Yama Deva

Yama (यम) is the elder son of Sūrya, the Sun god and Saṅjñā (all knowledge spouse who is the overlord of Ṣaṣṭyāṁśa, D60). He is the truthful one being the pratyādi devatā of Saturn, the planet of deceit and untruth. Yama is the god of death, the first being to die and guards the entrance to the upper lokas as well as the tala. The earth plane is divided into eight quarters (geocentric) and Yama rules the southern quarter where his capital Yamaloka is situated. Yama is dark green complexion and wears deep red or maroon garments. His attendant Chitra Gupta reads the kārmic records from the book

Agra-Saṅdhāma based on which the punishment is decided. He rides a black water buffalo and carries a mace and a noose in his hands.

The relationship between Yama and Śani is understood as the relationship between Mars and Saturn or the signs Aries & Scorpio (ruled by Mars) and Capricorn in the southern direction (ruled by Saturn). Yama is the presiding deity of Bharaṇī nakṣatra in Aries. Scorpio is the natural 8th house ruling longevity and death and Mars is exalted in Capricorn showing Yama as the digpāla in the southern sign. Capricorn rules the graveyard and marshy, dangerous places. A Mars-Saturn combination should be understood to indicate Yama, the god of death. The sign and house where this occurs is completely destroyed. The 2nd from this house / sign is sure to languish while the 12th from this combination prospers due to Kālī. The 3rd house from this combination house / sign is attained after great strife and suffering whereas the 11th house always benefits due to the blessings of Yama.

Yama Calculation

Saturn rules the number 8 and when the day is divided into 8 parts, each is called a Yama of approximately 3 hours duration. Being a dutiful and very obedient son of Sūrya, Yama strictly follows the sunrise and sunset. The first visibility of the upper disk of the Sun is reckoned as sunrise and the last visibility is reckoned as sunset. The daytime (sunrise to sunset) is divided into 4 Yama and the nighttime is also divided into 4 Yama.

Dina Yama is the day Yama = Day duration ÷ 4; Rātri Yama (Night Yama) = Night duration ÷ 4.

  • During the equinoxes, the day and night are of exactly equal duration of 12 house each.  Therefore, each Yama is exactly 3 hours.
  • During dakṣina āyana (southern course of Sun) the Rātri Yama increases, and devas go to sleep as the pitṛs awaken.
  • During uttara āyana (northern course of Sun) the Dina Yama increases, and devas awaken.

The Dina Yama is the longest during summer solstice and Rātri Yama is the longest during winter solstice. Secondly, the Yama duration difference between day and night is greater at higher latitude and least at the equator


Prahara is the similar but slightly different from Yama, although many authors treat them equally. Whereas the Yama follows both Sunrise and Sunset strictly, Prahara only follows the sunrise. Thus, just like Yama there are 8 prahara in a day of 24 hours, but each prahara is of 3 hours duration reckoned from sunrise. Prahara is linked to Iṣṭakāla (birth time reckoned only from sunrise). However in real life usage (local) this has been treated like Yama.


Example: Calculate the Yama and Prahara for Standard nativity born 7th August 1963; 9.15’ PM IST at Sambalpur, India.
Sunrise:             5: 28’:58”
Sunset:              6: 29’:27” = 18:29’:27”

Dina mana (Day duration)    =
Rātri mana (Night duration)   = Dina Yama             =
Sunset – Sunrise   = 24 – Dina mana   = Day duration ÷ 4 18:29’:27” – 5:28’:58” =    13:00’:29”
24 – 13:00’:31”           =    10:59’:31”
(Day Yama)           = 13:00’:29 ” ÷ 4      = 3:15’:07”
Rātri Yama            = Night duration ÷ 4
(Night Yama)        = 10:59’:31” ÷ 4       = 2:44’:53”


Yama Start End
Diva 1 1 5:28:58 8:44:05
Diva 2 2 8:44:05 11:59:12
Diva 3 3 11:59:12 15:14:20
Diva 4 4 15:14:20 18:29:27
Ratri 1 5 18:29:27 21:14:20
Ratri 2 6 21:14:20 23:59:12
Ratri 3 7 23:59:12 02:44:05
Ratri 4 8 02:44:05 05:28:58

… continued >>

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