There are many confusions regarding Kārakāmsha, mainly due to lack of any ancient or mediaeval commentaries on phalita classics like BPHS (Brihat Parāshara Horā Shāstra) or JS (Jaimini Sutra). Twentieth century commentators and astrologers have started discussing it after a gap of millenia. Hence, certain confusions have been created due to various interpretations. Here, some controversial points regarding Kārakāmsha is being discussed, skipping the well known details which can be freely obtained in online commentaries of classics like BPHS.

Every divisional has its own chara kaarakas, but they are weaker in comparison to D-1's kaarakas due to lesser Vimshopaka strengths of divisionals excepting D-60, but the latter is useful only for families having some rajayoga (that is why D-60 is called Nripa varg by Sage Parashara). Seven kaarakas rule over all twelve houses. Unfortunately, neither the Kaarakaamsha Chart nor the role of kaarakas is being used properly. Even the timing of kaaraka dashaas are given wrongly in softwares (except in free Kundalee Software). If used properly, kaarakas explain the underlying processes and reasons of major events in life which other charts and dashaas fail to explain.

What Do Chara Kārakas Denote

Chara Kārakas are made from D1 (first divisional or birthchart's main Lagna Kundali). BPHS clearly orders that from the longitudes of planets, exclude Rāsi (this point is not clarified in JS) and take only degrees in D-1 (JS also says so). There is no difference between the order of seven Chara Kārakas in BPHS and JS, and both these texts state that according to some other unnamed teachers MK (mātri-kāraka) and PK (putra-kāraka) are same. Defying the verdict of Parāshara rishi and his son's disciple Jaimini Rishi, some moderners have invented imaginary order of chara kārakas. In JHorā Software, its creator PVR Narasimha Rao has refused to followed the rishis' ordering in the default setting, and even in the setting in my name (Preferences > Related to Calculations > Set Calculations Options As Recommended by Vinay Jha), he has not given BPHS settings which I prefer. These moderners are creating more confusions in the name of experimentation.
Eighth kāraka is actually replacement of the loser planet in planetary war, there are ALWAYS only seven chara kārakas as shown below. Here is the logic behind ordering of main seven kārakas (houses norizontically opposite to each other are called Sadharmi in Laghu Parashari, such as 2H:12H or 3H:11H, …) :

Chara Kārakas and 12 Houses
Kāraka (Full Name) Houses- i Houses- ii
AK Atma-Kāraka 1 -
AmK Amātya-Kāraka 2 12
BK Bhrātri-Kāraka 3 11
MK Mātri-Kāraka 4 10
PK Putra-Kāraka 5 9
GK Jnāti-Kāraka 6 8
JK Jcyā-Kāraka 7 -

AK and JK denote the subjects of only one horoscopic house each, respectively lagna and seventh houses. Other five kārakas denote two horoscopic houses each.

Lagna (1H) denotes the Self as manifest in this world (pure Soul is not the topic of horoscope). Sun denotes "Atmā" (Self, not Soul), and Sun signifies Lagna. Lagna denotes disposition, character, nature, etc (svabhaava, hence sva or Self).

7H (7th house) is related to Jāyā (wife).

Other chara kārākas are related to two houses each. Easiest to understand are Bhrātri-kāraka being related to 3H (younger) and 11H (elder) brothers and sisters. Mātri-kāraka is related to 4H (mother) and (10H (father). But for some attributes related to Father, 9H is related to father (BPHS relates both 10H and 9H to father in different chapters). Hence, Putra-kāraka is also mentioned to be related to 5H (son) and 9H (father). This ambiguity in the house-relations of Father has created confusions about chara kāraka's relations to Father in classics (these confusions cannot be attributed to rishis but to later scribes who preserved these texts). We are left with Amātya-kāraka or AmK (2H + 12H in the table above) and Jnāti/Gyāti-kāraka or GK (6H + 8H). The word "Amātya" kāraka is for kings only, not applicable to common folks. But its houses denote wealth, sense organs like eyes or voice, expenses and losses, etc which are most important departments to be looked after by a minister.

