Created by Ernst & Srishti Wilhelm
Available in English.,German, Spanish, Hungarian, Russian
(Author's Note: since I reviewed Käla in The Mountain Astrologer October 2002 Mercury Direct, the software has been steadily enhanced. This review explores both features that are already present in the Käla 2005 version and those in the 2006 version, which should be released by the time you read this article. Also, the Figures/images on this website have been compressed for faster viewing. In the actual software, they look much better.)
Käla runs on PCs under Windows 98 or later (ME, 2000, NT, and XP), as well as on Macintosh computers under Parallels or Boot Camp. Käla's interface, chart and table printouts, and help files are available in five languages: English, German, Hungarian, Russian, and Spanish, and the interpretive texts are available in English, Spanish, and German.
From its inception, Käla's authors, Ernst and Srishti Wilhelm have designed the program to do the mathematical calculations from the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra and the Jaimini Sutras that are too difficult for most astrologers to perform manually. They have handcrafted individual screens in Käla, each devoted to a specific type of Vedic astrological analysis, e.g. Muhurta, Mundane astrology, Compatibility, etc. In Käla 2006, the program can exchange charts with the program Kepler, has an expanded time-change atlas for over 120 countries, and many new screens:
A. The Muhurta Screen and Functions.
Among the most powerful and popular of the additions to Käla are the new Muhurta functions. [Note: What Western astrologers call Electional Astrology, i.e. choosing the best time to initiate an activity, event, or new undertaking, Vedic astrologers call Muhurta.]
There are three main Muhurta features:
1. The Muhurta Screen. The Muhurta screen is a window that has many different sections and capabilities. Most of the screen (the top 2/3) is devoted to displaying information on the specific moment in time that is under consideration as the Muhurta (i.e. the time to begin the undertaking). See Figure One: The Muhurta Screen.
On the top left is a large chart of the moment, and underneath it a Navamsa chart and a table of fatal degrees for each planet. (Like most of Käla's screens, you can click on a chart or table and replace it with any chart, table, or listing, from a large list of choices) In the top center of the screen is a very extensive table containing information on Ayana/Rita, Masa/Paksha (plus the suunya rashi and nakshatra), Tithi, Karana, Yoga (and Yogi and Ava Yogi), Nakshatra, Avastha, Muhurta, Hora, Nadika, Vela, Upagraha, Panchaka/Bana, Tara, and Vara/Tithi/Nakshatra Yogas present at the moment.
At the upper right of the screen is a detailed planetary information table, showing for each planet, its longitude, sign, retrograde/combust indicator, dignity, nakshatra, pada, nakshatra lord and sublord, tara, BalaAdi, kaksha, speed, distance, latitude, declination, and azimuth.
Underneath this table is a box with many options. The most important one is that it allows you to specify the type of event you are finding a time for, from 172 choices including ones like when to buy a house, get married, lend or borrow money, travel, or adopt a child. You can also, in this section of the screen, select the date, time, and location to use, save the Muhurta or reload a saved one, print the screen, view popup windows that give you specific guidelines and rules, as well as special considerations and possible obstructions (doshas), for the event you are selecting a time for, and finally, access to the Muhurta Helper (which will be explored in the next section).
Finally, the lower 1/3 of the window displays a graphical time line, for a month at a time, of the positive (shown in green) or negative (red) or neutral (yellow) disposition of the nakshatra, tara, tithi, karana, nitya yoga, and Vara/Tithi/Nakshatra yogas for the theme being investigated. This color coding makes it simple to scan the days of a month to see which days are best, i.e. have the most green sections.
It is easy to move forward or backward to other months, and by clicking anywhere on the graphic, the tables and charts in the upper screen are immediately redrawn for that date and time. Right above the graphic are sets of up/down arrows that allow you to move the date and time by vara, tithi, nakshatra, karana, lagna, navamsa, hora, muhurta, nadi, or individual minutes of time.
The Muhurta screen is excellently designed to allow you to quickly and easily see a huge range of factors influencing each moment in time as well as a longer time span, and to effortlessly adjust the time forward or backward by Vedic increments, and to change the topic under consideration. Very well done!
2. The Muhurta Helper. In order to help novices to find the best times to begin activities, the authors of Käla have thoughtfully included the Muhurta Helper. As mentioned in the previous section, the Muhurta Screen has a button that activates the Muhurta Helper. The Muhurta Helper automatically finds the best dates and times, during whatever time range you specify, to initiate the event that you have chosen. It then displays a results screen which gives time ranges for each of the best dates and times, and a score indicating just how positive each time range is.
3. The Set Muhurta Helper Tool. Käla also offers a Set Muhurta Helper screen, which allows more advanced astrologers to control the positive or negative weighting of each of the 100+ factors that the Muhurta Helper uses in its evaluations. You can also “set the bar” as to specify the number of points necessary for a time range to qualify as a good result, and also reset the screen to the default values that came with Käla. This is an important addition to Käla's Muhurta functions, as it enables the customizing of the Muhurta Helper.
B. The Transit Calendar Screen.
A second deceptively simple yet actually quite powerful new screen is the Transit Calendar (see Figure Two: The Transit Calendar)
Here we see two features: 1. On the top 1/3 of the screen is a graphic depicting, for a month at a time, the relative positions of each of the planets in relationship to the natal Moon. If a planet is in an unobstructed relationship to the Moon, a square of the appropriate color is placed above the dateline if the influence is favorable, or below the dateline if it is unfavorable.
