After introduction to the three basic building blocks of a horoscope we will now learn about another important concept in Jyotish. The Grahas are also significator of houses.
Kaaraka Meaning: making , doing , acting , who or what does or produces or creates; intending to act or do. “Instrumental in bringing about the action denoted by a verb.
In Jyotish Kaarakas means Significations of Grahas (planets). Each planet is said to be the significator of some Relationships, aspects of life, professions, diseases, parts of the body, internal organs and tissues, Places, different Dwelling places etc. in fact each and everything you can think of has a Planet representing that aspect of life or that thing or person or animal.
Some of them have been covered in the Graha lesson.
We will outline the study of Karakas in a systematic way so that the basics are clear and we may build upon it by more self study.
Again we study the Brihat Paraashara for gaining some insights on this very important study.
Ch. 32. Karakatwas of the Grahas
Two charakaaraka schemes
Paraasara: BPHS 34.1-2
athä'haà sampravakñyämi grahänätmädikärakän |
saptaravyädiçanyantän rähvantän vä'ñöasaìkhyakän || 1||
aàçaiù samaugnahau dvau cedrähvantan cintayet tadä |
saptaiva kärakänevaà kecidañöau pracakñate || 2||
1-2. I now detail below Atma Karak etc., obtainable from among the 7 Grahas, viz. Surya to Shani. Some say, that Raahu will become a Kaarak, when there is a state of similarity in terms of longitude between (two) Grahas. Yet some say, that the 8 Grahas, including Rahu, will have to be considered irrespective of such a state.
atmä süryädikheöänäà madhye hyaàçädhiko grahaù |
aàçasämye kalädhikyät tatsämye vikalädhikaù || 3||
budhau räçikalädhikyat grähvo naivätmakärakaù |
aàçädhikaù kärakaù syädalpabhägo'ntyakärakaù || 4||
madhyäàço madhyakheöaù syädupakheöaù sa eva hi |
vilomagamanädrähoraàçäù çodhyäù khavahnitaù || 5||
aàçakramädadho'dhaùsthäçcaräkhyäù kärakä iti |
3-8. Atma Kaarak Defined. Among the Grahas from Surya etc. whichever has traversed maximum number of degrees in a particular Raashi is called Atma Kaarak. If the degrees are identical, then the one with more minutes of arc and, if the minutes are also identical, then the one with higher seconds of arc, have to be considered. In that case these three are called Anthya Kaarak, Madhya Kaarak and Upakheta. In the case of Raahu deduct his longitude in that particular Raashi from 30 degrees (the extant of a raashi). The Karakas will have to be decided, as above and, as per further rules given below. Out of these Karakas, Aatma Kaarak is the most important and has a prime say on the native, just as the king is the most famous among the men of his country and is the head of all affairs and is entitled to arrest and release men.
9-12. Importance of Aatma Kaarak. O Brahmin, as the minister cannot go against the king, the other Kaarakas, viz. Putra Karak, Amaatya Kaarak etc. cannot predominate over Aatma Kaarak in the affairs of the native. If the Aatma Kaarak is adverse, other Karakas cannot give their benefic effects. Similarly, if Aatma Kaarak is favourable, other Kaarakas cannot predominate with their malefic influences.
13-17.The Graha next to Aatma Kaarak in terms of longitude is called Amaatya Kaarak. Similarly following one another in terms of longitude are Bhraatru Kaarak, Maatru Kaarak, Pitru Kaarak, Putra Kaarak, Gnaati Kaarak and Stri Kaarak. These are Char Kaarakas, or inconstant significators. Some consider Maatru Kaarak and Putra Kaarak, as identical. If two Grahas have the same longitude, both become the same Kaarak, in which case there will be a deficit of one Kaarak. In that circumstance consider constant significator in the context of benefic/malefic influence for the concerned relative.
18-21.Constant Kaarakatwas. I narrate below the constant Kaarakatwas, as related to the Grahas. The stronger among Surya and Shukra indicates the father, while the stronger among Chandra and Mangal indicates the mother. Mangal denotes sister, brother-in-law, younger brother and mother. Budha rules maternal relative, while Guru indicates paternal grand father. Husband and sons are, respectively, denoted by Shukr and Shani. From Ketu note wife, father, mother, parents-in law and maternal grand father. These are constant Karakatwas.
22-24. Bhaavas Related. These constant significances are derivable from the Bhavas, counted from the said constant Kaarakatwas. The 9th from Sūrya denotes father, the 4th from Chandra mother, the 3rd from Mangal brothers, the 6th from Budh maternal uncle, the 5th from Guru sons, the 7th from Shukra wife and the 8th from Shani death. The learned should consider all these and declare related effects accordingly.
