Vimshottari dasha Interpreting planetary times

Your life astrologically is a maximum of 120 years. This body you live in can exist for a maximum 120yrs, and each second of these is mapped out. This map of your conditions, state, mind etc throughout out these periods of time is made using the planetary Dasha system.

There are several Dasha systems in the texts, like Yogini Dasha, Jaiminis Chara Dasha, Chaturseeti Sama Dasha, Panchottari Dasha, Kaalachakra etc. But Vimshottari is quite adequate for our purposes, so will discuss only Vimshottari.

Vimshottari dasha Interpreting planetary times

The Dasha system that we use 95% of the time is the Vimshottari Dasha system, and it works beautifully because it is based on the Moon Nakshatra. As I keep on stressing, the Moon is the significator of your emotions, mind and perceptions, he is the sum total of your astral/sub-conscious self. The more you analyse everything connected to your Moon the more you will understand yourself deeply.

Timing of events is an important aspect of predictive astrology. When you analyse your birth chart you know that a certain event is going to happen in your life. You check out the combinations in your D-9 Navamsha and see that the potential does exist. So now you want to know when it is going to happen, so you can gain the maximum possible from the event. Timing depends on 2 factors, the Dasha/planetary period and the gochar/the planets in transit.

The broader canvas is defined by the Planetary Dasha (both major and sub-periods) and the fine tuning will be seen from the Gochar/transiting planets.

First open your Vedic astrology software (Either Parashar light or Jaggannath Hora or any other online one you prefer), input your birth details and note the following.

  1. Your basic birth chart D-1. This will give the details on what you have with you in your real life. Draw in on a paper.
  2. Your Navamsha chart D-9, to know what is available to you in the astral, your potential. (If you cannot understand or analyse it, leave it, working with D-1 is good enough for a start!)
  3. The information on Vimshottari Dasha. Note which planet’s mahadasha/main period and which planet’s antardasha/sub-period you are in at the moment. So you have your two planets. (Thank god for software, as calculating this by hand was quite tedious!). There are sub-sub/pratyantar and sub-sub-sub periods too but we will ignore them for the moment.
  4. Now check out the positions of all the planets in the present moment in the sky, this is the transit/ gochar chart. Use a different pen to mark these planet placements in your birth chart (1) above.

Now to analyse your present moment in life.

To begin with, you will need to do a complete analysis of your birth chart. Every house of the chart and every planet’s placement should be analysed as far as possible (separate post here). Don’t overwhelm yourself, it is important that you enjoy learning, if you ever start feeling frustrated just shut the books and go out for a walk or with your friends! No one is born an astrologer, we all have been learning and still continue learning. Use the keywords of the houses /signs /planets to make sentences.

(If you have chosen to analyse the Navamsha D-9 chart you can do it here. It will add more details to your analysis. But if you think it will overwhelm, leave it for now. There are so many divisional charts, but I don’t think astrologers use them anymore, it is too much work. But the D-9 is quite a useful overall chart.)

Now to analyse your Dasha planets so you get the broad outlines about the period. The starting point of your life’s planetary time frame is calculated using your birth Nakshatra.

You have 2 planets identified here, one who is the ruler of the Mahadasha/main-period (suppose it is Venus) and the ruler of the sub-period/Antardasha (suppose it is Saturn).

Now you go back to your basic birth chart D-1 and check out the following for both Venus and Saturn these will give you the physical manifested context. You will also need to so the same counting from the birth moon sign to get the emotional context.

