Vimshottari Dasha

The Vimshottari Dasha is a timing system used in Indian astrology. Dashas are said to divide the life of the native into periods of differing lengths, each ruled by different planets. According to Indian astrologers, the dashas are indications of when particular karmic influences have matured and are ready to be “enjoyed,” for better or worse (de Fouw & Svoboda p. 308).

The Vimsottari Dasha system is the most common dasha system in use today. It divides the life into increments totaling 120 (vimshottari means 120), which is presumed to be the optimal lifespan of a human being. The Vimshottari Dasha is also called the Nakshatra Dasha, as the years of life are parceled out to each of nine nakshatras, which embody 120 degrees of the zodiac.

Each of the nine maha dashas (or major periods) are ruled by one of the seven visible planets and then the final two are ruled by the Nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu. Each dasha period is divided into subperiods called bhuktis, which further impact the quality of the period (de Fouw & Svoboda, p. 320). Like other timing techniques, the nature of the placement and character of the dasha’s ruler is relevant to the analysis of how the native experiences the period, together with transits to the dasha lord during the time period.



De Fouw, Hart & Svoboda, Robert, Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, WI, 2003.


Article Information

  • Author(s): Claire Rootjes
  • Editing or additional contributions: Chris Brennan
  • Originally published: December 1, 2020
  • Last updated: December 1, 2020
  • Cite this article: Claire Rootjes, “Vimshottari Dasha,” The Astrology Dictionary, December 1, 2020, ‎