(i) Vara- Agni Tattva- shows the life/ longevity of the undertaking. Check how the vara lord placed, this shall indicate the longevity of the event for which the Muhurtha being determined. The Vara should be determined by the horosocope of the main person involved. The day lord should preferably be as per the lord of the house which signifies the muhurtha.
Vara lord should never be a planet squarely opposed to Karaka as per the zodiac sign ownership. Thus Marriage should not happen on Tuesday as Mars is totally opposed to Venus. Mars is Brahmacharya, It is finished when marriage takes place. Merc is opposed to Jup as their signs are opposite. Also Sun is oppsed to Rahu and Moon to Saturn.
Chose the day as per the naisargika (natural) karakatva (significations) of the day lord, such as
-> Start learning Jyotisha or Vedas on a Thursday.
-> First feeding of child should be done on a Monday
(ii) Karana- Prithvi Tattva- This shows the accomplishments/ achievements/ final outcome of the event for which the muhurtha is being determined.
Karana is half of a Tithi. Thus a lunar month which consists of thirty tithis, have 60 Karanas. There are altogether 11 karanas, out of which 7 are movable and 4 are fixed. The fixed Karanas occur only once in a lunar month. They are as follows:
1. Shakuni: 2nd half of Krishna Chaturdasi.
2. Chatuspada: 1st half of Amavasya.
3. Naga: 2nd half of Amavasya.
4. Kimstughna: 1st half of Shukla Pratipad
This shows that nothing should be undertaken between 2nd half of K14 to 1st Half of S01. That's why Gurudev says that these tithes are cursed.
(iii) Nakshatra- Vayu Tattva- This shows different kinds of experiences the person will pass through during the muhurtha. The Nakshatra should not be
a. A bad Nakshatra as per the Navatara Chakra (If the Lagna is stronger, Navatara starts from Moon and if Moon is stronger, the Navatara shall start from Lagna)
b. A Nakshatra which causes Vedha to the Janma Nakshatra
The Vedha Causing Nakshatras to each other is as follows:
* Aswini and Jyeshta;
* Bharani and Anuradha;
* Krittika and Visakha;
* Rohini and Swati;
* Ardra and Sravana
* Punarvasu and Uttar-ashadha;
* Pusayami and Poorv-ashadha;
* Aslesha and Moola;
* Makha and Revati;
* Purva-Phalguni and Uttara-bhadrapada;
* Uttara-Phalguni and Purva-bhadrapada;
* Hasta and Satabhisha,
* Mrigasira, Dhanishta and Chitra
(iv) Tithi- Jala Tattva- Shows the financial prosperity/ difficulties a person shall have during the event. The lord of a tithi is easy to find. The first tithi, Pratipada of both the Paksha is ruled by Sun and all the subsequent tithis are ruled by planets in the order of weekday lords (Sun, Moon, Mars, Merc, Jup, Ven, Sat, Rahu). The 8th Tithi is ruled by Rahu and so also the Amavasya, however the Purnima is ruled by Saturn. Ketu has no lordship over any tithi.
(v) Yoga- Akasha Tattva- Shows how different elements in the event shall be bonded to each other. This shows the nature of relationships between different members involved in the event. Check how well the Yoga Lord placed and also the nature of the Yoga.
II. The Moon should be strongly and well placed in the Muhurtha Chart.
III. The Karaya Bhava (Singnifying house) should be empty. For studies, 4th is the karaka bhava and it should be empty.
IV. The Karaka should be well placed, either in the Lagna or in the Kendra to the Lagna. But, it should not be placed in Karya Bhava. However, it does not apply for 6H / 11H matters i.e in evil matters ( war etc. ) planets in Karya Bhava are good. In addition, Karaka should not be in Marana Karaka Avastha. The houses where the planets becomes marana avastha are:
Ketu- Nowhere, as it doesn't have body and hence cannot physically suffer.
IV. There should not be any malefics in the Sukha Trikona (4th/8th/12th). Malefics in the 8th should be avoided in all circumstances.
V. The Malefics should preferably be placed in the Upachayas (3/6/10/11).
VI. Check the Hora and the Kala. The Hora shows the focus of the activity at any time, take both the natural significations and temporal significations of the Hora lord at any time to find the different events likely to happen in that muhurtha. Hora of the 8th house lord and badhakesh from the signification house (of the principle person involved in muhurtha) is prohibited.
Kala represents the atma of the Kalapursha and influence on it shall show the influence of different persons during that muhurtha.
The various directions governed by the planets and the directions of the lord of the kalas as per the Kalachakra is as follows.
Dir. - Dir. Lord -Kala Lord
E - Sun - Sun
S.E - Venus - Mars
S - Mars - Jupiter
S.W - Rahu - Mercury
W - Saturn - Venus
N.W - Moon - Saturn
N - Mercury - Moon
N.E - Jupiter - Rahu
One should not start any activity pertaining to a direction lord in the Kala of the corresponding Kala lord. Thus in Rahu Kala, Jupiter's activity is prohibited and in Mars's kala, Venusian activity is prohibited and so on.
The method to find the kala is: The Kala of the Vara lord starts at 6:00 am LMT and thereafter, each 1.5 hours, the kala of the planet rises in the following order: Sun-> Mars-> Jupiter-> Mercury-> Venus-> Saturn-> Moon-> Rahu. From 6:00 "pm" LMT, the kala of the planet, in the fifth from the vara lord starts the sequence repeats in the order given.
VII. Check the Navamsa. Along with the Lagna, the Navamsa Lagna should be well placed in the Muhurtha Chart. The Yoga-karakas in the Rasi Charts should be well placed in the Navamsa Chart.
VIII. Above all, do not ignore the Atmakaraka. The influences on the Atmakaraka shall help deciphering many things that happen in a Muhurtha. Check how the Dharma Devata placed. His blessings shall show how smooth the acitivity undertaken in a muhurtha would be.
IX. Be careful of all the major bad yogas such as Kalasarpa, Sarpa, Pishacha etc.
X. Last but not the least, the Arudha shall be well placed. Moon should not be placed in the 8th from the Arudha Lagna.
XI. Study the Ghataka Chakra in Pt. Sanjay ji's website (www.srath.com). It is very informative on Muhurtha.