Chara Karakas in Vedic Astrology

Chara karakas include Rahu and the seven planets. They do not include Ketu, as Ketu stands for moksha (emancipation) and does not stand for any person who affects one’s sustenance. Chara karakas are presided by Vishnu and they show people who play a role in one’s life. As Vishnu presides over activities related to sustenance, achievements and spiritual progress, chara karakas show these aspects of one’s life. Chara karakas show people who play an important role in one’s sustenance and achievements. Examples are – mother, father, wife, advisors etc.

Chara karakas are very useful in Raja Yogas and in spiritual progress. They also show how our karma (cumulative sum of actions) is carried from one life to another.

We use the following procedure to find chara karakas:

(1) Take the eight planets – Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Rahu. For each planet, find its advancement from the beginning of the rasi occupied by it. For Rahu, measure the advancement from the end of his rasi (i.e. 30° – Rahu degrees).
(2) Arrange them in the decreasing order of advancement.
(3) The planet with the highest advancement is Atma Karaka (significator of self). We will denote him by AK.

Find other chara karakas using below Table.

If two planets have the same degrees, we should compare minutes. If minutes are same, we should compare the seconds. If two planets are exactly at the same longitude, then they will hold a karakatwa (signification) together and the next karakatwa will have no ruler. We should use the corresponding sthira karaka in that case. However, this rarely becomes necessary, as two planets are rarely at exactly the same longitude.

AdvancementOrderKarakaSymbolPersons Shown
Highest1Atma KarakaAKSelf
 2Amatya KarakaAmKMinisters
 3Bhratri KarakaBKSiblings
 4Matri KarakaMKMother
 5Pitri KarakaPiKFather
 6Putra KarakaPKChildren
 7Jnaati KarakaGK (JK)Rivals
Lowest8Dara karakaDKSpouse
  • In Indian philosophy, death is nothing but praana (life) becoming sthira (fixed).
  • PK can also show subordinates and followers. PiK can show a boss.
  • In practical terms, this means people who give advice (advisors and counsellors).
  • In the symbol “jn” here, ‘j’ is the voiced palatal consonant and ‘n’ is the palatal nasal. This is a tough sound to pronounce correctly. Some people approximate it as as “gnaati” or “gyaati”.
  • This karaka is commonly used for enemies or rivals. However, the literal meaning of “jnaati” is “paternal cousin”.

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