Article: Mula dasa – Varahamihira’s success

This dasa was yet another secret of the tradition of Orissa that has been exposed for the first time to the world at large. This dasa finds mention in the monumental classic ‘Saravali’ by Kalyanavarma and in Varahamihira’s work. While other works spell out the results of Mula dasa, they do not show how to calculate it. This was the great strength of Varahamihira and is being shared with the world for the first time with the hope that all astrologers will work to make this a better place to live in and that all people shall understand the working of their past-life Karma.

This dasa is especially good for timing curses, hardships and other evils at work.
(c) Sanjay Rath (1999)


Lagna Kendradi Graha Dasa, also known as the Moola Dasa (Refer: Saravali of Kalyan Verma), is one of the very important dasa systems of Vedic astrology.  It is a sister Dasa or derivative of the Vimsottari dasa and is fundamental to Jyotish. Although this had been known for quite some time, to my knowledge this would be the first time that this secret of the tradition is being revealed in print. It answers some of the most basic questions in Jyotish. For example everyone has wondered as to how Bhagavan Sri Rama Chandra was banished to the forest in the beginning of Saturn dasa when the Moon was in Cancer at the time of His birth (appearance in this world) and would have been over by the time He left for the forest. Then again the scriptures say that this period of Vanvas (forest dwelling was for 14 years. This is grossly different from the well known period of 19 years for Saturn dasa. Moola dasa gives the vital clues. It maybe noted that the Rishi’s were very careful in using the names of the Dasa and this itself gives a vital clue to its deciphering. Here the word “MOOLA” is short for “MOOLATRIKONA” and the importance of this we shall see later in deriving the period of the dasa.

‘Lagna’ means the ascendant, ‘Kendra’ means the quadrants/Cadent houses and ‘Adi ‘ refers to “the others” which includes Panapara (Succeedent signs 2nd, 5th, 8th & 11th) and Apoklimas (Precedent signs 3rd, 6th, 9th & 12th).  This dasa is vital in that it gives the results of the past life Karma that every individual has to face in the form of suffering or blessing, depending on the Karma.

As the name suggests the dasa begins from the Lagna or any other Kendra, whichever is stronger and has planet(s) disposited in them, and is succeeded by the other Kendra’s (having planet(s) in it) according to their strengths.  After completing the periods of the planets in the quadrants, the dasa shifts to the planets in the four signs in the Panapara and then to the Apoklimas.

However, the following rules apply in deciding which sets of houses – the Panapara or Apoklimas succeed the initial dasa of the planets in the quadrants.

  1. If the Lagna is an odd sign, the dasa of the planets in the Panapara (2nd, 5th, 8th and 11th ) follow the dasa of the Kendra’s.
  2. If the Lagna is an even sign, the dasa of the planets in the Apoklimas (Precedent signs 3rd, 6th, 9th & 12th) follow the dasa of the Kendra’s.
  3. If Saturn is in the Lagna, then irrespective of whether the Lagna is odd or even, the dasa of the planets in the Kendra signs will be followed by the dasa of the planets in the Panapara (2nd, 5th, 8th & 11th).
  4. If Ketu is in Lagna, then irrespective of whether the Lagna is odd or even, the dasa of the planets in the Kendra signs will be followed by the dasa of the planets in the Apoklimas (3rd, 6th, 9th & 12th).

Sequence of the Dasa

  1. In determining the sequence of the dasa of the planets, their relative strengths are to be studied as per standard rules.
  2. Parasara gives four rules for determining the strength of signs/planets (Chapter 46 Sloka 161 to 164). These are as follows: –
    1. The sign with a planet (or with more planets) is considered stronger than a sign without a planet (or with lesser number of planets).
    2. If the signs have equal number of planets, then the status of the planets like exaltation, Moolatrikona, Swakshetra etc, should be considered to declare the stronger sign.
    3. If they are still equal in strength, or without planets, then the natural strengths of Dual signs being stronger than fixed signs and fixed signs being stronger than movable signs is considered.
    4. If they are still equal in strength, then the degrees be considered. The Planet with a higher degree (used in Chara Karaka) shall be stronger and shall make the sign stronger.
  3. Sources of strength should be studied and understood from the Upadesa Sutra of Maharishi Jaimini (see the translation by this scribe).

