Vedic Astrology has a most brilliant system of timing whenever the effects of each planet will be felt, the dashas. Dashas are planetary cycles, which follow in a very specific order, with a very specific time span.
There are various dasha systems, for instance, the Vimshottari dasha system is briefed further.
The complete dasha cycle is 120 years.After a 120 years, the cycle repeats itself. Out of the full cycle, each planet takes a number of years:
Everybody is somewhere in this 120 year cycle. The point where we enter this cycle at the beginning of our life, is determined by the degree of the Moon at the time of birth. From that point on, we traverse the cycle in the order shown in the table. As you can see, it takes years to finish one cycle.
The main periods just explained, are known as the “Maha Dashas” or main periods. The Maha Dashas themselves are subdivided in sub periods, called “Antar Dashas“. The sub periods follow the same order as the main periods, and divide up the time span of the particular main period, just like the main periods divide up a life time. The only difference is that a sub period is not 120 years – it is compressed to be just the number of years of the particular main period it runs under.
There are many different dasha systems, categorized in 3 broad categories: Nakshatra based, rashi based, and those that are based on both. Some dashas are applicable to every chart, but some are only valid if some astrological condition is met.
The most popular dasha system in use today is the Vimshottari dasha system. This is a general purpose dasha system that can be applied on every chart. Parashara gives 20 more of such general purpose dashas:
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