Numbers and arithmetical calculation has great use in astrology for quick and effective predictions. Arithmetical calculations form the basis of astrological predictions through Ashtakavarga. Asthakavarga system in astrology is independent of its kind and can effectively be used as a comprehensive tool of predictions by an able astrologer who has depth in this branch of astrology. Maharishi Parashar has referred to Asthakavarga system in his great work ‘Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra’ (BPHS). Both Natal, Dasha and transit result of the planets can effectively be studied with the help of Asthakavarga in a perfect scientific way.
Asthakavarga is a three-tier system of astrological assessment, which starts with preparation of Prashtharaka of 7 core planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter & Saturn) including Ascendant, followed by preparation of seven individual Bhinnastaka of the core planets including Ascendant and finally summarizing the combine planetary contributions reflecting through Sarvashtaka. Rahu and Ketu are excluded in the preparation of Asthakavarga Chart. They are dealt with in a separate approach here. A house is considered strong in Sarvashtaka if it has atleast 28 benefic bindus and more. In Bhinnastaka, a planet is considered strong and capable of giving benefic result if it is associated 5 or more benefic bindus in its own Bhinnastaka. More the number of benefic bindus, greater the benefic effect. I have through my experience in astrology have noticed that even an exalted benefic planet some time fails to deliver desired result if it does not have the required support of benefic bindus under Ashtakavarga scheme. The astrologers who do not have indepth knowledge of different branches of Astrology including Asthakavarga obviously get puzzled in such a situation by noticing their well-considered predictions going wrong in some cases. Such a puzzling situation can better be described as enigma of Astrology. I do believe that astrology is not an easy chair study or a bedtime study just to get better sleep. It needs serious study as in the cases of any other important branches of studies to enable an astrologer to groom himself properly because he has to play the role of a pathfinder through his astrological predictions for those who seek his advises. An astrologer should be pious, intelligent with a research-oriented mindset to enable him to contribute his mite for a meaningful progress of this Divine Science.
Now resuming my discussion further on Asthakavarga, I would like to highlight the importance of Prashtharaka, which is the elementary approach towards preparation of Asthakavarga. The transit minute details of the planets can meaningfully be analysed only with the help of Prashtharaka and Kakshya (arc) of individual planets. Samudaya Asthakavarga unlike Sarvashtaka is a direct step down from Prashtharaka of individual 7 planets and Ascendant. Samudaya Asthakavarga (SamAV) is Kakshya based concept and construction. SamAV is transit specific derivation from the Prashtharakas of the 7 planets. In contrast, SAV is Rashi-based concept indicating the strength of a sign on the basis of total number of SAV points. Total points both in the case of SAV and SamAV is 337.
I have my own doubt that any astrological prediction given basing on a single branch of Astrology without corroborating the same with atleast two/three other systems of Hindu Astrological way of predictions could have the chances of omission and commissions. An honest astrologer’s first approach should be to see if the birth time recorded is correct or not before proceeding to give any astrological predictions. Besides, an astrologer should have indepth knowledge of different branches of astrology including various Dasha Systems especially that of conditional Dashas and corroborate his prediction atleast with one conditional Dasha system in an attempt to make his predictions less vulnerable to error, shortcomings and fallibility.