Kaala Chakra Dasha
– A Critical Review
Shakti Mohan Singh, India
Multitude of Directional Systems
In Vedic-astrology there exist a large number of directional systems, mostly known as Dasha Paddatis, suited to different birth conditions and different purposes. The Dasha systems as proposed by Maharshi Parashar in his famous treatise Brihat Parashar Hora Shastra, broadly fall into two main categories – the nakshtra dharika or constellation based Dasha systems and Rashi or zodiacal-sign based Dasha systems. Besides, there are some lesser systems like Kaala dasha, chakra dasha, sandhya dasha, pachaka dasha, tara dasha, panchaswara dasha etc. Which do not fall in either of these categories and may be based, at least in parts, even on non-astrological considerations. According to him some systems are applicable to all natives while others can be used in case of such natives only whose horoscopes satisfy certain specific conditions. It is also claimed that some systems can be used for predicting events in all sectors of life and are known as Phalit Dashas while some are specifically suited for predicting the death of the native or his near and dear ones and are known as Ayurdasha.
Kaala Chakra Dasha system happens to be one of these. Kaala means time, Chakra means Wheel – in effect Kaala Chakra Dasha means the methodology of the Wheel Of Time. It has been dealt with in classical textbooks like Brihat Prashara Hora Shastra (BHPS), Jataka Parijata (JP), Phala Deepika (PD) and Jatakadesh Marga (JDH). BHPS and JP have explained this system in greater details than the other text-books, which contain comparatively condensed versions. BHPS declares that KCD is the best amongst all these systems (Verse 06 Ch 46 Dashaadhyay).It also advices that KCD should be used not only in natal astrology but in horary astrology also (Verse 34 of the section devoted to KCD in this very chapter) but the sad fact remains that in practice KCD in not playing even the second fiddle to Vimshottari Dasa.
The Question of Applicability
According to verse 12 of chapter 12 of Jatakadesh Marga, KCD must be applied to such cases in which birth takes place at a time when Moon is aspected/conjoined by the lord of the constellation occupied by it.
JP verse 40 chap. 18 says that in case where Moon is aspected /conjoined by the lord of navamamsha occupied by it, KCD gives better results.
According to PD verse 30 of Ch. 22, KCD should be used when the lord of the navamamsha occupied by Moon is strong. It should be mentioned here that this verse is located in this chapter with a group of such verses as contains advice about the applicability of various dashas for determining the longevity.
I have also read somewhere that in cases where moon occupies a navamamsha ruled by Venus or Venus is otherwise strong, the KCD should be used for determining the longevity.
However, BPHS verse 6 of chapter 46 is very clear that Kaala chakra dasha system is the best amongst all systems
and verse 34 of the section devoted to KCD in this very chapter asserts that KCD should be used not only in natal astrology but in horary astrology also. Besides, my o wn experience with this system, for past two decades, is that it is not only universally applicable but that it is the most efficacious system.
I became interested in KCD system sometimes in 1990 and was studying, investigating and testing this system since then but it was only around 1995 that I became convinced that this was a unique system which surpassed all others in Vedic astrology. I also found that the system was thrown into disuse because the method of calculation and computation as explained in various translations/commentaries of the classical texts was not in accordance with the dicta of the classical texts. The book written by contemporary authorities also suggested incorrect methods and therefore astrologers were unable to make correct predictions consistently on the basis of this system. I wrote a series of articles during 2001-03 for a Hindi magazine published from Jaipur explaining the classical method of calculation and computation, pointing out there in the mistakes in the methods recommended by translators, commentators and authors. I also proposed a conceptual model of Kaala Chakra in this series to demonstrate the mechanism of this system for the first time and explained on its basis the correct method as propounded in the classical texts. I illustrated this series with the horoscope of late Srimati Indira Gandhi and demonstrated that all the events of her life were shown very clearly if the dasha was calculated and computed in the manner explained by me.
Justice S. N Kapoor, National President, Indian Council of Astrological Sciences, read some of my articles. The judicaturist’s astute mind immediately appreciated the tremendous opportunities hidden in the system. He took keen interest in my work on this system and asked me to make a detailed presentation on KCD at a Faculty Development Program of ICAS, organized by him at Delhi in July 2002, which was attended by the faculty members of ICAS from all over the country.
