Writings & Articles

Atmakaraka - Knowing the Souls Desire

What we desire and do not get, all this we find by going in within ourselves. For here indeed are the true desires within the covering of the false. Just as those who do not know the field, walk again and again over the treasure of gold and do not find it. In the same way most of us go into the world of Brahma and do not find it; for we are carried away by our false desires and fail to recognize the true ones even though they are hidden within. Chandogya Upanishad (chapter 3: verse 2)

Atma means the soul and karaka means significator. Atmakaraka is the significator of the soul’s desire. According to the Vedic philosophy a soul is reborn because it has unfinished desires that were left unfulfilled in the previous lives and it is born again to get another opportunity to satisfy them. What are these desires? Will they be fulfilled or will you struggle with them? This revealed by the Atmakaraka planet. In my view the Atmakaraka is one of the most important planets in the natal chart.

The natural Atmakaraka is the Sun in all charts. The Atmakaraka of this article is the chara Atmakaraka. Usually when we refer to the personal Atmakaraka, we mean the Chara Atmakaraka. Chara means movable and one of eight planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu) can take over the mantle of Atmakaraka depending on its degrees in the natal chart. The planet that has the highest degree, ignoring the signs, is considered the chara Atmakaraka. Due to its perpetual retrograde motion, Rahu Ketu degrees are calculated by subtracting from 30º. (However other retrograde planets are calculated in the usual way) For e.g. if Rahu Ketu are 15º 24’ in a chart, you minus this from 30º and the remaining degrees will be 14º36’. If this degree is greater than of any other planet then Rahu Ketu will be considered the Atmakaraka.

There is a disagreement regarding the use of Rahu as Atmakaraka. Some scholars only use 7 planets excluding Rahu, while others use 8, including Rahu. Ketu as the significator of moksha does not form part of the scheme of chara karakas. Moksha is the destination of the soul, the ultimate aim, it is not important in revealing the on the soul’s more worldly desires. As Rahu and Ketu form part of the karmic axis, Rahu will show Ketu’s desire for spiritual fulfillment. For many years I used 7 karakas only but now I am convinced of the need to include Rahu in this scheme. As Rahu links so strongly to the past lives and unfulfilled desires. Rahu’s role is invaluable in the search for answers in this life and the turmoil this causes as well as the soul’s ability to ultimately triumph over those uncontrollable desires.

The Atmakaraka reflects the spirit within us. But its outer expression does not always appear to be spiritual. We can be taken in by the illusionary natures of the desires and think that the satiation of the worldly desires is all what the soul wants. But it is important to understand that the fulfillment of the worldly desires is part of the process of unveiling of the true soul. The soul is treading the wheel of desire as the fulfillment of one set of material desires can create an ever-increasing appetite for more and more. These desires never become fulfilled. The true desire of the soul is to get off this wheel and find self-realization, peace and eternal happiness. The struggle between the real and the false has to be understood. The false desires are those we search for in the outside world. The true desires are satisfied from within. The basic struggle of the soul is to differentiate between the two and its inability to differentiate is the reason why it takes birth again and again.

Atmakaraka planet personify these struggles but also shows the path through life lessons (usually delivered during Atmakaraka dashas and bhuktis). Identifying with the materialistic goals is essential and we must not underrate these needs. The fact that the soul is born to earth shows that there is a worldly mission for the soul to complete before it is ready to understand the higher self. Experiences teach us to look for our higher self. There cannot be a fast track to moksha or self-realization. So it is important to recognize and complete the material goal- both the pleasant and the unpleasant. Without that achievement, you cannot go into the inner world and find your personal treasure of happiness. Atmakaraka will show you both the soul’s material goals and the spiritual ones. Not all of us can find the ultimate realisation but we can get slowly enlightened.

The truly revelation of the soul has to be a personal experience. Atmakaraka shows us the true desires of the soul, whether we recognize them or not depends on us.

