Raja Yoga and other Yogas in Astrology

In Vedic astrology associations the planets form or variations of how they are placed in the chart are referred to as Yogas. Yoga means union, or that which joins or yokes. Most yogas are composed of more than one planet. The idea behind most yogas is to equate the planet’s strength in a chart, and how and when it will produce its effects in the person’s life. This is generally determined through the dashas of the planets.

If a planet is involved in many good, strength producing yogas it will give it’s beneficial results at the time the person enters the dasha of that planet. There are auspicious yogas for wealth, success, and happiness as well as inauspicious yogas for downfall, poverty and ill health. The yogas outlined here are the most basic yogas, there are hundreds of yogas to be memorized. But it is more important to understand the concept behind these names.

There are three major yogas based on house ruler ship. They are Raja Yoga, Dhana Yoga, and Arista Yoga.

Raja Yoga

The first mentioned here is a Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga means “royal union”, it is formed by the association of planets and the houses they rule. Raja Yoga is formed by a planet of a kendra house together with a planet of a triconal house.

The kendra houses (1,4,7,10) are the houses of manifestation and the triconal houses (1,5,9) are the houses of purpose or dharma. The first house serves as both. When planets are combined with both action and purpose great things manifest.

Yoga Karaka

A Yoga karaka is when one single planet forms Raja Yoga by itself. It rules two different houses, one is a triconal and one is a Kendra. The first house can serve as either in the combination. In both Taurus and Libra ascendants Saturn is the Yoga Karaka. In Taurus ascendant Saturn rules the 9th (trinal) house, and the 10th (kendra) house.

For Libra ascendants Saturn rules both the 4th (Kendra) and the 5th (trinal). Other ascendants that have a Yoga Karaka are Capricorn and Aquarius. They both have Venus as the Yoga Karaka. With Capricorn Ascendant Venus rules the 5th and the 10th. Aquarius ascendant Venus rules the 4th and 9th. For Cancer and Leo ascendants Mars is the Yoga Karaka.

Cancer ascendant will have Mars rule the 5th and the 10th. Leo ascendants will have Mars rule the 4th and the 9th. No other ascendants will have a single planet rule both a kendra and a trine. These are the only ascendants to have a Yoga Karaka. A Yoga Karaka planet will be a planet that brings great benefit to the chart, even though it may be a natural malefic planet.

Yoga Karakas

Taurus: Saturn / Libra: Saturn
Capricorn: Venus/ Aquarius: Venus
Mars/ Leo: Mars
Dhana Yoga.

The second major yoga defined by house ruler ship is Dhana Yoga. This yoga brings material wealth and money, because it links the money houses 1, 2, 11 5, 9. The combination of any one of these houses combined with the 1st house ruler would bring wealth to the individual. Actually any combination of these houses would create Dhana Yoga, but the1st house combination is the strongest.

Arista Yoga

The third major yoga formed by house ruler ship is the Arista Yoga. This is the yoga of suffering and spirituality. Usually the suffering is from illness. The combination of the rulers of the most difficult houses (trik or dusthana) (6,8,12) are combined, but again when these houses are combined with the ruler of the 1st this brings the suffering to the individual. Again as in the Dhana Yoga, any combination of these house rulers would constitute Arista Yoga. Generally it is through our suffering that spirituality is sought. Therefore this yoga will produce both suffering and spiritual opportunities.

A planetary combination of two or more planets can form all three of these yogas, indicating the joy and pain combined in one’s life. For example if the combination of 2 planets create an Arista Yoga and a Dhana Yoga. The planets rule 2 houses (except the Sun and Moon) each, so you would be merging 4 houses together. Therefore 2 planets can be both a Raja Yoga, and a Arista Yoga.

Parivartana Yoga

Another way in which planets can be connected is through parivartana yoga. This is called mutual reception in western astrology. The planets receive connection through being in each other’s sign of rulership. For example: Mars in Cancer, and Moon in Scorpio, Mars is in the sign ruled by Cancer, and the Moon is in the sign ruled by Mars. Their rulerships exchange signs.

A special note if you have a planet that is in aspect, and in parivartana then you have 2 planets in a Sambandha, this means they are completely connected. This makes these planets connect and operate together. They work in unison.

When entering a dasha of a planet involved in parivartana yoga it would simultaneously activate the other planet through this connection. An example of sambandha is the Sun in Aquarius and Saturn in Leo. The Sun and Saturn mutually aspect each other plus they are in each other’s sign of rulership.

Pancha Mahapurusha Yogas

These are called the five Yogas of great people. Pancha means “five”, Maha means “great” and purusha means “man”. The Mahapurusha Yoga is a planet (excluding the Sun and Moon) in it’s own sign or exalted in a kendra (angle). When a planet is a Mahapurusha Yoga will indicate an extremely strong planet barring it’s stamp of representations of that planetary energy, it will be accentuated in the individual’s life.

Papa Kartari Yoga

Kartari means “scissors”, and papa means “sin”. This is also called “hemmed in”. It is when malefic planets surround a house and the planets within that house. There must be a malefic in both the house before, and after (surrounding) the house hemmed in. The malefic planets are Saturn, Mars, Rahu, and Ketu and Sun. Example:

Saturn in the 12th house and Mars in the 2nd house, the 1st house is hemmed in by malefics, constituting papa katari yoga for the 1st house. Interpretation: The 1st house would be robbed of protection. The matters the 1st house rules would be harmed. The 1st house rules physical health, and the body. Here the body is harmed.

Shubha Kartari Yoga

Shubha means auspicious. Here the benefic planets surround a house. The benefic planets are Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury. The benefic planets give protection and grace to the house they surround. Example: Venus in the 1st house and Jupiter in the 3rd house, the 2nd house is hemmed in by benefics.

Interpretation: The 2nd house and the matters it rules will be blessed with empowerment. The 2nd house rules money matters, and childhood, therefore these matters prove prosperous, and good for the individual.

Click here to read more about other Yogas

Article by:Uma Shankar Shukla

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