The importance of Chara Atmakaraka – By Katti Narahari JyotishTeacher

Introduction – Karaka in English means a doer or a significator. I was taught that karaka is like a cabinet minister who holds a particular portfolio. It is the karaka that is ultimately responsible for causing an event (also read my previous article on Argalā). Maharishi Parasara has taught three types of Karakas. Each of these karaka types are meant for specific things and one should not mix these in Jyotish interpretations. Hence, before we go any further, let us briefly understand these karaka types
1. Naisargika Karakas – Naisargika means all that is natural and hence covers all that exists in this world, all that has been created. The creator is Brahma and hence Naisargika karakas are controlled by Lord Brahma. There are 9 Naisargika karakas which means it includes all the planets including Rahu and Ketu. Hence Naisargika karakas control everything in our day to day life that impacts us. This is the reason Naisargika karaka’s are used in phalita Jyotish. For example, when will I get married? When will I build a home etc.?
2. Sthira Karakas – Sthira karakas include those grahas that have a physical body or mass. These include the seven planets, and Rahu and Ketu are not included in this scheme. Rahu and Ketu are only mathematical points and do not have physical body. The deity for Sthira karaka is Lord Shiva as he only presides over the destruction of the physical body. This is the reason Sthira karakas are used only for longevity predictions or self and relatives.
3. Chara Karakas – Chara karakas show all the people who come into this life and play a role. Chara karaka also means temporary karaka since it applies only this this birth. Chara karakas include the seven grahas and Rahu (Please note that many learned scholars do not use Rahu). The deity is Vishnu as Chara karakas are specifically used for the maters of sustenance, spiritual progress and various achievements.

We will try to learn the importance of Chara Karaka, especially the one called the Chara Atmakaraka (AK)

Determination of AK – Take the eight planets in the natal chart and determine the one planet that has advanced the maximum degrees. For Rahu, measure the advancement of the degrees from the end of the sign.
The Chara Atmakaraka (henceforth mentioned as AK) is the king of the horoscope. Unless, the king agrees, all the great yoga’s cannot function. This is the reason that we come across many great yoga’s in the horoscope, but the person would be just an average person. No Dhana yoga’s, Raja yoga’s, mahapurusha yoga’s can materialize if the AK and certain houses from AK are not well placed. I hereby quote Maharishi Parasara shloka from Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra (BPHS) chapter दारिद्रय्योगाध्यायः – Combinations for penury

कारकाद् वा विलग्नाद् वा रन्ध्रेरिष्फे द्विजोत्तम |
कारकाङ्गपयोदृष्ट्या धनहीनः प्रजायते ||१४||


Translation – If the 8th and 12th houses from karaka Lagna (Sign in which AK is posted in the Rasi chart) are joined with weak and malefic planets OR if the lords of the 8th and 12th house (from Lagna) join or aspect the karaka lagna (Sign in which AK is posted in the Rasi chart) or विलग्नाद् (meaning its lord) poverty and financial hardship is sure to happen.

The lord of the 8th is the one who gives Nija Dosha (doshas from past life), while the lord of the 12th makes a person suffer physically. The 12th is the house of bandhana and also hospitalization. What, according to Parasara seems to be very crucial is the lord of 8th and 12th houses from lagna aspecting the Karaka lagna (Sign in which AK is posted in the Rasi chart) points to poverty.  These malefic lords having an influence on AK, seems to make the chart so weak that none of the other yoga’s would function.  Let us see a case study to understand this further.


Let us first check the raja yoga’s in the chart.  Lord of the 9th and lord of the 10th are placed in the 10th generating the most powerful Dharma-Karmadhipathi yoga.  The 10th house has Sun and Mars both placed in Digbala in the 10th (Agni grahas get Digbala in the 10th house).  Also the 10th house is the most powerful Kendra and is the seat of Indra, the king of the devata’s.  Venus placed in a Kendra in own house has generated one of the Malaviya mahapurusha yoga.  Such a Venus (Deity being Lakshmi) is indicative of a person who is very wealthy.

Having seen all this powerful yoga’s let us see this chart from the perspective of the shloka given. Moon is the Chara AK and is placed in the 9th house.  Notice that there are no graha’s in Kendra to this moon, and this is called Kemadruma yoga (Poverty).  There are no pillars like support to this Chandra as AK.  Moreover, this Chandra is not being aspected by any grahas as well.  Even if such a Chandra would not become the AK, no planets in Kendra’s / no aspect to moon is considered inauspicious.  Karaka Lagna (Sign in which AK is posted in the Rasi chart) is Virgo as Chandra, AK is placed in Virgo.

Karaka lagna is Virgo and applying the shloka we see that the 8th house is Aries with two first rate malefics, Shani (Neecha) and Rahu. The 12th house from Karaka lagna is Leo, having no planets.  But the lord of Leo is Sun who is debilitated in the 2nd house from Karaka lagna. The 8th lord Mars also joins the 12th lord debilitated Sun in the 2nd house (wealth).  Hence the yoga for poverty from Karaka lagna is complete and the dictum is valid.  The person never saw any riches in his entire life and lived in abject poverty.

Conclusion – It is very important for an astrologer to carefully understand the dignity of the Chara Atmakaraka even before any good yoga’s are seen.  This article is to illustrate the importance of the Chara atmakaraka, who is the king of the horoscope.  No yoga’s can fructify if the king is not well placed.