Mahadasha or major period is the segmentation of human life for each planet with variant size of periods divided within perceived 120 Years of a human life as each segment is ruled by a planet and similarly the cycle of 120 Years comprise all the 9 astrological . The Period of each planet leaves different and variant impacts upon the native’s life depending upon various factors.

A human is perceived to be born with the presence of all the planets in his lifetime as from whatever place he/she would begin his/her life cycle, it will lead him/her through the systematic series of planetary periods as in a way to complete all the planetary segments in 120 Years, though its quiet a different aspect that nowadays a person rarely live all 120 Years of human life. The Mahadashas of Human life works along side Nakshatras as in which ever Nakshatra a person is born, his/her first Mahadasha at birth will be of the ruling planet of the birth Nakshatra and then after, the methodical series of Mahadashas will proceed. These planetary segmentation in known as Mahadasha of planets.

These planetary Mahadashas plays a very significant role in human lives as they could bring massive changes in people’s life and could take them towards the heights or could also cause downfalls. In these Mahadashas, the ruling planet leaves a great impact upon the native’s life and that entirely depends upon the relationship of the ruling planet with the planetary positions in the horoscope chart of the native. If the the mahadasha is of the karaka or benefic planet or a well placed or exalted planet then this period in general will make the person life full of joy, wealth , harmony and affluence. On the other side, if the planet is akaraka or malefic or not well placed or debilitated in the horoscope, the major period of that planet will in general cause problems, loss of money , debts and diseases. However the exact good or bad results would be decided by carefully examining the lordship of the planet and the placement of the planet. The intensity of the good or bad results would be decided by the state of planet (powerful or weak), the placement of other planets with it and aspect of planets on it. 

Mahadashas are divided into nine segments called antardashas or sub-periods. This is a division of mahadasha period where all the 9 planets would have their influence within the major influence of the planet which is a ruler of mahadasha. For example, in the 17 year maha dasha period of mercury, all the 9 planets including Mercury will have their share of period. In this period, the planet ruling mahadasha and antardasha both would have impacts on person's life. So the mahadasha period of any planets is not uniformly good or bad for the native. The result or falit will depend on many factors like: if rulers of mahadasha and antardashas are karakas or akarakas for the native, both are strong, well placed or weak, ill placed and whether they are natural friends or natural enemies. After considering all there factors, the predictions could could be made for that mahadasha- antardasha period.

Any antardashas are furthur divided in to 9 segmentations of 9 periods in which all the 9 planets would have their period of influences. These segmentations are called pratyantar dasha or sub-sub period.

To summarize the topic, human life is divided in to mahadashas, antardashas and pratyantar dashas of planets which influence the human life in a positive or negative way.

Mahadasha periods of Planets
GrahaMahadashaLord of Nakshatras
Ketu (south node)7 YearsAshwiniMaghaMula
Venus20 YearsBharaniPurva Phalguni(pubba)Purva Ashadha
Sun6 YearsKrittikaUttara Phalguni(uttara)Uttara Ashadha
Moon10 YearsRohiniHastaShravana
Mars7 YearsMrigashirshaChitraDhanishtha
Rahu (north node)18 YearsArdraSwatiShatabhishak
Jupiter16 YearsPunarvasuVishakhaPurva Bhadra
Saturn19 YearsPushyaAnuradhaUttara Bhadra
Mercury17 YearsAshleshaJyesthaRevati

The Mahadashas

While all classic texts on Hindu astrology narrate in general the dasha-effects of planets on the health, wealth, happiness, activity, age and the general well-being of human beings on the premise that all events have the tendency to re-occur, the overall effects of the Vimshottari mahadashas of nine planets are subject to the effects of their respective antra-dashas and paryantra-dashas that depend largely on their location as counted from the mahadasa-lord and their natural and temporal relationship with it. The author of Sarvartha Chintamani has remarked that the ancient seers did not approve any other method for assessment of one’s life span etc.; other than through the aid of the yogas obtaining at the time of birth and the nature of the dashas likely to operate. The twelve signs, their divisions and sub-divisions, the twenty-seven nakshatras and their divisions, and the nine planets by their simple as well as complex combinations, associations and permutations form thousands of yogas and ava-yogas. Planets in signs with the hind parts rising may show their full effect in the latter part of the mahadasa; in the signs rising with the front part first, in the initial period, and in Pisces, in the middle. Gopesh Kumar Ojha states that the art of interpretation varies from circumstance to circumstance and with the subjective appreciation of the astrologer.
General effects of mahadashas.
  • Ketu – 7 years.
If Ketu is favorably placed one devotes time and energy to the perusal of philosophy texts and engages in worship, derives much income from practice of medicine, enjoys domestic comforts and luxuries, good luck and freedom from disease. But if Ketu is ill-placed one may suffer intense pain of body and anguish of mind, accidents, wounds and fever, have low company and suffer bad consequences through them.

