By far the most popular dasha system in Vedic astrology is the Vimshottari dasha system. And it should be. Sage Parashara says in the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra:
"Dashas are of many kinds. Amongst them Vimshottari is the most appropriate for the general populace." - ch. 46 v. 2-5
Click here to read more quotes about Vimshottari dasha.
As accurate as the Vimshottari dasha is, it still can't give the entire picture of the results of a given time period. Why else would there be dozens of other dasha systems available that astrologers can use? Many of these other dasha systems are conditional dashas, meaning that they are only applicable if certain planetary combinations exist in the chart. Of the general, unconditional dashas like Vimshottari dasha, Yogini dasha is probably the next best to use.
Why use more than one dasha system? Simply because it increases predictive accuracy. In the interview with K.N. Rao that was posted recently, he said "If you can do it (combine multiple dasha systems), your predictions can maintain an average of eighty five percent success rate. However, it takes skill to see that the results of two dashas do not clash. They give the same results, but they have to be seen intelligently."
Ideally, an astrologer should use at least two dashas, but three or four is even better. Yogini is a great dasha to add, but the main problem with it is that its cycle is only 36 years long. Consequently, most people will experience two or perhaps three cycles of Yogini dasha in a lifetime. It's because of this that many astrologers in India have dismissed its relevance entirely. How can you interpret the same cycle that a person had 36 years prior in a different, relevant way? However, in some Himalayan regions of India, like Garwhal, Yogini dasha has been heavily emphasized for centuries. What is their secret?
There are only two books on Yogini dasha available that I'm aware of: Applications of Yogini Dasha, by Rajeev Jhanji and N.K. Sharma, and Predict Effectively Through Yogini Dasha, by V.P. Goel. Both are excellent books, and both were written by teachers at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, at K.N. Rao's encouragement. Rao wrote the forewords to both books, and in both of them he talks about the problem of using a 36 year dasha system. He also discusses how the problem can be solved through the use of a progressed lagna. In the first book, Applications of Yogini Dasha, he shares how he found out about a secret way that the lagna is progressed, but unfortunately the method wasn't revealed to him. In the second book, Predict Effectively Through Yogini Dasha, he talks about how the author, V.P. Goel, discovered through his own original research how to progress the lagna.
What does a progressed lagna mean? In this context it means that the chart is read from an alternate lagna (ascendant) for the duration of the Yogini dasha. This lagna gets progressed, or moves forward, with each change of the dasha lord.
Now let's read some of these excerpts from forewords written by K.N. Rao in both of these books:
Excerpt from Applications of Yogini Dasha, by Rajeev Jhanji and N.K. Sharma (published in 1994)
I have had no prejudice against Yogini dasha unlike some well-known astrologers of India who reject it because it has a very short cycle of 36 years only. The ticklish question was how to apply this dasha in the cases of those who had crossed the age of 36 and were less than 72 years when two cycles of Yogini dasha would be over. The more ticklish problem was how to use this for persons above the age of 72 years when the third cycle of Yogini dasha would be in operation.
My problem was solved accidentally when during my career as a government officer, I heard that a peon (the lowest rung in an official hierarchy) had predicted to someone in the office about an impending danger to his health which did happen. I called the peon, who was from Garwhal, a Himalayan state in northern India, and asked him how he had made that prediction. He told me that he first used Yogini dasha and then combined the Vimshottari dasha. Then he told me that he progressed the Yogini dasha according to the age of the man concerned and gave me some future predictions which came out correct. How he did this progression he never explained to me. He wanted to keep it as a family secret, the parampara (tradition) secret, which he had been instructed by his father, also his guru, not to disclose it to anyone. I was convinced that Yogini dasha worked in all cases whatever the age of the native, if it was combined with the Vimshottari dasha. But I do not know how Yogini is progressed yet.
Excerpt from Predict Effectively Through Yogini Dasha, by V.P. Goel (published in 2002)
For many decades we have been doing research (at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Institute in New Delhi) in the use of different dashas given in Parashari and Jaimini texts. While now some of the Jaimini dashas have come into effective use, the nakshatra dashas of Parashara needed extensive and original research to discover effective predictive tools.
