Atma means Self, while karaka means Indicator. There are naturally two grahas that are called Atmakaraka in the chart. One is natural (naisargik) and another is temporal (chara). Natural Atmakaraka in each chart is Surya, while chara Atmakaraka in each chart is calculated in accordance with a placement of a Graha in a sign.


Sun is an indicator of dharma (Natural Law principle). It rules self, innate nature and intelligence. While Moon rules manas (mind), sun is an indicator of Atman (a transcendental Self) which is unborn and undying, beyond the relative field of existence. Sun is a natural indicator for a first house affairs or Lagna. It rules natural 5th house of a zodiac, and along with Guru, it has a say over Dhi-Shakti, an intelligence coupled with wisdom, proper growth of the mind, and mantra-primordial sound that reflects the transcendental Impulse of Natural Law.


While the scholars are still divided in opinion whether to use seven or eight charakarak scheme, Parasara and Jaimini are clear in their preference to the latter. Thus I am describing the role of Atmakaraka, having in mind 8 Chara karaka scheme, as recommended by the sages.

Let’s see what Parasara says about Atmakaraka:“O Brahmin, just as the minister cannot go against the king, the other karakas, viz, Putrakaraka, Amatyakaraka etc. cannot predominate over Atmakaraka in the affairs of the native. If the Atmakaraka is adverse, other karakas cannot give their benefic effects (fully). Similarly, if Atmakaraka is favorable, other karakas cannot predominate with their malefic influences.”

Atmakaraka is the most personal planet in the chart. It is the king of the horoscope. Its role is to protect, as the king protects his kingdom and territory. Being the most personal planet, it has the strongest say over Moksha (final emancipation) and for that reason, the 12th house from the Atmakaraka in the Navamsa chart (dharmamsa) is used to ascertain the ishtadevata or the personal Deity who will guide the soul to its real home – Moksha. Thus, the main role of Atmakaraka is to purify the soul. Therefore, the position of Atmakaraka in a chart describes the suffering of a soul, obstacles and bad karma which are all meant to cleanse the soul from its sins, and promote rise and evolution. It is for that reason that house placement of Atmakaraka as well as Arudha ruled by it are indicative of disturbed areas of life, where a person has to work unselfishly to ward off the previous sins. For that reason, a person will suffer most while given the opportunity to progress most through the instrument of Atmakaraka power. While different astrologers opine that Atmakaraka places will be beneficial for a chart owner, it has been the case that house placement of Atmakaraka becomes very sensitive in a person’s life, where the obstacles and sufferings are found, giving rise to personal growth and evolution. However, to make it clear, Atmakaraka doesn’t necessarily indicate suffering by its mere placement. There may be happiness under the conditions set by Atmakaraka/spiritual inclinations. Let’s examine a few charts:

Case one


Shani is both Atmakaraka and yoga karaka, and it is retrograde and placed in mritavasta, as well as Rasi sandhi. Shani is placed in dharmamsa (Mithun Navamsa). Shani is also strong in own sign while its placement in 8th house from Al is not good. In shani mahadasha, a lady gave birth to 3 children, the 1st pregnancy was lost, due to mrith avasta of Shani and dristi of a strong Maraka – Mangal. After the last childbirth, she has developed post child-birth depression. Being a very caring mother, she is too concerned for her children. Her huge sense of responsibility (Shani) towards her children, made her give up all personal enjoyment.

Due to these troubles, this person started meditation and finished a homeopathic course, and she spends a few hours daily in meditation and prayers. Thus we can see both the punishing and purifying role of Shani in her chart.

Case two


Atmakaraka Mangal is in own sign in 7th house and the person is a dedicated ISKCON follower. He is still unmarried and his spiritualism and ascetic way of living are very pronounced so far.

Otherwise, Guru and Mangal combination in 7th house should be conducive to an early householders life.

Case three

ak3Atmakaraka Shani is placed in 4th house and the person had to renounce a part of his own property for the benefit of his elder sister.

