Contents of the Jyotiṣa’s main classics

[By Gaura Hari dāsa, copyright Science of Light]

These comparisons indicate schools as well as the evolution of the system of astrology in India.

Ślokas Bṛhat Jātaka (6CE) Sārāvalī (10 CE) Phaladīpikā (13 CE) Jātaka Pārijāta (15 CE)
Opening prayer Prayers to the Sun, asking for speech. He glorify the Sun in many ways (1.1). Prayers to the Sun are offered referring to the three sandhyas (1.1). Prayers to the Sun and a reference for the relativity of the day of the devas, manes and humans (1.1). Further prayers to other deities is offered in the next verse (1.2). Vaidyanātha offers prayers to the Sun, comparing him to Lord Viṣṇu (1.1).
Reasons behind the creation of the work This concise work is for those persons that failed to cross the vast ocean of horoscopy (1.2). This work was created with the essence of the teachings of Bṛhat Jātaka, as well as the teachings of the Yavanas, etc. (1.2-4). This work is offered as a lucid and simple version of the teachings of sage Parāśara and sage Atri (1.2). This work is for the enjoyment of those who appreciate the nectarous sweets of astrological truths. It also abridge the Sārāvalī of Kalyāna (1.2).
On the word horā The word horā is explained as a corruption of the word ahorātra, which means “day and night” (1.3). He further explains the word horā and eulogizes the horā-śāstra (2.1-5). - -
Definition of a rāśi Explanation of what is a rāśi and where it begins is given, as well as different definitions of rāśi, like ṛkśa, bha, etc (1.4). The Sun created all the planets and the 12 months after the Pralaya is what Kalyāna says (3.1-2). - He also quotes what Varahāmihira says on signs and their different definitions like kśetra, ṛkśa, etc (1.4-7).
Kalāpurūṣa The body parts corresponding to the rāśis from aries onwards are given (1.4). Regarding gemini, he differs associating him with the arms. He also says that the rāśis occupied by the malefics will be weak (3.5-6). Besides the body parts, the rāśi-sandhis in jala-rāśis is mentioned as well (1.4). The Kalāpurūṣa is presented following the same lines of Bṛhat Jātaka and Phaladīpikā (1.8).
Further informations on rāśis Shape, Graha lordship, sandhis, names, mode of ascension, modality, colors, etc., of the rāśis are presented concisely (1.5-20) through the 1th chapter. The solar and lunar halves of the zodiac are presented (3.9-10). Lengthy of ascension (3.37-38), etc., are some additional informations presented in the 3th chapter. Additional informations about directions, mūla-dhatu-jīva rāśis, etc., are given (1.5-9) in the 1th chapter. Very detailed informations are given in the 1th adhyaya. It is superior to all the other classics in content on rāśis.
Varga calculation Varahāmihira makes use of ṣaḍ-varga (1.6-12). He also quotes a different kind of calculation for horā and drekkāṇa (1.12). Kalyāna employs sapta-varga. The varga calculation is presented in the 3th chapter. Daśa, sapta and ṣaḍ-varga schemes are presented in the cp. 3. Mantreśvara employs a different kind of calculation for D16 (3.6). Daśa-varga is used by Vaidyanātha (1.30-43). He also quotes the ṣaḍ and sapta-varga scheme (1.461/2-481/2).
Drekkāṇa The division of the body based on the D3 and how to interpret it is described in 5.24-26. The figures of the 36 drekkāṇas are treated in the 27th chapter. The division of the body based on D3 is given with a brief description on how to interpret it (4.3-6). Different categories of drekkāṇas, like sarpa, chatuśpāda, etc., are described (3.13). The sarpa, paśa, nīgaḍa and pakṣī drekkāṇas are described (5.55), as well as the khara (5.56).
Utility of the vargas 21th chapter deals with the results of the Grahas/lagna in the vargas. Without knowledge of the vargas, one cannot lay even a step forward in the direction of astrology (3.12). Chapter 3th talks about vargas. Vargas are treated in the 1th chapter.
Vaiśeṣikāṁśa - - It is considered (3.7-10) with a different approach from Parāśara. The definition of vaiśeṣikāṁśa (1.44-461/2) is different from that of Phaladīpikā.
Vargottama Varahāmihira says that the 1th, the central and the last navāṁśa for movable, fixed and dual rāśis are the vargottama places (1.14). Same definition of Varahāmihira. Kalyāna further says that the person becomes important in his circle when he has a vargottama lagna (3.13). Same definition of Varahāmihira is presented (3.1). Same definition of Varahāmihira (1.34).
Bhāvas Varahāmihira concisely exposes the matters of bhāvas (1.15). He also talks about upachayas, kendras, different names of bhāvas, like tapa for 9th, etc (1.16-18). Ślokas 26-33 of the cp. 3 gives definitions of bhāvas. He also shows how kendra, panaphara and apoklima divide the life span in three phases (3.32). Expressions used for the bhāvas (1.10-16), the concept of hidden houses (1.16), divisions of bhāvas in dusthānas, kendras, etc., (1.17-18) are all treated by Mantreśvara. Many names are given to the bhāvas and their classifications are also presented (1.40-55).
Sources of strength for the bhāvas The aspect of Mercury, Jupiter or the own lord is recognized by Varahāmihira (1.19). Agreeing with Varahāmihira, Kalyāna add the aspect of a friend of the bhāveśa (3.25). The calculation of bhava-bala is described in the 4th chapter. The aspect or occupation of benefics or of their own lords and free from malefic influence confers good results (1.55).
Source of strength for the planets Ṣaḍ-bala is considered in the 2th chapter. The 4th chapter deals with ṣaḍ-bala. The 4th chapter deals with ṣaḍ-bala. Chandrakriya, Chandra avasthās and Chandravelas is also mentioned. From the 33th śloka to the 40th śloka of the 2th chapter sources of strength including the ṣaḍ-bala are mentioned.
Mṛtyu bhāgas - They are mentioned in (10.111-114). They differ from those bhagas given in Sārāvalī (13.10). The degrees indicated are different from those of Phaladīpikā (1.57).