  1. The signs owned by this planet are placed in which houses of the chart? What aspects of life are covered by these houses? Are these houses auspicious? Are the planets placed here benefic planets or otherwise?
    • Eg, In our example if Venus owned Libra is the 2nd house and Taurus is the 9th house. The Mahadasha/main-period of Venus will be more focussed on the aspects of life indicated by the 2nd and 9th houses. And the 2nd and 9th are auspicious houses indicating family, treasury, enjoying life etc and philosophy, patrons/peers, religious tendencies etc.
      • Thus the Venus Mahadasha of 20yrs will be quite a pleasant period where these aspects of life will be in focus.
    • Now if the sub-period of Saturn is on within this Venus mahadasha. In this same example, Saturn owned Capricorn will be the 5th house and Aquarius will be the 6th house. 5th is creativity, luck, fame and activities which will bring you center-stage but 6th is the dushamsthana of illness, misery, enemies, debts etc.
      • So this sub-period of Saturn will be a bit of a mix of these 2 aspects.
  2. Where is this planet placed and is it comfortable? Is it in the sign of a friend/neutral/enemy planet, is it exalted/debilitated, or combust, or retrograde, or conjoint or aspected by malefics/benefics etc. Can you expect it to give its results completely or not? Has it matured etc.
    • Now in our example, if Venus is placed alone in his own house in Libra in the 2nd house and aspected by Jupiter. This is a very good placement as he is in his own sign-Libra. He is also in the 2nd house (he is the natural owner of Taurus the 2nd sign of the zodiac) thus is very comfortable. Aspected by Jupiter will allow him expansion, deeper understanding of philosophies etc so beneficial. Now Venus is also aspecting the 8th houseAries from his position here thus will balance out any accidents or traumatic changes indicated by the 8th house.
      • Thus Venus in his Mahadasha will give good results.
    • Now for the Saturn sub-period analysis. Suppose Saturn is placed in Pisces in the 7th house. Saturn in Jupiter-owned Pisces is ok enough. But Saturn in 7th will restrict partnerships and make you work hard in your alliances, bargains, marriage etc. As the owner of 5th, placed in 7th he will give good results. But as the owner of the 6th placed in the 7th he can create mischief.
      • So again indications for a mixed result.
  3. Now finally analyse how the main planet and the sub-planet interact in the D-1  birth chart. So in our example, check out how Venus and Saturn interact to get a final dynamics of how the combined “Venus mahadasha + Saturn antardasha” period is going to be for you. In our example Venus is in 2nd house and Saturn in the 7th. Thus they are in the uncomfortable 6/8 aspect.
    • So expect a bit of miserable stuff related to broken trusts and some traumatic transformations connected to all these keywords we have seen in this period.
  4. A important point is the last sub-period/antardasha of the main period/Mahadasha. This is called the chidra-dasha/closure period of that planet’s mahadasha. This is extremely important as it now gradually reduces the focus on the aspects of life indicated by the Mahadasha planet, it closes the pending issues in one way or the other and prepares you for the new Mahadasha of the next planet. All unmet goals will be resolved or released. The achievements will be consolidated. There will be a vast change in you.
    • In our example of the Venus Mahadasha which lasts for 20yrs, the last sub-period chidra-dasha will be of Ketu for 26 months over which you will gradually detach from the topics indicated by Venus and get ready for the next Sun’s Mahadasha.

Then again this analysis may seem very tedious but you have to do it just a few times in your life for the Mahadasha planet and for the Antardasha planets every few months/years.

If you feel a bit overwhelmed by all his here is a tiny short-cut keyword post on how to analyse the planet’s time-periods based on the which house he rules over.

The Maha-Dashas are pretty long, Ketu Mahadasha is 7years, Venus mahadasha is the longest at 20 Years, Sun Mahadasha is 6 Years, Moon Mahadasha is 10 Years, Mars Mahadasha is 7 Years, Rahu Mahadasha is 18 Years, Jupiter Mahadasha is 16 Years, Saturn mahadasha is 19 Years and Mercury Mahadasha is 17 Years. Total 120 yrs.

Within each mahadasha, this same sequence of antardasa planetary sub-periods will be repeated with each antardasha being a few months to a couple of years in duration. (use your software for the direct calculation of the time periods)

Calculating Muhurt, auspicious times

Now for the last piece of analysis, the finer details. Superimpose the transit chart’s planetary placements on your basic birth chart (use a different colored pen).

  • See what your Saturn transit will be doing to you (a separate post here). Saturn transits one sign in 2.5yrs thus the broad framework is set by him.
  • The Rahu/Ketu’s transits and their possible implications (separate post here). Rahu/Ketu transit a sign for 1.6 years.
  • Then the Jupiter’s transit and some of his effects (a separate post here) Jupiter transits a sign in 1yr.
  • Haven’t yet written about the transits of Mars, Mercury, Venus and Sun. Will write soon. But a general rule is that the planet in transit is over the 6th, 8th or 12th counted from the ascendant sign, the moon sign and the sign in with the original planet is posted in the birth chart, it will cause unpleasantness. These three are the houses of turmoil/dushamsthana. Counting from the ascendant sign will give the physical implications. Counting from the moon sign will cause emotional implications. Counting from the original birth position of that planet will give the subtle effects.
  • The Moon’s transit effects (a tiny post here). As the Moon changes his sign every 2.25days in transit, this tiny analysis can suffice unless you have to answer questions related to medical emergencies.

These are very general readings which will vary for every individual charts. Always remember a planet’s transit will affect you depending on which houses he owns in your basic D-1 birth chart (and also D-9 if you choose to analyse it too). Planets which own auspicious houses generally do not cause much trouble in their transits. And planets who own the 6th, 8th and 12th or are placed there have more potential for mischief during their transits. (Counting from the ascendant for the physical manifested stuff and counting from the moon for the perceived emotional stuff.)

Just remember there is really no good or bad planet. This is the horoscope you have chosen for yourself at the moment of your birth. These planets/houses/signs etc are all your own energies. Every placement is here to help you complete a chunk of your karma successfully. A Ketu is good for developing a spiritual mindset but will cause abandonment issues in the physical reality. So in the deep sense, what is really good or bad, you decide!

When timing events using Dashas you will need to analyse humungous information at several levels. So you need to practice. I always prefer using my family/friends for my study not public figures. With public or dead figures you can never be sure about their birth details or their exact life events. But get charts of your family members, keep a notebook and analyse them, also cross-check your analysis. For eg if your analysis tells you that some friend is going through a rough period, call him up and ask him how he is doing. Tally what he says with your reading. This is how you improve your predictions.

Keep clear of superstitions and fear. This is Jyotish, the science of Illumination. It has no place for the illogical and the irrational. If you see a friend going through an extreme life event analyse his horoscope to find out which combinations triggered it.