Accordingly, I made the presentation. At the end of the presentation Pt. Bhola Nath Shukla of Kanpur, the then National Vice President of ICAS asked me “Does the system really work?” Other participant also asked similar questions and wondered that if it was such an efficacious system why it was not being taught in details like Vimshottari in the regular classes held by ICAS? My object in mentioning this episode is to sho w that even scholars of great standing in the field are diffident about this system. In fact, several participants confided to me that after devoting a lot of time to it they abandoned the system because they found that correct predictions could not be made on its basis. The truth of the matter is that these gentlemen tried to follow the methodology advocated in books available in the market. This methodology attempts to handle KCD also on the principles of Vimshottari producing confounded versions.
Today, rank and file of astrologers does not know even the name KCD. Many confuse it with the unnecessarily dreaded Kaala Sarpa Yoga of dubious authenticity. Some consider it to be an ayurdasha only and doubt its usefulness as a phalit dasha. Very few astrologers know that such a system does at all exist. Although, today the market is flooded with books on natal astrology written by a multitude of authors, the names of authors who have written anything about this system can be counted on fingertips. Some astrologers have claimed that they have made correct predictions on the basis of KCD in one or two cases but during my 5o plus years of wandering through the reams of astrology and astrologers, I did not find a single astrologer who even occasionally had used exclusively this system for giving predictions to his clients.
Atrophied Through Disuse
This is a matter of common knowledge that the most popular dasha system is the Vimshottari dasha system. In fact it was probably the only system used in north India, with the exception of the Himalayan tract where Yogini was also in vogue, till the publication of Shri K. N. Rao’s “Predicting through Jaimini’s Chara Dasha” in 1995. Even today, you open any book on Vedic astrology and you will come across Vimshottari Dasha. It does not make any difference whether the book you have opened is a classical text or one written by a modern author. Very few books deal with dasha systems other than Vimshottari.
Even BPHS has given maximum space to this system. In common practice, the word ‘dasha‘ has become synonymous with Vimshottari. Even non-astrologers can be heard saying that they are under stress because Saturn or Rahu dasha is running and by ‘dasha’ they mean Vimshottari only. Vimshottari is believed to be easy to calculate and compute which it really is up to a certain extent only. It is also believed to be simple to interpret which it certainly is not.
Granting that the universal applicability of Vimshottari is indisputable, because Maharishi Parashar has categorically stated in verse 3 of chapter 46 that Vimshottari is the main system,this does not constitute a reasonable excuse for shelving KCD and ignoring summarily Maharishi’s dictum in verse 6 of this very chapter that Kaala chakra dasha system is the best amongst all systems. The only reason appears to be that on account of its complicated nature astrologers experienced difficulty in understanding the system correctly. The result that it was not used consistently in the recent past and finally became atrophied through disuse.
Nakshatra-Dharika (Constellation Based) Dasha Systems
Constellation based dasha systems are those in which the life of an individual is linked to the post-natal progress of the Moon through various constellations. The initial dasha is, therefore, identified on the basis of the constellation or group of constellations occupied by the Moon at the time of birth of that individual and its balance at birth is calculated on basis of the arc traversed by the Moon in that constellation or the group of constellations. Thus, these are based on a single parameter and the dashas in such systems proceed in a continuous and fixed order, which is irreversible in most of the cases. The duration of each dasha is also fixed.
In these systems the various dashas are generally named, not after the constellations, the lordship being specific to the particular system. The predictions for dashas are, therefore, based on such lords, their nature, their house lordship, strength and relationships with other planets for which detailed rules are given in BPHS. Other classical texts, as a rule, also contain detailed material on Vimshottari. Occasionally, there is mention of other systems also but only briefly.
Rashi (Sign Based) Dasha Systems
The sign based systems, on the other hand, are those in which the various periods in the life of an individual are linked to various zodiacal signs and the initial dasha is determined on the basis of the rashi or the zodiacal sign which may qualify for the purpose on account of its being the ascendant, the zodiacal sign which may qualify for the trinal houses or a sign occupied by a planet qualifying as Brahma etc and generally the concept of balance of dasha at the time of birth is absent here. The progress of dashas may or may not follow any continuous or fixed sequence and also may or may not be reversible in case of a sign based system. The duration of various dasha is also variable in most of the cases.
In case of these systems the events are determined on the basis of the nature and strength of the zodiacal sign, after which the dasha is named, along with nature, strength and position of its lord. The nature, strength, lordship and chara–karakartwa of the planet or planets, occupying and aspecting the zodiacal sign in question itself or other key houses from it, their inter-relationship and planetary configurations like raja–yogas, dhana–yogas, arishta–yogas etc, formed with reference to that sign also play a vital role in the interpretation.
