Do Daśā / Dasha Systems Originate from India?

Do Daśā / Dasha Systems Originate from India?

Persian Astrolabe
Persian Astrolabe (Photo credit: austinevan)

It is hard to say, but I am inclined to believe that it is a Persian system. I believe so because the indigenous Indian System was moon-sun-star based, not planets-and-signs based. It seems that the Persians and Ionian Greeks created the interest in planets/signs/houses astrology that took root in India not later than 1700 years ago. Since the daśā system deals with planets, it seems influenced by these sources. Indeed these sources have their own daśā systems in their own classical systems, too. What is different about the Indian daśā systems is that they tie many of them to the stars (Nakṣatra), whereas the Persian daśā systems are based only on the zodiac signs, to the best of my knowledge.

So it seems to me that the Persians introduced the basic concept of daśā, and the Indians took that and evolved it into their unique nakṣatra daśā system – of which Viṁśottarī is the most popular by far (to such an extent that most people don’t even realize it is not the only daśā system in Indian astrology).