Atma Karaka: The King & The Concept of Asta Chara-Karakas

ॐ भवाय नमः

The Soul

The soul also called Atma (आत्मा ) is eternal spark of Divine which resides in Heart Chackra (ह्रद चकरा). The atma is manifested from Shiva himself as a spark of light, equal in size to a strand of hair. The body needs soul in order to be alive as it is divine engine or energy that breaths prana (life) into a body created by Divine Mother (Prakriti).

All living creatures have a soul, and this soul is a part of sarva-atma i.e. the all or eternal soul i.e. Shiva. The different species of living creatures are because of the desire of Divine Mother to manifest. The Mother created different forms of body and atma was put to give life. Therefore it is always the mother who creates the body of the child but the soul (seed) is given by the father. The soul always comes from father, so the child will always be born in the same religion (Dharma) of father.

The Sun is vedic astrology is significator of Sarva Atma (Soul of All) as he represents The Father.


Soul is White Light

The Soul is made of white light. This white light made up of 8 colors or there 8 different parts to soul. This soul when enters into a body is bound in the body by 8 bondages called Asta Bandhana. Here Asta means 8 and Bandhana means bondage.
There also 8 planets that give bondage to soul, the only planet that frees is Moksha karaka Ketu. (Mosksha means emancipation and Karaka means significator.

What is Karaka

The word Karaka has very deep meaning and it very difficult to translate in English. Karaka means doer, significator or the one who delivers the result. The karaka is the one who controls the destiny or outcome of what it signifies.

There 3 main types of Karaka in Vedic Astrology.

  • Naisargika Karaka
  • Sthira Karaka
  • Chara Karaka

Chara Karaka

The Chara karakas are based on the degrees of planets in zodiac sign.
Example: A planet at Aries 27’33” will be higher than planet at Cancer 22’45”
Chara Karakas are therefore will be different for everybody based on there planetary degrees.
The word Chara means changing or moving therefore Chara karaka means the karakas which will be changing from person to person based on their planetary degrees at birth.

There are 8 chara karakas and these represent 8 parts of the white light that made up the soul. The planet with the highest degree becomes chief and represents the soul, or self (King) and is called Atma karaka.

There are 8 Chara Karakas Atma Karaka being the most important one. The following are the asta chara karakas:

  1. Atma Karaka (AK): The planet with highest degree in a sign. The AK is most important planet of chart. AK is the King controls everything.
  2. Amatya Karaka (AmK): The second in command. AmK is the minister and governs the professional and work life.
  3. Bhatri Karaka (BK):- It represents the Guru (teacher) and Siblings. One’s Brothers are strength and so is the knowledge.
  4. Matri Karaka (MK): MK represents the mother and the mother land. It is also your connection to your home.
  5. Pitri Karaka (PiK): PiK represents the father and forefathers. The blessings or curses of ancestors.
  6. Putra Karaka (PuK): PuK is our children and students. It is the next generation.
  7. Gyati Karaka (GK): GK is all the relatives and society around you.
  8. Dara Karaka (DK): DK is planet with the lowest degree. DK presents the wife which is also called Dara.

Note there 8 karakas here so we will take Rahu also. Depending on the Degree of Rahu, he will become any one of the above karakas.
Ketu has no karaka as he is emancipation from these 8, therefore he is called moksha karaka.
Rahu is always retrograde so for this purpose we will subtract the degrees of Rahu from 30 to get which karaka he has in the chart.

There is major dispute among Astrologers of Internet whether there are 7 or 8 chara karakas. There 8 chara karakas for jeeva atma (living things) and 7 chara karakas for jada atma (non living things)

Atma Karaka

The planet with the highest degree becomes the atma karaka. The word atma karaka means the significator of the soul. There are 8 lights, which color dominates your soul, is shown by atma karaka. The color attached to the soul is the sin and karma, that we have to shed in this world. This the reason we were born. Once the souls becomes white again, it will go back to the originator.
Therefore atma karaka is planet with the highest karmic debt in our life, so it controls our whole life, therefore he is the king. All yogas, rajyogas, etc will fail if AK does not desires so as we do have have the karma for that. All bad yogas will turn into good if AK says so. This is power of AK. He controls our whole life, and even after life, as the soul never dies. A planet will continue to be AK for many lives as long as its karma is not finished.

No planet can disobey the AK. Planets in disharmony with AK will be destroyed, and that part of life will also be filled with miseries. If AK is under a curse or afflicted no matter what good yogas are there, the person will always suffer. This suffering will be from soul, the highest pain a person can feel. AK in curse, debilitated, combust, or MKS are very bad.

Planets as AK

  • SUN:
    Longs for power and value. Will have ego problems. They have to overcome their ego. Their ego may ruin their relationships. They have the potential of becoming very spiritual.
  • MOON:
    Gentle and loving deposition. Will try to become popular in society. They should be caring and should understand that the whole world is family. Will always long for more people to appreciate them.
  • MARS:
    Prone to violence and aggression. They should learn to be gentle and practice self restraint. Should not become very competitive. They will need a lot caring from their mothers.
  • MERCURY:
    Should control their speech. They may be misunderstood by others as their speech may not be direct. Should not argue. They should try to be happy and playful. They will love to gather information.
  • JUPITER:
    Loves to gather knowledge. Should study religious texts and follow their religious dictates, for success. They have to stop thinking that they know everything, and accept knowledge when it comes.
  • VENUS:
    Passionate and loving deposition. Gives high value to relationships. They should control their lust and excessive sexuality. They are very protective but should not become jealous.
  • SATURN:
    Gets depressed easily. They might see sorrow in life. They should not hurt others. They can fight sorrows of other. They need to be more active and always maintain purity of body, mind and action.
  • RAHU:
    This is an extreme planet to have AK. The person may become highest saint or be devoured by consumption of the material world. They should not cheat anyone, also should careful as others may cheat them.