Period of the Dasa

Count the number of signs from there to its Mulatrikona sign and subtract the number arrived at by 1.  This period is to be subtracted from the number of Vimsottari Dasa years assigned to the planet. The net result arrived at indicates the number of years of Mula Dasa/Lagna Kendradi Graha Dasa assigned to the planet.

Rider 1: Add one year to the final sum if the said planet is exalted and subtract one if the planet is in debility.

Rider 2: For the purposes of this Dasa, the count for Rahu & Ketu shall be reckoned to Aquarius and Scorpio respectively as is done in Narayana Dasa.

In case the number of years to be subtracted and the number of years under the Vimsottari scheme are the same wherein the final figure would be zero, then take the full cycle of years under the Vimsottari dasa as the number of Moola dasa years of the said planet in the first cycle.  Similarly, calculate the dasa years for the other planets in all the Kendra’s, Panapara and Apoklimas. After, having completed the exercise for all the nine planets, we get the first cycle of the Moola dasa for the nine planets. This is bound to be less than 120 years (full period of Vimsottari dasa).

The balance years remaining from the first cycle gives the total period of the second cycle (Param Ayus of man is for 120 years; so it is 120 minus the total Moola dasa years of all nine planets in the first cycle). Thus, the second cycle period of the Moola dasa for each of the planet works in the same order during the second cycle and is equal to the Vimsottari Dasa period of the planet minus its Dasa period in the first cycle.


Let us study the horoscope of Bhagwan Shri Ram as an example and determine the periods and significance of Moola Dasa in his life.

Chart 1 Bhagwan Shri Ram

RASI: Lagna, Jupiter & Moon in Cancer; Saturn (R) Libra; Mars-Capricorn; Rahu- Sagittarius; Venus- Pisces; Sun-Aries; Mercury-Taurus; Ketu-Gemini.

Step 1: Determine the strongest sign in the kendra and planets therein shall furnish the first Dasa.

All the four kendra are occupied and Cancer with two planets is the strongest. Among Moon & Jupiter, the latter is exalted and shall furnish the first dasa. This shall be followed by the dasa of the Moon. Thereafter, the dasa of Mars, Saturn, and the Sun placed in Kendra shall follow.

Step 2: Determine whether the Lagna is odd or even. If the Lagna is odd, examine the strength of the planets in Panapara whereas if it even, examine the strength of planets in Apoklimas. Similarly, if Saturn is placed in Lagna, examine the strength of the planets in Panapara whereas if Ketu is placed in Lagna examine the strength of planets in Apoklimas. If both Saturn & Ketu are present, see their degrees and the one with a higher longitude shall decide whether the dasa of the planets in Panapara (Saturn) or Apoklimas (Ketu) shall follow.

The Lagna is Cancer and neither Saturn nor Ketu is placed in it. Hence the Moola Dasa shall be in the reverse direction and the planets in Apoklimas shall furnish the subsequent dasa. The signs Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces and Gemini are in the Apoklimas. The planets Venus, Rahu and Ketu are placed in it and one planet is in one sign. Venus is exalted whereas the nodes are debilitated. Thus the first dasa in this group shall be of Venus. Now, the signs Gemini and Sagittarius seem to be of equal strength as they have equal planets, both are in debility and are not aspected by the lords of the signs. Further, the longitude of the nodes is equal. In such a case, use the dispositor of the nodes. Both Jupiter (dispositor of Rahu) is placed in an even sign and Mercury is also placed in an even sign.  Then we see that Jupiter is exalted and Sagittarius shall be stronger. Thus, Rahu shall furnish the next dasa and the dasa of Ketu shall follow.

Step 3: The planets in the remaining four signs shall furnish the last dasa’s.

Having covered the Apoklimas and Kendra, the planets in the Panapara houses is only Mercury and its dasa will be the last.

Step 4: Determine the period of the Moola Dasa of the planets.

