Vedic Astrology Blog


Dashas are a timeline of planetary or Sign periods. Periods of time ruled by either Planets or Signs. They run consecutively one after the other through life


Dashas are a timeline of planetary or Sign periods. Periods of time ruled by either Planets or Signs. They run consecutively one after the other through life, thus either some Planet rules all periods of time or some Sign. There are no blanks. It is a full timeline.

Next, there are major period lords, who rule for a long time, then within that period it is broken down into sub periods ruled by other lords. Then within those there is again sub periods, and so on, down to 6 levels. Theoretically, it can go down and down, but 5 is the furthest any program has ever gone. The Vimshottari Dasha is the most predominant of the 32 Dasha systems described in the main book of Jyotish, the BPHS.

So, periods look like this or something like this:






MinorSubDate Starts


Jupiter Venus



Jupiter Sun



Jupiter Moon



Jupiter Mars



Jupiter Rahu


Mercury Mercury

Each will have a date


Mercury Ketu


Mercury Venus


Mercury Sun

Here is a paste in from one feature in my program, these are some real Dashas from my life:

Major Minor Date Starts

Rahu Sun 07/20/1966

Rahu Moon 06/09/1967

Rahu Mars 11/30/1968

Jupiter Jupiter 12/13/1969

Jupiter Saturn 01/20/1972

Jupiter Mercury 07/20/1974

Jupiter Ketu 10/13/1976

Jupiter Venus 09/14/1977

Jupiter Sun 05/01/1980

Jupiter Moon 02/13/1981

and so on...

So you can see that major period rule on and on, while sub periods go on, and within those other sub periods go on.

Actually there are a number of major ways such Dashas are calculated. These are different Dasha systems. Some have Planets, while a small few use the Signs as the rulers of the periods. So instead of being in a Jupiter ruled period, you could say be in a Sagittarius ruled period (one of the Signs).

We predict events with these. The Dashas tell us when the different Planets will unfold their effects as promised in the Natal Chart. So in the above example from my chart where it is Jupiter Saturn around 1972, well, both those Planets are in my ninth House of religion, and Jupiter rules the Sign there, Sagittarius, and that always gives a reading “will be religious”, because you have the religious Planet in the House of religion and he rules the Sign there in this chart, which makes him strong, so any astrologer would see that and say “you will be religious”.

And now see that those two Planets, and specifically the really good one in this case, were “controlling” that period, which means “showing their effects”, so you would predict, according to the persons age at the time, in my case 12 years old, the appropriate acts of religion one would expect from a serious 12 year old, or who is serious about religion.

In my case, I actually at that time joined the seminary priesthood, bound program the Catholic Church offers for serious young lads like myself. I was one of say 30 kids from all over the Bay Area of SF. Only about 30 of us felt this way. We joined the Catholic “Pre Seminary” program, and they had meetings for us at the seminary like once a Month or something. We would stay the weekend and get all “religioned" out on Catholicism.

So it worked. There’s other examples I could give. Like, the ninth House is also the father, and Jupiter the priest, and Saturn is a negative influence, so like my father was put away due to a brain disease, and a priest is the one who told us kids about the decision. And it took place at the church. So that major event turning point took place then too, and that is signified by these two Planets in a logical way.

So, the Dashas are the most important predictive tool in Jyotish. They are only in Hindu astrology. This technique is not a part of Western Astrology.

How Dashas Are Calculated

The Planets always have this natural order, which correspond with the days of the week for the 1st seven:

Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn then Rahu and Ketu for 9 Planets total.

These, are known by the numbers, 1 to 9 also. So a simple table exists as here:

The Planets can be referred to either way.

The Moon moves through the Zodiac in astrology in about 27 days. So That is 360º. That has been divided into 12 Signs as you know, of an even 30º each. Well, there is in Hindu astrology a set of 27 Signs dividing it also, these are 13º 20’ long each, and these are called “the Nakshatras” or “the stars”. In the sky these look like stars, and they also happen to be corresponding to the days of the Moon as it takes about 27 days to go around. So there are 27 fixed stars as we also call them. They have individual names.

