Charakaraka system is a powerful yet simple method of predicting horoscopes. The main drawback in the application of Charakarakas is lack of clarity. There are at least four versions of the Charakaraka system in practice. The problem lies behind incomplete understanding of the topic given in ancient texts. Given below are the existing schemes proposed by modern astrologers. 1. K.N. Rao – Always seven Charakarakas without Pitru Karaka(1) 2. Sanjay Rath – Always eight Charakarakas for living beings 3. Always seven Chara Karakas with Putra Karaka merged with Matru Karaka(2) 4. P V R Narasimha Rao - Mixed 7/8 Charakarakas combining Matru and Putra Karakas when seven planets are considered(3) In practice I have found that none of the above schemes consistently gives correct results. Instead I explain a refined approach to mixed 7/8 Charakaraka scheme of Parasara merging Matrukaraka and Pitrukaraka. The English translation of BPHS available to me on Internet gives the following description for Charakarakas in Chapter 32. 1-2. I now detail below Atma Karak etc., obtainable from among the 7 Grahas, viz. Sûrya to Úani. Some say, that Rahu will become a Karak, when there is a state of similarity in terms of longitude between (two) Grahas. Yet some say, that the 8 Grahas, including Rahu, will have to be considered irrespective of such a state. 3-8. Atma Karak Defined. Among the Grahas from Sûrya etc. whichever has traversed maximum number of degrees in a particular Râúi is called Atma Karak. If the degrees are identical, then the one with more minutes of arc and, if the minutes are also identical, then the one with higher seconds of arc, have to be considered. 13-17. Other Karakas. The Graha next to Atma Karak in terms of longitude is called Amatya Karak. Similarly following one another in terms of longitude are Bhratru Karak, Matru Karak, Pitru Karak, Putr Karak, Gnati Karak and Stri Karak. These are Char Karakas, or inconstant significators. Some consider Matru Karak and Putr Karak, as identical. If two Grahas have the same longitude, both become the same Karak, in which case there will be a deficit of one Karak. In that circumstance consider constant significator in the context of benefic/malefic influence for the concerned relative. 18-21. Constant Karakatwas. I narrate below the constant Karakatwas, as related to the Grahas. The stronger among Sûrya and Úukr indicates the father, while the stronger among Chandra and Mangal indicates the mother. Mangal denotes sister, brother-in-law, younger brother and mother. Budh rules maternal relative, while Guru indicates paternal grand father. Husband and sons are, respectively, denoted by Œukr and Œani. From Ketu note wife, father, mother, parents-in law and maternal grand father. These are constant Karakatwas. Explanation of Stanzas 1-2 According to the translation, “some” say, that Rahu will become a Karak, when there is a state of similarity in terms of longitude between (two) Grahas. Yet “some” say, that the 8 Grahas, including Rahu, will have to be considered irrespective of such a state. In Jaimini Sutra the same thing has been mentioned; Sapthaanaamashtaanaan wa. Author: First variation seems to be more logical. Seven planets are used in ordinary circumstances. collective term to describe mother and father as “parents”; in Sinhalese it is “Demawpiyo”. Therefore the order of Karakatwas when only seven planets are considered is as follows: 1. Atmakaraka, 2. Amatyakaraka 3. Bhatrukaraka, 4. Matrukaraka 5. Putrakaraka, 6. Gnatikaraka, 7. Darakaraka What happens when eight planets come into play, including Rahu, if two or more true planets share the same degrees? In this instance it is possible to separate the combined Matru-Pitrukaraka portfolio since there are enough planets available (we combined Matru and Pitru karakas when there were only seven planets available). Therefore all eight Karakatwas are considered in this instance. The order of Karakatwas given in Jaimini Sutra is as follows: 1. Aatmadhikah Kaladibhi Nabhogah: Atmakaraka (self) 2. Thasyanu Saranaath Amaathyah: Amatyakaraka (minister) 3. Thasya Bhratha: Bhatrukaraka (siblings) 4. Matrukaraka-Pitrukaraka a. Thasya Matha: Matrukaraka (mother) b. Thasya Pita: Pitrukaraka (father) 5. Thasya Puthrah: Putrakaraka (children) 6. Thasya Gnathih: Gnatikaraka (relatives) 7. Thasya Darashwe: Darakaraka (spouse) The fourth portfolio (Matru-Pitrukaraka) in the previous list (of seven planets) has been rightly split into two sub portfolios and