Secrets of the Vimshottari Mahadasha Sequence

As Vedic Astrologers know, Vimshottari in the Vedic Astrology system offers the unique system of time periods calculated based on one's natal moon's nakshatra.  This system has been ideal for the Kali Yuga age where the time span of a human life is approximately 120 years.  (Now that we are in Ascending Dwapara we're going to live longer and longer.)  Since my hypothesis is based on this Kali Yuga period, I am sticking with the Vimshottari system - besides which, it is the one more commonly used these days.

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

link


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

Taking the diagram of the cosmological circle, look at the left upper quadrant series of numbers. These are the nakshatras from GV20 to GV27 that deal with life after death and life-between-life states of consciousness.  Remember that nakshatras are chakras and chakras are dimensions (lokas).  At their core functioning they are consciousness in potentiality and in expression, consciousness and energy, Shiva and Shakti, deity-male and consort-female.   This is what chakras really are.  This is advanced knowledge and goes beyond the association of chakras with nerve plexus points in the body.  Chakras of course connect our spiritual being to our physical body, but here I am talking about their higher function in connecting our spiritual being to the cosmos - to different facets of the One Consciousness.

If we begin with GV19 and go counterclockwise to GV28, we come up with the following nakshatras and their lords*:

GV19 Uttarashadha (including GV20 Abhijit) ruled by SUN
GV21 Shravanna ruled by MOON
GV22 Dhanistha ruled by MARS
GV23 Satabhisha ruled by RAHU
GV24 Purvabhadrapada ruled by JUPITER
GV25 Uttarabhadrapada ruled by SATURN
GV26 Revati ruled by MERCURY
GV27 Ashwini ruled by KETU
GV28 Bharani ruled by VENUS

This gives us the original sequence of the Vimshottari mahadasha system!  It begins with the brow chakra represented by the Sun and Moon together (solar and lunar / pingala and ida).  Why?  Because all of life begins with a thought!  Buddha said, "You are the sum total of all the thoughts you have thought," (something like that).  And in the story of creation given in Genesis in the Christian Bible, as decoded by Sri Vasudeva, the beginning of consciousness devolving/involving itself into matter begins at the brow chakra with the Word OM or the first thought, that is mind (that's the first STAGE not "day" of creation) and then it goes through the creation of space at the throat chakra, air at the heart chakra, fire at the navel chakra, water at the sacral chakra, and finally earth at the root chakra).  Then consciousness, as energy, having involved itself completely in matter coils like a tired serpent at the base of the spine into the sleep of ignorance (this is of course unawakened Kundalini).

We go through various stages - nine stages in this system - in devolving consciousness until the soul is fully encased in matter by entering into the body of an infant in the womb and being born into a new lifetime at GV28.  Venus is the lord of Bharani because it is an act of love (conception) that produces a body for the new soul and Venus also represents the attraction or karmic attachment to things of the material world - the gross world of the first three chakras.  If the first three chakras didn't have some kind of hold on us, we would not need to incarnate into the Earth dimension.  But their hold is powerful, and the tiny spark of light that is the soul, expands its energy so that every chakra docks into a nerve plexus point, fitting so perfectly that once this infant becomes a two-year-old and begins to realize it is no longer its mother, and then the ego starts to develop - that remembrance of our spiritual being disappears and we get lost in "I am the body" consciousness.  And so we're stuck on the wheel of life endlessly learning how to get unstuck.

Link with the Nine Underworlds of the Mayans


Buddhism teaches that there are nine levels of consciousness (九識 link) and these are linked to the I Ching elements.  I'm sorry if I'm misrepresenting Buddhism but I don't know too much about this.  The Mayans, according to Dr. Calleman, created a long count system at the beginning of a time period very close to the beginning of Kali Yuga - and he has written how this is tied into great epochs in human history showing shifts in consciousness on a macrocosmic level.  So we have these nine levels within us, same as the cosmos without.  The holographic principle keeps on repeating.

How some Mayan pyramids encode the 9 waves of consciousness between matter and moksha as per C.J. Calleman

That tells me that the Vimshottari mahadasha sequence lines up very nicely with the nine waves of consciousness that Dr. Calleman associated with the Mayan time-keeping system.  The Mayans like the Chinese, were concerned with alignment of the sacred time calendar to the earth time calendar - because afterall we are both spiritual beings and involved-in-a-human experience.  The goal of life on Earth is to live in harmony with both worlds - that's our higher purpose in this world.  All the great religions know this - and so did the ancient ones.  What is true at a cosmic level is also true at the level of a single lifetime - just as atoms mimic solar systems...

Now the alignment of Mahadashas (Indian), GV points (Chinese), and Nine Waves (Mayan):

Sun MD = GV20* Uttarashadha-Abhijit = 9th Wave, Universal Consciousness "I am everything"
Moon MD = GV21 Shravanna = 8th Wave, Galactic Consciousness
Mars MD = GV22 Dhanishtha = 7th Wave, Planetary Consciousness
Rahu MD = GV23 Satabhisha = 6th Wave, National Consciousness**
Jupiter MD = GV24 Purvabhadrapada = 5th Wave, Regional Consciousness
Saturn MD = GV25 Uttarabhadrapada = 4th Wave, Tribal Consciousness (soul contracts with groups)
Mercury MD = GV26 Revati = 3rd Wave, Familial Consciousness (soul has chosen its parents)
Ketu MD = GV27 Ashwini = 2nd Wave, Mammalian Consciousness 
Venus MD = GV28 Bharani = 1st Wave, Cellular Consciousness (every part of the soul body connects to every cell in the new physical body)

Isn't this amazing?  Of course the systems don't fit absolutely perfectly - because the time periods moving upward in consciousness in the Mayan system get shorter and shorter while the time periods given by Vimshottari are all over the place.  This is because we're talking about apples and oranges - two different contexts, two different practical applications.  The Mayans have the core knowledge here.  The closer I feel to God in meditation, especially when meditating in a group when we are all feeling connected to the Divine, the energy moves like a vortex, spinning faster the closer we get to that wonderful space of Oneness.  So the Mayans in their pyramids are depicting advanced meditation experiences!  Vimshottari uses the same template but in a downward direction, going into matter, nothing to do with meditation here - it's to do with the karmic unfolding of a lifetime.  Apples and oranges - a lot of things to consider.  But that is the way with Vedic Astrology - mind boggling complexity!