They also have individual lords, which are the Planets or Signs. Yes, the Planets “rule” the Nakshatras and in some systems the Signs rule them so to speak.

So, wherever the Moon is, the person starts this life in the major period Dasha of the Planet that rules the Star where the Moon is at birth. So like the Moon when I was born was in the Star called “Satabish” and that one is in Aquarius, and it is ruled by the Planet “Rahu”, so I started life in “Rahu MahaDasha”, which means the “major period” of “Rahu”, so it would be the Planet in the list on the 1st level in the 1st part of my life.

The periods go in a set order. So after Rahu comes Jupiter MahaDasha so I entered that one around 10 years old. That one lasts 16 years in the most commonly used Dasha system, and then comes Saturn, so I entered that at 26 years old. So the order and lengths of the periods are set, so once you determine the Dasha operating at birth the rest is a fixed list of periods but the dates are effected by the starting period or birth date.

You start with this value, the Moon’s longitude, and look at a list of stars you have covering different parts of the Zodiac and figure out, which the Moon is in. You’ll then do math to see the percentage of that Star passed over by the Moon , what percentage of that stars distance has the Moon covered, 10 percent, 25 percent, what?. Because, That is the exact percentage of THAT MAJOR PERIOD that has been completed at birth, and what remains of that Star as a percentage for the Moon to travel is also the percentage of that major period that remains for the person to live out as their main Karma indicator starting at birth and going forward, until the next major period begins.

Remember, it is the “lord of the Star” that IS the Dasha that Star starts you in. So my Star is Rahu ruled, That is always true of Satabish in this Dasha system, anyone with Moon in Satabish will start life in Rahu Dasha, how far along through it based on the Moon’s percentage through the Star at birth. So it is just simple math.

The sub periods and sub sub periods are simply the length they are allotted but calculated with the period that Houses the subs. Like if Moon is 10 years long, the MahaDasha of Moon, then the Sub Periods are their percentages of 10 years. “Their percentages”, means “the percentage created by taking each Planets Dasha length and dividing it by the total, which is 120 years, in the case of Vimshottari Dasha”. You’ll see below I give the percentages for each Planet in each Dasha system. The easiest example is Venus. It has a 20 year long MahaDasha, and the total is 120, so That is 1/6th of the total, and as for a percentage, That is .16666666667 % of 120. So That is the Venus percentage number.

So the Venus sub period in the 10 year long Moon Major Period would be 10 years times that percentage, and the answer is 1.666666, which if you multiply by either 365 or 360 days, depending on, which you’re using, you’ll get the length of that particular sub period.

So making a Dasha list means doing those steps over and over until you have built your list. It is a matter of repeatedly multiplying varying lengths of time by those percentages, to find the lengths of the sub periods.

In a Dasha system like Vimshottari, where the major periods are all a certain number of years, evenly, with no left days, therefore, you’ll notice that they always change on the same day of the year, a certain number of years apart. The date will not be your birthday, but rather the day of the year you are starting Dasha ends on, and the next one begins.

Details of Dasha Calculating

Below are the most some of the (more important) Dashas mentioned in BPHS, 1st the group, which uses Planets as a basis for the Dasha system, then the group that uses Signs.

Nakshatra Dashas With Planets

Sanskrit Name



Easy/Similar/Most used
Dwisaptati Sama
Shastiamsha Sama
Chaturashiti Sama

Dashas, which Use Signs

Planet required

Sanskrit Name



Easy, mix of Chara/Sthira
Two kinds, signs and planets
Related to others
easy, like Sthira somewhat.
Like Chara
Based on sign aspects, easy
Lagnadi Rasa
Sthira periods

Other Forms of Calculating

Karaka. etc.

