A small essay on Karma

A fellow student of Lunar Astro posed a question on the forum as to what is the purpose of human existence. A very broad and open ended question which she opined that perhaps cannot be found through Jyotisha. I concur with that thought for normal humans unless there is some divine intervention. Nevertheless this put my own wheel of thoughts into motion. Now I am no scholar of any classics and a mere student and observer without a दीक्श​ गुरु (deeksha guru), so whatever I write here are my own mental gymnastics and learnt from my Jyotish Guru and the internet.

सनातन धर्म​ (Sanatana Dharma), popularly Hindu religion, has the concept of पुरुशार्थ​ (purushartha) i.e. the goals or objectives of men (humanity). It has four aims or goals (this is in my own opinion the sequence) काम​/kAma (desire), अर्थ​/artha (prosperity), धर्म​/dharma (righteousness) and मोक्श​/moksha (self actualization/liberation). Out of these moksha is considered the ultimate goal by some (there is no consensus by all). These purusharthas set into motion कर्मण​/karmana i.e. action and its consequences, popularly known simply as karma. But what is karma? How are consequences of an action determined? Is there some law like the law of physics? Can we escape karma? Lord स्रि क्रुश्ण​ (Sri Krishna) in his गीता (gIta sandesh) famously says “गहना कर्मणो गतिः” i.e. it is indeed very difficult to discern the nature of karma, what karmas lead to what type of consequences.

In my humble observation of karma, it is a wheel i.e. काल चक्र (kaal chakra). But is a self governing, perpetual justice machine which uses action and consequences as it’s inputs and outputs to deliver justice and fairness. Uses space and time continuum as it’s processing mechanism to deliver the output. Now can we tinker with this processing mechanism? Our rishis and seers gave some techniques of mantra, yantra, tantra etc. again in two different paths of दक्शिण (dakshina) and vAma (वाम​) margas. Can these techniques be used to obtain the ultimate goal of moksha? A school of thought says that it is possible to wipe out the सन्चित​ (sancita) karma with these tools and Guru क्रुप​ (krupa) but not the प्रारब्द​ (prArabda), I tend to agree with this line of thought. To escape this perpetual wheel an escape velocity is needed to escape out of this closed system. This is where the grace of Guru comes. In the तान्त्रिक् पध्यति (Tantric padhati), the goal is not moksha but a योग​ (yoga/union) with a deity. After all, that पध्यति is governed by गुरु शुक्राचार्य​ (shukracharya) the lord of Union/7th/yog.

Let us now look into some of the Jyotisha techniques to decipher karma that I learnt to so far. Every aspect of a chart i.e. भाव​, राशि, नक्शत्र​, चर कारक​, पन्छान्ग​, योग​, अम्श, अश्टक​ etc. show karma but at a broader level one can look into these, the key is having a strong foundation in the karakatwas i.e. basics:

1. Lagna – The Lagna is like the anchor that hooks the ship (soul) on to the dock (body) in this “Samsara Sagar” (sea of life). It is the prime focal point of the karma or life path. So the grahas sitting in the first house, lagna lord and pAka lagna (position of lagna lord) and the karakatwas become the focal point. For example Lagna Lord in the 10th, the focus is on performing karma without any expectations and career become the focus. 7th lord in lagna, then the spouse/partner is controling the natives karma etc. The qualities of the lagna rashi show the broad themes of karma. Here blank chart predictions come in handy. One can easily make 12×12 = 144 predictions just on the lagna rashi. Look at the tattwa of the lagna rashi, if its Jala then the memories of past life are getting carried forward and they have to be worked on at the mental level, if prithvi then native has to pursue material things and will have to be grounded in reality and practicality, if agni then has to take bold initiatives, if vayu then communication, exchange of ideas far and wide become crucial. Karaka for Lagna is Mangal, so for any health/personality/attitude related issues look at Mangal’s position. This is also applies to marriage compatibility.

2. Bhavat Bhavam – An oft overlooked concept is Bhavat Bhavam by many. This again shows the broad themes clearly. For example Makar Lagna natives, spouse and mother becomes most important dispensers of karma as 10th from Makar is the natural 7th (spouse) and taking 7th from Makar the natural 4th of Karka. So all the karakatwas of the kendras 1,4,7,10 houses as well as rashis, become very important to them.

