Karakas In Vedic Astrology | Significators in Vedic Astrology
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Karakas in vedic astrology : Introduction
The word karaka 20 means “one who causes”. Karaka of a matter is the significator of the matter. He is the one who causes events related to that matter.
There are 3 kinds of karakas:
(1) Naisargika karakas (natural significators, 9 in number).
(2) Chara karakas (variable significators, 8 in number), and,
(3) Sthira karakas (fixed significators, 7 in number),
One should not use the three types of karakas in a mixed-up way. Karakas of each type have a specific purpose. One should understand the distinction between chara, sthira and naisargika karakas clearly and use them accordingly.
Naisargika karakas shows everything that exists in the creation. They include Rahu, Ketu and the seven planets. They are presided by Brahma. Naisargika karakas show not only human beings, but they show various impersonal things and matters. They show everything that exists in Brahma’s creation and affects a person. Naisargika karakas are very useful in phalita Jyotish, i.e. analysis of general results.
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Chara karakas include Rahu and the seven planets. They do not include Ketu, as Ketu stands for moksha (emancipation) and does not stand for any person who affects one’s sustenance. Chara karakas are presided by Vishnu and they show people who play a role in one’s life. As Vishnu presides over activities related to sustenance, achievements and spiritual progress, chara karakas show these aspects of one’s life. Chara karakas show people who play an important role in one’s sustenance and achievements. Examples are – mother, father, wife, advisors etc. Chara karakas are very useful in Raja Yogas and in spiritual progress. They also show how our karma (cumulative sum of actions) is carried from one life to another. Sthira karakas include only 7 planets because only they have physical bodies. They are presided by Shiva. As Shiva presides over death21, they show the destruction of body. Sthira karakas are useful in timing the death of various near relatives.
We use the following procedure to find chara karakas:
(1) Take the eight planets – Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Rahu. For each planet, find its advancement from the beginning of the rasi occupied by it. For Rahu, measure the advancement from the end of his rasi.
(2) Arrange them in the decreasing order of advancement.
(3) The planet with the highest advancement is Atma Karaka (significator of self).
We will denote him by AK. Find other chara karakas using Table 13.
Table 13: Chara karakas
Advancement Order Karaka Symbol Persons shown22
1 Atma Karaka AK Self
2 Amatya Karaka AmK Ministers23
3 Bhratri Karaka BK Siblings
4 Matri Karaka MK Mother
5 Pitri Karaka PiK Father
6 Putra Karaka PK Children
7 Jnaati24 Karaka GK (JK) Rivals25
Lowest 8 Dara karaka DK Spouse
If two planets have the same degrees, we should compare minutes. If minutes are same, we should compare the seconds. If two planets are exactly at the same longitude, then they will hold a karakatwa (signification) together and the next karakatwa will have no ruler. We should use the corresponding sthira karaka in that case. However, this rarely becomes necessary, as two planets are rarely at exactly the same longitude.
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The following is the list of sthira karakas:
Sun or Venus (stronger) 26: Father
Moon or Mars (stronger): Mother
Mars: Younger siblings, brother-in-law and sister-in-law (spouses of siblings)
Mercury: Maternal relatives (uncles and aunts)
Jupiter: Husband, sons, paternal grandparents and other paternal relatives (uncles
Venus: Wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law & maternal grandparents
Saturn: Elder siblings27
The use of sthira karakas has already been explained. They are presided by Shiva and they are used in the timing of death of the above relatives. They should not be used in general predictive astrology in the place of naisargika karakas. For example, some astrologers use the 7th from Jupiter instead of the 7th from Venus to predict marriage. However, Venus is the natural significator of marriage and the 7th from Venus should be used for predicting marriage, both in male and female charts. When predicting the death of spouse, we use Jupiter in female charts and Venus in male charts.28
Another difference between sthira and naisargika karakas is that sthira karakas themselves represent the physical bodies of the relatives. In the case of naisargika karakas, we must take the relevant house from the karaka. For example, Jupiter represents the physical body of husband in a female chart, for the purpose of timing death. For the purpose of timing marriage, the 7th from Venus (and not Venus himself) shows husband.
Chara karakas are also similar to sthira karakas in this aspect. We do not take the 7th from DK for spouse, but DK himself shows spouse.
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We have seen that chara karakas are used in analyzing the influences of various persons on a native, from the point of view of sustenance, achievements and spiritual evolution. We have seen that sthira karakas are used in analyzing the death of relatives. In addition, we have naisargika karakas, who are the natural significators of various matters. These significations are used in general Phalita Jyotish. Table 15 gives a list of naisargika karakas. For example, the 4th house from Moon shows mother. The 5th house from Jupiter shows sons. If we want to analyze the birth of children or analyze some simple events from their lives, we should take the 5th from Jupiter. If we want to analyze some children-related troubles that punish one’s soul or if we want to analyze some achievements and happiness related to children, they will be more closely related to PK (putra karaka of chara karakas). If we want to time the death of a child, sthira karaka for children (Jupiter) should be used.
In addition, we have various other matters allotted to different planets in classics.
The list of the natural significations of various planets is listed in Table 16. For
example, Mercury and 5th house show memory and so the 5th house from Mercury
By P.V.R. Narasimha Rao