Planet Vimsottari Dasa Moolatrikona Minus one Exaltation or debility Net Reduction Moola Dasa
A B C D= C -1 E F = D+ E G= B-F
Jup 16 6 6-1= 5 +1 6 10
Moon 10 11 11-1=10 0 10 10
Mars 07 4 4-1 =3 +1 4 3
Sat 19 5 5-1 =4 +1 5 14
Sun 06 5 5-1 =4 +1 5 1
Ven 20 8 8-1 =7 +1 8 12
Rahu 18 3 3-1= 2 -1 1 17
Ketu 07 6 6-1=5 -1 4 3
Merc 17 5 5-1=4 0 4 13


  1. Column E: +1 means exaltation, -1 means debilitation and 0 means neither.
  2. Moon Column G= B-F = 10-10 = 0; If the result is Zero, then the full period of 10 years is given.
  3. If the final result is a negative value, then ignore the negative (minus sign) and the value be taken as it is.

Step 5: Write the Moola Dasa.

The Moola Dasa of Bhagwan Shri Ram began from Moon and is given in the following Table. Readers will appreciate that the periods are exactly as per the Ramayana. Sri Rama was exiled (Vanvas) during the Saturn Dasa for 14 years starting from His 24th year.

Dasa Period Age Remarks
Jupiter 10 10 Janma (Birth & Childhood)
Moon 10 20 Shiksha & Janaki Vivaha (Learning & marriage)
Mars 3 23 Diksha (by Vishwamitra)
Saturn 14 37 Dandakaranya (Vanvas) Exile
Sun 1 38 Simhasana (Coronation)
Venus 12 50 Mantra Pada (Sita is banished and birth of sons – Luv & Kush)
Rahu 17 67 End of all Rakshasha/demons
Ketu 3 70 Establishment of ‘Eka Patni Dharma’ (one-man one-wife principle) in the world
Mercury 13 83 Dharma (establishment of dharma in the world)

Thus, the Moola Dasa system is arrived at and it will be seen that this is the only Dasa system that explains the Vanvas (Rama was banished to the Dandaranyaka) for 14 years and that too exactly from the 24 year of His life as recorded in the scriptures. Thus when the Maharishi’s say that  this period of Sani Dasa was for 14 years, they were referring to the Moola Dasa. This kind of accuracy can be achieved by using the Moola Dasa which gives the results of Karma of past birth. It shows the exact period when a curse or blessing shall come into play. The curse of Narada Muni (Curse of Brahmin) is seen in the placement of Jupiter in the Lagna aspected by Mars and Saturn by the seventh and tenth house aspect. The house owned by Saturn shows the cause of the curse. Saturn owns the 7th and 8th houses for Cancer Lagna and the scriptures teach that Sri Vishnu had to incarnate as Sri Rama (Avatar) due to the curse of Narada Muni when the latter was enraged at a trick played by Bhagavan in trying to prevent him from getting married. Bhagavan made the face of Narada look like a monkey and the bride rejected him. Narada had cursed that the Lord too would have to face such a great sorrow like separation from His beloved (Sita was kidnapped in the forest) and would be helped by monkeys (Hanumanji-Mars). The combinations for curses and remedies can be studied from standard texts like BPHS or from the book of this scribe: Vedic Remedies in Astrology.

Reasons for Secrecy

Rather than blaming the tradition for hiding things indiscriminately, it is necessary to understand the reasons for the same. Knowledge that can cause sorrow or that can be misused by unscrupulous astrologers was kept secret by the families associated with the tradition of Jyotish. This Moola Dasa delves into the past Karma and brings out the exact period when the effect of curses and bad karma would fructify. This knowledge can be misused by bad astrologers who could start telling all kinds of tales to loot their gullible clients and the net result would be a bad name for Jyotish. I am giving this with a prayer that this may not be misused. Another reason for giving this is that in a book titled Mandooka Dasa, Sri K.N.Rao has actually given the Lagna Kendradi Rasi Dasa. Readers will appreciate that the dasa taught by him is not the Mandooka Dasa and is very similar to this Moola Dasa or Lagna Kendradi Graha Dasa. After debating for many years the benefit or otherwise of keeping this knowledge a Secret, I have now given this to all. The primary case being that it delves into past births and helps us to gain a better understanding of our selves and the causes of so much sorrow, its timing as well as its remedy.

hari om tat sat

Note that this old article is just to show/illustrate the importance of Mula Dasha.


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