The inference from the afore-mentioned correlation of chara kārakas with horoscopic houses (bhāvas) is clear when we take a comprehensive view of subject matter related to kārakas and houses. Moreover, the name assigned to a particular house does not mean other subjects included in that house are not related with kāraka of that house. For instance, Putra-kāraka (5H) is related to Vidyā, intelligence, mantra, etc too. All subjects related with twelve houses are thus related to chara kārakas. This conclusion can be verified by means of applying these ideas to Kāraka-dashās.

Original Sanskrit Verses and Sutras of Sages Parashara and Jaimini

Original "Parashari Hora" (its original name) has not been preserved. It is equal to :-

Parashari Hora = BPHS
+ Madhya Parashari
+ Laghu Parashari
+ Lost portions which can be compensated with reference to other ancient works because Sage Parashara said he added nothing and merely repeated the ideas of earlier masters.

That is why the available versions have differences, mostly due to writing down verses from memory. Excepting the version by Sitaram Jha which was deliberately and openly tampered by him and used by R Santhanam for English translation, all other versions are based on some genuine manuscripts, most of those manuscripts are available in Varanasi's Saraswati Bhawan.

Pt Ganesh Dutta Pāthak's version has exactly same meaning in verse-2, only the wording is different. Hindi translation by Pt Ganesh Dutt Pathak is almost correct, he was a Sanskrit scholar but like other modern scholars he added his own views in translations which is a crime. Pt Ganesh Dutt Pathak gave correct Hindi translation, but added following words which are absent in the original verse of his version "kisi kisi ke mat se (किसी किसी के मत से)". Second line of his verse-2 states that Rāhu should be included among kaarakas when degree of two planets are same (here too he added "पर्यन्त 8" which is absent in original Sanskrit of his version. This is the verse-2 of Pt Ganesh Dutta Pāthak and its literal translation :-

This is the verse-2 in BPHS of Pt Ganesha Dutta Pathak :-

रव्यादि-शनि-पर्यन्ता भवन्ति सप्त-कारकाः ।
अंशैः समौ ग्रहौ द्वौ च राह्वन्तान् गणयेद्-द्विज॥ २ ॥

शब्दार्थ =

रवि से आदि (आरम्भ) करके शनि पर्यन्त (=तक) सात कारक होते हैं,
और (च) दो ग्रहों में अंश समान हों तो राहु तक द्विज (=ज्योतिषी द्विज) (कारकों की) गणना करें ।

Even Sitaram Jha's edition gives exactly same meaning, only wording is different. But Pt Sitaram Jha deliberately tampered with many original verses, as he declared in his Introduction, and in this verse too he added a word :
अंशैः समौ ग्रहौ द्वौ चेद् राह्वन्तान् चिन्तयेत् तदा ।
सप्तैव कारकानेवम् केचिद्-अष्टौ प्रचक्षते ॥ २ ॥

It means :- "When degree of two planets are same then consider upto Rahu ; Seven are the kaarakas, some view eight kaarakas".

The mischief by Sitaram Jha is evident from the verse itself : Rahu is to be used only when degree of two planets are same, but in that case there is a planetary war according to prevalent wisdom and therefore the defeated planet loses its place and power. Among all versions of BPHS and Jaimini Sutra, this verse of Pt Sitaram Jha is the only Sanskrit verse which says that "some others view eight kaarakas". But Pt Sitārām Jhā's manuscript was tampered by himself and he accepted it openly.

The most authentic version of BPHS is of Pt Devachandra Jha based on maximum number of manuscripts. It states :-

यदि खेटौ समावंशै राह्वन्तान् गणयेद्-द्विज ।
एवं सप्ताथवाष्टौ स्युः कारकाः सम्मताः सतां ॥ २ ॥
"यदि (दो) ग्रहों में अंशों की समानता हो तो राहु तक द्विज गणना करें । इस प्रकार सात या आठ कारक विद्वानों के मत में होते हैं ॥"

The confusion is created when Rahu is added on account of sameness of degree of other two planets, and the defeated planet is not excluded, so that total number of kaarakas becomes eight, but it is nowhere said that the defeated planet should be used.

No version of Parashara gives the meaning "eight" kaarakas in the sense some so-called Jaimini "experts" are wrongly floating.