- - - All the puṣkāra-bhāgas are indicated (1.58).
Characteristics of the Grahas The descriptions of Grahas as well as their balas (strengths) are given in the 2th chapter. Varahāmihira says that Mercury is a śūdra and that Saturn is a chandala (2.7), a view that persists in Phaladīpikā, Sārāvalī and Jātaka Pārījāta. The descriptions are given in the 4th chapter including the ṣaḍ-bala.


Descriptions of the results of the Grahas based on their positions and of the different strengths gained by them is described in the 5th chapter

Phaladīpikā agree with Bṛhat Jātaka about the Grahas, but it gives a more detailed description of them through his 2th chapter. It mentions the different kārakas for father and mother in case of day and night births (2.25). A relation between the planets and the five senses is also given in this chapter (2.26). A very long and detailed description of the Grahas and their ṣaḍ-bala is given in the 2th chapter which includes their division as luminous, tārā and chaya (2.8), a relation of them with the four vedas (2.15), their avasthās (2.16-18), kārakas of the bhāvas (2.51), kāraka-bhāva-naṣṭa (2.52), strength of the Grahas in Graha-yuddha (2.60), etc.
Rāhu & Ketu - They are not mentioned in the 4th chapter on Graha descriptions. Descriptions of them as well as their relationships are given (2.33-35). They (and Gulika) are also said to have enmity with the Sun (2.26). The rāśis in which they get strength is mentioned (4.5). Some descriptions of them are given through the 2th chapter and it includes their places of strength (2.68 and 2.71).
Upagrahas & aprakasa grahas - - A complete chapter on them are given in the 25th chapter. In the 5th verse of the 4th chapter a source of strength for Pariveśa and Indrachapa is presented. The upagrahas and aprakasa grahas are mentioned in 2.4-5, and Gulika’s results in 9.1-9.
Dṛṣṭis (aspects) Graha dṛṣṭis are considered (2.13). Graha dṛṣṭis are considered (4.32-33). Graha dṛṣṭis are considered and only the aspect of 7th house although he mentions that some scholars consider special dṛṣṭis also (4.9). Graha dṛṣṭis are considered (2.30-31)
Gems - - The gems of the Grahas are given (2.29). It is also mentioned in Jātaka-Pārījāta (2.21).
Bādhaka - - - The bādhaka concept is presented (2.48)
Counteracting Grahas - - - Mercury counteract Rāhu, Saturn counteract Mercury, etc (2.73-74).
Diseases and problems caused by the Grahas - - The 14th chapter is dedicated to this matter. Descriptions of diseases and other problems are given (2.75-81).
Avasthās - Diptādi avasthās and their effects are described (5.2-13). Bālādi avasthās are differently described (5.47-50). Some avasthās (diptādi) are described (3.18-20). Diptādi (2.16-18), bālādi (2.84) and jāgrādi avasthās (2.85) are described.
Retrogression - An exalted planet in retrogression loses his power (5.14). Benefics gain strength to do good and malefics to do bad when retrograde (5.39). A retrograde planet is termed strong even when in debilitation (4.4). In the 2th chapter when talking about things that strengthen the Grahas, he mentions the retrogression as well.
Manifold births 3th chapter is dedicated to it. 55th chapter. - 3th adhyaya is dedicated to it.
On conception and the conditions at birth The 4th and 5th chapters are dedicated to it. 8th and 9th chapters are dedicated to this theme. - From the 11th to the 80th śloka of the 3th adhyaya, this is treated in a detailed manner.
Evils at birth The 6th chapter is dedicated to bālāriṣṭa yogas. The 10th chapter is entirely dedicated to this theme. In the 13th chapter, some yogas are described as well as the cause of death being related to the parents according to the year in which death occurs (3-4). 4th chapter deals with it. The first three ślokas deal with important matters.
Antidotes for the evils - 11th chapter is dedicated to lunar yogas capable of counteracting the evils.