Really the complexity is because CONSCIOUSNESS IS EVERYTHING.  Everything is layered.  Matter is energy is consciousness - body, mind, spirit - all as one.  Same as the Sanskrit language - letters, numbers, energy, pictographs - you can find meaning reading words within words within words.  It's all the holographic principle of life.  The meditation experience is what takes away the headache of intellect trying to figure it all out.  Once you experience your true being, everything else makes sense.  You see the Maya.  You know you are not that.  You feel the Divine and become the Divine.  That's when all of this makes the most sense.

Everything that powers up the whole universe is also within you.  This is Vidya (truth).  This is Kundalini trying to rise to the top to the crown chakra so She can manifest in Her Supreme form as the inner Guru, the Krishna/Christ/Buddha/Quetzacoatl consciousness at Brahmarandhra (GV20).  And when you transcend mind, when you are taken by grace beyond the GV20 point of no return, and come back out of compassion only (no other attachments), then you become that Guru, that Divine Energy Being reflecting the pure Consciousness (purified ego) that exists in everything in all the universes.

Number 9, number 7


There is much much much more to explore with the Mahadashas and other things, like the padas and the taras - also linked to the nine levels or stages of consciousness and the use of nakshatras in Vedic Astrology.  Sri Vasudeva teaches about the seven stages not nine stages (actually only six - because the last stage is a gift of grace) because moksha comes when we have done all the work in the first six chakras.  In my research I have found that systems based on nine rather than seven, also incorporate living harmoniously with matter, with the Earth plane.  These systems based on nine embrace a more holistic spirituality, and the four goals of life.  The most advanced systems harmonize the very spiritual sevens with the element-honouring nines - and so unify heaven and earth teachings.  The material world should not be demonized.  It is also the Divine.  The Divine manifests in everything.  We are not here to suffer.  We are here to grow in consciousness but it is no holiday.  Everything that challenges us is a stepping stone, an opportunity, to learn, to burn and grow.  This is what Sri Vasudeva teaches.  We are the caretakers of our bodies and we should be, as the most advanced species, the caretakers of Nature too - not only Nature looking after us.  


Nine primary incarnations of Vishnu 

Theosophist Founder Helena Blavatsky came up with a theory connecting Vishnu Avataurs (traditionally there are ten) with great evolutionary periods - and this links with Johan Calleman's theory about the Mayan underworlds - as great waves of time.  Here they are, originally from her book Isis Unveiled:

  • 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.

Traditionally the incarnations of Vishnu are ten:  दशावतार, daśāvatāra (दशा dasha + avatara) dasa=10 avatara=incarnation.  Is Vishnu then implied in the word महादशा mahadasha?  दशा dasha means "slave or servant" and this is how Sri Vasudeva describes himself, as a servant to the world.

In Ernst Wilheilm's Graha Sutras, each of the nine planets in Vedic Astrology is associated with a Yuga and an incarnation (avataura) of Vishnu as follows:

Sun - Rama "Dark" (Treta Yuga)
Moon - Krishna "Dark" (Dwapara Yuga)
Mars - Nrisimha "Man Lion"
Mercury - Buddha "Awakened"
Jupiter - Vamana "Shore Stature"
Venus - Parashurama "Rama with the Axe"
Saturn - Kurma "Tortoise"
Rahu - Varaha / Sukara "Boar"
Ketu - Miina "Fish"

Could the Mahadasha lordships be linked to the nine waves of the great ages in the cosmos?  There must be something in the microcosmos of mind that is linked to this...either chakras or nadis - it always comes down to these...

Chakras are Dimensions (Lokas) too

Sri Vasudeva teaches how chakras are worlds, dimensions in the sense of subtle planes of existence, each with its own atmosphere or energy vibration.  We are multidimensional beings existing in any number of them simultaneous (but usually unaware we are doing so, until meditation practice and spiritual awakening show us how to recognize them).  So in the Vedic teachings planets are associated with chakras and worlds AND time periods!  Time and space are two sides of the same coin.  We experience time and space differently depending on what dimension we are looking through.  This is also in line with quantum physics - so even on a physical plane, time and space are altered.

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 Mahasamadhi

Since 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"!

Vector definition:  "In physics and mathematics, any quantity with both a magnitude and a direction. For example, velocity is a vector because it describes both how fast something is moving and in what direction it is moving." (source)  So this is the idea of a dasha system as a measurement of change and the kind of life direction it takes us into as well as the extent to which it will impact us.  But what is more interesting are the root words and what they suggest.

The word for Vimshottari (pronounced viMzottarii) is विंशोत्तरी .  Thank you to my new friend, author and astrologer Achala Sylwia Mihajlović for posting this on our FB page (May 23/17):
"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." 
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.

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).


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*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.

1 comment:

marlene lee said...

I see the answer here: *In Vimshottari we use the 27 nakshatras so in this philosophical system Abhijit is absorbed into GV19 as part of Capricorn. .... Thank you