Satish has asked me to elaborate on my reference to having used ashtakavarga in the Denzel Washington prediction (see the article - Denzel Washington's Nakshatra Exchange.) I will do so, but it should be understood only in the context of dasha. I once heard Shri Rao make the point that it was not without reason the Parashara Hora gives five levels of the Vimshottari dasha.
1st maha dasha
2nd antar dasha
3rd pratyantar dasha
4th sookshma dasha
5th prana dasha
If you have good reason to believe that the birth time is precise, giving an accurate set of divisional charts....then the finer timing of an event comes down to coordinating these deeper levels of the dasha with transits.
In regards to the latter, ashtakavarga should...and must...be used to assess the strength of transits. To quote our departed friend Richard Houck, "it is nearly criminal to do otherwise."
Denzel's birth certificate gave a time of 00:09 (12:09 AM). Based on a number of his life events I have adjusted this time four minutes to 00:13. The main reason was the change of the dashamsha lagna (D-10) from Virgo to Libra.
Denzel Washington's Natal Chart
Presuming this adjustment is correct, on the day he won the Oscar the Vimshottari dasha on all five levels was: Saturn-Saturn-Mercury-Saturn-Venus. Note that this entire sequence includes nothing but trine lords for his Virgo lagna.
Recall also that he has the 5th lord Saturn exalted and with Venus in its own sign Libra. From the Chandra lagna, Capricorn, these form a spectacular raja yoga involving the 1st lord in the 10th with the 10th lord and Yogakaraka planet. This picture really appealed to me.
As to transits (gochara) I very much follow principles given in Phaladeepika in the chapter so entitled. One of these is that events portended in a particular dasha sequence will precipitate during the favorable transit of the dasha lords.
Transits March 24, 2002 - night of the Academy Awards.
Transiting Saturn (Denzel's maha, antar, and prana lord at the time of the event) is transiting the sign Taurus, which is the 9th house from his birth lagna Virgo, and the 5th house from the Moon. And this is where ashtakavarga comes in. The sarva ashtakavarga for his 9th house Taurus is a very healthy 32 benefic points (anything over the numerical average of 27-28 is considered good.)....although Saturn's individual binnashtaka in Taurus is only 2.
Denzel Washington's Sarvashtakavarga (total points)
The pratyantar dasha lord Mercury (the 1st and 10th lord) was transiting Aquarius, the 6th house from the birth lagna and 2nd from the Moon. This does not look that favorable until you see that Aquarius has a sarva ashtakavarga of 33 benefic points, and that Mercury's individual binnashtaka is a substantial 6 bindus.
Venus, the planet I believe to be the sookshma dasha lord (4th level) at the time of event, was within one degree of its highest point of exaltation at 27 Pisces and in the 7th house (kendra)....though the ashtakavarga values were unremarkable.
These transit conditions of the dasha lords also appealed to me.
Also, although Jupiter does not configure in the dasha sequence, the transit of the Greater Benefic must always be considered in any prediction. As noted in my original post, Jupiter is transiting his 10th house and on that night (March 24th) was applying by two degrees to a full aspect of his 10th lord Mercury. This further appealed to me.
Lastly, the Moon is the finest timer of events since it is the fastest moving of the graha. Shri Rao shows in his book, Planets and Children, how his mother taught him to time birth within 72 hours using the Moon's transits.
Washington received his Oscar at a time when the Moon transited its own sign Cancer, in his 11th house of honors and awards. It is just recently crossed his supremely exalted Jupiter, activating the Gaja Kesari Yoga.
But now the clincher. Cancer has a respectable 28 benefic points in its sarva ashtakavarga, but the Moon's individual binnashtaka here is a substantial 7 bindus.
Denzel Washington's binnashtakavarga for the Moon
The use of the Moon's transit was the final stage of this prediction....and in the context of everything else...it looked like a winner to me.
With regards to using the finer levels of dasha, three critically important issues should be kept in mind.
1. Accuracy of the birth time
3. Length of dasha years
Of course, the later two are very controversial within the world of Jyotish, and it is an issue that every student must grapple with and determine for themselves.
I used chitrapaksha ayanamsha (Lahiri) and 365.25 dasha years originally on the basis of Shri Rao's strong recommendation. Now, after nearly 10 years of my own researches, it is the only thing I can recommend.
reprinted with permission