both of (1) or (2) above are applicable, then use Ashtottari Dasa.
Condition for Shodasottari Dasa
Candrahoragate krsne suryahoragate sitee
Lagne nrnam phalajnaptyai vicintya sodasottari BPHS 48.24
Translation: If birth is in Krsna Paksha and Lagna is in Moon Hora or if the birth is in Sukla Paksha and Lagna is in Sun Hora, then Shodasottari dasa (116 years) shall apply.
Condition for Dwadasottari dasa
Sukramsake prajatasya vicintya dvadasottari BPHS 48.27
Translation: If the Lagna is in Sukramsa then Dwadasottari Dasa (112 years) shall apply.
Sukramsa has been vaguely translated by G C Sharma as “the Navamsa of Venus”. Sumeet Chugh at least has been clear in his thinking and has specifically translated this to imply the “navamsa ascendant is Taurus or Libra”. Let us examine the various possibilities:-
1) Sukramsa can mean “Navamsa of Taurus or Libra”. However, consider the case of a male born on 12th November 1934, 6:19 pm, Cuttack, India”.
The Lagna is in Taurus 16 degree 32’ and is vargottama i.e. Navamsa lagna is also Taurus. Criteria 6 will apply indicating that Satabdika dasa will be applicable in the chart. However, if Sukramsa is interpreted as the ‘navamsa lagna in taurus or libra’ then criteria 4 will also apply. We are in a fix and it is unlikely that Parasara could have implied such a meaning for Sukramsa.
2) Sukramsa in the context means, “Lagna is in the navamsa of the sign occupied by Venus in the Rasi chart”. For example, if Venus is in Libra in the Rasi chart, then navamsa lagna in Libra will satisfy the criteria 4. This can be the only satisfactory translation of the word ‘Sukramsa’ and is in the lines of such words used in the nadi and allied jyotish literature.
Condition for Panchottari Dasa
Arkamsa karkalagne pancottari mata BPHS 48.29
Translation: If the lagna is Cancer both in Rasi and dwadasamsa, Panchottari dasa (105 years) shall apply. Such a position is possible only when the Lagna is in the range of 0-2 degree 30’ in cancer.
Condition for Satabdika Dasa
Vargottamagate lagne dasa cintya satabdika BPHS 48.32
Translation: Should the ascendant be vargottama, Satabdika dasa (100 years) shall apply. Vargottama means occupying the same sign in rasi and navamsa charts. This is possible if the lagna is in the first navamsa (0-3 deg 20’) of movable signs, middle (fifth) navamsa (13 deg 20’ – 16 deg 40’) of fixed signs and last (ninth) navamsa of dual signs (26 deg 40’ – 30 deg)
The only possibility of a redundancy with criteria 4 can arise if Venus is in either Libra or Taurus and the Lagna is vargottama. In such a case, prefer criteria 4 to override criteria 6.
Condition for Chaturasitika dasa
Karmese karmage jneya caturasitika dasa BPHS 48.35
Translation: If the tenth lord is in the tenth house then Chaturasitika dasa (84 years) shall apply.
Condition for Dwisaptati Sama Dasa
Lagnese saptame yasya lagne va saptamadhipe
Cintaniya dasa tasya dvisaptatisamahavya BPHS 48.38-39
Translation: If the lagna lord is in the seventh house or seventh lord is in lagna, dvisaptati sama dasa (72 years) shall apply.
Condition for Shasti Sama dasa
Yadarko lagnarasisthascintya sastiamsa tada BPHS 48.40
Translation: Shastisama dasa (60 years) (also known as Shastihayani dasa) shall apply in those cases where the Sun is in Lagna.
Condition for Shattrima sama dasa
Lagne dine’rkahorayam candrahoragate nisi BPHS 48.43
Translation: If birth is in day time and Lagna is in Sun Hora or if birth is in the night and Lagna is in Moon Hora, Shat trimsa sama dasa shall apply.
The Udu Dasa can be broadly grouted into two categories:
1) Vimsottari dasa and its variations of Tara, Tribhagi and Moola dasa, and
2) Special condition dasa including Ashtottari etc.
Vimsottari dasa & variations
Parasara’s teachings point to a process for selecting the dasa by an intelligent applicant of the criteria gives. Irrespective of special conditions, Vimsottari dasa (and its variations) will always apply in a horoscope.
There are five variations of Vimsottari dasa based on the nakshatra which initiates the dasa. Vimsottari dasa can be initiated from (a) the natal Moon Nakshatra (Janma Nakshatra) (b) Lagna Nakshatra (Lagna dasa or Tara dasa) (c) 5th nakshatra from natal Moon (Utpanna dasa), (d) 4th nakshatra from natal Moon (Kshema dasa), (e) 8th nakshatra from natal Moon (Adhana dasa). Generally, Janma & Lagna dasa are phalita dasa (fruits of life) whereas Utpanna, Kshema and Adhana dasa are used for longevity analysis (ayur dasa).
Moola dasa is applicable in all charts as it gives the results of the karma of past life which we have to suffer in the present incarnation. This dasa shall guve pronounced results in the charts of divine personalities and saints who have come to this planet for completing a final form of some curse or such terms of final punishment and redemption.
Special condition dasa’s
Special condition dasa’s have criteria that can overlap I.e. it is possible that the criteria of two or more dasa are present in a horoscope. In such a case, the order of precedence given by Parasara should be used to select the suitable dasa. The order of precedence is given below. In case of doubt, use the first source of strength for affirmation.
