Navamsa (D9) in Vedic Astrology - It's real importance

I have been wanting to write about navamsa for quite some time and I have managed both time and mood to do so today.

There has been a healthy debate going in knowledgeable astro circles about the real importance of navamsa. At times learned astros have taken extreme positions but thankfully almost everyone agrees that navamsa does really matter. Question is, how much?

Let's look beyond hype, perceptions and outright falsehoods.

Navamsa is one of the vargas or sign divisions (and there are many vargas other than the navamsa). Navamsa and other divisional chart/diagram/matrix/table shows the relationship between houses, signs and planets in smaller dimensions. 

D9 and other vargas don't operate outside the scope of the rashi or D1 chart. Vargas make things as seen in D1 more specific and modified.

The most contentious part of disagreement on navamsa is the strength of planets to be seen from navamsa. Many people have taken extreme positions on this matter and I will bust all the myth with logical facts. 

One common scenario is if a planet occupies it's sign of debilitation in D1 and goes to it's sign of exaltation in D9, it's considered very strong. This has been even written by CS Patel in his navamsa book. If I recall correctly, he did that while quoting a shloka from Chandra kala nadi (Dev Keralam). I also see that he has specified navamsa in his translation for the generic word amsa/varga in the shloka which makes his interpretation debatable in its scope. 

If it was so simple and straightforward, then I would have expected this navamsa principle to have been mentioned prominently among neech bhanga rules ie. cancellation of debilitation in our classics. 

Without getting into neech bhanga debate and focusing on planetary strength here, the most important concept that resolves the difference is vimshopak bala or 20 points system of planetary strength.

Using vargas, there is a 20 point system of planetary strength called vimshopak bala given in the chapter called vargavivekodhyay (वर्गविवेकोध्याय) or chapter on varga wisdom (BPHS 8th chapter in most versions, verse 17/18).

In 6 different divisional charts or shad varga, the distribution of 20 points as assigned to each planet is as follows :

Rashi (D1) : 6 
Navamsa (D9) : 5 
Dreshkan (D3) : 4
Hora (D2) / Dwadasamsa (D12) : 2 each
Triamshamsa (D30) : 1

As you can see in vimshopak system of planetary strength, a planet gets 15 points out of 20 from D1, D9 and D3 alone which covers 75%.

So yes, navamsa is in fact very important for planets to be strong and give good results. It's second only to the D1. Is navamsa the only varga to be seen? Obviously NOT as we can see above. But if you are looking at D1, D9 and D3, you are pretty much 75% accurate in measuring the planetary strength. 

So, navamsa ALONE can't set the agenda but it's the captain of the team of vargas and all vargas operate within the scope of D1 rashi chart. 

In BPHS, there are other systems of divisions mentioned eg Sapta varga (7 vargas system), dashavarga (10 varga) and shodashvarga (16 varga system) wherein more divisions eg D16/D20 are included and the 20 points keep dividing across all vargas but the proportion is same ie D1 enjoys highest share, then D9 then D3 and so on. 

As a personal note, I follow shad varga ie 6 divisions varga as part of overall analysis because Varahamihir and later Kalyan Varma author of Saravali have used shad varga system. Even in BPHS, Sudarshan Chakra talks specifically about shad varga to ascertain not only planetary strength but also benefic and malefic nature of planets. I use the specific vargas that aren't covered in shad varga eg D10 or D24 when I wish to look closer at the relevant house eg career/education. 

So it looks like even CS Patel wrote about navamsa because of above principles, apart from the obvious shloka in CKN/DK.

So, planetary strength as well as its benefic/malefic nature is definitely impacted by navamsa but also by other vargas notably D3. That, I think clearly answers the question - HOW important navamsa is. 

Apart from the context of planetary strength and benefic/malefic behaviour of planet's, navamsa has other important significance in prognosis many of which I consider worth mentioning (below).

Please note these verses are specific about navamsa and don't use the generic term amsa/varga. 

1. Saravali chapter 41 (Mool dasha) shloka 19
It specifies the navamsa, not just amsa and writes specifically about the greatly reduced ability of a planet to give good results if it's in enemy or debilitated navamsa even if it occupies a favourable sign in D1 chart 

2. Jatakdesh marg chapter 10 shloka 12 talks about the result of houses where rashi and navamsa sign occupied by ascendant lord, Moon sign lord and lord of a specific house. 

3. Jatakdesh marg chapter 10 shloka 23
It says when Jupiter, karaka of a house and Moon transits the navamsa sign occupied by ascendant lord in birth chart, good events related to the said house takes place.

4. Sarvarth Chintamani Chap 2 verse 16
It specifies the navamsa while saying a planet in own navamsa gives good results, apart from other conditions ie own sign, own Dreshkan, mool trikon, etc.

5. Saravali Chap 3 verse 13
Definition of vargottama sign is clearly defined in terms of navamsa ie 1st navamsa in movable, 5th navamsa in fixed and 9th navamsa in dual signs are vargottama. 

6. Sarvarth Chintamani Chap 2 verse 7
It specifies navamsa while describing source of income as indicated by the planet in whose navamsa the 10th house lord is placed. This is articulated in many later classics eg Phaldeepika.

7. Saravali Chap 20 verse 22
It's about Pravajya yoga is formed when Moon is in Dreshkan (D-3)of Saturn and aspected by Saturn and Mars. If moon is in navamsa of Mars and aspected by Saturn, this is another form of Pravajya yoga.

8. Jataka Parijat Chap 5 verse 73
Based on the planet at 7th sign from the navamsa sign occupied by mandi at birth, the circumstances of native's death are mentioned. 

9. Sarvarth Chintamani Chap 2 verse 19
It specifies lord of the navamsa occupied by Saturn, mandi etc among the death inflicting planets.

10. Saravali Chap 24 verse 22
Moon gives the favourable results to the maximum in vargottam navamsa, medium in own navamsa and minimum in other navamsa. In case of unfavourable results, the order is reversed ie minimum in vargottam, medium in own and maximum in other navamsas.

11. Laghu Jataka Chap 9 verse 3
Varahamihira in his 9th chapter on ayurdaya ie longevity, mentions additional years contributed by lagna if the ascendant is vargottama, own sign in navamsa and dreshkan. Contribution by lagna towards the longevity doubles up in this situation. 

12. Saravali chap 46 verse 22
In female horoscope if 7th house has Venus's sign and navamsa, the husband is good looking and fortunate. If 7th house has Mercury's sign and navamsa, the husband is a skilled in Science.

13. Jatak Parijat Chap 14 verse 93
Jupiter in 9th house going to own navamsa or aspected by benefic planet, the person has a high sense of duty towards dharma 

So it's important that we don't take extreme positions in ascertaining the true worth of navamsa. I wish to clearly state how I understand the whole navamsa and varga business. 

When a shloka uses the term amsa, we must look at the all inclusive vargas (all the 6 vargas in shad varga system). When a shloka uses the specific term navamsa, we need to use only the navamsa for the shloka.

You have examples of same classic using the words navamsa and amsa in different places. For example, in the chapter on Mool dasha in saravali (quoted above), there is specific use of the word navamsa whereas in the same classic chapter 24, it talks of results of Moon in various amsa (the generic term). Even translator R Santhanam is using it exclusively for navamsa when the word is only amsa. I think it's clearly a mistake. 

When we have clear distinction between the generic and specific terms in our classics, I think we must apply the said principles in their right scope.

In conclusion, we must not jump to mean navamsa for every amsa word and definitely not disregard the real value of navamsa in Jyotish as I have clearly laid out it's importance.