Always look for patterns. One placement does not make a reading.


The Vedic calender

(This post was in response to this “Comment: Hello madam . Request for a post on planetary mahadashas , their meaning and significance and how to go about them! individual planetary view points would be helpful too.” I hope it helped.)

8 thoughts on “Vimshottari dasha Interpreting planetary times

  1. Praveen Desai October 24, 2019 / 10:08 pm

    Excellent web site.


      • Gaurav Agarwal July 30, 2020 / 2:40 am

        In the vishontari Dasha the Maha Dasha is of Rahu and the antardasha is of ketu… with both of them not the lord of any house how should one ascertain the prospects. The ascendant is Libra occupied by Jupiter in the first House.


      • astrologerbydefault July 30, 2020 / 8:42 am

        Hi there
        I have written full posts on rahu and ketu mahadashas
        And several posts on rahu/ketu too.
        Do use the index page to locate these posts first


  2. Dhiraj January 7, 2020 / 9:55 am

    Hi Tejaswini

    This is quite an article. While I learned lots of new things but when I looked at couple charts, I got confused and need guidance. Following are couple real life use cases that I am trying to figure out.

    Case 1 – Currently running Shani mahadasha (4th house in Kumbh in Birth chart) and Rahu anterdasha (Rahu 12th house along with Jupiter and Moon in Libra). Jupiter Chidra dasha is also about to start in few months. Next month onwards Shani will be 4th house for Libra and Jupiter in 3rd house. Now how do we interpret this? Based on Mahadasha/Anterdasha or Chidra dasha or current transit? What to predict here? Transit is good but Mahadasha/Anterdasha is not nor the chidra dasha is expected Jupiter being in 12th house of Venus and sitting with Rahu and Moon. Please guide.

    Case 2 – Currently running Jupiter Mahadasha (4th house in Taurus in Birth Chart) and Rahu (9th house in Libra) anterdasha which will end in few months. Again, case of Chidra dasha. Next Shani Mahadasha (6th house in Cancer along with Sun, 9 degrees apart). Makar rashi running sade sati as well. Here case is opposite Mahadasha/Anterdasha looks better but current or upcoming transit is not. What to predict here? Especially upcoming Shani mahadasha?

    The two cases are opposite to each other. In one case we have great Mahadasha and better anterdasha and in other case we have better transit. Where to expect better results and why?

    Please help me learn this.


    • astrologerbydefault January 8, 2020 / 3:29 pm

      Hi there,

      Readings are not black/white, there are layers. No placement is 100% bad, there are always some desirable and undesirable results. And so the question is always important.

      Will I get a job? yes but it will be away from the home town. So loss of family home. So the same planetary configuration will give desirable+undesirable results.

      I know a couple who in adverse Dasha/transit period got married. Both families were against it, their own parents did not attend the marriage. Both are high earning individuals, love each other, have children now, are good parents, but not in touch with their families/parents. Now how can one say if this marriage was a good/bad thing?

      When you analyse, the most important is the birth chart, the navamsha and the ashtakvarga. Analyse these first in depth. Find out the power of the planets/houses/signs to give results. Also what kind of results.

      If something is not indicated in the birth details, the event will never happen, whatever the dasha/transit may be.
      and if the birth chart has the potential the event will happen irrespective of the transit/dasha. the intensity will change though
      eg one client, pregnancy was high risk with the birth chrt showing serious operations etc, but the dasha/transits reduced the impact so she
      had a forcep delivery. there was a minor operation. The damage was reduced in intensity because of the favourable transit. the transits of the ascendant lord are especially useful, so keep an eye on him always.

      If the ascendant lord/sign is powerful, birth moon is powerful the dasha and transit can never have a severely malefic effect. But if the birth stuff is weak then the person is more susceptible to the changes of the dasha/transit.
      So take your time over the birth analysis.

      Then background is always defined by the Dasha sequence. The sub-period lord works within the limits defined by the main-lord. The outermost boundary is the Dasha. The transits will give the precise timing of the event.
      If it is indicated by the Dasha lords, the event will happen. Only transits cannot make an event happen if the dasha does not support.
      Eg marriage, 7th lords mahadasha. Even 8th lords antardasha can give a marriage event. But the exact timing, which month it will happen is the transit.
      In a heavy dasha if the transits are favourable the stress of the dasha will be reduced.
      And similarly if in a favourable dasha the unfavourable transits cannot do much harm.
      Go through the Ashtakvarga charts of both cases in detail, you will get your answer there.

      And finally if you have to do a general reading without a proper question focus on
      By the time you finish discussing this, the client will remember something which he really wanted to ask you and you can answer it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dhiraj January 12, 2020 / 1:20 am

      Thank you Tejaswini!

      I am not an astrologer just learning it for my own sake. This is some profound guidance. I will look for Ashtakvarga charts (I need to learn it). So far just learning the houses/mahadasha/anterdasha as you can figure out from my various questions on your blogs that I go through.

      Do you teach astrology? Can I get some lessons or your blogs the only way? Is there any other way to contact you for more detailed questions? some email/phone?

      Thanks again


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