- i. Ashtottari dasa (including its variation of Tithi Ashtottari dasa)
- ii. Shodasottari dasa.
- iii. Dwadasottari dasa.
- iv. Panchottari dasa.
- v. Satabdika dasa.
- vi. Chaturasiti sama dasa.
- vii. Dwisaptati sama dasa.
- viii. Shasti sama dasa
- ix. Shat trimsa sama dasa
A natural question is when Vimsottari dasa is universally applicable, what is the need for such special conditions dasa? Special condition dasa are used for special purposes as delineated under. The existence of special conditions applying in a chart points at the special purpose or condition of birth. Existence of yoga’s will indicate the existence of achievement of the purpose.
Ashtottari dasa – Ketu is the governor of the dasa and does to feature in the list of planets furnishing their dasa’s in the Ashtottari scheme. The effects of Ketu, the moksakaraka and Rudra graha are felt throughout the period. It is the base over which the results of other planets shall be felt like the surface of the ocean over which the dasa’s shall cause ripples and waves. The planet which is excluded in any scheme is invariably the governor of the special condition dasa.
Ashtottari dasa is applicable in the chart. Such a native’s great achievement will be in the export (Ketu) of indigenous knowledge or goods. The quality and nature of knowledge or goods depends on other combinations in the chart, Srila Prabhupada’s chart greatest achievement was the lucid translations of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita which resulted in the establishment of ISKCON in a foreign land. Thus, the great achievement was brought out through the export of knowledge for which purpose he had to travel to the USA.
Shodasottari Dasa: Rahu is the governor and does not feature in the list of planets furnishing dasas. The effects of Rahu are predominant and felt throughout the life. The purpose or objectives are achieved through the import (Rahu) of goods and knowledge. It is important that one should not get biased against Rahu with Xenophobic attitudes and should declare good or bad on the basis of yogas and other combinations prevailing in the chart.
Take the case of the notorious criminal Dawood Ibrahim. His rise to power in the underworld was through smuggling of gold into India. This clandestine import (Rahu) resulted in his rise and the purpose is seen from prevailing yogas in his chart. Shodasottari dasa will show the periods when such activity of import will flourish or when it will end due to intelligent policies and reforms brought about by the Government of India after shedding its xenophobic attitude.
Dwadasottari Dasa: Venus is the governor of the dwadasottari dasa scheme and doesn’t feature in the list of the planets furnishing the dasas. The special condition is focused on ‘Sukramsa’ just as the special condition for its predecessors Ashtottari and Shodasottari dasas were focused on nodes. The base or ocean is the cultural field of arts, music, painting, movies etc. Thus dasa is specifically their periods of achievement. These are the people who will work on a Venusian base to achieve their life’s objectives. It is not necessary that all filmstars must have the special conditions for this dasa application.
Panchottari Dasa: The dwadasamsa is also called Suryamsa and shows the lineage, family etc. to which a person belongs. It connects the native to his birth circumstances of the various equations emerging for the creation of beings in various signs and dwadasamsa, the first dwadasamsa of cancer (0-20 degree 30’) is the area reflecting the creation of the universe, and is a sense the seat of Brahma, the creator. The life giving forces of creation are so powerful at this area of zodiac that the destroyers (Rahu Ketu) become defunct and have no role. Lagna is the governor, and the theme is the establishment of a lineage or to propagate the process of creation. Doctors and medicine men are but some examples that comes to the mind. But then this will only be the base and the objectives will vary depending on the chart.
Satabdika Dasa: Lagna is also the governor of Satabdika dasa just like the predecessor the Pancottari dasa and the special condition envisages a vargottama lagna. The theme changes from Brahmas perspective of creation to Visnu’s perspective of dharma. There can be a clash between Panchottari and Satabdika dasa when in any horoscope, the lagna is between 0-2 degree 30’ in cancer. Here the lagna is not only in cancer dwadasamsa satisfying the criteria for Panchottari dasa, but is also vargottama satisfying the criteria for Satabdika dasa. In such cases, the order of precedence given by Parasara is resorted to and Panchottari dasa is to be applicable instead of Satabdika dasa.
Chaturasiti Sama dasa: The tenth lord (Indra – the king of heaven symbolized by the 10th house) is the governor and the special condition relates to this house and lord. The presence of the special condition indicates that there is karma yoga and it is on this that the entire chart revolves. Position, honor and money become instruments for achievement of objectives.
Among the planets Jupiter represents India and the lordship of Jupiter in the chart will indicate the direction of the blessing or the people who will play a vital role in the achievement of Karma yoga. Jupiter indicates a teacher or guru.
Dwisaptati Sama Dasa: Hara (the form of Siva) is the governor and among planets the Moon is the representative. The special condition relates to the seventh house which is the seat of all desires indicating that the them is the fulfillment of desires. The lordship and placement of the Moon will indicate the people or objects that will lead to the fulfillment of objective/ desire. Motherly and elderly ladies are indicated by Moon.
Shasti hayani Dasa: The Sun is the governor and the special condition for dasa applicability also relates to the Sun The lordship of the Sun will indicate the “elder” (Sun indicates an elder or fatherly figure) who will be represented by the Sun and whose directions will be the major theme in the life of the person.
Shattrimsa Sama Dasa: Often mistaken by many astrologers as the Yogini dasa, this is a phalita dasa. Mercury is the governor and wealth is a focus as the special conditions relate to the hora. Sustenance would be more appropriate term to explain life’s theme.