Thus the sign based dasha systems, are not only based on a whole complex of parameters but, use multiple considerations for interpretation also and therefore, offer better opportunities for the astrologer. Besides the rules of interpretation follows very simple logic.
This perhaps is also the reason that less space than Vimshottari was required for these systems in BPHS and generally nothing was considered necessary in other old texts. The rules of interpretation for sign based dasha systems are substantially different from those that apply to the constellation based systems and have been enunciated in a small separate chapter in BPHS. Some scattered hints related to their interpretation are also available in ]aimini Sutras.
Composite Dasha System With High Degree Of Precision
The dasha system which bears the name of Kaala Chakra or the cycle of time is unique in as much as it has the properties of both, the constellation based as well as the sign based dasha systems. The initial dasha is identified on the basis of, not just the constellation occupied by Moon at the time of birth but the quarter of such constellation. Moreover, degree of precision in this system is very high because it is based on a very high space-time ratio. In this system the Moon’s movement through an arc of rzo degree in the space is equated to a time frame of 3r86 solar years while in Vimshottari system it is rzo years only. We shall also see that for the purpose of interpretation KCD is treated as a sign based system and can bring the future events into focus more sharply than any other system.
In order to use any system effectively and efficiently, a clear understanding as to its concept, constitution and mechanism is a sine qua non. The reason behind our reluctance in using KCD system for making predictions regularly appears to be that the system is not properly understood. Some scattered hints are no doubt hidden in, the available translations of and commentaries on, the classical texts that include an elaborate system bearing the name of Kaala Chakra. However no clear and precise conceptual model of Kaala Chakra or any details of its constitution and mechanism is available anywhere and hence the state of confusion. In my book, I have presented to my readers a conceptual model of Kaala Chakra or the cycle of time, which forms the basis of this system. This model has been culled out from the classical texts. I hope that understanding and operating KCD system will become easier with such a model before us and it will enable the astrologers to make correct predictions on the basis of this system.
Misconceptions Related To Fundamentals Of This System
[I] There exists confusion amongst some of the astrologers that the outstanding balance is to be calculated, not for the sarvayu or the total duration of the package, but for the first dasha in that package. This is correct because in this system one quarter of the constellation or the navamamsha, i.e., an arc of 3 degree and zo minutes, has been equated to entire dasha period (DP) and not to the first dasha only. Besides, in calculating the balance with reference to the first dasha of the package we are making an altogether illogical assumption that every native compulsorily starts his life from either the dasha of the corporal (deha) or the psychical (jeeva) sign. If this assumption was correct then nobody will ever start his life in dashas of Leo or Aquarius because neither of these two signs ever becomes the corporal or the psychical signs. The correct method, as propounded by Maharishi Parashar in verse 38 to 40 of the section dealing with Kaala–Chakra Dasha in chapter 46 of BPHS is to calculate the outstanding balance with reference to the total span of the DP. The life of a native can start from the dasha of any one of the nine constituent sign in the DP and at any point of time in that dasha.
[II] There is another confusion prevalent amongst several contemporary authorities that, after the expiry of the outstanding balance of span of DP or sarvayu, in case of direct progression, the next and in case of indirect progression, the previous DP will become applicable. Many popular computer software programs also suffer from this misconception.
According to Maharishi Parashar different quarters of various constellations or the different navamamsha have independent packages of nine dashas each. Merely because they follow the order of the zodiac in forward or backward direction even after the end or before the beginning of the package it should not be presumed that there is a continuum of 108 dashas. If such were the case there was no need for Maharishi to waste so many verses in describing z4 independent packages of nine dashas each because once the starting point in the dasha continuum was determined on the basis of the longitude of the Moon subsequent dashas would follow in the forward or backward direction and the importance given to the quarter of the constellation or the navamamsha would be irrelevant and superfluous.
I have not come across a single verse in BPHS, JP, PD or JDM stating that after the expiry of the outstanding balance of DP running at birth the next or previous DP will become applicable.
This must be clearly understood that the quarter of the constellation and the corresponding navamamsha for a particular native is decided once for all on the basis of the longitude of the Moon at the time of birth of the native and this can never change during his or her for present life. Therefore, the DP applicable to the particular quarter of the constellation or the navamamsha will also not change during this life and will stick to him or her for the entire life. After the expiry of the outstanding balance of DP running at the time of native’s birth the same DP will repeat itself.
The correct method, therefore, is to revert back to the first dasha (the corporal sign) in cases where the DP is in indirect progression, in the same DP after the expiry of the outstanding balance of the sarvayu or the span of the DP at the time of birth.