The difficulties met by this person and the responsibilities in domestic life were huge.

These had a purifying effect and firmly grounded the personal life into a spiritual direction.

Case four

ak4Atmakaraka Mangal in the 4th house has given the most terrible experiences in 4th house affairs – viz., early loss of mother and a younger brother falling ill.

The person’s Mangal mahadasha was the most terrible.

The person spent it in prayers and meditation. Her Rahu mahadasha is on at present and she has completely dedicated herself to the spiritual life.

Case five

ak5Atmakaraka Mangal is in neecha in 12th house (deepest debilitation degree), and in Mangal mahadasha she

  • lost her property,
  • kept facing losses and expenses,
  • had great difficulties,

however, her life views have changed and she took an interest in Jyotish (astrology) and spiritualism.

Case six

ak6Atmakaraka Venus is exalted in 10th house giving rise to Pancha Maha Purusha Yoga.

The person is a businessman, while in Venus mahadasha he has to work very hard, facing with a great difficulties and troubles in professional life, while at the same time started to fast, changed his attitudes and has taken life more seriously admitting its spiritual dimension.

It is worth mentioning that Venus has given excellent professional growth, yet coupled with immense difficulties sometimes.

It is my own observation that natural benefic Atmakaraka tends to punish in a milder way, comparing to natural malefic Atmakaraka.

Case seven

ak7Atmakaraka Mercury has lost a planetary war to Jupiter, and even though in own sign (Virgo) in Kendra to AL

the person is still unmarried and unsuccessful in personal life and profession.

Note that mercury is both 7th and 10th lord.

She has met various obstacles in professional life and a great source of difficulties.

However, due to her humble and chaste character she is dealing with troubles well. She has developed utmost patience and servitude in her life.

Case eight

ak8Atmakaraka Sun is well placed in 4th house along with Mercury with Neechabhanga.

She is an instructor of meditation, while her troubles with property, and all 4th house significations started after the relatively premature death of her father.

She has met various troubles from influential people in spiritual movement. She is still unmarried (sun is lord of Upapada)


It is evident in all cases, that Atmakaraka has created disturbances in all matters signified by its placement. Depending on the person’s attitude, one has either learnt the lessons given by Atmakaraka and turned to spiritual life, or continued suffering.

Thus, by no means will Atmakaraka improve the house significations in a standard way (as will lord of Lagna for example) The king of the chart has one single motive – to ward off the sins from previous birth, and to cleanse the person by giving suffering and pains, thereby setting the soul towards the higher planes.


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Avastha simply means “state” . It is a state of a Graha, the way It feels, and consequently behaves. We can compare planets with people. Supposing a man was found in a miserable state, he wouldn’t be able to act in a healthy and efficient manner. On the other hand, if he feels hale and healthy, content or alert, his activities and impact on his surroundings would be positive and evolutionary. Sage Parasara dedicated the whole chapter to Avastha. He basically divided Avastha into four groups.


Parasara also mentions three Avastha derived on the bases of natural friendship scheme.


They are 5 in number. These Avastha are calculated on the bases of their position in a sign degree.

1.Baal-infant-The first 6 degrees in odd sign. Positive effects are negligible
2.Kumar-boy-From 6-12 degrees in odd sign. Positive effects are 50%
3.Yuva-adolescent- 12-18 degrees in odd sign. Positive effects are 100%
4.Vriddha-18-24 degrees in odd sign. Positive effects are very poor
5.Mrith-24-30 degrees in odd sign. Positive effects are nil, while negative are 100%
For even sings the order of Avastha is reversed.


These Avastha are calculated as per their sign dignity. There are 9 Avastha
1.Deeptha-planet in exaltation or moolatrikona sign
2.Swasth-planet in own sign
3.Pramudith-planet in a sign of a great friend
4.Shant-planet in a sign of a friend
5.Deen-planet in neutral sign
6.Dukhit-planet in  a sign of enemy
7.Khal-planet in a sign of great enemy or debilitation
8.Vikhal-planet in yuti with a malefic
9.Kop-combust planet
 Please note that there is a disagreement in classical texts about this set of Avastha.

