Yoga (Hindu astrology)

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In Hindu astrology, yoga is the given rise[clarification needed] when one planet, sign, or house is related to another by way of placement, aspect, or conjunction. It is the active consideration of planetary yogas and the planetary Dashas directional effects: for example, which are the two most important factors that distinguish Hindu astrology from Western astrology.


Laghu Parashari is the concise main version of the predictive side of the Hora Shastra,[1] and the Parashari System is the most widely followed, having stood the test of time and being simple and unambiguous. The ancient Hindu astrologers seem to have confined their exercises to the seven planets[2] – the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Rahu and Ketu, mathematical points, are rarely referred to.[clarification needed] Parashara also refers to the five more Chayagrahas which are all invisible mathematical solar positions but which have an impact on individuals and nations. The Rigveda does refer to a total of thirty-four, comprising twenty-seven Nakshatra-divisions of the Zodiac and the seven planets which was the general format then in use.[3] However, elsewhere it also refers to the total of forty-nine, by adding to the said thirty-four the two Chayagrahas (the lunar nodes), the twelve rasis (signs), and the Ayanamsa. Varahamihira favoured Satyacharya’s Dasha system, though he says many had spoiled it by useless multiplications,[4] but Satyacharya did not deviate from the basic Parashari principles. Since there are nine active planets, twelve active signs, (including their numerous sub-divisions) and twenty seven nakshatra divisions, yoga-formations are unavoidable.[clarification needed]

All the planets jointly and separately, with no exceptions, are indicators of future events and chart the course of fate. And, all good or bad yogas depend on the planets. And conversely, the good or bad results of the planets depend on the good or bad yogas caused by those planets.[5] Planets influence each other and no planet can stay uninfluenced on account of all planets invariably establishing at all times Sambandhas, due to the mutual associations, either directly or indirectly.[6][clarification needed] Auspicious yogas arise when lords of kendras (squares) and trikonas (trines), the lords of auspicious bhavas (houses), establish a mutual association[7] Inauspicious yogas arise when lords of trika-bhavas (evil houses) or weak and cruel planets afflict the kendras, the trikonas and/or their lords when bad to very bad results are experienced during the course of their respective dashas and antra-dashas.[8][clarification needed][awkward]


The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root, Yuj, meaning to join properly, to control judicially, or to integrate. This term has been used to indicate Soli-Lunar distances, planetary situations, and associations and combinations. Yogas are formed when one planet, sign, or house is related to another of the same or different kinds by way of placement, aspect or conjunction.[9] The active consideration of planetary yogas and Dashas, directional effects, are the two most important factors that distinguish Hora-shastra or Hindu astrology from Western astrology and lend support to the indigenous origin of the former system.

A yoga may be good or bad in its effect. The good yogas are called the Shubha-yogas or simply yogas and the bad yogas are called the Ashubha-yogas, avayogas or durayogas. Raja yogas indicate a high degree of power and authority while Dhana yogas indicate a greater degree of material possessions. Arishta yogas indicate difficulties in life and Daridra yogas indicate poverty. Parvarajya yogas or Sanyasa yogas give religious merits that compel a person to give up all wealth and material possessions and become a mendicant and beg for alms. These[which?] are not considered to be avayogas.

The so-called natural benefits and natural malefics are not always altruistic nor are they harmful for all lagnas by virtue of their bhava-lordship.[clarification needed] By virtue of their owning auspicious or inauspicious bhavas, they are termed Shubha or Papa; even Papas can confer good results. There are Arishtayogabhanga yogas that cancel out the bad effects of Arishta yogas.[10] and there are also Rajayogabhanga yogas that nullify Raja yoga effects.[11] The Sun situated at the end of Pisces when it will also be in Vargottamamsa. The Moon situated at the end of Aries when it will be in Sagittarius navamsa. Mars in Sagittarius, Mercury in Leo, Jupiter in Gemini, Venus in Aquarius and Saturn situated in Virgo sign are called Ucchabhilashi; desiring to go to a higher place.[clarification needed][awkward] The Ucchabhilashi planets, like the planets occupying their own or exaltation signs, generally give beneficial yoga results; they tend to confer royal honours and make one hold the foremost place in the family[which?] and own circle of activity.[12][awkward]

Yoga is nothing more than a combination of planets. In Hindu or Vedic astrology nine planets are placed in twelve signs (rashis) and twelve houses. There are a number of possibilities for such placement. Each of these is called a Yoga in Vedic astrology. Of these combinations, some give either very good or very bad results. These combinations are explained by several ancient Indian Astrologers such as Parashar, Varahmihir, and Jyamini.

