Lagnamsha, Swamsha and Karakamsha by U K Jha

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In Jaimini Upadesh Sutra (JUS) we find a separate chapter (1st chapter; 2nd quarter) on Swamsha. The chapter opens with the description of Swamsha (atha swamsho grahanam) but when we go through the various sutras listed in this chapter we also come across with the term Karkamsha (sutra no. 38) which leads the brilliance of the scholars to some irritating nemesis because the voluble confusion about Swamsha or Kakamsha balloons up uncontrollably and one feels flustered to make out clearly whether these two terms are synonymous to each other or are different altogether. On account of lack of clear conception on this topic many awkward suggestions come into sight from various quarters and different schools of thoughts.

In JUS we do not find a clear and comprehensive definition of these terms. Many scholars believe that these two terms convey same and coaxial imports while others posit that they are completely different comprising of diversified implications. In Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra (BPHS) we find one more term Lagnamsha alongside the Karakamsha and Swamsha. Needless to say that the opinions from different quarters on this vexed topic, not only fluctuate but also tend to converge on some gross disagreements. The proposition of one commentator of JUS in this respect appears to be extremely dim-witted. The salt is further added to this academic injury by the research scholars who exhibit their intellectual brilliance with few examples without comprehensively comprehending these terms.

The facts are often distorted and the truth is made to get buried by unintelligent assertions of the established names in the field. This also includes the authors/compilers of texts like Vriddha Karika and BPHS. We often feel elated while quoting from these texts or citing the name of some big astrologer in the field without giving a thought as to how much and how far those suggestion are logical, rational and commonsensical. Then we all know that common sense is not a commodity to be found commonly in majority cases. By dispensing with the logic and by accepting those bizarre suggestions we do nothing but simply tend to be hideously stupid. No verbose loquacity can erase the scar created by lack of knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to explore and establish judiciously as to what these terms really stand for.       

Jaimini astrology as a whole has become handsomely enigmatic for the astrologers in general owing to the coiled confusions associated with the interpretation of the sutras given in Jaimini Upadesha Sutra (JUS). Many of these sutras have been interpreted differently by different savants since very distant past. The evident bewilderment in this respect can be noticed conspicuously in many cases viz computation of Chara Dasa, evaluation of Brahma and Rudra planets etc or many other obscure suggestions made by scholars or Karikas in different connotations. Modern Gurus saddled in some advantageous positions are propagating some very unintelligent and funny views on controversial topics and their students are spreading the same with some devilish delight without ever making any attempt to understand those topics under the effulgent light of logic and rationality. The irony is while the Guru is pleasantly flying on the puissant wings of unpopular popularity the disciples turned teachers are licking the knowledge with a smoking tongue to the peril of the science of sages.   

For example, let us take here the two sutras connected to third source of strength – swaminastriteeyah and swatswaminah kantakadishvapardaurbalyam. Here, many commentators have taken the term swat of second sutra in reference to Atma Karaka. Logically it should not be that because the term swat of second sutra is connoted to the term swamin of first sutra. On account of this connotation (swamisahacharya) it should be understood as the location of the lord with respect to the sign concerned and not with respect to the Atma Karaka. Several such examples from various commentaries can be cited. Here we would also find out how the term swa inadvertently got attached to Atma Karaka which the commentators have applied blindly.

As has been told earlier, the ground of Jaimini is not easy to work upon; for, it demands one point sharp intellect to understand its sutra which is not possible without having a very sound knowledge of fundamental principles of astrology. But; as ill luck would have it, few scholars have tried to venture on this ground without realising the danger involved therein. Even the ancient authorities have repeatedly failed to understand these sutras. In above case no one has ever tried to know as to what possible relationship a lord can have with Atma Karaka planet while imparting strength to the sign owned by it?

Understanding of a subject does not come through circling around some cherished view. It has got to well up from within during the course of deep rumination. When ego becomes the lord of the peacock seat of learning, falsehood too moves to find a place in the close vicinity. By telling everyone a novice we only show the lack of our own profundity. Academic discussions are not carried out in the world of battles and surprises. In every age there have been haughty scholars in Vaidik astrology who have tried to present themselves as a meagre image of the mighty whole and kneaded the breast of knowledge with a devil’s cruelty. Till date the posterity is paying a heavy price for the imperfect intellectual pursuits of these snooty savants. These scholars; I am constrained to say, have resorted to all types of manipulations to project themselves as the eternity’s delegate in the field of astrology.

