Special Yogas in the Jyotish Chart

Previously, I wrote on how to start interpreting a Jyotish chart, first by considering the quality, significations, and strengths of the planets, and then by assessing the power of three factors when considering any real life issue: the house that represents the issue, its functional karaka (the ruler of that house), and its natural karaka. When you have had a reasonable feel for the chart, you are ready to bring out the big guns of interpretation, namely yogas.

Yoga literally means a bond or combination. A yoga either involves two planets, or a planet and a house, in a particular combination that gives rise to particular effects in life. Jyotish is unique among the astrological traditions in delineating and attaching meanings to numerous yogas. There are numerous special yogas, particular combinations that elevate the quality of the chart, and the life. Of these special yogas, Vedic astrologers will invariably first look for the yoga that everyone loves to have, a raja yoga. This celebrated yoga is formed when the ruler (lord) of a trinal (kona) house (1st, 5th, or 9th) combines with the ruler of an angular (kendra) house (1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th). The ruler of the 1st house is extra special since it is both a trinal and angular lord.

In Sanskrit the word raja means king, so this yoga signifies kingship or royalty, inclined to shower numerous benefits on the chart owner. The konas are the houses of dharma, the way to live in order to fulfill our destiny. They are houses of good fortune, traditionally referred to as Lakshmi sthanas (places), Lakshmi being the goddess of wealth. The kendras are the houses of karma, where we put thoughts into action. These are houses that protect, referred to as Vishnu sthanas, for Vishnu is the god who protects or preserves. A kona-kendra combination is referred to as a dharma-karma adhipati yoga. When a lord of fortune combines with a lord of protection, good things come to pass!

The word “raja”, or king, in this yoga must be interpreted as a metaphor. Think of a person who has achieved a high rank in society, or has achieved significant fame or celebrity in their occupation. With high status or celebrity comes extraordinary power and wealth. Leaders of nations, presidents and prime ministers, are like modern day kings. So are CEOs of businesses, university presidents, etc. Also actors, artists, influencers, and others who are extremely famous. The Jyotish charts of these people must show one or more raja yogas that elevate them to such great heights.

The raja yoga combination, if it is between a pair of planets, can either be a conjunction (in the same house), or an opposition (in opposite houses), or a square between Mars and Saturn. Unlike Western charts, the square in Jyotish happens only when Mars aspects Saturn in the 4th house from it, and Saturn in turn aspects Mars in the 10th house from it. The combination can also be a mutual exchange of signs, what is called the parivartana yoga.

Examples of dharma-karma adhipati yoga

Let’s spot these raja yogas, if any, in the chart of US president Joe Biden:

In general, the ruler of the 1st house is the most important planet in the chart. In the context of yogas it gets special status because it rules both an angular and trinal house. So when looking for dharma-karma raja yogas, the 1st house ruler is the best place to start. In Biden’s chart, Mars rules the first house of Scorpio. It is in opposition to the Moon, which rules the 9th house, so taking the first house to be angular, we have our first raja yoga right there. Mars is conjunct Mercury, but Mercury rules the 8th and 11th houses, neither of which is a kona or kendra, so no raja yoga there.

Mars does not make any other aspect. However, it exchanges signs with Venus – Mars is in Venus’s sign of Libra, and Venus is in Mars’s sign of Scorpio. And Venus rules the angular 7th house, so taking the 1st house to be trinal, we have another raja yoga. The exchange of signs, or parivartana yoga, is very powerful, more powerful than a mutual aspect. The fact that the exchange involves the 1st house makes it even more important.

After finishing with the first house ruler, we can turn to the other konas, to see if the ruler of the 5th house (Jupiter) or the ruler of the 9th house (Moon) make any mutual aspects to the ruler of an angular house. We’ve already seen that the Moon aspects Mars in a raja yoga. Jupiter doesn’t make any conjunction or opposition. (Jupiter is conjunct Pluto, but since traditional Jyotish does not use Pluto, we ignore it when looking for raja yogas.)

Next, we look at the rulers of the other kendras. Saturn rules the 4th house, and is opposite to Sun and Venus, but neither of those rule trinal houses. (We ignore Saturn’s conjunction with Uranus since traditional Jyotish does not use Uranus.) Venus rules the 7th house and we’ve already seen it is in a raja yoga with Mars. The Sun rules the 10th house, but it is not in aspect with a kona lord.

Here’s the chart of actress Meryl Streep, as celebrated a Hollywood royalty as you can get, greatly respected for her acting, winner of multiple academy awards, possessing of a once-in-a-generation talent:

There is a single dharma-karma raja yoga, a mutual aspect between Mars which rules the 5th house, and Saturn which rules the 7th house. The Moon (ruler of the 1st house) and Jupiter (ruler of the 9th house) are the other kona lords that make no aspect to any other planet, while Venus (ruler of the 4th house) and Mars (ruler of the 10th house) are the other kendra lords that do not have an aspect with a trinal lord. The obvious question that comes to mind is how did she get to be such a superstar with a single raja yoga? The only answer to this is that there must be other factors that contributed, other kinds of yogas, or other special chart configurations that promise extraordinary success and fame. We’ll return to this in future posts where we will look at other factors.

