In Search of Jyotish – The Karakatvas: A Journey into the World of Vedic Astrology by Sarajit Poddar

Jyotiṣa is an interplay of symbols embedded into the discipline in the form of Significations or Kārakatvas. The primary building blocks in Jyotiṣa are the Grahas, Rāśis and Bhāvas. The Rāśis are further subdivided into the Nakṣatras and the Vargas. Each of these elements has a set of symbols associated with it. From the interplay of these symbols, we derive specific meanings in real life. For instance, one of the symbols of Sūrya is the father, and likewise, the father is seen from the 9th house, also called the Dharma Bhāva or the Pitṛbhāva. The Kārakas are also defined based on the degrees of the Grahas, in a scheme known as Carakārakas. It is from Sūrya, the Chara Pitṛkāraka and the 9th house; we decipher everything about the father. From a Rāśi standpoint, Sūrya owns the Siṅha Rāśi, and therefore, the Siṅha Rāśi must also be judged for Sūrya’s Kārakatvas.

The Kārakas are related to everything in the world, be it a Graha, Rāśi or Bhāva. With the interplay of these Kārakas, and the Śubha or Krūra yogas formed by them, the concerned matters in life should be judged. Therefore, the first and foremost step in studying Jyotiṣa is to examine the Kārakas. The Jyotiṣa classical texts narrate several Kārakas of the Grahas, Rāśis and Bhāvas; however, to apply them in real-life situations, we need to understand them clearly. I believe that this book provides a robust framework for understanding these Kārakas.

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