In Vedic Astrology, Ashtakvarga finds important place. This is a great aid to Vedic Astrology particularly for timing the event through transiting planets. Besides, it indicates the strength of planets as well as houses.
Ashtakvarga is a samskrit word that can be divided into two syllables - one is Ashtak (Eight) and other is Varga (Chart.). So meaning of Ashtakvarga is Eight Charts. In Ashtakvarga, there are 8 source of reference - 7 planets only (Rahu & Ketu are shadow planets) and one Lagna. Lagna is something that has to perceive all the affects of all seven planets as per their accidental position in the horoscope. In return Lagna also influences planets. This is why Parashara has advocated to consider eight source of energy (7 planets & 1 Lagna) in Ashtakavarga. In this system, each and every planet including Lagna influences one and another in particular way or other w.r.t their natal position. In any horoscope ascendant is taken as the epitom of promises therein. So when Lagna is got influenced obviously other houses, which are in existence only due to Lagna, also get influenced. When such influence is to be shown in charts, eight charts are needed to prepare which are known Ashtakvarga.
Through Ashtakavarga, an astrologer studies and quantifies the mutual influence of planets in Prastar Ashtakvarga, Bhinnashtaka Varga, Sarvashtakavarga and Samuday Ashtakvarga (for Gochar) with respect to their accidental placement in the Sign and Houses. In Vedic Astrology, there is no other astrological aid that reveals so demonstratively the matter under consideration. This is why, it has been said that through Ashtakavarga, even a dull astrologer also can predict the thing accurately.
(To be continued)