Students must always remain very alert to examine the things logically before accepting them. Logic is the essence of astrology and nothing illogical should ever be accepted. K N Rao has written a book on Chara Dasa which is claimed to be an original research on Jaimini’s Chara Dasa. In JUS we find a sutra – Dwiteeyam bhavabalam chara navamshe. Every sincere student of astrology then must try to find out where does the implication of this sutra fit into the scheme of computing the Chara Dasa. If this sutra of JUS does not find application in computation of Chara Dasa suggested by any authority, one must straight away reject the same because the clear violation of injunctions of JUS is conspicuous. Moreover, does this sutra not also indicate something very identical in Chara and Navamsha Dasa? What is that? Before conducting or guiding a research on Navamsha Dasa this point needs to be explored clearly, comprehensively and exhaustively. I have already mentioned elsewhere that one may call this as Neelakantha’s Chara Dasa and that as Raghava Bhatt’s Chara Dasa and so on and so forth. But to call something as Jaimini’s Chara Dasa every bit of it must be supported by the injunctions of JUS only. It must start from the very nomenclature Chara given to this Dasa.

The basic philosophy of calculating the Dasa period of sign in Chara Dasa has already been explained earlier in SA and the same is not required to be repeated here again. Jaimini has not advocated the use of 8-Chara Karaka and that is clear from the appertained sutra. Before use of Chara Karaka it is more important to evaluate them properly. Suppose Saturn is at about 29 degree in a sign then for most of the births in one month it would continue to be the Atma Karaka in majority of the birth charts. Does the wisdom grant permission to accept such odd situations? On one hand we are mistreating the samskrit pundits for their faulty translations/interpretations and on the other hand we are accepting their suggestions for evaluation of Atma Karaka etc. What can be told about such dilemmas? Just look at the words of Oliver Goldsmith and see our own championed position in the light of“every absurdity has a champion to defend it”. When one advises others to reason out the things astutely before accepting them can he afford to keep himself away from this guideline?

After publication of my book on “Mandook Dasa” few astrologer friends tried to criticise me that I am against research in the field astrology but it is not factual. Research in any subject is mandatory to keep it vibrant, progressive and alive. I have never been against any genuine research and have only suggested that all new adventures in astrology need not be and must not be presented as a great research. I am only against the habit of astrologers who often try to project themselves in a manner as if they have touched the abysm of the unbodied infinite or have measured the periphery of the fathomless zero said to be circumscribing that hypothetical belt in heaven called zodiac. There are endless things (in astrology) locked in blind antres of the ignorant flood often mistaken as true knowledge. However; what is clear and open for all sensible astrologers to see and note is that the rays (emissions) of these so called sparkling (research) works have decisively skirted the bright accustomed air of astrology in to some uninhalable gaseous swamp of half-lit ignorance. In spite of the fact that the truth appears to have its throne on the shadowy back of doubts, I; like an impartial witness, have always endeavoured to bar those dangerous rays (emissions) with a mournful anguish and from a precarious field of toil. Let us not forget that brilliance of a true research always works to force its interpretation through some recondite beauty and bliss of a truly disclosed epiphany.  

If I would explain in one sentence what Swamsha and Karakamsha; and for that matter even Lagnamsha, are people would jump to assault the secret Tantrik cult which is so superior and so dear to me because I have also learnt the gist of Jaimini astrology from these Gurus only. It is; therefore, better to go for a exposition guided purely by logic and reasoning.

The controversy is associated mainly with the definition of the term Swamsha, because majority of the astrologers hold a unanimous view in respect of the definition of Karkamsha. The sign in which the Atma Karaka is deposited in the Navamsha chart is called the Karakamsha and the same sign in the natal chart is treated as Karkamsha Lagna for divination of the birth map. Many enthusiastic scholars take the Karkamsha Lagna in Navamsha chart itself and advocate divination from there. However, it is an erroneous view and cannot be accepted because no divisional chart can replace the natal chart for the purpose of delineation of the events. All the Lagna including the Karkamsha or Pad or Varnada Lagna etc have got to be fixed in the natal chart only.

Then what is the Swamsha? Is it different than Karkamsha? If yes, then, how and in what ways? One scholar defines Swamsha as the Navamsha of Lagna. In other words Swamsha is nothing but Navamsha Lagna. To me it appears as a very dim-witted definition. In the opinion of other scholars Swamsha and Karkamsha are one and the same thing.  Some scholars have tried to explain Swamsha and Karkamsha in such a way that it looks unfathomable for any technical discussion on logical grounds because they take Swamsha as a whole chart; whereas, it is merely a point or segment like Karakamsha. 

