Chara Dasha is an important predictive technique in Jyotish. It is basically a sign-based Direction and usually ranked top among Phalit Dashas (periods of good-bad fruits). Both Parashar and Jaimini maintained a fair amount of discussion about Chara Dasha. Yet, controversies over its calculation and utility still exist. The first reason is the highly terse and complex formation of ancient Jyotish texts and the second reason is dozens of their commentaries and annotations. On the other hand, modern living authorities on Jaimini Phalit Dashas, have abstained to decode the codes of Chara Karakas and Chara Dasha (at least in their published stuff). That is why, choosing a flawless path has really become hard for today’s Jyotish learner.
This writ-up intends to highlight an untold aspect of timing adverse events through Chara Dasha. According to scribe, there is a direct relation between occurring of adverse event and the running Chara Dasha having Gnathikaraka (GK) in 1st or 6th there from. The particular area of life should scrutinize from relevant divisional chart (Varga Chakra). Before properly establishing the mentioned above thesis, let’s first understand the Gnathikaraka (GK) and Varga Chakra.
There are many types of Karaka (signifying planet or indicator) in Jyotish. Among them Chara Karaka is a special scheme of planetary arrangement with respect to their celestial longitudes in zodiacal sign. But there are three main schools of thought about total number of Chara Karakas. First propounds that there should be 7 Chara Karaka (from Sun to Saturn, and Rahu should never be used). Second school teaches that Chara Karaka can be 7 or 8 depending upon the longitudes of planets. Whereas third cult believes on 8 Chara Karaka and emphasizes to always include Rahu. Following the teachings of B.V. Raman and K.N. Rao, scribe simply considers the 7-planet Chara Karaka scheme. They are as follows:
1) AtmaKaraka (AK) means: indicator of soul
2) AmatyaKaraka (AmK) means: indicator of minister
3) BhratruKaraka (BK) means: indicator of brother
4) MatruKaraka (MK) means: indicator of mother
5) PutraKaraka (PK) means: indicator of son
6) GnathiKaraka (GK) means: indicator of paternal cousin
7) DaraKaraka (DK) means: indicator of spouse
These 7 labels of planets do not compel us to assume just 7 people or 7 areas of life. About the utility and significations of Chara Karaka, this is a widely prevailed misunderstanding, and it should be addressed. That is, whether a Chara Karaka only signifies the matter it is named after, or it can also indicate other relevant areas of life.
Historically speaking, every ancient and medieval Jyotish text (in its preliminary chapter) entitles certain name to houses as well as planets. Say, First House as Tanu Bhava, Second House as Dhan Bhava and so on. But the name or title of Tanu Bhava does not imply that First House merely rules over body of native, and Dhan Bhava only indicates wealth. Obviously dozens of other significations also fall under jurisdiction of Tanu Bhava, for instant; appearance, knowledge, colour, nature, strength, comfort and discomfort. Similarly Second House deals with various matters, say assets, means of getting wealth, place of securing money, grains, food, joint-family, learning abilities etc. Thus, despite many significations, Jyotish authorities labelled First House as Tanu Bhava or Lagna Bhava. Same is the case with planets as well. Following this logic behind naming, AtmaKaraka (AK) should not assume to only rule Soul, and AmatyaKaraka (AmK) should not consider to just rule Minister or Ministerial Position.
Let’s come to the subject of this article, i.e. Gnathikaraka (GK). In Sanskrit, Gnathi simply means paternal cousin. But as explained in above paragraph, this label or title does not entail that GK only signifies cousins. In fact, GK simultaneously shows other significations of 6th house from ascendant. Why 6th house? Because, counting downward from Atmakaraka, Gnathikaraka (GK) comes at number six. If all the 7 Chara Karakas should arrange with respect to decreasing longitude then they are amazingly analogous to significations of First House to Seventh House. Thus Gnathikaraka shows other indications of 6th house, including; enemy, rival, accident, illness, dispute, mishap, litigation etc.
- a) First look at the rashi chart (D1 – natal chart) and check to see if Atmakaraka (AK) is situated in the 6th, 8th or 12th house from the running antardasha. Atmakaraka (AK) represents the 1st house and its significations, the individual concerned.
- b) Check next to see if Gnathikaraka (GK) is situated in the 6th or 8th house from the antardasha running in rashi chart (D1 – natal chart). Also check if GK is in the 1st house from antardasha or aspects the 1st house of the antardasha.
If any of the two conditions (a) or (b) mentioned in the first step are met, we next check the divisional charts. We look at each individual divisional chart to see if Gnathikaraka (GK) is in the 1st or 6th house from antardasha running, or GK is in the house from the antardahsa which represents that particular divisional chart.
If step two is also met we can identify a particular area of life that may present difficulties to the person e.g.; D9 Marriage, D10 Career, D12 parents etc.
As far as divisional charts (Varga Chakras) are concerned, Parashar’s teaching and computational criterion are followed in this article.