If the transiting planet is obstructed (making a favorable transit negative and vice versa) the glyph of the planet is placed above the dateline (for obstructed favorable positions) or below the dateline (for obstructed negative positions). This enables those who understand Gochara (Vedic transit) principles to easily apply them for a month at a time. If you click on any day of the month, the program pops up a window that shows the classical interpretations for each planet's position in relationship to the natal Moon (note: like all ancient Vedic texts, their exaggerated delineations are not suitable for distribution to the public, though they are helpful for astrologers learning the technique.)
2. In the bottom 2/3 of the screen is a monthly calendar whose days are filled with symbols for one or more of the houses when that day fulfills the Vedic principles indicating that an event related to the house (e.g. the 7th house and love) could happen on that day. Of course, the user of this calendar must ascertain if other Vedic influences (e.g. Dashas) support events occurring at this time, in this area of life.
C. The Mundane Screen (and Sankrantis Screen).
For those who want to analyze World events and mundane issues via Classical Vedic astrological methods, Käla includes two screens: the Mundane screen and the Sankrantis screen. The Mundane screen shows the Vedic chart for the moment of the Sun's ingress into Aries, as well as a Patyayini Dasa table, Results of Lords table (e.g. Lord of Clouds, Lord of Fluids, King, Minister, etc.), the Vara, Karana, Nakshatra, and textual description of the Sankranti Devi. You can also add additional charts for each of the months. On the Sankrantis screen, you can see all of the month charts at once, so that it becomes easy to evaluate mundane trends for every month. See Figure Three: The Sankrantis Screen.
D. The Ashtakavarga Screen.
The Ashtakavarga screen supports astrologers making predictions based upon planetary transits. It contains nine tables, seven for the planets (other than the nodes), one for the lagna (ascendant), and one summation (Sarva) table. See Figure Four: The Ashtakavarga Screen.
Each cell contains the number of points (bindus) for each planet, as well as totals, and Trikona, and Epatya reductions. Clicking on the name of any of the planets pops up a window showing the signs and nakshatras where events are most likely to occur, as well as the Graha, Rashi, and Yoga Pindas, and the important ages for the planet. The added Ashtakavarga Results window, like Vastu or Feng Shui, indicates the best directions (in your house) to place your wealth, etc. as well as the expected results for a planet being in a sign with its number of Ashtakavarga points.
E. Jaimini Screen. Käla has more Jaimini features than other Vedic software, and even a screen specifically devoted towards using Jaimini techniques. For instance, on this screen, by clicking on the center of the large birth chart, you can select the varga chart you wish to explore, and all of the screen's tables immediately conform to the new varga's positions. The Jaimini screen shows both a nakshatra dasa listing and a rashi dasa listing, as well as a chart that shows the placements of each of the padas, an alternate lagna table (bhava, hora, ghatika, and varnada lagnas), a table of the Jaimini karakas, and tables of the Prathama and Tritiya Pranas (indicating the strongest signs and house lords, respectively).
F. The Varga Details Screen.
Once again, this screen is packed with calculations and tables almost impossible to do by hand. Besides a large birth chart and dasa listing, this page shows seven additional tables: Vimshopaka + Avasthas, Shubha/Ashubha to Grahas, Ishta/Kashta to Grahas, Ishta/Kashta to Bhavas, ShadBala to Grahas, ShadBala to Bhavas, and Shayanadi Avasthas. Like in the Jaimini screen, it is simple to shift chart and tables to reflect any divisional chart. These tables allow one to determine the strength and quality of (positive/negative) effects during a specific planet's dasha, using methods in the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra.
G. The Tara Tables Screen.
The word Tara means star, and this screen is devoted to a system in Vedic astrology that allows its practitioners to make very accurate predictions even without a precise birth time. See Figure Five: Tara Tables. Nakshatra-based, the Tara screen shows the user, for each dasha, what the overall and specific trends will be during that period. The principle used is that all positions except 3rd, 5th, and 7th from the Moon's position are good, i.e. give favorable results, and the other positions are obstructive.
Additional new features of Käla (since 2002) include the Davidson Compatibility chart, new Dasha systems such as the nine conditional Nakshatra Dashas as well as Yogini, Sthira, Drig, Trikona, Yogardha, Kalachakra, Aya, and Navamsa Dashas from Jaimini Sutras, and K.N. Rao's Chara Dasha method. When you click on any nakshatra dasha table to select a dasha to display, Käla -- unlike any other program -- displays the specific nakshatra dashas relevant to the birth chart (or optionally, like other programs, can show all of the nakshatra dashas).
The Varshaphala screen has also been enhanced, making it easier to create and print out Masaphala (monthly Solar Return charts -- created for when the Sun enters the same degree of subsequent signs). In addition, more yogas are now calculated and interpreted, including Spiritual yogas (e.g. yogas of wisdom and of spiritual tendencies). You can easily view the last four charts you used, and select the screen you want the program to start with. You can now see exact positions (degrees) in Varga charts, as well as Divisional Dignities per BPHS.
Käla is excellent for practitioners of the Krishnamurti Paddhadi approach, because it offers many house systems and the ability to select the beginning or middle of the house for the position of the house cusps. It can display the Nakshatra sub-lords for planets and house cusps down to five levels.
Since the authors of Käla have added all of the features they promised in the 2002 review, I am confident that their forthcoming additions, such as a modern Nakshatra report, a modern House Lords in Houses report, and a Sudarshana Chakra Screen with Animated Transits, will come in a timely fashion and continue to enhance Käla's power and value.
Käla is an incredibly powerful program for advanced Vedic practitioners. Beginners will like the modern interpretations mentioned in my last review, the Muhurta Helper, and the ability to arrange one's own layouts for screens and printed pages, but first and foremost, Käla will enable well-schooled students of both Parashari and Jaimini methods to easily explore and use these approaches in depth.
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