The 12th chapter deals with other ariṣṭa-bhangas.

The 5th verse of the 13th chapter talks about remedial measures to be performed in the case of evils at birth.


Ślokas 20-24 deals with some ariṣṭa-bhangas.

The nullification of evils are described in the 71-107 ślokas of the 4th chapter.
On longevity The 7th chapter deals with longevity calculations. The method used is piṇḍayurdāya and it is based on Satyacharya teachings. The 40th chapter is dedicated to longevity calculations. It presents three methods: aṁśayu, piṇḍayu and nisargayu. 13th chapter deals with longevity. It presents a method of three pairs (13.14) which is unique. Many other yogas for different life spans are indicated. In the 5th adhyaya eight methods of longevity calculation are presented. There are certain conditions for the use of this methods. The determination of the māraka graha/daśā/transit is also described in this same chapter as well as the conditions of death and the destination after this (5.72-124).
22th drekkāṇa - Ślokas 22-45 of the 47th chapter talks about the 22th drekkāṇa and its effects. 17th chapter mentions the 22th drekkāṇa lord. The 22th drekkāṇa and the khara is described (5.56/5.72/6.11)
64th navāṁśa - - - The 64th navāṁśa lord from the Moon is described (5.53/5.56).
Bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ -- - - The relation of the rāśis with these three worlds is described (5.119).
Exit from the world 25th chapter. 47th chapter. The 17th chapter deals with this. The 14th with diseases, death, past and future births. The 6th chapter of this work deal with it in a very detailed manner.
Remedial measures - - Chapter 10th mentions some remedial measures. Remedial measures are recommended (2.83).
Lunar yogas 13th chapter deals with this. Varahāmihira gives the results of the yogas based on the Grahas forming them. The 13th chapter presents them with detailed descriptions of the Grahas forming the yogas. A different kind of sunapha and anapha yoga based on kendras is given (13.8-9). The 6th chapter deals with lunar and many other yogas. It also differentiate them as malefic or benefic kind. Ślokas 71-82 of the 7th chapter.
Solar yogas - 14th chapter deals with this including detailed descriptions of the Grahas forming the yogas. The 6th chapter deals with solar and many other yogas. It also differentiate them as malefic or benefic kind. Ślokas 121-124 of the 7th chapter.
Conjunction of Grahas 14th chapter gives the results of double planetary conjunctions. 15th to 19th chapter deals with conjunctions of two, three, four, five and six Grahas respectively. The 18th chapter talks about conjunctions of two planets. The 8th chapters talks about conjunctions of two, three, four, five and six Grahas.
Combinations for renunciation 15th chapter is dedicated to describe the ascetic yogas. 20th chapter deals with this including a description of various kinds of conjunctions of four or more Grahas. 27th chapter is entirely dedicated to this. In the 15th chapter, in the section which deals with 10th house, the pravrajya yogas are described.
Nakṣatras The 16th chapter details the results of the nakṣatra occupied by the Moon at birth. - 26th chapter talks about transits of planets through the nakṣatras, including the sarvatobhadra chakra. Janma-nakṣatra is described in 9.84-90. Calculations of viṁśottarī daśā from different nakṣatras are mentioned in the 18th chapter.
Source of livelihood The 10th chapter is entirely dedicated to this. 33th chapter talks about 10th house and the planets in 10th from Moon and ascendant. The 5th chapter is entirely dedicated to this and includes the 10th from the Sun also. The 15th chapter deals with this in the section about 10th house.
Yogas Rāja, nābhasa, lunar, dvīgraha, pravrajya, miśra and bhanga yogas are all treated in chapters 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 22th and 23th. Lunar, solar, rāja, rāja yoga bhanga, mahāpurūṣa yogas are treated in the chapters 13th, 14th, 35th, 37th and 39th respectively. The 6th chapter deals with a lot of yogas, including three kinds of parivartana yoga, twelve bad and good yogas related to the bhāvas, etc. The 6th chapter deals with yogas bhangas and the 7th chapter deals with rāja and many other kinds of yogas.