will be distributed between two planets. Explanation of Stanzas 18-21 Parasara: Constant Karakas have been explained in these stanzas. In stanzas 17 and 18 he says Constant Karaka should be used when two planets compete for one Karakatwa owing to placement in the same degree. Author: Given below are the Constant Karakas (or Sthira Karakas) for respective portfolios. There is no need to consider Constant Karaka for Atmakarak (AK) and Darakaraka (DK) portfolios. Amatyakaraka (AmK) – Mercury Bhatrukaraka (BK) – Mars Matrukaraka (MK) – Stronger planet in Shadbala strength between Moon and Mars Pitrukaraka (PiK) – Stronger planet in Shadbala strength between Sun and Venus Putrakaraka (PK) – Saturn Gnatikaraka (GK) – Mercury Examples Example 1: All seven true planets in different degrees Sun - MK/PiK 18 Vi 53' 00.08" Moon - BK 23 Cp 40' 16.09" Mars - PK 16 Cn 11' 35.20" Mercury - AK 25 Vi 02' 44.22" Jupiter(R) - GK 13 Ar 29' 33.53" Venus - DK 2 Li 44' 28.62" Saturn - AmK 24 Vi 45' 45.22" Rahu 22 Sc 55' 38.03" Only seven planets are considered for Karakatwas. MK and PiK are merged and go to one planet. PK remains as a separate portfolio. Example 2: Two planets competing for Atmakaraka Sun - BK 18 Vi 25' 53.37" Moon - MK 17 Cp 58' 53.40" Mars - PiK 15 Cn 55' 31.48" Mercury - AmK 24 Vi 16' 40.64" Jupiter (R) - PK 13 Ar 32' 37.83" Venus - DK 2 Li 10' 16.87" Saturn - AK 24 Vi 42' 24.45" Rahu - GK 22 Sc 57' 05.47" All eight planets are considered. All eight portfolios are considered separately. Example 3: Three planets in the highest degree Sun - MK 22 Le 39' 35.08" Moon 29 Cp 10' 08.04" Mars - AK 29 Ge 58' 47.90" Mercury - AmK/GK 7 Le 05' 01.89" Jupiter(R) - PK 15 Ar 33' 20.04" Venus - BK 29 Le 26' 35.95" Saturn - PiK 21 Vi 36' 11.76" Rahu - DK 24 Sc 20' 49.11" Mars and Venus compete for AK and Mars wins. Venus should have got AmK but Moon also competes for AmK. Therefore AmK portfolio goes to Constant Karaka i.e. Mercury. Venus gets next portfolio of BK instead. Moon does not get BK because its longitudes are less than Venus. Example 4: Two planets in the same degree competing for the same portfolio Sun - PiK 14 Vi 29' 32.42" Moon - AmK 25 Sc 45' 14.12" Mars 13 Cn 34' 25.45" Mercury - MK 17 Vi 27' 16.03" Jupiter(R) - GK 13 Ar 58' 16.34" Venus - AK 27 Vi 11' 50.03" Saturn - BK/PK 24 Vi 13' 16.96" Rahu - DK 23 Sc 09' 48.55" Both Mars and Jupiter compete for PK portfolio. Therefore PK portfolio goes to the Constant Karaka of sons i.e. Saturn. The winner, Jupiter, obtains next portfolio in the list i.e. GK. Since Mars is less in minutes he fails to secure GK portfolio. Example 5: Three planets in the same degree Sun - PiK/GK 13 Vi 37' 54.05" Moon 13 Sc 30' 41.10" Mars 13 Cn 03' 20.40" Mercury - BK 15 Vi 55' 53.36" Jupiter(R) - MK 14 Ar 03' 35.16" Venus - AK 26 Vi 06' 32.79" Saturn - Amk/PK 24 Vi 06' 56.05" Rahu - DK 23 Sc 12' 35.48" Three planets, Sun, Moon and Mars compete for two portfolios PK and PiK. Therefore PK and PiK portfolios go to Constant Karakas. Sun has the highest longitude so he wins the next portfolio i.e. GK. Both Moon and Mars fail to get any portfolio. Example 6: Three planets in the same degree Sun 15 Le 23' 12.88" Moon 20 Li 12' 46.32" Mars AmK/BK/MK 25 Ge 15' 35.09" Mercury - AK 27 Cn 17' 15.96" Jupiter (R) - GK 15 Ar 44' 08.41" Venus 20 Le 08' 10.39" Saturn - PiK/PK 20 Vi 46' 52.07" Rahu - DK 24 Sc 44' 39.89" Venus and Moon compete for BK. Both lose BK portfolio and it goes to Constant Karaka, Mars. Venus loses and Moon is the winner of this pair. Moon is bound to get next Karakatwa i.e. MK. But Saturn also is in the same degree and competes for MK. So MK portfolio too goes to Constant Karaka i.e. stronger planet between Mars and Moon. Saturn is the winner (higher longitudes) so he gets next portfolio of PiK. Example 7: Rahu becoming Atmakaraka This is possible if two or more true planets share the same degree and Rahu has got the maximum longitudes. Sun GK 6 Cn 38' 04.08" Moon DK 3 Sg 23' 16.85" Mars PiK 21 Cn 39' 04.79" Mercury AmK 28 Cn 12' 39.61" Jupiter(R) 6 Sg 03' 30.58" Venus BK 27 Ta 40' 25.09" Saturn MK/PK 22 Ta 22' 53.34" Rahu AK 1 Cp 45' 13.02" Example 8: Rahu becoming Amatyakaraka This is possible if two or more true planets share the same degree and Rahu’s longitude is the second highest of all planets. Sun AK 28 Aq 56' 14.45" Moon PiK 15 Sg 18' 43.06" Mars DK 0 Aq 56' 36.89" Mercury BK/GK 26 Aq 36' 28.40" Jupiter PK 2 Ta 08' 21.95" Venus 0 Ar 20' 07.39" Saturn(R) MK 16 Cn 33' 24.76" Rahu AmK 1 Li 58' 32.75"