Dasha, Signs are sub periods 


KarakaPlanetsBased on Atma
24SandhyaPlanetsin order through Houses 10 with Pachaka mixed in, this is a Planets and Signs mixed
Nakshatra Dashas

Parashara Hora Shastra is the source for all these Dasha systems.

Nakshatra Dasha means that it is based on the position of a key point, usually the Moon, within a certain Nakshatra. This is the jump of point for Nakshatra Dashas. You are 1st and foremost using a point in a Nakshatra when you begin to calculate the Dasha. Nakshatras are real stars, but in the calculation really serve as even areas of space.

As there are 27 Nakshatras they cover 13º 20' each. In calculations, this can be turned into minutes, and/or seconds, and used that way for ease of calculation and accuracy. In calculating Dashas, you are told the lengths of the major periods, but you end up dividing these time lengths to find lengths of sub Dasha periods. These sub periods are also called by other names such as Bhukti or Antar.

Major periods are called MahaDasha, and the next level is called “the Bhukti”, and the next level the “Antar”, and the next, fourth level, is called the “Shookshma” Dasha. Others in English might say just “Dasha”, then sub period, sub sub, and “sub sub sub” to indicate the lower levels. A number of different ways of referring to these periods are used in the West at this time.

The Vimshottari and Yogini Dasha Systems together are a strong pair. Vimshottari is always accepted by scripture and everyone as the predominant Dasha system used the widest with best result. It is the leader by scriptural declaration as well as by level of usage and acceptance amongst astrologers. In fact, it is pretty much the only Dasha used ever by many astrologers. It literally hogs the entire show you could say.

But the main book discusses no less than 32 Dasha systems. Mostly however, just their calculations are given without any discussion as to use or application. Some have some hints as when to use them with certain horoscopes, which bear certain placements. Those are called “conditional Dashas”. Most of the Nakshatra Dashas are such conditional Dashas. There are just a few, which do not have exclusive conditions. Of these, Vimshottari is the widest used. The next is Yogini.

Yogini is widely used, therefore it may be one of the two most important Nakshatra Dashas. In my personal experience it corresponds with my own Karma quite closely. I have not been easily pleased by astrological techniques. I find many Dashas defined, which fail to amaze me. But Yogini Dasha has often impressed me with accuracy with my own chart.

Of course, I have found Vimshottari Dasha to be highly effective. I have made some predictions using it in my time, with accuracy. In my own life, I see it has operated in a very reliable way.

Calculation of Nakshatra Dashas

Nakshatra Dasha means that it is based on the position of a key point, usually the Moon, within a certain Nakshatra. This is the jump of point for Nakshatra Dashas. You are 1st and foremost using a point in a Nakshatra when you begin to calculate the Dasha. Nakshatras are real stars uneven distances apart in fact, but in the calculation they serve as lords of even areas of space of 13º 20’ each, That is 13 and one third degrees per each of 27 stars, which adds up to 360 evenly.

The previously given method of dividing the Zodiac down to minutes and seconds is used in calculating Dashas.

Major periods are called MahaDasha, and the next level is called “the Bhukti”, and the next level the “the AntarDasha”. The next, fourth level, is called “the Shookshma”.

The stars have lords. The Dasha systems may assign different Planets as lords of Nakshatras. The lord of the Nakshatra the Moon is in at birth is often the 1st MahaDasha or Major Period you start life in. I started life in Rahu MahaDasha for example, as my Moon is in a Rahu ruled Nakshatra.

How far the Moon is through your birth Nakshatra is important. You must determine this distance as a percentage. So that would be Moon’s longitude minus starting longitude of Nakshatra. Example: Say a Nakshatra starts at the 120 degree point of the Zodiac and a Planet is at 124º of Zodiac. So it falls within the 13º 20’ space covered by that Star, which starts at 120 and runs to 133º 20’. So the Planet at 124º is within that area.

But how far through as a percentage?

124 minus 120 is 4º through, which is 4X60 to find minutes or 240’.

