The Mahadashas given by Vimshottari are as follows (using the older order beginning with the Sun not Ketu):
Sun - 6 years
Moon - 10 years
Mars - 7 years
Rahu - 18 years
Jupiter - 16 years
Saturn- 19 years
Mercury - 17 years
Ketu - 7 years
Venus 20 - years
TOTAL: 120 years maximum human life span for Kali Yuga
Does the Vimshottari system express some esoteric symbolism in code?
In astrology, when two planets in a person's chart are 120 degrees apart from each other, this is called a trine.
120/6=20, the Sun takes up 1/20th portion of the cycle
120/20=6, Venus takes up 1/6th portion of the cycle
Sun is at the top representing crown or source consciousness from which form emerges, while Venus is at the bottom representing consciousness in limited or material form
- this describes Sun mahadasha and Venus mahadasha characteristics too as Suryia brings one into a more soul oriented dasha during its reign; while Venus tends to be more focused on material life and earthly pleasures
120/10=12, the Moon takes up 1/12th portion of the cycle
- this references the moon path of the cosmological circle (12 moons around a 13th)
- the moon path is not only geometry, it calculates the actual lunar orbit around Earth
- Moon is associated with mother in Vedic astrology; that which encircles the child, protecting it
120/18=6.66666667, Rahu seems to be associated with 666, the famous anti-Christ number referenced in Revelation (another mystical text referencing chakras) in the Christian Bible
- I think 666 represents the kind of chaos that Rahu mahadasha brings into our lives when this time period is active
- Vedic astrology author Prash Trivedi also makes an association with Rahu and 666 (link), and that 6+6+6=18, which is the number of Rahu's mahadasha years
This leaves 16 Jupiter, 17 Mercury, and Saturn 19 to figure out...
also 7 Ketu and 7 Mars...
Do the numbers reference nakshatra energies?Taking Krittika as the 1st nakshatra (same as in Taittiriya Brahmana):
6 years would then reference GV6 Pushya and the idea of creation in 6 stages from spiritual fire. It suggests to me that we have the potential to experience ourselves as the co-creators of ourselves and our destiny (something Sri Vasudeva speaks a great deal about). In this context the Sun as Self, is the Creator. It also suggests putting into practical application all that spiritual potential, or transmuting it or harnessing it in the fire (what Paramahansa Yogananda refers to as the inner yajna) of our own self-transformation. It is in this nakshatra as the self rebirthing itself and its world.
10 years would then reference GV10 Uttara Ashadha and the idea of the 10 senses (indryias) of mind (manas) in the heart chakra. GV10 is about the maturation of loving expressions in the world. It suggests to me that in Moon mahadasha we have the opportunity to become the nurturer or play a more nurturing role in our lives and attain the wisdom that comes from that. Feelings (the 10 senses in play with the elements) would become more heightened during this period.
7 years would then reference GV7 Ashlesha, the brahma granthis point. I think that Mars is specifically linked to tejas, the vitality prana of the navel chakra when it is expanded and radiates as the glow of power and vitality of the subtle power expressing through physical body (like the glow of pregnancy or the glow of an athlete in top shape). It suggests to me that the Mars mahadasha presents us with an opportunity to rekindle our inner fire in life, and to glow - spreading our passion to the world and (hopefully) inspiring others. This is to me the best that Mars can produce. Mars is warrior energy, the energy that the martial artist harnesses from the navel chakra area.
18 years would then reference GV18 Purva Ashadha and its association with risen ojas, the intoxication of the samadhi-addicted seeker. Rahu stays in a sign for 18 months and takes 18 years to transverse the entire zodiac. Our legal system assigns 18 as the age of adulthood. All of these relate to Rahu qualities. It is said that during Rahu mahadasha we become intensely aware and passionate about our purpose for incarnating in an earthly body. Truly age 18 is a turning point - we all know that (for some of us it comes earlier and for late bloomers later) but it is as invigorating as the Mars period although can be clouded or poisoned with Rahu's unidirectional and fanatical qualities - as is the idealism of youth. As Oscar Wilde wrote, "I am not too young to know everything" - what most of us learn only in hindsight.
