The most widely recognized Vedic tool for forecasting and analysis is called the “Vimshottari Dasa” system. It spans approximately 120 years of an individual’s life – considered a natural lifespan according to the ancient Vedic texts. This length of time is then divided into 9 different planetary periods, or dasas – each associated with a planetary ruler and its corresponding characteristics.
There are nine planets, referred to as Grahas, each ruling a specific dasa: the seven classical planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn), plus the Moon’s nodes, Rahu, the north node, and, Ketu, the south node.
The potential effects of a dasa can be judged according to its ruling planet and its position in the natal chart.
Most of us are familiar with our Sun sign, indicating in which of the 12 signs of the zodiac we were born. Similarly, the Moon is also placed in any one of these 12 signs of the zodiac. Less well known is that the 12 signs are further subdivided into 27 segments of 13°20’, referred to as nakshatras. These segments, multiplied by 27, equal 360°, encompassing the entire zodiac belt. Each nakshatra also has a specific ruling planet that imparts a distinctive quality that “flavors” for example, how the Moon in our chart will be expressed in our personality.
Although the sequence of planets in the Vimshottari Dasa system never changes (Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Ketu and Venus), the degree of our Moon will determine our nakshatra and the planet that begins the dasa cycle in our life.
Depending on the planet that is ruling, each dasa, or major period, can range from six to twenty years.
For example, the dasa of Venus lasts twenty years and, according to the ancient sages, is said to bring wealth, good fortune and luxury to the person who has it well positioned in their horoscope.
For example, if you are born in Punarvasu Nakshatra, which is ruled by Jupiter, the starting Maha Dasha will always be that of Jupiter. Then it will be followed by other Maha Dashas in sequence namely Saturn, Mercury, Ketu, Venus and so on, so forth. These periods depict specific transitions and transformations in our life.
Different Maha Dasha influence different aspects in our life ruled by that planet. What effects a particular planet will exert in one`s life are entirely dependent on that planets position in the horoscope along with an overall reading.