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KARAKAS

~ definition and use ~


The Sanskrit word Karaka means significator. In simpler English we could translate it as
stands for. For example, in Vedic Astrology the Moon signifies or stands for the mind of the
person. Jupiter is the Karaka for children, which means that we look to Jupiter in ones chart
to know something about their children. However, the fifth house and its lord also have
much to do with children in ones chart. Speaking very strictly, we would say that Jupiter is
the Karaka for children, while the fifth house and its lord, although having much to do
with children for certain, are not directly referred to as karakas for the subject of children.
However, the student of astrology needs to know which houses, signs and planets affect each
particular aspect or subject in life. In order to be able to accurately assess charts and give true
predictions, the astrologer must know where to look in a chart for each subject they attempt to
understand through the chart. Therefore, the following indexes of Karakas has been
assembled. Even though, as stated, the houses and signs are not strictly referred to as
karakas of the subject items attached to them, still, the word karaka is the most accurate
single word we could find to use to summarize what we have assembled herein. We apologize
to the erudite Sanskrit grammarian for this liberality on our part.
The karaka listing herein are presented in various sections, the first being a complete list of
all karakas for all planets, signs and houses that could be assembled from all the classic works
we could find that listed karakas of any type. This was a large task. Many karakas are listed
more than once, in rearranged wordings in hopes that you would find them where you looked
for them. For example, the item of property of the brother might be listed also under
brother, property of. Similarly, higher education might also be listed as education,
higher.
Following the first section which contains all the items listed, are sections which repeat the
exact same items, but listed underneath their karaka. For example, all the items whose
karaka is the first house, can be found listed together under First House. Similarly,
everything that the Sun is karaka for can be found in the section under Sun. These
individualized chapters (sometimes only single pages) are included especially for studying a
planet, sign or house in detail. Reading these sections greatly enhances ones understanding of
what each of the planets, signs and houses stands for. Whereas the first and largest section,

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which contains all the listed items, is the place to look up a particular item fast. For
example, you can look up travel in the first section, and see all the planets, signs and houses
that affect this important life subject.
Some items are indicated by their karaka only when the same is afflicted. This means that
when the planet, sign or house karaka listed with the item is afflicted by the aspect or
conjunction of a malefic planet, then that item will be found to be caused by the listed karaka
(planet, sign or house). For example, if the item bad accounting is said to be caused by
afflicted Mercury, then bad accounting can be expected if the person gets involved with the
subject of accounting in a Mercury ruled period (any level of Dasha) and if in their chart
Mercury is indeed afflicted by a malefic planet. This is a very general and unreliable
example. In all aspects of life, the astrologer will have to look to numerous places before
deciding any prediction. It is very rare to find predictions coming true based on only one
placement.
The elegant blending of karakas, based on developed intuition through experience, is a yogic
art achieved by few. These lists point out the things that the planets, signs and houses stand
for, but it is up to the astrologer to then correctly blend the items together for a real prediction
to take shape.
From my own chart I can present an example. I have Saturn and Jupiter in the ninth house in
Sagittarius. Now, in the following lists, you could find that Saturn in the ninth house stands
for an apostate, which is a person who goes against the standard religion presented in their
life. On the other hand, Jupiter in the ninth, in its own sign especially, stands for following
the traditional religion. So, which will it be for me? How should the astrologer blend these
two items which are seemingly contradictory?
The truth about this subject so far in my life goes like this: I did switch from the religion of my
birth family, Catholicism, when I was 19 and in Jupiter Major Dasha, to the Vaisnava faith,
which is a Hindu sect. However, now that I am in Saturn Major Dasha, and all my close
friends are Vaisnavas, I still have some apostate karma to endure, in that I am initiated
underneath a more standard, old fashioned branch of our sampradaya, when compared to
that of all my Vaisnava friends. So although they see that I am in a slightly different branch
of the sampradaya (the apostate, or Saturnian part), the fact is that it is the older, more
traditional branch of the sampradaya, since it is their Gurudeva who liberalized things a bit
for the West. So, you can see the Jupiter-karaka items coming through, such as attachment to
the traditional ways of the religion. Yet, you can see that I have to deal with being seen as a
bit of an outsider of the norm, which is the apostate part of the karma indicated. I may be
an apostate, but not for the usual cause of the apostate, which is to liberalize the faith. In my
case, Im rooting for some of the older ways of the faith, which have been dropped, in my
opinion by the accident of lack of education about our sampradaya. So, this is an example of
how the blending of karmas indicated must be carried out by the astrologer. It is tricky, but

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possible with deliberate study and practice with the real charts of persons whose lives you
know well.

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