While going through the different texts of astrology carefully one may note that few terms are found which have often been misinterpreted by the commentators. For example, Kruramsha, (kruramshe krura-rasau);Jalamsha(jalagrihe jalamshashthe); Uttamamsha (uttamamsha yuktah) Vikatamsha (vikatamsha yuktah), Kendramsha, Konamsha, Charamsha, Ojamsha, Naramsha (yugma-rasau naramshashthe ; Shubhamsha (shubhe shubhamshe); Papamsha (pape papamshe) etc etc. These have been invariably used in reference to the location of planet in Navamsha diagram. Since they have not been used very frequently and we can note them only during the course of an absorbing and mindful study, students often feel flustered in understanding them with their right undertone. Swamsha is one such term which has tended to be a riddle for the Jaimini scholars.   

Before understanding Swamsha it is important to first look at the following verse of BPHS

            Karakamshe shubhe vipra! Lagnamshe cha shubhagrahe

               Shubhasamveekshate jato raja bhawati nischitah.

               Swamshachchhubhagrahah kendre kone va papavarjitah

               Dhana-vidyayuto jato mishrairamishraphalam vadet.


The meaning given by one of the commentator of BPHS goes like, “O Vipra! If the benefics be placed in the Navamsha of Atma Karaka as well as in the Navamsha of Lagna and be also aspected by the benefic planets, the native certainly becomes a king. Should there be a benefic planet located in the angle or trine of the Navamsha of Atma Karaka and be free from the influences of any malefic planets, the native becomes wealthy and learned. Mixed results may be declared if they receive mixed influences.

Some scholars who have also quoted the above verse have observed, The point is that Parasara does recognise the difference between the Karakamsha (soul) and the Lagnamsha (body) and uses the term Swamsha to describe both when common rules are present.” Such conclusions can only be described as completely off the mark.  

In the above quoted verse of BPHS three terms namely Karakamsha, Lagnamsha and Swamsha have been used and it may be noted that these have been used in same stride. This only shows their inner linkage in different parlance.

Before explaining the same I would like to draw the attention of the readers that above stated terms are one system of nomenclature or the method describing the location of planets in the Navamsha diagram. There is one more method applied freely in Dhruva Nadi but also found sparingly in other texts. This would be clear from the exposition of the under given verse from Dhruva Nadi so that the readers can have acquaintance with the identical terms like sukhamsha, bhagyamsha or nidhanamsha etc. This would enable them to appreciate and understand the connotation of terms Lagnamsha, Swamsha or Karakamsha etc.

            Meene dineshe bhrigusamyutascha chpamshasurye sukhamshyuktah

               Kumbhamshashukre Shashtamshayuktah.

               Meshe cha saumye vrishbhamshayuktah bhgyamsha yuktah

               Vrishbhechamande shikhisamyutascha simhamshamande vyayamshayuktah.

               Vrishbhamshaketu vargottamamshayuktah bhagyamshyuktah.

               Simheguraucha vargottamamshayuktah vyayamshayuktah.

               Chapechachandre vargottamamshayuktah sukhamshayuktah.

               Vrischikechakuje neechamshayuktah labhamshayuktah.

               Keetecharahau vargottamamshayuktah vikramshayuktah.

               Lagne Bala vrishbhamshasthe bhagyamshyuktah.


In the above verse both the Navamsha as well as the sign location of the planets have been narrated in same stride. The meaning of this verse related to Virgo Lagna is as under

“The Sun is situated in Pisces in conjunction with the Venus. It is in Sagittarius Navamsha (chapamsha surye) identical with 4th house of the natal chart (sukhamamshayuktah). But Venus is in Aquarius Navamsha (kumbhamshashukre) identical with 6th house (Shashtamsha yuktah). Mercury is deposited in Aries in Taurus Navamsha (vrishbhamsha yuktah) identical with the 9th house (bhagyamshayuktah). Saturn in conjunction with Ketu is located in Taurus (in natal chart) in Leo Navamsha (simhamshamande) identical with the 12th house of horoscope (vyayamashyuktah). However, Ketu is vargottam (in Taurus Navamsha) identical with 9th house (bhagyamshayuktah). Jupiter is in sign Leo but is Vargottama identical with 12th house in natal chart. The Moon located in sign Sagittarius (chapechachandre) is also in Sagittarius Navamsha (vargottamamshayuktah) identical with 4th house (sukhamshayuktah). The placement of Mars is in Scorpio sign but is debilitate in Navamsha (neechamshayuktah) identical with 11th house (labhamshayuktah). Rahu is placed in Scorpio in Vargottam condition identical with the 3rd house while Lagna (Virgo) is in Taurus identical with 9th house.  Here the readers may note that even the houses of the horoscope have been stated in terms of amsha. These are called Bhvasuchaka Navamsha (navamsha indicating houses).