Jaimini Sutra has only this much to say about determination of chara kārakas :-

आत्माधिकः कलादिभिः -नभोगः सप्तानाम्-अष्टानाम् वा ॥ ११॥ स इष्टे बन्ध-मोक्षयोः ॥ १२॥ तस्यानुसरणाद्-अमात्यः ॥ १३ ॥ तस्य भ्राता ॥ १४॥ तस्य माता ॥ १५ ॥ तस्य पिता ॥ १६॥ तस्य पुत्रः ॥ १७॥ तस्य ज्ञातिः ॥ १८ ॥ तस्य दाराश्च ॥ १९॥ मात्रा सह पुत्रमेके समामनन्ति || २० ॥

Sutra-11 :- "AK (Atma-Kāraka) is determined on the basis of maximum degree-minutes of seven or eight (Kārakas).

Sutra-12 :- "(Among them AK) gives desired or ishta fruits as well as bondage and liberation (hence AK is most important)".

Sutra-13-19 :- "That is followed by Amātya Kāraka, then by Bhrāta-Kāraka, then Mātā, then Pitā, then Putra, then Gyāti, then Dārā".

Sutra-20 :- "Mātra-Kāraka and Ptra-Kāraka are accepted as same".

The ambiguity in sutra-11 is cleared by sutra-20 which makes it clear that the total number of kārakas is always seven, because the list in sutra 11-19 contains eight but two of them are declared to be same. Modern commentators mis-interpret sutra-20 by adding that it is a view of some others. But none of these sutras cite any view of "others". Jaimini Sutras are very concise, hence details are to be taken from Parāshari Horā.


Sthira (Fixed) Kārakas among Chara Kārakas

BPHS states that if two planets have same degree, then the planet being lower in fractional part of the degree is replaced by Rāhu in Chara Kārakas.

But the same text mentions in verses 16-17 of Kārakādhyāya that if two planets have same degree then both denote the same Kāraka, and the lost Kāraka is delegated to Sthira (Fixed) Kāraka.

Thus, both these statements apparently contradict each other. If Rāhu fills the vacancy created by lost Kāraka due to same degree of two planets, why the same condition is mentioned for a Sthira Kāraka ? Should we infer that after delegating the place of lost planet to Rāhu, if the condition of same degree is repeated again, then we should use Sthira Kāraka ? Jaimini Sutra also mentions Sthira Kāraka conditions, hence we cannot ignore these verses as interpolations.

Verses 31-33 in same chapter create new confusions. Lagna or 1H for AK, 3H for younger brother, 11H for elder brother, 5H for offsprings, and 7H for spouse is correct, but 2H is repeated for spouse, whereas in some texts 2H is mentioned as second spouse.

Next verse (34th) is also confusing in one respect : Mercury as significator (Kāraka) of 10H but at the end of Varga-vivechana-adhyāya Mercury is related to 6H. In Kāraka chapter too, verse-23 and verse-20 of Sthira Kāraka relate Mercury with 6H (maternal uncle). Hence, it seems Mercury should be regarded as significator of 6H and not of 10H, while Mars should be accorded the status of significator of 3H and 11H too for both younger and elder brother, while Jupiter should be significator of income aspect of 11H. At the end of Varga-vivechana chapter, we find the following relations of planets with houses :

Sun = 9, 10, 11
Moon = 4, 1, 2, 9, 11
Mars = 3
Mercury = 6
Jupiter = 5
Venus = 7
Saturn = 8, 12

But in verse 34 of Kāraka chapter of BPHS, we find the following significators of houses :-

Sun = 1
Moon = 4
Mars = 3, 6
Mercury = 10
Jupiter = 5, 2, 9, 11
Venus = 7
Saturn = 8, 12

Viewed in the backdrop of above correlations, it is difficult to explain the Sthira Kāraka. If two planets have same degree, Rāhu becomes a Chara Kāraka by removing the planet with lesser fractional degree, while instead of Rāhu we are advised to use Sthira Kāraka for the same condition. Another inconsistency is the duplication of signified topics in the list of Sthira Kāraka. For instance, Ketu is Sthira Kāraka of many topics which are already signified by other planets. Any solution of this problem of Sthira Kāraka must be solved according to the scheme of Chara Kārakas denoting the twelve houses of zodiac as explained in previous section here. Sthira Kāraka can be used only when two planets have same degree, hence only one planet can become Sthira Kāraka (because Rāhu has already occupied the place vacated by a planet sharing same degree with another planet). Since all topics have already been covered by other Kārakas, and only the role of a single Kāraka is left for Sthira Kāraka. That role can be defined by means of the vacant place in the list of Chara Kārakas. Therefore, a Sthira Kāraka is actually a Chara Kāraka in practice because it fulfils the role of a Chara Kāraka when some planet fails to fulfill that role due to equality of degree. That role is already covered by the list of topics covered by Chara Kārakas.