Atmakaraka Analysis

Prince William
21 June 1982, 21:03 GMT, Paddington, England

Planet Sign
Sun 6º29’ Gemini
Moon 11º21’ Gemini
Mars 15º35’ Virgo
Mercury 15º21’ Gemini
Jupiter 6º52’ Libra
Venus 2º03’ Taurus
Saturn 21º53’ Virgo
Rahu 20º28’ Gemini
Ketu 20º28’ Sagittarius

1. The quality and strength of the Atmakaraka planet Saturn has the highest degrees, so it is the Atmakaraka for Prince William. Saturn’s quality of facing up to responsibility and taking your duty seriously are already evident in the young Prince. The soul lesson of Saturn as an Atmakaraka is loneliness as well as facing harsh lesson of life. Things he may already be familiar with.

2. The house where it is placed- for this you should evaluate both the Rasi chart and the Bhava charts. Dusthana (6th, 8th and 12th) house placement is usually difficult. Saturn is placed in the house of it’s friend Mercury and in the 10th house in both rasi and bhava where it is very powerful and in Dikbala.

3. The house the Atmakaraka rules shows the area from where you can find fulfillment or where you experience the life lessons/pain. When the Atmakaraka planet rules two houses, pay extra importance to the house which is it’s mooltrikona position. Saturn rules the 2nd and 3rd house. Its mooltrikona is the 3rd house (Aquarius) therefore William’s soul needs would be fulfilled from taking responsibility for his own actions. But this can be frustrating for him as he is part of the institution of monarchy where tradition and custom play an important part. His personal freedom can be restricted. But Saturn also rules the dhana bhava, the 2nd house. So the family wealth and inheritance are also important to him. He may compromise one to gain the other.

4. The aspects (planetary and rashi) and conjunctions – they can either aggravate or enhance the qualities. Saturn is placed with Mars, the auspicious 5th house ruler, so this quality of Mars will enhance Saturn. But Mars and Saturn have an inherently difficult relationship so they will be a conflict as well. There are no planetary aspects, the rashi aspects are from Rahu, Ketu, Sun and Moon. Rahu Ketu show the karmic nature of his life and they can create turmoil within his soul. The turbulence of the soul is usually buried deep and not always outwardly visible so there is no way of evaluating them. Sun as the 9th house ruler is giving its divine blessing to the Atmakaraka and Moon as the 8th house ruler shows that this soul will learn about itself through death and transformation.

5. Karakamsha- the position of the Atmakaraka in the navamsha. Saturn is placed in Cancer navamsha; therefore the karakamsha is Cancer. Saturn in the 3rd in navamsha is a good position and Saturn is also aspected by the karakamsha lord Moon and the navamsha ascendant ruler Venus.

6. The chart with Atmakaraka as the ascendant. When you turn the chart around to view the planets from Atmakaraka’s point of view, it explains the soul’s desires. This chart’s strength or weakness can change the quality of birth chart. The birth chart reflects the outer conditions of this birth; the Atmakaraka chart shows the obstructions and the support for the soul for fulfilling its duty. Atmakaraka is in Virgo and its lord Mercury is placed in the 9th house from it with the equally auspicious 9th lord, Venus. Sun, Moon and Rahu are in the 10th; Jupiter is in the 2nd house. All these are positive and supporting the soul on its path. Ketu’s position in the 4th house is the difficult one, showing the loss of his mother and the huge psychological effect it has had on William. This loss would have made him closer to his soul and made him differentiate from the real and the unreal desires. (this aspect of the soul can only be analyze but is difficult to confirm in a celebrity chart, but discussion with friends or clients about the effectiveness of the Atmakaraka chart will reveals its impact)

7. The chart with karakamsha as ascendant. Cancer is the Karakamsha, so you turn the rasi chart with Cancer as the ascendant. Here the soul’s sorrows are clearly indicated. The ruler of the karakamsha ascendant Moon is placed in the 12th house from itself. This is a new Moon, so it is considered weak. It is conjunct it’s greatest enemy Rahu, therefore it is further weakened. Moon is placed in Gemini- Moon is a friend of it’s ruler Mercury but Mercury does not like the Moon so this can be a difficult position. On the positive side, the Atmakaraka Saturn is placed in an upachaya house (3rd from the Karakamsha lagna) where it is strong. Venus and Mercury are in another upachaya (11th house) and Jupiter in the 4th house, shows that despite all the problems; he could find inner peace and happiness. But the karakamsha suggests that he can make mistakes where he creates his own losses. With Rahu in the 12th from karakamsha lagna in rasi, he should not allow his desires to overcome his otherwise strong and pragmatic self.