A controversy arose in the case of Yogini dasha mainly because of its shortness, being a dasha with only a 36 year cycle. Life is not a story of exact replication of events of the first 36 years in the next 36 years. How is the riddle to be unraveled?
Different students worked on it and came up with their own researches, some of which have been published in the Journal of Astrology both in Hindi and English.
Then one day Mr. V.P. Goel told me and the class that he has solved the riddle and briefly it was:
1. Yogini dasha will have to be progressed and the starting point for each cycle will have to be different to avoid mechanical repetition of the readings for the first cycle. It was logical and he demonstrated with some horoscopes both in the classroom and at my place.
2. The one major problem in Yogini dasha is that with only eight Yogini it can only cover twenty four nakshatras out of twenty seven, leaving out three or necessitating the clubbing of the three with other nakshatras to make it all a harmonious scheme. Mr. Goel solved this problem by taking up the first three nakshatras, Ashwini, Bharani, and Krittika and clubbing them with Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada, and then Revati.
I am happy that with this book the riddle of Yogini dasha is solved very satisfactorily and there can be improvements on this research which is a major breakthrough. It is necessary to state so here because the late Hardeo Sharma Trivedi never used Yogini dasha because he thought that the second and third cycles of this dasha would lead to a mechanical interpretation. But I know of many Garhwali astrologers who use Yogini dasha invariably and prefer it to any other dasha for their major predictions. I also know that they have some secret technique of progressing it, which they have not revealed. This is similar to what is known as the Paramayu dasha of Kumaon (Nainital and Almora areas) which is used only to calculate the span of life. The Paramayu dasha works well, resembles Vimshottari dasha, but its calculation remains a secret even now.
If one riddle of Yogini dasha is solved, as has happened in this research, we can proceed confidently to its multifarious uses and applications in many aspects of life.
reprinted with permission
So these are excerpts from the forewords to both books on Yogini dasha. What K.N. Rao doesn't go into in the second one is exactly how the progressed lagna that V.P. Goes discovered is calculated. The book explains this in detail. Basically, what you have to know is that each Yogini dasha is traditionally linked to a nakshatra. If you start from the Moon's birth nakshatra (janma nakshatra) then you can proceed one nakshatra forward with each change in the Yogini mahadasha lords. For instance, if your Moon is in Rohini nakshatra at birth then your first Yogini dasha will be Siddha (Venus), because Rohini is associated with Siddha (Venus). After Siddha (Venus) dasha comes Sankata (Rahu) dasha which is linked to Mrigashira which is the next nakshatra. So the nakshatra linked with the Yogini dasha becomes the progressed lagna. This lagna can be used to interpret the effects of the Yogini dasha, in addition to the normal interpretation of the dasha from the ascendant, like with Vimshottari dasha.
The trick is what nakshatra to progress to after Revati, the last nakshatra of the zodiac. It's linked with Ulka (Saturn) and in the Yogini dasha sequence Siddha (Venus) follows Ulka (Saturn). But the next nakshatra after Revati, is Ashwini, which is linked to Bhramari (Mars). This is a problem that V.P. Goel solved by combining or clubbing together the last three nakshatras, Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada, and Revati, with the first three nakshatras, Ashwini, Bharani, and Krittika. Then the progression after Revati jumps to Rohini, and the Yogini dasha sequence remains harmonious with Siddha (Venus) following Ulka (Saturn).
V.P. Goel's groundbreaking book, Predict Effectively Through Yogini Dasha, goes into much detail on all aspects of Yogini dasha, along with many examples.
V.P. Goel is an engineering consultant for Defense Research and Development projects. In 1999 and 2000 he was awarded Gold Medals for Jyotish Alankar and Jyotish Acharya as a student at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He was then invited by K.N. Rao to join the faculty. He has written two other books on little used dasha systems: Predicting Through Shodashottary Dasha, which was discussed in a previous article, Bill Clinton and Shodashottary Dasha, and Predicting Through Shasti Hayana Dasha.