Dharma and Vedic astrology

There is a concept according to which human life is based on 4 pillars (representing aspirations of humans), namely dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Today’s topic is dharma, which is a path that eventually leads a person to self-realization through religion, knowledge, spirituality and enlightenment. Dharma is what we are supposed to do in this life, what Universe wants us to do. But not everyone follows a dharmic path at any given life-time for various reasons (usually because person is not ready yet to make that next step due to some desires remaining unfulfilled and some karmic knots untangled). With the help of Vedic astrology we can even comprehend (to a certain extent) what is the person’s capacity for following dharmic path.

So, how can we see dharma of a person in general by means of Vedic astrology ? Of course there are many things to take into account, and in order to come to some conclusion, the whole birth chart is to be analyzed, but I just want to make it more simple and point out three main concepts.

Those concepts are:

1 Lord of the ninth house and 9th house itself

2 Jupiter

3 Saturn

Let’s consider them in that order, though all 3, in fact, are somewhat of equal importance.

Why 9th house and not any other ? That is because ninth house is a house of dharma itself in vedic astrology. It is stated in Bhrigu Sutras that 9th house signifies faith, wisdom, divine worship, meditation and bhagya (luck) among other things. Therefore everything that allows and facilitates person’s progress on the path of dharma is seen from the 9th house of horoscope.

First of all, see what planets are situated in the 9th house (if any). Benefic planets like Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Moon do good there, while malefic ones (Saturn, Mars, Rahu and Ketu) are not so comfortable there. But you have to always look at the dignity of planets. If there is a malefic planet in the 9th house in it’s sign of exaltation or own sign, it must be considered as a very auspicious placement. Similarly a badly placed benefic planet in 9th house is of not much help and may actually harm this house.

The lord of the ninth house is as important as the house itself, if not more. So you should look where it is situated first of all. The best position for the 9th lord is any of trikon houses (1, 5 and 9), kendra or angular houses are also good placement (1, 4, 7 and 10). 2nd and 11th houses are more neutral and 6th, 8th and 12th are not a good placement for the 9th lord generally. However, even if ninth lord is in 6th, 8th or 12th house, but in exaltation or own sign, it is not bad. But the best positions of all for 9th lord are first, tenth, fifth and ninth house. Sign in which ninth lord is situated must also be evaluated.

Let’s talk about Jupiter now. In Vedic astrology Jupiter (or Guru) is known as Brihaspati, preceptor of demigods. Basically everything signified by the 9th house is also signified by Jupiter as he is the natural karaka (signification) of the 9th house. Strong Jupiter in a birth chart makes a person law abiding, honest, sincere and dutiful. Such person is likely to have good morals. In contrary, badly placed Jupiter makes it hard to follow the righteous path in life.

In order to see how good or bad Jupiter is placed in a horoscope you should assess many factors, but let’s pick out the most important.

  • House placement (the best positions – 1, 5, 9)
  • Sign it is in the main birth chart (Sagittarius, Cancer and Pisces are the best signs for Jupiter, while Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus and Gemini are not so good)
  • Sign it is in the D-60 chart, Shastyamsha. This factor is of great importance, because Maharishi Parasara has given it even greater value than he has to D-1 chart. True dignity of a planet is seen through this chart. For instance, if a planet is debilitated in D-1, but in its own sign or exalted in D-60, then it must be considered strong.
  • Signs it is in D-9 and D-3 divisional charts. The rule is the same here – planet gains strength, when it is in own sign, sign of exaltation or benefic sign (unless debilitated).
  • See what planets are together with Jupiter (only in main birth chart) in one sign and what planets aspect it. General rule – benefic aspects and conjunctions are good, malefic ones are not so good. Exceptions are: aspect of exalted malefic (exalted planet doesn’t do harm as stated by Parasara himself) and conjunction with Ketu (south node of the Moon).


Finally comes the slowest and most misunderstood planet – Saturn ! It might seem odd to you that I include Saturn in topic about dharma as Saturn is not related to dharma directly, being the main planet of karma. But everything is connected, and so is karma and dharma. I would say that it is hard to follow dharma, having “not so good” karma.

Saturn teaches to be patient, humble, compassionate and disciplined. It shows us our boundaries. And well placed Saturn does that good. But here is the tricky thing about Saturn. If Saturn is strong in one’s chart it doesn’t mean such person is not going to suffer at some point in life. In contrary, strong Saturn will make sure he teaches you all the lessons properly and the ways of teaching are often very unpleasant and harsh in such case, but eventually they give good results. Behavior of weak Saturn is hard to predict, as it mainly depends on house placement, conjunctions and aspects, but generally it would give much fear, anxiety and morals may suffer (as a person doesn’t see boundaries well).

In order to assess strength of Saturn, follow the same principles as were given in case with Jupiter.


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