In Vimshottari, or for that matter in most of the constellation based systems there is a single package which is easily identifiable from the birth constellation and computable from its outstanding balance but in case of KCD there exist several DPs having different properties (nomenclature, direction, span, space- time ratio and design) and the task becomes some what complicated. On account of exclusive use of Vimshottari dasha system over a long period most of the astrologers are stuck up with its working to the extent that they find it difficult to adjust with any other system based on a different concept and with a different constitution and dynamics. Many books on KCD published heretofore have advocated incorrect methods and created confusion.
[III] One should not forget that in this system the dasha and bhukties strictly follo w the KCD navamamsha scheme. The design of the Kaala chakra replicates itself at all levels; mega and micro. Each dasha bears the name of a zodiacal sign and that sign always has the same nine navamamshas. In other words the bhukties or sub-periods in the dasha bearing the name of a particular sign will always have the same nine bhukties irrespective of the DP of which it may form a part. These bhukties will follo w the scheme of KCD navamamsha division. This is in confirmation to the JDM’S dictum also.
Take, for example, Leo dasha in any DP.
- The movable sign in trine to Leo is Aries.
- Lord of Aries is Mars.
- The first bhukti will, therefore, be of a sign ruled by Mars, i.e., either Aries or Scorpio.
- Starting from Mars, the nine lords in the usual sequence will be Mars-Venus- Mercury-Moon-Sun-Mercury-Venus-Mars-Jupiter. The two sets of signs ruled by these lords are (1) Aries- Taurus-Gemini-Cancer-Leo-Virgo-Libra-Scorpio-Sagittarius and (a) Scorpio-Libra-Virgo-Cancer-Leo-Gemini-Taurus-Aries-Pisces and
- Since the first bhukti is that of Scorpio and not Aries, the applicable set of nine bhukties in this case will be Scorpio-Libra-Virgo-Cancer-Leo-Gemini-Taurus-Aries-Pisces.
Reader may find it contrary to the belief system deeply ingrained into their minds due to exclusive use of Vimshottari and so, a bit difficult to accept, but it is not only logical but true also, that KCD scheme of navamamsha, the signs Taurus and Scorpio do not have their own navamamsha and therefore, in this system Taurus dasha cannot have a Taurus bhukti and Scorpio dasha cannot have a bhukti of Scorpio, just as Taurus DP does not have Taurus dasha and Scorpio DP does not have Scorpio dasha.
The sum and substance of the entire exercise is that the bhukties in the dasha bearing the name of any sign are same as are the dashas in the DP bearing the name of that sign. For example, each of the DPs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn or Aquarius has Gemini dashas. Bhukties in Gemini dasha in Aries DP will not be different from the bhukties in Gemini dasha in Taurus, Gemini, Leo or any other DP. Whatever the DP, the Gemini dasha will always have one and the same set of nine bhukties. Taurus-Aries-Pisces-Aquarius- Capricorn-Sagittarius-Aries-Taurus-Gemini, because the sign Gemini has these nine navamamasha only.
[IV] Finally there is the question of the sequence of the bhukties. In Vimshottari, there is no problem of this kind because there is only one sequence, which is fixed at all levels but so far as KCD is concerned the tables given by Pt. Sitaram Jha, Dr Suresh Chandra Mishra and Deevan Ram Chandra Kapoor are inappropriate and so are the tables given in the books of several other authors. Logically, the sequence of bhukties in the dasha of any sign must follow the sequence in which the nine navamamasha occur in that sign. This sequence should be run in the forward or back ward direction depending upon the orientation of the dasha sign in its specific location.
This is important in different DPs one and the same constituent dasha sign may sometimes occur in zodiacal order and sometimes in the reverse order. Besides the applicable DP itself can be the one having either of the two categories of progression -direct or indirect resulting in the reversal of the orientation of individual dasha sign and the sequence of its constituent’s navamamshas.
Readers will find that on several issues I have disagreed with earlier authorities on the subject. I have explained my reasons for such disagreement and will try to establish the correctness of my contentions through examples in the near future. It is for readers to test my contentions at their level. To err is human and I am no exception. I will consider it a great personal favour if readers will be kind enough to inform me whenever they find me mistaken or following a wrong line of argument. Such little gestures of cooperation from readers will go a long way in settling some of the contentious issues related to this system.
You can buy his book Kaal Chakra Dasha System at shop.saptarishisastrology.com