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Vargas or Subtle Divisions

It is easy to appreciate that any given sign remains on the horizon for an average of two hours, plus or minus a few minutes. This means that all persons born during that time will have a similar planetary disposition in their charts. Also, a given sign rises on the horizon at approximately the same time ( with a difference of approx. 4 minutes) on the subsequent day also. It is possible that the planetary disposition as well as the rising sign may remain unaffected even if two births happen a day apart. In case of twins too, where the rising signs and the planetary positions are likely to be similar, segregation of the natives appear difficult.

One of the brilliant method of overcoming the difficulties mentioned above is the use of Vargas or subtle division. Each sign is divided into specific number of parts. Thus, the lagna or rising sign falls in a specific area of the division. Rishi Parashra describes sixteen divisions called as the Shodashavargas. These Vargas not only help segregate the apparently similar charts, they also specifically deals with the specific area&apos s of the native life. Thus, the use of Vargas is essential in order to make accurate and specific predictions.

Sixteen Vargas of Parashara are as follows :

1. Rashi or complete sign of 30deg

2. Hora or one-half of sign(15deg)

3. Drekkana or one-third of a sign (10deg)

4. Chaturthamsha or one-fourth of a sign (7deg30')

5. Saptamansha or one-seventh of a sign (4deg 20')

6. Navamsha or one-ninth of a sign (3deg 20')

7. Dashamsha or one-tenth of a sign (3.00deg)

8. Dwadashamsha or one-twelfth of a sign(2deg 30')

9. Shodashamsha or one-sixteenth of a sign(1deg 52'3'')

10. Vimshamsha or one-twentieth of a sign(1deg 30')

11. Chaturvimshamsha or one-twenty-fourth of a sign(1deg 15')

12. Sapta-Vimsha or one-twenty-seventh of a second(1deg 6'40'')

13. Trimshamsha or one-thirtieth of a sign(1deg 00'')

14. Khavedamsha or one-fortieth of a sign(0deg 45')

15. Aksha-Vedamsha or one-fortieth of a sign(0deg 40')

16. Shashtyamsha or one-sixtieth of a sign(0deg 30')

Purpose of Sixteen Vargas of Parashara are :



Lagna or Rashi chart

Physical Well being of the native


Wealth and prosperity


Brothers and sisters and their well being


Luck and also residence


Children and grand children




Any specific benefit, profession of the native


Father and the mother


Pleasures and troubles from vehicles, horses, elephants etc


Spiritual pursuits, penance


Education and lea


Strength and weakness


Miseries and troubles


Auspicious and inauspicious happenings


All things combined


All things combined

Graha Bala or the strength of Planets

Planet produce their results depending upon their strength or weakness in a horoscope. Determination of the exact strength of the planets demands an elaborate mathematical exercise. It is customary to express the strength of the planets in Rupas and Shashtyamshas(i.e. units or subunits) make a Rupa(a unit).

Shadbala or Six-fold Strength

Six different sources of strength combine to give planets its actual strength. These six sources of strength, also known as shadbala, are:

A. Sthana Bala or Positional Strength

B. Dig-Bala or Directional Strength

C. Kaala Bala or Temporal Strength

D. Chesta Bala or Motional Strength

E. Naisargika Bala or Inherent Strength

F. Drig Bala or Aspectual Strength

The Dashas or operational periods of the planets

Application of the dasha system is an extremely brilliant feature of Vedic astrology. Whereas the horoscopic chart, with its planetary positions, provides a static picture of the native, the dasha add the dynamic aspect to it. The promise indicated in a horoscope attains fruition when an appropriate dasha operates. The dashas thus helps in timing events.

There are numerous dashas system given in Vedic Astrology. The two widely used are :

1. The Vimshottari dasha, with a cycle of 120 years; and

2. The yogini dasha, with the cycle of 36 years.

The other well known dashas systems are Vimshottatri, Ashtotari and Kaal Chakra Dasha. There are few more dasha system, followed rarely in different parts of India.The Parashri dashas are generally nakshatra based. That is to say, they depend upon the birth nakshatra or the nakshatra of the Moon in the birth chart. Of the various dashas mentioned above, the Vimshottari is more widely used.

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