16 years would then reference GV16 Jyestha. Jyestha is the medulla point while Jupiter (Guru) is associated with the third eye kutashtha chaitanya. Sri Yukteswar writes extensively how this is an important axis between these two points in his volumes on the Bhagavad Gita and elsewhere. Too much to explain here, but again this makes sense. We become the teacher, the Guru, during the Jupiter mahadasha - and reap the benefit of grace which is the Guru's power to bestow. We may take on Guru qualities such as the purity of the child, which is why I think Jupiter is associated with children. It must be a time period when mastery can be attained, wherever Jupiter is working in your chart - or a period of expansion - expanding whatever situation your natal Jupiter is associated with (good or bad).
19 years would then reference GV19 Uttara Shadha, the invincible victory point - where the aum sound is heard in very advanced meditation and this is a portal to the crown chakra through Guru consciousness. Mind attains that unbroken one-pointed focus here. Truly Saturn is the gatekeeper to the top of the head even though the Sun is associated with it. Saturn is the shadow of the Sun (Self) and is associated with the tough work of meditation (all of life can be seen as a meditation) to break through brahmarandhra. The Saturn mahadasha is therefore a time of the most difficult trials but also a time that can grant invincible victories.
17 years would then reference GV17 Mula, the galatic centre associated with detachment from senses (manas) in meditation, and the silence of the hub of the wheel. This is really interesting because I always think of Mercury time periods as the one to express oneself - a period that inspires writing, speaking, singing specifically. Sri Vasudeva teaches how to do these things from a space of silence - so it isn't about not speaking/singing/writing, it's about allowing your higher self to express from the source, from that hub of silence, that "eye of the hurricane" as he calls it, where we are undisturbed by the chaos. GV17 Mula is that stage in meditation where we are able to detach from the senses and their pull into gross-body awareness - and yet during Mercury dashas we can be extremely involved in the world, but the idea I'm suggesting is that we are sharper than usual, and able to manage more of these worldly things. Intellect is buddhi, that reasoning faculty of the mind, while the name for Mercury is buddha - which is the masculine form, the consciousness of intelligence or the intelligence as a principle more than as an energy. The entire universe is intelligent. This intelligence expresses through us in the form of Kundalini - inner guidance or on the outside through people and situations - such as synchronicities and omens. It is our own intuition, and when Kundalini is involved it is the Guru, the greatest Teacher within, taking us to wisdom, that center point within.
7 years would then reference GV7 Ashlesha, same as Mars (see above) I associate both Mars and Ketu with subtle energy (prana, chi or qi). Ketu is about detachment and Ashlesha as the Brahma Granthis point is where we begin to discover our inner life, as separate to the gross physical body - so we begin here to detach from gross physical "I am the body" consciousness. This suggests to me that Ketu mahadasha has more to do with detachment than spiritual progress. Certainly spiritual progress is linked to detachment but not all detachment is necessarily spiritual in nature! Detachment from the body can also be linked to astral phenomenon, for example seeing ghosts, but this is not particularly spiritual in an of itself. It's an awakening of sorts but of a very low-grade kind unless it brings about true spiritual awakening. True spiritual awakening brings about an expansion and uplift in consciousness - stage by stage, slowly, building upon lifetime after lifetime.
20 - years would then reference GV20 Abhijit, the brahmarandhra point, the limit of the sushumna nadi - the completion of the ascension journey in a physical body beyond which is the experience of the transcendental "I" or cosmic "I" represented by Aquarius that is beyond the human experience (although the avataur, the one who has completed the entire journey can express it from this point - which is a longer esoteric discussion). Keeping in mind that Venus is exalted in Pisces, this is really about taking love to its limit isn't it? Astrologers are so concerned with Venus as representing the earthly spouse, when really Venus is much more than that - no less than our own Shakti. She is the true spouse within all and She reunites with Her Beloved Shiva (pure Consciousness) at the top of the head. This suggests to me that Venus mahadasha provides an opportunity for tantric experiences of all kinds - from the usual pleasures one finds related to the physical body to the highest expression of love that is possible in the human experience. The number 20 and the planet Venus was very sacred to the ancient Mayans. I associate 20 with their daysigns and the ascension GV points of the sushumna. 20 portions is how the entire 24,000 cycle of the yugas is divided, and the crown chakra of 1000 nadis (although the crown chakra is infinite) alludes to 20 levels of 50 nadis associated with the petals of the 6 major chakras. In Jyotish the zodiac is divided into 27 nakshatras using the divine ratio of 13:20 that Carl Calleman discovered the ancient Mayans used in their calendar of the ages. All of this tells me that Venus period holds a special place in the mahadasha system - it is certainly the longest. For me it is the planet of love and presents us with an opportunity to love completely, that our cup overflows and we can share it with others. Of course, depending on chart factors this may be problematic, but then it depends on one's life lessons that need to be learned during that time. The D9 chart (navamsa) become especially important during Venus mahadasha - as it is the shakti chart to the siva chart of the D1 (our natal chart) as well as the pada chart, revealing the deeper significations of our birth nakshatras.
