PLANETARY PERIODS OR DASHAS IN VEDIC ASTROLOGY
A planetary period is known as the Dasha in Vedic Astrology.
The auspicious effects of strong planets in a given horoscope will generally come to fruition during the dashas of such planets.
The commencement of Dasha for an individual will depend upon the Moon sign of the said individual and the longitude of the Moon at the time of birth.
The Vimshottari Dasha System is the most widely used system to determine the dasha periods, as this dasha system is applicable to the general population.
Other dasha systems mentioned in the scriptures include the Shodshottari, Panchottari, Dwadashottari and Dwisaptati-sama Dasha Systems. These dasha systems can be applied under certain specified conditions.
The Vimshottari Dasha System is discussed in detail below.
The Vimshottari Dasha System
In the Vimshottari Dasha System, the natural life-span of a human being is taken to be 120 years.
The Vimshottari Dasha system consists of 9 planetary periods known as the Maha Dashas.
The periods of the 9 Maha Dashas are Ketu - 7 years, Venus - 20 years, Sun - 6 years, Moon - 10 years, Mars - 7 years, Rahu - 18 years, Jupiter - 16 years, Saturn - 19 years and Mercury - 17 years, in that order, totalling 120 years.
Each Maha Dasha or major planetary period has minor planetary periods of all the 9 planets again, in the same order. These minor planetary periods are known as the Antar Dasha periods.
The Antar Dasha of a Maha Dasha period commences with the planet ruling such Maha Dasha period and thereafter, follows the above-mentioned order.
The duration of an Antar Dasha of a planet is approximately in proportion to the percentage of the Maha Dasha period of that planet in the Vimshottari Dasha System.
In the same order and proportion, there are 3 further sub-periods known as the Pratyantar Dasha, Sukshmantar Dasha and Prana Dasha periods.
The Vimshottari Dasha System therefore consists of 5 major and minor periods in total known as Maha Dasha - Antar Dasha - Pratyantar Dasha - Sukshmantar Dasha - Prana Dasha periods accordingly.