The scholars of Jaimini astrology have invariably failed to take note of such things while trying to understand the terms like Swamsha or Lagnamsha etc. Although there are countless researchers in astrology today; in my own considered opinion, none has touched the pinnacles at par with J N Bhasin and C S Patel in the field of astrology so far understanding the rationality and unearthing the hidden principles of prognostication is concerned.  The other name is of K Aswathappa but unfortunately he has not written any book (at least in English, to the best of my knowledge). I consider these three savants as the true sage of astrology in modern era. However; it does not imply that I underestimate the contribution of other astrologers.

Now coming back to the terms like Lagnamsha and Swamsha found in BPHS and JUS etc and their linkage with the term Karakamsha. We must note that these have been used with reference to Atma Karaka planet and in terms of its location in Navamsha diagram. The sign in which Atma Karaka planet is located in Navamsha is designated as Karakamsha – the amsha acquired by the (Atma) Karaka. The same sign in the natal chart would play the role of Karkamsha Lagna.

Earlier we have seen that Sukhamsha means the occupation of a sign in Navamsha which is identical with 4th house in the natal chart. Similarly the term Bhagyamsha stands for a sign occupied by a planet in the Navamsha chart which is identical with the 9th house in the birth map. This is because in those circumstances the planet acquires the amsha of the 4th house or the 9th house of the nativity.

So, the Lagnamsha here would mean a sign occupied by Atma Karaka planet in the Navamsha which is also identical with the birth ascendant. In other words if Atma Karaka is located in Navamsha diagram in the sign which is identical with Lagna, the sign in question would be called Lagnamsha – the Atma Karaka acquiring the amsha of Lagna. In that eventuality Karkamsha and Lagnamsha would become one and the same thing.

In the same way when Atma Karaka is situated in a sign owned by it (Atma Karaka), it would be called Swamsha – Atma Karaka acquiring its own amsha. In this condition Karakamsha and Swamsha would become one and the same.

Here the term swa meaning self or own sign connotes with the Atma Karaka. It is from here that the term swa has been taken as synonyms for Atma Karaka for general application and the savants applied it mindlessly everywhere. Such inferences can be inaccurate as has been explained in the two sutras refered to earlier paragraphs of this paper in respect of the term swat.     

Now suppose Atma Karaka also owns the Lagna or the Lagna lord happens to be the Atma Karaka in the birth chart. In that case, if in Navamsha diagram the Atma Karaka occupies a sign identical with Lagna, the Karkamsha, Lagnamsha and Swamsha would become one and same.

Thus, the above discussion can be concluded in following words

  • The sign occupied by Atma Karak planet in the Navamsha diagram is called Karakamsha. Depending upon other conditions it can also become Lagnamsha or Swamsha or both.
  • While the term Karakamsha is applicable for both Swamsha and Lagnamsha, the latter two terms (Swamsha and Lagnamsha) cannot always become the same. Hence, any conclusion that Swamsha can be used to describe both Karakamsha as well as the Lagnamsha in general terms is totally inappropriate and inaccurate.
  • Karakamsha would be Lagnamsha only when the Atma Karaka planet is situated in Navamsha chart in a sign identical with the Lagna because in that situation the Atma Karaka planet acquires the amsha of the Lagna.
  • Similarly, the Karakamsha can be called Swamsha when the Atma Karaka planet in Navamsha diagram occupies a sign owned by it. In that case it would be acquiring its own amsha.
  • When the lord of Lagna is also the Atma Karaka and in Navamsha it occupies a sign identical with Lagna, Karakamsha, Lagnamsha and Swamsha become same. This is because Atma Karaka in that eventuality would acquire its own amsha as well as the amsha of Lagna.
  • If the lord of Lagna (say Atma Karaka here) owns two signs and it occupies its other sign (not the Lagna) in the Navamsha chart it would be in Swamsha and not in Lagnamsha.
  • The Karakamsha cannot always be Swamsha or Lagnamsha or both. Only in certain special conditions Karakamsha can be Swamsha or Lagnamsha or both and that has been elaborated above.

The Karakamsha becomes Swamsha when the Atma Karaka planet occupies its own sign in Navamsha. Most of the results dealt in JUS pertain to Swamsha and only few to Karakamsha. It is hard to assort them as the sutras of JUS have been misplaced also. The scholars interested in research must take note of this point while seeking blind application of those aphorisms in their work and example charts.

Till date no one has explained the term Swamsha in any of his paper or work. People have done many things including research but could not understand Swamsha properly nor could they work out Atma Karaka correctly. Yet great researches have been conducted by them. This is the first time in astrological history that I have tried to explain these terms logically showing their inner connections and differences. Readers can now themselves know the reality of researches going on in Jaimini astrology.  

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