Since a Nakshatra is 800’, we can do 240/800X100 to get the percentage, which in this case is 30 percent.

So 30 percent is also how far through that stars lords Dasha they are.

Venus is allotted a major period of 20 years in Vimshottari Dasha. So if someone was born with Moon 30 percent of the way through a Venus ruled Nakshatra, then they would have the other remaining 70% of that Dasha to go, starting right at their birth, and 70% of 20 years is what will be left of that Dasha for them. Automatically when that amount of time is up in their life, the next Dasha would begin.

Dasha Calculation Resources

Vimshottari Dasha

Main points about this system

Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus
lengths: 6,10,7,18,16,19,17,7,20 (=120) (use above Planet order)
KritikaNakshatra (#2), and in 3 cycles of 9 Nakshatras, use above order
of Moon is Moon
line of a four level Dasha run when Moon begins

Vimshottari means 120

Order: Sun, Moon, Mars,
Systems total major periods of the Planets add up to 120 years
Uses Planets as lords of the periods
Lords: Start at
Sub periods begin with same lord as Major. First sub of Sun is Sun, 1st
So Moon Moon Moon Moon is the 1st
And Moon Moon Moon Mars is the next line, as the last level changes all 9 before the next level switches to the next Planet, which is Mars in this example.

Percentages of 120 Table



Percentage of 120 




























The above percentages can be used to subdivide periods to arrive at sub period lengths.

For example, if Venus Dasha is 20 as the table says, then the Sun’s sub period will be it is percentage of 20 years.

20 X .05 = 1 (Venus, Sun is 1 yr.)

20 X .08333333333 = 1.6666666666 (Venus, Moon is 1.666 yrs. long)

And so on. You multiply a period length times the percentages to arrive at lengths of sub periods.

You then apply the same process to the sub periods created, finding sub periods within them. You can conceivably carry on with this simple mathematical loop for quite a few levels, but soon, at 5 or 6 with Vimshottari, you will get down to very short periods of life. Given birth time and planetary calculation accuracy, what to speak of that it seems like the Sage given system is a rounding possibly for our ease, given all that, going more than four levels becomes questionable in real use, but still, for possible applications in research, science or study, higher may be used by the aggressive or optimistic.

The order of the periods given above is fixed in this system and many of the Dasha systems. The sub periods follow the same orders. The sub periods usually start with the same Planet as the period above them. 4’s start with the same as the 3’s, the 3’s start with the same as the 2’s, and the 2’s same as the 1’s, hence, when the 1st level changes, all levels follow suit.

So it is true to understand that the Vimshottari Dashas, all 120 years of them, are fixed in length and order. It is a fixed table of cycling sub periods within greater periods. The sub periods have all 9 Planets as the sub periods within each period. So a MahaDasha has 9 subs, each of those subs has 9 subs, each of those has 9 subs, That is why it is gets to be a lot of lines because you are multiplying by 9 at each level.

The order of the cycling is fixed, and the length of the periods is fixed since the percentages never change. One could build an impersonal list of time values in seconds for all the periods and store that separately from any person’s chart and apply it to any chart at any time. The only thing personalized about this Dasha and many of them, that share the attributes of fixed period lengths and fixed ordering of periods, is that each chart will “drop into” the cycling loop of major periods at unique points, somewhere along through one of them. So I dropped in somewhere in Rahu, and someone else might start life somewhere in Saturn This drop in point is determined by the Moon’s position in a Star as previously discussed.

The drop in point is according to your Moon exactly, but after that, the lengths are fixed ahead of time as is the ordering. You could consider the MahaDasha as a static unfolding of Karma, which gets personalized based on when we drop in, but also, the Dasha is only the timeline of unfoldment of planetary effects, but those effects are based on the Planets within the chart. So what happens during your Saturn Dasha will be different from that, which happens during mine, based on our Charts, but the fact that your Saturn Dasha comes after Jupiter is also true for me. So we go in the same order, all of us, but the specifics change.

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