It is in contemplating these associations with the nakshatras that the spiritual agenda of these great mahadasha time periods with all of its finer details becomes clearer. This may not have been the determining factor for allocating the number of years to certain planets but it certainly makes sense to me. The beginning mahadasha is determined by the natal nakshatra lord. That in itself is saying that the nakshatra energies (which also play a role in assigning dates to the Yugas) are associated with time. (They are also associated with space via sound - and this is discovered through the secrets teachings of aum - that primordeal matrix of sound or logos).
The question I'm exploring in this post is:
Why are the Mahadashas given in this particular sequence?
Carl Johan Calleman's decoding of the nine waves of consciousness transformation in the ancient Mayan system has given me an intuitive insight into the Vimshottari mahadasha sequence of planetary lords, based on my hypothesis related to the reincarnation cycle. This is pretty advanced stuff and I would ask that you read at least these posts first:
Kundalini's Descent from Consciousness into Matter
Link with the Nine Underworlds of the Mayans
|How some Mayan pyramids encode the 9 waves of consciousness between matter and moksha as per C.J. Calleman|
Number 9, number 7
- Matsya - fish, the first class of vertebrates; evolved in water(Indicates origin of Fishes in Silurian Period
- Kurma - amphibious (living in both water and land; but not to confuse with the vertebrate class amphibians)(Indicates origin of Amphibians in Devonian Period
- Varaha - mammals, wild land animals (Indicates Mammals origin in Triassic Period
- Narasimha - beings that are half-animal and half-human (indicative of emergence of human thoughts and intelligence in powerful wild nature)
- Vamana - short, premature human beings
- Parasurama - early humans living in forests and using weapons
- Rama - humans living in community, beginning of civil society
- Krishna - humans practicing animal husbandry, politically advanced societies
- Buddha - humans finding enlightenment
- Kalki - advanced humans with great powers of destruction.
विष्णु is Sanskrit for Vishnu and Vishnu has the root word विश् "world" in it. Vishnu, according to Sri Vasudeva, represents the creative/sustaining force in the cosmos. And Vishnu consciousness is the consciousness of the avataur, the fully awakened one. So in one word we have the idea of creative cosmic power and consciousness, that is a world or plane of existence and then, Vishnu is connected to the incarnations representing great periods of time. And also, according to Ernst Wilhelm's research, the planets are incarnations of Vishnu. So the planets or grahas "seizing" - cause the illusion of time and space in the human experience. This is maya, and the planets are the veils of maya, expressed through the chakras, and these are linked to evolution - both physical and spiritual. That's a heavy burden of meaning for one word!
The 9 levels complete the journey to MahasamadhiSince Kalaparusha is considered the soul body of time, it must be an aspect of Higher Self manifesting in Maya this illusory multi-dimensional universe. So the GV points within us would also be within the GV points of Kalapurusha (the idea of God made man in his own image just as man made God in his own image).
If the 20 points GV1 Krittika to Abhijit GV20 represent milestones along the soul's Kundalini path to moksha, then what of the remaining 8 points (9 if we include Abhijit)? I see two scenarios, one for the soul who is going the full journey to mahasamdhi and the other for the rest of us going into a life-between-life process preparing for reincarnation into a new birth with GV28 Bharani.
When I began to investigate what Revati means in this map to enlightened consciousness, I noticed that in the mythological story of Revati and Balarama, it is a kind of prototype to the story of how Uma attained Shiva's love and in another story, also the story of Sati immolating herself in the fire. Both Uma and Sati represent the Shakti and these stories are allegories of the soul's union, via Kundalini's union, with Pure Being/Consciousness, that Higher Self or Shiva in the crown chakra. Sati's story in particular suggests to me mahasamadhi - which is the true death or complete self-annihilation of ego - when the one who has attained liberation from rebirth in moksha, no longer wishes to remain in form at all in any dimension and merges with the void. It makes sense that Revati is in Pisces, that place of rest and non-doing. In the 27-nakshatra system, Revati is the last one. So to me, Revati in its essence, must represent that mahasamadhi state. Mahasamadhi is the ultimate end for the Self-realized/liberated soul. For the rest of us, Revati then becomes a stopping place only.