From Chara Dasha/Antar, Houses to look for GK
1st, 3rd, 11th, and 6th
1st, 4th, and 6th
1st, 5th, and 6th
1st, 7th, and 6th
1st, 10th, and 6th
1st, 4th, 9th, and 6th
1st, 4th, and 6th
 Chara is often pronounced as ‘Char’. In Sanskrit, चर means dynamic, moving, mutable, living, passage, agent, and herald.
 Brihat Parashar Hora Shastar: Santhanam Translation, Chapter 46, verse 158-166, and Chapter 50, verse 1-97. Whereas, in G.C. Sharma’s translation, Chara Dasha computation is given in Chapter 48 and its results in Chapter 52.
 Maharishi Jaimni Sutram: Quarter III and Quarter IV of Chapter 2.
 Studies in Jaimini Astrology by B.V. Raman. Motilal Banarsidas Publication.
 Predicting through Jaimini’s Chara Dasha by K.N. Rao, Vani Publication.
 Gnathi is also spelled as Jnaati or Gnati. Some modern translators explain Gnathi as community, kith and kin, and cousins. But B.S. Rao in his commentary of Sri Sarwartha Chintamani (vol.2, page 644-645) maintains that Gnathi in Sanskrit refers only to paternal side and never to first or remote cousins on the maternal side. J.N. Bhasin translates the Gnathi as people of one’s community. In either case, 6th house signifies Gnathisthana in horoscope.
 A divisional chart, say D3 or D9, can be erected in various ways and used for various purposes, and so as for other Vargas. But for the sake of ease, area of life given in BPHS’ chapter 7 on Divisional Charts i.e. Shodasvarga Adhyayah is followed. This understanding is widely accepted and practiced.
On November 8 1960, American Republican candidate Richard Nixon loses election to John F. Kennedy. The sub period of Aquarius-Virgo was activating in the nativity of Richard Nixon. From Sagittarius, the Gnathikaraka Mars casts rashi drishti to antardasha Virgo. In D10 (dasamsa), GK Mars is in the 6th house from Virgo antardasha.
Chart 3: John F Kennedy, Sr
On August 12 1944, Joseph Kennedy, elder brother of John F. Kennedy, dies. The antardasha of Capricorn-Aquarius was running. GK Saturn occupies in 6th house from antardasha rashi Aquarius. In the D3 (drekkana) GK Saturn is again in 6th house from Aquarius antardasha.
On May 13 1948, Kathleen Kennedy, younger sister of John F. Kennedy dies. Pisces-Taurus was running in the chart of John F. Kennedy. In D1 (rashi chart), antardasha Taurus has AK Mercury in 12th house from antardasha. In the D3 (drekkana) GK Saturn is in the 3rd house from Taurus antardasha.
Chart 4: Jacqueline Kennedy
On December 16 1998, former US President Bill Clinton is impeached by the House of Representatives. Aries-Leo Chara antardasha was running. The D1 (rashi chart), antardasha rashi Leo has GK Sun. Whereas, in the D10 (dasamsa) GK Sun is in the 1st house Leo.
It is to underline again that discussed thesis and illustrations are only scribe’s observations and as such need further research and investigation on many horoscopes. One must always remember to use the rashi chart (natal chart i.e. D1) as the focus point and the Vimshotarri Dasha with this technique.
This predictive technique was used on various charts of scribe’s friends and found very satisfactory results. Yet, 100% guarantee cannot be given. It is up to the intelligent readers and researchers to test this technique and send their feed back.
Finally, a note about the computation of Chara Dasha seems indispensible. Reader may find different Chara Dasha outcome from different programming routines and software. The reason is consideration of different ‘strength criteria’ and dual lordship of Aquarius and Scorpio used by various Jyotish software. Never assume software’s output as flawless, at least for the calculations of Jaimini’s rashi dasha. It would be fruitful to manually recheck the stronger between Saturn and Rahu, and Mars and Ketu. For correct antardasha sequence, the stronger between 1st and 7th from each rashi should deduct intelligently.
 In the special series of articles appeared in Saptarishis Astrology (October 2010), author K.N. Rao lists Chara Dasha for natal chart of Queen Elizabeth II (see Chara Dasha – My Approach, Part 1, page 8). But Editor of Saptarishis Astrology intimates that JHora outcome does not match with K.N. Rao’s dasha calculation. The reason is the ‘Jaimini’s planetary strength criteria’ used by JHora. Yet, there is another confusion of stronger between 1st or 7th rashi for all signs. In Queen Elizabeth chart, Rahu is stronger for lordship of Aquarius, and Mars is for lordship of Scorpio. If one manually changes the ‘lordship’ and ‘exception’ in JHora through ‘OPTIONS’ button in ‘RASI DASA’ tab, then JHora’s outcome becomes identical to K.N. Rao’s calculation. On the other hand Parashar Light software does not provide rich options for Chara Dasha. So, it is tough for a new learner to reach a correct Chara Dasha sequence. For special rules of Scorpio (Mars/Ketu) and Aquarius (Saturn/Rahu) lordships, readers should peruse page 44-45 of Predicting through Jaimini’s Chara Dasha by K.N. Rao (2005).