Some authors opine differently, and it seems that only Satyacharya supports Parasara view. There is even a variation in Avastha names. Thus, a planet in a sign of great enemy is somewhere called adhidukhit or khal, while debilitation heen. I find this terms more appropriate, even though this is my own opinion. I also tend to include bheetavasta (Avastha formed by a planet having a higher speed than usual) and separate a planet placed in a great enemy sign from a planet placed in a debilitation sign, for the sake of convenience. This is my own view, and may learned scholars correct me if I am wrong.

The basic evaluation of these Avastha is as following: Up to deen Avastha, planets give positive results in the decreasing order. Other Avastha are negative.


There are six Avastha in this set. They are:

  1. Lajjitavastha- planet placed in 5/10th house together with a sun/Saturn/mars is found in this Avastha. Please note the Sloka’s 19-23 of chapter 45 in BPHS. Parasara mentions planetary placement in 10th house in this Avastha. Lajjitavasta is said to give aversion to God, loss of intelligence, loss of a child, interest in evil speeches and listlessness in good things.
  2. Mudithavasta-a planet in a friendly sign, conjunct/aspected by a guru or another benefic. It gives comforts, happiness from family (spouse and relatives), wisdom, learning and destruction of enemies.
  3. Garvitavasta- a planet placed in a sign of exaltation or moolatrikona. This Avastha will cause happiness through comforts, regal hood, skill in arts, continuous financial gains and professional prosperity
  4. Kshudithavasta- a planet in an enemy sign, aspected by an enemy or in conjunction with shani. This Avastha will cause downfall due to grief and passion, physical decline, troubles from enemies and relatives, financial distress, and eclipse of a mind due to miseries
  5. Trushitavasta- a planet in a watery sign aspected by a malefic. Benefic aspect cancel this Avastha. It gives sexual diseases, wicked deeds, loss of wealth due to one’s own people, physical weakness, miseries and decline of honor
  6. Kshobitavasta- a planet that is conjunct sun or a malefic, or is aspected by a malefic/enemy. This Avastha causes acute penury, evil disposition, miseries, and troubles with government.

One can see that these effects are very specific, and in my own opinion should be supported with some other indications in a chart.


These Avastha are also very specific, and are calculated in a specific way too. Readers are requested to examine BPHS. There are 12 Avastha in this set, and a special sub state which would determine the manifestation of the Avastha. Parasara has given them a special attention, while explaining their effects. I will give their names only:

1.Sayana; 2.Upaveshan; 3.Netrapani; 4.Prakashan; 5.Gaman; 6.Agaman; 7.Sabh; 8.Agam; 9.Bhojan; 10.Nrityalipsa; 11.Kautuk; 12.Nidra


1.Awakening– planet in own or exaltation sign-positive effects 100%
2.Dreaming– planet in a sign of friend or a neutral-positive results 50%
3.Sleeping– planet in a sign of enemy or debilitation- negative results 100%

Sage Satyacharya mentions a few interesting points regarding Avastha. While explaining deepthanadhi Avastha, he mentions a strength of a planet. Seemingly, he associates planetary Avastha with a planetary strength. One possible conclusion arises. If a planet is equipped with a six fold strength (Shadbala) the effects of an Avastha will be felt in full. For example if a planet is found in mritavasta, and if Shadbala is very high, then the effects of mritavasta will be felt in full. In case of a low Shadbala, the effect of the Avastha will be negligible. One question naturally imposes. What happens when a Graha is placed in both good and bad Avastha? My humble experience tells me that everything a Graha represents in a chart will be felt and manifested. Let’s look at the following example.