From the Vedic point of view the universe has merged into itself and exploded into Big Bangs many times, with 1000 yugas considered as a day in the life of Brahma (creative aspect of God). After the mahasamadhi of the entire universe there is only void and eventually the great cycle (Kalpa) must begin anew with another Big Bang to set it in motion. And there are even larger cycles of time from creation to dissolution to creation again so everything is always recycled - there is no such thing as "death" only transition. With every recreation into form we begin with Ashwini (for the "form" making part of it).
In the Vedas, Time is equated with the Kala (Consciousness Time) is the source of the divisions of time. It unites procession recession and stasis.“Kalo gatinivrtti sthiti: samdadhati” (Sankhayana Aranyaka 7.20).Time, according to Surya Siddhanta, has both its virtual and practical divisions; the former is called murta (embodied), the latter amurta (virtual or Unembodied). The Surya Siddhanta delineates that ‘what begins with prana (respiration) is called real; that what begins with truti (atoms) is called unreal.
"Vedic Time System" (link)The amurta must correspond in the individual soul as the life-between-lives state (whether that's experienced as heaven or hell depends on their state of consciousness at the time of death). That's why I see Ashwini and Bharani in the individual soul as preparation points having to do with a rebirth. Bharani in particular has a connection with the original Adam and Eve which in the Vedas is Yama and Yami. These represent esoterically the duality of Maya that the soul needs to re-enter (Ashwini the twins is like a blueprint for that while in Bharani it become manifest in the gross). Ashwini is a state of consciousness where the subtle bodies are being created again in preparation to be encased in a physical body, that Bharani brings about through descent at GV28 into the medulla into the womb and into the baby's body in the host body of the mother.
I have not yet looked at the 24 conception vessel points between Bharani and Krittika, mainly because these don't seem to be important in terms of the soul's ascent into Higher Self consciousness. What is really interesting is that there are 28 lunar days for the GV points, 24 hours per day for the conception vessel and with the circle of the microcosmic orbit linking everything that adds up to 52 weeks of the solar year. So the internal space of the subtle soul body is linked with time. Maya is the illusion that space and time create, the changing universe that is not real because only the changeless is real (this is the topic of Sri Vasudeva's 2017 40 Days retreat "Lifting Maya's Veil": www.blue-star.org).
In the Hindu cosmology there are 14 worlds - 7 higher worlds corresponding to the chakras(when we manifest our higher consciousness), and 7 hellish worlds also corresponding to the chakras (when we are in darkness-ignorance, closed to the light of our true identity). In terms of involution and evolution of the soul into maya, we have 14 going down and 14 going up, or 14 x 2 = 28. I don't know if these link with the nakshatras, but it is interesting. So in the cosmic sense from GV28 to GV1 the Self has to involve itself in matter and this is done in six stages (from brow to root chakra) and there are 24 conception vessel points so that allows for 24 ÷ 6 = 4 sets of points dealing with that. The incarnating soul does not need to create a new body. Nature does that for us in the mother's womb. Hence it would not be seen as important in terms of soul evolution (but certainly does in terms of caring for the physical body).
I am continually bouncing back and forth between the cosmic body of Kalapurusha and the individualized soul body - because enlightened ones tell us the two are one and the same. The Self is only having a dream (a time and space dream) that is it contracted into a limited and individualized self. Separation is a dream. Reincarnation is a dream. And Yama is the ferryman taking the soul to a kind of "death" from the real world of Self into the dream world of Maya.
Thus from the purest point of all, that of the unmoving Druva or pole star - Abhijit (GV20) emanates the AUM sound in GV20 Shravana, creating ripples of energy in GV21 Dhanishta, becoming knotted together as the roots of life in GV23 Shravana, then passing through a kind of dark night to do with the Akashic realms and senses-becoming-the-classical-elements of matter in GV24 and GV25 the Bhadrapadas - related to mind, then into the ultimate dissolution of the "I" in mahasamadhi in GV26 Revati (or in the unrealized soul the total forgetting of past lives perhaps), then into the formation of the astral bodies in GV27 Ashwini and the descent into the physical body in GV28 Bharani. This is how I picture the story so far.