31-34. Bhava Significance. I now narrate the significance of the Bhavas. Tanu Bhava denotes the soul (self), Dhan family, finance, wife etc., Sahaj younger brothers/sisters, Putr progeny and Yuvati wife. It is also said, that a Grah in Putr becomes a Karak for wife. The Karakatwas of the Bhava in order are Surya, Guru, Mangal, Candra, Guru, Mangal, Shukra, Shani, Guru, Budha, Guru and Shani.
Maharishi Paraashara explains about the Kaarakas in these slokas. The order that he has given is, first the charakaarak, Second the Sthira karaka and lastly the Naisargika Kaarakas.
But we will study these in the reverse order.
Naisargika means the Natural kaarakas of a house
. Natural attributes like signification of natural events and traits. Such a signification causes it to be called naisargika kaaraka or natural significator. For example Moon rules the mana (mind) and becomes the natural significator for family, society or any social organization as well as the mind. All nine planets have natural (Naisargika) significations and are called Naisargika Kaaraka.
Brahma creates the universe. Naisargika karakas show everything that exists. They are ruled by Brahma. All the nine planets become naisargika karakas, because they all exist in Brahma's creation
The Primary natural karakas of different houses are:
Surya for the first house, Guru for the second house, Mangal for the third house, Chandra for the fourth house, Guru for the fifth house, Mangal for the sixth house, Shukra for the seventh house, Shani for the eight house, Guru for the ninth house, Budha for the tenth house, Guru for the eleventh house and Shani for the twelfth house.
There are secondary karakas also for the houses. Like for example fourth house signifies Mother and hence Chandra is the primary karaka for this house, but the house also rules vehicles and luxuries and Shukra is the significator of this. Fourth house also rules Landed properties and Mangal is the significator of this. Fourth house also rules houses and Ketu is the significator for this.
It is the same for other houses also.
The use of Kaaraka is like the overlord of the matter it signifies and it is judged along with the house and the lord of the house for which it is a significator for a true picture of the results expected for the Jaatak in that particular area of life.
These karakas show us the way to live our life if we care to understand their message:
(From teachings of Pundit Sanjay Rath)
There is a verse in the ancient Pancatantra (a book of moral stories) which states: Intelligent men who [follow the path of Saturn and] consume their wealth based on their strengths and capabilities, just like slowly consuming tonics and medicines which remove disease and old age weaknesses, become very wealthy.
This truism is the wisdom of the pancatantra where we are advised to follow the path of the kaaraka to ensure that we prosper in activities related to a house. Saturn is the significator of the 12th house related to expenses and wise men are very prudent in their expenditure. They consume their wealth carefully based on their capabilities (earnings) and strengths (savings) ensuring that in the process their wealth grows. Similarly, every house has many significators and a wise man follows the path of the significators in all activities concerning the house.
The Sun is the significator of the first house and body full of energy is the key to a long life and good health. Like the Sun all activities should be regulated. Maxims like ‘early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ are very apt in this regard.
Jupiter is the significator of the second house. Eating pure food, truthful speech and saving more than what you plan should be the motto for living a pure life.
Mars is the significator of the third house. Being a bachelor, Mars teaches minimum sexual life restricted to the need for children. Courage in battle and strength to weild ones weapon, be it the pen or the sword are additional requirements of this planet.
The fourth house (conscious mind/home/learning institution) has two significators. Moon a significator requires that one should care and nurture relationships with near and dear ones to maintain happiness and peace in your social circle. Just as the Moon does not consider any planet as an enemy, so also inimical relationships are prohibited inside the social circle or school. The path of Mercury is learning through observation and imitation.
Children, subordinates and disciples are seen from the fifth house and the good Jupiter illumines the path of kindness, forgiveness and giving without expectation.
The sixth house deals with enemies for which Mars advises a show of strength, merciless subjugation and destruction at all times while the other activity of service is signified by Saturn showing the path of sheer hard work.
Saturn the significator of longevity shows that patience and cleanliness are required to overcome diseases and to stay disease free respectively. In addition sins have to be suffered with forbearance and prayer.
Sun signifying the ninth house demands obedience of the laws and doing one’s duty while Jupiter advises faith to the preceptor and sincerity in devotion.
The tenth house has four significators. The Sun (king) determines the work – accept it graciously; Mercury determines the learning – pay attention and learn everything there is to learn; Jupiter gives the intelligence for innovation, planning and execution – use it freely; Saturn gives the diligence to finish the task against all odds – strive with all heart and soul.
In matters of gains (Eleventh house) follow the honest path of Jupiter and -
In expenses (twelfth house) the frugality of Saturn for optimum growth in savings.
In these lines we can also consider other significators like Ketu for spirituality (12th house) where the path is starkly opposite or seemingly retrograde as compared to all other planets. The message here is to do exactly opposite of what the material world considers ‘fruitful’ and renunciation of everything and anything is the first and perhaps last step as well.