ॐ गुरवे नमः

Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the highest saint India has seen. Rahu as AK in ayush exaltation. Rahu is also the ascendant lord and he was also born on amavasya. He legacy is eternal.


Swami Vivekananda

Sun AK in Ascendant and vargotamma. He revived the Hinduism and brought back the Vedas. Established Ramkrishna Mission. Sun AK is Dhanu is saint of highest order. An incarnation of Rishi.


Pt. Sanjay Rath
Jyotish Guru

Pt. Sanjay Rath is a Vedanga Jyotish Guru. He is also my Vedanga Jyotish Guru, and everything I write has been taught by him only.
Saturn AK in own sign. Very strong atma karaka, in 11th house of Guru Upadesha. Resigned from Indian Administrative Services (Highest Civil Service in India) to teach jyotish as per the wish of his Guru.
He has Hamsa Maha Purusha Yoga in Lagna and is aspected by Saturn AK. He is real jyotish king of India. Saturn AK has given him traditional jyotish, he belongs from a family of Raj Jyotish Brahmins. He has cured thousands of people, and freed them from their sorrows through his jyotish.


Chara Karaka, Vedic Astrology, Vedic Concepts , , , , , ,

Written by Akshat Pandey

Akshat Pandey, belongs to a brahim family from Prayagraj, India. He completed his Law School, from prestigious Symbiosis Law School. After graduation he was initiated into a 500 year old Jyotish Parampara (Vedic Astrology Tradition) of Shri Achutadasa, Jagannath Puri. He practices vedic astrology from Brihat Parashara Hora Sastra, Upadesa Sutra of Maharashi Jaimini and other various vedic texts. His approach to vedic astrology is very modern one, as he wants to imbibe vedic knowledge in our modern lifestyle.

3 comments

  1. Nice post on Atma Karakas (AKs) and how to use ashta chara karaka scheme with an explanation for Rahu. Please help readers further by clarifying the following doubts:

    1) You have clarified that the soul is white light. Among the eight chara AKs, Venus seems to be the one that represents white color as white pearls and white clothes are associated with it. Does this mean that all souls with Venus as AK are automatically closer to attaining moksha (salvation)?

    2) You have mentioned about AK that:
    “All yogas, rajyogas, etc will fail if AK does not desires so as we do have have the karma for that. All bad yogas will turn into good if AK says so. This is power of AK. He controls our whole life, and even after life, as the soul never dies.”

    Does this necessarily mean that if the native does not live in accordance with the rules or traditions required as specified by their AK, – for example, someone with Mercury AK who talks too much or with Mars AK who fights too much – in this life (janma) itself, the prevalent raja yogas in the chart will not come to fructify or get nullified?

    3) You have stated that:
    “A planet will continue to be AK for many lives as long as its karma is not finished.”

    From material about AK on the web, there is an understanding that the lord of the navamsa occupied by the AK (karakamsa) becomes the AK in the subsequent life, in case moksha (salvation) is not attained at the end of this life. For example, if Mars as AK occupies Leo navamsa for a native in this life, then Sun will become the AK in the subsequent life. According to your post, this may not be the case. Please explain.

    4) You have also mentioned about AK that:
    “No planet can disobey the AK. Planets in disharmony with AK will be destroyed, and that part of life will also be filled with miseries. If AK is under a curse or afflicted no matter what good yogas are there, the person will always suffer. This suffering will be from soul, the highest
    pain a person can feel. AK in curse, debilitated, combust, or MKS are very bad.”

    What will happen in the below three scenarios:
    (i) Venus as AK is in MKS in navamsa (D-9) chart but is exalted in the shashtiyamsa (D-60) chart? Do merits of the past lives automatically continue to protect the native from any bad karma performed in this life?

    (ii) Jupiter as AK is combust and in MKS in rasi (D-1) chart? Since the same planet might have been AK or may continue to be AK in the immediate past and future lives, is there any way in which the native can remedy such a curse?

    (iii) Moon as AK is in MKS either in the rasi (D-1) or navamsa (D-9) charts, more so because moon has a significant influence on the mind?

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  2. Thank you Abhishek. Here are the clarifications to your answer.
    1. Venus is violet light is color spectrum. The white color you mentioned is outer color for manifested world, based on their devata and svarupa. No atma karaka is more closer to moksha. Mosksha is seen from Karakaamsha, and its 12th house. Ista devata gives moksha not AK.

    2. AK will dominate, the becoming the AK is weakness we have to overcome in order to advance in spiritual path. AK will dominate, if any the Karma of AK is not finished you will be reborn. At times AK is not at all activated in life, so there is no karmic debt paid. AK is the planet whose karma is most and you have cut this karma in the life given.

    3. Dont go what is available on net. The lord of Karakamsha is not going to be AK in next life. We need to finish the karma of AK first to move on.

    4. Affliction to AK in D9 is more problematic that D60. D9 is filter of D60. D9 is what karma from D60 (past life) you will get in this life, so D9 is more direct and impacts life more.

    AK remedies are there but for that we need to study all in detail.
    Moon AK really have issues as they are very sensitive.

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