Example: RASI    CHART 

In this Rasi chart, I shall consider Avastha of Venus. Venus is marked by SU. Venus is placed in 5.43 minutes of Pisces. For the convenience sake, Avastha will be tabulated

Avastha Baaladhi Deeptanadhi Lajitadhi Sayanadhi Other
Venus Mrita Deepth, vikhal GarvithKshudith
ShayanaDristhi Awakening
Effect 100% negative 100% positive and very negative effects due to a vikhal Avastha Garvith and Mudith are positive while kshudith and kshobith are negative. Effects are given in BPHS Effects: Dental diseases, be very short tempered, bereft of wealth, seek union with courtesans, licentious Due to drishti sub state, only 50% will manifest 100% positive

Basic lordship of Venus:
1.      Sixth and eleventh houses from Lagna
2.      Third and eight house from AL
3.      Ninth and fourth houses from Paka Lagna
Let’s analyze Venus Antara in Mercury Mahadasa.

  1. A main rule for judging Antara is reference to Chandra. However, let’s make a basic analyses of Venus placement in 4th house from Lagna.
  2. As an 11th house lord, it signifies gains, and fulfillment in the area of significations, such as comforts, vehicles, homes, mother etc.
  3. As a 6th house lord it carries some problems and obstacles in 4th house affairs. Venus Shadbala is very high, which means that all things represented by Venus and her Avastha will manifest in full. 

What actually happened in Venus Antara?

  1. There was a peaceful time throughout the first part, with gains of comforts, movable assets, clothes, money and happiness from friends(11.) It is all signified with very positive Avastha of Venus, her nature, and karakatwa.
  2. A person’s grandmother died, leaving his mother an inheritance. This has brought a grief to his mother. Venus rules house from, and bad houses from AL. Not analyzing D-12 chart and other relevant factor, let’s ascribe this to lordship of Venus giving comforts. By being in mrita Avastha, there is a death in a maternal family.
  3. An immediate younger mother’s sister fell ill, due to a 6th house lordship of Venus, being placed in bad Avastha. However, it wasn’t lethal since Venus has positive Avastha too.
  4. A person elder sister suffered a terrible accident, and barely survived, however, with life-long consequences. Venus is 11th house lord placed in mrita and vikhal Avastha. Please note, position of mars in house ruling accidents and placed in mrita Avastha too with strength. It is my opinion, that exaltation of Venus, as well as deeptha and other positive Avastha prevented sister’s death in this case. Chara Bhratrikaraka is Rahu leaving his sister terrible mental consequences (Rahu rules eclipses)


  1. It is notable that bad Avastha of Venus gave negative results in sociological aspects of the Bhava concerned ( mother, elder sister, and aunt) Mrita
  2. Avastha of Venus exposed all three persons to death experience. Venus has not given any significant love relation, even though it is natural karaka for love/marriage, and despite of mahadasha mercury was running, while mercury is lord of Bad avastas of venus, such as mrita, vikhal seemed to bring about the same, due to venus high shadbala which manifested these avastas in full.
  3. Good effects of venus were given in the domain of her karakatwas, and the person experienced a rise of comfort, enjoyed stable income, and new equipment was bought such as stereo, tv, new furniture etc..At the end of venus antardasa his mother received a flat in inheritance, which was given to a native. Due to very favourable avastas and strong shadbala, Venus didn’t fail to bestow her natural significations, and seemed to protect the person for big adversities such as ill health etc (Venus rules 6. house)
  4. There is also one thing worth mentioning. Even though, timing can be done more accurately with a help of pratyantar dashas or gochara. It is interesting to mention that the first half of the antara was very favorable, while the second was not. Venus seems to delightfully initiate the antardasa first offering her exalted state, deeptha (radiating) Avastha, awake and garvith Avastha, revealing her excellent mood in full. Later on, as the anatara was going on, She started loosing her power, and obviously conquered by bad avastas, she suffered a breakdown and collapse in her significations.
  5. Each Graha is found in certain Avastha, describing its physiological, psychological, emotional, and sociological state. Like in case of humans, more powerful Graha’s bring about their effects more fully and significantly. It seems that Satyacharya’s hint can be very helpful to examine this area more thoroughly.
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