Role played by yogas and yoga-causing planets[edit]

Astrology ventures into the Unknown seeking that which can be in effort fully known because in Astrology, intuition does not play any role.[clarification needed][awkward] It is based on the inferences drawn after the mathematical application of the approved laws and the various distinct significators.[clarification needed] Each Nakshatra (Constellation), each rasi (Astrological sign) and each Graha (planet), is a vibrant creative significator whose importance has to be methodically ascertained and judged. According to the Hindu Astrology, all planetary combinations and their indications are based on the strength, nature, aspect, avastha (status). They are also based on combination of planets on the qualities and the strength of the rasis and bhavas owned, occupied, and aspected by planets.[13][14] and on the influence of the yogas given rise to by planets which factors are required to be taken into account collectively.[clarification needed][awkward] Thus, Hindu Astrology requires the discerning eye to be able to identify the yogas and then judicially apply the prescribed results in accordance with the established principles.[15] All standard yoga formations are duly named and their results prescribed.

All yogas are based on certain fundamental principles. These are described in all standard texts but not all texts cover the description of all known widely recognized possible planetary combinations and associations. Of course, there are instances where the texts do offer differing constitution and interpretation of one and the same named yoga.[clarification needed][awkward] Gajakesari yoga[16] Yoga comes into being when Jupiter is situated in a kendra, in square-position, from the moon, but according to one school,[which?] this yoga will arise only when Jupiter and the bright-half[awkward] moon are in mutual tenth and fourth position in Pisces, Taurus, Sagittarius and Aquarius. Yet another text tells us that the moon and Jupiter in mutual kendras will not give rise to the Gajakesari yoga if the moon occupies Scorpio or Mercury, and happens to be in the fifth house from the moon or only if the moon and Jupiter combine in Cancer or in Capricorn even if Jupiter in the latter sign is combust.[17][clarification needed][awkward] In such rare instances, experience alone counts[clarification needed]. Moreover, there are certain yogas described in the texts[which?] which simply cannot occur, these relate to Mercury, Venus vis-à-vis the Sun: Mercury never goes beyond 28 degrees either in front or behind the Sun, and Venus not beyond 47 degrees,[18] and Mercury and Venus cannot remain apart from each other more than 61 degrees arc-distance. Saraswati yoga given rise to by the three natural benefic planets, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter, co-operating with each other is an auspicious yoga which is not rare in occurrence but when its participants are not strong it merges with other yogas.[19]

Impact of yogas[edit]

Even though classification and grouping of yogas is a difficult task, generally the yogas are known as Chandra yogas, Surya yogas, Panch Mahapurusha yogas, Nabhasa yogas, Raja yogas, Dhana yogas, Arishta yogas, Daridra yogas, Reka yogas, Parvarajya yogas. The common factor for which all these yogas is the relative residential strength of the planets and of the bhavas (houses) involved whether by ownership, occupation or aspect. Janardan Harji in the fourth chapter of his Mansagari, which is devoted to yoga-formation and their results, tells us that if at birth all planets combine in the seventh house from the lagna then one becomes fortunate during the 30th year of life and enjoys exceptional yoga results. If the moon occupies a kendrasthana and the sun simultaneously happens to occupy a trikonabhava then the person even though lowly-born will rise to be a king. If three planets simultaneously happen to occupy their own signs then one rises to be a royal minister. If three planets simultaneously happen to occupy their respective signs of exaltation, one becomes a king. If three planets similarly happen to occupy their respective signs of debilitation the person, even if high-born, will become a menial, and if three planets are simultaneously combust the person will be coined a fool.[20]

The lagna (ascendant) and the Chandra-lagna (natal moon-sign) gain strength by being aspected by a planet, preferably by their own lords, when their respective lords are strongly placed forming auspicious yogas then good results are to be anticipated failing which all auspicious yogas become defunct.[clarification needed] If at the time of birth the lagna or the moon is not aspected by any planet, the results of Raja yogas do not fructify. Malefic planets should certainly not afflict the lagna, the moon, the yoga-causing planets or the bhavas involved. Whichever bhava as is associated with or aspected by either their respective lords or by benefic planets gains vitality, although the good effects are destroyed if malefic planets aspect or join them.[clarification needed] The effect of an aspect is equal to that of conjunction and in practice found to be more effective.[21] The Sun and Jupiter are the karakas (significators) of the tenth house and any kind of sambandha, mutual association, established by these two makes one adept and shine in his or her chosen field of creative, scientific, religious, or philosophical activity. This can also lead one to become a high-ranking official or advisor, and famous. Jupiter situated in the Karakamse, in conjunction with the Atmakaraka in the Navamsa chart makes one master the Vedas or become a philosopher or a religious leader. Likewise situated, Venus makes one a great political figure.[22]

Yoga results are indicated by the circumstances in which the birth has taken place and the particular course followed by one’s life from birth to death. But yogas are of no avail.[awkward] If the yoga giving dashas do not run their course in the life of persons standing to gain, yoga-causing planets give their results during the course of their dashas and antra-dashas.[23] The dasha of a harmful planet will produce bad results and the antra-dasha of a malefic in the dasa of another malefic will produce evil results.