8. The connections between the lagna lord and the Atmakaraka in the ascendant and navamsha. The lagna lord Jupiter is placed in the 11th house and Atmakaraka is in the 10th house. They are in 2/12 house positions from each other. This position shows a lack of understanding between the path of this life and the soul’s desires. Because the lagna lord is placed in the 2nd house from the Atmakaraka, William would be able to profit from life lessons. But he may need to compromise. In the navamsha chart Lagna lord Jupiter and Atmakaraka Saturn are in the 6/8 house position from each other- again showing a conflict within the soul’s desires and the direction this life is taking him. William’s life as a Prince is not what his soul desires, but it is part of his soul experience to learn from it. Maybe he can use the qualities of Saturn to bring about fresh changes in the.

9. The strength of Atmakaraka is to be analyzed in all the varga charts. The position of the Vargesh- the ruler of varga rising sign, Atmakaraka and the rasi lagna ruler. This gives you the information about the soul’s fulfillment in specific areas It is impossible to study all the varga charts but we will study William’s Atmakaraka in the dasamsha chart for his future career indications. Both the lagna lord and the Atmakaraka are placed in the 12th house. This appears at odds with the position of William as the heir apparent of the British monarchy. Therefore it suggests to me that the timing of his birth may not be precise. Lagna lord and Atmakaraka in the12th house in Dasamsha show the rejection of his future role as a Monarch. At present William is showing no sign of doing so, he appears remarkably well adjusted publicly at least to his future role. If you move his birth time behind by 4 minutes to 8:59p.m. Rahu Saturn and Jupiter come into the lagna of the dasamsha, adding strength to the Atmakaraka. This would be powerful indication of William’s strength as the future King of England. Only the future will tell whether Prince William will give up his royal duties or embrace them. My reading is that the 4 minutes earlier time for Prince William’s birth is probably the right one. Even the most perfect birth times like the one of Prince William can be subject to small mistakes. Atmakaraka position in the varga chart can also become a tool for rectification.

10. Dashas and Bhuktis of the Atmakaraka planet can give profound experiences, they usually teach you a life lesson. Willliam was born in the Saturn bhukti of Rahu Dasha, indicating that the soul lessons started at birth. The two most import events of his life so far are directly connected to Saturn Bhukti in Jupiter Dasha. The decree absolute finalising the divorce of William’s parents was given on 28th August 1996 and The Death of his mother Diana - 31st August 97 both took place in Jupiter Dasha/ Saturn Bhukti. The Atmakaraka Saturn gave its most important lessons to him in its Bhukti changing his perception of life forever.

Atmakaraka Worldly Desires Spiritual Lesson
Sun Success, Fame, Power Letting go of the ego, humility
Moon Happiness, Love, Satisfaction Understanding Unhappiness;
Difference between true and false love
Mars Passion, Victory, Adventure Conceding defeat, patiene, unrequited passions
Mercury Intellectual superiority Crossing intellectual barriers, Divine communication, Learning to face the truth
Jupiter Children, Spirituality Tolerating other's spirituality, wisdom, putting your children before you, For women, imperfect husbands
Venus Sex, Relationships, Luxury, Sensuality Accepting relationships the way they are, avoiding excessive behavior, controlling sensuality
Saturn Democracy, Duty Facing harsh truths, loneliness
Rahu Achievment, Experience Disappointments, fears, doubts

© 1995-2019 Komila Sutton, All Rights Reserved


by Komila Sutton

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