How To draw Kārakāmsha Chart ?

Ancient classics talk about Kārakāmsha chart but do not clarify whether it should be made on the basis of D1 or D9. The word Kārakāmsha means "Degree of Kāraka". As we know, all chara kārakas are computed by means of excluding rāshis (signs) and taking only degrees (including fractions of degrees) in D1. Hence, when classics talk of some particular house with reference to Kārakāmsha , the word Kārakāmsha means "Degree of AK in D1". There is no clear-cut reference to drawing the Kārakāmsha chart with reference to AK's navāmsha as lagna of D9-chart which is the modern view propagated by Nemichandra Jain in his Hindi book "Bhārateeya Jyotisha" which has no classical backing. Nemichandra Shastri wrote that navamsha of AK should be made Lagna and other kārakas should be put in the chart according to their navāmshas, thus if AK is Sun then what we get is actually Surya-Kundali of D9 which is part of Sudarshana-chakra of D9.

Hence, there are two possible ways of drawing the Kārakāmsha chart : draw the D1 chart with ("amsha") house owned by AK as Lagna (if the planet owns two signs, one of them is primary), or draw the D9 chart with D1's navāmsha as Lagna of D9. The second alternative is popular now-a-days but does not give satisfactory results always, but the first alternative is never checked by astrologers.

Classics mention use of navāmsha of AK also for viewing results due to AK. But navāmsha has bearing on other charts too. It does not rule out use of D1 in Kārakāmsha. The word "Kārakāmsha" has two meanings : (a) "amsha" in D1 after excluding sign while computing kārakas("exclusion of sign" is clearly mentioned in BPHS, and accepted by everyone), and (b) "navāmsha" while dealing with navāmsha phala of these kārakas (in both BPHS and JS). Both D1 and D9 are used in making Kārakāmsha. These two are most popular divisionals in other chapters too, hence it is wrong to take only D9 and exclude D1 while dealing with Kārakāmsha.

Moreover, Kāraka Dashā is hardly used by anyone. I use it, and it explains many things not clarified through any other tool or technique. The method of computing Kāraka Dashā in JHora Software explains things in a better way.

There is no ancient or even mediaeval commentary of rishi-based classics like BPHS or JS, hence modern commentators have taken liberties. Some internet gurus have increased the confusion by inventing new theories.

Moreover, classics have described the results of AK in detail, but we should analyze results of other chara kārakas also in a similar way. Much remains to be done to recreate the lost texts and verses about Kārakāmsha. It must be remembered that Kārakāmsha or any chart should never be taken exclusively for deducing final results.

Kāraka Dashā's Correct Method

BPHS describes the method of computing periods of Chara Kāraka's Dashās, which are MD (Mahā Dashās). But some points are missing, which have been reconstructed through experimentation.

If some planet is in Lagna, its MD will be of 12 years (and not zero).

For computing sub-periods, follow the method of Vimshottari (the scheme in JHora software is wrong.). For instance, first AD will be of the same planet whose MD is running. After the lapse of seventh period or sub-period, the first Kāraka's period or sub-period is repeated like Vimshottari (here again, the scheme in JHora software is wrong.).

Each Divisional has its own Kāraka Dashās. But Divisionals have less Vimshopaka strengths, hence clear-cut results will be easily perceived in Diivisional-Karakas only if the planets are strong.

This method has been empirically tested. Use Kundalee Software (version 7.1.10 or higher) for correct Chara Kāraka Dashā timings.

Use 12-house relation of Chara Kārakas as explained above, find their functional characteristics also in the main chart, besides their role as Kārakas, and combine the overall fruits of five levels of Kāraka-Dashās to find out the reasons behind the event in question. If the planets are strong, events will certainly be influenced by Kārakas in spite of contrary influences of Vimshottari provided Vimshottari's five planets are weaker than five Kārakas of five levels of Kāraka-dashā.


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