Rāja yogas 11th chapter. 35th chapter. 7th chapter. 7th chapter.
Nabhasa yogas 12th chapter deals with 32th nabhasa yogas in a concise form. 32 kinds of these yogas are treated in the 21th chapter. The 39-41 śloka of the 6th chapter gives the sāṅkhya nabhasa yogas. 7th chapter deals with them.
Effects of the Grahas in the rāśis The 17th chapter deals with the results of the Moon’s rāśi and the 18th with the results of the other Grahas. The 19th chapter with aspects on Moon’s rāśi. From 22th to 29th chapter the effects of the Grahas in the rāśis receiving the aspects of other Grahas are described. - Ślokas 39-55 of the 8th chapter talks about it.
Effects of Grahas in the bhāvas The 20th chapter deals with it concisely. 30th chapter deals with this in a much more detailed form than any other classic. The 8th chapter is entirely dedicated to this. Ślokas 56-99 of the 8th chapter talks about it.
Lagna-rāśi and its vargas 7th śloka of 21th chapter talks about navāṁśa lagna. Chapters 48-51 deals with ascendants and their horas, drekkāṇas and navāṁśas. 9th chapter. Ślokas 104-121 of the 9th chapter deals with ascendants, their horas, drekkāṇas, navāṁśas and dvadāṣāṁśas.
Bhāva effects - Chapter 32 and 33 deals with the results of 9th and 10th bhāva. 34th chapter deals with other bhāvas. Chapter 10 and 12 deals with 5th and 7th bhāva. 15th and 16th chapter talks about the results of all the bhāvas. Chapter 11 to 15 deals extensively with the results of all the 12 bhāvas.
Aṣṭakāvarga 9th chapter. Chapters 53 and 54. The 54 gives the results of BAV of all the Grahas. Chapters 23 and 24. The 24th is given according to Horā sārā. The 10th chapter.
Female horoscopy 24th chapter. 46th chapter. 11th chapter. 16th chapter.
Year, month, tithī, etc., results - - In the 10th chapter, śloka 15th the tithīs are mentioned as well as some karaṇas. The 9th chapter deals extensively with year, month, tithī, day of birth, etc.
Prone & supine - - - Grahas which are before the Sun is called prone and those who are behind supine. Supine Grahas produce happiness and wealth (2.70).
Daśās Mūla and Nisarga daśā is mentioned in the 8th chapter.[no sub-daśa] In the chapter 41th the Mūla and Nisarga daśā are explained. Chapters 42-44 deals with the effects of sub-periods, evil effects of daśās and the antidotes for evil daśās, respectively. In the 19th chapter the Viṁśottarī daśā is given, with its results being explained in chapter 20th and 21th. The 22th chapter deals with Kālachakra, Nisarga, Aṁśa and Pindayur daśā. It also mentions different stars for calculating daśās. The 17th chapter deals extensively with Kālachakra daśā and the 18th chapter with Viṁśottarī and Śūla daśā. Different stars for daśā calculation and the Navatāra scheme are also mentioned.
Transits Daśā praveśa chakra is mentioned in chapter 8th. Chapters 41th and 44th talks about the daśā praveśa chakra in some ślokas. Chapter 26th deals with transits from Moon, nakṣatras and sarvatobhadra chakra. It also mentions the vedhas of all the Grahas. Ślokas 6-9 of the 18th chapter deals with daśā praveśa chakra.
Naṣṭa jātaka 26th chapter. Chapters 48-51 deals with lagna and its vargas for rectification. Chapter 52th deals with naṣṭa jātaka calculation. - -
Conclusion Varahāmihira is the son of the brahmin Adityadāsa, from whom he received his knowledge. He says that he received the boon of Sūrya-deva and due to his worship of him as well as of Vaśistha and his father Adityadāsa that he composed this work (28.9-10). - Mantreśvara, an astrologer and brahmin born in Tirunveli, says that by the grace of godess Sukun he did this work for the enjoyment and benefit of other astrologers (28.5-6). Vaidyanātha, the son of the illustrious Venkadatri, mentions that was by the grace of the Sun and other planets that he did this work, which contains the nectar of the horary science (18.177).


Course Index


  • Bṛhat Jātaka translation and commentary of N. Chidambaram Aiyar, second edition – 1905.
  • Phaladīpikā translation and commentary of Dr. G. S. Kapoor, edition of 2012.
  • Sārāvalī translation and commentary by R. Santhanam, edition of 2014.
  • Jātaka Pārījāta translation and notes by V. Subramanya Sastri, edition of 2014.


Hari Om Tat Sat