The event of a Mahadasha change signifies a massive change on all levels for the human being. For those who consider the maintenance of health to be of primary importance, the concept of Dasha change needs to be understood thoroughly. Even a slight misconception in or lack of understanding can lead to long drawn-out ill-health when the Mahadasha actually changes.
The Mahadasha change starts announcing itself during the last Antaradasha of the ongoing Mahadasha. How soon or late this announcement begins depends upon the planet concerned and circumstances in the horoscope. The method of announcement is directly related to the planet whose Mahadasha is going to commence. The temperament with which this announcement is received is related to the planet whose Mahadasha is currently on. For example, looking at the serial order in the Vimshottari Dasha scheme, Mars might give an energetic wake-up boost to the native under the dreamy influence of the Moon. If the native is unprepared, he/she might fall off the chair and break a bone owing to the sheer energy of Mars. Or, as another example, Saturn might contract the expanding native full of optimism in the ending phase of the Mahadasha of Jupiter with warnings of humiliation and suffering. Depending upon the intensity of the humiliation and suffering, the unprepared native might do something drastic, not being able to come to terms with the mental pain. It pays to be astrologically prepared and to understand changes in the direction of flow of human life.
Central to the comprehension of any Mahadasha change is the grasping of the concept of Dasha Chhiddra. [This term is not to be confused with the term Chhiddra Graha, which is encountered while studying the topic of Maraka planets. These two terms have nothing in common.] The meaning of the word Chhiddra is piercing a passage through something, here from the current Mahadasha into the new one. Yes, Astrology compares this event to a piercing through. A mould which has formed over many years (6 – 20 in Vimshottari) is being slowly destroyed and a new mould is forming inside the body and the mind, through which the soul will express itself and experience the vicissitudes of life for another time-frame of many years (6 – 20). During the current Mahadasha, a certain mental and physical constitution has resulted, the destruction of which starts with the onset of Dasha Chhiddra and is proportional in difficulty to the number of years the particular constitution has existed. For the new physical and mental constitutions (which start forming at Dasha Chhiddra) to effectively start working, it can even take upto the end of the first Antaradasha in the new Mahadasha, depending upon the planet concerned, the horoscope circumstances and the number of years the constitution must exist for. Therefore, the total time-frame of Dasha Chhiddra and its aftermath we are looking at here is, in the worst-case-scenario, the beginning of the last Antaradasha of the current Mahadasha to the end of the first Antaradasha in the oncoming Mahadasha. In the normal-case scenario, this time-frame could narrow down to a total of about 12 months, 6 months on each side of the exact Mahadasha junction. In the best-case scenario, I could imagine a smaller time-frame, possibly between the last three months of the current Mahadasha to the first three months of the new Mahadasha approximately. For example, Mercury’s onset of Dasha Chhiddra is relatively quick, with few clear-cut results of Mercury MD manifesting even before the MD starts. Saturn is relatively slow, and gives a lot of warnings in advance, building things up till well into Saturn-Saturn before really coming into a groove, and the core results of Saturn Mahadasha are only really felt after Saturn-Saturn is over or getting over. Likewise, one can categorize each planet’s typical behaviour during Dasha Chhiddra.
Also, when one is observing Chara Dasha for example, one naturally speaks of Dasha Chhiddra in terms of Rashis and their characteristics. Here, depending upon the direction of Chara Dasha, Dasha Chhiddra can work either way from one Rashi to another. This means that for one native the Astrologer observes the pattern changes for let’s say the MD change from Cancer to Leo Mahadasha. For another, it would be possible to observe Dasha Chhiddra patterns for an MD change from Leo Mahadasha to Cancer Mahadasha because the direction of Chara Dasha is such. This is not the case with Vimshottari, which has only one direction. To a minor extent, the concept of Dasha Chhiddra is applicable from Antaradasha to Antaradasha too. Of course, here the total period of change will be proportionately lesser, a matter of days and not months, and will take immense sensitivity to really notice.
Primarily, the native is advised to be receptive enough to identify when Dasha Chhiddra has set in. Note changes in behaviour patterns, digestion, health, mental and physical constitutions, attitudes and the like. Near the junctional period, if these appear abnormally out of line with the current Mahadasha planet and are more in tune with the oncoming Mahadasha planet, Dasha Chhiddra is going on. After identification of the commencement of Dasha Chhiddra, the native is advised to very slowly start becoming used to the changes. The new levels of liquid and solid intake must be gotten slowly accustomed to. Everything should be done at dynamic equilibrium to maintain health. If Mars suddenly creates a craving for spicy rajasik food in a native just emerging from a Kapha plus sattvik diet pattern in the Mahadasha of the Moon, take little spices at first, ignoring the urge from Mars to have a lot of spices immediately, or suddenly to start indulging in non-vegetarian food. Become aware of the latent tendencies in each planet. Health will suffer the moment one goes overboard with the quantity and quality of change in diet and lifestyle.
Mahadasha change is a change of long seasons, and Ayurveda advices Panchakarma cleansing before the period of change sets in. Identify the Dosha(s) in abundance in the system as pertaining to the planet whose Mahadasha is ending. In the case of the Moon, Kapha could have abounded above normal levels all through the Mahadasha, and now, when this Mahadasha is ending, it is time for emesis therapy, in which all excess Kapha is extracted from the lungs, the sinuses and the stomach, and is vomited out. Such treatment will lead to an easier formation of the new constitutional mould which caters more to Pitta than the normal Prakriti designates, because the Mahadasha of Mars is setting in. The longer the excess Kapha clogs the system, the more strain will be experienced by the system during the onset of change. If a certain (relatively low) level of strain is crossed during this junction, disease will definitely result [at such junctions, body tolerance and immunity levels are relatively low]. When Mars Mahadasha is finishing, Pitta cleansing might be necessary, and for this Ayurveda advises purgation, i.e. elimination therapy through the anus after the use of laxatives like Psyllium Husk or Trifala. When Rahu Mahadasha is ending, enema therapy is appropriate for ridding the system of excess Vata. Nasya, medicated oil treatment through the nose which clears mental cloudiness and the Ear-Nose-Throat area would be advisable at every Mahadasha change for those in whom Kapha Dosha is not overflowing. Another thing, if you are allowed to donate blood, doing so before the junction of Mahadashas could be a great medical and spiritual cleansing opportunity for the system, giving a boost to the immune system and also being a supreme act of charity. Blood-letting was a legitimate method of cleansing in the days of yore.
Take a good look at the mind and its new way of thinking. A change from Jupiter to Saturn can suddenly change the optimist into a pessimist and the extrovert into an introvert. Don’t be alarmed. Because you know Astrology, you are prepared, and are in a position to come to terms with the change in a very short time, maintaining the dynamic equilibrium of your health at all times.