  • Venus – 20 years.
If Venus is strong and favourably placed one may acquire things of art and pleasure, co-operates with others reciprocally in an harmonious manner and gains, falls in love, gets married, love and affection for spouse increases, begets daughters, rise due to the patronage or favour of some lady and well-wishers. But if Venus is weak and afflicted one suffers from ill-health, contracts urinary or venereal diseases, low sexual prowess, monetary loss, lack of favours and support, disharmony at home and outside and earns a bad name.

  • Sun – 6 years.
If the Sun is strong and favorably placed the soul will feel strong, one may make efforts for self-realisation, live splendidly, travel far and wide, engage in strife or hostility that yields good dividend, rise in position and status, gains through trading, and benefits from father or father will benefit. If the Sun is weak and afflicted one may feel inner weakness, suffer decline in physical and mental prowess, health troubles, demotion in rank and status, displeasure of the government, trading losses and suffer at the hands of father or his father may suffer ill-health or die.

  • Moon – 10 years.
If the Moon is strong and favorably placed one may have a cheerful heart, a happy and a vigorous mind, facial luster increases, enjoys subtle pleasures and comforts, obtains a good job or rise in status, gains money and favors and pays homage to gods. If the Moon is weak and afflicted one suffers from ill-health, lethargy and indolence, loss of job or demotion, loss from or quarrel with women and mother may fall ill or die.

  • Mars – 7 years.
If Mars is strong and favorably placed one may gain from or through brothers, earn favor from persons wielding authority, enter into or promotion in military, para-military or police service, acquires landed property and other valuables, enjoys good health, exhibits optimism, daring and persistence. If Mars is weak and afflicted one may suffer from fall, wounds, deterioration of blood, at the hands of a magistrate, become quarrelsome, exchanges hot words, earns enmities, hates and litigates.

  • Rahu – 18 years.
If Rahu is favorable one may gain ruling powers or rise in governmental favours by resorting to falsehoods, tricks and cunning, earn and gain wealth through unscrupulous means, changes place of residence. But if Rahu is unfavorable one suffers very many losses, suffers from snake-bite, aberration of the mind, hallucinations and illusions, asthama, eczema etc. It is the worst mahadasha for education or career which may be broken or disrupted.

  • Jupiter – 16 years.
If Jupiter is strong, well-placed and forms good yogas one is inclined to learning and increase of knowledge; if it comes in middle age it confers wealth and bestows sons, one leads a comfortable life, one goes on pilgrimage and has auspicious celebrations, and in old age bestows grandsons, better income and finances. If Jupiter is weak and afflicted one gives up education, suffers from failures, poverty and many miseries including fall from position and ill-health, commits evil deeds, becomes frustrated, sons or grandsons may also suffer.

  • Saturn – 19 years.
If Saturn is favorable one rises in service by own strenuous efforts and hard work, derives benefits from things signified by Saturn and gains a legacy. But if Saturn is unfavorable one may suffer from diseases due to malnutrition, poverty, litigation etc.; quarrels and disputes with elders, deaths in the family or of near ones, impediments and obstacles in path of progress and miserable life due to distress all around.

  • Mercury – 17 years.
If Mercury is strong and favorable one devotes time and energy to studies, writing etc.; remains active, engages in commerce or politics or diplomacy, gains through dealings with others and trade, enjoys company of friends, peace and tranquility and lives in comfortable surroundings. But if Mercury is weak and afflicted one may suffer from nervous disease, a bad liver, loss due to bad friends and relations, due to own dishonesty and of others, defamation and the like.

Antra-dasha or Bhukti

Each mahadasha is also subdivided into planetary periods called Antra-dasha or Bhukti, and each antra-dasha is further divided into Pratyantar-dashas which run their course in the same order as the mahadashas, and with the same proportional length. For example, the first bhukti of Ketu is Ketu/Ketu, the second is Ketu/Venus, the third Ketu/Sun and so on. These subdivisions allow a much more detailed examination of the influence of each mahadasha, and a much clearer indication of what events are expected to occur and when.

The last bhukti of each mahadasha is considered to be a preparatory time for the major shift which the next mahadasha will bring. Thus, the last bhukti of the Sun mahadasha is Sun/Venus, which prepares for the coming Moon mahadasha by emphasizing relationships and family matters. Similarly, the last bhukti of Jupiter is Jupiter/Rahu which prepares the mind for the practical and realistic Saturn mahadasha by reattaching it to stress and worldly concerns. The effects of Antra-dasha will vary for each mahadasha based on the strength of dasha lord. The reason is mahadasa is considered as car and Antra-dasha is considered as driver. If the driver (Bhukti lord) is too smart, he can drive very well even though car (Dasha lord) is not very powerful but the car will have some limitation.

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