3. Since this is kali yuga, wherever Makar rashi sits i.e. house wise and the 10th house/rashi and their karakatwas become important. For example, for Dhanu Lagna natives, money earned through profession becomes important or for Vrischik lagna communication/paper work/siblings, Makar lagna – Personality/health development etc.

4. Arudhas – A fantastic Jaimini concept of Arudhas and fantastically decoded by Deepanshu Giri Sir. The location of the Arudha Padas show the root cause and how the karma will be executed. For example, if Arudha Lagna is in the 5th house in makar rashi, then the karma is to work without any expectations towards your children or name/fame. A11 in the 3rd in Meena rashi, fulfillment of desrires will happen if native takes a leap of faith subconsciously and puts in efforts or if the siblings move to foreign lands then the natives wishes will be fulfilled!
Another way to look at it is to apply the karakatwas of the rashi and the arudha padas in that rashi. For example if A4 is in Dhanu rashi then native becomes lucky in terms of vehicles/property etc. as Dhanu is the natural bhagya sthana. Or if A9 is in the 12th in Tula, then native gets gyAn or finds a female Guru in a foreign country in a downtown area but in an isolated place or by lying on the bed and wearing expensive clothes and thinking deep (samyama) or in their dreams.

5. Amsha Charts – This requires accurate birth time especially for higher amsha charts. Check the Rashi lagna and the distance to the amsha lagnas like Navamsha and shashtyamsha.
So for example for a Kanya Lagna native the lagna in the Navamsha is in Vrishabha with benefics aspects then native becomes extremely lucky with money and earning capacity after marriage
but for same Kanya lagna in rashi, if the lagna is in Meena with Ketu in the Navamsha then native may not get married at all or if married will result in divorce. You can apply same principle
on shashtyamsha and navanavamsha but BTR is needed.

6. Chara Karakas – This is a topic where I need to do further research, but my thoughts on Chara Karakas is that they operate at the sub conscious and subtle level. In yoga there is a concept of pancha koshas – Annamaya-> Pranamaya -> Manomaya -> Vigyanamaya -> Anandamaya, from the Annamaya being the grossest at the physical level and subsequent koshas or layers becoming subtler. We can map these to the attributes of the kundali. Annamaya is lagna and bhaavas, Pranamaya is Rashis, Manomaya is Nakshatras, Vigyanamaya is Chara Karakas. Deepanshu Giri sir has given the mapping of the grahas (sthira karakas) to the naisargik chara karakas in the 2022 3rd edition Magazine and that works well, i.e. see the characteristics of the graha with respect to to the naisargik karaka. For example if Surya becomes Darakaraka then native would like to show off their spouse or ego clashes with spouse are indicated. I have seen that the Gnatikaraka fairly accurately shows the shad ripus of the native and also the diseases that the native is prone to. For example if Budh is Gnatikaraka then skin/endocrine issues, if Shani then vAta related issues etc.

7. Special positions of grahas – Grahas when they are in special positions like Ucha, Neecha, Digbali, Vakri, Sthambi, Asth then the people represented by these garahas come into the native’s
life to deliver the karma based on their special position. For example for a Vrishabha lagna native, if Surya is Ucha in the 12th with Budh very close to it and combust, then the first child
of the native will be very close to the native’s mother so much that the child will be fully in control of the grandmother than the mother (native) and will be on a special mission of providing resources/health/vitality etc.(Surya) to masses via communication/outreach etc(Budh). Native’s child is poised to become a Obstetrician/Gynecologist as Surya and Budh are in Bharani.

8. Past Life – Dipanjan Das ji has done some brilliant research on this topic and published on the Launar Astro Forum and presented on the Webinar. The vasanas and samskaras (tendencies)
and the incomplete karmas from past life get carried over to this life. These are seen by the 2nd,3rd, 8th and 12th. Dipanjan ji has primarily focussed on the 12th hence 12th house, 12th lord, Meena rashi become important in deciphering what we are carrying from past lifes. This is because if we put efforts (3rd) in understanding the past (12th – 3rd from 10th) then we can perform better karma. Please see his posts on the forum for details. Another related technique that I found working is looking at the rashi in the Shashtyamsha where the 12th lord of the Lagna chart. For example for a Kanya lagna native if Surya is in Vrischik in Shashtyamsha then the native must have been some royal figure and enjoyed the legacy/inheritance(Vrischik).

