The asthakavargas is a unique way of dividing each of the 12 rasis into eight sub divisions, based on the influence of the lagna and the 7 main planets on these 12 rasis. Rahu & Ketu are omitted in asthakavargas. Based on their individual positions in a horoscope, the lagna and the 7 main planets, contribute certain positive and negative influences on the 12 signs of the horoscope. These influences are called bindus and rekhas, which are positive and negative points. There is a confusion and controversy between South Indians and North Indians about the bindus and rekhas and which of them is benific and malefic. So lets simply call them positive points and negative points to avoid confusion.
For AV purpose each rasi is divided into 8 parts called Kakshas. Each kaksha has a span of 3:45′. The 1st kaksha of each rasi is ruled by saturn, the 2nd by jupiter, 3rd by mars, 4th by sun, 5th by venus, 6th by mercury, the 7th by moon and the 8th by the lagna. Mainly 3 types of Ashtakavarga charts are used to study the effects of the planets.
The 1st type are the Bhinnashtakavarga charts, prepared for the lagna and the 7 planets – total 8 charts are made. In the picture above we have given the Bhinnashtakavarga chart of sun – to the left side. The rasis are marked horizontally by the respective rasi numbers, i.e., 1 for Aries, 2 for Taurus etc. The 8 Kakshas are to be seen vertically. A Bhinnashtakavarga kaksha of any rasi can contain only one point. If a positive point is contributed by any planet in a kaksha it is marked by 1, if a negative one then by 0. So we can see that in the chart of the Bhinnashtakavarga of sun, in the sign Aries (under 1), saturn has contributed a positive point in the first kaksha, jupiter has contributed a negative point in the 2nd kaksha and so on. The total positive points contributed in Aries are 4. We can see the other signs similarly. The Bhinnashtakavarga charts of planets are very useful to study the transit effects of planets. For example sun transits a rasi for one month. But the results he gives are not uniform throughout the month. He produces good results while transiting the Kakshas where there is a positive point and if negative point is there he gives bad results. In this case while transiting the 1st kaksha of Aries, from 0 degrees to 3:45′, he gives good results as saturn has contributed a positive point there. In the next kaksha, from 3:45 to 7:30′, where there is a negative point contributed by jupiter, he gives bad results. As Aries has 4 positive and 4 negative points in suns BAV chart, suns transit results in Aries for the native of this chart are 50% good and 50% bad. When the sun transits Libra for one month its results are very bad as it has only 2 positive points. Suns transit of Sagittarius is the best with 6 PP. So a rasi with 4 good points gives medium results, better with more and worse with less.
The good or bad effects will have a relation with the planet contributing the point, either positive or negative. They will have a link to its nature, house ownership etc.
In similar fashion with the help of the BAV charts of the other planets we can study their transit effects.
The sarvasthakavarga chart, to the right of suns BAV chart, is the combined detailed summary of how many positive points each of the 7 planets and lagna are contributing in all the rasis.
The Samudaya Ashtakavarga chart bellow gives a brief at a glance idea of how many total good points are there in each house. Houses with 25 or more produce good results when planets transit them. If the points are below 25 then the results are negative.
Ashtakavarga has many more applications. While analyzing the effects of a house, by studying how many total good and bad points are there, contributed by which planets, etc give several clues about the house effects. While studying the effects of a planet placed in a particular house, by studying in how many degrees he is placed in that house and in which planets kaksha, the points contributed by the planets in the kaksha, give us us predictive clues as to the planets nature results etc. Ashtakavarga is also employed to study longevity of a native by doing several complicated mathematical calculations and by doing trikona reductions etc. Even for those who know astrology, the Ashtakavarga is an advanced application.