The Structure of Jamini Astrology

Gary Gomes
Gary Gomes

by Gary Gomes (Gangadhara Girish/Swami Kampananda)

I was privileged to be a speaker at the first BAVA conference, at which, among other things, I attempted to explain Jaimini Jyotish off the cuff, as it were. I am preparing this article because

  1. I would like to give BAVA an actual record of the way in which Jaimini astrology is structured.
  2. I believe that Jaimini astrology is one of the truly great Vedic astrology traditions, capable of giving great depth of information for astrologers. In essence, Jaimini produces clusters of information which can give extraordinarily accurate traditions, through a different organization of basic astrological information.

Jaimini is predominantly practiced in the Andhra Pradesh area of India, mostly as a somewhat secret tradition, but its governing principles are also discussed in detail in the encyclopedic compendium of astrological techniques, Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra (BPHS). The Jaimini factors are not referred to specifically as Jaimini indicators in BPHS.

However, when one reads P. S. Sastri’s translation of the Jaimini Sutras, or either of Mr. Rao’s texts on Jaimini Astrology, one realizes that these principles are, in fact, Jaimini principles. There are other Jaimini texts which have emerged over the years (including The Jaimini Upadesa Sutras written by Sanjay Rath). Mr. Rao’s texts go the furthest in explaining how the Jaimini dasa systems work, and are, in my opinion, the clearest exposition of Jaimini principles available in the West and I would recommend these for any one who wishes to build a foundation in and explore the basic structure of Jaimini astrology in greater depth.

Verd defining characteristics of Jaimini Astrology are as follows:

1) Mahadasas. Jaimini uses rasi mahadasas (sign mahadasas), in contrast to the graha (planetary) mahadasas used in Parasari astrology.

2) Special Aspects. In Jaimini astrology, signs, not planets, cast aspects.

Fixed signs aspect cardinal signs and cardinal signs aspect fixed signs (except for adjacent signs). Mutable signs aspect each other

The following is the way in which the sign aspects each other.

a. Aries aspects Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius
b. Taurus aspects Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn
c. Cancer aspects Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus
d. Leo aspects Libra, Capricorn, and Aries
e. Libra aspects Aquarius, Taurus, and Leo
f. Scorpio aspects Capricorn, Aries, and Cancer
g. Capricorn aspects Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio
h. Aquarius aspects Aries, Cancer, and Libra
i. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces aspect each other

2) The use of padas.

Padas are indicators in the signs. The best way to explain a pada is to illustrate it. Suppose we are looking for the marriage pada in a chart. The seventh house is the marriage house in a standard chart. Let us assume we have a Libra ascendant. Aries is the seventh house in this chart. The ruler of the seventh house is therefore Mars. Then let us assume that Mars is in the sign Capricorn. This sign is ten signs away from Aries. We then count ten signs from Capricorn to get the pada for marriage matters. Thus, the sign Libra is the marriage indicator for this chart. Issues connected with marriage (and partnerships in general) will be reach fruition during the mahadasa or bhuktis of Libra.

3) The extensive use of karakas.

There are karakas in Parasara astrology, but these are based on certain natural karakas of the planets. For example, Venus is the natural karaka for marriage and Mars is the karaka for brothers. However, in Jaimini astrology, the karakas can be any of the planets. (I choose to follow Mr. Rao in choosing to exclude the North and South Lunar Node — Rahu and Ketu — as Jaimini karakas for most purposes. There are seven karakas which are judged in terms of the planet which is highest in degree to that which is lowest in degree, regardless of sign placement.

The karakas are, in descending order:-

  1.  The atma karaka (the indicator of self),
  2.  The amatya karaka (the indicator of career);
  3.  The bhatri karaka (the indicator of siblings and father);
  4.  The matri karaka (the indicator of mother and education);
  5.  The putri karaka (the indicator of children, intelligence and creativity);
  6.  The gnati karaka (the indicator of strife, disease, and spiritual sadhana);
  7. And the stri or dara karaka, the indicator of marriage (and partnerships in general).

These karakas are of extreme importance in judging a chart, especially in terms of career potential and, especially, for judging spiritual potential, as indicated in both the Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra and the Jaimini Sutram.

Sequence of Mahadasas

The dasas start from whichever sign is in the lagna. So, for a Libra ascendant, Libra would be the first mahadasa. For a Virgo ascendant, the first mahadasa would be Virgo, for Aries ascendant the first mahadasa would be Aries. There are no exceptions to this.

The next thing to look at is how to ascertain the direction of the mahadasas.

The pattern of the dasa sequences is as follows:

Aries Lagna — Sequence of mahadasas = Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.

Taurus Lagna — Sequence = Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, Gemini

For Gemini Lagna — Sequence = Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer

For Cancer Lagna — Sequence = Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo

For Leo Lagna — Sequence = Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer

For Virgo Lagna — Sequence = Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo

For Libra Lagna — Sequence = Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo

For Scorpio Lagna — Sequence = Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, Sagittarius

For Sagittarius Lagna — Sequence = Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn

For Capricorn Lagna — Sequence = Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Aquarius

For Aquarius Lagna — Sequence = Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn

For Pisces Lagna — Sequence = Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces

To determine the length of the maha dasas indicated above, look at the placement of the ruler of the signs, and count from the sign in question either forwards or backwards, as cited below. If a planet is in its own sign, it is assigned twelve years.

