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  • Writer's pictureDEEPA KANSRA

Dharma and Karma in Astrology

Dharma and karma are the two key concepts that define and shape the purpose and philosophy of astrology.

Dharma, can be defined as the "core nature" or "inner compass" of an individual. This inner core reflects in one's actions, thinking, and aspirations in life.

Karma on the other hand is "action". In the most basic sense, it is the "action" or "activity" one undertakes to live, survive, grow, and evolve.

The Horoscope

In the astrological sense, people are a reflection of their dharma and karma.

One can also see the concepts of dharma and karma being reflected in the description of houses, planets, signs, constellations in astrology.

While it is commonly felt that the entire horoscope (including all planets) is a reflection of one's dharma and karma, there are few classifications/combinations/alignments that have been associated with one's dharma and karma.

Examples of these classifications are-

- the dharma houses (1,5,9)

- the navamsa chart (D-9, divisional chart of the soul/fruits of life)

- the karmic planets such as Saturn, Rahu-Ketu etc.

- the karma houses

- 6th house in particular is the house associated with "present karma" i.e. karma of the present life, based on actions of the past.

Another example is of a benefic yoga called the Dharma Karma Adhipati Yoga. The yoga is formed when the dharma and karma houses in the horoscope make an alignment or combination (conjunction or aspects between their lords).

The coming together of the dharma and karma houses is seen as the merging of one's inner truth with one's outer actions.

Dharma and Karma-

the building blocks of life

Dharma and Karma influence the picture or design of one's life, as it is seen in the horoscope. In one way, one may call dharma and karma the building blocks of life.

On dharma and karma in everyday life, the following are few meanings one can find in the astrological texts;


1. Dharma and karma are timeless, meaning they evolve over many lifetimes. From the standpoint of the theory of reincarnation;

- Dharma- karma are the two "assets" which travel across lives.

- At any given point in time, the life of an individual is a reflection of his/her dharma and karma.


2. The notion of good karma or bad karma originates from the kind of actions one has done previously or in previous lives.

On this point, one may find classical astrological texts providing a framework to understand good karma and bad karma.

The concept of "bad karma" forms only a part of the overall understanding of one's life and karma.


3. Karma or action in alignment with dharma can be described as the highest action.

4. Karma can be seen as a reflection of one's dharma.


5. Peak experiences of happiness, fulfillment, and inspiration are experienced when dharma and karma align.


6. The most basic of questions about the purpose of life, spirituality, suffering, failure, aimlessness, etc. are questions related to one's dharma and karma.

7. Actions done against one's dharma can make one feel unhappy.


8. Astrology is a good guide to understand one's dharma. It is also a good guide to properly direct one's karma/choices/actions.

9. In terms of remedies, one can make attempts to harmonize the working of dharma and karma in the horoscope.


NOTE- The words dharma and karma are being used in the context of individuals i.e. as it is reflected in their horoscopes.


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