Saravali declares that if the period of a cruel planet has the antra-dasha of another malefic, the person suffers death.[24] Therefore, it is imperative that the status of the lords of the nakshatras be occupied by planets, in particular that of the moon, and by the rising-point of the lagna is properly determined.[clarification needed] The sun onwards all planets do not in the course of their dasha and antra-dasha confer results in accordance to the bhava formed by their rasis as counted from the lagna alone but according to their particular associations.[clarification needed][awkward] Planets tend to give results of the lords of the nakshatras occupied by them;[awkward] benefic nakshatras become afflicted if they are occupied by Papa grahas.[25][clarification needed] The sun and the moon afflicted by Rahu or Ketu spoil the good effects of other yogas.

Many learned in Hindu astrology have attempted to enumerate the exact number of possible yogas and avayogas. Varahamihira has listed 16 Raja yogas if Mars, Saturn, Sun, and Jupiter or any of them exalted[awkward] and one of these three occupies the lagna[26] and forty-four Raja yogas if lagna or Chandra-lagna occupies Vargottama and has the aspects of four more planets excepting the Moon[awkward] but which if read with St. 14 of Ch. I of Brihat Jataka works out to 264 yogas and 528 combinations for royalty both from lagna and Chandra-lagna.[27] Later on at the very beginning of Chapter XII of the same text he tells us that the Yavanas had described 1800 varieties of Nabhas yogas. Mantreswara in merely three verses has described 66 yogas including 28 Mahayogas.[28]


  1. ^ Brihat Jataka Ch. I St. 3. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p.33.
  2. ^ Notes of B. Suryanarain Rao on Brihat Jataka Ch. II St. 1. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p. 73.
  3. ^ Rig Veda I.162.18/Rig Veda X.55.3
  4. ^ Brihat Jataka Ch. VII. St. 13. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p.237
  5. ^ Jatakalankara Ch. III St. 1. Published by Chaukhambha Sanskrit Prakashan, Varanasi. p. 41
  6. ^ Phaladeepika Ch XV St.30. Published by Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi. p. 305
  7. ^ Phaladeepika Ch.XX St.42. Published by Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi. p. 410
  8. ^ Phaladeepika Ch. XX St. 20. Published by Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi. p. 392
  9. ^ Jataka Parijata Ch. XI St. 1 Published by Motilal Banarsidas Publishers, Delhi. p. 735
  10. ^ Jataka Tattva Ch.II St.108 to 116 Published by Ranjan Publications, New Delhi. p. 42
  11. ^ Jataka Tattva Ch.X St.190 to 205 Published by Ranjan Publications, New Delhi. p. 272
  12. ^ Janardan Harji. Mansagari. Savitri Thakur Prakashan. p. 305. Slokas 1-3
  13. ^ Jataka Parijata Ch. XI St. 2. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p. 737
  14. ^ Jatakadeshmarga Ch. X St. 1. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore.
  15. ^ Prasna Tantra Ch. I St. 4 & 5. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p.3.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni. Planets And Their Yoga Formations. New Delhi: Pigeon Books India. p. 28. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  18. ^ Notes of B. Suryanarain Rao on Brihat Jataka Ch. VI St. I Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p.195
  19. ^ B.V.Raman. Three Hundred Important Combinations. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 160.
  20. ^ Janardan Harji. Mansagari. Savitri Thakur Prakashan. pp. 308–309. Slokas 6-8
  21. ^ Jataka Tattva Ch. I St. 63 Published by Ranjan Publications, New Delhi. p. 25
  22. ^ Acharya Dhananjya Sanyasi. Bhrigusamhita Phalita Darpan (2002 Edition). Burari, Delhi: Manoj Publications. pp. 596, 597.
  23. ^ Jataka Bharanam: Sadsaddashavicharana St. I Published by Shri Venkateshwar Press, Mumbai. p. 317
  24. ^ Saravali Ch. 42 St.3 Published by Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi. p. 375
  25. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni. Planets And Their Yoga Formations. New Delhi: Pigeon Books India. p. 42. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  26. ^ Notes of B. Suryanarain Rao on Brihat Jataka Ch. X St. 2 St. I Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p. 302
  27. ^ Brihat Jataka Ch. XI St.3. Published by Raman Publications, Bangalore. p.304
  28. ^ Phaladeepika Ch. VI St. 32 to 34 Published by Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi. p.131