The following is actor Tom Hanks’s chart, another Hollywood royalty with multiple academy awards, famous and much loved and respected:

There is an opposition between Mars (ruler of 4th) and Jupiter (ruler of 5th). Also, Mars (as ruler of 9th) exchanges signs with Saturn (as ruler of 7th). This is like Biden’s chart, with two dharma-karma raja yogas, one of which is a parivartana yoga.

How about the chart of a CEO who for many years was the richest person in the world? We’re talking about Bill Gates, founder-CEO-chairman of Microsoft:

And what do we see? Just the one dharma-karma raja yoga formed by the opposition of Moon and Mars. But this is no simple yoga, because this opposition can actually be counted as a double yoga: first, Moon as the kendra 1st lord opposing Mars as kona lord of the 5th house, and second, Moon as the kona 1st lord opposing Mars as the kendra lord of the 10th house. So this is one super-powerful double raja yoga. (There is another well-known auspicious yoga that is attributed to the Moon-Mars combination, but I’ll save that for a later post where I’ll get into other yogas.) Plus, there are other seriously powerful combinations in this chart that we will get to in a later post.

Next up is the chart of Oprah Winfrey, a woman who rose out of poverty and abuse and made herself into one of the most well-known and recognizable TV personalities and billionaire:

There are two dharma-karma raja yogas in the chart. Jupiter as ruler of the kendra 1st is opposite Mars as ruler of kona 5th. And Sun as ruler of the kona 9th is conjunct Mercury as ruler of the kendra 10th. (The 9-10 connection is considered to be the most auspicious of all the trinal-angular combinations.) Also, like the conjunction is a double yoga–like in Gates’s chart–when you consider Mercury as the ruler of the kendra 7th in combination with the 9th kona ruler Sun.

Raja Yoga karakas for some lagnas

For some of the ascendants (lagnas), there is a singular planet that by itself can bring about a raja yoga by virtue of being the ruler of both a kona and a kendra. Such a planet is called a raja yoga karaka (that which causes a raja yoga).

Mars as RYK for Cancer and Leo lagnas

For the Cancer lagna, the kona 5th house is Scorpio and the kendra 10th house is Aries, both of which are ruled by Mars, so Mars becomes the raja yoga karaka for the Cancer lagna. Similarly, for the Leo lagna, Mars is the ruler of the kendra 4th and the kona 9th, so it becomes the RYK for Leo.

Venus as RYK for Capricorn and Aquarius lagnas

For the Capricorn lagna, Venus rules the kona 5th (Taurus) and the kendra 10th (Libra). Likewise, for the Aquarius lagna, Venus rules the kendra 4th and the kona 5th. So Venus is the RYK for these lagnas.

Saturn as RYK for Taurus and Libra lagnas

Venus returns the favor by making Saturn the RYK for its lagnas Taurus and Libra. For the Taurus lagna, Saturn rules the kona 9th (Capricorn) and the kendra 10th (Aquarius). Likewise, for the Libra lagna, Saturn rules the kendra 4th and the kona 5th

The lagnas that don’t have RYKs are those of Jupiter (Sagittarius and Pisces), Mercury (Gemini and Virgo), and Mars (Aries and Scorpio). The reason is there is no single planet that is both a kona and a kendra ruler for any of these lagnas.

In Meryl Streep’s chart with Cancer lagna, Mars is a RYK. It is placed in the 11th house of Taurus. This house is neither a kona nor a kendra, and the sign of Taurus does not give any special status to Mars, so by placement alone Mars doesn’t get any extra credit. However, it does combine (as a kona ruler) with kendra ruler Saturn in a raja yoga. Similarly, in Tom Hanks’s chart with Leo lagna, Mars is a RYK. It is placed in the 7th house, which strengthens it – kendra and kona placements make planets better positioned to give results. The sign of Aquarius is neutral to Mars. So the raja yogas in which Mars is involved are stronger because of Mars’s 7th house placement. Bill Gates’s chart has a Leo lagna, and again Mars is a RYK. Mars is placed in the 3rd house, in the sign of Virgo. Neither of these add extra strength to Mars.

Many charts will have the dharma-karma adhipati yoga. This doesn’t automatically mean that the person will be famous or wealthy. First of all, the planets involved in the yoga s must be in good condition. For example, it’s one thing to have a yoga involving Mars where Mars is in its exalted sign of Capricorn in the 10th house (wow!), but it’s quite another to have the same yoga where Mars is now in Cancer (sign of fall) in the 6th house (low visibility to others). So, yes, the yoga will still give some good results, and the person’s life will be definitely better for it than without, but it won’t be anywhere near as powerful.

Secondly, other chart factors (including other special yogas) must be considered. In general, are there many planets in their own or exaltation signs? Do planets have many good aspects from benefics Jupiter and Venus, and not many bad aspects from malefics Mars and Saturn, especially if the aspected planet is in a weak position already because it is fallen, or it is in a dussthana. The more the positive factors outweigh the negative factors, the better the chance for a good or great life.

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