Aries — Count Forward to Mars’ location, then subtract 1
Taurus — Forward to Venus’ location, then subtract 1
Gemini — Count forward to Mercury’s location, then subtract 1
Cancer — Count backward to the Moon’s location, then subtract 1
Leo — Count backward to the Sun’s location, then subtract 1
Virgo — Count backward to Mercury’s position, then subtract 1
Libra — Count forward to Venus’ location, then subtract 1
Scorpio — Count forward to Mars’ (or Ketu’s) position, then subtract 1*
Sagittarius — Count forward to Jupiter’s position, then subtract 1
Capricorn — Count backward to Saturn’s position, then subtract 1
Aquarius — Count backward to Saturn’s (or Rahu’s) position, then subtract 1*
Pisces — Count backward to Jupiter’s position,a.sun subtract 1

*If there are more planets in the sign in which Mars or Saturn sits, then the counting is done to this sign; if there are more planets in the sign in which Ketu or Rahu sits, the counting is done to that sign.

If Mars is in Scorpio, and Ketu is not, then, Ketu is selected. If Ketu is in Scorpio and Mars is not, then Mars is picked. If both are alone in signs, then determine which among Ketu or Mars is at higher degree. The planet at higher degree is the winner.

If both are at the same degree, then count to the planet at higher minute. If both are at higher minute, count to the sign with higher second. This same way of determining the winning planet, for terms of counting the number of years to be assigned to the sign in question, is to be used for Saturn and Rahu in the case of Aquarius.

The number which results from the counting (including the sign from which the counting starts) is then to subtract 1 from the total. This will give the mahadasa in years.

The following examples will illustrate some of these principles.

Suppose an individual has a Taurus rising sign, with Venus in the fourth house. This makes his first mahadasa Taurus, and it will last for three years (4-1). He has Mars in the twelfth house in Aries; his next mahadasa (Aries) will last for twelve (12) years. Let us assume he has the Planet Jupiter in the third house in Cancer; the next mahadasa (Pisces) will (counting backwards) last for 8 (9-1) years.

Let us now consider the Aquarius mahadasa; this uses the principle that the planet with the higher number of companion planets will be chosen to be the sign to which counting will be done. In our hypothetical example chart, the Rahu is in the same sign (Cancer) with the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter. Saturn is in the same sign with the Moon (in Taurus).

The choice of Rahu as the sign to which one would count to get the mahadasa length is obvious according to the principle already stated. The Aquarius mahadasa (which we count backwards to get), gives us an Aquarius mahadasa of seven (8-1) years.

6) Special Yogas

Jaimini astrology uses a variety of special yogas or combinations which do not exist in other types of Jyotish. The two most unusual (but, in their own way, very logical) are the special combinations which have to do with Saturn and Venus. Venus, in combination with, aspected by or aspecting the Moon, produces a special auspicious combination in Jaimini which manifests during the mahadasa of one of the signs in which the planet sits. (Remember the special aspects which are unique to Jaimini)

Likewise, there is a special combination in Jaimini astrology which makes use of Saturn. In standard Parasara astrology, the planet Saturn is often interpreted as a bringer of hardship, but in the tenth house or when casting an aspect on the Moon, Saturn produces a phenomenal rise to power or intense charisma, respectively.

Likewise, there is a really positive influence when Saturn aspects the Karakamsa sign in the Rasi (natal birth chart). The Karakamsa sign is the sign in which the Atmakaraka planet sits in the Navamsa chart, transferred to the natal chart.

To use an example from my chart, the planet Mars is my atmakaraka planet. It is placed in the sign Pisces in my navamsa chart. Saturn sits in Virgo in my natal chart, fully aspecting my Karakamsa sign in the natal chart.

This tends to give me some degree of recognition quickly in any field I enter. Without seeming egotistical, it has been my experience that I have become relatively well known within a short period of time in whatever field I pursue, even in fields which normally require decades of work for even small recognition (such as Jyotish!). (Well known does not, by the way, mean movie star famous. It just means well known within a certain circle or group. There is no guarantee, however, that this recognition translates into wealth in any way!)

Conjunctions or aspects which involve the atma karaka (1st house indicator), the amatya karaka (second and tenth house indicator), matri karaka (fourth house indicator), the putra karaka (fifth house indicator) and the dara or stri karaka (seventh house indicator) produce special combinations in Jaimini astrology similar to the Raja Yoga combinations in Parasara astrology.

The gnati karaka (sixth, eighth and twelfth house indicator) likewise produces difficult patterns in a chart, and the bhatri karaka, as a representative of the third and ninth houses) produces mixed (mutable) results.

The Jaimini karakas, as a whole, work very much in the way that the house lords work in Parasara astrology. This means that Jaimini is really an extremely condensed form of astrology, relinquishing a great deal of the (sometimes confusing) redundancy found in Parasara astrology. In the second part, examples of chart interpretation using Jaimini astrology will be presented.

Gary Gomes

854 Brock Ave., New Bedford, MA 02744. email Gary Gomes