​9. Karma Vipak Samhita – This is again related to the prusharthas as each pada of the nakshatra is mapped to one of the purushartha i.e. 1st pada – Dharma, 2nd pada – Artha, 3rd pada – Kaama, 4th – Moksha. Deepanshu Giri Sir has brought forth the essence of the samvaad between Mahaadev and Parvati Devi so beautifully in his interpretations in his Nakshatra books. This interpretaion is at a deep and subtle level. Highly recommend his books to get to the depths of karma interpretation. In regards to the purusharthas, look at Chandra’s nakshatra pada to interpret the native’s
mental makeup or what path they are walking to. For example if its in 3rd pada then it is kaama i.e. experience something in this life. What is that something that they want to experience
will be shown by the Nakshatra for example if its PurvaPhalguni then its all the karakatwas of Shukra. Since the nakshatras are outside the bhachakra (zodiac) this reminds me of Vishnu’s strides (padas) across the worlds, as described in the Rk Veda.

10. Shani is the most important karmic graha and indicates where you are bound to perform your karma. This may include something that one has to perform physically on a daily basis. Example if Shani is in the 5th house in Vrishabha rashi, then the native is bound to provide resources/money to their family/children, must spend quality time with their children and family especially on Sundays and Fridays. 5th is the natural bhaav of Surya where he is in the center of the bhachakra, now if a Shani who’s a laborer is put in the center, he feels very uncomfortable, but will have to overcome the stage fear. If any connection to the 2nd house/lord/Vrishabha etc., may not be able to fast and will have a tendency to not skip meals but will be forced to fast. If in lagna must go to the gym to lift weights otherwise health will suffer.

11. Prarabda – This is shown by the 6th house/lord/Budh/A6/Kanya in the chart. This is again something you are bound to do on a daily basis. So for all Prithvi tattwa lagnas, it is their prarabda to communicate/exchange ideas since the 6th from the lagna is always a vayu rashi. If A6 is in the 8th house in Simha rashi, then some prarabda exists towards occult knowledge. If A6 is in the 4th house in Dhanu, then native is very comfortable in arguing in matters of higher knowledge or be a very knowledgeable lawyer and be lucky in that profession.

Karma is unfathomable as said by Lord Sri Krishna, hope this puts a small glimmer on such a dense topic. I dedicate this to that swamy of Kaala on this auspicious kaalashtami and to my Jyotish Guru Sri Deepanshu Giri ji.

9 thoughts on “A small essay on Karma”

  1. Namaste Srinivasaji. “Karma” has become such a trite word these days, often relegated to mean “payback”. But here you have shown the varied nature of this deep little word. Excellent compilation of techniques.
    If I may add one more to this – The Badhak concept that Sir had explained with the primary and secondary badhaks – Imho, it’s the karma of self-sabotage – the potential/capacity in each one to ruin the fulfilment of our own karmas. For, moveable rashis, saturnine house (11th) and Dual rashis (7th house where saturn gets naturally exalt). Even for the fixed rashis, the badhaks seem to have a unique linkage with saturnine rashis/houses. So one way or other I am seeing that the Badhaks run into karma territory.
    Thanks for your thought provoking article.

    1. Srinivasa Sunchu

      Excellent point! The reason for a sthira rashi, the bhagya bhava becomes a badhak is because its also the bhava for belief systems. So, if you have a rigid or a head in the sand belief systems like some religions have sanctioned it, then even bhagya can turn into a badhak.

  2. Sir, immense gratitude to you for this wonderful and invaluable article. It’s not easy to digest, I can only imagine how much effort you would have put in to write it, organise it, and present it so beautifully and well-organised! This is a treasure trove of knowledge, philosophy, and astrology techniques. God bless you sir.

  3. This is a brilliant article
    Hats off to the author and sublime knowledge of my guru shree deepanshu giri sir!

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