We have listed a few Naisargika Kaarakas for the houses and there are many more. We will not give a list for the same but would like the learners to compile a list from various sources, this list will hold them in good stead in their future studies.
One more technique is to judge the bhaavas by taking the significator and counting the same from there.
Example Chandra signifies Mother and the fourth house also signifies the Mother. So for effects fort he Mother we judge the fourth from the Chandra.
Same way we see Spouse from Shukra (for males) and to judge how and in what circumstances the spouse will come in the natives (Jaataks) life we focus on the seventh house from Shukra.
This approach is given in the following slokas in BPHS (Short for Brihat Paraashara hora shastra)
Ch. 7. 39-43. Indications from Bhaavas. Dharm Bhaava and the 9th from Surya deal with one’s father. Whatever effects are to be known from the Karma and Laabh Bhava, be also known from similar Bhaavas, counted from Surya. Whatever results are to be known from Bandhu, Tanu, Dhan, Laabh and Dharm should also be known from the 4th of Chandra, from Kark Raashi itself and from the 2nd, 11th and 9th from Chandra, respectively. Whatever has to be known through Sahaj Bhaava, be also analyzed through the 3rd from Mangal. The 6th from Budha be also considered in regard to indications, derivable from Ari Bhava. The 5th from Guru, the 7th from Shukra and both the 8th and 12th from Shani stand for consideration, respectively, in respect of offspring, spouse and death. The Lord of the Bhaava is equally important, when estimating the indications of a particular Bhaava.
Shiva rules over death and destruction. Sthira karakas show the people who matter to one,
from the point of view of death. They are ruled by Shiva.
Here is the list of sthira karakas given by Pundit Sanjay Rath in one of his book:
Sun/Venus (stronger): Father
Moon/Mars (stronger): Mother
Mars: younger siblings, brother-in-law and sister-in-law
Mercury: Maternal relatives (uncles and aunts)
Jupiter: Husband, paternal grandparents and other paternal relatives (uncles and aunts)
Venus: Wife, mother-in-law & maternal grandparents
Saturn: Elder brothers.
Their ability to signify the tatva whereby they decide the body state – the sthira kaaraka or fixed significator. The seven planets from the Sun to Saturn excluding the shadowy Rahu and Ketu are the sthira kaaraka (fixed significator). Sthira kaaraka are used for longevity or survival of the physical body and the nodes, which are mathematical points in space without physical bodies, cannot represent the physical body. Thus, the seven planets from the Sun to Saturn are the sthira kaaraka. This concept is used in ayur jyotish (longevity estimate of the native as well as other relatives) and is sometimes extended to Vimshottari dashaa as well when used to time sorrow, death and ill health of such relatives.
We will study these at some times in the future lesson dealing with longevity judgement.
Vishnu sustains the universe. Chara karakas show people who play a role in one's sustenance. They are ruled by Vishnu. As Ketu (moksha) is the purpose of sustenance and not a part of one's sustenance, mokshakaraka Ketu does not become chara karaka.
We will deal with this in detail soon. As this is a very important concept of Jyotish this has to be learnt in great detail. This Kaarakatwa is Soul level and connected to past incarnation experiences.
Their ability to differentiate between similar bodies due to ahamkaara (mind & intellect) and, in the case of living beings the jeevaatma – the chara kaaraka or temporary /temporal significator. Kaaraka means significator and chara means movable, changeable indicating a temporary state. There are two chara kaaraka schemes – one for the inanimate material creation/body called the sapta chara kaaraka cakra (seven temporal significator scheme) and the other for the living spiritual bodies having a jeevaatma called the ashta chara kaaraka cakra (eight temporal significator scheme).
chara kaaraka refers to the temporal signification attained by planets by virtue of their longitude in signs. Both Paraasara and Jaimini are unanimous in their declaration of eight planets except Ketu as chara kaaraka for horoscopy while mentioning that seven chara kaaraka are also used. Chara kaaraka refers to significations in the present incarnation and will change in the next incarnation (depending on the longitude of the planets). Ketu being the moksha kaaraka is excluded since birth itself is indicative of non-attainment of moksha.
The method of finding the chara kaaraka and other things related to them will be given in another post.
There are nine Naisargika karakas (all nine planets signify some matter or the other) and they are ruled by Brahma.
Then there are Chara Kaaraka who number eight (excluding Ketu all the other eight Grahas become the chara karakas) and they are ruled by Vishnu.
Lastly come the Sthira Kaarakas who are seven in numbers (both the Nodes of Chandra do not figure in this scheme) and are ruled by Shiva.
Parashara has dealt with these three schemes of Kaarakas in a particular order (see the number of planets in each scheme). The order depends on the Greatness of the Trinities (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) as tested by Maharishi Bhrigu. Do you know this story? If you do please post it so that others who don’t know can learn. Can you map the greatness of each of the trinities to the Kaaraka scheme?