Sambhandha and the Role of Atmakaraka, The King

Maharishi Parasra in chapter 3 ग्रहगुणस्वरूपाध्यायः teaches

|| त्रिकोणात्‌ स्वात्‌सुखस्वाऽन्त्यधीधर्मायुःस्वतुङ्गपाः। सुहृदो रिपवश्वान्वे  समाश्चोभयलक्षणाः||

Translation – The lords of the signs which are 4th, 2nd, 12th, 5th, 9th and the 8th from the Moola trikona sign of the graha and the lords of the exalted signs of each planet are friendly of the particular planet. (BPHS – G.C Sharma). By this, we know that houses  3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th and 11th from the Moola trikona sign are NOT friendly to the graha in question.

For example, the Moola trikona of Surya is Leo. Hence, Sun does not like 3rd (Libra, Venus), 6th (Capricorn , Saturn), 7th  (Aquarius , Saturn and Rahu), 10th (Taurus, Venus ) and 11th (Gemini, Merucry). If you notice, as per Sun’s viewpoint Venus and Saturn both end up owning bad houses. This is the reason Venus and Saturn are enemies of Sun. When we notice the relationship of Mercury, we see that Mercury owns the 2nd (good) and 11th (bad) from Sun’s viewpoint. This means that Sun supports the purity of Virgo, but hates the promiscuity of Gemini. Hence Sun treats Mercury is a sama or neutral. We can do this exercise for all the graha’s and in the end, we understand the naisargika (natural) sambhandas or relationships between grahas.

While the natural relationships between graha’s are well documented in standard jyotish texts, I want to get a little deeper into this by seeing these relationships from the viewpoint of the Chara Atmakaraka. As I have taught in my jyotish classes and also in previous articles, the importance of chara atmakaraka is paramount. The chara atmakaraka is the king of the horoscope and all the other graha’s do their work (karakatatwas) as per the orders of the king. Maharishi Parāśara, in chapter 32 कारकाध्यायः (chapter on karakas) teaches

|| आत्माख्यकारकस्तेषु प्रधानं कथ्यते द्विज॥

Translation – Atmakaraka is the most important planet in the chart.

As the name suggests, the atmakaraka (AK) has the most important duty of guiding the soul in this lifetime. In the process of achieving this goal, the AK orders others graha’s into doing their work. All the other graha’s are under the total control of the chara atmakaraka. We know the houses that are friendly and unfriendly, but this time we see these houses from the viewpoint of the Chara Atmakaraka. Hence houses 2nd, 12th, 4th, 5th, 9th and the 8th from the atmakaraka will recieve support from the king and
hence these houses will prosper. The houses 3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th and 11th from the atmakaraka will be devoid of the kings support and will have to struggle. This struggle becomes more if the naisargika karakas and the lords of these houses are also afflicted. A house should be declared as destroyed ONLY if the house, it’s lord and the karaka are all afflicted.

Let us try to apply these principles on an example chart.


First and foremost, an astrologer needs to check the basic strength of the horoscope. Dhanu lagna rises with the auspicious Jupiter in lagna along with Mercury. Jupiter placed in dhanu lagna is very auspicious as it generates the powerful Hamsa mahapurusha yoga. This Jupiter is joined by the 7th and 10th lord Mercury further increasing the auspiciousness of the chart. Since the lagna is both a kendra as well as a trikona, mercury, a kendra lord joining lagna lord jupiter, promises a fine rajayoga. Lagna lord Jupiter strongly and beneficially aspects the 7th house , while 7th lord mercury aspects it’s own 7th house. A standard dictum in jyotish is that when the lord of a house aspects it’s own house, the house becomes very strong and auspicious. Hence, the 7th house, 7th lord are very strong and with the association of Jupiter, marriage life is surely a blessed one. Exalted Saturn from Libra aspects lagna, lagna lord Jupiter and 7th lord Mercury.

Atmakaraka is Moon and is placed in the 6th house along with notorious Rahu. Atmakraka Moon is exalted and so is Rahu who conjoins the AK. AK placed in the 6th house is not considered good as it shows a lot of strife and suffering. The houses 3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th and 11th from the AK will be devoid of thew king’s (AK) support. Hence Cancer, Libra , Scorpio, Aquarius and Pisces will not be encouraged by the king. These signs correspond to the 8th, 11th, 12th, 3rd and 4th bhavas from lagna.  We can now make a series of judgments…

  • The 8th house is vacant and 8th lord is Moon who is the AK signifying the affliction to the 8th house (end of the first marriage).
  • The 11th house has the destructive combination of Saturn and Mars (Yama yoga) showing death of that house. The 11th lord is Venus who is in an exchange with Mars. The exchange is between Rajasic Venus and Tamasic Mars. Hence we can say the the effects of Mars also come into the 11th house. The 11th house is the 5th from the 7th house showing the emotions involved in marriage life.
  • The 12th house has Ketu and Venus while 11th lord is Mars (in exchange) and hence we can say the effects of Sukra will be shown in Scorpio.
  • The 3rd house is vacant and it’s lords are Saturn and Rahu (Aquarius has 2 lords). Rahu afflicts the AK, Moon (Grahana or Eclipse) , while Saturn is in the company of Mangala.
  • The 4th house is vacant and it’s lord  is with Mercury.

The 11th bhava (6th from AK) happens to be the 2nd from Upapada lagna (UL). The 2nd house from UL shows the sustenance of marriage.  The very fact that Saturn and Mangala are in the 2nd from UL shows disruptions. It does not help that the 2nd from UL has no support from the AK (King). UL lord is mercury who is well placed with auspicious Jupiter showing that the girl would have all the qualities of Jupiter and mercury. The girl was from a humble and educated family. The native married in Jupiter-Mercury. Marriage event is clear because Jupiter and mercury both influence the 7th house. The native is well known to my family and I had predicted danger to married life and unfortunately within the first year of marriage, the couple separated with mutual divorce.  The auspicious Jupiter’s aspect on the 7th house and it’s auspicious association with the 7th lord did nothing to save the marriage as the King, the AK did not support.

Conclusion – This clearly demonstrates the fact that Atmakaraka is the king of the chart and if the king does not support a bhava, the results of that bhava can suffer.

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