Clues in the Sanskrit name विंशोत्तरी दशा (Vimshottari Dasha)
I could use some help from people who actually know Sanskrit and Vedic philosophy but what I've found so far is really interesting! When Google translated the Sanskrit for Vimshottari Dasha (विंशोत्तरी दशा) into English, it produced the word "vector"!
The number twenty is to me that sacred number related to the 20 layers of 50 Sanskrit letters (matrika) of the 1000 petalled sahasrara chakra. These are also to me the 20 GV points along the sushumna evolutionary path, and the 13:20 sacred ratio of the 9 great cycles that Carl Johan Calleman discovered in the Mayan pyramid. And Uttara as 100 to me immediately makes me think of the 100 petalled Brahmarandra chakra (GV20 Abhijit and the 100 physicians of GV23 Satabhisha). Of course there are many ways to look at these numbers (and I've discussed above already how 120 is the average maximum life span in Kali Yuga, while 108 is a sacred number expressing the full range of 27 nakshatras x 4 padas related to the distance of Sun(Self/soul) and Moon(mind) to Earth(physical form) - but these are the "outer" associations mirroring what is going on within us at more subtle levels."Vimshottari literally means 120, as this is how many years the full cycle takes. Ashttotari (another system of counting the dashas) means 108. विंश "Vimsha" = 20, "Uttara" = 100."
And there is more in the name:
When I looked up the first syllable "vim" in Vimshottari I discovered a possible root word विम vima that quite appropriately means "dimension"/"dimensional"! And for the last two syllables तरी tarI it means "boat" or "barren cow". When I look at a similar word तरि tari that means "ferryman" - this idea of the boat becomes more clear to me and seems totally appropriate for the mythology associated with the underworld or afterlife. And the cow in Hinduism represents Nature, Shiva's vehicle, the means through which the Self expresses Consciousness in gross form. Fascinating!
I would love to know how this Vimshottari originated in the first place as it holds many clues as to the real meaning and function of the Nakshatras (at least in relationship to Kali Yuga).
VERY VERY INTERESTING
One of the really cool things I discovered when you think about the GV template aligned with this idea of "rulership"/"lordship" is how they form very interesting pairs. Here is what I mean
1) mahanada, the AUM sound:
Moon (rules GV21 Shravana)⇆Sun (rules GV19 Uttarashadha)
Primordial AUM, represented by the conch, the elephant's tusk, the daggar - all of these have to do with lunar and solar properties, and the totality of manifest life experienced in the brow chakra.
2) buddhi, intellect:
Mars (rules GV22 Dhanishta)⇆ Venus (rules GV18 Purvashada)
Mars & Venus are the primordeal lovers (at least in the Greek mythology. This area in the subtle body is also associated with samadhi, a stage of spiritual ecstasy or intoxication as the experience of unification nears.
3) manas, mind (random thoughts and emotions):
Rahu (rules GV23 Satabhisha)⇆ Ketu (rules GV17 Mula)
Rahu and Ketu, the chaos causing nodes rule either side of manas, the chaos causing part of mind.
4) medulla (or lower manas?) - gateway between the celestial and astral worlds and gross world of the earthly incarnations:
Jupiter (rules GV24 Purvabhadrapada)⇆ Mercury (rules GV16 Jyestha)
Jupiter is the Guru, higher wisdom while Mercury represents intellect. They are related in Vedic mythology, since Mercury is the foster son adopted by Jupiter as his own. Intellect ruled by wisdom can take the soul to the doorway of the infinite.
5) (not sure what this is)
Saturn (rules GV25 Uttarabhadrapada)⇆ Saturn (rules GV15 Anuradha)
Saturn rules both ends, it is like a dead end here, a dead stop. GV25 is the last breath point before mahasamadhi, while GV15 is the highest Radha point at the top of the throat chakra.
I'm not sure about the rest but I thought the way these lordships line up along the front and back of the head is very interesting.
*In Vimshottari we use the 27 nakshatras so in this philosophical system Abhijit is absorbed into GV19 as part of Capricorn.
**This was the start of Long Count / Kali Yuga - very much a Rahu sort of consciousness.